§ Mrs. Roche
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps he proposes to take in order to improve the participation of representatives of small business in committees of inquiry, advisory bodies and non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible. 
§ Mr. Page
In making appointments to executive non-departmental public bodies, my Department complies with the guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Central to this guidance is the overriding principle of selection based on merit.
Appointments to advisory and other bodies are not formally required to comply with the OCPA guidance; however, the Department takes the commissioner's guidance into account in all its appointments, including the principle of appointment on merit.
Where appropriate, we aim to ensure that representation on public bodies is well balanced. It is of course possible for anyone to put forward nominations for public appointments, including themselves.