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The UK subscribed to the European Space Agency Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Programme at the ministerial meeting in November 2008. Officials from the British National Space Centre attend the Programme Board that is currently defining the overall programme of activities to be undertaken. The European Defence Agency (EDA) is undertaking activity to determine possible European Military SSA requirements and MOD officials are observing the EDA work in this area.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to reduce piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea; what assessment he has made of the reasons for the attacks taking place; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The UK Government continues to encourage the Nigerian Government to take forward a holistic peace process for the Niger Delta, which addresses issues of security, development and good governance impacting on the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea more widely.
We are working with the Nigerians to enhance the capability of their armed forces to deter and manage attacks in the Niger Delta. We have developed a focussed training package on operational planning and effective in-shore small boat patrolling and in the coming financial year will continue to support the development of a Joint Maritime Security Training Centre (JMSTC) near Lagos.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) Coalition Task Force (i) 150 and (ii) 151 and (b) UK forces' contribution to those task forces; and what the cost of that contribution has been. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There has been an enduring maritime security presence to counter illicit activity in the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean area since November 2001. Combined Task Force 150 has had considerable success in countering drug and people trafficking, and is the longest standing maritime security mission in the region.
Combined Task Force 151 was established in January 2009 and has a counter piracy mandate. It is too early to assess the effectiveness of this operation, however it has successfully suppressed acts of piracy, and has transferred 16 suspected pirates to regional states for prosecution.
The UK contribution to the Combined Maritime Forces Operations CTF 150 and 151 is provided by a permanently allocated destroyer or frigate. HMS Portland is currently assigned to this task. Additionally, the UK provides the Deputy Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces.
Seasonal fluctuations in piracy events and changing tactics by the pirates need to be taken into account in assessing the effectiveness of counter-piracy operations. As well as military operations, the adoption of recommended avoidance techniques by merchant vessels, and the utilisation of the internationally recognised transit corridor, are also having a positive affect.
The Court Proceedings Database held by the Ministry of Justice holds information on defendants (persons and others) proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales. Although the category of others' includes companies and public bodies, etc. it is not possible to separately identify supermarkets from others.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice the Highways Agency has given to (a) his Department and (b) other interested parties in respect of the upgrade of the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey. 
Paul Clark: Following the 2005 public consultation on proposals to upgrade the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey, the Highways Agency has undertaken a review of comments made by the public, which included a number of suggestions for alternative routes. This resulted in further work investigating these suggestions, as well as undertaking further examination of their own proposals. This work has been completed and a summary of the outcomes has been received by the Department for Transport.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make an assessment of the effect on the number of heavy goods vehicles travelling along the A650 and A647 of the closure of the vehicle testing station at Steeton; 
(3) if he will make an assessment of the effects on the expenditure by (a) Bradford city council and (b) other public bodies on fuel from the closure of the vehicle testing stations (i) at Steeton and (ii) across the whole country; 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Department for Transport completed an assessment of their operations to ensure that VOSA meets the requirements of a trading fund. To ensure these are met and to reduce the overcapacity identified in its national estate network VOSA:
used a matrix to identify and rank potential closure candidates,
carried out detailed analysis of closure impacts upon the customer base and at adjacent test facilities, and
completed a business case.
Train performance data for the rail network are collected and held by Network Rail. The hon. Member may wish to contact Network Rail's chief executive at the following address for a response to his question:
90 York Way
Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of reported personal injury road accidents involving buses, coaches and heavy good vehicles (HGVs) which struck a bridge on a public highway in the last five years are given in the table:
|Number of accidents( 1)|
|(1) Includes both roof and side impact to the bridge|
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) lone drivers in each age group and (b) drivers in each age group with passengers were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of (a) drivers of vehicles with no passenger casualties and (b) drivers of vehicles with one or more passenger casualties that were killed in reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain in 2007 are given in the table, broken down by driver age group.
|Number of fatalities|
|Driver( 1 ) killed with no passenger casualties||Driver( 1) killed with one or more passenger casualties|
|(1) Includes drivers of all motor vehicles with exception of motor cycles|
(2) Includes cases where age was not reported
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission what recent estimate the Electoral Commission has made of how many and what proportion of people aged (i) 18 to 24, (ii) 25 to 34, (iii) 35 to 44, (iv) 45 to 54, (v) 55 to 64, (vi) 65 to 74, (vii) 75 to 84, (viii) 85 to 94 and (ix) 95 years and over voted in the last general election. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that the total number of valid votes cast at the 2005 general election was 27,148,510, representing a turnout of 61.4 per cent. No information is held on the numbers who voted in each age group.
The commissions report on turnout at the 2005 UK parliamentary general election included the two following estimates for turnout by age group. Both come from surveys: one conducted by MORI based on an aggregation of their pre-election surveys, with a total sample of approximately 18,000 adults; and one conducted by the British Election Study (BES) post-election survey of approximately 4,700 adults.
|Turnout ( Percentage )|
|Age group||Ipsos MORI||BES|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward legislation to prohibit the use of non-domesticated animals in circuses; and if he will make a statement. 
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