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17 May 2007 : Column 845Wcontinued
Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what initiatives his Department is undertaking to remove land mines and explosive remnants of war; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 14 May 2007]: The Ministry of Defence has three initiatives to remove land mines and explosive remnants of war. These three projects are judged to be highly successful: the first involves 98 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and de-mining personnel for the Kosovo Protection Corps. The second is the Bosnian project, which on completion will have destroyed over 10,000 tons of ammunition. And the third is the International Mine Action and Training Centre in Kenya has trained some 3,800 African and International personnel in de-mining and associated skills. Wider initiatives by the UK, funded by DFID at £10 million per year, are targeted at the worlds poorest nations, and have reduced casualties significantly.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when the decision was taken (a) not to fit 15 Hamden Lynx Mk 7 with DAS and (b) to install a flare and chaff system instead; 
(2) when the Lynx Mk 7s of 847 NAS were first fitted with a flare system; 
(3) how many Lynx helicopters fitted with infra red jamming devices and electronic counter measures are ready for active service; 
(4) how many of the Lynx helicopter fleet have been fitted with infra red jamming devices and electronic counter measures; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Defensive Aids can comprise a wide variety of systems, including chaff and flare dispensers, which contribute to the protection of an air platform. We provide our aircraft with a level of protection commensurate with the risk of the operational tasking. This involves a mix of threat mitigation measures, which can include defensive aids.
I am not prepared to disclose specific details of defensive aid fitted, as this might prejudice the operational security of our armed forces.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when a requirement to fit Lynx with Defensive Aid Suites was first established. 
Mr. Ingram: Lynx helicopters were first fitted with Defensive Aid Suites in 1987.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planning total is for qualified fast jet pilots at the end of each of the years 2007 to 2010. 
Mr. Ingram: The following table provides the planning total for Royal Air Force and Royal Navy qualified Fast Jet Pilots for the next four financial years.
|Financial year||Number of pilots|
1. These figures exclude pilots who hold the rank of Wing Commander or above.
2. All figures are rounded to the nearest 5.
3. The RAF element of the figures provided include a manpower training margin to compensate, partially for the loss of productive effort of trained personnel whilst they undergo long periods of training, or for other losses due to such factors as long-term illness, pregnancy or terminal leave.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many suitably qualified fast jet pilots were available for active service at each year end since 2000. 
Mr. Ingram: The following table provides the number of qualified Royal Air Force and Royal Navy fast jet pilots as at 1 April.
1. The figures show all fast jet pilots, including those who may be medically downgraded or are in non-flying posts, but excludes pilots who hold the rank of Wing Commander/Commander or above.
2. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.
3. Obtaining actual numbers for those pilots who are combat ready would involve a manual trawl of data and could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the reasons are for the delay in setting up the new communications hub at RAF Leeming; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 5WS.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 364W, on research and development costs, when he expects to be able to provide the information requested. 
Mr. Ingram: I wrote to the hon. Member today.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 2 May 2007, Official Report, column 1748W, on sequestration of assets: Iran, what options he has considered to ensure (a) the return of seized Royal Navy assets and (b) compensation from Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: We continue to press the Government of Iran to return the boats and equipment seized illegally.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the (a) implementation of Additional Duties Commitments and (b) creation of Land Information Communication Security Groups (Volunteers), following the laying before the House on 30 April 2007 of Amendment 31 of the Territorial Army Regulations. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 16 May 2007]: The Additional Duties Commitment was implemented for members of the Reserve Forces (Army) (Regular Reserve, Regular Army Reserve of Officers and the Volunteer Reserves (Territorial Army)) with effect from the introduction of Amendment 31 of the Territorial Army Regulations and the roll out of Joint Personnel Administration to the Army, in April 2007. An Additional Duties Commitment is formal part-time employment, completing the spectrum of employment between Territorial Army Service that is entirely voluntary at the lowest level (attendance on weekday evenings and weekends) through to full time working on either a Full Time Reserve Service engagement or mobilised service. In recognition of the differing levels of commitment and guarantee of work at any given time, the terms and conditions of service are also graduated.
