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Written Answers

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 1 June 2009

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Competition

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the level of competitiveness in the farming industry; and if he will make a statement. (274932)

British farmers work extremely hard in challenging circumstances and the competitiveness of the industry is a key concern of the Government. Between 1973 and 2008, the productivity (measured as total factor productivity1) of UK agriculture grew by 55 per cent.2 In addition to productivity, the international competitiveness of UK farming also depends, at least partially, on the strength of sterling against the currencies of our major competitors. The recent weakening of the pound against the euro since mid-2008 has meant that British agricultural exports are priced more competitively against our European competitors thereby strengthening our position on the EU export markets. However, in order to maintain competitiveness in the longer term, the industry must improve its productivity performance relative to the farming industries in our main competitor countries, and the Government are committed to helping them do so.

1 Total factor productivity is a physical measure of productivity and encompasses all businesses engaged in farming activities, including specialist contractors. Total factor productivity excludes subsidies.

2 Source: AUK 2008 Chapter 10, paragraph 6.

Animal Welfare Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the measures in the Animal Welfare Act 2006, with particular reference to the tethering of equines; and if he will make a statement. (273874)

We have not yet made a full assessment of the effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which came into force on 6 April 2007.

Animals: Diseases

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for which animal-borne diseases inspectors posted at UK points of entry are instructed to search. (275797)

For intra-community trade in live animals, there are no checks at point of entry. There are risk based post-import checks at point of ultimate destination (e.g. farm, market), which are carried out by Animal Health for diseases that are notifiable under EU and UK law.

Live animals can only be imported to the European Community from third countries approved as having equivalent animal health status to an EU member state for the species in question. They must be accompanied by veterinary certification which must confirm, among other things, that the live animals being transported have been examined by an official veterinarian within 24 hours of loading and showed no clinical signs of disease.

Live animals imported into the European Community from such approved third countries must enter at designated Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) where they are again subject to veterinary inspections by Animal Health for clinical signs of disease and the accompanying health certificates verified.

Animals: Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many live wild animals have been imported into the UK in each of the last five years; (275938)

(2) what proportion of live animals imported into the UK was taken from wild populations in each of the last five years.

This information is not held centrally.

However figures are available for imports into the UK from non-EU countries of species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Permits to allow the import of such species are issued by Animal Health's Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service. The vast majority of these relate to imports of species of the class Anthozoa, which includes sea anemones and corals.

Live wild-taken specimens

Of which: are of the class Anthozoa

2005

56,595

42,687

2006

55,112

44,256

2007

96,528

79,672

2008

82,102

61,529

2009 (to date)

15,704

11,994

These figures exclude some CITES listed leeches, which are measured in kilograms rather than number of specimens.

Cabinet: Glasgow

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much expenditure was incurred by his Department in respect of the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009. (273907)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what expenditure on (a) travel, (b) accommodation and (c) food (i) he and (ii) officials in his Department incurred in connection with the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009. (273908)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's travel costs to and from Glasgow were £744.67. The Department incurred no accommodation costs or food costs associated with his travel.

One departmental official accompanied him, and his travel cost was £500.25. The official also stayed overnight in London prior to the meeting at a cost of £65.00. He incurred no food costs or other accommodation costs.

Departmental Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) BlackBerry devices and (b) mobile telephones have been lost by (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) civil servants in his Department in each year since 2005. (274465)

The following figures show the total reported number of losses of BlackBerry, personal digital assistant and palm-top devices and mobile telephones since 1 April 2004.

Mobile phones

Personal digital assistants including BlackBerry and palm-top devices

2004-05

0

1

2005-06

4

1

2006-07

4

8

2007-08

0

5

2008-09

0

12

2009-to date

0

0

These losses were reported by officials of this Department. There were no losses involving Ministers or special advisers.

Departmental Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on compliance with requirements of health and safety at work legislation in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (274543)

The information requested is not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fisheries officers have been based in each principal coastal town in each year since 2004. (276706)

Data for the number of fishery officers in the principal coastal offices of the Marine and Fisheries Agency are contained in the following table. Details are only available from 2006 following the creation of the agency towards the end of 20051.

