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18 May 2009 : Column 1173W—continued

Land Mines

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have been (a) killed and (b) injured as a result of landmine detonation in each theatre in each of the last 12 months. [275231]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Navy

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 May 2009, Official Report, columns 16-18WS, on maritime change programme, when he expects (a) the Strategic Environmental Assessment and (b) the Submarine Dismantling Project to be completed. [274734]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The main element of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) will be completed when the formal public consultation has ended and the MOD has published its response to the consultation findings. This is currently scheduled for spring 2010.

In accordance with statutory guidance, however, the SEA will not have a formal completion date, as monitoring of significant environmental effects will be ongoing throughout the life of the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP).

The SDP is planned to run until circa 2060 when the intermediate level waste from all 27 submarines included in the project has been sent to the proposed National Geological Disposal Facility.

Nimrod Aircraft

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Nimrod fuel defects have been reported in each year since 2003. [275010]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We have interpreted ‘fuel defects’ to mean fuel leaks. The number of fuel leaks reported on the RAF Nimrod fleet since 2006 are stated in the following table.

Information on the number of fuel leaks prior to 2006 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


18 May 2009 : Column 1174W

Number of fuel leaks

2006

170

2007

(1)278

2008

146

2009

(2)20

Notes:
1. Includes one fuel leak reported since the figure given in the written answer on 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 1060-1061W.
(2) Up until 31 March, the last full month for which validated data are available.
(3) A fuel leak is defined as any leakage of fuel from aircraft couplings, pipes or fuel tanks.
(4) These figures do not include fuel leaks which are caused by scheduled maintenance activity, as we disturb the fuel system. In these cases, the leak is both caused and rectified while on the ground.

Pakistan: Military Aid

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much aid was given to Pakistan for military purposes between 1997 and 2008. [273848]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD provides military advice and assistance to Pakistan as part of normal security co-operation, as it does with many countries worldwide.

Rosyth Dockyard

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effect on Rosyth Dockyard of the implementation of the Maritime Change Programme. [275488]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 14 May 2009]: Rosyth dockyard, which is owned and operated by Babcock, currently has a strong order book of MOD work: it is a key location for surface ship upkeep work through the Surface Ship Support Programme and is at the heart of the build programme for the two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

As work on the new aircraft carrier programme at Rosyth increases, it is envisaged that deep maintenance surface ship work will be predominately undertaken at Devonport dockyard (which is also owned by Babcock). This is to ensure best use of industry wide resources.

Somalia: Piracy

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps is he taking to protect UK-registered vessels in the Gulf of Aden from pirate attacks. [272958]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There has been much collaboration and co-operation between the UK shipping industry, the military and from across Government.

The UK military is working alongside the shipping industry to provide safe passage of traffic in the Gulf of Aden. International naval forces are expending significant effort on counter-piracy operations, and are playing a role in protecting vulnerable shipping. For instance, the UK-commanded EU naval operation is utilising an internationally recognised transit corridor through the Gulf of Aden. All merchant shipping, including UK-registered vessels, are encouraged to use this route.

Best practice guidelines have been agreed with industry bodies on speed, self-protection, and registration with the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) website.
18 May 2009 : Column 1175W
Those ships registered with the website and following best practice have been considerably more successful in evading pirate attacks.

Moreover, the UK Maritime Trade Office acts as the interface between merchant shipping and the military, and has become the focal point for UK-registered vessels seeking advice and guidance.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions has he had with the US administration on the activities of pirates off the coast of Somalia. [272959]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We have worked closely with the US in the Gulf region for many years, and continue to do so to tackle piracy. The Combined Maritime Force, which conducts maritime security operations, including counter-piracy and counter-terrorism, is commanded by a US Admiral with a UK Royal Navy deputy.

In response to the recent increase in pirate activity, we have engaged with the US along military and diplomatic channels in order to develop a comprehensive approach, as part of an international response.

We also work closely with the US and other parties through the international Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). As part of this, the UK chaired a separate working group on 7-8 May 2009 to continue discussions on military co-ordination and capability building in the region. The meeting was attended by other members of the CGPCS as well as industry representatives.

Treasury

Adjudicator's Office

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints made to the Adjudicator's Office were outstanding on 22 April 2009; and if he will make a statement. [271783]

Mr. Timms: On 27 April 2009 there were 2,029 complaints yet to be settled.

Banks: Finance

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the administration costs of the Asset Protection Scheme in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. [268087]

Ian Pearson: Figures for the Treasury’s spending in 2008-09 will be available in the Department’s resource accounts 2008-09 after the conclusion of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s audit.

The cost of establishing the asset protection scheme will be shared between the banks participating in the scheme.

