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20 Apr 2006 : Column 769W—continued


Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to question 61540, on pension rights, what employment status members of the reserve forces are classed as having. [64084]

Mr. Touhig: Members of the reserve forces are part of the armed forces of the Crown and the power to maintain them is found in section 1 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996. That Act provides a number of different forms of service which reservists may undertake. The conditions of service which reservists serve under reflect the form of service undertaken.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to advise relatives of deceased armed services personnel to seek independent legal advice before signing pensions contracts; and if he will make a statement. [64040]

Mr. Touhig: Dependants of deceased service personnel do not have to sign a pension contract to receive death benefits from the armed forces pension schemes. The benefits are paid in accordance with the terms of the appropriate pension scheme. The only requirement is for the dependant to confirm they are an eligible beneficiary and to sign a claim form to that effect. The Ministry of Defence already advises in its explanatory armed forces pension booklets that, if individuals require financial or legal advice regarding pension matters, they should seek independent advice.

Submarines (Astute Class)

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects Astute class submarines (a) HMS Ambush and (b) HMS Artful to come into service. [64245]

Mr. Ingram: HMS Ambush is expected to enter service in 2010, and HMS Artful in 2012.
20 Apr 2006 : Column 770W


Renewable Energy

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what renewable energy projects his Department is supporting in developing countries. [62475]

Mr. Thomas: DFID is committed to increasing access to reliable and affordable energy as an essential catalyst for reducing poverty and increasing economic growth in developing countries. We agree that renewable energy has an increasingly important role to play in helping developing countries make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

DFID is working with international networks such as the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) and the EU energy initiative (EUEI) to promote access to affordable energy services, drawing on the full menu of technology options, including renewable energy.

DFID has supported the creation of a new €220 million EU energy facility, which will invite calls for proposals later this year. This grant fund aims to improve access to reliable and affordable energy, especially in Africa, and is encouraging viable renewable energy proposals.

We are also encouraging the World Bank and other development partners to give renewable energy greater attention as part of their efforts to improve access to energy.

The World Bank is scaling up its financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency and announced in December 2005, a rise to $299 million for the year to June 2005, compared to an average of $209 million per annum over the previous three years. These figures exclude large hydropower projects and exceed the commitment they made in 2004 to increase their renewable energy and energy efficiency investments by 20 per cent. per annum over the next five years. We very much welcome this increased investment by the World Bank on clean energy.

DFID has provided around £3.4 million for renewable energy research projects in the last eight years. This was spent on the development and promotion of renewable energy, especially for rural communities. It has included a wide range of technologies such as wind, small hydropower, solar and biomass.

Sri Lanka

Mr. Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contribution the UK is making towards the efforts to destroy landmines in Sri Lanka. [63116]

Mr. Thomas: The United Kingdom is a major contributor to mine action in Sri Lanka. We have provided £1 million through the United Nations to support demining and mine awareness in conflict affected areas. A further £669,766 has been committed to two non governmental organisations (NGOs), the Mine Action Group and the HALO Trust, for mine action between 2004 and 2007.
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The programmes, together with those from the wider international community, have been successful. Deaths from mines have been largely eliminated, although there are still a small number of casualties each year, especially in the far north of Sri Lanka. Nevertheless the Government estimate that some 700,000 to 1,000,000 mines remain to be cleared.

Given the dependence upon mines in militarily significant areas, it will be many more years before Sri Lanka will be landmine free, and before the Government will feel able to sign the Ottawa Treaty. The Government of Sri Lanka is planning to create within the Sri Lankan army, a national capability to pursue mine action work after 2008. DFID will review progress during 2007 and, in the light of this, consider further support.

World Cup (Complimentary Tickets)

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complimentary tickets his Department has received for games taking place at the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. [63911]

Hilary Benn: None.


Media Briefing

Norman Baker: To ask the Leader of the House under what circumstances Ministers are permitted to release material to media outlets in advance of a statement being made to Parliament, when the House is sitting. [63155]

Mr. Hoon: Paragraph 7.1 of the Ministerial Code makes it clear that


Financial Assistance Scheme

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) average, (b) highest and (c) lowest payment made to individuals under the
20 Apr 2006 : Column 772W
Financial Assistance Scheme has been; what the equivalent figures are for recipients living in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [64133]

Mr. Timms: The Financial Assistance Scheme will provide a qualifying member with assistance that will top up their scheme pension to a level broadly equivalent to 80 per cent. of their expected pension. Payments are subject to a de minimis level and a cap. Initial payments, when made, provide a top up to 60 per cent. of expected pension.

