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Arising from the published findings of the board of inquiry into the death of Sergeant Steven Roberts in March 2003, what progress the Headquarters Director Royal Armoured Corps has made in developing doctrinal notes and standard operating procedures for the employment of armoured fighting vehicles at vehicle checkpoints in situations of both warfare and peacekeeping. [HL1206]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Doctrinal notes for the employment of Challenger 2 in vehicle checkpoints, covering both war-fighting and peacekeeping scenarios, were made available to all armoured regiments in December 2006. Doctrinal notes were already in place for Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Scimitar/Spartan, Warrior and Fighting Vehicle 430 prior to the related recommendation by the board of inquiry into the death of Sergeant Steven Roberts.
Arising from the published findings of the board of inquiry into the death of Sergeant Steven Roberts in March 2003, what steps have been taken, via the introduction of Bowman or otherwise, to provide personal role radio fully interoperable with the communications systems of armoured fighting vehicles. [HL1207]
Lord Drayson: The vehicle integrated personal role radio (VIPRR) is at present being rolled out for armoured vehicles in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trials on Clansman platforms took place in April and May 2005, and the first deliveries to Operation TELIC were made in June that year. Acceptance trials on Bowman platforms started in January 2006, with the first deliveries to Operation TELIC in August 2006, followed by deliveries to Operation HERRICK in September that year. To date 357 VIPRR kits have been delivered, and a further 278 are scheduled for delivery by May 2007.
What personal identification airline passengers on both domestic and international flights are required to show prior to take-off from United Kingdom airports; at what points in the journey from airport entrance to seat on the aircraft must this identification be shown; and under what primary or delegated legislation these requirements are laid down. [HL893]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: It is not a security requirement for passengers to provide a passport or photographic ID at check-in. The request for photographic ID by some airlines has been introduced under the airlines own conditions of travel to prevent ticket fraud.
Airlines must, however, ensure that the person who checks in hold baggage is the same person who then boards the aircraft. The Department for Transport does not specify how airlines should achieve this to enable them to retain operational flexibility, though on international flights where passports are carried airlines may use these to confirm identity. These checks will be made at both check-in and the departure gate.
Whether terrorist offenders released as a result of the provisions of the Belfast agreement 1998 are monitored by the Irish police service; and whether information is provided to the United Kingdom authorities if they are involved in criminal or terrorist activity. [HL1010]
As the current legislation stands, there may be occasions when an individual released within the terms of the agreement may commit an offence in Ireland and be subject to the revocation of their licence. I am advised that there are no processes in place in which An Garda Siochana routinely checks whether a person is on licence or not but understand that it is proactive in passing information to the PSNI if it does come to light.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 8 January (WA 13-14) concerning British overseas citizens of Nepalese origin, whether the British consulate-general in Hong Kong will provide such persons with written confirmation stating that they were a Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizen on 4 February and 30 June 1997 to enable the Nepalese authorities to determine whether or not the person in question was a citizen of Nepal on 4 February and 30 June 1997; and what is the cost of obtaining such confirmation from the British consulate-general in Hong Kong. [HL1167]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): Anyone can approach the British consulate-general in Hong Kong and request a letter confirming whether or not they hold, or ever held, British nationality. This service is covered under consular fee number 1(a) and costs the equivalent of £23.50.
Under what circumstances a person would not have been a British Dependent Territories citizen on 4 February and 30 June 1997 if (a) he was born in Hong Kong before 1 January 1949 and was therefore a natural-born British subject at birth, (b) immediately before 1 January 1949 he had not ceased to be a British subject, and (c) after 1 January 1949 he had not renounced British nationality. [HL1169]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Whether such a person would have a claim to be a British Dependent Territories citizen is a matter of law that can be determined conclusively only by the courts. However, from the information provided it appears that a person in the circumstances described would have been a British Dependent Territories citizen on those dates.
What progress has been made in gaining acceptance by companies of the requirements of the European Union Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals regulation since it was launched in October 2003.[HL1335]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government have always supported fully the aim of the REACH regulation to improve protection of human health and the environment and to maintain the competitiveness and innovation of the EU chemicals industry. We sought to consult widely with the UK chemicals industry and other sectors that will be affected by REACH to ensure that their views were taken into account and that they were kept informed of developments throughout the legislative process.
In October 2006, I announced that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would act as the UK competent authority for the implementation of REACH. The HSE has set up a helpdesk to provide assistance and advice to all industrial sectors on the requirements of REACH. Various industry bodies are also taking active steps to make sure that companies understand about REACH and have access to advice.
The Government are confident that there is a widespread understanding of REACH and its requirements among the major industrial players. However, we are less confident that there is such an understanding among the significant numbers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and among companies not in the chemical industry but which nevertheless use chemicals. With the formal adoption of the REACH regulation in December 2006, we are developing a communications strategy to ensure that SMEs in particular are fully aware of REACH requirements as they progressively come into effect from 1 June 2007.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government will be taking an active role in pushing forward the environmental and climate change measures agreed at the December 2006 European Council and further strengthening the strong link between the EU climate change policy and energy policy.
We are working closely with Germany, which is intending to use its presidency of the EU and G8 to develop expanding circles of consensus through 2007 in the run-up to Conference of Parties 13 in Bali.
The UK will be taking an active role in the follow-up work on the Nairobi decisions, including how to breathe fresh air into the convention dialogue, ideally through the tabling of concrete proposals about future action. We will be looking to accelerate negotiations on future action by demonstrating clear EU leadership through securing an agreement on tough greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for the EU and using the EU and G8 fora to seek high-level agreement on the elements that should form the basis of a future framework.
We announced a new Climate Change Bill, which will put into statute the Government's long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 and set out a framework for achieving this. This will also strengthen our ability to be global leaders in a future international framework for climate change.
Although unilateral linking is currently possible, mutual recognition of such schemes would require an amendment to the directive. This is being considered as one of the UK's priorities for the Commission's review of the emissions trading directive. The Government support the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS and will be working with the Commission and other member states during negotiation of the directive on inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS.
Whether they will revise their estimate of the likely effects of coastal erosion and collapse in areas of vulnerable coastline around the United Kingdom mainland and islands; and what further measures they will consider to deal with coastal erosion and collapse in these areas. [HL1338]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Defra has overall policy responsibility for coastal erosion risk in England and grant-aids local authority improvement projects and related studies to manage this risk. The department does not build defences or direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake. Management of coastal erosion risk and
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Erosion risk will vary around the coastline depending on local conditions and defences in place. Defra has encouraged the relevant authorities to produce shoreline management plans (SMPs), which provide large-scale assessments of the risks associated with coastal processes and present long-term policy frameworks to manage these risks in a sustainable manner.
In 2001, Defra funded a national study of information on long-term coastal processes and evolution over the next century (Futurecoast). This is designed to be used by coastal authorities to inform their current revisions of SMPs. The Department of Trade and Industry's Foresight: Future Flooding report, published in 2004, also considered possible coastal erosion scenarios over the following 80 years.
Work under the cross-government Making Space for Water programme is focusing on methods for mapping erosion probabilities with the aim of producing national maps of coastal erosion probability in 2009, similar to those currently available for flood risk. Further work within this programme is looking at the national scale of the problems, with a view to considering future options for adaptation policy.
Funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management has increased significantly in recent years. New approaches to management of the risk in a broad sense are being considered under Making Space for Water. They include proposals for new outcome measures, on which we are currently out to public consultation, and for the Environment Agency to have a strategic overview of all coastal flood and erosion risk management.
|Expenditure since 01/01/06||Subject of Consultancy|
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