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12 Jul 2005 : Column 863W—continued

RAF Marham

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many BAE Systems staff work at RAF Marham servicing fast jets. [11173]

Mr. Ingram: Currently, eight BAE Systems technicians are involved in the repair and maintenance of the Tornado GR4 aircraft at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

In addition a further 25–35 BAE Systems personnel may be on-site at RAF Marham at any one time in support of the Tornado GR4. None of these people are however, directly involved in the repair and maintenance of aircraft.
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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what equipment has been moved from Warton to RAF Manton to help service fast jets. [11174]

Mr. Ingram: A small amount of surplus BAE Systems equipment racking and ground equipment has recently been moved from BAE Systems Warton to RAF Marham in Norfolk. The equipment will be used to support the repair and maintenance of Tornado GR4 aircraft.

Scottish Infantry Recruitment

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers have left the Scottish Infantry Regiments since January; and if he will make a statement. [10058]

Mr. Touhig: During the period 1 January to 30 April 2005 180 officers and soldiers left the Army Full-Time Trained strength from the Scottish Division of the Infantry. This comprises of 10 officers and 170 soldiers.

Tracked Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 15 June 2005, Official Report, column 442W, on tracked vehicles, what will happen to the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) vehicles when they are phased out in 2014. [10440]

Mr. Ingram: It is intended to dispose of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) CVR(T) through the Disposal Services Agency (DSA).


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the expected cost of replacing Trident is, broken down by (a) initial cost and (b) annual running costs. [11322]

John Reid: No decisions on any replacement for the Trident system have yet been taken. It is therefore too early to say what might be the initial procurement costs or annual running costs of any replacement system.
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Identity Cards

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the cost of equipping Police Service of Northern Ireland premises with identity card readers. [9886]

Mr. Woodward: On 28 June 2005, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary placed in the Library a paper containing the latest estimates of benefits of the Identity Cards Scheme which shows that the benefits outweigh the costs once the scheme is fully operational. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has been contributing to this process. The cost of equipping premises will depend on the nature of the use of the Identity Cards Scheme and the type of identity check(s) necessary to deliver the business benefits. In some cases, benefits could be realised without the use of card readers and the cost of installing any readers needs to be considered alongside future plans to refresh or upgrade IT systems. As the design of the scheme matures, during and after the procurement exercise, so will our understanding of where the scheme will be of most benefit which will allow us to further refine our estimates of costs and benefits.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with their Irish Government counterparts concerning the introduction of identity cards and the national data register in the United Kingdom and their effect upon the common travel area. [9887]

Andy Burnham: I have been asked to reply.

There is regular contact between Home Office officials and their counterparts in Ireland about the introduction of Identity Cards. The Home Secretary has met the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and discussed the Government's plans with him.

The principle of the common travel area, within which people of any nationality may travel without routine immigration checks, will remain unchanged. The area covers the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.


Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to discourage the dropping of litter on streets; what penalties apply to this offence; and how many prosecutions there were in each council area in the last period for which figures are available. [11129]

Angela E. Smith: It is an offence to drop litter under Article 3 of the Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1994. A person guilty of such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale which currently stands at £2,500.
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A district council may, however, offer the person the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty. The amount of the fixed penalty was doubled last year to £50and proposals are included in the draft Local Government (NI) Order 2005 which is currently before Parliament to allow councils to retain these fines for spending on litter related activities.

The Department of the Environment is also currently considering the range of measures in the recent Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, which among other things, strengthen the legislation for dealing with litter in England and Wales, with a view to making recommendations on how they might be brought forward in the Northern Ireland context.

The Department does not hold information on the number of prosecutions for littering in each council area.

Parades Commission

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many meetings of the Parades Commission there have been in each year since its formation; how many meetings each member of the Commission attended in each year; and whether that attendance was for (a) the whole and (b) part of the meeting. [9746]

Mr. Woodward: The Parades Commission has advised me that this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Post-primary Education

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to implement the Costello proposals on post-primary education; and when he expects legislation to be placed before Parliament to implement those proposals. [11236]

Angela E. Smith: The recommendations of the report of the Post-Primary Review Working Group (the Costello Report) were accepted in full by Government in January 2004 and are currently being implemented. Action is under way in the following key areas.

Strategic advice

A strategic advisory group, comprising representatives of the managing authorities and other key education organisations, was established in June 2004 to advise the Department of Education on implementation issues, and has met on nine occasions to date.


Options for new admission arrangements to post-primary schools, including admissions criteria that could be used by schools if they are oversubscribed, were published for consultation on 28 January 2005. The consultation ended on 30 June and decisions will be taken when the responses have been fully considered.

Specialist Schools

A conference on specialist schools, aimed at senior members of school management, was held in November 2004. A small-scale pilot to test the model in the Northern Ireland context is under consideration.
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Pupil Profile

For the last two years the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) has been developing a pupil profile which will help parents and children make appropriate choices at transfer stage. A large-scale pilot of year 5 pupils is planned for 2006–07.

Entitlement Framework

Guidance issued to schools in June 2005 to help them to begin to plan for the move to the full curricular entitlement framework, to ensure that it is delivered to all pupils. Additional funding has been provided to education and library boards and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools to support and facilitate schools to begin to deliver the entitlement framework. Further guidance is expected to issue in autumn 2005 which will deal with practical issues in the delivery of the framework and will be informed by evaluation evidence from the first phase of the Vocational Enhancement Programme in 2004–05, an initiative funded by the Departments of Education and Employment and Learning to develop models of collaborative working between schools and further education colleges and disseminate good practice. Further collaborative projects are being funded in 2005–06.

Funding has also been provided for a number of e-learning pilots and for the development of new vocational qualifications.

6th forms

Guidance was issued to schools about new arrangements requiring proposals for the establishment of new 6th forms to be the subject of statutory development proposals.


Primary legislation necessary to give effect to the new arrangements is expected to be laid before Parliament in spring 2006.

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