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Ms Hewitt: I am informed by Post Office Ltd. that for the year ending March 2001 in the London region, there were 10 net closures; to the end of December 2001, there were nine net closures. I understand from Post Office Ltd. that historic data on the post office network before the year ending March 2001 are not held on a regional basis.
Ms Hewitt: Under the £1 billion Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF), a partnership between Government and the Wellcome Trust, £675 million has already been allocated to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to fund improvements in infrastructure, such as
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new or refurbished buildings and new equipment. Some HEIs have deployed SRIF to support their new medical schools.
Researchers at all medical schools and faculties of medicine are eligible to apply to the Medical Research Council for research funds. Proposals are accepted in the same way as those from any other eligible institution. The MRC welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to human health.
I understand that the impact on NHS research support budgets of the new medical schools has been assessed. NHS R&D funding will be made available to NHS care organisations to defray the NHS costs that they incur in supporting eligible research generated by the schools.
Jim Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the publicity given to the Broadband Fund by the South-West Regional Development Agency between 8 October 2001 and 20 December 2001 in raising awareness within the private sector; 
(3) if she will make a statement on (a) the regulations for application and (b) the application process for applicants seeking funding from the Broadband Fund. 
Mr. Alexander: The Government made a well-publicised announcement on the fund on 9 October 2001, and referred inquiries to the relevant body. The UK Broadband Fund was established to support the RDAs and devolved Administrations in taking forward innovative schemes to meet local requirements for extending broadband networks. There was no 'application process', since the fund was not established to assist individual businesses.
£3.78 million has been allocated to the South-West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA). Use of funds, along with publicity within the south-west, is a matter for SWRDA, who carry out the projects in accordance with the action plan agreed with Government and the guidance laid down in October.
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broadband deployment; to what extent mapping has been completed; and to what extent the mapping data is available in the public domain; 
Mr. Alexander: The Government have a rolling programme of research into the broadband market, including assessment of availability of broadband services across the UK. A map showing geographical availability of technologies is contained in the second annual UK Online report (http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/ukonline/ progress/anrep2001/default.htm) and has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total running costs budget is for (a) her Department in 200102 and (b) the public bodies reporting to her Department. 
Ms Hewitt: The Department of Trade and Industry's Expenditure Plans Report (Cm 5112) shows, in Table B9, the total planned administration cost expenditure for the Central Department for 200102 is £483 million. This includes the expenditure of: ACAS, Employment Tribunal Service, Insolvency Service, British Trade International, National Weights and Measurement laboratory and Radiocommunications Executive Agency.
Table B9 also shows the total planned administration cost expenditure for Regulators, while Table C5 shows the planned administration cost expenditure for NDPBs and together these amount to £560.6 million, excluding the ACAS total which has already been included in the central Department.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list those items valued at less than £50 each which have been stolen or lost from her Department in each of the last four years. 
Ms Hewitt: The Department of Trade and Industry's log of missing items is a mix of lost, stolen or misplaced items belonging to the Department or its work force. In the majority of cases the value of items is not recorded and it is not possible to answer this question in detail without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Alexander [holding answer 4 February 2002]: My right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry have just received the report. We will make a further announcement shortly.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in how many cases an employment tribunal awarded costs to (a) the employer and (b) the employee in each of the past five years. 
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|To applicant (employee)||To respondent (employer)|
(6) Due to changes to the database system of the ETS in 1996, statistics for 199697 are not available.
Employment Tribunals Service
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from employees or directors of Ispat International between May 1997 and December 2001; and if she will list them by date and subject. 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 4 February 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry received no representations from employees or directors of Ispat International between May 1997 and December 2001.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many compensation claims by former miners living in (a) St. Helens, South and (b) St. Helens metropolitan authority (i) have yet to be settled and (ii) have been paid their final sum. 
Ms Hewitt [pursuant to the reply 22 January 2002, Official Report, c. 742W]: The information I gave regarding the number of settled claims for respiratory disease in St. Helens, South was unfortunately incorrect.
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