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14 May 2009 : Column 953W—continued

Royal Regiment of Gibraltar

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of the Royal Regiment of Gibraltar; and when he next plans to review the number of troops stationed in that region. [274778]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Royal Gibraltar Regiment continues to perform its primary role of supporting the defence and security of the territory of Gibraltar.

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As part of the routine annual planning round cycle the Ministry of Defence continually reviews its future plans across Defence including British Forces Gibraltar.

Somalia: Piracy

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what NATO assets will be used for Operation Atalanta under the (a) 2003 Berlin Plus arrangements and (b) 2002 NATO-EU Declaration on the European Security and Defence Policy; and if he will make a statement. [274819]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are no plans to use NATO assets for Operation Atalanta.

Under the terms of the 2002 NATO-EU Declaration on ESDP, the EU has briefed non-EU European members of NATO on the operation.

Submarines: Decommissioning

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the submarine dismantling project. [274697]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The project currently has approval to undertake a £14 million assessment phase due to complete in 2011. This will be followed by the demonstration phase which will run from 2011 to 2013; costs for this phase have not yet been approved. Whole life cost figures will be developed as part of the preparation of the main gate business case, which is planned to be submitted for approval in 2013.

Submarines: Radiation Exposure

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many instances there have been of radioactive leaks from (a) nuclear-armed and (b) conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines in each of the last 12 years. [274332]

Mr. Quentin Davies: There have been nine leaks that were potentially radioactive. All these instances involved Ship Submersible Nuclear submarines which are conventionally armed submarines.

The following table shows in which year each instance occurred.


















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Energy and Climate Change

China and India: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the (a) Chinese and (b) Indian governments on the reduction of greenhouse emissions; and if he will make a statement. [249826]

Joan Ruddock: I apologise for the delay in replying to this question, which was inadvertently misplaced.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly discusses climate change with key international partners, including China and India. Most recently he has met with Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, on his visit to China 3-6 May.

In addition, the UK and China enjoy a positive dialogue at official level, which takes place through the UK-China Working Group on Climate Change, launched in September 2006. Key areas of focus include: progress towards an ambitious outcome at the climate change talks in Copenhagen; reviewing and developing ongoing climate science collaboration between the UK and China; and adaptation to climate change through phase two of the Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture project. The last meeting of the working group took place in London in August 2008 and the next meeting is scheduled to take place in Beijing later this year.

The UK-India Structured Dialogue on Climate Change took place between senior officials in September last year in Delhi. The Secretary of State is looking forward to expanding on these conversations during international meetings such as the Major Economies Forum and the UNFCCC, as well as the UK-India bilateral summit, scheduled to take place later this year.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2009, Official Report, column 1806W, on liquefied petroleum gas, which trade groups he plans to meet; and when he plans to meet them. [272308]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I will be meeting with the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UK PIA) next month.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Stafford of 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 326W, on solar power, what information and guidance his Department has provided for applicants for grants for solar photovoltaic technology whose applications are being kept on hold. [272097]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) Phase 2 is managed by Building Research Establishment (BRE). BRE have taken a number of measures to ensure that all interested parties are kept fully informed about the current hold on solar PV funding. In particular, information is available on the
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LCBP website to keep applicants and framework suppliers up to date on grant commitments and developments in relation to the programme. BRE have also contacted applicants and a helpline service is available.

Department officials also hold regular meetings with LCBP Phase 2 framework suppliers to track the progress of projects and to manage the programme through to June 2009.

Power Stations: Protest

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information held by his Department and its predecessors on plans relating to protests at (a) coal-fired and (b) nuclear power plants has been provided to (i) E.ON and (ii) other power generators in the last two years. [270771]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Contingency planning for protests at power stations is a matter for the owners, the local police force and in the case of nuclear plants, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. If it is aware of likely protests the Department may liaise with these parties to ensure contingency plans are in place to protect security of supply, although people also have rights to legally protest.

River Severn: Tidal Power

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which seminars and public events on tidal power in the Severn he and his officials (a) have attended since 26 January 2009 and (b) propose to attend before the end of the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study Consultation. [271197]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The first Severn tidal power consultation has now closed. Since the launch of the consultation—which was attended by some 150 stakeholders—I have chaired several Severn tidal power parliamentary forums (for MPs, Lords, Welsh Assembly Members, and MEPs); a regional forum with senior representatives of local authorities, local business and environmental organisations; and launched the Severn Embryonic Technologies Scheme, to fund the development of new technology proposals. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State replied to the private Member’s debate on the feasibility study in Westminster Hall.

DECC officials have (in addition to a large number of bilateral meetings with stakeholders) attended a wide variety of stakeholder and public meetings including those listed:

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The Department's partners in the feasibility study (including Welsh Assembly Government, the South West Regional Development Agency, and Government Office South West) and consultants to the feasibility study have also attended a number of meetings and events to provide information about the study and consultation.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change by what means he has engaged with (a) the general public and (b) those likely to be affected by the Severn tidal power schemes shortlisted for further consideration consequent on consultation on the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study published on 26 January 2009. [271198]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The general public and those likely to be affected by the proposed shortlist of potential Severn tidal power schemes have been engaged in the feasibility study in the following ways:

Nearly 10,000 unique visitors have visited our consultation website and around 700 consultation responses have been received.

Warm Front Scheme

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what support is available to Warm Front customers to replace faulty domestic boilers fitted under the scheme. [274365]

Joan Ruddock: Warm Front customers who have received a gas boiler have access to a 24 hour breakdown line, which operates seven days a week and 365 days a year. In the majority of cases this service provides either a same day or next day response. Temporary heaters will also be provided under certain circumstances.

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The Warm Front Scheme will first try to repair a faulty boiler. If the installer cannot repair it, they will recommend replacing the boiler with a similar model, for example, a standard boiler will be replaced with another standard boiler which is just as (or more) efficient.

In addition gas boilers installed or repaired under Warm Front receive two annual service visits. These are carried out approximately 12 and 24 months after the date of installation.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Business: Government Assistance

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent support his Department has provided to (a) small, (b) medium and (c) large businesses in the West Midlands. [272857]

Ian Pearson: The Government are providing a range of support to businesses and industry. Information on the full range of national support available can be accessed at

The West Midlands Task Force set up by the Minister for the West Midlands, has established a ‘one stop shop’ website

dedicated to signposting businesses and individuals in the region to support available, including specialist regional support.

In addition to help sign post businesses to support available in the region, Advantage West Midlands (AWM) is preparing a document which maps out the current initiatives available for difference size businesses—micro/small, medium and large. The final document will describe the initiatives in more detail. AWM are in the process of finalising this document and it will be accessible via

Members: Correspondence

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 19 February 2009, transferred from the Department for International Development on 25 February 2009, on tax evasion by multinational companies. [274439]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 11 May 2009]: I replied to the hon. Member on 7 May 2009.

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