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Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contingency arrangements were made by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency during each of the last three strikes by coastguards; and what further contingency arrangements have been identified as necessary in the event of a strike by coastguards lasting four days. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The UKs maritime emergency response is provided by a co-operative partnership of Government Departments, emergency services and other organisations. During the three 24-hour periods of strike action by some Maritime and Coastguard Agency staff in March and April, the Agency worked with its partner organisations to maintain UK emergency response and search and rescue co-ordination capabilities. This was achieved by using a combination of well-rehearsed internal contingency measures (such as employing existing technology to pair rescue co-ordination centres, where necessary), redeploying experienced managers, establishing a national strategic support centre and co-ordinating closely with other search and rescue operators. In addition, the Agency ensured that information about MCA services during the strike was widely disseminated to its customers.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff at each coastguard station participated in strike action in each strike affecting the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of staff, by Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, who have taken strike action in each strike affecting the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in the last five years, is shown as follows:
|MRCC||6 March 2008||11 March 2008||23/24 April 2008|
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the reason was for her issue of advice to local authorities on 14 February for them to order temporary concessionary travel passes; 
(3) what the reasons are for the time taken to produce the Smartcard passes for the concessionary travel scheme; what assessment she has made of where responsibility for the delay to the time taken for production falls; and if she will make a statement; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Responsibility for issuing the concessionary travel passes rests with travel concession authorities, as it has done since 2000. When we made the decision last September to require the new concessionary travel passes to be in smartcard form we recognised this was a challenging requirement in the time available. This is why we put in place contingency arrangements, including allowing existing local passes to remain valid in the local area until 30 September, and providing authorities with temporary passes for people who wished to travel outside their local area.
Local authorities were advised to order sufficient temporary passes to ensure that anyone who was eligible for the England-wide concession was able to take advantage of it from 1 April even if they had not received their smartcard pass by then.
In fact, most local authorities and their suppliers were able to produce passes in time for the start of the concession. By 1 April, 95 per cent. of the anticipated passes had been produced. Unfortunately, while they had managed to produce the passes on time, we are aware that some suppliers experienced last minute problems in dispatching those passes to eligible people. Despite this, we estimate that around 4.8 million passes were dispatched by 1 April.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1433W, on the West Coast railway line, what contingency plans are in place should the implementation of the West Coast Main Line timetable due in December 2008 need to be delayed. 
Mr. Tom Harris:
The Government remain confident that Network Rail can deliver the December 2008 timetable changes on schedule. In the event that the
timetable was to be delayed, existing services would continue. However, the Department for Transport is aware of the changes that would need to be made to franchises and the impact of any delay on the delivery of other projects. These matters were carefully considered by the Secretary of State when she decided to support delivery of the December 2008 outputs on schedule.
Mr. Iain Wright: The Housing Health and Safety Rating System is a risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to the health and safety of occupants in residential properties in England and Wales. Local authorities are responsible for operating the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System assesses 29 categories of housing hazard; each hazard has a weighting which will help determine whether the property is rated as having Category 1 (serious) or Category 2 (other) hazards.
Within the 29 categories carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products are listed as hazards. Clearly exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide is a serious hazard and following discovery of such concentrations would lead to immediate action to address the situation. Communities and Local Government has issued operating guidance for local authorities. The guidance contains a number of preventative measures that may be taken including the use carbon monoxide detectors. The guidance can be viewed on the following link:
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many submissions she received in response to her consultation paper on the action plan for community empowerment; and when these representations will be published. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Communities and Local Government received 33 responses to the Community Empowerment Action Plan over the course of October 2007 to January 2008. These responses are being fed into the development of policy for the Community Empowerment White Paper which will be published this summer.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many receptions she has hosted and funded in her capacity as
Secretary of State in the last 12 months; which individuals and organisations (a) were invited to and (b) attended each reception; and what the cost was of each reception. 
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent on translation services into (a) Welsh and (b) other languages by her Department, associated agencies and non-departmental public bodies in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08. 
The Fire Service College can supply data for financial year 2006-07 and 2007-08. It could provide previous years expenditure only at disproportionate cost. Detailed expenditure on translation into (a) Welsh and (b) other languages could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
|(1) Date not available in these years. Note: These data do not include information from the regional Government Office network.|
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