The following monthly payments have been made, before deduction of income tax.
(a) average190.34
(b) highest629.84
(c) lowest50.08

The equivalent figures for recipients living in Wales are
(a) average196.21
(b) highest629.84
(c) lowest50.08

Jobcentre Plus

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the (a) public, (b) private and (c) voluntary sector organisations which have contracts with Jobcentre Plus. [61415]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

Table of contracts let since September 2005 to organisations listed by legal status

Company nameLegal status
Cornwall CollegeFurther Education College
Lauder CollegeFurther Education College
New College NottinghamFurther Education College
Plymouth College of Further EducationFurther Education College
Preston CollegeFurther Education College
Stephenson CollegeFurther Education College
York CollegeFurther Education College
Blackburn with Darwen Borough CouncilStatutory Body—Local Authority
Bolton Metropolitan CouncilStatutory Body—Local Authority
East Lindsey District CouncilStatutory Body—Local Authority
Halton Borough CouncilStatutory Body—Local Authority
Northamptonshire County CouncilStatutory Body—Local Authority
West Lothian CouncilStatutory Body—Local Authority
Blackburn and Darwen Primary Care TrustStatutory Body—NHS
RemployExecutive Non-Departmental Public Body
DASH Training PartnershipPartnership—Unlimited
Bradford Cathedral Centre LimitedPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Cheshire Deaf SocietyPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Claverhouse TrainingPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Connexions StaffordshirePrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Connexions West of EnglandPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
CPR RegenerationPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Derbyshire Chamber and Business LinkPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Ellingham Employment ServicesPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Employment Opportunities for People with DisabilitiesPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Glasgow Mentoring NetworkPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Highways to OpportunitiesPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Instant MusclePrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
JHP TrainingPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
NECTA Ltd.Private Company (limited by guarantee)
North East Chamber of CommercePrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Northumberland Business ServicesPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Nottingham MencapPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
O-RegenPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Pendle Re-EmploymentPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
PentreathPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Phoenix EnterprisesPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Quest For Economic Development Ltd.Private Company (limited by guarantee)
Sabre EmploymentPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Scout Enterprises (Western)Private Company (limited by guarantee)
Support Training Ltd.Private Company (limited by guarantee)
Sure Start North Prospect LARK ProjectPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
TBG LearningPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Training) Ltd.Private Company (limited by guarantee)
Training 2000Private Company (limited by guarantee)
Training West LancashirePrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Upturn EnterprisesPrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
West Cumbria Trades Hall CentrePrivate Company (limited by guarantee)
Action for EmploymentPrivate Company (limited by shares)
ATSPrivate Company (limited by shares)
BTCVPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Business Employment Services Training LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Care TrainingPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Career Development Centre3rivate Company (limited by shares)
CeeMac Projects UKPrivate Company (limited by shares)
City and County Training LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Community SystemsPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Cullisvale ServicesPrivate Company (limited by shares)
DHP Enterprise LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Easton Learning CentrePrivate Company (limited by shares)
ERP Ltd.Private Company (limited by shares)
Fern Training and DevelopmentPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Hargreaves Training Services Ltd.Private Company (limited by shares)
Inspire to IndependencePrivate Company (limited by shares)
Keeping It Simple TrainingPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Kennedy ScottPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Lake District Training AcademyPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Local Labour Initiative for Training and Enterprise (Llite) LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Management Introductions Ltd.Private Company (limited by shares)
Manchester Training Ltd.Private Company (limited by shares)
Newquay for Excellence TrainingPrivate Company (limited by shares)
OTRPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Pelcombe LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Personnel Evaluation Consultants LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Pertemps MouzerPrivate Company (limited by shares)
positive peoplePrivate Company (limited by shares)
Reed in Partnership plcPrivate Company (limited by shares)
SeetecPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Shackleton AssociatesPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Skills TrainingPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Standguide Ltd.Private Company (limited by shares)
Support into WorkPrivate Company (limited by shares)
The JGA GroupPrivate Company (limited by shares)
TNG MentoringPrivate Company (limited by shares)
TNG WorkskillsPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Tony Walsh AssociatesPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Triage CentralPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Twin Training InternationalPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Wakefield Environmental Developments LimitedPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Working LinksPrivate Company (limited by shares)
WTCSPrivate Company (limited by shares)
Edinburgh Chamber of CommercePrivate Body Under Royal Charter
BBCPublic Body Under Royal Charter
Tribal GroupPublic Limited Company (PLC)
Aberdeen FoyerVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Action for Blind PeopleVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Bootstrap EnterprisesVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
DISCVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
East Lancashire into EmploymentVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Eco Actif Services Social EnterpriseVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
One PlusVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
PROSPECTS The National Autistic SocietyVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Rainer City Training SolentVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
RNIDVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Rochdale Building Trades AgencyVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Royal Mencap SocietyVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)Voluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Shaw TrustVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
Somerset Council for Christian CareVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
The Dyslexia Institute Ltd.Voluntary and Community Sector—Charity
The Wise GroupVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity
YBT TrustVoluntary and Community Sector—Charity

20 Apr 2006 : Column 775W

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