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Sick Leave

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many days sick leave were taken by civil servants in the Department in each year since 1997; and what the sickness absence rate was in each year. [204516]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport was established following machinery of Government changes in May 2002.

The annual report 'Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service' published by the Cabinet Office in November 2004 contains reported sickness absence data for the calendar year 2003 for the Department and its Agencies. Reports for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are available on the Cabinet Office website.

The Department is committed to managing sick absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the recently published 'Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector.

Stonehenge Inquiry

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when the last day of the A303 Stonehenge Inquiry was; [204595]

(2) when the Inspector's target date was for submission of the A303 Stonehenge Inquiry report to the Secretary of State; [204596]

(3) when the Inspector submitted his report on the A303 Stonehenge Inquiry; [204597]

(4) when he will make a decision on the Inspector's report on the A303 Stonehenge Inquiry; [204598]

(5) what the latest advice was that was given by the Highways Agency to the contractors involved in the scheme that was the subject of the A303 Stonehenge Inquiry; [204599]

(6) whether compensation will be paid to contractors for the delayed start to the scheme being determined by the A303 Stonehenge Inquiry. [204600]

Mr. Jamieson: The local inquiry closed on 11 May 2004.
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There is no target date set for receipt of the Inspector's report. Under a Service Level Agreement the Planning Inspectorate gives the Inspector three working days for each sitting day of the inquiry to write his report plus an additional 20 days for administration purposes. But it is accepted that this process can take longer on exceptional schemes because of the complexity of the submissions and representations made to him at the local inquiry.

The Inspector's report has not yet been received.

A decision will be announced by the First Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Transport jointly as soon as possible after receipt of the inquiry Inspector's report.

The Highways Agency has advised the contractors working on the scheme that the Secretaries of State are currently awaiting the Inspector's report.

The contractors are paid for the work they do in preparing the scheme and we do not anticipate making any compensation payments.

Traffic Signals (A1)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at whose request, and at what cost, the traffic signals at the Stamfordham Road/A1 Western Bypass were installed; on how many occasions the lights have been in use; and whether it is planned that the lights should be used again. [204404]

Mr. Jamieson: The traffic signals at the Stamfordham Road/Al Newcastle Western Bypass Junction were funded by the developers of Newcastle Great Park. The works are part of a package of measures imposed by the Highways Agency as conditions on the granting of planning permission for the development. Newcastle city council, as highway authority for Stamfordham Road and planning authority, is responsible for over-seeing the implementation of the proposals and is best placed to provide information on the current operation of the signals and their future use.


Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to persuade those countries who have not yet signed or ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to do so. [204418]

Mr. MacShane: The United Kingdom strongly supports universalisation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which is an important part of the international regime to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the Third Article XIV Conference on Facilitating entry into force of the Treaty (September 2003), my right hon. Friend the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean urged all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty. Baroness Symons also represented my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary at a Meeting of Foreign Ministers in New York in
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September and signed a statement on his behalf reaffirming our support for the Treaty and once again calling for its early entry into force.

In addition, we have carried out demarches both as part of the EU and bilaterally and will continue to do so. We have used our embassies and high commissions to assist the Provisional Technical Secretariat and the Executive Secretary of the CTBT in regional outreach work. Most recently, the United Kingdom has assisted the Special Representative of the Ratifiers of the Treaty, ambassador Ramaker, with his programme of visits.

Defence Attache

Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which UK embassies in EU capitals had a permanent defence attaché on 1 June (a) 1997, (b) 2001 and (c) 2004; and what plans he has to alter the levels of representation. [204870]

Mr. MacShane: In 1997 and 2001, British embassies in 13 EU capitals (listed as follows) had a permanent defence attaché with one non-resident accreditation (NRA): Rome, Bonn, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Athens, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dublin, The Hague, Brussels (Luxembourg was a Non-resident accreditation (NRA) from Brussels).

As of 1 June 2004, following the expansion of the European Union, there are 22 permanent defence attachés with two non-resident accreditations: Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Ljubljana, Prague, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Vilnius, Riga, Athens, Budapest, Valletta, Nicosia, Rome, Dublin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, The Hague, Bratislava, Luxembourg (NRA), Tallinn (NRA). Brussels was transferred to NRA status on 24 June 2004.

We keep the defence attaché representation under constant review. There are no immediate plans to alter the level of representation in EU capitals.

Estonian Minister of Defence (Robbery)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether (a) NATO and (b) EU documents were among those stolen from the home of the Estonian Minister of Defence; and if he will make a statement. [204465]

Mr. MacShane: We understand that the Estonian authorities have completed an investigation and have confirmed that there were no EU or NATO documents in the briefcase stolen from the house of the former Estonian Defence Minister.

EU Funding

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much EU funding was allocated to the European Information Association in the last period for which figures are available. [204076]

Mr. MacShane: Information on EU funding can be obtained from EU offices: European Commission Representation in the UK, 8 Storey's Gate, London, SW1P 3AT, Telephone: 020 79731992. The European
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Information Association (ElA) is a non-profit making organisation with charitable status which has no links to the British Government.

European Commission

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on how many occasions the European Commission has used articles (a) 94, (b) 95 and (c) 308 TEC as the legal basis for proposals over each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement; [204224]

(2) if he will list those items of legislation brought in under TEC articles (a) 94, (b) 95 and (c) 308 since May 1997; in how many of these cases the UK Government raised the question of appropriate treaty basis; and if he will make a statement. [204457]

Mr. MacShane: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In assessing the legal basis of proposals brought forward by the Commission, the Government follows tests laid down by the Court of Justice in case law dating back to the 1980s and considers the proposal as a whole, and in particular its aim and content.

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