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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the barrier repairs being carried on the central reservation of the M1 motorway near junction 16 on 15 November 2005 were not carried out after midnight to avoid causing congestion. 
Dr. Ladyman: At approximately 09.00 hrs on 15 November 2005 a vehicle travelling north on the M1 between Junctions 16 and 17 lost control and collided with the central reserve safety fencing. About 50 metres of safety fencing were left ineffective and needed repair.
The Northamptonshire police had primacy at this incident. The police directed the Highways Agency's maintenance contractor to close off lane 3 of the northbound M1 carriageway and the police's own contractors then recovered the vehicle. This work was
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completed at 13.50 hrs. The police took the advice of the Highways Agency's maintenance contractor and decided that barrier repairs should be carried out at this time, rather than be left until later, for the safety of the travelling public. The barrier repairs were completed and the northbound lane 3 reopened by 15.10 hrs. Full running capacity on the motorway was restored in time for the afternoon/evening peak.
Anne Main: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what discussions the House authorities had with (a) Westminster city council and (b) English Heritage on the recently installed covered walkway in Star Chamber Court; and what aspects of the final design are the results of those discussions. 
Nick Harvey: English Heritage and Westminster council officers were consulted at all stages of the design process of the new covered walkway in Star Chamber Court, in full accordance with the DOE Circular 18/84 on listed building clearance procedure. The final design was a product of these consultations. English Heritage and Westminster council officials attended detailed briefing meetings on a regular basis at which the developing design was assessed and amendments proposed. The final design is a synthesis of this and it is not possible to attribute specific features to any particular source.
Mr. Ingram: Legislative provision for an International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) exemption for the United Kingdom was refused by Congress in 2003 and 2004, who called instead for expedited export licensing.
We are continuing to work with the US Administration to identify how best to improve arrangements for the transfer of military technology controlled by the ITAR. Such improvements need not be restricted to a single mechanism. The UK has already benefited from faster processing of US export licences for transfers to this country.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the (a) established and (b) actual strength is of the Civil Contingencies Reaction Force (CCRF); how many members of the CCRF are deployed with the regular forces; what recruiting schemes are in place for the CCRF; and what plans there are for the future size of the force; 
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(2) under what rules of engagement the Civil Contingencies Reaction Force will operate when it is deployed; 
(5) at what point after the London underground attacks of 7 July 2005 the Civil Contingencies Reaction Force (CCRF) was called out; and how many members of the CCRF were deployed in response to the (a) 7 July 2005 and (b) 21 July 2005 incidents. 
Mr. Ingram: Civil Contingency Reaction Forces (CCRFs) are based on the 14 TA Infantry battalions spread across the country. Each CCRF comprises a pool of around 500 personnel drawn from the Volunteer Reserve Forces, who have volunteered for the CCRF commitment in addition to their normal role. CCRF membership is dynamic and details of individual availability, including where volunteers have been deployed as part of their normal Reserve role, are not held centrally. It is, however, the case that when a CCRF member is mobilised to meet other commitments we aim to replace that individual immediately by another volunteer.
There are no specific recruitment schemes in place, nor are such schemes necessary given that the pool of potential volunteers consists of existing members of the Volunteer Reserves. The future size of the CCRFs is being considered as part of a wider review of the TA.
CCRFs would not be deployed in a situation which required the use of force so no question of rules of engagement would arise. Volunteers are not held at permanent readiness, although we aim to be able to deploy a CCRF within 24 hours. There are no specific criteria which would lead to a decision to mobilise a CCRF; they form part of the pool of resources upon which we could draw in the event of a request for military assistance.
While the supporting infrastructure is based on the army's regional structure, it is not the case that a CCRF would only be mobilised to undertake operations within its home" region. Consequently, all CCRFs are available to undertake operations anywhere in the UK over an extended period, including in London.
No CCRF members were mobilised in response to the terrorist attacks in London on 7 and 21 July 2005. The civil authorities coped extremely well in the aftermath of the attacks and made no request for military assistance which would have required the sort of large scale general duties support which could be provided by a CCRF.
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on armed forces' personnel of the policies of major credit card companies' failure to recognise the British Forces Post Office as a valid address. 
Mr. Ingram: There is no failure by major credit card companies to recognise British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses as a valid address. Service personnel and their families can use a BFPO address as the registered (home) address for their credit cards where appropriate and many do. Some companiesfor their own reasonswill not take orders from, or deliver to, BFPO addresses but the majority are happy to do so. Where this commercial decision is driven by practical factors such as card not present" identity verification or credit checking requirements, the MOD is supporting the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) in resolving any difficulties.
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to ensure that all UK credit card companies recognise British Forces Post Office addresses as valid addresses for the purpose of making credit card transactions. 
Mr. Ingram: UK credit card companies already recognise British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses as valid addresses for the purposes of making credit card transactions. Also, most companies providing goods and services via the internet and telephonewhere card not present" fraud control measures are necessarydo accept BFPO addresses. Ultimately it is a commercial decision for any company to determine how and where they will provide services. Even so, for the minority that choose not to deal with BFPO addresses, their issues are being explored further by the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) with the assistance of the MOD.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on IT systems in each year since 1997; what the purpose of each system is; what the outturn against planned expenditure of each system was; and what the outturn time for implementation against planned time was. 
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Defence Export Services Organisation last visited Iraq; which agencies and companies they met; and what was the outcome of the visit. 
Mr. Ingram: Officials from the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) visited Iraq from 14 August 2005 and met with representatives of the Iraq Ministry of Defence and the Multi-National Security and Transition Command-Iraq. The visit helped DESO identify opportunities for UK industry to assist the development of the Iraq Security Forces, in accordance with Government policy to improve security and stability in the region.
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