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Mike Penning - Home Office

My rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying a copy of the 2014/15 annual report of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner before the House, as required by Section 35 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The report has also been published on the Commissioners website

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner is an independent role appointed under Section 34 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to encourage compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice, review the operation of the code, and provide advice about the code (including changes to it or breaches of it).

The current Commissioner is Tony Porter, whose three-year term of appointment commenced on 10 March 2014.

Michael Fallon - Ministry of Defence

I have today laid before Parliament a Ministry of Defence Departmental Minute concerning a further gifting package which the UK intends to make to the Government of Ukraine.

Russias illegal annexation of Crimea and its destabilising activities in Eastern Ukraine, including direct military support to the separatists, has demonstrated its disregard for international law. Since fighting began, nearly 8,000 people have been killed and approximately 18,000 injured. Around 1.4 million people have been displaced in Ukraine.

The latest ceasefire agreement, reached on 29 August, has seen a reduction in violence in the conflict zone. However, until there is a political settlement to the conflict the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) have to remain deployed forward and continue to suffer fatalities and casualties. As a result of the prolonged engagement in this conflict, the UAF face a chronic shortage of basic equipment, and have requested help.

This Government is committed to supporting Ukraines sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Our proposed gift of non-lethal equipment is designed to prevent further Ukrainian fatalities and casualties and to help improve resilience on the ground.

The gifting package consists of 170 large tents with ancillary equipment to mitigate winter conditions and 600 sets of cold weather clothing. Subject to completion of the Departmental Minute process, delivery is expected to be undertaken over the coming weeks. The total cost of this proposed package of equipment is approximately 971,000, including transportation costs and contingency.

Michael Fallon - Ministry of Defence

I have today laid before Parliament a Ministry of Defence Departmental Minute describing the contingent liability for the installation of British Telecom (BT) Solent cables in support of Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) base-porting.

It is necessary to conduct dredging works in the Solent and approaches to Portsmouth Harbour ahead of the arrival of the QEC aircraft carriers to ensure their safe transit to and from their home-port.

Two BT fibre-optic cables currently lie between the Main Land and the Isle of Wight and must be removed prior to commencement of dredging works. BT have proposed that rather than burying the replacement cables they surface lay the cables to ensure they are relocated as soon as possible, minimising the impact to the capital dredging works which are scheduled to commence on 17 December.

Surface laying the new cable is not BTs preferred solution as they consider the new cables will be more vulnerable to damage from fishing activity. BT require the MOD to carry the liability for any repairs to the cables until they have naturally self buried into the seabed and forecast that the cables could be at risk to damage twice within the first five years and once in the following five.

If cable repairs are necessary, each one is estimated to cost 360,000. The maximum contingent liability against the MOD is therefore 1,080,000. The duration of the liability will be 10 years from the date the new BT cables are installed, with this activity scheduled to complete in early December. If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be managed through normal supply procedure. The Department will be noting this Contingent Liability in its Accounts.


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