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Written answers

Friday, 16 May 2008

  • Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

    • Ethnic Minority Business Task Force

      To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent meetings he has held with the Ethnic Minority Business Task Force.

    • London Airports

      To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many times his Department hired VIP facilities at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick, (c) Luton and (d) Stansted...

      Post Offices: Finance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which local authorities in Gloucestershire made submissions to the recent restructuring review of post offices...

      Post Offices: Halifax

      To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many post offices in Halifax were closed between 1979 and 1992.

      Postal Services: Competition

      To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he is taking to ensure fair competition in the provision of postal services.

      Royal Mail: Business

      To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the level was of business use of the Post Office/Royal Mail in (a) the most recent year for which figures are...

  • Children, Schools and Families

    • Children: Day Care

      To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1136-7W, on Children: Day Care, how many and what proportion of...

    • Children: Disabled

      To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme's core offer will include provision to increase assistance given by...

      Sure Start Programme: Voluntary Organisations

      To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) local Sure Start centres and (b) children's centres are run by voluntary organisations.

  • Communities and Local Government

    • Council Tax: Valuation

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under what circumstances a revaluation of a home for the purposes of council tax may be triggered.

    • Eco-Towns

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the transcript of the telephone conference of 3 April 2008 between the Minister for...

      Eco-Towns

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of housing in eco-towns is planned to be zero-carbon.

      Eco-Towns: Greenbelt

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many of the short-listed proposed eco-town locations contain green belt land; and what the percentage of green belt land...

      Eco-Towns: Low Incomes

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of housing in eco-towns she plans to be affordable.

      Eco-Towns: Planning

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the new Planning Policy Statement on eco-towns will be location-specific.

      Eco-Towns: Planning

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether planning guidance for eco-towns will be site-specific.

      Eco-Towns: Planning

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the approach in the draft planning policy statement on eco-towns will follow the approach to national policy statements...

      Energy: EU Law

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions officials in her Department discussed the proposed labelling of heating systems in the energy-using...

      Housing: Derelict Land

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 740W, on Housing: Derelict Land, what proportion of new dwellings...

      Local Authorities: Asylum

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the cost to local authorities arising from the Border and Immigration Agency's Case...

      Local Government: Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the cash value was of payments made by local authority employers, including secondary contributions, to the local...

      Members: Correspondence

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to the representation of the hon. Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey on behalf of his constituent Mr....

      Regional Planning and Development

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the responsibilities of the Local Government Taskforce are; and when it was established; (2) in what projects the...

      Social Rented Housing: Foreigners

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many new (a) local authority social lettings and (b) registered social landlord lettings were made to foreign...

      Social Rented Housing: Foreigners

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many social lettings were allocated to (a) foreign nationals and (b) A8 nationals in each region in each year since...

      Stamp Duties

      To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the average stamp duty paid by a first-time buyer in (a) Bexley, (b) England and (c) the United...

  • Culture Media and Sport

    • Football Licensing Authority: Finance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding his Department plans to allocate to the Football Licensing Authority in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11.

    • Departmental Accountancy

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects to publish his Department's annual resource accounts for 2007-08.

      Sports: Finance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the value of (a) awards and (b) payments made from the New Opportunities Fund for physical education and sport was in each year...

      UK Sport: Finance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding his Department plans to allocate to UK Sport in each of the next three years.

  • Defence

    • Armoured Fighting Vehicles

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects the Piranha V future rapid effect system utility vehicle to come into service; and how many he plans to order; (2) pursuant to the...

    • Departmental Internet

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2008, Official Report, column 1924W, on the departmental internet, from which networks write access to Wikipedia has...

      Kosovo: Peacekeeping Operations

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the technical arrangement between NATO Kosovo Force and the EU rule of law civilian mission to be finalised; and what assessment he has...

      Radioactive Materials: Transport

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2008, Official Report, column 484W, on Radioactive Materials: Transport, what plans he has to ensure that the...

      Veterans

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to improve the assistance given to soldiers to prepare for life upon return from tours of duty in theatres of operation.

  • Duchy of Lancaster

    • Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals

      To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many recommendations of the Committee on Honours, Decorations and Medals have been submitted for consideration in the last 12 months; and...