1 Information sourced from internal Marine and Fisheries Agency staff lists.

Office

2008

2007

2006

Plymouth

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

3 x FO

3 x FO

Brixham

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

3 x FO

3 x FO

Newlyn

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

3 x FO

3 x FO

3 x FO

Penryn

2 x FO

2 x FO

2 x FO

North Shields

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

3 x FO

3 x FO

3 x FO

Blackpool/Fleetwood

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

2 x FO

2 x FO

Grimsby

1 x D1

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

2 x FO

1 x FO

Scarborough

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

4 x FO

4 x FO

5 x FO

Lowestoft

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

2 x FO

2 x FO

Hastings

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x D1

1 x FO

2 x FO

2 x FO

Shoreham

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

2 x FO

2 x FO

Poole

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

1 x SFO

2 x FO

2 x FO

2 x FO

Key:

D1 = District Inspector

SFO = Senior Fishery Officer

FO = Fishery Officer

Fisheries: Quotas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date he most recently discussed sea fishing quotas with his counterparts in the devolved administrations; and if he will make a statement. (276705)

I regularly discuss fisheries issues with my counterparts in the devolved Administrations; the most recent discussion was at the European Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Monday 25 May 2009.

The latest discussions I have had with my counterparts that focused specifically on quotas were in the run up to our joint announcement on 13 May 2009 to set up a quadrilateral Ministerial Working Group to deliver proposals for quota management and licensing reforms in the UK.

Flood Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of mutual aid agreements established by local authorities following the recommendations of the Pitt report on flooding. (277444)

We estimate there are hundreds of such agreements in place across England and Wales. These agreements cover a whole range of aspects of mutual aid between local authorities and between organisations which might be called upon during wide-area emergencies. In December 2008, guidance to local authorities on establishing mutual aid protocols was published jointly by the Cabinet Office, the Local Government Association and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. The impact of this guidance on the number and standard of mutual aid arrangements will be surveyed during the course of this year.

Floods: Property Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the results of the first bidding round for the property-level flood protection grants scheme. (277404)

I intend to announce the results of the first round of bids for the property-level flood protection grant scheme shortly.

Hydroelectric Power: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average time taken to process an abstraction licence application for hydropower schemes was in each of the last four years. (277436)

The Environment Agency has collected information on the time taken to determine hydropower permit applications since November 2008. The time taken to determine applications between receipt of the formal application to issuing a permit is as follows:

2008: Average time 133 days

2009: Average time 119 days

The Environment Agency did not record data centrally on the time taken to determine hydropower permits before November 2008.

Landfill

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the amounts of money raised from the disposal of waste by the (a) landfill tax and (b) Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. (276891)

Landfill Tax is administered by HM Revenue and Customs. The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme is a trading scheme between local authorities and as such the Government do not raise money from it.

Litter: Lorries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the potential for the use of side-flapped, automatic sheeting systems for tipper trucks to contribute to a reduction in littering; and if he will make a statement. (276614)

I have been asked to reply.

Current regulations require all loads to be secured so that no danger or nuisance is caused to any person or property by the load either falling or being blown from the vehicle. Vehicle users are free to select the most appropriate equipment to meet these requirements and there are no plans to make an assessment of any new systems.

Marine and Fisheries Agency: Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Marine and Fisheries Agency spent on hospitality and entertainment in each of the last five years. (276367)

The Marine and Fisheries Agency (formerly the Marine Fisheries Agency) was formed in October 2005.

The Agency may, with the prior approval of the chief executive and in accordance with DEFRA departmental policies, incur expenditure on hospitality in furtherance of its business including, for example, working lunches, dinners and similar meetings with external stakeholders and representatives of other countries’ marine and fishery authorities.

Since its inception, the Agency has spent the following sums on hospitality:

MFA hospitality (£)

2005-06

63

2006-07

2,104

2007-08

2,150

2008-09

3,158

Information for 2005-06 relates to activities of the Agency from its inception on 1 October 2005. Data relating to previous periods are not readily separable from that of DEFRA.

