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20 Mar 2006 : Column 22W—continued

Sustainable Building

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of his Department's building programme budget was allocated to (a) energy self-generation and (b) water recycling measures in the 2004–05 financial year. [58750]

Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence does not allocate separately identifiable funds for energy self-generation or water recycling measures within the building programme budgets. Thus the information required is not held centrally and to give a full answer would incur disproportionate costs.

However, this Department's policy is to strive to maximise its energy supply from renewable sources by exploiting all value for money, through-life renewable energy supply opportunities. A range of appraisal tools and evaluation methodologies have been mandated within the Department to prompt consideration of a wide range of energy and water management measures including self generation and water recycling

The Department is investigating opportunities to increase the number of self-generating renewable technology schemes installed on the defence estate.

Territorial Army

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army (TA) personnel (a) are serving in Iraq and (b) have served in Iraq since the start of the conflict, broken down by TA (i) section and (ii) rank. [43693]

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Mr. Touhig: There are currently some 660 members of the TA serving in Iraq. Some 9,394 TA personnel have served in Iraq since the start of Operation TELIC. A more detailed breakdown will be placed in the Library of the House.


No. 10 Downing Street

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list hon. Members who have security clearance for access to No. 10 Downing Street. [59411]

The Prime Minister: It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on security issues.


Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister for what reasons he has re-allocated Dorneywood to the Deputy Prime Minister. [59414]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne) on 13 July 2005, Official Report, column 1074W.

Lord Levy

Mr. Soames: To ask the Prime Minister what is the role of Lord Levy in Her Majesty's Government. [59996]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) on 17 March 2006 [59424].

Ministerial Code

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will amend the Ministerial Code to include guidance on the content of speeches given by spouses of Ministers where the speech may be construed as being relevant to Government policy. [59750]

The Prime Minister: The Ministerial Code is revised and reissued after a General Election.

Transparency and Accountability

Mr. Soames: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken to improve transparency and accountability in Government. [59997]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave at my monthly press conference on 16 March 2006, a transcript of which is available on the No. 10 website.


Labour-intensive Services

Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will apply for permission to the EU to reduce the rate of VAT levied on labour-intensive services in respect of bicycle repairs; [59860]
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(2) pursuant to the ECOFIN agreement in February, what plans he has to apply for permission to reduce the rate of VAT levied on labour-intensive services in respect of district heating. [59861]

Dawn Primarolo: The VAT reduced rate for the repair of bicycles is one of a number introduced into EU legislation on an experimental basis whose objective is to create employment opportunities by stimulating demand through lower prices. The Government have always chosen not to participate, as we believe that our employment objectives are better targeted through measures such as the welfare to work strategy and New Deal, which have contributed to the 2.3 million rise in employment since 1997.

District heating does not form part of the labour intensive services experiment, but the agreement reached at the January ECOFIN meeting does allow member states to apply for this reduced rate. We continue to review whether this reduced rate would offer the best-targeted and most efficient support for our social objectives.


Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will revise the statutory definition of biofuels to include biofuels which have not been made using the transesterification process. [59390]

John Healey: Fuel is eligible for the rate of duty for biodiesel (currently 27.10 pence per litre) if it meets the legal definition of biodiesel for tax purposes set out in section 2AA of the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979. Conformity with this definition rather than the method of production determines whether a fuel is deemed as a biodiesel for tax purposes.

Birth Statistics (Lancashire)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many births there were to women resident in Lancashire health authority (a) in maternity hospitals, (b) in midwife-led units, (c) at home and (d) at other locations in each year since 2000. [59026]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 20 March 2006:

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Live births by place of occurrence for women resident in Cumbria and Lancashire SHA area 2000–04

Year of occurrence
Place of occurrence20002001200220032004
(a) and (b)
Maternity hospital/unit
Sharoe Green Hospital3,5783,6353,4353,6802,559
Sharoe Green Unit Royal Preston Hospital00001,329
Queens Park Hospital3,5393,4773,4903,6663,674
Victoria Hospital, Blackpool2,7372,6042,5782,7452,930
General Hospital, Burnley2,0832,1462,1122,2142,343
Royal Infirmary, Lancaster1,5901,6511,6531,7701,879
West Cumberland Hospital1,2201,1721,1311,2121,222
Cumberland Infirmary1,0781,4321,4581,5651,624
Furness General Hospital1,0141,0339181,0651,083
Ormskirk District General Hospital7958458489761,055
Helme Chase Maternity Unit488403258286286
City Maternity Hospital, Carlisle4310000
Fairfield General Hospital333319276289329
Airedale General Hospital291229229217236
Penrith Hospital19115015113751
Chorley and District Hospital, Chorley191250207227273
Billinge Hospital109105839633
Rochdale Infirmary010011588113
Christiana Hartley Maternity Hospital, Southport1091171074512
Birch Hill Hospital972000
Bolton General Hospital6064646377
St. Marys Hospital, Whitworth Park5462663660
Liverpool Womens Hospital5046484468
Royal Victoria Infirmary2716232735
Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan000037
Other hospitals(4)138132132118110
At home289270268358396

(4) There were 116 hospitals/units in the 'Other' category where there was at least one birth in the period 2000 to 2004.

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