    • Crime Prevention

      To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many people responded to the Have Your Say exercise as part of the Crime and Communities Review; (2) what responsibility his Department...

      Departmental Freedom of Information

      To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many freedom of information requests made to his Department were (a) answered (i) within 20 days, (ii) within 40 days, (iii) within 60 days,...

      Immigration

      To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the number of immigrants arriving in (a) the UK and (b) Northamptonshire in 2008; and if he will make a statement.

  • Electoral Commission Committee

    • Elections: Standards

      To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps are being taken to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of returning officers.

    • Voting Methods: Standards

      To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps are being taken to monitor the effectiveness of the delivery of (a) poll cards and...

  • Environment Food and Rural Affairs

    • Domestic Wastes: Waste Disposal

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has undertaken research into the potential risk of lung damage and other allergic reactions from...

    • Domestic Wastes: Waste Disposal

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers waste collection authorities have to enter (a) the curtilage of a property and (b) a property; under what...

      Floods: Finance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Environment Agency on the funding required to implement the final recommendations of Sir...

      Litter

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department monitors the number of visitors to the Knowledge Bank on litter run by his Department and ENCAMS.

      Plastic Bags

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will convene a forum among representatives of supermarkets to discuss an industry-wide approach to reducing the use of...

      Recycling: Castle Point

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from Castle Point Borough Council in relation to the Environment Agency's assessment of...

      Sewers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on transferring ownership of private sewers to water companies since the consultation in 2004.

      Waste Disposal

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will allocate resources to develop commingled waste collections.

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

    • Burma: Sanctions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2008, Official Report, column 640W, on Burma: Sanctions, whether a date has been set for the...

    • Burma: United Nations

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Burma is expected following discussions by the UN Security Council on 24 April.

      Burma: United Nations

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Burma is put on the UN Security Council's formal agenda; and if he will make...

      Departmental Catering

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost was of food and drink procured for working lunches attended by officials at which no external invitees were...

      Departmental Public Participation

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on (a) written consultations, (b) consultation roadshows and (c) stakeholder focus groups in...

      Kingston upon Hull

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the itinerary of the visit of the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Mr....

      Lebanon: Armed Conflict

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the violence in Beirut on the surrounding region.

      Maldives: Elections

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to support media and election monitoring in the Maldives in the run up to multi-party elections; and if he...

      Maldives: Elections

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of the Maldives on the (a) establishment of (i) an election commission,...

      Members: Correspondence

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will answer the letter of 31 March from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on Mrs. Brohi and Aftab Brohi.

      Pakistan: Terrorism

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 8 May 2008, Official Report, column 1105W, on Pakistan: Terrorism, (1) in how many of the six cases...

      Somalia: Human Rights

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of extrajudicial executions allegedly committed in Somalia by Transitional Federal Government...

      Sudan: Armed Conflict

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of responsibility for the recent attacks on villages, markets and populated areas in Umm Sidir, Ein...

      Sudan: International Criminal Court

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to promote a United Nations Security Council resolution to respond to Sudan's failure to comply...

  • Health

    • Arthritis: Health Services

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the particular continuing health and social care needs of people with arthritis are taken into account in (a) Lord...

    • Cancer: Health Services

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) data and (b) other evidence were taken into account in formulating Improving Outcomes Guidance for head and neck cancer services.

      Dental Services: Young People

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental braces were provided for those under the age of 18 years in each of the last five years; and what proportion of the associated costs were...

      Departmental Managers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what regular meetings are held of and among his Department's national clinical directors.

      Departmental Managers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role his Department's National Clinical Director for Service Reconfiguration is playing in Lord Darzi's review of the NHS in England.

      Doctors: Working Hours

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health at what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials have discussed the Working Time Directive with (i) EU officials, (ii) Commission members, (iii)...

      Doctors: Working Hours

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2008, Official Report, column 1258W, on Doctors: Working hours, if he will publish the dossier to which the answer refers.

      Doctors: Working Hours

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1514W, on the NHS: Working Hours, which other member states are seeking changes to the...

