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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 7 June 2007

Church Commissioners

Sex Discrimination

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 2W, on sex discrimination, if he will place in the Library the general advice issued in November 2003 by the Archbishops' Council to dioceses and parishes on the effect of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003. [140677]

Sir Stuart Bell: I have placed a copy in the Library today, 7 June.

Communities and Local Government

Age: Discrimination

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will ensure that the Discrimination Law Review explicitly considers age discrimination as part of its remit. [141110]

Mr. Woolas: The Government are considering whether there is a case for introducing legislation to prohibit harmful age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services as part of the Discrimination Law Review. The proposals emerging from the review will be published for public consultation shortly.


Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects to publish for public consultation proposals emerging from the Discrimination Law Review. [141108]

Mr. Woolas: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill will be published for public consultation shortly.

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Explosives: Transport

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance was offered by the Government to the fire authorities in England and Wales following the explosion on 22 March 1989 involving a vehicle carrying explosives on the Fengate Industrial Estate in Cambridgeshire; and whether that guidance has since been (a) amended, (b) added to and (c) withdrawn by her Department. [139591]

Angela E. Smith [holding answer 4 June 2007]: Following the explosion on 22 March 1989 involving a vehicle carrying explosives on the Fengate Industrial Estate in Cambridgeshire, the Home Office issued the Chief Officer Letter 4/1989 on 25 May 1989, covering Road Traffic (Carriage and Explosives) regulations 1989. The regulation required vehicles carrying explosives to be marked front and rear with an orange rectangle and on the sides with an orange diamond carrying in black the classification division and the compatibility group and some cases the explosives symbol. Following the incident at Peterborough, the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) obtained the agreement of consignors of explosives to implement the vehicle marking requirement before the regulations formally came into effect.

Following the report of the investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, Chief Officer Letter 4/1989 was superseded on 3 May 1991 by Chief Officer Letter 4/1991, item 3, which made a distinction between fires that involve the load compartment, and those that do not and the possible evacuation of the area. The HSE advised that only where the rapid application of water would have a good chance of preventing an explosion, should an attack by firefighters be attempted.

On 6 May 1992, Chief Officers Letter 6/1992 item 7 introduced Technical Bulletin 1/1992: Explosives Guide. This Technical Bulletin gives general guidance about the common properties of explosives, the various uses to which they are put and the regulations covering their manufacture, storage and transportation.

Fire Services: Emergency Calls

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of fire service response times from time of call to time of first attendance for each fire and rescue service were of a duration of (a) up to five minutes, (b) six to 10 minutes, (c) 11 to 15 minutes and (d) over 15 minutes in each of the last five years. [140723]

Angela E. Smith [holding answer 6 June 2007]: The information requested is provided as follows.

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Attendance time in minutes
up to 5 6 to 10 11 to 15 over 15
Attendances Percentage Attendances Percentage Attendances Percentage Attendances Percentage














































Figures are based on sampled data grossed to fire and rescue service totals and exclude any fires in November 2002 and January-February 2003 strike periods. Incidents with a response time of 60 minutes or more are excluded as these are likely to be ‘late calls’: where the fire is known to have been already been extinguished when the FRS were informed of the fire. Data are for England and Wales primary fires only.
Fire and Rescue Sendee returns to CLG

Fire and Rescue Service attendance times have been increasing gradually over the last 5 years, with 86 per cent. of primary fires attended within 10 minutes in 2005 compared with 89 per cent. in 2001. Over the same period the number of people in England killed in accidental dwelling fires, the public service agreement target has fallen by 27 per cent. from 321 to 233 and the number of calls to incidents has also reduced indicating the positive impact of risk based fire prevention.

Public Lavatories: Disabled

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to ensure that the provision of disabled toilets by local authorities is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [139777]

Angela E. Smith: New public conveniences provided by local authorities must comply with the Building Regulations. Toilets for use by disabled people, whether wheelchair users or ambulant disabled people, should comply with Part M of the Building Regulations (Access to and use of buildings). The guidance in Approved Document M shows one way of meeting these requirements.

