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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: According to Royal Mail's annual report and accounts200405, which can be viewed on its website (http://www.royalmailgroup.com/) the pension deficit of the company is £3.9 billion.
Lord Drayson: The Atlantic Patrol Task (North) (APT(N)a destroyer or, frigate) and a Wave Class Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tanker provide a presence and support for the UK Overseas Territories in the region principally during the hurricane season.
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We have recently made clear that, in future, a destroyer or frigate will be tasked routinely to the region only during the higher-risk hurricane months (July to October), while the RFA Tanker will remain on station for the duration of the hurricane season (May to October). While on station these vessels contribute to the UK's counter narcotics effort in the Caribbean. Additional support to counter narcotics effort is provided by other Royal Navy assets on an opportunity basis.
Whether they are satisfied with the management of the Sellafield nuclear plant and thermal oxide reprocessing plant in terms of safety, security and overall effectiveness; and what steps they are taking to ensure good management of these facilities in these contexts for the longer term. [HL1142]
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Following the incident at the thermal oxide reprocessing plant (Thorp) in April, British Nuclear Group set up a board of inquiry to investigate. British Nuclear Group has now published the report from the board of inquiry. The report highlights some issues to be addressed.
The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) is also conducting its own investigation and will report in due course. The Government will form a view in light of the report. All nuclear facilities, including those at Sellafield, operate within agreed and documented safety cases. These are rigorously regulated and approved by the NII.
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The figures supplied for the composition of community background are for staff located within the Belfast and Omagh offices for which monitoring data are legally obliged to be held under fair employment legislation. No monitoring information is held for staff located within the Monaghan office.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 15 June (WA 129), whether the Ulster Scots Agency's budget is sufficient to enable it to meet the objectives and targets laid out in its corporate and annual business plans; and why the agency has cut back on several policy areas for the second successive year. [HL1157]
Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The budget allocated to the Ulster-Scots Agency for 2005 is considered sufficient to enable. it to meet the objectives and targets laid out in its approved corporate and annual business plans. The agency recently introduced a moratorium on new applications I am told to ensure that it did not exceed its approved annual budget,a requirement of financial probity which is shared by all publicly funded bodies. An application for additional inyear year funding has been received from the agency and is currently being considered by the two sponsoring departments.
Lord Rooker: The budget for the Ulster Scots Agency is determined in accordance with normal budgeting procedures on the basis of its business plan as set out in the North South Language Body financial memorandum. This includes consultation between the Ulster Scots Agency and its sponsor departments and with the finance departments north and south. Ministers agreed the 2005 budget on 31 March 2005.
Whether they will place in the Library of the House all correspondence relating to the Department of Trade and Industry's contracts and agreements with the Union of Democratic Miners in relation to the compensation scheme for miners. [HL885]
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: A copy of the claims handling agreements with the claimants' solicitors (CHA) is available in the House of Commons Library.
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Separate CHAs exist for the UDM where the only significant difference is in relation to costs, which are lower in the UDM agreements.
The CHAs are extensive and detailed and there have been many meetings and substantial volumes of correspondence on the operation of the agreements over the past five-plus years since they were agreed.
Lord Bach: There is a wide range of government departments and agencies, as well as local authorities and other bodies that have varying levels of jurisdiction over different aspects of the regulation and management of coastal areas.
The Crown Estate generally owns the seabed out to the 12 mile territorial limit. It also owns around 55 per cent. of the foreshore (between mean high and mean low water), with the remainder in both public and private hands. Land adjacent to the foreshore is in the full range of public and private ownership as for any other part of the United Kingdom.
Lord Drayson: A review of University Air Squadrons (UAS) was conducted to look at the way in which essential light aircraft flying, including elementary flying training, air experience flying and flying for undergraduates, is delivered. An announcement is expected shortly and I will write to advise the noble Lord of the outcome.
What information they have on the study the United States Institute of Medicine is currently undertaking for the United States Department of Veteran Affairs into the health of Gulf War veterans; whether the Ministry of Defence is contributing in any way to the study; and whether they will help British veterans and/or their organisations to participate.[MoD] [HL1212]
Lord Drayson: The Ministry for Defence is aware that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is currently conducting a number of projects on 'Gulf War and
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Health' sponsored by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Full information, on the projects is available on the IOM website www.iom.edu.
We understand that the projects take the form of literature reviews of scientific and medical research. MOD is not contributing to the reviews, but members of the public are able to attend open meetings of the IOM committees and can provide feedback via the IOM website.
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