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The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): I met with the Minister for Sport (Mr. Banks) on 17 March 1999. In addition, there is regular contact at official level between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Women's Unit on a range of issues relating to women and sport, and with the UK and English Sports Councils to ensure they have policies aimed at encouraging more women into sport and raising participation levels. As part of its work on teenage girls, the Women's Unit is working closely with the two councils to develop specific initiatives to encourage girls to participate in sport. The Government remain determined to do more for women in sport at all levels.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Improved quality standards will partly be reflected over the coming years by the increased proportion of serviced accommodation providers who join the harmonised rating schemes. The national tourism body has been charged with encouraging and measuring the take up of the new schemes, and with identifying how it can be increased. Other areas covered by Tomorrow's Tourism, such as training, also impact on the quality of accommodation as perceived by the consumer. Ultimately, quality will be measured by our competitive performance, which is why Tomorrow's Tourism sets the tourism industry the challenging target of matching and exceeding the rate of global growth in the industry by the end of 2010.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): From time to time the Ministry of Defence receives proposals for research into aspects of Gulf veterans' illnesses. MoD policy is that all such proposals for additional research must be subject to independent scrutiny before any decision on funding is made. Accordingly, they are put for consideration to either the Medical Research Council or the Independent Panel overseeing the specific MoD research programme to investigate possible interactions between the medical countermeasures which were used during the 1990-91 Gulf conflict, whichever course is considered more appropriate. If the independent assessors suggest that a proposal merits funding, then MoD naturally looks favourably upon such a recommendation. The final decision, however, on whether to fund a particular research proposal rests with the MoD.
Prospective researchers have generally discussed their proposals with MoD officials, who are able to provide background information about the MoD-funded research programmes and aspects of the Gulf conflict, as well as informal assistance if this is appropriate.
Some MoD employees have been involved, in their private capacities, in the development of particular research proposals and have appeared as co-authors of research papers into Gulf veterans' illnesses.
The cohort groups for the two MoD-funded epidemiological studies currently being conducted by teams led by Professor Nicola Cherry at Manchester University and Dr. Patricia Doyle at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and for the epidemiological study funded by the US Department of Defense, being conducted by a team led by Professor Simon Wessely at King's College, London, were derived from MoD data. The MoD maintains a database specifically of Gulf veterans as well as its main databases of former and currently serving members of the Armed Forces. The study cohorts were selected as random samples from these databases by a statistician seconded to the MoD from the Office for National Statistics.
Finally, MoD officials are also responsible, in conjunction with the MRC, which advises MoD on its overall strategy for Gulf health issues, for developing the MoD's Gulf health research programme in the light of emerging medical scientific findings.
What was the establishment for Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (all variants) for an armoured infantry battalion both before and after implementation of the Strategic Defence Review; and[HL1990]
What was the establishment of Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (all variants) before and after implementation of the Strategic Defence Review.[HL1989]
Lord Gilbert: The number of armoured infantry battalions was increased from eight to nine by the Strategic Defence Review. The overall establishment of Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, all variants, was 744. The wartime establishment for each armoured infantry battalion was 56 before the review and is unchanged. The Army is undertaking a study of the application of whole fleet management techniques which will determine how many vehicles are to be held in units in peacetime, although this will not affect wartime establishments.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The proportion of persons prosecuted for a criminal offence in the magistrates' courts and in the Crown Court who were legally aided for all or part of the cost of legal representation during 1998 were as follows:
The Lord Chancellor: The criteria for granting legal aid for representation in criminal proceedings are that it is in the interests of justice; and that the defendant needs help in meeting his defence legal costs.
The following factors are taken into account in deciding whether it is in the interests of justice; loss of liberty or livelihood is likely; a substantial question of law is involved; the accused is unable to understand the proceedings; the need to trace and interview witnesses; and that it is in the interest of another that the accused is represented.
A defendant will qualify for non-contributory legal aid if he or she or their partner either receive one of a small number of means tested benefits, or whose weekly disposable income and capital is below £51 and £3,000
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