Regulations made under the Disability Discrimination Act (The Disability Discrimination (Service Providers and Public Authorities Carrying Out Functions) Regulations 2005; S.I. 2005 No. 2901) provide an exemption from the requirement on service providers and public authorities to make 'reasonable adjustments' to physical features of a building provided they follow the guidance in the version of Approved Document M, which applied at the time of installation or construction. The exemption applies for a period of up to 10 years from the completion of installation or construction of the feature or, in the case of a physical feature provided as part of a larger building project, the day on which the works in relation to that project were completed.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departments: Public Expenditure

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what date she met the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discuss the forward budget of her Department. [140018]

Tessa Jowell: As Secretary of State responsible for public expenditure I have had and will continue to have, wide-ranging and regular discussions on the Department's forward plans, principally with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I also have regular meetings and discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a range of issues.

English Heritage: Public Appointments

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent on the appointment of a new chair of English Heritage. [140770]

Tessa Jowell: The costs incurred on the appointment of the new English Heritage chair are £38,221.39. The first campaign failed to identify a suitable candidate for appointment and was re-launched in February 2007.

The costs incurred under the first campaign are £15,693.34. This included £15,277.34 for advertising in the national press and £416 for independent assessor costs.

The costs incurred under the second campaign are £22,528.05. This includes £7,073.50 for advertising in the national press; £15,037.55 in fees to a recruitment agency engaged to search for suitable candidates and £417 for independent assessor costs.

Olympic Games: Greater London

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the total budget for the London Olympics in 2012 has been set aside for direct funding of cultural events as part of the Cultural Olympiad. [138402]

Tessa Jowell: The mandatory ceremonies will be directly funded from the London 2012 Organising Committee’s budget for the 2012 Games. It is confident that the mandatory ceremonies will be funded within its £2 billion revenue budget. The bid projects and signature events and the UK-wide cultural festival will be delivered and funded in partnership with a range of public and private partners. For example, the Legacy Trust will invest at least £40 million in funding cultural and sporting activity in the run up to the 2012 Games.

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will shortly set out more detail on the bid projects and the UK-wide Cultural Festival. However, we will not be in a position to provide an overall cost figure in advance for what will be a developing programme of events over the four years of the Cultural Olympiad, with funding being drawn in from a number of sources over that period.

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Food Supply: Security

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last considered the defence implications for the UK of (a) the threat of and (b) actual contamination of food supplies; and if he will make a statement. [137430]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 17 May 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 May 2007, Official Report, column 1050W.

Future Surface Combatant

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the initial concept and design work for the Future Surface Combatant. [139151]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 4 June 2007]: A project team has been established to develop the requirement for the Future Surface Combatant. The team has undertaken a considerable amount of work, including some concept design work in conjunction with industry.


Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 25 April 2007, Official Report, column 1119W, on rendition, what arrangements exist for notification of landings by non-military state aircraft at civilian airfields. [135256]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 1 May 2007]: The MOD is only responsible for flight clearance arrangements for foreign military aircraft entering and leaving UK airspace, and for civil aircraft using MOD airfields. Arrangements for aircraft from foreign non-military agencies and Departments transiting UK airspace or landing at UK civil airfields are the responsibility of the relevant counterpart UK Government Department.

Duchy of Lancaster

Departments: Carbon Emissions

Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what methodology is used by her Department to account for its carbon emissions. [140854]

Hilary Armstrong: The methodology used to account for carbon emissions for offsetting purposes is the same used across Government to calculate official and ministerial air travel. For energy purposes, we use the methodology published by the Carbon Trust.

Departments: Travel Agents

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much her Department and its agencies paid in travel agencies' fees in each year since 1997. [139902]

Hilary Armstrong: The cost of fees paid for travel agency services cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs.

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Education and Skills

Children’s Centres: Maternity Services

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what consideration is made of the requirements of maternity services in the development of Sure Start children's centres. [141117]

Beverley Hughes: All Sure Start children’s centres should link with their local maternity services to improve the accessibility of ante and post-natal care and promote their integration with other services.

Joint Department of Health/Department of Education and Skills children’s centre guidance set out policy that through children's trust arrangements, local authorities and PCTs should ensure these opportunities for the benefits are maximised, particularly for disadvantaged and excluded groups. It is up to local authorities and PCTs to agree the scope of the working arrangements and the level of resources allocated to them.

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