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Vehicle Accidents (Airport Transport)

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicle accidents where drivers of airport transport had exceeded the driving time limit set down in the UK domestic drivers' hours rules have been recorded in the last three years. [35429]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is not available.

Vehicle Certification Agency

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the salary of the chief executive of the Vehicle Certification Agency differs from that of his predecessor. [35827]

Ms Buck: The current chief executive of the Vehicle Certification Agency (VGA) was recruited through fair and open competition and was appointed in post from 19 April 2004 on a three-year fixed-term contract.

The advertised salary at the time reflected the competitive market conditions relevant for the skills and experience the agency was looking for when the post was advertised. The competition field was strong and the most suitable candidate was appointed as chief executive based on competency skills and experience identified by the selection panel.

Violence Against Passengers

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Guildford of 15 November 2005, Official Report, column 1151W, on violence against passengers, how many victims of violence were recorded by British Transport Police in each police force area in England and Wales in each year since 1998–99. [31835]

Derek Twigg: The number of victims of violence recorded by the British Transport Police (BTP) in each year in each police force area in England and Wales since 1999–2000 is given in the following table. The data for 1998–99 data is unavailable by police force area.
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Police force area1999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–042004–05
Avon and Somerset354135435443
City of London Police718167101131145
Devon and Cornwall272738454849
Dyfed Powys4212715
Great Manchester101117128125182160
Metropolitan Police2,7792,5092,2562,6052,8333,122
Ministry of Defence000100
North Wales10813123623
North Yorkshire92020243431
South Wales5876698492104
South Yorkshire252021484640
Thames Valley597482129130202
West Mercia162026333541
West Midlands Police96129127142138220
West Yorkshire83116141238255261

The Home Office introduced a National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) that all police forces across England and Wales were required to adopt. BTP adopted this standard on 1 April 2002. The impact of the new recording standard saw an increase in recorded crime nationally.

BTP have also been proactive in encouraging victims of assaults to report these offences.


Government Art Collection

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the estimated cost of damage to the Government Art Collection was in the past 12 months for which figures are available; which items were damaged; how the damage occurred in each case; and whether restoration was possible. [34375]

Mr. Lammy: The estimated cost of restoration work resulting from damage to GAC works of art in the last
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12 months is £20,249, of which £1,142 was paid by the GAC The works of art affected are as follows:

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London Olympics

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the acquisition of land for Olympic use. [33609]

Mr. Caborn: The London Development Agency (IDA) is responsible for acquiring the land in East London that will be needed for the Olympics and has recently made two compulsory purchase orders to this end. Other regional development agencies (RDAs) at Olympic sites elsewhere in the UK will also be able to acquire land (compulsorily or by agreement) if that proves necessary. Under the London Olympics Bill, currently before Parliament, the new Olympic Delivery Authority will have powers to acquire land by agreement—including, with the consent of the Secretary of State, on the same terms as for compulsory purchases.

The Government made an amendment to the London Olympics Bill at Report Stage, on 6 December, which will ensure the necessary land can be assembled without delay and used for Olympic development. Where a RDA purchases land for the purpose of preparing for the Olympics, the amendment has the effect of removing the need for a special parliamentary process to approve the compulsory purchase of 'special land' where equivalent land is not being provided in exchange; clarifying that 'special land', once acquired, can be built on; allowing the compulsory purchase of Crown land and any interest in Crown land; and extinguishing all existing rights over the land acquired (while providing for compensation to those who have rights removed).

Anyone owning an interest in land that is being acquired by compulsory purchase will be entitled to fair compensation, based on the principle that they should be paid neither more or less than their loss. If the amount payable cannot be agreed between the parties it will be settled by the Lands Tribunal.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to ensure that firms engaged in construction of facilities for the Olympics provide adequate levels of training to ensure a sustainable skilled work force. [34964]

Mr. Caborn: The 'Procurement Principles' published by the interim Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) in September—which underpin the development of the ODA's procurement strategy—identify the importance of a programme of skills and training to maximise local benefits and secure the wider economic dividend.

A key assessment criterion in the selection of contractors will be their commitment to working with the ODA to deliver a range of benefits including training and supply chain initiatives.

In addition, the London Development Agency, working with others such as the Learning and Skills Council, is developing a Local Employment and Training Framework which aims to maximise the potential capacity of the local labour market.
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