The Agency holds no budget for entertainment, and has incurred no expenditure on entertainment.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter of 31 March 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. M. Carey. (275149)

Milk

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to support milk production; and what assessment he has made of the effect on dairy farmers of recent trends in the price of milk. (276196)

While the dairy sector is responsible for determining milk production, DEFRA helps the supply chain address issues through the Dairy Supply Chain Forum.

I am aware of the current prices and declining milk production, and their effect on the dairy sector at present. This is not specific to the UK, as other EU member states are also experiencing similar drops in milk deliveries. It is normal to see a fall in prices at this time of year due to seasonal production increases. This has been exacerbated somewhat by the high returns experienced in 2007-08 which resulted in an increase in supply, and the fall in global demand seen recently due to the current economic situation.

Reservoirs: Maps

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent progress has been made in mapping large reservoirs; (277651)

(2) how many reservoirs have been mapped since December 2008;

(3) what progress the Environment Agency has made towards the objective of providing inundation maps to local resilience forums by the end of 2009.

Between May 2008 and February 2009 the Environment Agency undertook trial and pilot studies on 49 reservoirs. Based on the results of these, it is undertaking two phases of work:

Phase 1 (March to September 2009): low resolution assessment of downstream risk to life for all reservoirs covered by the Reservoirs Act 1975 (i.e. those over 25,000 cubic metres capacity). As at the end of May, 57 reservoirs had been mapped under this Phase.

Phase 2 (June 2009 to January 2010): higher resolution assessment on the higher risk reservoirs identified in Phase 1.

The handover process to Local Resilience Forums is still to be finalised.

Rural Areas: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of rural England is served by Rural Housing Enablers funded by his Department. (276643)

DEFRA no longer funds the Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs). From April 2005 to March 2008, DEFRA had part-funded this scheme to allow a smooth transition to local authorities and other funding sources after the Countryside Agency withdrew from this area of work.

The vision for the long-term funding of RHEs was that they should be supported at a local level by the same local authorities and housing associations whose rural delivery they exist to support. This reflects the Government's desire to enable decisions about priorities to be taken at the local level in response to local needs. Hence, local authorities, housing associations and registered social landowners now fund the scheme.

Smallholdings: Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with local authorities in Devon on the disposal of small holdings in local authority ownership. (276199)

There have been no specific discussions with local authorities in Devon on the disposal of local authority smallholdings. However, in the foreword to the latest Annual Report on Smallholdings, a copy of which is in the House Library, I made it clear that DEFRA fully supports the continuation of the county farm system.

I understand that in Devon following a Best Value Review in 2001 the council firmly backed the retention of a county farm estate and that the current estate comprises 60 smallholdings, of which 20 are starter farms and 40 progression farms.

Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2009, Official Report, column 439W, on trade unions, what office facilities his Department provides for the exclusive use of each recognised trade union; and what the notional annual value of such provision is. (271931)

DEFRA and its Executive agencies provide trade unions access to appropriate facilities to enable them to carry out their duties effectively, provided this does not interfere with departmental work and they are not used excessively. Examples include:

accommodation

desks

computers

telephones

faxes

printers

stationery

notice boards

photocopiers

pedestals

filing cabinets

The notional annual value for accommodation (estimated property holding cost) is approximately £60,000 per annum.

However, the overall value for facilities could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the first set of quarterly data from WasteDataFlow returns to be published following the Environment Agency’s issuing of guidance to waste disposal authorities on listing the final destination of waste. (269981)

The first data set of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme for quarter 3 of 2008-09 (October to December 2008) will be made available by the end of May 2009.

Waste Disposal: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) of 12 March 2009, Official Report, column 685W, on waste disposal: fees and charges, which local authorities made initial inquiries about participating in piloting a waste reduction scheme. (275775)

We are committed to releasing the names of any local authorities that come forward with formal expressions of interest in piloting a waste reduction scheme; none have yet done so.

