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Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he plans to reply to the letter dated 22 July 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton concerning Ms G. Hine. 
Mr. Simon: Free television licences are administered for people aged 75 or over by TV Licensing as agents for the BBC. This is a matter for the BBC and my Department does not hold this information. I understand that the BBC cannot provide a breakdown of the licences distributed by constituency, but rather stores this information by postcode.
Mr. Simon: Free television licences are administered for people aged 75 or over by TV Licensing as agents for the BBC. This is a matter for the BBC and my Department does not hold this information. I understand that the BBC cannot provide a breakdown of the licences distributed by county, but rather stores this information by postcode.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what information the Electoral Commission has collected about the number of local authorities considering commencing their counts at the next general election on the day after polling day. 
Mr. Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it wrote to Returning Officers for all UK parliamentary constituencies in September 2009 requesting information about when they intend to begin the counting of ballot papers for the UK parliamentary general election.
As of 21 October 2009, the Commission informs me that it had received responses from Returning Officers for 247 out of 650 constituencies. Returning Officers for 134 constituencies reported that they planned to begin counting on the evening of polling day. Returning Officers for 27 constituencies reported that they planned to begin counting on the morning of the day following polling day. Returning Officers for 86 constituencies reported that they had not yet decided when they would begin counting. Over the coming weeks the Commission will be actively seeking responses from Returning Officers who have yet to reply.
A spreadsheet detailing responses received by constituency, at 21 October 2009, has been placed in the House of Commons Library. This information is also available on the Commission website and will be updated regularly.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many hon. Members have returned monies to the House in respect of expenses claims; and how much has been repaid in each such case. 
Nick Harvey: From 1 April to 21 October 2009, 260 Members and former Members made repayments of sums received as allowances totalling some £637,000. (This does not include all routine repayments arising from items such as refunds on utility bills and repayment of rental deposits.) More detailed information cannot be given without further checking, including checking by the Members concerned.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what estimate has been made of the cost to the public purse of Sir Thomas Legg's analysis of hon. Members' expenses claims. 
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what information is held by the House of Commons Commission on the tax liability of hon. Members in relation to their expenses claims. 
Nick Harvey: The House does not hold information about the individual tax liability of Members. However, the House does provide Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs with details of taxable expenses and benefits in kind, by 6 July after the end of each tax year. The information passed to HMRC is also sent to individual Members in advance.
David Taylor: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many of the responses received to the consultation on the public sector equality duties proposed in the Equality Bill were from faith-based organisations working in the public sector. 
The single Equality Duty we are bringing in through our Equality Bill will place a new legal requirement on public bodies to consider how they can design and deliver services in ways that will tackle discrimination and advance equality for people of different religions and those of none-resulting in better, more responsive and more personalised services for all.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had (i) meetings with, (ii) communications from and (iii) other contacts within the last five years; and what the subject matter of any contact was in each case. 
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service families have been placed by Modern Housing Solutions in (a) Premier Travel Inns and (b) other hotels in each year since 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: For information related to 2005 to June 2007, the hon. Member is referred to the answer given by my predecessor on 26 July 2007, Official Report, column 1246W, to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey).
Information on the number of service families placed in Premier Travel Inns or other hotels between July 2007 and today is not held centrally. I will therefore write to the hon. Member with the information requested once it has been collated.
I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question of 19 October 2009 (Official Report, column 1219W) regarding how many Service families have been placed in Premier Travel Inns and other hotels by Modern Housing Solutions (MHS) in each year since 2005.
MHS are the Housing Prime Contractor with responsibility for the repair and maintenance of approximately 44,000 Service Family Accommodation homes in England and Wales. They provide a full 24 hour, 365 day a year service in order to ensure all domestic repair emergencies are resolved as quickly as possible and with the minimum of inconvenience to Service families.
