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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the handling of protests following the recent presidential elections in Iran by the Iranian
authorities; and what assessment he has made of the implications for UK foreign policy of recent events in Iran. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has made clear that we deplore the violence against those seeking to protest peacefully in Iran. We have also expressed serious concern following the wholly unjustified expulsion of two members of our embassy, and the recent arrests of a number of our local staff. Some have since been released and we are working hard to secure the release of those who are still being held.
In terms of the foreign policy implications we have stressed the importance of Iran engaging with the international community on all issues of concern, in particular Iran's nuclear programme, in the spirit of mutual respect and full recognition of Iran's international obligations.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Iran on the conduct of the Presidential election; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since the election my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have both made clear that the election was a matter for the people of Iran, but that there were concerns raised by some of the candidates needed to be addressed by the Iranian authorities.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter dated 9 April 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. S. Hussain. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to support a nuclear weapons convention as a means to the elimination of nuclear weapons. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 29 June 2009]: The UK is committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons and is actively working towards creating the conditions to make that goal a reality. We believe that the principal means to achieve this is through the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), resulting in a reinforced sense of shared responsibility for both nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states.
At the moment we believe it would be premature to press for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which be unlikely to make any headway and would distract attention from efforts to bolster the NPT. We do nonetheless believe there may be a role for a Nuclear Weapons Convention in the future when the time comes to establish a final ban.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia are strong. Saudi Arabia is a key regional ally. Our long history of friendship, understanding and cooperation covers regional and international issues, counter terrorism, education, energy security, trade and investment. It is a broad-based and important relationship, which the Government are committed to maintaining and developing.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of trends in the level of threat to shipping from pirates off Somalia in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
The main trend in the level of threat to shipping off Somalia in the last 12 months is based upon the annual monsoon pattern, when there is a marked deterioration of sea conditions between June to September and December to March and a corresponding drop in the number of piracy attacks.
The authority on piracy off Somalia is the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) (MSC(HOA)) and the Coordination Centre of the EU Naval Force. MSC(HOA) make up-to-date advice and guidance to seafarers available on their website
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what representations she has received on levels of (a) pensions and (b) other forms of support to (i) Gurkha service personnel and (ii) UK-recruited service personnel who left the armed forces before 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Governments Respect agenda on implementation of the Governments policy on community cohesion. 
Mr. Malik: The Commission on Integration and Cohesion identified a close relationship between perceptions of antisocial behaviour and community cohesion. So the Respect Agenda will have made an important contribution to work to build cohesion in local communities.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 24 October 2006, Official Report, column 1794W, on council tax, how many dwellings have value significant code data for the (a) GG code and (b) OS code. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Out of 22.7 million dwellings, as at 23 June 2009, the number of dwellings in England that had value significant code data for (a) GG code (a garden, where one is not usual for the locality) was 6,073 and (b) OS code (a patio, which is value significant; for example, a substantial terrace) was 5,143.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information is provided to the public by his Department on procedures for challenging council tax banding of their properties. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department publishes a leaflet on council tax, Council Taxa guide to valuation banding and appeals which gives information on how to appeal against the council tax banding of your property. It is available to download from CLGs website at:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings in England were moved into a higher council tax band as a result of a revaluation of the property when the property was sold in the last year for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There is no revaluation taking place. The Valuation Office Agency is only required to review council tax bands when a property sells if it has previously been improved. There were approximately 22.7 million dwellings in England in 2008-09, of which 8,406 (0.04 per cent.) were reviewed and moved into a higher council tax band in that year, and 33,725 (0.15 per cent.) were reviewed but remained in the same band.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Valuation Office Agencys new Geographical Information System will be used to assist with council tax valuations and revaluations. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The proposed GIS application is intended to support a variety of the VOAs valuation responsibilities, including council tax valuations. There is no council tax revaluation taking place.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Beckenham of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 298W, on council tax: valuation, if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of each meeting, redacting elements relating to advice to Ministers on the formulation and development of Government policy. 
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many laptop computers belonging to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have been lost or stolen in the last five years. 
Mr. Malik: The Department for Communities and Local Government was created on 5 May 2006. The following table identifies the number of laptops belonging to the Department, its predecessor Department and its agencies that have been stolen in the last five years.
|Number of laptops stolen|
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which (a) sections of his Department and (b) non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible have requested money saved from efficiency savings to be used for increased pay in their 2009 pay offers to staff. 
Mr. Malik [holding answer 26 June 2009]: The Department for Communities and Local Government and its agencies are not proposing to request money saved from efficiency savings to be used for increased pay in their 2009 pay offers to staff.
Mr. Malik: The number of consultations carried out by Communities and Local Government between 9 July 2007 and 25 June 2009 is 124. In line with the code of practice on consultation, Communities and Local Government publishes all its consultation documents on its website at:
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2009, Official Report, column 834W, on overseas aid: emergency services, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decision that the UK Fire and Rescue Service will organise the overseas search and rescue capability for disaster response on the service's ability to respond to natural disasters in the UK. 
Mr. Malik: The overseas deployment of resources to assist in an emergency is organised by UK International Search And Rescue (UKISAR). UKISAR are teams of Search and Rescue specialists drawn from the UK Fire and Rescue Services and voluntary organisations. Any overseas deployment of UKISAR is undertaken on behalf of the Department For International Development (DFID).
The UKISAR equipment and resources including specialist staff are in addition to the Urban Search and Rescue equipment and resources provided within the New Dimension programme to equip the FRS to respond to UK incidents.
In addition, on receipt of a request for overseas deployment a further assessment of the risk to the UK is completed by DFID and CLG (via the Office of the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser) prior to the approval for UKISAR deployment.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding (a) his Department, (b) each of its executive agencies and (c) the Audit Commission has provided to eQuality Networks in the last 12 months; when the funding was provided; how much was provided; and for what purposes. 
Mr. Malik: I can confirm that no funding has been provided to eQuality Networks in the last 12 months by either Communities and Local Government, its Executive agencies, the Housing Corporation, the Audit Commission or English Partnerships.
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