The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. John Hutton): A copy of the consultation document on proposals for a Better Regulation Bill is today being placed in the House Library and on the website of the Cabinet Office Better Regulation Executive at:
The consultation exercise will run from 20 July to 12 October.
The proposals will make it simpler to remove or amend outdated, unnecessary or over complicated legislation, and make it easier to streamline regulatory structures in the private sector.
The Bill will also help deliver the Better Regulation Task Force "Less is More" recommendations for administrative burdens reductions and rolling simplification programmes across Whitehall. It will also enable the delivery of some of the Hampton report recommendations for reform of the regulators.
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (John Healey): HM Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Education and Skills are today publishing "The ten-year Science and Innovation Investment Framework Annual Report 2005". Alongside this, HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department of Trade and Industry are also publishing "Supporting growth and innovation: enhancing the R & D tax credit". Copies of both documents are available in the Library of the House.
The Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Ms Harriet Harman):
The MCSI Inspection of Court Services annual report for 200405 has been laid before Parliament today. This document gives full details of MCSI's performance for that year. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Bridget Prentice): The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has today published its annual report for the financial year 200405 which includes its statement of annual accounts.
Paragraph 14 of schedule 1 to the Access to Justice Act 1999 requires the Legal Services Commission to provide to the Secretary of State, as soon as possible after the end of each financial year, a report on how it has:
Sub-paragraph 14(3) requires the Secretary of State to lay a copy of the annual report before each House of Parliament, and for the LSC to publish it.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Don Touhig): The House will be aware from recent Adjournment debates that military flying activity is essential if we are to maintain operational capability. However, we also take our commitment to minimise, as far is reasonably practicable, the impact of noise on local communities. We have therefore conducted a study on aircraft environmental noise. The report is today being placed in the Library of the House and is published on the Ministry of Defence website at:
We will continue to strive for a fair balance between our need to fly and the effect of aircraft noise on local communities.
The Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Mr. Adam Ingram): The Key Targets have been set for the Chief Executive of BFPO for the Financial Year 200506. The targets are as follows:
Key Target 1. To provide a 100 per cent. secure Defence Courier Service (DCS) for the carriage of Protectively Marked Material (PMM). This target is broken down into the following sub targets:
PI 1: 100 per cent. of packages to reach the required destination.
PI 2: 100 per cent. availability of the DCS capability.
Key Target 2. To provide a secure Defence Courier Service for the carriage of Protectively Marked Material (PMM) operating within timescales for scheduled and special items at not less than 98.7 per cent. of that agreed with customers.
Key Target 3. To provide a resilient and dependable service for the controlled and specialised handling of Defence Official Mails by operating at least 96 per cent. of deliveries within scheduled timings, agreed with customers.
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Key Target 4. To meet 96 per cent. of the requirements negotiated and agreed with customers for the transit times for delivery and collection at Defence Mail Centres (DMCs). This target is broken down into the following sub targets:
PI 1: 96 per cent. of mail delivered to DMC by Defence Mail Service (DMS)/Parcelforce (PF)/ Royal Mail (RM) to be sorted and ready for delivery within one hour and ten minutes of receipt.
PI 2: 96 per cent. of mail delivered to DMCs by DMS/PF/RM to be delivered to local customers the same day.
PI 3: 98 per cent. of mail delivered/collected into DMCs from local customers before 1500 hours to be sorted within one hour and ten minutes of receipt.
Key Target 5. To meet 95 per cent. of the agreed customer requirement for the movement of private and official mails from BFPO London to authorised overseas destinations within agreed timescales. This target is broken down into the following sub targets:
PI 1: 95.5 per cent. or more of deliveries of private and official mail to static locations world-wide (less British Forces Germany) within agreed timescales.
PI 2: 98 per cent. or more of deliveries of private and official mail to British Forces Germany within agreed timescales.
PI 3: 93.5 per cent. or more of deliveries of private and official mail to Operational and exercise locations within agreed timescales.
PI 4: 95.5 per cent. or more of deliveries of private and official mail to HM Ships within agreed timescales.
Key Target 6. Total year-on-year Direct Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit cost growth to be no more than Defence inflation less 1 per cent. This is an efficiency measure for continuous improvement whilst maintaining an effective level of service to our customers in accordance with the Service Level Agreements.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Don Touhig): The amount of low flying training carried out in the UK Low Flying System (UKLFS) during the training year April 2004 to March 2005 was the minimum required for aircrew to reach and maintain their ability to fly at low level. The number of low flying training hours booked in the UKLFS (excluding the Rotary Wing Dedicated user Areas, where different booking arrangements apply) was 46,678 hours, a slight increase of 1,616 hours in comparison with the previous training year. This increase can be mostly attributed to the need by helicopter aircrew to convert to use of the Apache Attack helicopter, and the Merlin helicopter. The level of Operational Low Flying by fixed wing aircraft reduced by over 25 per cent. when compared to the last training year.
The Ministry of Defence is committed to ensuring that low flying training across the UK is spread as widely as is practically possible across the UK so that no single area is too burdened. However, due to a variety of
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reasons, population distribution and geographical and climate restrictions, it is unavoidable that some areas of the country may experience more activity than others.
I have today placed in the Library of the House a report giving a detailed account of the low flying training that has taken place in the UK Low Flying System for the training year April 2004 to March 2005.
Additional copies of The Pattern of Military Low Flying Across the UK 200405 are available on request from the following address:
Alternatively it can be viewed on the MOD's website: www.mod.uk/issues/lowflying.
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