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Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what quantities of reprocessed uranium have been sold by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. and for what purposes in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the North Devon constituency, the effects on North Devon of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
RSA is a capital investment grant linked to the creation or safeguarding of jobs in designated areas of need (the Assisted Areas). Five RSA grant offers totalling £0.574 million have been made to businesses in the North Devon Constituency, to support projects with a total capital expenditure of £3.5 million, and to create and safeguard a total of 344 jobs.
The Enterprise Grants scheme is a simplified scheme that was introduced in April 2000 to help small firms undertake fixed capital investment projects. One application for £0.012 million in the North Devon Constituency is currently being appraised.
PROSPER Business Link has provided services to small businesses in the North Devon Constituency since 1997. These include general and specialised advice to help businesses grow, export development counselling, Information and Communications Technology advice, and a full range of specialist information. From April 2001 these services will be provided by the Small Business Service operating through a franchise awarded to a
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) who from (a) regional development agencies, (b) regional assemblies and (c) other organisations was invited by the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Central (Mr. Caborn), to attend his meeting with Central Railway plc on 28 February; who attended the meeting; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what were the conclusions of the meeting of 28 February between the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Central, representatives of Central Railway plc and regional representatives; 
(4) what contacts there have been between (a) the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Central and (b) other Ministers in his Department and representatives of Central Railway since 1 January; 
(5) what was the purpose of the meeting on 28 February between the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Central and representatives of Central Railway plc. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 27 March 2001]: At 29 October 2000, IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, had registered 124,376 claims in respect of respiratory disease. To date, the number of claims initiated is 141,158 and, on average, 1,000 new claims continue to be registered each week.
Mr. Hain: Before September last year, expedited offers of between £1,050 and £5,750 were made to claimants in full and final settlement following spirometry (the first stage of the medical process). As a result of the fast-track
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initiative in September, these offers were increased to between £2,050 and £14,500, the offer being dependent on spirometry results and underground working history with British Coal. In addition, eligibility was broadened to include some claimants who were previously ineligible for an expedited offer. Those who had offers made under the old tariffs received a top-up in line with the new awards. The average settlement figure is £4,700.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the time-scale is for processing claims for compensation from ex-miners and their families in each of the centres in Wales; and what the target date is for the completion of this work for existing cases in each such location. 
Mr. Hain: It is difficult to say how long it will take before the last claim is assessed in Wales. New claims can still be made and nationally there are about 1000 new claims each week. We aim to assess the remainder of the most injured and eldest miners and widows by spring 2002.
MAP resources within South Wales are being increased. We recently opened a new centre in Ammanford, and I will be attending the opening of a further new centre in Ystrad Mynach on 30 March. In North Wales, as the right hon. Member is aware, Healthcall have been asked to cease assessments in May at the centre in Wrexham. They are, however, investigating alternative sites in the area for the Portakabin modular unit with the help of the local council. In addition, Healthcall are in the process of equipping mobile testing units to be used as and when the need arises. With these changes in prospect it is difficult to set targets now for handling the existing claims.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of claims for compensation for (a) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (b) asthma his Department will receive from ex-miners and their families in Wales in the next 12 months. 
Mr. Hain: It is difficult to forecast the number of further claims of compensation for respiratory disease, including those with chronic bronchitis and emphysema, expected in Wales. Nationwide, there are currently around 1,000 new claims initiated in respect of respiratory disease each week. The number of claims is currently about 140,000.
Kali Mountford: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on how the Government propose to implement the EU's framework directive on electronic signatures. 
Mr. Byers: I have today issued a consultation document on how this Directive should be implemented in the UK. Copies of the document have been placed in the Library of the House and are available on the DTI web site.
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Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many payments were made by his Department in each of the last five years to suppliers in which compensation was paid due to late payment. [R] 
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Newbury constituency, the effects on Newbury and west Berkshire of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
The Thames Valley Business Link receives funding from the Department to assist businesses at all stages of development. The Business Link also has an independent income stream. The Business Link covers both Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. Initiatives are aimed to reach groups of businesses that have shown a need for a more direct approach. It would not be possible to dis-aggregate the benefit for west Berkshire and the figures shown are for the whole region covered by the Business Link.
The Business Advisory Service gives easy access to a wide range of quality business services, initial business diagnosis at no extra cost, impartial expert advice on business issues, and practical value-for-money support tailored to make the most of individual business potential.
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The Small Business Service will take over from the current Business Link in April 2001 and will deliver a sharper and more focused service by acting as a gateway to the wide range of services available to local businesses.
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