However, there will always be some cases where domestic emergencies such as fires or floods cannot be immediately resolved, and therefore it will occasionally be necessary to provide alternative accommodation to families while remedial works are carried out. The MOD always seeks to use Service accommodation for this purpose. However, where this is not available it may be necessary to place families in hotel accommodation.
The number of families placed in hotel accommodation each year since 1 January 2006, the start of the Housing Prime Contract, is as follows:
|Premier Travel Inns||Other hotels|
|(1 )To 14 October.|
I hope this information is helpful.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 14 September 2009, Official Report, column 2124W, on armed forces: housing (1) for what reasons each of the charges set out in the answer were incurred; 
|Period||Number of invoices raised|
|(1 )GB. (2 )UK.|
These figures represent single invoices raised and cover all SFA properties including those not maintained by Modern Housing Solutions. Invoices may cover several items of damage caused by an occupant. A full breakdown of all invoices could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel from the Surgeon General's Department were based in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) England, (d) Northern Ireland, (e) Cyprus and (f) Germany in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 16 September 2009]: The Surgeon General's Department (SGD) is the central policy and secretariat division of the Defence Medical Services. Its staff include uniformed personnel who are serving members of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF Medical Services, as well as civilians. As at 1 October 2009, it had 160 staff (figure rounded to the nearest 10) all of whom were based in England. Figures for previous years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people resident in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority area in Northern Ireland have served in the armed forces in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Residential address information for serving or ex-service personnel is not held with reference to country, parliamentary constituency or local authority. Further, there are significant questions over the accuracy and completeness of what is held; for example, some ex-service personnel do not provide a valid contact address on leaving the services or do not notify the MOD of a change of address if they move. The answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people resident in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority area in Northern Ireland were recruited to each branch of the armed forces in each of the last 10 years; and what the total from each community was. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held in the form requested. However, details of those recruited through the Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) in Belfast, in the following table, give an indication of Northern Ireland recruitment into the armed forces.
Please note that this information will not provide a comprehensive picture of individuals recruited from Northern Ireland as it does not include those recruited through AFCOs elsewhere or through other means, such as the internet.
|Number recruited through AFCO Belfast 2008-09|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people from each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority area in Northern Ireland serving in the armed forces have been decorated for bravery in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what policy the armed forces operate on the recruitment of people with (a) Asperger's syndrome and (b) autism; and whether any positions in each service are not open to people with (i) Asperger's syndrome and (ii) autism. 
Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 20 October 2009]: The tri-Service medical entry standards are contained within Joint Services Publication (JSP) 346, which advises that candidates with Asperger's syndrome and autism are not suitable for recruitment into any post in the Armed Forces. The only exception is where a potential recruit presents with a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome but on examination appears to exhibit none of the symptoms of the condition. While those with a confirmed diagnosis should normally be graded as unsuitable, it is recognised that there are instances when the original diagnosis may have been made in error, based on unusual adolescent behaviour which has resolved. In these doubtful cases further referral will normally be recommended before a final decision is made.
It is our policy that armed forces personnel should be recruited to be fully fit for deployment worldwide on operations. For this reason, the services do not recruit or commission personnel with existing medical conditions which may adversely impact on the effectiveness of the armed forces, or which may themselves be exacerbated by military circumstances. This is particularly relevant in cases of individuals with autism or Asperger's Syndrome, as military personnel are expected to perform in multiple roles, which may be difficult for someone suffering from these disorders. Further, all military personnel are required to work in close-knit teams, and in operational environments the pressures are such that anyone with significant disability in social interaction may well be a danger to themselves or their team. These two diagnoses have significant disability in social interaction as part of their defining features.
While it may be possible to retain in-service individuals who are already serving and are subsequently diagnosed as autistic or suffering from Asperger's (provided that there are worthwhile military roles for them to fulfil), this will normally mean that they will have to be re-graded and will not be able to deploy on operations. This also applies to other disabilities which might arise while an individual is in service but the forces do not recruit individuals where they would only be able to serve from the outset in a medically restricted capacity.
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