The LAND Information and Communications Services Group was given formal approval in March 2007. It is a National Specialist Territorial Army unit, recruited from all over the UK. Once fully recruited, it
will consist of a mix of suitably qualified Territorial Army personnel, and recently retired regular officers and senior non commissioned officers, and professionally qualified officers (PQOs) with specialist skills obtained from industry which will enhance the Defence Information and Communications Systems capability.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has received any expressions of interest from foreign Governments regarding the purchase of Type 45 destroyers. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has received no formal expressions of interest regarding the purchase of Type 45 destroyers. Information about the Type 45 has, however, been provided to other Governments, when requested.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2007 to question 134727 on Typhoon, whether consideration (a) is being given and (b) is likely in future to be given to equipping Typhoon with a functioning cannon. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 14 May 2007]: All RAF Typhoons are fitted with a functioning cannon. If operational requirements led us to conclude that the capability provided by the cannon justified bringing it into service, we could do so at relatively short notice.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many learners were undertaking Learning and Skills Council funded (a) further education, (b) work based learning and (c) adult and community learning provision in each of the last three years, broken down by (i) subject area, (ii) age group, (iii) gender and (iv) local education authority. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 24 April 2007]: Figures for those participating in further education (FE), work based learning (WBL) and adult and community learning (ACL) provision can be derived from the Learning and Skills Councils (LSC) individualised learner record (ILR). The information requested has been placed in the Library. (Some LA breakdowns could only be provided at disproportionate cost and are therefore not included.)
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects the provisions relating to parenting in the Children and Adoption Act 2006 to be implemented. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Government expect that provisions in Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 in relation to Family Assistance Orders and risk assessments will be implemented from October 2007. This timescale is subject to completion of necessary changes to the court rules, following consideration by the Family Proceedings Rule Committee. Shortly, the Government will be making a written ministerial statement (WMS), outlining the timetable for implementation of the remaining provisions in Part 1 of the Act.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what representations he has received on proposals to adopt a child protection approach where a child is involved in gang activity and a younger sibling is at risk of moving into an unsafe lifestyle; 
(2) whether he has plans to address the risk to a younger child in circumstances where an older sibling is involved in gang activity. 
Beverley Hughes: The Department has not received any formal representations. Child protection is a matter for local authorities and their partners. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children requires effective co-ordination in every local area. For this reason, the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). LSCBs came into force on 1 April 2006. Their core membership includes local authorities, health bodies, the police and other key agencies providing services to children and adults. The objectives of LSCBs are to co-ordinate local work and to ensure the effectiveness of the work of member agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Governments statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) sets out their roles and responsibilities including their relationship to the wider childrens trust arrangements.
This guidance also sets out the processes to be followed if there are concerns about a childs welfare. Firstly, a referral should be made to local authority childrens social care and it should decide whether to undertake an initial assessment to establish whether the child is a child in need. If the child is a child in need under s17 of the Children Act 1989, then the LA should decide what services are required to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child and which agency is best placed to provide them.
If there are concerns that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm, then a multi agency strategy meetingled by local authority childrens social careshould be held to determine whether to undertake inquiries under s47 of the Children Act 1989 and what action is required to safeguard the childs welfare. If a child is at continuing risk of harm, then a child protection plan would be put in place. Childrens social care and the police, together with the other services are required to work closely together during these assessment and decision making processes.
These processes are used to protect children from different sorts of harm and are flexible enough to be used in a range of circumstances. The Government will of course continue to keep this framework under review.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the project to determine how health visitors can work more closely with children's centres; what funds were made available for the project; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The Government have committed £7 million in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to pilot the Nurse Family Partnership initiative in 10 sites in England. This nurse-led intensive home visiting programme has been developed, refined and rigorously tested over 30 years in the US and has resulted in impressive outcomes for vulnerable children and mothers. The programme will be delivered on the pilot sites by health visitors and midwives working within integrated services for children and families, linked to Sure Start children's centres.
Evaluation of the pilot will inform the future commissioning of high intensity early intervention and prevention programmes, as part of the progressive universal model of child and family health. Evaluation will also examine short term impacts on maternal and child health and assess the role of practitioners and their skills requirements for such a model of intervention.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what oversubscription admissions policies are employed by each academy. 
Jim Knight: The oversubscription criteria for an academy are normally contained within its funding agreement, the contract between the Secretary of State and Academy Trust through which an academy is governed. All the funding agreements for open academies are freely available to the public online at the following web address;
However, where a number of academies are sponsored by the same individual or organisation, for example ARK or ULT, there may be a master funding agreement for this group, with a series of supplemental agreements setting out the particulars for each separate academy. In such cases, admissions arrangements will be contained within supplemental agreements.
These supplemental agreements are also available at the web address provided above.
All academies are bound by the admissions code, and as such may not select on academic ability in any way, and must prioritise applications from looked after children and those with statements of special educational needs.
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