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provision he has made for the repayment of sums paid to support UK banks in each of the next six years. [271776]


18 May 2009 : Column 1176W

Ian Pearson: Under the recapitalisation scheme announced on 8 October 2008, the Government have to date invested a total of £37 billion in Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds) and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS). There will be further investment alongside their participation in the Asset Protection Scheme.

The Government's shareholdings in RBS and Lloyds are managed on a commercial basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI). UKFI's objective is to protect and create value for the taxpayer as shareholder with due regard to the maintenance of financial stability, and consistent with HM Treasury's stated aim that it should not be a permanent investor in UK financial institutions.

Banks: Iran

Mr. Hague: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to implement the provisions in UN Security Council Resolution 1747 of 2007 on the prevention of new grants, financial assistance and concessional loans to the Government of Iran, other than for humanitarian and developmental purposes. [270988]

David Miliband: In line with paragraph seven of UN Security Council Resolution 1747, adopted on 24 March 2007, the Government make available no new grants, financial assistance or concessional loans to the Government of Iran.

Banks: Regulation

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes he plans to make to the arrangements for (a) registration, (b) supervision and (c) accountability of credit rating agencies in light of the Turner Report on the regulatory response to the global banking crisis. [267591]

Ian Pearson: The Government support registration and supervision of credit rating agencies. The European Commission proposed a regulation of credit rating agencies in November 2008. Following negotiation the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament both adopted the text of the regulation in April 2009, as envisaged by the Turner Review. The regulation is expected to enter into force later this calendar year.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to amend the regulatory regime applying to the banking sector following the economic downturn. [275555]

Angela Eagle: As stated in Budget 2009: Building Britain's future, the Government will issue a paper on renewing financial markets for the long term before the summer recess. This will include proposals to strengthen financial services regulation, and build on the work of the Turner Review as well as action taken at an international level.

Coinage

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many pound sterling coins he estimates are in circulation in the United Kingdom. [275608]


18 May 2009 : Column 1177W

Ian Pearson: The information requested can be found on the Royal Mint’s website at:

Departmental ICT

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many and what proportion of computers in his Department malware was detected in 2008. [275395]

Angela Eagle: Malware was detected, and safely removed from, four of the Treasury’s total of approximately 1,600 computers during 2008.

Departmental Official Hospitality

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent on (a) departmental Christmas parties and (b) staff entertainment in the last three years. [243745]

Angela Eagle: For information on departmental Christmas parties, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1669W, to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond).

Treasury staff have organised a number of grass roots events in the period concerned. Those are self-funding and details of costs are not available.

Departmental Postal Services

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many items of correspondence his Department sent by (a) Royal Mail and (b) other commercial delivery services in each of the last five years; and what the reasons were for the use of delivery services other than Royal Mail. [264524]

Angela Eagle: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave him on 23 July 2007, Official Report, columns 662-63W. The table provides the figures for subsequent years.

Number of items sent by Royal Mail Number of items sent by other commercial delivery services

2007(1)

86,391

186

2008

54,371

470

(1) From this year, HM Treasury combined its postal services with the Office of Government Commerce, which moved into the Treasury building in September 2007.

Departmental Training

Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has provided voice coaching to any of its employees in the last 12 months. [260645]

Angela Eagle: The information requested is not available. HM Treasury only holds records centrally of core training provision, which does not include this type of training. Details of other training provided or funded locally could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


18 May 2009 : Column 1178W

EU Budget

Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to have discussions with his EU partners on reassessing the UK's contributions to the EU budget. [274674]

Ian Pearson: No timetable has yet been set for the commencement of discussions on the next financial perspective.

The arrangements by which member states finance the EC Budget are set out in the European Communities' Own Resources Decision. A new Own Resources Decision was agreed in June 2007 and has since been ratified by all member states in accordance with their own constitutional requirements. In the UK, ratification was by means of a European Communities (Finance) Bill which was taken through both Houses between 7 November 2007 and 18 February 2008 receiving Royal Assent on 19 February 2008.

Non-domestic Rates

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department’s analysis of the (a) 2005, (b) 2000, (c) 1995 and (d) 1990 non-domestic rating lists rateable values by (i) detailed property type by country, (ii) property type and (iii) region and property type; [271835]

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department’s analysis of the distribution of changes in rateable value by (a) property type and (b) region between the (i) 2005 and 2000, (ii) 2000 and 1995 and (iii) 1995 and 1990 non-domestic rating lists; [271836]

(3) if he will place in the Library a copy of the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) (a) primary description code and (b) special category code analysis by (i) economic region, (ii) billing authority and (iii) VOA group office of the movements in rateable value between the (A) 2000 and 2005, (B) 1995 and 2000 and (C) 1990 and 1995 rating lists. [276110]

Mr. Timms: The analysis and distribution of changes by ratable value by property type for 2005 and 2000 are available on the Valuation Office Agency’s website at:


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