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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representatives from the Valuation Office Agency attended the IRRV conference in Blackpool in May; and to what extent they participated. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment the Government have made of whether the planned valuebill database will hold sensitive personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998. 
Mr. Woolas: Valuebill aims to improve the electronic exchange of property information between local authorities and the Valuation Office Agency and to better link existing property databases through the provision of a unique property reference number. The information exchanges that Valuebill seeks to facilitate do not relate to sensitive personal information within the definition of the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart regarding the draw down of US troops from Afghanistan and the security plans thereafter; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his oral statement of 10 July 2006, Official Report, columns 1131-48, on Afghanistan (troop levels), how many extra (a) medical and (b) logistical support personnel will be deployed as part of the additional deployment to Helmand Province; and when they will arrive. 
Des Browne: On current plans, the enhancements to the Helmand Taskforce announced on 10 July will include around 15 additional medical support personnel and 150 logistics support personnel, all of whom will deploy around September.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and (b) Secretary of State for International Development regarding the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. 
Des Browne: I have regular discussions with my colleagues, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Secretary of State for International Development, on a wide range of issues.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme tariff is being applied in the same way in relation to mental ill health and physical injury; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Watson [holding answer 14 July 2006]: The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is a tariff based scheme designed to provide compensation for service personnel injured, made ill or killed through service since 6 April 2005. The tariffs cover the full range of injuries, physical and mental, likely to affect service personnel. The Scheme is administered by the Veterans Agency which applies the same determination process to all conditions whether physical or mental. An evaluation of all aspects of the first year of operation of the Scheme is currently being carried out involving interested parties, one of which is Combat Stress. The evaluation will be in the light of experience and evidence of cases arising so far, including those who have suffered from mental health issues.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 703W, on Colombia, whether he has made an assessment of the extent to which the training given for the disposal of explosive devices is within the de-mining framework of the Human Rights Programme of the Colombian Vice-Presidency and the anti personnel mines observatory; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The explosive device disposal assistance provided to the Colombian armed forces by the MOD through its humanitarian de-mining training sits very well within the de-mining framework of the Human Rights Programme of the Colombian Vice-Presidency. The work of the latter is done through the Anti-Personnel Mines Observatory, as the Colombian Governments vehicle for the application of the Ottawa Convention.
The Observatory aims to achieve its goals by following an action plan that includes: the generation of knowledge and information on landmine issues, prevention, assistance to victims and removal of mines; promoting the solidarity of the international community for developing national actions in applying the Ottawa convention; education work to help prevention; promoting humanitarian de-mining; and regulating, disseminating, promoting, applying and monitoring various aspects of the De-mining National Plan, including the Regime of Collection and Destruction of anti-personnel mines.
MOD personnel providing de-mining training enter into consultation with personnel from the Anti-Personnel Mines Observatory to ensure the training we give ties in with their action plan. MOD humanitarian de-mining training affects the removal of mines, and promotes public education and awareness of landmine issues. Thus it is well positioned to meet a number of the Vice Presidents priorities.
The humanitarian de-mining training provided by the MOD in 2006 conformed to the International Mines Action Standards (IMAS) 2005. This is the acknowledged international standard approved by the UN and is used worldwide. We have an aspiration that for future courses Colombian students will gain IMAS accreditation through such training.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written statement of 30 January 2006, Official Report, columns 2-3WS, on Far East Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees (FEPOW Scheme), when he expects to announce the findings of Mr. Watkins report; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with NATO allies on the provision of additional troops and resources to the International Security Assistance Force. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an evaluation of the experience of dealing with the TMRP-6 mine in Bosnia has been carried out in the context of the emergence of explosively formed projectile mines in Iraq. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has an established process to review operational experiences, which provides the primary mechanism whereby we can translate lessons and best practice into enhanced capability. Lessons learned from our experience of the TMRP-6 have been evaluated and where appropriate implemented. However, we must be careful not to generalise conclusions drawn from one specific threat as the improvised threats we currently face on operations are not easily characterised.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer by the Solicitor-General of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1111W, on Iraq, what investigations he has undertaken into the practice of wetting; how far up the chain of command knowledge of the practice extended; and what steps he has taken to ensure that the practice is not continued. 
