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19 Jan 2010 : Column 205Wcontinued
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) financial and (b) other assistance the UK is providing to the NATO Defence College in Estonia. 
Bill Rammell: The Baltic Defence College in Estonia is a co-operative project between the three Baltic States, and not a NATO institution. NATO does, however, accredit the college's higher command studies course (HCSC). The UK supports the college through provision of a team of three people from the defence science and technology laboratory for one week each year at a cost of £11,000. The team provides instructional support and mentoring for a force planning exercise as part of the HCSC.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost is of developing the (a) platform and (b) propulsion system for the successor submarine to Trident. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 July 2009, Official Report, column 19W, to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael).
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions he had with the Chief of Joint Operations on possible rescue operations in relation to Paul and Rachel Chandler on 23 October 2009; 
(2) what instructions he gave to the Royal Navy on possible rescue operations in relation to Paul and Rachel Chandler on 23 October 2009; 
(3) what protocols were used in the decision in respect of a rescue operation in relation to Paul and Rachel Chandler on 23 October 2009. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 6 January 2010]: I will write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the private finance initiative between his Department and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to provide search and rescue capability; how many new search and rescue helicopters this initiative will provide; and when he expects such helicopters to enter into service. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The new helicopters will enter service in 2012 when the new service begins by taking over sites currently operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and working around each base in turn to ensure continuity of service. The transition of all 12 sites will be completed in 2016. The competition is ongoing and the detailed transition plan and number of aircraft supporting the new service have yet to be finalised.
Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps the Electoral Commission has taken (a) to reduce electoral fraud and (b) to increase levels of voter registration in each year since the Electoral Administration Act 2006 came into effect. 
Mr. Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that in each year since the Electoral Administration Act 2006 came into effect, it has worked with Electoral Registration Officers (EROs), Returning Officers and police forces to establish a network of Single Point of Contact officers in every police force, deliver national training seminars for police forces and electoral administrators and provide regular opportunities to share information and good practice on combating electoral fraud.
In addition, the Commission informs me that it has published guidance for electoral administrators and police forces in association with the Association of Chief Police Officers on preventing and detecting electoral malpractice, and has also set and monitored performance standards for EROs and Returning Officers on how to
monitor and manage the risk of electoral fraud. The Commission also works with ACPO to collect and analyse data from police forces across Great Britain on cases and allegations of electoral malpractice.
The Commission further informs me that in each year since the Electoral Administration Act came into effect it has carried out public information campaigns to encourage voter registration. These focus on a number of under-registered groups, including people who have recently moved home, certain ethnic minority communities, students and young adults.
The Commission also informs me that it sets performance standards for EROs that aim to improve the completeness and accuracy of the register. It provides guidance and support to help EROs reach these standards.
Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon (Mr. Streeter), representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what recent assessment the Electoral Commission has made of progress in increasing the number of voters registered in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Streeter: The Commission informs me that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) collects and publishes annual electoral registration data showing the number of entries on the local government and parliamentary registers. The most recent figures are for the electoral registers on 1 December 2008 and show an increase in the number of entries on the registers since 1 December 2007, as shown in the following table:
|Type of election||Entries on the electoral registers-December 2007||Entries on the electoral registers-December 2008||Increase||Percentage increase|
The ONS is due to publish figures for the 1 December 2009 electoral registers in February 2010.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the (a) area and (b) estimated value is of (i) vacant and (ii) occupied office space (A) owned and (B) rented by his Department. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office leases its premises at Dover House, London and Melville Crescent, Edinburgh. The office occupies a floor area of 927.5m(2) in Dover House and 694m(2) in Melville Crescent. Both buildings provide non-standard office accommodation and have listed building status. They provide both office space as well as accommodation that can be used for hosting events.
Information on the value of the premises leased is a matter for the owners of the accommodation.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many iPODs have been bought by his Department since 2005; and at what cost. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office has not bought any iPODs.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the quantity of food waste generated by his Department in each year for which figures are available. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office has no in-house canteen or other catering facilities so therefore does not routinely generate food waste.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2009, Official Report, column 497W, on clergy: misconduct, what his policy is on initiating discussions on the report of the commission of inquiry with each of the parties specified in the question; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: I have written to the Northern Ireland Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety to say that I stand ready to assist him in any way possible to progress this matter and that I am available to meet with him should he wish to do so.
