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23 Jan 2007 : Column WA211

Written Answers

Tuesday 23 January 2007

Afghanistan: Helmand Province

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Both Defence Intelligence Staff and Intelligence Corps personnel are deployed in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

I am withholding details relating to the number of personnel, since its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces.

Armed Forces: Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Doctrinal notes for the employment of Challenger 2 in vehicle checkpoints, covering both war-fighting and peacekeeping scenarios, were made available to all armoured regiments in December 2006. Doctrinal notes were already in place for Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Scimitar/Spartan, Warrior and Fighting Vehicle 430 prior to the related recommendation by the board of inquiry into the death of Sergeant Steven Roberts.

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Drayson: The vehicle integrated personal role radio (VIPRR) is at present being rolled out for armoured vehicles in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trials on Clansman platforms took place in April and May 2005, and the first deliveries to Operation TELIC were made in June that year. Acceptance trials on Bowman platforms started in January 2006, with the first deliveries to Operation TELIC in August 2006, followed by deliveries to Operation HERRICK in September that year. To date 357 VIPRR kits have been delivered, and a further 278 are scheduled for delivery by May 2007.

Aviation: Passenger Identification

Lord Teverson asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: It is not a security requirement for passengers to provide a passport or photographic ID at check-in. The request for photographic ID by some airlines has been introduced under the airlines’ own conditions of travel to prevent ticket fraud.

Airlines must, however, ensure that the person who checks in hold baggage is the same person who then boards the aircraft. The Department for Transport does not specify how airlines should achieve this to enable them to retain operational flexibility, though on international flights where passports are carried airlines may use these to confirm identity. These checks will be made at both check-in and the departure gate.

These requirements are laid down in the national aviation security programme under the Aviation Security Act 1982 as amended by the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990.

The Home Office is responsible for exit control checks.

Aviation: Security Alert

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The total costs in respect of the criminal investigations are yet to be determined as these are still being collated.

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Belfast Agreement: Release of Prisoners

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Rooker: The monitoring of released prisoners in the Irish Republic is a matter for the Irish authorities and I am unable to comment on their activities.

As the current legislation stands, there may be occasions when an individual released within the terms of the agreement may commit an offence in Ireland and be subject to the revocation of their licence. I am advised that there are no processes in place in which An Garda Siochana routinely checks whether a person is on licence or not but understand that it is proactive in passing information to the PSNI if it does come to light.

British Citizenship

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): Anyone can approach the British consulate-general in Hong Kong and request a letter confirming whether or not they hold, or ever held, British nationality. This service is covered under consular fee number 1(a) and costs the equivalent of £23.50.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: Whether such a person would have a claim to be a British Dependent Territories citizen is a matter of law that can be determined conclusively only by the courts. However, from the information provided it appears that a person in the circumstances described would have been a British Dependent Territories citizen on those dates.

Chemicals: REACH Regulation

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government have always supported fully the aim of the REACH regulation to improve protection of human health and the environment and to maintain the competitiveness and innovation of the EU chemicals industry. We sought to consult widely with the UK chemicals industry and other sectors that will be affected by REACH to ensure that their views were taken into account and that they were kept informed of developments throughout the legislative process.

In October 2006, I announced that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would act as the UK competent authority for the implementation of REACH. The HSE has set up a helpdesk to provide assistance and advice to all industrial sectors on the requirements of REACH. Various industry bodies are also taking active steps to make sure that companies understand about REACH and have access to advice.

The Government are confident that there is a widespread understanding of REACH and its requirements among the major industrial players. However, we are less confident that there is such an understanding among the significant numbers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and among companies not in the chemical industry but which nevertheless use chemicals. With the formal adoption of the REACH regulation in December 2006, we are developing a communications strategy to ensure that SMEs in particular are fully aware of REACH requirements as they progressively come into effect from 1 June 2007.

Climate Change

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government will be taking an active role in pushing forward the environmental and climate change measures agreed at the December 2006 European Council and further strengthening the strong link between the EU climate change policy and energy policy.