Church Commissioners

St. Margaret's Church: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what representations the Church Commissioners have received on funding for repairs to the roof of St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster. (277282)

Transport

Airports: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria his Department uses in assessing the merits of proposals to expand airports; and if he will make a statement. (277009)

The Department for Transport undertook a series of wide-ranging studies to assess the merits of alternative airport expansion options in developing the 2003 White Paper, “The Future of Air Transport”. The largest of these, the South East Regional Airports Study (SERAS) announced in 1999, looked in detail at a large number of options for expanding airport capacity in the South East and East of England. Impacts were assessed in accordance with “The Appraisal Framework for Airports in South East and Eastern Regions of England”, available at:

www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/archive/2002/fd/appraisal frameworkforairport1384

This appraisal framework follows that in the then Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR)'s “Guidance on Methodologies for Multi-Modal Studies”, which formed the basis for the Department's current published transport appraisal guidance—available at:

www.dft.gov.uk/webtag/

which has been used, for example, in preparing the Impact Assessment accompanying the Secretary of State's decisions on adding capacity at Heathrow airport.

Aviation: EU Countries

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) scheduled and (b) charter flights there were from British airports to (i) the Netherlands, (ii) Luxembourg and (iii) Malta in each of the last five years. (276900)

The following tables show the number of scheduled and charter flights departing from British airports to the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Malta in each of the last five years.

Table 1: Scheduled flights from British airports to the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Malta

Thousand

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Netherlands

45.8

46.5

49.7

51.3

46.0

Luxembourg

3.4

3.7

3.7

4.2

3.7

Malta

2.7

2.9

2.8

3.1

3.2

Source: DfT analysis of Civil Aviation Authority data.

Table 2: Charter flights from British airports to the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Malta

Thousand

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Netherlands

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.1

Luxembourg

1

1

1

0

1

Malta

1.2

1.4

1.3

1.2

0.7

1 Less than 50 flights. Source: DfT analysis of Civil Aviation Authority data.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on alcoholic beverages in the last 12 months for which figures are available. (277355)

Generally, the Department for Transport operates a no alcohol policy. In exceptional cases, where the Department is holding a special event or staff are attending a venue away from their normal office and working long hours necessitating an evening meal, some limited provision of alcoholic drinks at public expense may be permitted at the discretion of a senior civil servant. Spend incurred in such situations is not centrally recorded and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on office removal contracts in each of the last five years. (276458)

The requested information is provided in the following table.

£

Central Department

Executive Agencies

2008-09

411

226,816

2007-08

5,257

311,816

2006-07

8,303

153,874

2005-06

3,564

65,938

2004-05

1,251

483,243

Notes:

Central Department

Excludes expenditure at DfT HQ and Marine Accident Investigation Branch as the requested data are not separately recorded and are only obtainable at disproportionate cost.

Executive Agencies

Excludes expenditure at the Government Car and Despatch Agency, and Maritime and Coastguard Agency as the requested data are not separately recorded and are only obtainable at disproportionate cost

Departmental Rail Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on (i) standard and (ii) business class rail travel in each of the last three financial years. (276491)

Departmental Reviews

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) review and (b) taskforce projects his Department has commissioned in each of the last five years; what the purpose of each such project is; when each such project (i) began and (ii) was completed; what the cost of each such project was; and if he will make a statement. (275981)

Summary information on taskforces and other standing bodies is available in the annual Cabinet Office publication “Public Bodies”. Copies of “Public Bodies 2008” are available in the Libraries of the House. Detailed information on ad hoc advisory bodies is available in the Department’s Annual Report:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/publications/apr/ar2008/

Information about reviews commissioned in the last five years is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency spent on hospitality and entertainment in each of the last five years. (276366)

Expenditure by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on hospitality and entertainment in each of the last five years is as follows:

Expenditure on hospitality and entertainment (£)

2004-05

214,000

2005-06

201,000

2006-07

191,000

2007-08

279,000

2008-09

1196,000

1 Provisional outturn.

DVLA adheres to the principles on the management of public money (as in HM Treasury’s handbook on Regularity and Propriety) and has very strict rules and cost limits on such expenditure. In the main, hospitality costs cover refreshments at meetings with external stakeholders and in relation to workshops held at DVLA premises.

