|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Ministry of Defence is in discussion with the Identity and Passport Service about the possible introduction of a veteran's variant of the National ID Card, which would guarantee both identity and previous service in HM armed forces. Timescales for any subsequent roll-out have yet to be finalised.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of pilots of (a) Apache, (b) Chinook and (c) Merlin helicopters were in breach of their harmony guidelines on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 4 March 2010]: Apache, Chinook and Merlin Mk3 are managed by the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC). JHC operational harmony guidelines are for crews to serve four periods at home for every one in theatre. The Merlin Mk1 is operated by the Royal Navy (RN), whose harmony guidelines state that no individual should exceed 660 days separated service over a rolling three year period.
No Merlin Mk1, Mk3 or Chinook pilots are breaching harmony guidelines. However, 33 per cent. of pilots within the Apache force are not meeting harmony guidelines. This is a reflection of the rapid and successful introduction of the Apache into operational service, some three years in advance of the originally anticipated timescale. Apache pilot harmony is improving constantly as more pilots are trained and become available for deployment.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department has provided for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association in each of the last five years. 
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help is a registered charity and provides a variety of services that are available to current serving personnel, their families and veterans. It receives funding from a number of areas including contracted services arranged and paid for at a local level. In 2009, it also received £50,000 for a specific project from the Veterans Challenge Fund, which is run by the MOD.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2010, Official Report, column 413W, on Territorial Army, what phase 1 training is scheduled to be run at the Regional Training Centre in Ballykinler, County Down in 2010-11; 
Bill Rammell: Phase 1 training will recommence at the Regional Training Centre, Ballykinler in April 2010. Three phase 1 courses are currently scheduled to be held at the Regional Training Centre, Ballykinler during the 2010-11 training year. Two will be run over a series of weekends from April to June 2010 and from January to March 2011. The third will take the form of a consolidated course to be held between July and August 2010. All Regular and Territorial Army training programmes are subject to alteration in light of changing operational priorities.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2010, Official Report, column 413W, on the Territorial Army, what the outcome was of the investigation into the reasons for the course being cancelled; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2010, Official Report, column 413W, on the Territorial Army, what steps he plans to take to ensure that local decisions may not in future be taken contrary to a directive issued by the Government. 
Bill Rammell: A phase 1 training course planned to take place at Ballykinler Regional Training Centre in January 2010 was cancelled as a result of a local decision. This was contrary to the Government's direction. As investigations into the reasons for the cancellation of this training are ongoing it would be inappropriate for me to comment and risk prejudicing the outcome. However, monthly reviews and checks are being conducted to ensure that training continues in accordance with Government direction.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood of (Mr. Hurd) 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 103W, on departmental marketing, how much (a) the Government Equalities Office and (b) the Equality and Human Rights Commission have spent on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity to the (i) Real Help Now and (ii) Building Britain's Future themed campaign to date. 
Michael Jabez Foster: Neither The Equality and Human Rights Commission nor the Government Equalities Office spent any money on advertising, marketing, public relations or publicity in relation to Real Help Now and Building Britain's Future themed campaigns.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many receptions she has hosted for representatives of print and broadcast media since 3 October 2008; how much each reception cost in total; and how many people attended each event. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department has provided to the Afghan Government to develop copper mining in Afghanistan in the last five years. 
Mr. Michael Foster: Between 2004 and 2008, the Department for International Development (DFID) spent £4 million to map mineral deposits in a geological survey of Afghanistan. This helped identify the growth potential of the mining sector, including copper mining, and restructure the Afghanistan Geological Survey.
Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's plans are for future funding of programmes for provision of female condoms; and if he will take steps to encourage others to provide funding for such programmes. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development's (DFID) is already providing funding for the provision of female condoms. DFID is providing a £100 million grant to the United Nations Population Fund's Global programme for reproductive health commodity security over the period 2007 to 2012. We have also committed £42.5 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation over the period 2008 to 2015 to help provide sexual and reproductive health information, services and supplies, including female condoms.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts from other G20 countries on the purchasing of the debt of developing countries by investment funds and subsequent use of that debt; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: I work closely with Ministers from G20 countries on a range of development issues. The Government do not support the activities of investment funds who seek full repayment from heavily indebted poor countries on debt they have bought. Legislation has recently been introduced to Parliament by my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) to address this problem. The Government are supporting this legislation which will complement the actions already taken.
Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria on proposals to expand its remit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: I discussed this with Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), in January. This matter will also be considered at the Global Fund replenishment event in March, during discussions with GFATM on how their work can be strengthened.
Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on proposals to extend the responsibilities of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria to include (a) maternal health, (b) sexual and reproductive health and rights and (c) health overall; and if he will make a statement. 
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) is already having an impact on maternal mortality and sexual and reproductive health
through, for example; increasing access to HIV testing and counselling; prevention of mother-child transmission (PMTCT); and other preventative measures, such as distribution of condom and education materials.
The Global Fund is currently preparing an analysis of its activities and their contribution to the millennium development goals. The Department for International Development will consider this assessment and discuss with GFATM how its work can be strengthened.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what guidance his Department has issued in respect of the sustainability of biomass and biofuels used for electricity generation; 
Mr. Kidney: Since April 2009, the Renewables Obligation has required electricity generators over 50 kilowatts to report annually to Ofgem on the biomass they are using, including the available information on its country of origin, details of any environmental standard met and land use change since 30 November 2005. Guidance on the sustainability reporting requirement is available as part of the 'Renewables Obligation: Fuel measurement and sampling guidance' from the Ofgem website.
The Renewable Energy Directive, published in April 2009, includes sustainability criteria that bioliquids used for heat and electricity generation must meet in order to receive financial support and to count towards the Directive's renewable energy targets. These criteria include: a minimum greenhouse gas savings threshold of 35 per cent., rising to 50 per cent. in 2017, and 60 per cent. in 2018 for new installations starting production from 2017; and controls over land use change to protect land important on biodiversity or carbon grounds such as primary forest, wetlands and peatlands.
On 25 February 2010, the European Commission published its recommendations on sustainability requirements for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources for heat and electricity generation. In the light of this, DECC will make an announcement later this month, setting out what actions the Government can now take to introduce sustainability standards for biomass in the UK.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how the £480 million fund to help fight climate change by tackling deforestation between 2010 and 2012 announced at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit will be allocated; and whether this funding is new money. 
The UK Government have committed £300 million to tackle deforestation between 2010 and 2012. Part of this commitment has already been allocated, for example £10 million to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and £88 million to the Forest Investment Programme. We are currently developing plans for the balance. The UK's aid programme is growing and this commitment will be financed from this growth.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has undertaken into the capacity factor of nuclear fission plants; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: Following analysis the capacity factor, also called load factor, is presented in the Government's 2007 consultation(1) on nuclear power. For new nuclear reactors the load factor is estimated to be 80 per cent. rising to 85 per cent. after five years operation. Vendors are quoted as expecting 90 per cent. and over.
(1) BERR. "The Future of Nuclear Power The role of nuclear power in a low carbon economy. Consultation document", pp. 68. May 2007.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2010, Official Report, column 755W, on cancer: nurses, which programmes will have been implemented fully by 2011-12; which funded development activities are now reaching a planned conclusion; and how much funding will be released from each programme or activity. 
Ann Keen: The £20 million for one to one cancer nurses has been found from funding released from programmes launched by the next stage review (NSR), which will either have been implemented fully by 2011-12, or from funded development activities which are now reaching a planned conclusion.
Looking across the whole of the NSR we are confident that these savings can be released in 2011-12 where development work is concluding or programmes will be fully implemented such as the development programmes for transforming community service and quality accounts.
The funding released from the conclusion and/or implementation of these programmes will ensure that we are able to fund this key initiative to improve the quality of cancer services which is very much aligned with the vision set out in High Quality Care for All and the quality and productivity challenge being undertaken by the national health service.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|