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Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what economic assessment she has made of a bid by a British company for a platform for BP's Clair field in terms of employment and economic activity. 
Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the timescale involved for the granting of the contract to build the platform for the BP Clair field. 
Mr. Wilson: While the timing of contract awards is a commercial matter for BP, we understand that the analysis of tenders for the major structural elements of Clair will be carried out during February and March.
Mr. Wilson: As my hon. Friend is aware, I regularly meet BP's senior management. On several occasions I have emphasised the importance of Clair to the UK's oil and gas industry, and that UK fabrication yards are anxious to demonstrate their global competitiveness.
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Ms Hewitt: On 24 February the NAO published a report to Parliament entitled "Opening the Post: PostComm and postal servicesthe risks and opportunities". The Government will consider the detail of that report carefully and will comment where appropriate.
Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has commissioned on the effects of (a) rural post-offices, (b) post-buses and (c) directly employed Consignia staff on economic activity by constituency in each year since 1999. 
Ms Hewitt: No such research has been commissioned. Advice received at the end of last year from the Postal Services Commission on transitional assistance to the rural post office network is under consideration. In addition, the Government have made available a £2 million fund to support volunteer and community initiatives to maintain or reopen post office facilities in rural areas where traditional services would otherwise close.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list those businesses overseas which have been acquired by Consignia over the last five years, together with the price paid. 
|Company||Consignia shareholding (%)||Total investment £ million|
|Domberger Paket Dienst||100||45|
|DGE S.p.A 49 per cent./Agone||49/100||29|
|DGE S.p.A 51 per cent.||51||10|
The numbers quoted above are total investment. As such they are based on acquisition price/transaction costs/debt assumed/capex and taxations i.e. they reflect the total planned investment in the projects by Consignia.
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Mr. Wilson: In the last accounts filed with Companies House by Wainstones Power Ltd., the ultimate parent company is given as Xcel Energy, formerly known as Northern States Power Company and incorporated in the USA.
Ms Hewitt: My noble Friend the Minister for Science and Innovation, announced on 15 November 2001 that the United Kingdom had subscribed £380 million over the next 10 years to the space-related research programmes of the European Space Agency. Details of this and other major announcements since 1997 by the British National Space Centre in relation to the European Space Agency are listed in the table.
|Date of announcement||Financial commitment in £million||Programmes|
|November 2001||£4.68 over six years||ARTES 1 (satellite telecommunications)|
|£49.85 over six years||ARTES 3 (satellite telecommunications)|
|£35 over five years||ARTES 4 (satellite telecommunications)|
|£12.6 over two years||InfoTerra/TerraSar (operational earth observation)|
|£7.23 over five years||Global Monitoring for Environment and Security|
|£147.1 over 10 years||Living Planet programme (Earth Observation Envelope Programme)|
|£130 over four years||Astronomy and planetary science including new space exploration programme Aurora|
|£1.4 over 3 years||Ariane Infrastructure|
|£71 over five years||European Space Agency general budget|
|October 2001||£1||National programmeEarth Observation instrumentation development|
|December 1999||£1.4 over three years||EMIR-2X (microgravity and life sciences)|
|August 1999||£10.5 over three years||ARTES (satellite telecommunications)|
|£5||Beagle 2 (UK project to be launched on a European Space Agency mission)|
|May 1999||£128 over four years||Astronomy and planetary science programme|
|£56 over four years||European Space Agency general budget|
|£8||Galileo definition stage|
|£4.5 over five years||ARTES 1 and 4 (satellite telecommunications)|
|£67 million over 3 years||Living Planet programme (Earth Observation Envelope Programme)|
|September 1998||£5||Satellite navigation|
|£4||Living Planet programme (Earth Observation Envelope Programme)|
|£1.65||ENVISAT data processing/archiving|
|April 1998||£2||General Support Technology Programme|
|£2||ARTES 4 (satellite telecommunications)|
|£0.5||SMART 1 (technology research)|
|March 1998||£6.7 over three years||ARTES 3 (satellite telecommunications)|
|£8.1 over two years||ERS 2 operations (earth observation)|
|£6.4 over five years||Earth Observation preparatory programme|
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Ms Hewitt: In recent months I have not attended any meetings with European colleagues at which space research and exploration was specifically discussed. However, my noble Friend the Minister for Science and Innovation attended the Ministerial Council of the European Space Agency on 1415 November 2001, which the United Kingdom hosted in Edinburgh. At this meeting it was agreed the UK would subscribe to the study phase of a potential European programme for exploration of the solar system, the Aurora programme. The Minister also attended the October Research Council which discussed the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative, and the December Research Council where some conclusions on space policy were adopted. More recently he attended a bilateral with the Spanish Science Minister at which the subject of the European global satellite navigation system (Galileo) was raised.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the independent cross-community and lay element incorporated into the complaints mechanism available for juveniles in the criminal justice system is; what representations he has received concerning the compliance of this mechanism with the UN Rules on the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty; what the terms of reference are of his review of the complaints mechanisms and induction material; and if he will place the relevant documents in the Library. 
Mr. Browne: Existing mechanisms for dealing with complaints within Juvenile Justice Centres are operated by an independent Juvenile Justice Board, as required by the Secretary of State. These arrangements, which are fully explained to all young people entering custody, include child protection protocols, planned and unannounced inspections by the Social Services Inspectorate and an Independent Representation Scheme provided by the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO).
The existing arrangements are broadly in accordance with the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, and as such no representations have been received by the Secretary of State in relation to their compliance. However, in line with the recommendations made in the Criminal Justice Review, they are being reviewed by a development team,
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established by the Juvenile Justice Board, as part of a much wider brief to develop new operating policies and procedures in preparation for the closure of Lisnevin and the move to a single centre on the existing Rathgael site.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications have been received by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in each year since its creation; what the proportion of outcomes were; and what the average time taken for each stage in the processing of an application was compared to the equivalent times for cases in England and Wales. 
|Year||All applications||Northern Ireland applications|
(4) To 31 December 2001
The status of the Northern Ireland cases at 1 January 2002 is: eight cases have been referred back to the courts, the Commission has decided not to refer 39 cases back to the courts, 11 cases are currently under review and six cases await review.
Information is not readily available on the average time taken by the Commission at each stage of it processes. However, the Commission handles all cases, regardless of their origin, according to the same set of procedures and priorities.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what date the Criminal Justice Board established a Public Information and Education Sub- Group; who comprises this group; what its terms of reference are; on what dates the sub-group has met; and what its work programme is for 200203. 
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