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Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what forecast his Department has made of the future trends in traffic congestion following the decision not to introduce national road pricing. 
Mr. Khan: The latest forecasts published in December 2008 suggest that congestion across the English road network as a whole will increase by about 37 per cent. between 2003 and 2025. The modelling underpinning the Department for Transport's central forecasts does not assume the introduction of national road pricing.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what projects his Department plans to fund from the (a) productivity strand and (b) congestion charging strand of the Transport Innovation Fund. 
Humber Ports Gauge Enhancement
Peterborough/Nuneaton Gauge Enhancement
Olive Mount Chord
Birmingham Box Active Traffic Management
A14 Traffic Management
In addition, the Department for Transport's contributions to the Crossrail project will be supported by the Fund. Funding also remains available through congestion TIF to support packages that tackle local congestion problems by combining investment in public transport and demand management such as road pricing.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency has received from the sale of property in each of the last three years. 
2008: £1.5 million
2009: £0.8 million in the year to date.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many Vehicle and Operator Services Agency testing centres in (a) England and (b) Wales have closed in each of the last three years. 
Paul Clark: No testing centres were closed in 2007. In 2008 the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) closed one test centre in England which was immediately replaced by a new facility in an improved location. VOSA has closed two English test centres so far in 2009.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many vehicle testing centres in England and Wales operated by Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff are owned by (a) the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and (b) private companies. 
There are 68 sites in England and Wales which are either owned by the Department for Transport, or held on leases exceeding 40 years-the latter category numbering 13 sites. Of these, four sites are owned by private companies, the remainder are owned by local authorities.
(5) if he will request Sir John Chilcot to (a) publish the rules of procedure which his inquiry into the Iraq war will follow, (b) establish a website for the inquiry to communicate with the public and (c) announce a venue for the public hearings to be held during the inquiry; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) what assessment he has made of the merits of making provision for immunity for witnesses to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war in respect of any prosecution which might arise as a result of their evidence; and if he will make a statement; 
(8) what discussions he has had with the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war on arrangements for him to give evidence to the inquiry; what such arrangements have been made; and if he will make a statement; 
(9) what guidance he has issued to Government Departments on (a) preparations for and (b) responses to requests for evidence from the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2009 to Question 283370, on the Chilcot Inquiry, if he will direct the Committee to publish a list of those Privy Council members serving on the Committee who attend each closed session of the inquiry; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2009 to Question 283372, on the Chilcot Inquiry, whether a verbatim record of the public sessions of the inquiry will be published daily; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2009 to Question 283458, on the Chilcot Inquiry, for what reasons Sir John Chilcot plans not to have legal representation for the tribunal; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2009 to Question 283460, on the Chilcot Inquiry, under what powers Sir John Chilcot plans to exclude legal representation for witnesses to the inquiry; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2009 to Question 283459, on the Chilcot Inquiry, whether he provided guidance to the persons invited to serve on the Committee of Inquiry on the likely time commitment involved and the frequency of meetings; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) when there will be an announcement on the form in which witnesses to the Committee of Inquiry on Iraq will give evidence when doing so on a basis equivalent to giving evidence under oath; 
(7) pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2009, Official Report, column 505W, on Iraq Committee of Inquiry, what level of (a) remuneration and (b) expenses will be provided to (i) Sir John Chilcot and (ii) other members of the Committee of Inquiry on Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Members to the statement I made to the House on 15 June 2009, to my letters of 17 and 22 June 2009 to the right hon. Sir John Chilcot GCB and his reply to me of 21 June 2009, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House. I also refer to the written answer I gave on 6 July 2009, Official Report, column 505W.
As Chairman, it is for Sir John, in consultation with the Inquiry Committee members, to take decisions on how the inquiry conducts its work, and he will make public his intentions. The Cabinet Office, as the sponsoring Department for the inquiry, is taking forward work on the Government's support to and liaison with the inquiry, in consultation with other relevant Government Departments. We will continue to update the House.
I would like to thank you for agreeing to Chair the Iraq Inquiry. As I said in Parliament, I believe this Inquiry will, through lessons learned, strengthen our diplomacy, our military and our democracy. I am fully committed to a thorough and independent inquiry, and guarantee the full co-operation of the Government. As Privy Counsellors, you will have unhindered access to government documents. I have written to all relevant current and former Ministers to underline the importance of their full cooperation. And the Cabinet Secretary is writing to departments to underline the need for full transparency,
It is essential that all those appearing before the Inquiry do so with the greatest possible candour and openness, and that the Inquiry itself proceeds as efficiently as possible, while maintaining full public confidence in the integrity of the process and without in any way damaging national security. Once you have met, as I have suggested, the Leaders of the other political parties and the Chairs of the relevant parliamentary Select Committees it would be helpful if you could set out how you and your colleagues think these objectives can best be met in the way that the Inquiry is conducted.
I hope as part of this that you will consider whether it is possible for there to be a process whereby they give their contributions on oath.
It is also essential that the families of those who gave their lives in Iraq are properly consulted on the nature of the inquiry. I hope therefore that you will be able to meet them as part of the preparations and as you continue your work, to explain how you are proceeding. This could be, at their request, in public or private.
