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Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent by the Government on UK Trade and Investment in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the North West regional development agency has provided model constitutions for the Vision Boards it has set up in the North West. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 24 October 2006]: Vision Boards were established on an informal basis and as such governance arrangements are entirely their responsibility. The North West regional development agency has not provided model constitutions for the boards but would provide advice and guidance if requested.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria are used for the selection of representatives for the Vision Boards set up by the North West Regional Development Agency. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 24 October 2006]: There are no strict criteria for the selection of representatives on to the Vision Boards, although the North West Regional Development Agency recommends appointment of a private sector chair, and good private sector representation. The composition of the board is ultimately agreed locally; therefore membership is a matter for each individual board.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions have taken place between the chairman of the Lancaster Vision Board and the North West regional development agency on (a) the Northern Bypass and (b) Lancaster Castle. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 24 October 2006]: The North West regional development agency has discussed both the Northern Bypass and Lancaster Castle with the Vision Board and its chair. The agency has expressed its support for the Northern Bypass. The potential future use of Lancaster Castle to support Citys heritage tourism and visitor offer has also been discussed.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) vibration white finger and (b) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cases have been settled by Watson Burton solicitors; and how much has been received in costs by that firm for processing each kind of case. 
Malcolm Wicks: The number of cases of payment for vibration white finger (VWF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) settled by Watson Burton solicitors and the costs paid to Watson Burton are set out in the following table:
|Number of claims settled by payment||Solicitors costs paid on claims settled by payment (£ million)|
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average size of settlement is for (a) a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease case and (b) such a case processed by Watson Burton solicitors. 
|Average settlement value for COPD claims settled by payment (£)|
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made on negotiations on the future of the Working Time Directive; what options are being considered; what the Government's aims are in the negotiations; and if she will make a statement. 
[holding answer 26 October 2006]: The UK's negotiating priorities remain a solution for problems caused by the ECJ rulings on SiMAP and Jaeger and the retention of the individual right to opt
out. We are working hard with the Finnish presidency and other member states to achieve these aims, and will be keeping Parliament through both scrutiny committees closely informed of progress.
Derek Twigg: The Arctic Emblem was officially launched at a ceremony on HMS Belfast in London on 11 October, during which I presented a small number of emblems to eligible veterans and next of kin. Similar ceremonies were held around the country.
We take the protection of our armed forces very seriously. We have already spent over £0.5 billion on a range of force protection measures to support operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We continue to do all that we can to ensure troops get the equipment they require.
Des Browne: Further to my statement to the House on 10 October, I can confirm that all service personnel have now been given full details of the scheme. Our aim is to pay the allowance as soon as possible to all those who have already returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Ingram: It is estimated that the new operational bonus, to be called "Operational Allowance", will cost in the order of £60 million for 2006-07. The subsequent cost will be dependent upon the type, and duration, of future military operations.
Des Browne: There are currently no plans to deploy Warrior to Afghanistan, although we keep our force package under constant review to ensure our commanders on the ground have the tools that they need to do the job.
Des Browne: I refer the House to my recent statement on 10 October 2006, Official Report, columns 173-76, detailing British military operations in Helmand province in support of a wider cross-Governmental programme of reconstruction.
My most recent statement, and previous ones on 26 January 2006, Official Report, columns 1529-33, 10 July 2006, Official Report, columns 1131-35, and my written ministerial statement of 24 July 2006, Official Report, columns 74-76WS, announcing the deployment of elements of the Helmand Task Force always made clear that we recognized that Helmand was a dangerous operating environment.
|Number of sorties|
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provisions are in place for compensation for Afghan civilians (a) killed, (b) wounded and (c) otherwise harmed during International Security Assistance Force operations. 
Mr. Ingram: When compensation claims are received they are considered on the basis of whether or not the UK Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation. Where there is a proven legal liability, compensation is paid.
From the outset of operations in Afghanistan we have recognised our duty to provide compensation to Afghan civilians where this is required by the law. The procedures for handling compensation claims are straightforward and have been tested in other operational theatres. An area claims officer based in Helmand Province handles routine claims, but to ensure a consistent approach those cases involving death or serious injury of Afghan civilians are handled by claims staff in UK.
Des Browne: The Department conducts regular reviews of UK force levels in Iraq, the results of which inform the six monthly roulement process. The next roulement of UK troops in Iraq begins next month and upon completion, will maintain around 7,100 UK forces in Iraq. We continue to keep our force levels in Iraq under review and will confirm force levels for the next routine roulement around the turn of the year.
Des Browne [holding answer 12 June 2006]: It is with very deep regret that I can confirm that, as of 27 October, a total of 120 British Forces personnel have died, or are missing presumed dead, while serving on Operation Telic since the start of the campaign in March 2003.
The Ministry of Defence publishes data on battle and non-battle casualties that have resulted from our operations in Iraq, dating from March 2003. The best centrally available casualty statistics can be found on the Ministry of Defence website http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets.
Des Browne: The Ministry of Defence publishes data on battle and non-battle casualties that have resulted from our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, dating from March 2003 for Iraq and January 2006 for Afghanistan. The best centrally available casualty statistics can be found on the Ministry of Defence website http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets.
Between March 2003 and 31 December 2005 there were 230 UK military and civilian personnel treated at UK medical facilities in Iraq for wounds received as a result of hostile action. These figures are derived from the best records currently held centrally but do not include those treated in the medical facilities of Coalition partners.
Separate records, from notification of casualty reporting (NOTICAS), for the same period in Iraq, show that some 40 UK military and civilian personnel have been categorised as Very Seriously Injured (VSI) from all causes, and that some 70 personnel have been categorised as Seriously Injured (SI) from all causes including as a result of hostile action.
Since the beginning of the year, we have sought to collect better information on those suffering wounds as a result of combat. Between 1 January and 30 September 2006, 47 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to the Shaibah Role 3 Medical Facility in Iraq categorised as Wounded in Action, including as a result of hostile action.
Des Browne: The cost of operations are calculated on a net additional basis and audited figures are published each year in the MODs annual report and accounts. The annual audited figure for the costs of operations in Iraq for the year 2005-06 was £958 million.
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