|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
It is for individual authorities to decide how best to work towards meeting air quality objectives locally. However, the Department for Transport liaises with local authorities via the Low
Emissions Strategy forum, which shares knowledge and best practice to help local authorities to improve air quality, including low emission zones. The Department is also working closely with Transport for London to support the implementation of the Mayor's London Low Emission Zone.
Jim Fitzpatrick: There are currently no plans to produce specific national guidelines on low emission zones for local authorities. However, the Department issued guidance to local authorities about their second local transport plans in December 2004. That guidance indicated that all authorities should consider whether local air quality problems need to be tackled in the transport plan. Where air quality management areas had been declared related to local transport, councils must consider what action to take.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to support improvements in the Felixstowe to Nuneaton railway line before the final deadline for proposals for Trans-European Transport Network funding on 20 July. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The development of this scheme overall is not at present sufficiently mature for submission to the EC for TEN-T funds. However, the contribution which Hutchison Ports UK has agreed to make to the Felixstowe-Peterborough element increases the prospects of other elements of the improvements in question being funded from other sources in due course.
Mr. Tom Harris: Discussions are continuing with interested parties on proposals for improvements west of Peterborough. Separately, an application has been made to the Secretary of State for an Order under the Transport and Works Act to authorise improvements to the Ipswich-Felixstowe branch line, and Hutchison Ports has agreed to fund these works (if approved) as well as gauge clearance as far as Peterborough.
David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House how many and what percentage of staff in her office are making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions; and what steps she has taken in the last 12 months to encourage more people to make such contributions. 
Pension scheme members receive an annual benefit statement showing the pension built up to date, and also a projection of pension on retirement if the member continues in service to scheme pension age. The benefit statement provides details of the civil service pensions website where staff can obtain further information, including on operations for making additional voluntary contributions to boost their pension.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will ask Parliamentary Information and Communication Service (PICT) to carry out a customer survey of hon. and right hon. Members' satisfaction with the new personal digital assistants supplied by PICT; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The Board of Management surveyed all Members and their paid staff earlier this year. One question asked was how satisfied they were with the quality and reliability of remote access to the parliamentary network using a parliamentary issued handheld PDA. Of the 92 Members who answered the question 8 per cent. were extremely satisfied, 17 per cent. very satisfied, 30 per cent. fairly satisfied, 23 per cent. not very satisfied and 14 per cent. not at all satisfied. A qualitative survey is being planned to explore areas of dissatisfaction in more detail.
Mr. Allen: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will bring forward plans to put signage on the entrances to the first floor of Portcullis House to indicate the location of rooms in the building. 
Subject to reaching agreement on the viability and effectiveness of the proposals, the work is scheduled to be undertaken during the financial year 2007-08. As a temporary measure, plans which show the location of rooms have been placed at each corner and on each side of the first floor.
|Percentage of staff over 60|
|(1) Department not in existence|
David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General how many people aged (a) over 55 years of age and (b) over 60 years of age have been recruited by her Department in each of the last three years; and what percentage in each case this is of the number of new recruits in each year. 
|Over 55||Over 60|
|New recruits||Percentage of new recruits||New recruits||Percentage of new recruits|
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his policy is on levying laundry charges on soldiers participating in training exercises, with particular reference to those at Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain; 
(2) how much was collected in laundry charges from soldiers participating in training exercises at Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain in 2006-07; and what the cost to each soldier is for the use of (a) washing and (b) drying facilities; 
(3) if he will make it his policy to end charging for the use of laundry facilities for soldiers participating in training exercises at Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) whether it is a requirement that soldiers (a) participating in training exercises and (b) on active deployment should maintain their clothing in clean and hygienic condition, where facilities are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: When on training exercises at Westdown Camp (or any other training location), units have the option, during pre-exercise planning, to request that laundry facilities be secured via established contractual arrangements from service providers within the local area. Such services are publicly funded and therefore free of charge to the soldier. It is a matter for Units to decide whether or not to take advantage of these arrangements, they may either utilise the facilities available at Westdown Camp or they may hand-wash and dry their laundry themselves.
The facilities at Westdown Camp are self-operated facilities provided under contract for the convenience of soldiers. During the period January 2006 to June 2007 the income to the contractor arising from the use of the washing/drying machines at Westdown Camp was approximately £7,500. A further £1,500 was taken in commission by the Defence Training Estate Strategic Partner LANDMARC Support Services (LSS). Under established revenue sharing arrangements 70 per cent. of this total (£1,050) was reinvested back into the maintenance of the training estate. The cost to each soldier to use these facilities is £2.00 for washing and £1.00 for drying.
Soldiers are responsible for maintaining their own personal hygiene, and this is instilled through effective training, leadership, education and example setting, particularly by Commanders. Personal hygiene is covered in soldiers Phase One training and reinforced annually through Military Annual Training Test 6 (Values and Standards). It is also covered in all pre-operational and exercise deployment health and hygiene presentations delivered by service environmental health staffs.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|