|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1531-3, on new trains (investment), where the assembly facility for the new rolling stock for the East Coast and Great Western main lines will be located; and whether it will be located in an area which attracts Government development grants. 
Paul Clark: Agility Trains has indicated that the facility will be located in either Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Gateshead or Sheffield. Government grants are given out according to exacting criteria and Agility Trains will need to speak to the appropriate Regional Development Agency and to UK Trade and Investments in order to ascertain their ability to attract this type of support.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1531-3, on new trains (investment), how the 2,500 new direct jobs relating to the contract to supply new rolling stock for the East Coast and Great Western main lines will be allocated in terms of (a) function and (b) location. 
300 staff will be employed in the UK developing the six new manufacturing/maintenance facilities. In addition, there will be 200 UK jobs created in the design, supplier management, testing and commissioning of the trains; 500 jobs with major UK suppliers; 1,000 jobs will be distributed around the new and existing train maintenance and servicing centres; and up to 500 new jobs created in the UK Hitachi manufacturing facility.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1531-3, on new trains (investment), where the design and engineering work to be carried out
by Agility Trains for the new rolling stock for the East Coast and Great Western main lines is to be carried out in the first three years of the contract. 
Paul Clark: Agility Trains expects the design and engineering work in the first three years of the contract to be split between the UK and Japan, with 50 UK-based design positions created from the point of contract award.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1531-3, on new trains (investment), what percentage of new trains for the East Coast and Great Western main lines will be built in Japan by (a) value and (b) component. 
Paul Clark: Approximately the first 70 of the 1,400 vehicles will be built in Japan. This equates to 5 per cent. of the total. Agility is committed to spending nearly three quarters of the value of the order in the UK, and is currently in active discussions with 20 high-quality UK suppliers. As no contracts have yet been signed, the Department for Transport cannot provide a split by supplier value or component at this stage.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1531-3, on new trains (investment), whether he has estimated the level of carbon dioxide emissions likely to result from shipping the first 70 cars of rolling stock from Japan to the UK for the East Coast and Great Western main lines. 
Paul Clark: No assessment has been made of carbon emissions likely to result from shipping the first 70 cars from Japan. Shipping is acknowledged as the most economical and environmentally friendly way of relocating goods worldwide, and the Government are committed to making the shipping sector even more environmentally friendly.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to bring forward legislative proposals to legalise the display of national flags on number plates in Great Britain to take effect on 23 April 2009. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: It is not possible to commit to a specific date at this point as the informal consultation has not concluded and the response from the European Commission Technical Committee is not expected until early March. The outcome from these will need to be considered before I am able to determine the exact time scale in which the legislation may take effect.
The RVIPF classifies crimes as major or minor, rather than violent or non-violent. Major crimes include murder, attempted murder, rape, burglary, robbery, theft, serious assaults and sexual offences. Statistics for 2004 are not available.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of the British Virgin Islands gross domestic product was generated by the tourist sector in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The Development Planning Unit of the Government of the British Virgin Islands has provided the following statistics relating to the percentage of gross domestic product generated by the tourist sector:
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost of his Department's contracts with public relations consultancies was in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold information of expenditure broken down into categories of companies at this level. Examining individual contracts to respond to this question would incur disproportionate costs.
Gillian Merron: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers have met their Argentinean counterparts on numerous occasions over the last 10 years to discuss a variety of different subjects. None of these meetings have been specifically about the Falkland Islands. We have made it clear to the Argentinians that there can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the Falkland Islanders so wish. The UK has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
[holding answer 3 March 2009]: There was a spate of abductions of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists in late 2008. On 27 February 2009, many of them were granted bail but some have
yet to be released. A further seven are missing, with the state denying knowledge of their whereabouts. The designated MDC Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Roy Bennett, was arrested on 13 February 2009. He and 10 MDC supporters who were arrested after protesting Mr. Bennetts arrest also remain in police custody. A further 60 MDC supporters arrested in 2009 are also in police custody. We will continue to monitor closely reports of politically motivated harassment, and encourage the new Government to meet their international obligations.
Gillian Merron: On 11 February, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees. On 16 February, Foreign Office officials made clear to the Zimbabwean embassy in London our concern about the arrest of Mr. Bennett on 13 February. Improved respect for human rights and the rule of law is a condition of international development support. We will continue to monitor developments closely and encourage the new Government to meet its international obligations.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the security situation in Somalia following the recent attack on the Burundi contingent of the AU Mission in Somalia. 
David Miliband: We condemn recent attacks on the Burundi and other contingents of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). These attacks appear to have been aimed at blocking progress towards a long-term political solution to Somalia's problems. We have been encouraged that, despite the attacks, both Burundi and Uganda intend to deploy further troops to AMISOM.
While the security situation in Somalia remains fragile, there are encouraging signs that the political process is developing momentum. The new Transitional Government convened for the first time in Mogadishu on 28 February 2009. With support from AMISOM, security personnel from the Transitional Government are in control of much of Mogadishu. We, and the rest of the international community, will continue to support President Sharifs efforts to create a stable environment that will allow the new government to begin rebuilding the country.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of allegations that Ethiopian troops have returned to Kalabeyrka in Somalia since the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from the country in January 2009. 
Gillian Merron: We are aware of media reporting of incursions by Ethiopian troops into Somalia since the withdrawal in January, including skirmishes with other forces. However, we have had no official confirmation.
It is important at this stage in the Djibouti process that President Sharif is offered the space by the international community to work towards reconciliation within Somalia. Outside actors should not take any action which has the potential to undermine this process.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2009, Official Report, column 130W, on Somalia: armed conflict, what estimate he has made of the number of displaced people returning to Mogadishu following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in January 2009. 
David Miliband: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) estimates that between 25,000 and 40,000 internally displaced persons have returned to Mogadishu this year. The Ethiopian withdrawal in January is likely to have been a major spur for these returns, but we are unable to attribute precise figures to this.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|