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Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the readiness and capability of the Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids platform for training Typhoon pilots; 
Mr. Ingram: The in-service date for Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids (ASTA) was achieved in August 2005 with the handover of the emulated deployable cockpit trainer at RAF Coningsby. Typhoon aircrew synthetic training demand is being met by these systems and is expected to be supplemented by the first ASTA cockpit trainer and full mission simulator from December 2006.
Mr. Ingram: Maintenance SIM trainer (MST) has been developed as part of the ground training aids contract that was signed in December 2000. MST achieved type acceptance at an interim standard in 2005 and is planned to be delivered to an upgraded standard by the end of 2006. The total value of the MST contract to the four Typhoon partner nations is €26.7 million, of which €22.2 million has been spent to date.
Mr. Ingram: Other rank members of the SAS and SBS are on a single bespoke incremental pay structure. Minimum and maximum annual basic pay rates for troopers and sergeants for 2002-06 are shown in the following table. In addition, SAS and SBS personnel are paid specialist pay for recruitment and retention purposes. Minimum and maximum annual rates of specialist pay for SAS and SBS other ranks for the years 2002-06 are also shown in the table. The precise level of specialist pay received by individuals depends on their length of service in the SAS or SBS.
|Annual Basic Pay|
|Trooper||Sergeant||Annual Specialist PayAll Other Ranks|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why there has been a delay in considering the recommendations of the Armed Services Pay Review Body for doctors and nurses; and if he will make a statement. 
Given the significant recruitment and retention difficulties experienced by service medical and dental officers, the Government wanted to carefully consider the Armed Forces Pay Review Body report in order to ensure that it delivered an appropriate package which recognises the vital contribution made by these officers.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 20 July 2006, Official Report, column 597W, to the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Weir), on Trident, what the reasons are for the increase in the annual expenditure for capital and running costs of the Trident nuclear deterrent to between 5 and 5.5 per cent. of the defence budget in 2006-07. 
Des Browne: The increase is due primarily to the programme of additional investment in sustaining key skills and facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Airdrie and Shotts (John Reid) on 19 July 2006, Official Report, column 59WS.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of unauthorised helicopter flights by UK forces that have taken place in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last 12 months. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of UK personnel (a) injured and (b) killed as a result of unauthorised flights in the armed forces in the last 12 months; 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has procedures to ensure that all equipment is used and maintained correctly and appropriate training is provided in its use. The abuse of equipment can lead to disciplinary action being taken against individuals.
Procedures for authorising flights made by a UK military aircraft are laid down in joint service publications which require that all military flights are authorised by a suitably qualified authorising officer. All Boards of Inquiry into fatal aircraft accidents over the last 12 months have found that the flights were authorised. A Board of Inquiry is not held for every person hurt on a military flight.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department came into being in July 2001. Information is not held centrally on the average hourly rate paid by the Department to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to establish regulatory criteria for the levels of asbestos that may exist in soil; what response he has made to the Atkins report on Spodden Valley asbestos contamination; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Where land contamination is being considered under the Town and Country Planning regime, it is recommended that guidance from the former Interdepartmental Committee on the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land and from the Health and Safety Executive, should be taken into account. Appropriate health protection professionals in local authorities, the Health Protection Agency, the Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive may also be consulted regarding the assessment of potential risks to human health from asbestos exposure. I understand this has been the case at Spodden Valley.
The Environment Agency has made asbestos a priority substance for review as part of its work on developing technical guidance for assessing risks to human health from land contamination. It is working with the Health Protection Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Health and Safety Laboratory to further understand the toxicology and behaviour of asbestos in soils. This work will help in developing a toxicological report in the Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment series, and more detailed qualitative risk assessment guidance. This material will support decision-making under part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Contaminated Land), and in connection with planning applications on land affected by asbestos contamination, both of which entail risk assessment.
Reports were commissioned from Atkins by the local authority in connection with their decision on the planning application. They were not intended for submission to my Department, but copies have been provided to the agencies working with the council on this issue.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of pollution involving raw sewage being found on or near a beach around the English coast have occurred since 2001; if he will list the areas so affected; what action is being taken to eliminate such occurrences; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Environment Agency monitors water quality at bathing beaches, and in 2005, 99 per cent. of the 405 coastal bathing waters in England met minimum standards of the EC Bathing Water Directive and 85 per cent. met the stricter guideline standards. This compares to 2001 when 98 per cent. of the 397 bathing waters met minimum standards and 70 per cent. met stricter standards.
Data on the exact number of incidents of sewage pollution affecting beaches are not held by the Department. However, any reports of such pollution are investigated to identify the cause, and action is taken to control the sources of pollution.
The amount spent, or planned to be spent, by water companies for improvements directly to bathing waters in England and Wales, for the period 2000 to 2010, is £223 million. There have also been indirect benefits, mainly from Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive schemes, which have improved levels of sewage treatment. The Environment Agency continues to identify and tackle other problems such as unsatisfactory non-water company sewage discharges and misconnections to surface water drains.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account he will take of the results from the Citizens Jury run as part of the recent consultation on a new strategy for bovine TB. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Citizens Panels are an integral part of the wider public consultation on badger culling. A decision on badger culling will be based on a sound scientific and practical foundation and will take into account all available evidence including the results from the public consultation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the correlation between the number of incidents of bovine TB in cattle herds and the change in compensation payments to a tabular system. 
[holding answer 18 September 2006]: At my request, the chief veterinary officer (CVO) carried out a review on the causes of the recent fall in the number of new TB incidents. Her report assessed a range of factors which may have reduced the risk of
disease-spread or led to changes in behaviour among cattle farmers. It concluded that the new compensation arrangements were relatively recent and could not have had a significant effect on the reduction in TB we have experienced.
Additionally, it should be noted that while the table valuation system for determining TB compensation has not been adopted in Wales, the drop in new TB incidents has been experienced in both Wales and England.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on access rights to the UK market of New Zealand butter; what the legal basis is for preventing its importation; and what obligations in respect of such imports arise from (a) the UK accession talks and (b) associated ministerial guarantees. 
Barry Gardiner: Under Protocol 18 of the Treaty of Accession, the UK was authorised to import certain specified quantities of butter from New Zealand at a reduced duty. Following the Uruguay Round of negotiations, the quota was increased and became an EU current access quota. The rules for the administration of the quota are currently set out in Commission Regulation EC (No.) 2535/2001.
A judgment by the European Court of Justice on 11 July 2006, in case number 313/04 (Franz Egenberger GmbH Molkerei und Trockenwerk v. Bundesanstalt fĂ1/4r Landwirtschaft und ErnĂ¤hrung), held some aspects of the administration of the quota discriminatory and therefore invalid. Following this judgment, the European Commission, under Commission Regulation EC (No.) 1118/2006, temporarily suspended the issuing of import licences for New Zealand butter imported under the current access quota. On 14 September, the Management Committee for Milk and Milk Products voted on a draft Regulation which will lift the temporary suspension and allow the remaining 14,294.6 tonnes of butter left under the 2006 quota to be imported before 31 December under a modified procedure. The Regulation is expected to be published shortly.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the carbon dioxide emissions were per capita for (a) all African countries, (b) all EU countries and (c) all G8 countries in each year since 1997. 
DEFRA does not hold this information. However, emissions estimates are submitted under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is the parent treaty for Kyoto protocol and the Montreal decisions. These emissions data are available on the UNFCCC website at: http://unfccc.int/2860.php
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