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Further to the Written Statement by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 2 June (WS1), on what basis and by what calculations the valuation of £635 million was established for the contract with Ascent for a military flying training system.. [HL3938]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The costs were established as part of a competitive tendering process under which Ascent was judged to have offered the best value-for-money solution. The sum includes the engagement of Ascent as MoD's training system partner for 25 years, plus capital and service provision costs for the initial training package at RAF Valley.
Further to the Written Statement by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 2 June (WS1), how the cost of the contract with Ascent for a military flying training system will be allocated across financial years. [HL3939]
Baroness Taylor of Bolton: The £635 million costs of the initial commitment with Ascent are spread across the 25-year contract duration. The detailed financial data for the department's equipment projects form part of the internal advice to Ministers on the overall affordability of the defence programme and contain information which is commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding the detailed information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): There are no current plans for my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Meg Munn, or other Ministers to visit Cuba. Ministers' travel plans are, however, kept under constant review.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 2 June (HL3687), whether any British citizens are currently being detained in Cuban prisons; and, if so, what are their names and the sentences that they are serving. [HL3898]
How many incidents involving glasses, bottles and alcohol resulted in visits to accident and emergency departments during the past year; whether they have considered taking action to reduce such incidents; and, if so, what action they propose to take. [HL3754]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Officials at our embassy in Baghdad and consulates in Erbil and Basra hold regular discussions with the Government of Iraq about security within the country, including the situation in and around Mosul. Government Ministers also regularly talk to their Iraqi counterparts about the security situation there.
Lord Malloch-Brown: Although we have not made any specific recent representations concerning academics and Christians in Mosul, our diplomatic missions in Iraq and my right honourable friend the Prime Minister's special envoy on human rights in Iraq, the right honourable Ann Clwyd, frequently raise the protection of minorities with the Iraqi authorities. We continue to press the Iraqi Government to ensure adequate protection for all of Iraq's people, regardless of faith or political persuasion, and to take tough measures against those perpetuating the violence which is affecting
12 Jun 2008 : Column WA113
Lord Malloch-Brown: We have not made any representations to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation specifically about the destruction of ancient sites in Mosul and its environs. We take seriously the need to respect, protect and preserve Iraq's cultural heritage. We are actively supporting the Iraqi authorities in this.
What is their estimate of the number of collective punishments that have occurred contrary to the Geneva Conventions in (a) the West Bank, and (b) Gaza in the past 10 years; and whether they have made representations about these to other states who are signatories of the Geneva Conventions. [HL3884]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government hold no such information. We have made very clear that Israel must act in accordance with its obligations under international law. We look to Israel to ensure that, in line with its own public commitments, its actions do not result in a humanitarian crisis in Gaza or the West Bank. Our efforts are focused on working on ways to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Gaza and achieve the common goal of a two state solution.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The amount of the employer contributions to and benefits paid from the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme is published each year in the Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts. Copies are placed in the Library of the House for the reference of Members. In addition, they are available online on the Civil Service Pensions website at www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk.
Lord Rooker: The chief constable announced on 21 September 2007 his decision, following a comprehensive and detailed examination of the need for full-time reserve (FTR) officers, that there remained a need to retain the services of 381 FTR officers. Their main role would be to secure the police estate and also provide protection and security in the external police environment.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 23 April (WA 306) indicating that they do not support polygamous marriage, whether they pay social security benefits in respect of second and subsequent spouses. [HL3473]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave to Lord Lester of Herne Hill, on 31 March 2008 (Official Record, col. WA 139-40).
On how many days television and radio crews or journalists have been admitted to Northern Ireland's prisons in each of the past three years; and whether these visits included visits by foreign broadcasters or journalists. [HL3926]
Lord Rooker: The following table lists the number of days, or part days, for which media personnel were given permission to enter Northern Ireland prison establishments over the past three years. Apart from the two occasions where media availed of a general invitation, the other occasions were limited to one particular journalist or crew who were given permission to cover a specific topic or theme. A wide range of subject matters have been featured including a Royal Visit, a major announcement on the future of the prison estate, prison art, healthcare and education, plus two documentary series.
|Television Crew||Radio Journalist||Newspaper Journalist||Open Invitation|
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 3 June (WA 4849), in the light of the effect of passenger numbers on rolling stock and its availability, whether they will review their statement that rolling stock is a matter for train operators to manage. [HL3979]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Train operators make the decisions about the deployment of rolling stock and have been pleased to do so. While recent franchise agreements list the vehicles in the franchise, they also require the franchisees to take account of changes in demand and levels of crowding.
What is the present status of the Abyei Protocol of 2005, regarding the comprehensive peace agreement for the Sudan; whether this has been discussed in the United Nations Security Council; and what measures they will take to secure its full implementation. [HL3880]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Abyei Protocol forms part of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA). The parties to the CPA, the National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, are continuing negotiations to achieve its full implementation. We have pressed both sides on this issue.
The uniform must be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the appropriate national authority. The Department for Transport's guidelines for England state that the uniform should clearly show that the wearer is engaged in parking enforcement, the name of the local authority/authorities on whose behalf he is acting and a personal identity number. The guidelines also recommend that a civil enforcement officer should carry a photo-identity card but the name of the CEO should not be included to protect the safety of staff.
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