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1 May 2008 : Column 594Wcontinued
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2008, Official Report, column 714W, on armoured fighting vehicles, if he will publish additional figures on (a) time in use and (b) mileage coverage. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been paid to his Department by charity organisations for the use of its property in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much in near cash terms his Department spent on urgent operational requirements in each year from 2001-02 to 2006-07; 
(2) how much has been spent on urgent operational requirements in each year since 2001. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in another place by my noble Friend, Baroness Taylor, on 14 December 2007, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA85, for the cost of urgent operational requirements approved from 2002 to 2007. UORs approvals for 2007-08 are some £1.6 billion. Full figures for UORs approved in 2001-02 are not held centrally.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the effect on the public purse of halting further development of the Typhoon Eurofighter. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No such estimate has been made. The continuing development of Typhoon is necessary to ensure that the aircraft retains its operational edge over its entire planned service life.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Fleet Air Arm aircraft were operational at the latest date for which figures are available, broken down by aircraft type. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Lynx, Merlin and Sea King Mk7 and Mark 4 helicopters are currently deployed overseas on operations. I am withholding information on specific numbers as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of strength of the (a) 10th and (b) 14th divisions of the Iraqi Army; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the capability of the (a) 10th and (b) 14th divisions of the Iraqi Army to conduct autonomous operations. 
Des Browne: 10th Division Iraqi Army continues to demonstrate its ability to conduct autonomous operations within Multi National Division (South East). The current strength is around 11,300 personnel.
14th Division is making good progress in strengthening its ability to operate either with or without coalition support, although further work is required to develop its capabilities, not least given that it was only formally established in September 2007. The current strength is around 8,400 personnel. UK Military Transition Teams are providing further advice and support to 14th Division to enhance their operational capability.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when a decision will be made on whether to proceed with the future Lynx project. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Departments future plans are under consideration in the current planning round. Any decisions affecting Future Lynx will be announced at the appropriate moment.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration was given to the role of helicopter engineering as a part of the UKs key technologies and capabilities during the production of the Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Helicopter engineering was considered during the writing of both the Defence Industrial Strategy and Defence Technology Strategy. The White Paper Defence Industrial Strategy (Cm 6697) listed helicopter systems engineering as one of the skills necessary to support existing capabilities in the sector. This is also covered in the Defence Technology Strategy. A copy of both strategies is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had on the broadcasting of Test match cricket for the period from 2010 with representatives of the English cricket squad. 
Andy Burnham: I have had no discussions on the broadcasting of test match cricket for the period from 2010 with representatives of the English cricket squad.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps the Government is taking to ensure that households (a) nationally and (b) in West Lancashire constituency will be able to receive terrestrial television signals following digital switchover in 2012. 
Andy Burnham: We do not hold television coverage figures for individual constituencies. However, at switchover, it is expected that UK wide coverage levels for digital terrestrial television (DTT), will reach that of present analogue services, which is 98.5 per cent. of households.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of adding the return path function to the set-top box as part of the digital switchover help scheme; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the proposal that the next wave of the digital switchover help scheme procurement process should include an invitation to market test return path capability. 
Andy Burnham: The Emerging Technologies Group (ETG) is responsible for keeping the core receiver requirements for the digital switchover help scheme (DSHS) under review. In recent weeks the ETG has been considering the viability of including return path capability in the DSHS set-top-box. There are however, a number of concerns about this vision, the main one being that there is not an open standard for return paths. The ETG proposes therefore to establish a dialogue with manufactures to explore the scope for the development of an open standard before taking a view on the most practical and economic way forward.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support his Department provides for the Pubwatch scheme. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not provide financial support for Pubwatch schemes. The Statutory Guidance, issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, encourages licensing authorities, the police and other agencies to recognise the value of Pubwatch schemes and explicitly asks them to support Pubwatch aims.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Pubwatch scheme in reducing the number of occasions when licensing laws are breached. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: No assessment has been made. However, we believe that national and local Pubwatch schemes make an important contribution to improved partnership working between the pub industry and the police in tackling alcohol related crime and disorder.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of trees planted in Elmet constituency as a result of the upgrading of the A1 and associated works. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The number of trees planted in Elmet constituency by the Highways Agency, following the upgrading of the A1 and associated works, is a total of 53,805.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what meetings she or her Ministers have had with Members of the Welsh Assembly Government on cross-border concessionary bus travel since January 2007; 
(2) if she will place in the Library copies of (a) letters and (b) emails between Ministers in her Department and the Welsh Assembly Government on cross border concessionary bus travel since January 2007. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 21 April 2008]: I have not held meetings with Members of the National Assembly for Wales about cross-border concessionary travel between England and Wales, nor has the Secretary of State. The Governments priority has been the implementation of the new England-wide bus concession which came into effect on 1 April. Concessionary travel is a devolved policy area so the schemes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ from the arrangements in England.
