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We keep the readiness states of our operational warships under constant review. We are pressing ahead with the largest warship building programme this country has seen for decades. This
includes the new Type 45 Destroyers, Astute class nuclear attack submarines and the future aircraft carriers.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many locally employed people are working as (a) interpreters and (b) drivers for the British Forces deployed in Southern Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne [holding answer 16 April 2007]: Changes introduced following the seizure of the British marine patrol vessel by Iran in 2004 on the Shatt Al Arab waterway included a review of the role of the Royal Naval Training Team and their operational command structure, vessels were equipped with heavier weapons and improved communications systems and enhancements were made to Royal Marine/Naval Pre-Deployment Training.
The Deputy Prime Minister: All expenditure in the Department is conducted in accordance with the principles of Government Accounting and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of Members.
The Deputy Prime Minister: Ministers and civil servants meet a large number of individuals and groups in the course of their official duties. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if her Department will take steps to introduce microfinance schemes for individuals in deprived areas to improve rates of social inclusion. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the costs have been of (a) commissioning and designing, (b) printing and (c) distributing each (i) report, (ii) publication and (iii) presentation produced by the Government's policy review. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the (a) value and (b) purpose has been of each payment to external companies or organisations under the Government's policy review. 
The results of the policy review process have been published in a series of papers under the title Building on Progress, identifying long-term trends and new challenges and examining how existing policies need to be developed to continue to meet the country's priorities.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many children looked after by a local authority were missing in 2006 for (a) more than a week and (b) more than a month; and how many such children went missing in that year and did not return at all; 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 19 February 2007 ]: The number of children looked after by a local authority who were missing in 2006 for more than a week was 620. Of those, 370 went missing for more than a month. Of the 370, 100 had not returned by 31 March 2006. In compiling theses figures, children who went missing more than once were only counted once. If they went missing more than once the duration of the missing episodes were considered independently (the days were not cumulated).
|Number of occasions in the year ending 31 March 2006 when looked after children went missing from care for at least 24 hoursEngland|
|N umber and percentage|
|Number of occasions child went missing||Number of children who went missing||Percentage|
| Notes: 1. To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000, to the nearest 10 otherwise. Figures between 1 and 5 inclusive have been suppressed and replaced by a hyphen"". 2. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number but have been suppressed where the numerator was 5 or less or the denominator was 10 or less, in accordance with National Statistics protocols. Source: SSDA903.|
Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the costs per child to each local authority in England of fulfilling commitments under the National Service Framework which would previously have been met by Sure Start funding. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 20 April 2007]: The National Service Framework for children, young people and maternity services sets standards for children's health and social services and the interface of those services with education. Sure Start local programmes had discretion on how to allocate funds to meet local needs. Some chose to add to the resources for health services in their areas by employing midwives and health visitors. The roll-out of children's centres since 2003 across England reflects the change from this pilot initiative, testing out new ways of working, to an integrated common approach to delivering mainstream children's services. Local authorities and their partners in Children's Trusts are working together to plan and deliver their children's centres services, reconfiguring services where necessary. The Department cannot give a detailed estimate of the costs of funding commitments under the National Service Framework, as these are funded from a variety of sources to provide children's health and social care services. Between 2002-03 and 2005-06 the Department has spent an estimated £1.9 billion on Sure Start local programmes and children's centres. There are now 1,258 children's centres up and running reaching over 1 million children under the age of five.
|Number of Sure Start children s centres opened|
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make it his policy to require divorcing couples to undertake mandatory mediation during disputes over access to children; and if he will enshrine in law the principle of shared parenting. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 20 April 2007]: The Government do not believe that it would be in the best interests of children to require separating parents to undertake mediation in all cases, nor do the Government plan to enshrine in law the principle of shared parenting.
The Government are committed to the principle that mediation is beneficial, where it is in the child's best interests and there are no concerns for the safety of any member of the family. Provisions in the Children and Adoption Act 2006 will empower the court to direct parties, where appropriate, to attend a meeting to receive information about mediation.
To enshrine shared parenting in legislation could, in effect, introduce a legal presumption of contact. This would shift the focus of family law away from the paramount interests of the child and prioritise the rights of parents above the interests of the child. The assumption that both parents have equal status and value as parents is already enshrined in current law. The Family Courts are already able to make shared residence orders, where such orders are in the best interests of the child, based on the circumstances of the case.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what resources are paid by central Government to the enhanced resource centre for Autism and Aspergers at Fulford School in the City of York; what assessment has been made of the results produced by this resource centre; and what plans there are to increase such resource centre provision at other schools in England. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 23 April 2007]: No resources are paid by central Government to the enhanced resource centre at Fulford School. It is for local authorities (LAs) to organise and maintain their special educational needs (SEN) provision from the resources which are available to them and to keep their SEN arrangements under review.
The Department has not made an assessment of the resource centre at Fulford School. Ofsteds last inspection of the school in December 2003, before the resource centre opened two years ago, noted that
specialist local authority staff provide high quality individual tuition for students with different needs, including autism and specific learning difficulties.
many [local authorities] reported on the development of specialist resourced provision within mainstream schools. Most new provision was designed to meet the needs of pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders or Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties.
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