We are working closely with Germany, which is intending to use its presidency of the EU and G8 to develop “expanding circles” of consensus through 2007 in the run-up to Conference of Parties 13 in Bali.

The UK will be taking an active role in the follow-up work on the Nairobi decisions, including how to breathe fresh air into the convention dialogue, ideally through the tabling of concrete proposals about future action. We will be looking to accelerate negotiations on future action by demonstrating clear EU leadership through securing an agreement on tough greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for the EU and using the EU and G8 fora to seek high-level agreement on the elements that should form the basis of a future framework.

We announced a new Climate Change Bill, which will put into statute the Government's long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 and set out a framework for achieving this. This will also strengthen our ability to be global leaders in a future international framework for climate change.

The Government support the Commission on its review of the EU emissions trading directive and in exploring the potential for linking the EU ETS with similar schemes, including non-Kyoto schemes.

Although unilateral linking is currently possible, mutual recognition of such schemes would require an amendment to the directive. This is being considered as one of the UK's priorities for the Commission's review of the emissions trading directive. The Government support the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS and will be working with the Commission and other member states during negotiation of the directive on inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS.

Coastal Erosion

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Defra has overall policy responsibility for coastal erosion risk in England and grant-aids local authority improvement projects and related studies to manage this risk. The department does not build defences or direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake. Management of coastal erosion risk and

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associated monitoring is the responsibility of the relevant local authority in each area.

Erosion risk will vary around the coastline depending on local conditions and defences in place. Defra has encouraged the relevant authorities to produce shoreline management plans (SMPs), which provide large-scale assessments of the risks associated with coastal processes and present long-term policy frameworks to manage these risks in a sustainable manner.

In 2001, Defra funded a national study of information on long-term coastal processes and evolution over the next century (Futurecoast). This is designed to be used by coastal authorities to inform their current revisions of SMPs. The Department of Trade and Industry's Foresight: Future Flooding report, published in 2004, also considered possible coastal erosion scenarios over the following 80 years.

Work under the cross-government Making Space for Water programme is focusing on methods for mapping erosion probabilities with the aim of producing national maps of coastal erosion probability in 2009, similar to those currently available for flood risk. Further work within this programme is looking at the national scale of the problems, with a view to considering future options for adaptation policy.

Funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management has increased significantly in recent years. New approaches to management of the risk in a broad sense are being considered under Making Space for Water. They include proposals for new outcome measures, on which we are currently out to public consultation, and for the Environment Agency to have a strategic overview of all coastal flood and erosion risk management.


Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The table provides an analysis of payments made for consultancy expenditure since 1 January 2006 to 14 December 2006, linked to the associated consultancy projects.

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Expenditure since 01/01/06Subject of Consultancy


Child protection workshop


Electronic document records management


Project adviser for capital projects


Editorial services on architecture policy


Consultation on strategy for sport


Eel research project


Article 4 and 10, tendering and site visit checks for European Union angling and water recreation development programmes


Exercise to identify DCAL Inland Waterways and Inland Fisheries land and property assets and to scope the work and costs involved in proving legal title


Research on the social and economic impact of recreation fisheries, angling and angling resources in Northern Ireland


Otter and whooper swan survey at Tiraroe, Derrylin


Flora and fauna survey on Upper Lough Macnean


Report on Fisheries Conservancy Board financial projections to March 2007


Internal audit


Staff opinion survey


Accountancy services


Public Sector Quality Group customer survey


PRONI new accommodation project


Facilitation of strategic planning exercise


Review of central library


Business continuity plan


Council of Europe Charter for Regional or Minority Languages


Verification of Maid of Antrim European Union project


Independent assessor of Big Lottery


Contribution to a seminar in Greenmount College


Speakers fees for adventure activities seminar


Linfield/Irish Football Association agreement


Northern Ireland Events Company and Rally Ireland arbitration


Assessment and appointment of independent board member


Independent assistance in reviewing a complaint


Legal assistance on proposed Irish language legislation


Charter Mark assessment


Total consultancy expenditure 1 January to 14 December 2006

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