Regarding correspondence about cross-border concessionary travel between England and Wales, in August 2007 I wrote to the Deputy First Minister (Minister for the Environment and Transport) of the Welsh Assembly Government about plans for the commencement of the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007.
Officials in the Department for Transport corresponded with their counterparts in Wales during the development of the Concessionary Bus Travel Bill, which received Royal Assent in July 2007, and at this time held discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government about reciprocal arrangements for concessionary travel. There are considerable financial implications which would need to be resolved before mutual recognition could be pursued, although local authorities may continue with any current cross-border arrangements.
David T.C. Davies:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many freedom of information requests made to her Department were (a) answered (i) within 20 days, (ii) within 40 days, (iii) within 60 days, (iv)
after 60 days, (b) not answered and (c) answered citing an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as a reason not to provide the requested information in each year since the Act came into force. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Ministry of Justice has published two annual reports containing statistical information on freedom of information requests received by monitored bodies (including central Government Departments) in 2005 and 2006. These reports can be found at the following address:
The 2007 annual report is currently being drafted for publication in June 2008. However, statistics on requests received in each quarter of 2007 have been published and can be found via the MOJ website:
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires public bodies to respond to written requests within 20 working days of receipt, but allows additional time for the consideration of the public interest in disclosing the requested information.
The published reports provide statistics on the number of non-routine requests received during each period where: an initial response was provided within 20 working days; an initial response was given outside this time but a public interest test extension had been applied; an initial response was given outside this time and no public interest test extension was applied, and where no initial response had been given at the time the statistics were collected.
The 2006 annual report provides statistics on the duration of the public interest test extensions in that year. Corresponding statistics for 2007 will be available when the 2007 annual report is published.
Information requests where deadlines were extended beyond 40 days is not collected in the form requested; however the proportion of resolvable requests the Department answered in time (i.e. meeting the deadline or with a permitted extension) in 2007 was 90 per cent.
For 2005 and 2006, the reports show the number of requests received by the Department which were withheld, either in full or in part, where an FOI exemption or EIR exception was applied. For 2007, the number of such requests was 205, based on aggregated quarterly statistics from 2007. Requests withheld solely under the exemption applicable to information available by other means are not included; statistics on these are not collected centrally because they are dealt with as routine business.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what her most recent estimate is of the unfunded liability in present value terms of each public sector pension scheme for which her Department is responsible; and on what assumptions for (a) discount and (b) longevity the estimate is based; 
(2) what the unfunded liability in present value terms was of each public sector pension scheme for which her Department is responsible in each year since 1990-91; 
(3) what the (a) rate and (b) cost was of employer contributions for each public sector pension scheme for which her Department has responsibility in each year since 1990-91; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) expenditure would be from increasing the employee contribution to each pension scheme for which her Department is responsible by one per cent.; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport has no responsibility for any public sector pension schemes.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in her Department and its executive agencies; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The cash equivalent transfer value of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in the Department for Transport and its executive agencies is £6,205,505. Much of the detail of this is set out in the Remuneration Report, which is part of the Departments accounts.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2008, Official Report, columns 43-44W, on departmental telephone services, how much money (a) her Department and (b) its agencies raised from 0845 and similar cost telephone lines in each of the last 10 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The money raised by the Department for Transport and its agencies from 0845 and similar cost telephone lines since the Department was formed in 2002 is set out in the following table. All of these telephone lines are either revenue neutral or the money raised is less than the cost of the service.
|Money raised (£)||Comments|
Has 17 0800, 0870 and 0845 linesall revenue is from the 0870 lines
Has 3 0845 and 0870 linesall revenue is from the 0870 lines
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