Mr. Watson: Wetting is not an official military procedure although the military chain of command is aware that this practice is alleged to have taken place in specific cases which have been individually investigated.
All officers and soldiers receive training in ethics throughout their careers. Training is first provided during Initial Training, when a soldier or officer joins the Army, with further training linked to rank and responsibility, usually when an officer or soldier is promoted. In addition, every officer and soldier receives refresher training on an annual basis through the Military Annual Training Tests which maintain Common Military Skills. This routine training is reinforced during Pre-Deployment Training where all soldiers and officers receive refresher training on the Values and Standards of the British Army, Equality and Diversity and the Law of Armed Conflict.
Where there are any allegations that soldiers have failed to act within the law or their rules of engagement, those allegations will be investigated and where appropriate, action will be taken against individuals.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has carried out an assessment of the design of the Force Protection MUV-R Joint Light Tactical Vehicle prototype for suitability as a tactical patrol vehicle for the British Army. 
Mr. Ingram: We continually review new developments across the defence industry. We are aware of the Force Protection Inc. MUV-R and as the Secretary of State announced on 26 June we are conducting a review of the options for protected patrol vehicles to determine what can be done as soon as possible and in the longer term.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the official designation is of the Snatch Land Rover; when it was first produced for the British Army; how many versions have been produced; how many of each version have been produced; what levels of ballistic protection each version offers; and what the approximate cost per vehicle is of the current version. 
|(1) Refurbished from SNATCH 1|
(2 )Modified from SNATCH 1 and 1.5
(3 )Programme to refurbish from SNATCH 1 and 1.5 currently ongoing
(4) Refurbished from SNATCH land 1.5
30 SNATCH have been removed from service leaving a current total of 961. The approximate cost of a SNATCH 2A is around £60,000. We do not comment on protection levels, as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of our armed forces.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he was first informed of the Chancellor of the Exchequers public commitment to retention of the nuclear deterrent in the long term. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written statement of 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 99WS, on the report by the Review Board for Government Contracts, when he will place a copy of the report in the Library. 
Mr. Ingram: Hard copies of the Review Boards 2006 Annual Review, published by The Stationery Office (TSO), will be placed in the Library this week. An electronic copy of the report is available on the main MOD website at the following address:
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/Corporate Publications/Reports/ReportsForBusiness/ReviewBoardGov Contracts/.
Des Browne: Decommissioning of the Vanguard Class submarines is still some way off. Officials are investigating decommissioning costs as part of the work to prepare for decisions, which will be taken later this year, on the future of the United Kingdoms nuclear deterrent.
Des Browne: Work is now under way to prepare for decisions on the future of the United Kingdoms nuclear deterrent, which will be taken later this year. Ministers have been briefed by officials on some of the relevant issues and have requested that further work be undertaken. It is too early to rule in or out any particular option.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the annual maintenance cost of the Trident weapons system is expected to be in 2006-07; and what the cost was in each of the last five years. 
Des Browne: The annual expenditure for capital and running costs of the Trident nuclear deterrent, including costs for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, is expected to be between 5 and 5.5 per cent. of the Defence budget in 2006-07. For the costs in the last five years, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) on 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 713W.
Sir Gerald Kaufman:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 27 March from the right hon. Member for
Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. M. Wood, transferred from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 
Mr. Coaker: Data for the number of people convicted for offences relating to carrying a knife in a public place in Suffolk police force area, from 2000 to 2004, can be found in the following table. Court proceedings data for 2005 will be available in autumn of 2006.
|Number of people convicted at all courts for offences relating to carrying a knife in a public place, in Suffolk police force area( 1) 2000-04|
|(1) These data are on the principal offence basis.|
(2 )Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts, police forces and other agencies. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Office for Criminal Justice Reform
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