      Foetal Tissue: Blood

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many units collected by the NHS Cord Blood Bank were (a) suitable for and (b) used for transplant purposes in each year since 2005; (2) how...

      General Practitioners: Finance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his announcement on 5 May 2008, that 12 new general practitioner practices will be provided in under-doctored areas, whether the allocation of...

      Health Services: Children

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2008, Official Report, columns 251-2W, on Children: Health Services, what estimate he has made of the number of...

      Heart Diseases: Waiting Lists

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for cardiac operations was in (a) England, (b) London and (c) Greenwich in (i) 1997 and (ii) the last year for which...

      Hospital Wards: Gender

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation in the NHS.

      Hospitals: Cleaning Services

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what hospital inspections have taken place in Merseyside to ensure compliance with the hygiene code since 2006; on what dates such inspections were...

      Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to implement the Rapid Review Panel recommendations on healthcare technologies capable of reducing healthcare-acquired...

      Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many product assessments the Rapid Review Panel has undertaken since December 2003; how many assessed products were recommended to his Department for...

      Oral Cancer: East of England

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what resources he plans to allocate to the East of England region to provide training for dentists in detecting the early signs of oral cancers in...

      Organs: Donors

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of viable human organs available under the NHS Organ Donor Register that were not used for a transplant operation...

      Ovarian Cancer: Screening

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Government's policy is on detection of and screening for ovarian cancer; and what the criteria are for deciding when to start screenings.

      Spinal Injuries: Health Services

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what support is available for people with spinal cord injuries and their families; (2) what steps are being taken to improve the Spinal Cord Injury...

  • Home Department

    • Airports: Customs Officers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Border and Immigration Agency staff on average were on duty each day after 10.00 pm at (a) Manchester, (b) Coventry, (c) Luton,...

    • Asylum

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on costs to local authorities arising from...

      Borders: Personal Records

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will provide a breakdown by offence of the arrests made under Project Semaphore of the e-Borders programme.

      Borders: Personal Records

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will provide a breakdown by category of the alerts raised under Project Semaphore of the e-Borders programme.

      Borders: Personal Records

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department from which high-risk countries travellers are subject to compulsory watch-list checks under the e-Borders programme.

      Departmental Energy

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department has taken to reduce its energy consumption in the last 12 months; and what her Department's expenditure on energy...

      Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent in severance pay to special advisers in each year since 1997.

      Departmental Telephone Services

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much revenue was generated by each (a) 0845 and (b) 0870 telephone code used for customer inquiry lines by her Department's agencies in...

      Entry Clearances

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans her Department has to update the training programmes for staff assessing visa applications.

      Foreigners

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of foreign nationals were counted (a) in and (b) out of the UK under the border and immigration system in (i) 2006 and (ii)...

      Frontiers: Security

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions her Department has had with the Irish Government on the introduction of the e-Borders system in Great Britain; and...

      Immigration: Housing

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 806W, on Immigration: Housing, how many private sector providers have...

      Members: Correspondence

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Border and Immigration Agency will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 28 March, reference B12293/8.

  • International Development

    • Burma: Storms

      To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many times he has met the Foreign Secretary to discuss the Government's emergency relief aid response to Burma following Cyclone...

    • Burma: Storms

      To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which sections within his Department are responsible for co-ordinating the Government's emergency relief aid response to Burma...

      Burma: Storms

      To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information his Department holds on the countries and organisations that supplied one aircraft or more carrying emergency relief...

      Departmental Domestic Visits

      To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on how many occasions he visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months.

      Departmental Orders and Regulations

      To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many statutory instruments have been (a) made and (b) revoked by Ministers in his Department since 1997.

      Disaster Relief

      To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to which natural disasters the Government has responded with the supply of emergency relief aid in the last 10 years; how much aid was...

  • Justice

    • Bail Accommodation and Support Service: Voluntary Organisations

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whether he plans to involve the voluntary sector in the provision of bail accommodation in England and Wales; (2) what the average size is of each...

    • Criminal Justice Act 1988

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many people were (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted for an offence under section 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1996 in each of the last 10...

      Departmental Manpower

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1921-22W, on departmental manpower, how many of the employees under 18 years of age...

