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Questions

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever



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The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Consultation with the trades unions on which posts are likely to be removed as a consequence of the strategic review of reserves and the planning round measures began on 1 June. Formal staff notification of unit closures will be made on 30 September 2009 and no posts will be removed before that date.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: There is no requirement for any member of the Reserve Forces or their employers to inform the Ministry of Defence if they have been dismissed by their civilian employers. Therefore the department does not hold records relating to this.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Generally civil legal aid funding is available if the case is within the scope of the scheme and the statutory tests of means and merits are met. Legal aid for representation is not normally available for employment tribunals, although it can be authorised by the Lord Chancellor in exceptional circumstances. This is because employment tribunal procedures have been designed to allow people to prepare and present their own cases. Legal help (the advice and assistance level of legal aid) is available, subject to the means test. This provides advice to clients on tribunal procedures and assists them to prepare case papers and obtain counsel's opinion if appropriate. Legal aid for representation is available for the employment appeal tribunal.

Transport: Free Passes

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Department for Transport does not keep comprehensive records of enhancements offered by local authorities beyond the statutory minimum of free off-peak bus travel throughout England for older and eligible disabled people. However, the department is aware of the following local authorities in England and Wales which offer free cross-border travel on selected services:



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AuthorityCross-border concession offered

Wrexham County Borough Council

Welsh concessionary bus passes will be valid for cross-border journeys into England provided that the journey is unbroken and starts or finishes in Wales.

Wrexham County Borough Council has partnered with the Welsh Assembly Government to introduce free travel on the Welsh section of the Borderlands line, between Wrexham Central, Wrexham General, Gwersyllt and all stations to Hawarden Bridge.

Torfaen County Borough Council

Welsh concessionary bus passes will be valid for cross-border journeys into England provided that the journey is unbroken and starts or finishes in Wales.

Cheshire County Council

English bus passes issued by Cheshire County Council are valid for travel on bus services going into Wales provided the journey starts or finishes in Cheshire; for example concessionaires can travel from Runcorn or Widnes to Wrexham and return. However, if they then continued their journey within Wales they would have to pay full fare.

Herefordshire Council

English bus passes issued by Herefordshire Council are valid for free local bus travel between Herefordshire and places in Wales, provided that each bus journey starts or finishes in Herefordshire, or is between Presteigne and Knighton in Powys.

Forest of Dean District Council

English bus passes issued by Forest of Dean District Council can be used to travel across the border if the bus caught is a service that takes the concessionaire out of England. However, concessionaires will not be able to make any connecting journeys once in Wales using their English pass.

It has been agreed that concessionaires will be able to make a return journey into England from Chepstow and Monmouth.

South Gloucestershire Council

English bus passes issued by South Gloucestershire Council can be used for journeys into Wales, from South Gloucestershire, on the X11 and X14 direct services to Newport and Chepstow. However the bus pass cannot be used for other services once in Wales.

Shropshire

The Shropshire Travel Concession Authorities have a reciprocal agreement with neighbouring Welsh Authorities to allow travel cross-border but only on journeys starting or finishing in the respective areas and to the first major conurbation. This is to enable those living in border areas access to their nearest local services which could be in the neighbouring country.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Lord Adonis: The Department for Transport does not keep comprehensive records of enhancements offered by local authorities beyond the statutory minimum of free off-peak bus travel throughout England for older and eligible disabled people. However, the department is aware of the following local authorities in England and Scotland which offer free cross-border travel on selected services:

AuthorityCross-border concession offered

Cumbria border districts

—Allerdale—Copeland

Free travel on local bus journeys starting or ending in Cumbria (may include cross-border journeys)

—Carlisle

Free travel on local bus journeys starting or ending in Carlisle

Northumberland County Council

For journeys across the border into Scotland, the bus operators may charge a fare for the part of the route outside England but the neighbouring Scottish authority may offer a concession for the whole journey.

Transport Scotland

Scottish National Entitlement Card may be used on services to and from Carlisle and on services to and from Berwick-upon-Tweed from anywhere in Scotland. Scottish pass holders are not entitled to free bus travel within Carlisle or Berwick-upon-Tweed.


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