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Mr. Watson: Accommodation charges are the same for both male and female service personnel in the same circumstances. Charges are set by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) as part of their deliberations on, and recommendations for, pay and charges for service personnel. The AFPRB listens to the views of service personnel, the services and (where appropriate) families during regular visits to a range of units across all services, some of whom have commented on recent increases to accommodation charges. There has also been correspondence with the chairman of the Army Families Federation on this subject.
Mr. Watson: Defence Estates (DE), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) agency responsible for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) in the UK, received 338 complaints between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006. An additional 2,249 complaints regarding SFA have
been received by MODern Housing Solutions (MHS), the MODs Housing Prime Contractor since the contract commenced in January 2006. A proportion of these complaints relate to the backlog of work assumed by MHS from the previous contractual arrangements. 1,949 have now been closed.
Mr. Watson: Service Family Accommodation upgrades are currently planned at Scampton within the next three to five years, reflecting the stations position in the Defence Estates Housing Upgrade Priority List. This list is kept under review in the light of changing priorities.
Mr. Ingram: Submarine programme management within the Ministry of Defence has recently been unified under the Director General Nuclear, who is responsible to both the Chief of Defence Procurement and the Chief of Defence Logistics for managing delivery of the submarine acquisition programme from concept to disposal. This organisation will also promote and manage any changes in the re-alignment of the submarine build and support industries that will emerge from implementation of the Defence Industrial Strategy in the Maritime sector.
Mr. Watson: The Veterans Agency is aware of a small number (fewer than five) of specific cases where war widows pensions have been awarded to widows of British nuclear test veterans since 2000 (though not necessarily because of their participation in the tests), but does not hold definitive data. It is possible that other such cases exist, but it would not be possible to produce a definitive figure without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Ingram: There are currently 463 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Operators qualified and in-role for all three services who are trained and authorised to deal with biological and chemical ordnance natures.
Of these in-role EOD operators, a limited number have been specifically trained to deal with biological, chemical and non-fissile radiological devices in a counter-terrorist context. Precise numbers are not disclosed as this would prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our forces.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many free air miles have been accrued by senior civil servants in his Department on official business in each of the last three years; and how they were used. 
David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not hold this information; however, air miles accrued on official business by senior civil servants must be used for official purposes, donated to charity or foregone.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discounts are available in relation to hotel accommodation used by (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been paid in (a) salary, (b) travelling expenses, (c) subsistence allowance and (d) removal expenses to special advisers in his private office in each of the last five years. 
David Cairns: Since 2003, the Government have published, on an annual basis, the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band. For information relating to the last financial year, I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 21 July 2005, Official Report, columns 158-61WS. Information on special advisers for this financial year is currently being collected and will be published in the normal way when it is ready.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received on crowd crushes due to the collapse of safety rails outside the Cardiff Millennium Stadium on 13 May 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
I understand that Millennium Stadium management are conducting an internal inquiry into the incident which occurred at gate 2 prior to kick off on Saturday, in which some channelling barriers were damaged. This will include examining CCTV footage to identify the cause.
Mr. Hain: In June 2003 the Wales Office became a separate entity within the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), and therefore adopts DCAs Travel and subsistence guidance, which sets the accommodation ceiling of £90 a night for London and £72 for other cities in the UK.
Mr. Hain: I apologise for the delay in responding to this question. This was due to an administrative error. During the summer recess, 28 July to 10 October 2005 inclusive, the NIO issued the following:
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what advice was given to the governor of HMP Magherberry about the advisability of granting compassionate parole to James Joseph McEvoy. 
Paul Goggins: Decisions on granting compassionate temporary release are matters for Prison Service headquarters acting on the basis of information from
the establishment. Mr. McEvoy was returned to custody on 15 May. Following this incident a review of the procedures is in hand.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what resources are available to the Head of Human Resources of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to enable him to answer correspondence from hon. Members; 
Mr. Woodward: This parliamentary question falls under the direct operational responsibility of the Chief Constable, rather than Government policy, and I have therefore asked the Chief Constable to respond directly to the hon. Lady.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 11 May 2006, Official Report, column 507W, on police; how many police trainee constables were recruited in financial year 2004-05. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many public consultations (a) each Northern Ireland Department and (b) the Northern Ireland Office undertook in the last 12 months; and what the cost was (i) in total and (ii) of each consultation. 
Mr. Hanson: Details of the number of public consultations undertaken by the Northern Ireland Office and the 11 Northern Ireland Departments between April 2005 and March 2006 and associated costs have been placed in the Library of the House.
Costs include figures for each consultation and a total for each Department. All costs indicated are external and do not include, for example, internal costs such as staff time. The costs reflect the scale of each consultation and the methods used to carry out the consultation whether in writing or electronic form.
Mr. Hanson: The Secretary of State determines the level of the regional rate in NI. The average domestic regional rate bill in 2007-08 is expected to be around
£395. In addition to this, district councils each strike a district domestic rate independently from central Government. Based on current trends, the average district domestic rate next year will be £313.
On 8 December 2005, my hon. Friend the Member for St. Helens, South, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Woodward) announced the introduction of domestic water and sewerage charges in Northern Ireland. Bills will be set in line with average domestic bills in England and Wales. Charges will be phased in over a three-year period which means that the average domestic water and sewerage bill in April 2007 will be just over £100.
My hon. Friend also announced the introduction of an affordability tariff which will ensure that eligible low-income households spend no more than 3 per cent. of their income on water and sewerage charges. No-one on the tariff will pay more than £60 in 2007-08 regardless of the value of the property in which they live. Up to 200,000 households in Northern Ireland will benefit from the tariff.
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