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Written Ministerial Statements

Tuesday 1 July 2008


Provisional Outturn Public Expenditure (2007-08)

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Yvette Cooper): The Treasury will publish the 2007-08 public expenditure provisional outturn White Paper on 15 July.

The White Paper is an annual report to Parliament on the provisional outturn for public expenditure. It focuses on spending within departmental expenditure limits (DEL) and annually managed expenditure (AME), and includes information on individual supply estimates, and administration costs and near-cash limits.

The outturn figures are described as provisional because, in some cases, they will be revised when Departments publish their final accounts.

A copy of the White Paper will be available in the Libraries of the House and will be accessible on the Treasury website.

Financial Stability/Depositor Protection

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Alistair Darling): The Treasury, with the Bank of England and Financial Services Authority is today publishing “Financial Stability and Depositor Protection: further consultation” (Cm 7436). Copies of this document have been laid before Parliament and are available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House.

Children, Schools and Families

Children and Adoption Act 2006

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Kevin Brennan): My right hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice, the Member for Lewisham, East (Bridget Prentice) and I wish to make the following statement to the House about the implementation of Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006:

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Kosovo Operational Reserve Force

The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mr. Bob Ainsworth): The House will recall that on 29 April 2008, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced the deployment of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles (2 Rifles) to Kosovo during June as part of our existing commitment to the NATO/EU-shared pan-Balkans Operational Reserve Force (ORF).

During this period the security situation in Kosovo has remained calm. There were no significant incidents of inter-ethnic unrest and a number of key political dates passed peacefully. In particular, the implementation of a new constitution represented an historic moment in Kosovo’s progress towards establishing itself as a stable, democratic and multi-ethnic state.

Against this background, NATO has now assessed that its Kosovo force has the capability to maintain a safe and secure environment without further recourse to the ORF. As a result, I am pleased to announce that 2 Rifles completed its mission on 30 June 2008 and is in the process of returning to UK. The UK will, however, remain committed to the NATO/EU pan-Balkans ORF until the end of this year, at a lower readiness.

The deployment of the UK ORF Battalion confirmed yet again the professionalism of our armed forces and demonstrated our commitment to the security of Kosovo during a politically sensitive period.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg): I am pleased to inform the House that the Department is releasing the final report of the mild Traumatic Brain Injury Project Team established by the Surgeon General in June 2007. A copy will also be placed in the Library of the House.

I previously informed the House of the conclusions of the project team in my written ministerial statement on 15 January 2008 (Official Report, columns 23-24WS). Release of the final report provides further rationale and explanation of the key conclusions that:

The report also provides further detail of the actions we have already taken to address mBTI, including the roll-out of a diagnostic and surveillance tool to deployed theatres, and the establishment of a treatment protocol covering information for deployed service personnel, telephone-based support for patients, and outpatient and inpatient treatment at the Defence Medical
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Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court, which becomes the DMS lead centre for mTBI, re-enforced by ongoing epidemiological and research findings.

The report also describes current research in mTBI relevant to the military environment underway at DSTL, South Tees NHS Trust emergency department, and King’s college, London.

Finally, the report and associated historical review and literature review documents will be placed in the Library of the House. They provide a sense of perspective, explaining that mTBI is almost certainly not a new phenomenon, and that it is impossible to draw clear distinctions between organic and psychological effects in the case of brain injury.

As I explained in my previous statement, research continues both here and in the US. Throughout our research we are in touch with United States developments, and collaborate with its researchers as appropriate. I shall keep the House informed of any further significant developments.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Iraq: Prisoners

The Minister for the Middle East (Dr. Kim Howells): My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown has made the following written ministerial statement:

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Smoke-Free England

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo): On 1 July 2007, legislation was implemented in England to make virtually all enclosed work and public places smoke-free. The primary aim of the legislation was to protect workers and the general public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

The Department has today published the “Smoke-Free England: One year on” report. This report presents a review of smoke-free legislation covering compliance, public opinion, the experience of business in implementing the legislation and academic research into health benefits.

A copy of the document has been placed in the Library of the House and copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office.


Transport System

The Secretary of State for Transport (Ruth Kelly): Since the publication of “Towards a Sustainable Transport System” in October 2007, my Department has been engaging with stakeholders on our longer-term transport strategy post-2014.

In this initial phase of work, views on the goals and challenges that potential transport policies should help meet have been obtained from over 250 organisations throughout the country, as well as from over 600 members of the public who have participated in citizens’ panels. Today my officials have sent a letter to all the organisations that participated summarising their contributions. A copy of this letter has been placed in the House Library.

We plan to consult formally on the next phase in our long-term transport planning later this year. This timing is a slight revision from that published in “Towards a Sustainable Transport System” to align better with the timetable in the Climate Change Bill and to ensure the process we develop is robust. In taking this work forward we will also take account of the cross-Government work on developing policies and proposals to deliver the UK’s first series of carbon budgets.

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