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10 Feb 2003 : Column 501Wcontinued
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims for compensation for former Icelandic water trawlermen have been paid; how much has been paid; how many claims have been paid to (a) Grimsby, (b) Hull and (c) Fleetwood trawlermen; how many claims have been rejected; and how many remain to be decided. 
Nigel Griffiths: Some 4,638 former Icelandic Water trawlermen have been paid a total of £40.1 million under the scheme. Of these, 794 livid in Grimsby, 1,748 in Hull and 355 in Fleetwood. Discounting duplicates, about 2,900 claims have been assessed as not qualifying for compensation. Currently 168 claims remain subject to review, or to appeal to the Independent Adjudicator, or their assessment has not yet been completed.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims for compensation under the Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis Scheme are being held up because they have a less than 10 per cent. assessment of disablement. 
Mr. Wilson: As at 5 February 2003, 192 claims from men with a statutory 10 per cent. disability rating based on the presence of non-disabling pneumoconiosis had been received under the Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis Scheme. The Department is considering the implications for the scheme of claims where there is no disability.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) when she was first informed of the proposals to require member states to levy VAT on all postal services being discussed in the European Commission; and what representations she has made to the Commission in response to the proposal; 
(3) if she will make a statement on the level of VAT on postal services. 
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 8 January, Official Report, column 248W, on small retail businesses, what the annual UK turnover of small retail business was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Nigel Griffiths: Table 1 shows estimated turnover at the start of 2001 in the UK in both all industries and in sector 52 (retail trade except of motor vehicles). It can be seen that SMEs (0249 employees) account for approximately 51 per cent. of all turnover generated in the UK, but only 33 per cent. of all turnover generated
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in sector 52. These figures are based on a total business population of approximately 3.75 million businesses, of which all but 7,000 are SMEs.
|52 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles||235,306||76,789|
(4) UK figures from SME Statistics 2001
(5) Businesses with less than 250 employees
Small Business Service
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what evidence there is of attacks by remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan since the end of the recent war; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan was severely weakened by coalition military action. However, remnants of al-Qaeda and Taliban forces continue to pose a limited security threat in some regions of the country, and coalition operations to defeat them continue.
Mr. Ingram: A number of security measures are in place and include, but are not limited to: the careful routeing of the ships; Naval shipping providing protection, where deemed necessary; embarkation of military protection parties. I am withholding any further information on security measures, under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
(6) Figures are for permanent staff and include full-time equivalent values for part timers.
(8) Figures are taken from 1 April each year except the 2003 data, which is taken from 1 January.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the construction and refurbishment projects being undertaken by his Department, (b) the contractors for each project and (c) the projects for which a building research establishment environmental assessment method document has been prepared. 
Dr. Moonie : I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence gave on 25 November 2002, Official Report, column 2WS. Deepcut Barracks is one of the sites identified by the Defence Training Review rationalisation programme as likely to be surplus to requirements. A final decision on the future of tins site will be made in the light of the consideration of the options currently being sought from industry.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many fully equipped, modern fire engines the Defence Fire Service has at its disposal; and how these appliances are distributed geographically. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has 187 fire fighting vehicles available within the United Kingdom. They are specifically provided for crash rescue cover at both operational military airfields and airfields associated with military airpower capability. In addition a number of military establishments and facilities are provided with domestic fire fighting cover where the resources of the local authority are not sufficient to meet the risk. The total figure includes vehicles that are in the
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ownership of contractors supplying a service and vehicles that are temporarily unavailable due to maintenance or repairs.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the Defence Fire Service's fully equipped, modern fire engines were available to the Fire Brigade in case of an emergency from (a) 14 January 2003, (b) 21 January 2003 and (c) on 28 January 2003. 
The overriding responsibility of the Ministry of Defence Fire Services is the protection of MOD vital assets, stores, equipment and facilities. The MOD has entered into agreements with some local fire authorities to provide first attendance fire cover to specific areas or to assist in emergency situations but that does not involve setting aside, over any specified period, any assets for that purpose.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions have been given to the Defence Fire Service (a) in the UK and (b) at the MOD Kineton base to assist local fire brigades in emergencies; and whether these instructions have been altered in respect of dates when the fire brigade is on strike. 
Mr. Ingram: The overriding responsibility of the Ministry of Defence Fire Services is the protection of MOD vital assets, stores, equipment and facilities. There are, however, standard arrangements in place, that allow the provision of assistance in times of emergency when resources are available. Over the years, in certain locations throughout the United Kingdom, the MOD has formalised these arrangements by entering into agreements with local fire authorities to provide first attendance fire cover to specific areas or to assist in emergency situations.
In relation to MOD Kineton a Memorandum of Understanding exists with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. This allows the Chief Fire Officer to call upon the services of Defence Fire Service Kineton in an extreme emergency or incident subject to the normal proviso that the Defence Fire Service may not be able to respond immediately owing to commitments within the Depot.
It has always been intended that during the fire dispute all MOUs or similar agreements with local fire authorities should remain effective. A decision was made locally at MOD Kineton that, because the armed forces would provide emergency fire cover both inside and outside the depot during strike periods, the depot fire appliances would not at those times respond to requests for assistance outside the perimeter. It has now been recognised that this instruction was unnecessary and consequently MOD Kineton are now able to fulfil the terms of its agreement with the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. All other agreements with local fire authorities remain in force and have not been affected by the fire fighters dispute.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when fully equipped, modern fire engines of the Defence Fire Service based at MOD Kineton have been used alongside Warwickshire Fire Brigade, in (a) 2002 and (b) 2003. 
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Mr. Ingram: In 2002 Defence Fire Service Kineton attended nine incidents at the request of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. In addition they attended a further five incidents immediately outside of the depot that had been reported directly to them, and where they in turn advised Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service of the situation.
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