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7 July 2008 : Column 1178W—continued


Morning Star

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many copies of the Morning Star publication his Department and each of its agencies subscribes to each week; and at what cost. [215659]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence in London does not purchase the Morning Star publication.

MOD units outside London may purchase newspapers under local arrangements. Information on expenditure under such local arrangements is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nuclear Submarines: Accidents

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether nuclear submarine accident procedures required by his Department are standardised for all ports at which such submarines which have been involved in an accident may berth. [216270]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Onboard procedures are standardised by submarine class and are generic to any location.

Emergency plans for submarine berths are not standardised but are developed, owned and maintained by the locally responsible authority. Where UK legislation is not directly applicable the MOD policy is, as far as possible, to apply UK standards.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure that UK nuclear weapons are not susceptible to popcorning, with particular regard to (a) their resistance to multiple simultaneous impacts and (b) replacing the explosive currently used to surround the plutonium cores; and if he will make a statement. [215791]

Des Browne: The safety of any nuclear warhead is of paramount importance in authorising its inclusion in the UK stockpile. I am satisfied with the safety of the current UK stockpile, which is reviewed continually to ensure acceptable levels of safety are maintained.

For the purpose of safeguarding national security, I am not prepared to comment further on particular aspects of nuclear warhead design.

Personal Injury

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the highest 10 payments made by his Department in settlement of personal injury claims brought against it were over the last 12 months for which figures are available; which of those cases were (a) contested and (b) uncontested by the Department; and what the nature of the incident was in each case. [216684]

Derek Twigg: Details of the highest 10 payments in settlement of personal injury claims can be found in the Ministry of Defence's Claims Annual Report 2006-07 copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The 2007-08 report is scheduled to be published later this month and once again a copy will be placed in the Library. Records as to whether a claim was contested or uncontested are not kept.


7 July 2008 : Column 1179W

Territorial Army: Deployment

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army personnel have been mobilised for three or more tours of duty. [214381]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Available figures indicate that around 360 members of the Territorial Army have been mobilised three or more times since 1999. Given the safeguards built in to the Reserve Forces Act 1996, which limits the time for which reservists may be mobilised, it is very likely that the majority of these soldiers were mobilised for periods of less than the normal operational tour of six months. It is common for medical reservists to be mobilised for operational tours of three months or less, enabling them to be mobilised several times without exceeding the limits placed in the Reserve Forces Act.

Veterans Day

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications for grants for the 2008 Veterans Day celebrations have been received. [213008]

Derek Twigg: By 31 May, the closing date for applications for funding for 2008 Veterans Day celebrations, a total of 121 applications had been received. We know that a number of other events are taking place which have not applied for funding.

This year we encouraged organisers planning small scale events to team up to produce more substantial celebrations. The total value of grants awarded has increased.

War Graves: Vandalism

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of vandalism to a war graves site in the UK have been reported in the last 12 months. [214360]

Derek Twigg: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) confirms there have been two reported cases of major vandalism and 14 minor cases at their sites in the UK, in the past 12 months.

Transport

A453: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Kenneth Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when work will begin on upgrading into a dual carriageway the A453 road between Kegworth in Leicestershire and Clifton in Nottinghamshire; and when the work will be completed. [216290]

Mr. Tom Harris: Subject to the satisfactory completion of all statutory procedures, funding being available within the east midlands regional funding allocation for major transport schemes and compliance with the Department's scheme appraisal requirements, construction works on the A453 widening scheme are planned to begin in spring 2010 and to be completed during the winter of 2012-13.


7 July 2008 : Column 1180W

Bus Services: Concessions

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many and what proportion of local authorities in England do not make concessionary bus travel freely available before 9.30 am; and if she will make a statement. [215771]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are responsible for the statutory minimum concession. This guarantees free local bus travel throughout England for elderly and disabled people at weekends and from 9.30 am to 11 pm on weekdays. Local authorities are free to offer enhancements to this concession, such as earlier start times, taking into account local needs and overall financial priorities. However, as these enhancements are at local discretion no information is held on them centrally.

Chester Railway Station: Parking

Christine Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with (a) Network Rail, (b) Chester City Council and (c) the relevant train operating companies on the provision of car parking spaces at Chester station; and if she will make a statement. [215338]

Mr. Tom Harris: Officials have met with both Network Rail and Virgin Trains on a number of occasions to discuss the expansion of car parking capacity along the west coast main line, including Chester station. The most recent of these was on 20 June 2008 in Manchester. As a result, Network Rail is now working on the detailed design of a new car park adjacent to Chester station and in turn is in dialogue with Chester city council on planning and highway related issues.

The Department for Transport has been in correspondence with the city council to emphasise the importance of more parking accommodation at this station, as a means of accessing the improved London express service planned for introduction in December this year.

Co-operative Wholesale Society

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates meetings have been held between Ministers and officials from her Department and representatives of the Co-operative Wholesale Society since 1 May 2005 on the development of the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s land within Harborough District; where each meeting took place; and who attended each. [216590]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There have been no meetings since 1 May 2005 between Ministers of this Department and representatives of the Co-operative Wholesale Society about the development of the society’s land within Harborough district.

Officials of this Department have met representatives of the Co-operative Wholesale Society on six occasions since 1 May 2005:


7 July 2008 : Column 1181W

Departmental Conferences

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will list the conferences hosted by her
7 July 2008 : Column 1182W
Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost was of each conference. [211685]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table lists the conferences hosted by the Department in each of the last two financial years.

Date Title Cost (£)

2006-07

European Marine Accidents Investigators' Forum

4,170

2006-07

Local Operations Annual Strategy Conference

31,032

2006-07

ANPR Conference

966

2006-07

Management Conference

98,500

2006-07

Management Conference

98,500

2006-07

Business Customer Conference

6,919

2006-07

Business Customer Conference

21,437

2006-07

Business Customer Conference

27,104

2006-07

Business Customer Conference

14,014

2006-07

Business Customer Conference

9,402

2006-07

Business Customer Conference

15,703

2006-07

Major Projects Conference 2006

21,464

2006-07

HSE inspectors/HA Project Sponsors’ Event

5,000

2006-07

National Conference

72,923

2006-07

Other conferences(1)

71,449

2006-07

Management Conference

4,946

2006-07

Senior Managers Conference

37,000

2007-08

Business Development Advisory Conference

10,928

2007-08

Local Operations Annual Strategy Conference

49,861

2007-08

Learning and Development Conference

7,803

2007-08

Management Conference

39,527

2007-08

Management Conference

42,046

2007-08

Management Conference

40,086

2007-08

Management Conference

41,779

2007-08

Management Conference

126,233

2007-08

Management Conference

48,238

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

21,916

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

17,846

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

15,505

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

20,220

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

22,179

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

32,820

2007-08

Business Customer Conference

20,670

2007-08

INSPIRE Conference

2,000

2007-08

Historic Landscape Conference

6,000

2007-08

Sustainable Development and Climate Change

3,000

2007-08

Smarter Business Transport Stakeholder

6,000

2007-08

Major Projects Conference 2007

23,118

2007-08

Other conferences(1)

75,116

2007-08

Management Conference

100,568

2007-08

Management Conference

2,295.00

2007-08

Management Conference

3,075.00

2007-08

Senior Managers Conference

65,000

(1) These figures are held under only a single accounting code and obtaining the requested data would incur disproportionate costs.

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