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22 May 2008 : Column 398W—continued

In the previous answer to the hon. Member for Brent, East (Sarah Teather) on 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1642W, a figure of 2,252 tonnes was given for the total waste produced in the 2005-06 financial year. This total included waste deposited in builders’ skips; all the other years’ figures excluded this waste stream and the 2005-06 totals have been amended to ensure a consistent approach.


Olympic Games 2012: Employment

Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) what estimate she has made of the proportion of jobs relating to the 2012 Olympic games which will go to women; [204694]

(2) what steps her Department has taken to increase the proportion of women employed in jobs relating to the 2012 Olympic games. [204695]

Tessa Jowell: As of May 2008 the percentage of women working for the Olympic Delivery Authority
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(ODA), or their contractors, was 11.9 per cent. This figure includes all women involved in construction, management, administration, professional, consultant and design and also incorporates the small number of venues outside the Olympic Park. Going forward, the ODA in conjunction with the London Development Agency is establishing a “Women into Construction” project that will focus on supporting women working directly on the construction programme for the 2012 games.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has a strong diversity and inclusion policy for the recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers that covers gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age. This will be regularly monitored for its effectiveness, and builds on the prominence of diversity and equality as key components of London's bid for the games.

Five of the 11 members of LOCOG's Management Committee as published on its website are women.

LOCOG also requests equal opportunities policies from potential suppliers, which are also a requirement of CompeteFor (the online brokerage service by which companies register for contracts connected to the games).

As of May 2008 the percentage of women employed in the Government Olympic Executive is 37.5 per cent.


Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Government plans to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan. [206717]

Des Browne: We keep the size and scale of the UK military commitment to Afghanistan under regular review and will make further adjustments where necessary, as we have in the past.

Armed Forces: Health Services

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average annual (a) capital and (b) running cost of a regional rehabilitation unit has been in the last three years. [199494]

Derek Twigg: The MOD has 15 Regional Rehabilitation Units (RRUs) in the UK and Germany. Responsibility for their individual management is shared between the single Service commands, with oversight from the Joint Medical Command. However, each Service funds its respective RRUs differently, with funding provision coming from a variety of areas, which are not uniquely identifiable, before being subsumed within the overall establishment or Station budget.

RRUs are not always located within discrete sole-use buildings and the average capital costs could therefore only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

The average annual staffing costs of a typical RRU is £477,600.

On average, each of the RRUs will spend approximately £10,000 per annum replacing and servicing equipment.

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Defence: Procurement

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding was allocated to the armed forces for expenditure on equipment in each year since 1997. [205765]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Outturn expenditure on the procurement of equipment (including both military and non-military equipment used by Service and civilian personnel) from 1997-98 has been published annually in UK Defence Statistics (UKDS) by the Defence Analytical Services Agency. UKDS can be found at:

and are available in the Library of the House.

However, data are not consistent across this period because of internal changes in responsibility for Defence equipment procurement and the introduction of Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB). Figures were produced on a cash basis until 2000-01. Full implementation of these accounting changes meant it was not possible to produce figures for the period 2001-02 to 2002-03 that were consistent for these years since the full adoption of RAB across the Department was not completed until 2003-04. A new data series using full RAB accounting has been produced annually since 2003-04. Outturn figures for 2007-08 will be published in UKDS 2008 later in the year.

Departmental Data Protection

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any officials in his Department were disciplined or dismissed for (a) breaches of data protection requirements and (b) inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [205905]

Derek Twigg: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Eco-Towns: Land

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 6 May 2008, Official Report, columns 837-38W, on eco-towns, (1) in which of the shortlisted sites his Department has sold or otherwise disposed of land in the last 10 years under arrangements whereby his Department would benefit from a future sale of the land; [207155]

(2) what estimate he has made of the sale price (a) before and (b) after shortlisting of (i) the sites owned by his Department and (ii) sites sold by his Department in the last 10 years. [207164]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence would benefit from a further sale of land at the following locations sold within the last 10 years: RE Long Marston Depot, RAF Coltishall and Bordon-Whitehill.

There are far too many variables at this early stage in the consultation process and we have therefore not made estimates of the value of sites before or after shortlisting.

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Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what basis service personnel qualify for (a) an Iraq Medal and (b) bars to the Iraq Medal; what changes have been made to this procedure since the conflict began; and if he will make a statement. [206902]

Derek Twigg: The qualification criteria for the Iraq Medal and clasp are published in Command Paper 6135 presented to Parliament in February 2004 and subsequently amended by Command Paper 6936 dated October 2006, copies of which were placed in the Library of the House. On 5 December 2007 Her Majesty the Queen approved a further amendment to the criteria for all current operational medals to include those whose qualifying service is prematurely curtailed by imprisonment, detention or internment.

Members: Correspondence

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to write to those hon. Members who raised issues but did not receive a response from the Minister for the Armed Forces during the debate on defence in the world on 8 May 2008. [206629]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As is usual following Defence debates in the House, responses will be sent by myself and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to a number of hon. and right hon. Members—including the hon. Member—on issues which, due to time constraints, I was unable to address fully in my closing speech. Copies of these letters will also be placed in the Library of the House.

