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Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use the fire service (a) has made and (b) makes of perfluorooctane sulphonate; and what advice and guidance the Department has issued on its use. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use the fire services (a) have made and (b) make of perfluorooctane sulphonate; and what guidance her Department has issued on its use. 
Angela E. Smith: Perfluorooctane sulphonate, known as PFOS, is used in a number of industrial applications and was used as an ingredient in two particular firefighting foam concentrate ranges for petrochemical fires.
In October 2004 DEFRA consulted on a national action to restrict the use of PFOS following evidence to suggest that it could be harmful in certain circumstance to both the environment and humans. However, before consultations had been completed, the European Commission suspended our unilateral action and subsequently issued its own draft directive to restrict the marketing and use of PFOS. In this draft, all current PFOS uses, including firefighting foam, would be allowed to continue. This would not therefore allow the UK to set regulations to ban its use.
As a result DCLG, jointly with the Environment Agency, are proposing a voluntary phasing out of PFOS-based firefighting foams and will shortly be issuing guidance to the fire and rescue services requesting them to no longer use these foams and instead to consider the use of alternatives once they are satisfied the performance of these alternatives meets their needs. Some fire and rescue services have already voluntarily substituted their stocks of PFOS foams with alternatives, the old foam having been destroyed by incineration.
The reforms to the Danish home buying and selling process have been widely welcomed by professionals and consumer representatives who assess that the reforms have improved the efficiency of the housing market. The latest figures show that there were 79,543 sales completed in 2004 as against 77,455 in 1996 (the year before the reforms were introduced). House prices have increased by 73 per cent. in Denmark during the period 1997 to 2005, compared to a 166 per cent. rise in Britain during the same period.
Mr. Woolas: Since the launch of LAAs in July 2004, their scope, and the opportunities they offer to local areas, have grown with each round. We have, in particular, seen a significant increase in the number of funding streams capable of being pooled, the introduction of automatically pooled funding streams, the launch of a new economic development block and the trialling of an increasing number of single pot agreements.
LAAs are rapidly becoming key to the way central Government and local areas do business together. We will continue to refine the LAA framework in the light of experience and in the wider context of the local:vision agenda.
David Simpson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a successor funding regime to replace the New Deal for Communities programmes from 2010-11. 
Mr. Woolas: The Department is currently working with the NDC partnerships to support their planning in continuing progress after the NDC programme ends in 2010-11. This could involve the partnerships evolving into different succession organisations and encouraging partners to mainstream services.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local authorities along the rail routes taken by trains transporting nuclear material are required to prepare emergency plans to deal with an incident involving one of these trains. 
Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 establishes a statutory framework for civil protection activity at the local level. Under this legislation all principal local authorities and other key partners are required to maintain emergency plans, informed by risk assessments, to ensure that they can mobilise an effective emergency response to a range of emergencies including transport accidents. The legislation also requires local authorities and other key partners to exercise these plans and ensure that relevant staff receive adequate training.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list those occasions when the recommendations of a report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman were (a) rejected and (b) partly rejected by her Department since 1997. 
Angela E. Smith: Since 1997 the Department for Communities and Local Government and its Agencies have not refused or omitted to give effect to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, either concerning complaints about administrative practices, service delivery or complaints made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Information available for Department for Communities and Local Government on specific cases that concern Government offices shows that they have not refused or omitted to give effect to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, either concerning complaints about administrative practices, service delivery or complaints made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
The Department for Communities and Local Government holds no comprehensive central information on the status of all Ombudsman cases in other Government Departments involving, or partly involving, Government offices. That information would be available only at disproportionate cost.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will introduce enforcement powers exercisable by local authorities for failure to serve a notice of proposed works under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996; and if she will make a statement. 
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with the Department for Transport on ensuring that improved public transport is an integral part of the community regeneration programmes. 
The two Departments work together to ensure that the Governments aims to deliver sustainable improvements in economic performance, and inclusive society, a better environment and better quality of life are achieved. Not only is this work carried forward inter-Departmentally across central Government, but it is undertaken on a day to day basis by the integrated Government offices in each region.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures are in place to ensure that arms exported from the UK to equip Iraqi security forces are not diverted to other users; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: All export licence applications are assessed against the consolidated criterion taking account of any information we may hold on the end-user, the criterion specifically require assessment of the risk of diversion. If there is a clear risk that the proposed export would contravene any of the criteria, a licence is refused. In the case of Iraq, where not explicitly exempt, UNSCR 1546 additionally requires certification from the Iraqi Government or the multi-national force assisting it, that the goods are necessary for the purposes of giving effect to UNSCR 1546 and are therefore exempt from the embargo on Iraq.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total amount of cover outstanding in respect of Government to Government defence contracts since 1991 was in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. 
|As at 31 March each year:||£ million|
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the administrative cost of the Export Credits Guarantee Department was in each year between 2002-03 and 2005-06, broken down into (a) staff costs, (b) accommodation costs, (c) consultancy costs, (d) IT costs, (e) external legal costs and (f) other costs. 
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which local planning authorities his Department has contacted in the last two years to discuss the siting of new strategic gas storage facilities in their areas; what responses have been received from local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
East Riding of Yorkshire
Redcar and Cleveland
Stockton on Tees.
On 16 May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, laid the Energy Statement of Need for additional gas supply infrastructure in Parliament encouraging planning professionals and local decision makers to consider the national interest when looking at planning applications.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the recommended decommissioning dates are for each nuclear power station built in the UK; and what the (a) recommended and (b) actual decommissioning date was for nuclear power stations that have been decommissioned. 
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) assumed responsibility for the decommissioning and clean up of the UKs civil nuclear legacy on 1 April 2005. The NDA has four operational Magnox nuclear power stations: Dungeness A, Sizewell A, Oldbury, and Wylfa; and, seven that are being decommissioned: Berkeley,
Bradwell, Chapelcross, Calder Hall, Hinkley A, Hunterston A, Trawsfynydd. The recently approved NDA strategy contains the following assumptions of end dates and states, but also signals that the NDA intends to review these in consultation with stakeholders in the near future. Details are as follows:
|Non-operational Magnox||Lifetime||End state/date|
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