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8 Jan 2007 : Column 319Wcontinued
Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government about supporting manufacturing in south-east Wales. 
Mr. Hain: I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Government colleagues on a range of issues, including those affecting the manufacturing industry in Wales.
We are committed to maintaining a strong manufacturing sector through the development of high-value manufacturing jobs. The Government's enterprise agenda to promote growth and employment is directly benefiting manufacturers, such as through the introduction of the R&D tax credit. In addition, the Welsh Assembly Government offered 79 RSA grants totalling £43 million to manufacturing firms in Wales in 2005-06, safeguarding and creating almost 5,000 jobs.
Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he plans to meet the Welsh Assembly Government to discuss the role of civil nuclear power in the energy mix for Wales. 
Mr. Hain: While energy policy is a non-devolved matter, I have discussed the role of nuclear power with the Welsh Assembly Government on a number of occasions, both before and after the publication of the recent Energy Review. The Government will set out further details of their proposals when the energy White Paper is published later this year.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many written parliamentary questions to his Department in the 2005-06 session were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before prorogation, or similar wording. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Leader of the House on pre-legislative scrutiny for measures introduced under the Government of Wales Act 2006. 
Mr. Hain: Pre-legislative scrutiny by the Welsh Affairs Committee has played a crucial role in improving the scrutiny that Wales-only Bills have received in Parliament.
We made a number of commitments, during the passage of the Government of Wales Act and subsequently, that there would be pre-legislative scrutiny of the proposed Orders in Council. The Welsh Affairs Committee is currently considering how best to take this forward.
The overall time allocated for pre-scrutiny of a proposed Order will enable the Government to consider and respond to any recommendations that the Welsh Affairs Committee might make during the course of its pre-scrutiny.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what exemptions are planned to proposals to outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods and services. 
Meg Munn: The Government published a consultation paper in March setting out proposals for regulations that will prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services. The Government will publish a Response to consultation after the Christmas recess in good time for the laying of the regulations to come into force next April, alongside Part 2 of the Equality Act outlawing discrimination on grounds of religion or belief in the provision of goods and services.
Mrs. May: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, how many written parliamentary questions to the Church Commissioners in the 2005-06 session were not answered wholly or in part on grounds of disproportionate cost. 
Sir Stuart Bell: One. On 5 December 2005, Official Report, column 906W, I said that the question with the reference number 33411, tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey), could not be answered on grounds of disproportionate cost.
Mrs. May: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many written parliamentary questions to the Church Commissioners in the 2005-06 session were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before prorogation, or similar wording. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Solicitor-General when investigating officers of the Serious Fraud Office gained access to the details of Swiss bank accounts of those they were investigating in relation to the Al-Yamamah programme in Saudi Arabia. 
The Solicitor-General: I am told they have not done so.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Solicitor-General in how many cases since 2000 HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor body sought to recover costs from defendants in cases revolving around clarification of points of law. 
The Solicitor-General: The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) does not collate statistics that record costs sought from defendants in cases revolving around clarification of points of law. Gathering the information could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to the letter of 2 October 2006 to Wing Commander Conway from the hon. Member for North East Milton Keynes, what improvements have been made to the air bridge from (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq to avoid delays for troops travelling home over the Christmas period. 
Mr. Ingram: The safe and expeditious recovery of our forces returning from operational theatres is a high priority. Troop movement is generally working well and between April and December 2006, 80 per cent. of RAF operational passenger air transport flights were on time or delayed by less than three hours. For Iraq this figure was 86 per cent. and for Afghanistan it was 75 per cent. Recent improvements to the Afghanistan air-bridge include refurbishment of the runway at Kandahar Airfield, which was completed in November 2006. This now allows troops to fly from an airport closer to the majority of deployed locations, reducing in-theatre journeys by up to 24 hours.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) formal complaints, (b) complaints through iSupport or the inquiry centre and (c) formal grievances have been made by Royal Navy personnel since the roll out of Joint Personnel Administration to the Royal Navy. 
Derek Twigg: Since the roll out of Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) to the Royal Navy there have been one formal complaint, five complaints via the internal complaints procedure and no formal grievances relating to JPA.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints from RAF personnel the Armed Forces Joint Personnel Administration Agency's internal complaints system has received about mispayment under the system in each month since March 2006; and how many (a) are still outstanding and (b) have been resolved since September. 
Derek Twigg: As at 15 December 2006 725 complaints had been received from RAF personnel via the centralised JPA complaints process about mispayments and other apparent problems with pay, or the handling of queries. Of these 675 have been resolved and 50 remain outstanding. The following table shows the month on month position since March 2006:
|(1) The figure for April includes pre April cases.|
Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the main skill groups are of civilian personnel employed at (a) Faslane naval base and (b) RNAD Coulport; and how many are employed in each of these skill groups. 
Mr. Ingram: Individual defence installations do not routinely publish personnel data, as different organisations and agencies are responsible for the same location or site. Figures for the posted location of Ministry of Defence civilian personnel are regularly produced at local authority level, using centrally held data. Estimates below this level are not routinely produced.
Ministry of Defence civilian personnel are grouped into job families by broad skill sets and our best estimate of the numbers employed in those job families
at HM Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde's Faslane and RNAD Coulport sites is shown as follows, in full-time equivalent terms.
These figures do not include the workforce of Babcock Naval Services, the commercial partner of HMNB Clyde, which employs additional civilian personnel spread across both sites. Estimates provided by Babcock Naval Services put the total of these personnel at around 1,430.
1. Full-time Equivalency totals that take account of the hours worked by each part-time employee, and will not be consistent with a headcount.
2. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10, with figures of 5 or below denoted by *.
3. Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the availability of the skills necessary in the UK to enable the construction of submarines for the Trident project. 
Des Browne: Such an assessment was set out in Section B of the White Paper Defence Industrial Strategy (Cm 6697), published in December 2005, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. The Ministry of Defence also participated fully in the House of Commons Defence Committees recent investigation of the Manufacturing and Skills Base. Its report The Future of the UKs Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: the Manufacturing and Skills Base (HC 59) was published on 19 December.
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