Navy: Piracy

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 840W, on the Navy: piracy, whether pirates arrested at sea by the Royal Navy are (a) taken on board Her Majesty’s ships and (b) rendered to UK jurisdiction; and what discussions his Department has had with officials in the Home Department on the potential for such pirates to claim asylum in the United Kingdom. [206628]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our records suggest that no pirates have been arrested by the Royal Navy since the Second World War. If a pirate were to be arrested, they would remain in UK custody until such time as they were either lawfully transferred to another nation or returned to the UK criminal justice system.

MOD officials regularly liaise across Whitehall on issues relating to operations, including on piracy.

First World War: Anniversaries

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what national plans there are to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the First World War armistice in 2008. [206279]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I made today.

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Culture, Media and Sport

Culture Leadership Programme

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) placements, (b) courses, (c) coaching opportunities and (d) mentoring opportunities have been organised by the Cultural Leadership Programme; and how many people have taken part in each of these types of activity. [206240]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 16 May 2008]: An evaluation of the Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP) is currently under way. The CLP is in the process of collating output data from partner organisations and institutions and therefore the full impact of the programme is not available yet. The Department expects to receive the evaluation in early autumn 2008.

Gambling: Internet

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has made to the United States administration on the effect of US law on UK business interests in the United States, with particular reference to (a) online gambling companies and (b) companies providing financial services to the online gambling sector. [206563]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The UK maintains a constructive relationship with the US Administration in relation to a wide variety of subjects within the broad spectrum of trade issues, including those relating to gambling.

Officials have raised the concerns of the gambling industry with the relevant US authorities, and will continue to do so when appropriate opportunities present themselves.

Prime Minister


Justine Greening: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his statement on 14 May 2008, Official Report, column 1392, on the draft legislative programme, to which decisions on airports he was referring. [207082]

The Prime Minister: The Government's policy on aviation is set out in ‘The Future of Air Transport’ White Paper (CM 6046), December 2003; ‘The Future of Air Transport Progress Report’ (CM 6977), December 2006; and the consultation on Heathrow Airport—‘Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport’, November 2007.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of using incineration to reduce use of landfill; and if he will make a statement. [206753]

Joan Ruddock: Recovering energy from waste (including via incineration) can offer a considerable climate change benefit compared to the alternative of
22 May 2008 : Column 403W
landfill. This is primarily through avoided landfill methane emissions, with energy generated from the biodegradable fraction of waste also offsetting fossil fuel power generation.

While incineration is preferable to landfill, this should not displace waste from management further up the hierarchy (e.g. minimisation, reuse, recycling/composting).

Meat: Smuggling

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to prevent the importing of bush meat. [206294]

Joan Ruddock: While there is no precise definition for bush meat, it is generally understood to mean the meat of wild animals hunted for food, derived mainly from Central and West African countries.

Where the animals that have been hunted are rare or endangered they may be listed and their international trade controlled on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international agreement signed by 172 countries including the UK, which aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

In a recent study commissioned jointly by DEFRA and HMRC, of 230 samples DMA tested just five were found to be from CITES listed species. The summary report is available on the DEFRA website.

Additionally, while bush meat is not thought to be a significant risk to animal health in the UK as it does not enter the animal food-chain, HMRC has powers to deal with animal products that are imported outside the veterinary checks regime under the Products Of Animal Origin (POAO) Regulations. This function is carried out at the border by HMRC’s delivery partner the UK Border Agency.

The UK Border Agency’s strategy is to deter and detect illegal imports of POAO from entering Great Britain (responsibility for Northern Ireland is with DARDNI). Frontline multifunctional officers are trained to tackle a range of high risk goods at the border, including POAO. There are also a number of detector dogs based around GB who are trained to detect POAO. Traffic is targeted from high risk countries based on risk assessment and intelligence.

DEFRA and HMRC have undertaken a number of publicity and awareness raising initiatives to inform travellers and the UK public of the regulations.

Ozone Layer: EU Law

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the environmental impact of non-implementation of EC Regulation 2037/2000 in so far as it relates to building foam. [207223]

Mr. Woolas: The use of ozone-depleting substances in building insulation foams has been banned in the EU since the beginning of 2004. Most of these foams are currently still in buildings but it will be important
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to prepare for the time when large scale volumes of these insulation foams need to be disposed of where practicable.

DEFRA has initiated discussions with building industry stakeholders about current infrastructure available for dealing with demolition waste and the technical and economic issues that arise.


Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to complete the consultation on the transfer of private sewers to sewerage undertakers; and if he will make a statement. [207159]

Mr. Woolas: The Government announced in February 2007 their decision to transfer private sewers and lateral drains draining to the public sewerage system into water company ownership. We subsequently published a public consultation in July 2007 on implementation options for the proposed transfer. The consultation also posed questions on the scope of assets to be included in the transfer and ways in which the creation of new private sewers can be prevented.

A summary of responses was published in March 2008 and we are currently considering in detail the issues raised with the help of a steering group of key stakeholders. The work of the steering group will inform the decision on the timing of transfer and we expect to complete this by the summer.

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