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Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department and its agencies have spent on Christmas (a) cards, (b) parties and (c) decorations in each of the last five years. 
|(a) Expenditure on Christmas cards|
|(b) Expenditure on Christmas receptions for NDPBS|
|(c) Expenditure on Christmas decorations|
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will provide a breakdown of the £350 million spent by Government annually on supporting tourism, with reference to his evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 25 October 2007. 
|Organisation||Spend (£ million)|
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was spent by (a) his Department, (b) regional development agencies and (c) local authorities on marketing the UK as a tourist destination in each of the last three years. 
Regional development agencies are not asked to account specifically for there expenditure on tourism marketing. Their definitions are therefore not consistent and reliable. They have, however, provided us with the following estimates of expenditure:
An additional £3.6 million a year in DCMS grant in aid was made available to the regional development agencies for each of these years for tourism support These amounts were not earmarked specifically for marketing.
It is not possible to provide figures for local authorities. Most local authorities across the UK support their local tourism industries through marketing and promotional spending. This is not, however, recorded separately from investment in general tourism support.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of Taliban commanders who have surrendered in Afghanistan as a result of (a) diplomatic and (b) military action. 
Des Browne: Between 1 May 2005, when the Program-Tachim-e Sol scheme was begun by the Government of Afghanistan, and 1 November 2007, some 4,600 former insurgents have sought reconciliation. No breakdown is available of the past status of these individuals or whether they entered the scheme as a result of diplomatic or military means.
(2) what the peace establishment was of the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment before deployment to Afghanistan; what the strength was of the Battalion; how many reinforcements to the Battalion were received from (a) the regular Army, (b) the Territorial Army and (c) the regular Army Reserves; how many of all ranks were (i) left behind on recruitment duties, (ii) physically unfit to deploy and (iii) left behind in barracks to form a rear party; and what the Battalions Battle casualty replacement policy is. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 10 December 2007]: Prior to their recent deployment to Afghanistan, the peace time establishment of the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment was 600; the Battalions strength was 500; it received additional reinforcements of 200 Regular Army, fewer than 100 Territorial Army personnel and none from the Regular Army Reserves. Fewer than 100 soldiers remained in the United Kingdom on recruitment duties or were physically unfit to deploy. The rear party is made up of approximately 200 personnel, including a number of appropriately trained theatre reserve soldiers who can be deployed immediately if required.
The policy on battle casualty replacement is to use rear party deployable personnel. Should this not suffice to rectify a deficiency in a specific skill, replacements would be requested from other units in theatre.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many emergency maintenance requests were made for properties occupied by service personnel and their families in each of the last 12 months; and what the average length of time taken to carry out the maintenance was in each month. 
Derek Twigg: The actual length of time taken to carry out the maintenance for individual requests is not recorded. Two areas within Northern Ireland routinely categorise all calls as urgent and have therefore not been included in this response. For the other three areas, the pro rata number of emergency requests made by service personnel and their families during the last 12 months was:
|Number of emergency requests made|
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account is taken of the standards of accommodation for serving military personnel in the Governments overall policy for the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Government recognise that decent accommodation is a fundamental part of the package we give to our armed forces personnel and their families. We are taking a targeted and long-term approach to investing in accommodation, taking account of defence priorities across the board and the need to ensure value from public money.
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