David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost was of overnight accommodation for Ministers of State in his Department on foreign visits in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Watson: Under the terms of the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, departments are expected to make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements. Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. This information, which is available from the Library of the House, includes accommodation costs. The actual cost for overnight accommodation for each of the Defence Ministers while on foreign visits in each of the last three years could be calculated only at disproportionate cost. When the Defence Ministers are overseas, including when visiting the armed forces, they frequently stay in an official residence or as a guest of the Commanding Officer of the military establishment. In such instances no accommodation costs are incurred.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions Ministers of State in his Department stayed overnight in (a) five star, (b) four star and (c) three star hotels on foreign visits in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Watson: No information is held regarding the star rating of the hotels used by Defence Ministers. The choice of hotel is determined by best value for money based on advice from the British Embassy in the country being visited. Under the terms of the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, departments are expected to make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements. Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. This information is available from the Library of the House.
Mr. Watson: The ratio of staff in the private office of the Secretary of State for Defence is 45 per cent. male and 55 per cent. female. The overall ratio for the private offices of the other Defence Ministers is 66 per cent. male and 33 per cent. female. These figures exclude special advisers.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on security patrolling of the roads around RAF Menwith Hill by the Ministry of Defence Police Agency in each year since 2003. 
Mr. Ingram: The approximate totals spent by the US authorities on security patrolling of the roads around RAF Menwith Hill by the Ministry of Defence Police are set out in the table on a year by year basis:
when they have been in receipt of full-time regular pay for 12 months or more;
when, if serving accompanied at their permanent duty station, they are away from their spouse or registered civil partner. (This does not apply if both are serving personnel; in this instance both are eligible to claim LSSA when they are serving apart from each other);
when they spend periods of 10 consecutive days or more away from their permanent duty station on temporary duty, operations or exercises, and
when they are posted unaccompanied to a designated LSSA payment area. Designated areas include the Falkland Islands, Ascension Island and Diego Garcia. MOD can also include areas in support of United Nations or national operations as required.
Regular service personnel in the Royal Air Force (RAF) are no longer able to claim LSSA; since the roll-out of joint personnel administration (JPA) to the RAF, they are eligible instead for longer separation allowance (LSA).
Full-time reserve service and volunteer reserve service personnel of all three services, non-regular permanent staff and additional duties commitments personnel are eligible to claim LSSA once they have either received a second year bounty or completed 12 months full-time service, provided they meet the remaining eligibility criteria as set out above. (Full-time service usually results either from previous regular service or from mobilisation).
In addition, RAF volunteer reserve personnel are entitled to claim LSSA for attendance at their annual two-week camp, provided they meet all other qualifying criteria. As part of the harmonisation of allowances across the services, this entitlement will be removed when RAF reservists transfer onto JPA (currently scheduled for 1 April 2007) and become eligible for LSA.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the likely impact on (a) volunteers and (b) the general public's use of small boats of the operation of the boatmaster's certificate scheme. 
Dr. Ladyman: The regulatory impact assessment for the new boatmaster's licence regulations is available in the Libraries of both Houses. In the regulation of public safety there is no distinction made between the requirements for commercial passenger operators and those in the voluntary sector.
The Boatmaster's licence has been developed in consultation with the above groups, and a working group involving many of the same organisations, as well as training establishments and the Company of Watermen and Lightermen.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who the initial recipients will be of the additional funding for the new national concessionary travel scheme announced by the Chancellor in March. 
Gillian Merron: No decisions have been taken yet on how the national scheme will be delivered in 2008. The Department for Transport will be working with representatives from the bus industry, local government and other interested parties to consider the best framework for delivering the improved concessionary fares entitlement.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many appeals have been lodged with him by bus operators against concessionary travel schemes introduced in 2006; which concessionary travel authorities' schemes have been appealed against; and when he will (a) consider and (b) decide each appeal. 
Bedfordshire County Council
Bristol City Council (on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset)
Cherwell District Council
City of York Council
Devon County Council
Dorset County Council
East Sussex County Council
Essex County Council
Gloucestershire County Council
Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
Hampshire County Council
Harrogate Borough Council
Kent County Council
Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive
Norfolk County Council
Redditch Borough Council
South Oxfordshire District Council
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Suffolk County Council
Warwickshire County Council