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Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role his Department is playing in recruiting more pro-conservation countries to join the International Whaling Commission. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 19 October 2007]: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Embassies and High Commissions in the relevant capitals discuss whaling with their counterparts at every appropriate opportunity. In particular, conservation-minded countries are encouraged to join the International Whaling Commission and play an active part in protecting whales. This ensures that these countries are in no doubt as to the importance that the UK attaches to whale conservation.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role his Department is playing in establishing the countries being approached by Japan to join the International Whaling Commission. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 October 2007]: UK diplomatic missions in the relevant capitals are briefed and engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity. Posts are aware of the need to watch for indicators that countries may join the International Whaling Commission and adopt a pro-whaling stance. Countries are lobbied and are in no doubt as to the importance that the UK attaches to whale conservation.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role his Department is playing in discussions about whaling with countries that vote with Japan at the International Whaling Commission but have no vested interest in whaling. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 October 2007]: UK diplomatic posts in all the relevant capitals are briefed and engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity. The UK, together with its like-minded allies, lobbies the Governments of the countries that vote with Japan at the International Whaling Commission to ensure that they are in no doubt as to the importance we attach to whale conservation.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many officials of diplomatic rank who were responsible for or privy to (a) the decision to dispose of Glencairn,
County Dublin, (b) its subsequent lease back to his Department and (c) the purchase of Marlay Grange, Dublin have since 2000 (i) been raised to the peerage, (ii) received Knighthoods or the rank of Dame and (iii) been recipients of any other honours from the Queen. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 October 2007]: The decisions referred to were taken by Ministers after advice from officials. Many officials would have been privy to the decisions at that time and it is not possible to identify them all without incurring disproportionate cost.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many hectares comprised the Glencairn House and estate prior to its disposal; how many hectares have subsequently been leased back; what the rental cost is for each year of Glencairns lease back to his Department; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the receipt from the sale of Glencairn House, County Dublin was; what the cost is each year of its subsequent rental; and what the total costs were of legal agents and other fees relating to its sale and subsequent lease back. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 October 2007]: I refer my hon. Friend to the report on the Rationalisation of the Glencairn Estate, Dublin produced by the Comptroller and Auditor General to the House of Commons which gives full details of the sale of Glencairn and purchase of Marlay Grange. The report is available at:
The Glencairn House and estate comprised 14.2 hectares and was sold for IR £27 million (£24 million) in 1999. The Ambassador remains in occupation of the house and its immediate curtilage. No land has been leased back since the sale, nor is any rent paid for the occupation of Glencairn House. Under terms agreed with the purchaser, the agreed portion of the sale price relating to Glencairn House and its immediate grounds of 2.87 hectares (IR £4 million, £3.5million approximately at todays rate of exchange) will only be payable when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office gives vacant possession. Total fees (legal and agents) relating to the sale amounted to about £170,000.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when his Department became aware that Marlay Grange, Dublin had an asbestos problem; why the asbestos was not revealed in the survey commissioned prior to its purchase; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the total cost was of the purchase of Marlay Grange, Dublin; what the subsequent cost to date has been of (a) asbestos treatment and removal and (b) all other refurbishment costs; what (i) other costs of maintenance of the buildings, (ii) other costs of maintenance of the grounds and (iii) other maintenance costs have been incurred; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 October 2007]: I refer my hon. Friend to the report on the Rationalisation of the Glencairn Estate, Dublin produced by the Comptroller and Auditor General to the House of Commons which gives full details of the sale of Glencairn and purchase of Marlay Grange. The report is available at
Marlay Grange was purchased for IR £8 million in 2000 (£6.258 million). An initial survey of the property, carried out in October 1999, showed that a comprehensive refurbishment would be required. However, this was not an invasive survey as the owners were still living in the property and would not permit one. The extent of asbestos only became known after the property was purchased, when the full survey was carried out in preparation for refurbishment.
Up until mid-2004, we had spent £700,000 on works to Marlay Grange, which included asbestos removal, fees and security works. No refurbishment works have been carried out. Since mid-2004 we have incurred security and minor maintenance costs of £507,000.
Mr. Jim Murphy: The full deployment of the mission will depend on how quickly the force can be generated and the necessary infrastructure and support put in place. This is being carried out by the UNs Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
The Government are pressing for the full mission to deploy as quickly as possible, as my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, stated when he met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and African Union (AU) Chairperson Alpha Konaré at high level meetings in New York on 21 September.
