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24 per cent. would change when they intended to travel.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many user sessions Transport Direct recorded in each month since June 2006; and what the weekly rate of user sessions was in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Since June 2006 the following user sessions have been recorded on the Transport Direct portal. This includes user sessions generated by end-users accessing the portal using PC, DigiTV and mobile phones, and those generated by other systems accessing Transport Direct via a web service call. The use of web services to access Transport Direct was introduced in August 2006:
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the potential contribution of mandatory use of tamper-proof number plates to the reduction of vehicle registration plate theft; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In February 2006 the DVLA adopted a voluntary standard for theft resistant number plates to provide consumers with an assurance that products meeting the standard had been subject to rigorous testing. The standard is supported by the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Officials from the Department have been in discussion with representatives of ACPO and the leading number plate manufacturers about the possibility of making theft resistant plates mandatory. It is recognised that the higher cost of theft resistant plates would impose a financial burden on industry and the general public and it will be necessary to draw up and evaluate an impact assessment before making a decision on whether to proceed further. There would also be a public consultation before any decision was made.
Derek Twigg: The casualty reporting and notification process has been co-ordinated by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) at RAF Innsworth since 2005 and all information is routed through it. Casualty reporting from Afghanistan and Iraq has been further streamlined by the introduction of the Joint Personnel Administration system into these theatres in March 2007.
Casualty figures for Afghanistan and Iraq are now published twice-monthly a fortnight in arrears (previously monthly a month in arrears) and, in conjunction with JCCC, the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) has conducted an exercise to validate historical operational casualty data from January 2001 onwards. The results of their analysis, together with current Aeromedical Evacuation and hospital patient data, have been published on the internet at:
Furthermore, as I announced to the House on 25 July 2007, MOD has moved from a system of recording and reporting mental health statistics relating solely to Operation TELIC (Iraq) to a new system covering all in-service personnel assessed with a mental health disorder at our out-patient Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH). The report also includes a return for new in-patient admissions under the MODs contract with the Priory Group. These are published quarterly by the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA), and the first report, for the period JanuaryMarch 2007, is available on their website at:
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many and what type of helicopters will be made available for use on the UK's new aircraft carriers; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The new aircraft carrier has been designed to support, operate and sustain a Joint Force Air Group of up to 40 aircraft, including up to 36 Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) supported by four Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC) aircraft, with the option of other helicopters (for example Merlin Mkl) embarked.
We are currently planning to acquire the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to meet the JCA requirement. We are assessing the options to fulfil the MASC requirement and will make the decision when the programme achieves sufficient maturity; we currently expect the main investment decision to be around the end of the decade. We will continue to ensure our plans for JCA and MASC remain coherent with the CVF programme.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 362W, on the al-Yamamah project, what the costs were for which his Department received a management fee from the Saudi Arabian government in respect of the al-Yamamah programme; in which years since 1985 a management fee was paid; whether the fees were retained by the Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: The Department has been paid a management fee in every year since 1986 to cover the cost of its participation in the al-Yamamah Project. The fee is held by the Department to cover in full expenditure as it arises on such items as the salaries and salary-related costs of the staff of the Saudi Armed Forces Project, office and domestic accommodation charges, travel and subsistence, IT and telecommunications, training and professional fees, and utilities.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his oral answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 16, on military inquests, how many military coroners inquests are outstanding; on what dates he held meetings with ministerial colleagues to discuss outstanding coroners' inquests since he came into office; what discussions he has had with the (a) Leader of the House and (b) the Secretary of State for Justice on military inquests since 12 July 2007; and what his definition is of backlog. 
Des Browne [holding answer 23 July 2007]: The scheduling of inquests touching on the deaths of Service personnel is a matter for the relevant coroner across England and Wales. As at 28 September 2007, 120 inquests had been completed on Service personnel killed on operations since 2001, 80 of which have been held since the Government took steps to speed up the process on 5 June 2006. 131 inquests remain open: 45 within the jurisdiction of the Oxfordshire Coroner; 44 for the Swindon and Wiltshire Coroner; and 42 for other coroners.
Of the original backlog of 59 inquests identified in the joint Written Ministerial Statement on 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 4WS, two remain open within the Oxfordshire Coroner's jurisdiction, one of which has been scheduled. There is one inquest into the deaths of the 10 service personnel killed in the Hercules crash in January 2005 open within the Swindon and Wiltshire Coroner's jurisdiction.
I regard a backlog as having arisen when the volume of inquests makes it difficult for a coroner to conduct the necessary investigations and inquests in a timely manner. Additional resources have been made available by the MOD and the Ministry of Justice to meet the needs of the Oxfordshire and Wiltshire Coroners. We will keep the need for any further resources under close review.
Defence Ministers have engaged closely and regularly with colleagues in the Department for Constitutional Affairs/Ministry of Justice and there have been five joint Written Ministerial Statements to update Parliament on this issue and the additional resources made available. The most recent joint Written Ministerial Statement was made by myself and the Minister for Justice on 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 97WS).
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to respond to the Defence Select Committee report on the state of military housing in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost of extending pro rata services pensions to all those who served in the armed forces, including those who served before 1975. 
Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the then Minister for the Armed Forces during an adjournment debate on 31 January 2007, Official Report, columns 337-40, which clearly set out the legislation and policy background to the issue. The situation has not changed and there is no real prospect that this or any Government could afford the billions of pounds that would be needed to address public sector pensions legacy issues.
Des Browne: Following the agreement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1778, the EU are discussing a military mission to Chad/Central African Republic. The UK supports the mission as a key means of contributing to regional stability and helping to resolve the Darfur crisis, but we have made it clear that the role of the UK Armed Forces in any mission will be very limited given the extent of our commitments elsewhere.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Defence Export Services Organisation staff were employed in project offices dealing with exports of government to government contracts in April 2007; and how many had duties covering commercial and financial matters. 
Des Browne: In April 2007, almost 200 Defence Export Services Organisation staff were employed in project offices dealing with government-to-government export contracts. Of these, 30 were mainly concerned with commercial and financial aspects of the projects.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many people were employed in project offices by the Defence Export Services Organisation in (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) Kuwait in (i) April 2006 and (ii) April 2007; 
|Office ( 1)||April 2006||April 2007|
|(1) Figures include locally employed staff. Part-time staff are counted as whole.|
Derek Twigg: In April 2007 the Defence Procurement Agency was merged with that of the Defence Logistics Organisation to become Defence Equipment and Support (DE and S). DE and S employs six press officers.
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