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Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions her Department has had with managers of Consignia regarding a new post office and Royal Mail sorting office in Camborne. 
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Mr. Timms: This is a matter which falls within the day to day responsibility of Consignia and I have asked the Chief Executive to reply direct to my hon. Friend.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what costs are arising from regulatory impact assessments for legislation introduced by her Department in the 200102 parliamentary session. 
Ms Hewitt: Details of all costs which arose from regulatory impact assessments for legislation introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry in the 200102 Parliamentary session were contained in the assessments prepared in respect of each Bill and Statutory Instrument where appropriate, copies of which were deposited in the Libraries of the House.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will make a statement on the use by BNFL and its subsidiaries of public funds to make donations to political elements within the United States of America; 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 13 June 2002]: No. This is a matter for the company. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether BNFL sought clearance from her Department before making donations to political elements within the United States of America. 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 13 June 2002]: No.
7. Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how long British troops are planned to remain in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Hoon: The International Security Assistance Force has made an enormous contribution to the stability of Afghanistan. We will transfer leadership of the ISAF to Turkey later this week, after which there will be a reduced but substantial British contribution.
The task force based around 45 Commando has been engaged in difficult operations that have successfully denied al-Qaeda and Taliban freedom of action during what is a critical period for the future of Afghanistan as the Loya Jirga has been meeting. I have previously told the House that the Royal Marines would be deployed for about three months and I expect the deployment to conform to this timetable.
Hon. Members will be aware that the Loya Jirga is drawing to a close in Kabul. In the light of this, and following final discussions with Turkey and other
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coalition partners, I hope to make a fuller statement to the House on the future of our forces in Afghanistan later this week.
24. Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the international security assistance force has helped with humanitarian aid missions in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: As I said in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) earlier, at column 18 today, the primary role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is to help the Interim Administration maintain security in Kabul and its surrounding areas. However, national contingents within the ISAF have been involved in a number of humanitarian projects. United Kingdom service personnel, in conjunction with the Department for International Development, have contributed to the rebuilding of Kabul' s education system through helping with repairs to its schools. The ISAF has also on occasion responded to critical emergencies to help save lives. There has been no expansion in ISAF's mission as defined in the authorising United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
27. Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the role and effectiveness of British troops deployed in Afghanistan. 
33. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recent deployments of British forces in Afghanistan. 
35. Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the situation in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of British military operations in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Hoon: British military operations in Afghanistan have involved both warfighting and security assistance tasks. The task force based around 45 Commando Royal Marines has performed valuable work in denying remaining al-Qaeda and Taliban elements opportunities to regroup and commit terrorist attacks, especially around the time of the vital Loya Jirga process. British forces in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have also played a valuable role in helping the Afghan Interim Administration maintain security in Kabul. As I have already said in my answer to the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman), at column 33W today, I hope to make a fuller statement to the House on our forces in Afghanistan later this week.
38. David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the international security assistance force in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The International Security Assistance Force has helped the Afghan Interim Administration transform the security situation in Kabul, allowing a shattered city to become a functioning political and commercial centre.
The United Kingdom's leadership of ISAF, ably exercised by Major General McColl, has been praised throughout the international community. I am confident that the ISAF will continue to make a positive impact under Turkish leadership.
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19. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many houses have been sold by the armed forces in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) Midlothian in (i) 1980, (ii) 1990 and (iii) 2002. 
Dr. Moonie: I regret that information for 1980 is not readily available.
Based on available records, the figures for 1990 show that more than 814 properties were sold in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 109 in Scotland. I should point out that the information for 1990 is, however, incomplete given the lapse of time and significant organisational changes.
To date this year, 1,884 properties in England and Wales have been handed back to Annington Homes Ltd., with an additional 47 being sold by Defence Estates. A further 114 houses have been sold in Scotland in the same period. No houses have been sold in Northern Ireland this year.
No houses in Midlothian were sold in either 1990 or to date this year.
21. Mr. Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to improve response times for maintenance to service personnel housing. 
Dr. Moonie: The Defence Housing Executive (DHE) is constantly looking for ways to further improve its repairs service. Current response requirements for unplanned maintenance are: within 24 hours for emergencies, within five working days for urgent repairs and within two months for routine repairs. DHE achieved 99 per cent. of routine repairs within the required timescale against a target of 95 per cent. On urgent repairs, 87 per cent. were achieved on time against a target of 90 per cent. Against a target of 95 per cent. for emergency repairs, the achievement was 93 per cent.
The DHE is trialling a call centre in the north-east which allows the occupants of service families' housing to notify their requirement for response repairs directly. An appointment is then made with the occupant for the contractor to call and effect the repair. The contractor is incentivised to meet response repair targets and to reach a higher level of customer satisfaction. Failure to achieve the targets set by DHE will mean that fees will be withheld. The results of the trial will be used to inform the planned move to a prime contract for housing maintenance and works services, which is in line with a wider Government initiative.
20. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance is given to service men on dealing with the media. 
Mr. Ingram: Invitations for service personnel to take part in media interviews are usually made by broadcasting and press authorities through official departmental channels. If, however, members of the armed forces are invited directly to take part in radio or television broadcasts, or undertake press interviews, there is guidance in The Queen's Regulations that instructs personnel on how to report the approach, and if the
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interview is sanctioned, guidance about the handling of the interview and not being drawn on any policy issue which is, or may become, a matter of controversy between political parties.
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