|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
7 Oct 2008 : Column 604Wcontinued
15. John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Nepal. 
Bill Rammell: We welcomed the significant political changes in Nepal following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in November 2006. Elections to a Constituent Assembly in April 2008 led to the declaration of Nepal as a Federal Republic. Nepal has now appointed its first President and established a multi-party Government.
The new Government recently announced an ambitious programme of work to advance Nepals peace process. We are helping the Government meet their objectives.
16. Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Irans nuclear programme. 
Bill Rammell: Dr. Mohammad El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), reported on the state of Irans nuclear programme on 15 September 2008. Once again his report confirmed that Iran had failed to suspend enrichment-related activities, had made no progress on the transparency measures the UN Security Council and IAEA have long called for, and that, as a result of Irans failure to engage, the IAEA had been unable to make any substantive progress on resolving the questions about studies with a possible military dimension, studies which it judges are of serious concern.
18. Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to facilitate the relocation to places of safety of Iraqi citizens who have assisted British forces. 
Bill Rammell: We continue to work with our Whitehall partners in Ministry of Defence, Department for International Development, and UK Borders Agency and our missions in Iraq, Jordan and Syria to ensure that these brave Iraqis who meet the qualifying criteria for the Iraqi LE Staff Assistance Scheme as set out in my written statement to the House on 30 October 2007 are moved to safety as quickly as possible.
19. Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what objectives he has set for his Departments policies on Afghanistan. 
Bill Rammell: On 12 December 2007 my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, in this House, set out the UKs long-term and comprehensive framework for security, political, social and economic development for Afghanistan.
encouraging and supporting more Afghan ownership, including of the security effort supporting the Government of Afghanistan as they seek to build democracy and governance at local levels;
backing the Government of Afghanistans attempts to dismantle the insurgency through a politically led approach;
helping the Afghan Government meet the demands of the Afghan people by backing initiatives that encourage economic regeneration and social/economic development.
This strategy sets the strategic objectives for the Government as a whole, including my Department and remains viable today. It can be found on the Hansard website.
22. Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress the Afghanistan inter-departmental drugs unit has made; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The Afghan Drugs Inter-departmental Unit (ADIDU) continues to take forward the UK's role as the designated G8 Partner Nation with Afghanistan on counter-narcotics. This includes work to support the Government of Afghanistan in implementing its National Drug Control Strategy. The approach of risk and reward is starting to deliver, with more targeted Afghan-led operations and record seizures of narcotics.
20. Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the role of national parliaments in the European Union; and if he will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: National Parliaments play an increasingly important influence over EU decision-making, through, for example, national scrutiny of EU business and the regular appearance of EU officials before national Parliaments.
21. Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospects for elections in Bangladesh. 
Bill Rammell: We welcome the announcement by the Chief Adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, that parliamentary elections will take place on 18 December 2008. It is vital for Bangladesh's future that all parties participate positively in the democratic process so that successful elections can be followed by a smooth transition of power to the elected government.
23. John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the election of the new President of Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary spoke to President Zardari on 7 September to congratulate him on his election and reiterate Britain's commitment to working closely with the Government of Pakistan to support measures that promote stability, democracy and the rule of law. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary met President Zardari in London on 16 September and told him that the UK stands ready to assist the Government of Pakistan in combating the shared threat of violent extremism and meeting the economic challenges Pakistan faces.
The Foreign Secretary also saw President Zardari in New York on 25 September and joined him at the lunch of the Friends of Pakistan Group on 26 September.
The accession of President Zardari to the leadership of Pakistan with a 68 per cent. majority completes the transition to full democratic civilian rule for the first time in nine years.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many full-time equivalent members of staff in his Department are employed on projects relating to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games; how many of those work on (a) project management, (b) legacy planning, (c) project oversight and (d) financial oversight; and what plans he has for future staffing levels in each case. 
Caroline Flint: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) created a new full-time D6 (First Secretary) Olympics position on 1 September 2008 to work on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The FCO envisages that by London 2012 a full team of staff will be working on London 2012 projects (including on security, public diplomacy and protocol). However, it is difficult to predict at this stage how many staff might be involved in this work.