UN Security Council Resolution 1769 mandates the new AU-UN Mission in Darfur to assume authority from the current AU Mission in Sudan no later than 31 December, with a view to achieving full operational capability and force strength as soon as possible thereafter. We will continue to press all sides to meet this timetable.
Mr. Jim Murphy: The meeting led by the African Union (AU) and UN in Arusha on 3-6 August, attended by most rebel leaders, was an important step forward in the political process. Rebels expressed their commitment to participate fully in negotiations under AU-UN leadership, presented a common platform on key issues and urged the AU-UN to continue consultations with Darfurian civil society.
The Darfur peace talks are due to begin in Libya on 27 October. We support the AU-UN Joint Mediation
Support Team who will lead negotiations. They have developed a mediation and communication plan which should help to ensure effective civil society participation. We urge all parties, rebels and the Government of Sudan to engage fully in these talks and to be prepared to negotiate. Only a political process can provide a sustainable solution to the crisis in Darfur.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the situation inside Zimbabwe; what steps the UK is taking to provide assistance to the people of that country; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary regularly receives updates on the situation in Zimbabwe through our embassy in Harare, and met a member of the Movement for Democratic Change earlier this month to discuss the situation in person. Other Ministers and senior officials are in contact with members of the non-governmental organisation and civil society community and with the Zimbabwe diaspora in the region and more widely. The UK continues to provide up to £40 million in humanitarian aid keeping ordinary Zimbabweans alive. In conjunction with EU partners, we continue to apply targeted measures against President Mugabe and 130 of his elite. We ensure that the UN remains seized of the crisis and we continue to provide support for all those working for democratic change in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what meetings Ministers in his Department had with Royal Mail to discuss disability access to Crown post offices before 19 April; and what such discussions they have had since that date. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many regional development agencies outside London share foreign offices with the London Development Agency; and in what locations. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the (a) total budget and (b) estimated administration costs are of each regional development agency in England in 2007-08. 
|Grant in a id||Administration|
|(1 )RDAs have other sources of income other than grant in aid (including European funding and coalfields funding).|
The Mayor approves the LDAs budget for administration.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether coalminers required to remain working in collieries during the Second World War will be deemed eligible for a Bevin Boy badge from his Department. 
The purpose of the Bevin Boys Veterans Badge is to recognise those who were selected or volunteered as part of the Bevin Boys scheme. Although miners who were already employed in the pits and were
exemptalong with railway and dockworkers, farmers, agricultural workers, schoolteachers and doctors, from conscription under the 1938 Schedule of Reserved Occupationsalso made a similar contribution to the war effort they were not part of this process and are therefore not eligible.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prosecutions there were for selling alcohol to children and young people under the age of 18 in (a) England and Wales and (b) each police force area in each year between 1997 and 2004; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) how many penalty notices for disorder in relation to the sale of alcohol to a person under 18 years of age were issued in each year since 2004, broken down by police force area; and how many of these resulted in an unpaid fine in each area. 
In addition to prosecutions, the offence of sale of alcohol to a person under 18 can attract a penalty notice for disorder (PND). The offence was added to the PND scheme on 1 November 2004, and information on the number issued with outcomes including the number resulting in an unpaid fine is provided in the attached table.
Unless contested by the offender or cancelled, an unpaid PND fine is registered at the courts at an added 50 per cent. value and the offender is then pursued through the courts for payment. Data on the number of fine registered PNDs are also provided in table 2.
|Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for selling alcohol to underage customers, England and Wales 1997 to 2005( 1, 2, 3)|
|Police force area||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005|
|(1) These data are provided on the principal offence basis. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Covers the offences: Selling etc intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises under the Licensing Act 1964 S.169 A and B as added by Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 S.1, Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 1964 S.181 A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 S.17, Sale of alcohol to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 2003 S. 146 and Allowing Sale of alcohol to a person under 18 under the Licensing Act 2003 S. 147. Sections 146 and 147 of the 2003 Licensing Act only came into effect from 24 November 2005, so data prior to 2005 is not available. The first two offences cannot separately identify on and off premises consumption although both are covered by the statutes. Source: RDSCourt proceedings databaseOffice for Criminal Justice ReformMinistry of Justice|
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