      Prison Service: Recruitment

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans the Government have to increase levels of recruitment of prison officers.

      Prison Service: Safety

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government are taking to ensure the safety of prison staff.

      Prison Service: Sick Leave

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) (a) how many working days were lost to sickness, (b) what the average number of working days per staff member lost to sickness was and (c) what...

      Prison Service: Working Conditions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government are taking to improve conditions of work for prison staff.

      Prisoners: Suicide

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many women committed suicide while in prison and (a) on and (b) not on suicide watch in each of the last 10 years; (2) how many men aged 18...

      Prisoners: Suicide

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people from Leicester committed suicide while in prison and (a) on and (b) not on suicide watch in each of the last 10 years.

      Prisoners: Suicide

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what procedures are in place to prevent suicide in prisons.

      Prisons: Overcrowding

      To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government are taking to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

  • Prime Minister

  • Transport

    • Aviation: Fuels

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much aviation fuel she estimates has been used in the UK in each year from 1997 to date.

    • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Correspondence

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate her Department has made of the number of posted items received by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in each year since 2001.

      Lorries: Axle Weights

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) UK registered and (b) non-UK registered vehicles have been check-weighed since 2003.

      Lorries: Road Traffic Offences

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicle prohibitions for reasons relating to (a) overweight, (b) driver's hours, (c) mechanical defects and (d) accidents have been...

      Railways: Alcoholic Drinks

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will assess the merits of amending the national conditions of carriage for train operating companies to ban the drinking from, and carrying of,...

      Railways: Franchises

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will set out in tabular form the payments expected to be (a) made to and (b) received from each train operating company for each year of its...

      Roads: Accidents

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) personal injury accidents and (b) personal injury accidents involving at least one heavy goods vehicle there were on each motorway in...

      Sea Rescue: Pay

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average salary of coastguards in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) England was in each year since 1979.

  • Treasury

    • Child Benefit

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the longest period of time between the receipt of an application for child benefit and the determination of that application has been in 2008 to date;...

    • Council Tax: Valuation

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 6 May 2008, Official Report, columns 817-8W, on Council Tax: Valuation, whether a statutory gateway will be introduced.

      Income Tax: Tax Rates and Bands

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the change in tax revenues which would occur if incomes at £100,000 or above were taxed at a marginal rate of 50 per cent. in 2008-09.

      Income Tax: Tax Rates and Bands

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his proposals to compensate those who lost out as a result of the abolition of the 10p tax rate will extend to people over the age of 65 years; and...

      Liam Byrne

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the ministerial responsibilities of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill are within his Department.

      Northern Rock

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what progress has been made in appointing a valuer as laid down in the draft Northern Rock plc Compensation Scheme Order 2008; (2) when he will...

      Northern Rock

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the statement by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in the Delegated Legislation Committee on the draft Northern Rock plc...

      Real Estate Investment Trusts

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what companies have formed real estate investment trusts under the provisions of the Finance Act 2006.

      Real Estate Investment Trusts: Fees and Charges

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what initial fees have been collected from companies forming real estate investment trusts under the provisions of the Finance Act 2006.

      Revenue and Customs: Secondment

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what access HM Revenue and Customs staff seconded to the Child Support Agency have to HM Revenue and Customs data systems while on secondment; and if he...

      Tax Allowances

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of raising the personal taxation allowance in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11 by (i) 10 per cent. and (ii) 20...

      Tax Rates and Bands

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the basis is for the rate of increase for each of the taxes and allowances which are uprated on an annual basis.

      Welfare Tax Credits: Mentally Ill

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to support people with mental health problems who are on low incomes to gain access to affordable credit; and if he will...

  • House of Lords

    • Civil Service: Special Leave

      asked Her Majesty's Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Exchequer Secretary, Angela Eagle, on 31 March (Official Report, Commons, 674—5W), whether all departments have the same...

    • Compensation: Pleural Plaque

      asked Her Majesty's Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 21 April (WA 227), what representations they have received since the Law Lords' judgment on pleural...

      House of Lords: Public Petitions

      asked the Chairman of Committees: How many public petitions have been presented to the House of Lords in the past 20 years; and when was the last occasion on which such a petition was presented.

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