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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received from the emergency services about the removal of (a) speed humps and (b) pinch points on the road network in (i) Southend-on-Sea, (ii) Essex, (iii) the Metropolitan Police area of London and (iv) England; and if he will make a statement. 
London Ambulance Service did contact the Department in October 2001 with concerns that traffic calming may have a detrimental effect on ambulance
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response times. A regular dialogue has been maintained since this time to establish the nature of the concerns and to assist with possible solutions.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 23 March 2006, Official Report, column 496W, how much of the total bus subsidy in London is from his Department in addition to the bus subsidy operators grant. 
Dr. Ladyman: Section 22A relates to the Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) scheme. The scheme helps to combat the crime of vehicle ringing by verifying that written off vehicles conform to the registered particulars on the DVLA database before being registered and put back on the road.
A recent review of the scheme's effectiveness has shown that car thefts decreased by 24 per cent. in thefirst two years since the scheme's introduction. Although this can be attributed to a number of crime reduction measures, it is reasonable to conclude that VIC has been a contributing factor to this decrease. The review of the scheme will be published shortly.
Section 27A is not yet in force but its purpose is to introduce regulation making powers to prescribe security features in number plates making them less susceptible to theft or cloning. DVLA is currently considering which security features might be put in place.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when she expects to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Maldon and East Chelmsford of 20 December 2005 on behalf of Ms Michelle Langton of Galleywood, Chelmsford. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his counterparts in other countries on the merits of fitting a fuel tank inerting system to the A400M aircraft. 
Mr. Ingram: The A400M does not come fitted with a fuel inerting system, although a portable removable on board inert gas generation system is available as an option. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has not discussed the fitting of a fuel tank inerting system to the A400M with his counterparts in other countries. Officials have discussed the merits of fitting such a system with counterparts in other countries. The UK will make a decision in due course on whether to fit the system to our A400M aircraft.
Mr. Ingram: A 24 hour military and civil Search and Rescue (SAR) service around the UK is presently provided by RAF, Royal Navy and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) helicopters. This is planned to remain in service until the middle of the next decade.
As set out in the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS), MOD and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are jointly assessing options for provision of a replacement SAR service when the existing helicopters are taken out of service. An announcement setting out further details on the way ahead will be made in due course.
We intend to deliver a service that is at least as effective as the current one, in a manner that provides value for money to the taxpayer. Tasking of the service will continue to be managed jointly by the MOD and MCA. The DIS also makes it clear that we will retain a proportion of military aircrew.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has implemented additional safety precautions as a result of the landing at Ballykelly Army Base of a scheduled aircraft bound for Londonderry Airport on Wednesday 29 March. 
Mr. Ingram: The Civil Aviation Authority are currently conducting an inquiry into the circumstances of this incident. We will consider any recommendations that may emerge from this inquiry as soon as they are available.
The number of General Purpose Rifles currently required to maintain minimum standards is 7,746, which equates to 17 rifles per 100 cadets at current
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strength. The number of Drill Purpose Rifles currently required to maintain minimum standards is 5,130 which equates to 11 rifles per 100 cadets at current strength.
|Financial year||Expenditure||Receipts||Net operating costs|
The net operating costs include credits to the defence budget arising from a range of activities of the Defence Export Services Organisation, including those of the Disposal Services Agency until it was transferred to the Defence Logistics Organisation on 1 April 2005.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the ramifications for military stability in the middle east region of increased arms sales to Israel and Saudi Arabia facilitated by the Defence Export Services Organisation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) implements Government policy in respect of supporting legitimate defence exports by industry to a range of countries, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. Export licensing policy requires the Government to take into account concerns that proposed defence exports might be used for internal repression or international aggression, risks to regional stability, or other considerations.
Currently, less than 1 per cent. of (DESO) staff are engaged in export-related business to Israel and around 40 per cent. to Saudi Arabia. The latter figure includes staff in the Saudi Project Office who undertake a range of tasks principally associated with the performance of existing contracts.
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