|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which projects received funding from each regional Government office through the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. 
Mr. Malik: I refer the hon. Member to the letter sent by my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford (Hazel Blears) to the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman) on 24 January 2008 which provided details of the pathfinder projects in 2007-08-the first year that Communities and Local Government funded local authorities for this work, A copy of the letter is in the Library of the House.
In 2008-09, the mechanism by which the Department paid funds to local authorities for work to prevent violent extremism changed, moving from a 'pathfinder' approach to mainstreaming the funding through the Area Based Grant. My right hon. Friend the Member for Salford wrote to the hon. Member for Wycombe on 2 April 2009 explaining that funding for preventing violent extremism was paid to local authorities through the non ring-fenced Area Based Grant in 2008-09. As with other funding streams provided through the Area Based Grant, authorities are not required to provide any additional information other than that provided in their statutory accounts, statistical returns and Whole of Government Accounts returns. However, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tooting (Mr. Khan) wrote to all authorities on 12 February to make clear that despite the non ring-fenced nature of the funding continued close working between localities and central Government was critical in developing understanding of the impact of this new policy area.
Following a request from the hon. Member for Wycombe, my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford undertook to provide information about groups in receipt of funding from local authorities in 2008-09 and subsequently wrote to him on 1 May 2009. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to publish the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West; and what the reason is for the time taken to publish the strategy. 
Barbara Follett: The Library Service Modernisation Review will be published in the autumn. Although this is later than previously announced the delay is to enable the review to take into consideration the outcome of the local inquiry into the provision of library services by Wirral metropolitan borough council, which is expected to report in late July.
Barbara Follett: Data for the first quarter of A Night Less Ordinary, the scheme which offers free theatre tickets to young people under 26, are being collated and will be published by mid July 2009. Early feedback from participating venues and young theatre goers suggests the scheme is proving to be very popular.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many improvised explosive device attacks there have been on British forces in Afghanistan in each month since January 2008.  [Official Report, 23 November 2009, Vol. 501, c. 3MC.]
Data are more readily available for attacks within Regional Command (South), which includes the majority of UK forces deployed to Afghanistan. However, it is not possible, except at disproportionate cost, to identify attacks directed only at British forces given the multinational nature of forces operating in Regional Command (South).
|Improvised explosive device attacks|
These figures do not include improvised explosive device finds with no detonation or improvised explosive device false alarms. These data are based on information derived from a number of sources and can only be an estimate, not least because of the difficulties in ensuring a consistent interpretation of the basis of collating statistics in a complex fast-moving multinational operational environment.
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who was responsible for processing the pension payments to service personnel from the Royal Irish Regiment who received overpayment through the Special Capital Payment Scheme. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: This was the responsibility of the former Armed Forces Personnel and Administration Agency. In April 2007, the Armed Forces Personnel and Administration Agency merged with the Veterans Agency to form the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department's estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Use of energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, double glazing and cladding, form an integral element of the routine maintenance and management of the estate. A breakdown of the specific investment since 2004 to date is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
However, in addition to such routine investment, over the last two years this Department has invested some £8.9 million in 51 projects. It is estimated that these projects will result in financial savings of £2.8 million and emission reductions of 21,600 tonnes of CO2. The projects include Combined Heat and Power, biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps, building management systems and lighting projects.
In order to meet the targets placed on all Government Departments, MOD continues to identify opportunities to make further energy savings on its estate. Work includes undertaking energy audits on site, installing SMART meters and wherever possible achieving excellent rating in the Defence Related Environmental Assessment Methodology or the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology for new builds and major refurbishments.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reports he has received on the provisions made for the Gurkha Pension Scheme in the Sixth Indian Pay Code; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: A report was produced on the impact of the Indian Sixth Central Pay Commission on the Gurkha Pension Scheme on 2 March this year. The majority of rates of pensions in the Gurkha Pension Scheme still compare favourably with the changed rates in the Indian scheme and no action is needed. A few minor changes are being implemented, but the main area for change affects those pensioners aged 80 or over, the most vulnerable group, who are to receive an increase of at least 20 per cent.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of up-rating the future pensions of Gurkha ex-servicemen who retired prior to 1 July 1997 to the amount received by their UK equivalents. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Government policy is not to implement improvements to pensions and similar benefits retrospectively, a policy that is applied across the public sector in the United Kingdom. However, it has been estimated that to pay retrospective pensions to Gurkhas would cost MOD £1.5 billion over 20 years.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department has on the number of Gurkhas who left the Brigade prior to 1997 and who (a) live in poverty in Nepal and (b) receive charitable assistance to meet their basic needs; and if he will make a statement. 
Of these, some 24,000 are in receipt of Service pensions under the terms of the Gurkha Pension Scheme or the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. These provide a very good standard of living in Nepal. The rate of pension under the Gurkha Pension Scheme is kept under regular review and uplifted annually for inflation in Nepal, which ensures that the pension maintains its value in Nepal over the years. (The annual value of Gurkha Pension Scheme pensions that will be paid by the MOD in Nepal in 2009-10 is £54 million.)
There are around 5,000 veterans/veterans' widows who do not qualify for a Service Pension but who receive a Welfare Pension from the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, which is the field arm of the independent charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust. The Welfare Pension
is paid from donations made to the Gurkha Welfare Trust which allows them a sustainable lifestyle. The Ministry of Defence grants the Gurkha Welfare Trust more than £1 million per year, which covers most of its administrative costs in Nepal.
The remaining 7,000 personnel are veterans who did not serve for long enough to qualify for a Service Pension and who are not yet old enough or needy enough to qualify for a Welfare Pension. On leaving the Brigade of Gurkhas, they would have received a gratuity but no pension. If these veterans fall on hard times they too become eligible for a Welfare Pension.
Bob Spink: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the answer of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 477W, on elections: local government, what steps the Electoral Commission takes to ensure that (a) their guidance is complied with and (b) their published performance standards are met by returning officers. 
Mr. Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that following publication in October 2009 of its first annual assessment of returning officers' performance against its published performance standards, the Commission intends to meet returning officers who have not met its standards to agree with them action plans aimed at ensuring they will meet the standards in 2010.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many (a) special advisers and (b) officials of his Department accompanied him to Glasgow for the Cabinet meeting on 16 April 2009; 
Joan Ruddock: For information relating to the Cabinet and public engagement event held in Glasgow on 16 April I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 487W.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of progress on meeting the commitments under the Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects. 
Joan Ruddock: Progress on meeting the commitments under the Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects is overseen by a working group of all members of the Energy Charter, including the UK, supported by the Energy Charter Secretariat. The main mechanism for assessing progress is through regular in-depth reviews of individual member states' policy frameworks for energy efficiency together with horizontal reviews across all the member states focused on specific policy issues.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|