The British Council has eight full-time equivalent members of staff working on projects related to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Of these, project management accounts for four full-time posts. Legacy planning, project oversight and financial oversight jointly account for four full-time posts. From 2009 to 2013, the British Council intends to recruit an additional 15 project management posts (three year period per post).
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his (a) European and (b) NATO counterparts on the test-firing by Russia of the RS-12M Topol missile on 27th August 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 15 September 2008]: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with the Russian authorities on this test-firing. We discuss missile-related issues with Russia in the context of the Hague Code of Conduct and the missile technology control regime.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with the Russian authorities on the test firing of the RS-12M Topol missile; and if he will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint [holding answer 17 September 2008]: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with the Russian authorities on this test-firing. We discuss missile-related issues with Russia in the Context of the Hague Code of Conduct and the missile technology control regime.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what use (a) his Department and (b) its agencies make of (i) MOSAIC data and (ii) ACORN data. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department uses the geo-demographic systems MOSAIC and ACORN to assist with targeting of marketing and communications messaging. The Department uses the Central Office of Information (COI) to help with this process. The two targeting systems have been used to:
improve targeting on campaigns e.g. when planning a door to door distribution drop to profile, segment then pick off the ACORN audiences that most correspond to communications target audiences to improve efficiency of activity;
give the Department a view of specific geographic areas for targeting in terms of demographic profile;
allow the Department to examine segments of the population on Government surveys and map them to direct mail lists and examine media consumption to enhance how the Department can reach pertinent audience groups when required;
create a bridge between research-based segmentation and more actionable data based segmentation; and
evaluate whether respondents to a campaign fall into an expected audience profile e.g. did the campaign work against the people the Department wanted to respond/convert and which media predominantly drove which type of respondent?
It is possible that other tools or applications may have been used (for example, through external agencies or contractors) which themselves make some use of MOSAIC or ACORN data. The Department may not necessarily be able to identify such indirect use.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished admissions to hospital there were where a drugs overdose was a primary or secondary diagnosis at the outset in each NHS trust where the patient was (a) under 10, (b) between 11 and 15 and (c) between 16 and 18 years old in each of the last five years. 
Dawn Primarolo: Information by age group and year on the number of hospital admissions where the primary or secondary diagnosis was poisoning by drugs is in tables which have been placed in the Library.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed service personnel have become (a) single, (b) double, (c) triple and (d) quadruple amputees as a result of injuries sustained in Operation Telic and Operation Herrick. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: From April 2006 to August 2008 inclusive, 34 military patients from Afghanistan and 16 from Iraq have been identified as having either a traumatic or surgical amputation; this could range from the loss of part of a finger or toe up to the loss of one or more entire limb(s).
Because of the small numbers of personnel who have suffered an amputation we do not provide further details of amputations as this would increase the risk of an individual being identified and compromising their right to medical confidentiality.
Service personnel who require prosthetic limbs will be provided with these by the Amputee Unit at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court in Surrey, which is the principal medical rehabilitation centre run by the Armed Forces. The Amputee Unit provides high quality prosthetics and adaptations, manufactured on site and individually tailored as necessary for the specific patient. The aim is to provide prosthetics to enable Service personnel to resume Service duties where possible.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many employees of his Department are on gardening leave. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The information requested is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) of 3 July 2008, Official Report, column 1039W, on departmental manpower, what records his Department's human resources department holds of the number of (a)
permanent staff without fixed posts or (b) staff classified as priority movers. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Civilian staff who are in posts that are due to be cut, or are awaiting a posting (e.g. on return from overseas or a career break), are placed in the Redeployment Pool six months before the post ends, and remain the responsibility of their existing line management until they find a new job. They are permanent staff who are deployed locally to temporary work within their current business areas until they secure a more permanent position. About 830 civilian staff are currently classified by the Department's HR Management System as members of the Redeployment pool, in which they receive priority consideration for posting.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green of 7 July 2008, Official
Report, column 1174W, on departmental retirement, how many requests to work beyond the standard retirement age were received by his Department in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Requests to work beyond normal retirement age have been recorded centrally since 1 October 2006. 123 requests were received in the period October 2006 to March 2007; 473 in the period April 2007 to March 2008. These figures exclude the trading fund agencies. Figures for previous years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) small arms and (b) light weapons were (i) exported and (ii) imported by the UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.
The information requested is not available.