Once you have established your plans in more detail, I would encourage you to hold an open session to explain in greater depth the significant scope and breadth of the inquiry.
I wish you and your Committee well with your important task, and look forward to your conclusions.
Thank you for your letter of 17 June about the Iraq Inquiry. I am grateful for your assurance of the Government's commitment to a thorough and independent inquiry, and for the steps that have already been taken with former and current Ministers, and Departments, to ensure full cooperation, transparency and access to government documents. I welcome the fact that I and my colleagues are free to decide independently how best to fulfil our remit.
I am for my part wholly committed to the search for the lessons to be learned for the future from events and experience of the last seven and more years, to uphold the integrity of the process of inquiry and the need to ensure public confidence in it, and to ensure complete candour and openness from witnesses while protecting national security. I will indeed, as you suggest, examine how best, given the non-judicial nature of the Inquiry, a formal undertaking can be given by witnesses that their contributions will be complete, truthful and accurate.
If a judicial inquiry, or a statutory Tribunal of Inquiry, had been established, then I would not have been asked to take on this responsibility. That would have required an extended process, with legal representation for the tribunal, witnesses, and other interested parties. That is not what we have been asked to conduct. To find without extended delay the key lessons for the future from the Iraq experience is however something I believe is well worthwhile.
I have as you suggested begun a process of consultation with the Leaders of the main Opposition parties, and with the Chairs of the relevant Parliamentary Select Committees (Foreign Affairs,
Defence, and Public Administration as well as the Intelligence and Security Committee). I see this as helping the Inquiry to decide how best we can structure our procedures to fulfil our remit and meet the objectives we have been set. When these consultations have been completed, I expect to be in a position, having taken them fully into account, to say in more detail how we will propose to take the Inquiry forward.
As part of that, it will, I wholeheartedly agree, be essential to ensure that the families of those who gave their lives in Iraq, or were seriously affected by the conflict, have an early opportunity to express their views about the nature and procedures of the Inquiry, and to express them either in public or in private as they prefer. That will be important in helping us to decide how to go about the task, and explain what we are going to do.
I have also concluded that the Inquiry will need expert assessors at the highest level, including in military, legal, and international development and reconstruction matters, and I have already begun to identify people who may be willing to serve in that capacity. Then, when we have settled on how we are going to go about the Inquiry, I am sure it is right that we should explain this in open session.
More broadly, I believe it will be essential to hold as much of the proceedings of the Inquiry as possible in public, consistent with the need to protect national security and to ensure and enable complete candour in the oral and written evidence from witnesses.
One important point which has not received much public notice so far is that examining and analysing the very large body of existing documentary evidence, stretching over seven or more years, will necessarily occupy a significant part of the time available to the Inquiry, especially in the early stages, and by definition that part of the process cannot be conducted in public sessions. The results of that examination and analysis will, however, be crucial in guiding the selection of witnesses and the detailed questions that will then need to be answered. I expect our report will publish all the relevant evidence except where national security considerations prevent that.
A particular suggestion which has been made is that the Inquiry might make an interim report, possibly on the run-up to the war, or up to the moment when the coalition assumed responsibility for Iraq's internal affairs. While I do not rule out the possibility, it seems to me clear that the causes and effects of particular phases of these events cannot simply be divided up so as to separate clearly one period from another. To take one obvious example, the existence or otherwise of weapons of mass destruction could not be established with any reliability until well after the conflict phase, after the work of the Iraq Survey Group and others had gone as far as it could, while before the event the outstanding possibility had significant implications for the military deployment into the initial conflict phase.
Because we will need to give careful attention to what comes out of the consultation processes I have outlined, I am, as I said, not yet in a position to state in more detail exactly how we will conduct the Inquiry. It is however already clear to me that as much as possible of the work of the Inquiry as is consistent with fulfilling our remit should be conducted, or explained, in public.
Thank you for your letter. I remain grateful that you have agreed to Chair the Independent Inquiry and welcome your interim response in your letter of 21 June.
I am grateful you agree with me on the process which has been established to consult with leaders of the main Opposition parties, and with the Chairs of the relevant Parliamentary Select Committees. I share the view that this will help the Inquiry decide how best to structure its procedures to fulfil the remit and meet the objectives we have set.
I believe the proposals we have discussed to ensure the families of those who gave their lives in Iraq, or who were seriously affected by the conflict, will be able to be involved at the earliest opportunity in the work of the Inquiry remain extremely important. Allowing them to express their views about the nature and procedures of the Inquiry, and being able to express these either in public or in private is essential.
As an independent Inquiry, as I said in the House of Commons last week, the methodology employed by the Inquiry is a matter for you. The Inquiry should decide on its structure, but I welcome the proposals for the process of the Inquiry as set out in your letter today. I believe your proposals will manage to meet both the need not to compromise national security but also enable the Independent Inquiry also to hold public sessions helping to build public confidence.
I share your view that the Inquiry will obviously need expert assessors and I am pleased you have already identified several who will be willing to serve in that capacity.
I am pleased that you intend to set out how these experts will be used and other matters explaining how you will go about the Inquiry in an open session.
I am grateful for your views that you will continue to examine whether witnesses can give evidence under oath or a similar formal undertaking.
Following further work and consultations by you, I look forward to hearing your final proposals as soon as possible.
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