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Mr. Alexander: I understand from Post Office Limited that total net closures of post offices in the second quarter of the current financial year was 56. These closure figures are net of 51 reopenings.
Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact the (a) aggregates tax and (b) climate change levy have had on the competitiveness of the British glass industry; and what support she is giving to the industry to assist with related increases in business costs. 
Mr. Wilson: Sand and other minerals used in the manufacture of glass will be relieved from the Aggregates Levy under Section 30 of the Finance Act 2001. The Climate Change Levy was introduced only in April and it
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is too early to assess its impact on businesses in the glass industry. The glass industry has a sectoral negotiated agreement with the Government under which eligible sites are working to deliver energy saving targets in return for an 80 per cent. levy discount.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the number of jobs lost this year as a result of UK-based firms relocating production overseas. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many incidents involving injuries with fireworks have occurred in the last five years (a) prior to 5 November, (b) on 5 November and (c) after 5 November in each year in (i) Scotland and (ii) the UK. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 8 November 2001]: We collect data of accidental injury cases involving fireworks for a period of four weeks from mid October to mid November, from Accident and Emergency departments in Great Britain. Similar information is collected separately by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland. The GB data is set out in the table:
|Prior 5 November||29||15||13||15||42|
|Post 5 November||6||29||14||21||17|
|England and Wales:|
|Prior 5 November||482||257||174||324||637|
|Post 5 November||137||444||389||263||198|
|Great Britain total:||972||1,056||831||908||1,233|
We published a consultation paper on the possible distribution of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund in England on 2 October 2001. A copy is available on the Department's website http://www.defra.gov.uk/ and is also available in the Library of the House.
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|Minimising the demand for primary aggregates||6.5||9.0|
|Promoting environmentally friendly extraction and transport||6.0||6.0|
|Reducing the effect of local aggregate extraction||16.5||14.0|
(10) Totals to be finalised to £29.3 million
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the President of the Council what assessment he has made of the number of MLs who may be appointed under the Government's proposals for reconstituting the upper House, based on the assumptions in the White Paper. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 20 July 2001, Official Report, column 484W, on Lord Ashcroft, when the official of his Department passed classified documents to an unauthorised person; who the unauthorised person was; when this official was disciplined; what the nature of the disciplining was; what the grade of the official was who was disciplined; and in which country the official was based when the offence occurred. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A Diplomatic Service Officer, in the FCO Senior Management Structure and based in the United Kingdom at the time, passed classified documents to a journalist in 1997. The journalist concerned did not work for the newspapers where leaks later appeared; the official concerned is no longer in government service.
Mr. Bradshaw: The security situation in Sierra Leone has improved dramatically over the past six months. We have continued to play a major role in Sierra Leone during this period. We have completed the initial training of an effective and accountable Sierra Leone Army. We have helped train the Sierra Leonean police force. We have worked with the UN on the Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme and to move forward the deployment of UNAMSIL throughout the country. We have maintained close links with regional leaders, especially Presidents Obasanjo of Nigeria and Konare of Mali, to ensure full and successful implementation of the Abuja Agreement. The Revolutionary United Front is now transforming itself into a political party. As DDR
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continues, The Government of Sierra Leone are able to extend their authority across the country, ahead of elections now scheduled for 14 May 2002. A sustainable peace is now within our grasp.
But major challenges remain, both before and after the elections. We will continue to work with the Government of Sierra Leone, the United Nations and regional and international partners to help the Sierra Leonean Government consolidated the peace, prepare for and hold free and fair elections, and mobilise resources to rehabilitate Sierra Leone's shattered communities, institutions and economy.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the numbers of UK citizens held prisoner by (a) the Northern Alliance and (b) countries neighbouring Afghanistan as a consequence of activities with (i) the Taliban and (ii) al-Qaeda; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are currently aware of one British prisoner being held by the Northern Alliance. He has been held since 1998, having been fighting for the Taliban. We do not have any Consular representation in Afghanistan and are therefore unable to give any accurate assessment on whether there are any other British prisoners being held there by either side. We are also not aware that any British prisoners are being held in relation to the current conflict in neighbouring countries.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the numbers of UK citizens killed or injured in Afghanistan while with (a) al-Qaeda and (b) the Taliban; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have no consular representation in Afghanistan. It is not possible to provide any accurate assessment on the number of UK nationals who may have been killed or injured in Afghanistan.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the risk of former Soviet bloc (a) nuclear and (b) chemical/biological warfare scientists selling their skills to foreign regimes. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is estimated that there may be many thousands of Russian nuclear and chemical and biological warfare scientists who have lost their jobs or who face the prospect of losing their jobs in the next few years. The possibility that these scientists may sell their skills to foreign regimes is one that the UK takes seriously. To address this, UK funds are directed, through the European Union, to the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC). The ISTC was set up in 1994, following an agreement signed by the EU, US, Japan and the Russian Federation, to stem the possibility of recruitment of former Soviet scientists by potential proliferators, through the funding of non-weapons related research at former defence institutes.
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