This is also my position in respect of the Irish Government although I have not received any representations from it.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many iPODs have been bought by the Government Equalities Office since its establishment; and at what cost. 
Michael Jabez Foster: Since its creation on 12 October 2007, the Government Equalities Office has not purchased any iPODS.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what redesigns of websites operated by her Office have taken place since 27 June 2007; and what the (a) cost to the public purse and (b) date of completion of each such redesign was. 
Michael Jabez Foster: The Government Equalities Office website was redesigned once in 2008.
(a) the cost was £46,737.99
(b) the date of completion was 21 December 2008.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will place in the Library a copy of the standard template contract for the provision of (a) goods and (b) services used by the Government Equalities Office. 
Michael Jabez Foster: Copies of the General Conditions of Contract for Services and the Short Form of Conditions for Contracts for Goods and Services have been placed in the Library.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will place in the Library a copy of the results from her Department's most recent staff survey; which organisation carried out the survey; and what the cost of the survey to her Department was. 
Michael Jabez Foster: The Government Equalities Office undertook its last staff survey in November 2009 as part of a cross-Government initiative and we expect to receive our results on 28 January 2010. Following internal analysis and communication we will publish our results together with any improvement steps on our external GEO website. ORC International undertook the cross-Government survey and we are yet to receive our invoice; we have estimated the cost at £13,000.
Robert Neill: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 378W, on dignity at work, and page 12 of the Dignity and Respect at Work policy, what is included in her Department's definition of non-verbal conduct that may constitute sexual harassment in the workplace. 
Michael Jabez Foster: Within the Dignity and Respect at Work policy we have provided examples of the types of non-verbal conduct that may constitute sexual harassment in the workplace. We do not intend this list to be exhaustive as it should cover any type of behaviour or action which is not spoken which an individual finds offensive. The examples in the policy are: pin-up calendars; sexually explicit materials; pornography; computer pornography; sexual graffiti.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the (a) title and (b) remit is of each individual project being undertaken as part of the Human Rights and Local Government Project; and when each individual report will be published. 
Michael Jabez Foster: The Human Rights and Local Government Project is run by the British Institute of Human Rights with the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and is not a project of the Government Equalities Office or Government.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from her Office are planning to attend the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February 2010; and what estimate she has made of the cost of such attendance. 
Michael Jabez Foster: No Ministers or officials are planning to attend.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent assessment she has made of the gender pay gap in Derbyshire. 
Maria Eagle: The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2009 showed that the gender pay gap, comparing the median hourly earnings of all men and women, was: 23.5 per cent. for Derbyshire; 23.3 per cent. for the east midlands; and 22.0 per cent. for the UK as a whole.
For full-time employees, the pay gap for Derbyshire is 13.5 per cent. For part-time employees the pay gap is -4.3 per cent., i.e. male part-time employees are paid less than female part-time employees.
The overall national pay gap has fallen from 27.5 per cent. in 1997 to 22.0 per cent. in 2009, but more progress is needed and the Equality Bill includes tough measures to improve gender pay transparency.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) of 7 January 2010, Official Report, column 524W, on religious buildings: registration, what the policy of the Government Equalities Office is on the application of the 1970 Court of Appeal Segerdal case to public authorities in respect of religious worship which does not involve reverence to a deity. 
Michael Jabez Foster: Domestic discrimination, for which the Government Equalities Office is responsible, defines religion or belief as
"any religion or any religious or philosophical belief or any lack of such religion or belief".
The question of whether any exemption from paying rates on a building which may be a place of public religious worship, which is what the Segerdal case is concerned with, remains a matter for the Valuation Office Agency and will be unaffected by the provisions of discrimination law.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to her Department's White Paper on Building Britain's Recovery, what estimate she has made of the number of people who would be eligible for each benefit under the better off in work credit guarantee; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the financial modelling undertaken by or on behalf of her Department in respect of this policy. 
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