Driving Tests: Motorcycles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) injury and (b) non-injury collisions have occurred during module 1 motorcycle tests since the introduction of the test on 27 April 2009; and if he will make a statement. (276382)

The following table details how many collisions have occurred during the modular motorcycle test.

27 April to 15 May 2009

Number of motorcycling tests conducted

1,905

Number of reported incidents on test

14

Injury

10

Non injury

4

None of these incidents involved another person or vehicle. The Driving Standards Agency is working with the motorcycle training industry to improve the standard of preparation of candidates.

Driving: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fraudulent applications for driving licences have been detected by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in each of the last five years. (276821)

The following table provides the number of suspect driving licence applications detected by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the last four financial years:

Number

2005-06

1,906

2006-07

2,679

2007-08

2,948

2008-09

2,601

This information was not collated prior to 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many photographic driving licences issued to applicants have subsequently been withdrawn on the basis of (a) fraud and (b) ineligibility of the applicant in each of the last five years. (276822)

This information is not held in the requested format. The following table provides the total number of driving licences (paper and photocard) withdrawn in the last three full financial years, the applications having been found to have been suspect.

Number

2006-07

849

2007-08

1,348

2008-09

1,303

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fake photographic driving licences have been recovered by (a) the police, (b) the UK Border Agency and (c) HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last five years; and how many such licences were obtained using a (i) fake passport and (ii) passport obtained by fraudulent means. (276823)

The police, UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs do not have statistics relating to the number of false driving licences seized.

The following table provides the number of fake driving licences referred to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) after recovery by the police in the last three years. These figures refer to counterfeit documents, not issued by DVLA and therefore would not have relied on examination of supporting identity documents.

Forged photocard licence

Forged counterpart

2006

205

5

2007

104

4

2008

94

4

Driving: Lighting

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the risk posed to drivers from left-hand drive vehicles not fitted with headlamp beam adapters; (277266)

(2) what steps he has taken to encourage drivers of left-hand drive vehicles on UK roads to fit headlamp beam adapters.

It is generally recognised that the main risk if the headlamps on left-hand drive vehicles are not correctly adjusted is dazzle to other road users. No recent assessment has been carried out.

Vehicles used in the UK, including those visiting temporarily, must comply with the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations which require that headlamps should not be used so as to cause dazzle or discomfort to other road users. It is the responsibility of those visiting the UK to make themselves aware of these requirements and to make any necessary adjustments to their headlamps to enable them to comply either by using “beam adaptors” or any other method recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency is currently considering whether better information to drivers of large vehicles on how to adjust headlamp beam patterns could be provided.

Eurostar

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the sale of Eurostar UK on the likely price which will be obtained for the sale of High Speed 1. (277248)

The Government are not engaged in a sale of Eurostar (UK) Ltd.

The continued success and sustainability of Eurostar is an important factor in the value of High Speed 1. This is one of the reasons why the Government continue to examine ways to best further the development of Eurostar to the benefit of passengers and in relation to value for the UK taxpayer. We are doing so in conjunction with our international partners.

Heathrow Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter of 8 November 2008 he received from Colin Matthews of BAA on the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport; and if he will make a statement. (277251)

The chief executive of BAA, Colin Matthews, wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport on 28 November 2008. The content of his letter was widely reported in the media and BAA issued a press release on the matter which contains the substance of the letter. The press release is titled “Heathrow Airport puts environmental limits before new flights” and can be accessed in the ‘News releases’ section of:

www.heathrowairport.com

London and Continental Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how he plans to maximise the value to the Exchequer of the disposal of (a) High Speed 1, (b) Eurostar UK and (c) other property and remaining assets associated with London and Continental Railways Ltd. (277247)

The Government intend to secure best value in High Speed 1 through a public auction of a long-term concession, the timing of which will depend on an assessment of market conditions.

Similarly London and Continental Railways Ltd. will develop and dispose of its property assets in due course as is judged to deliver best value in the market.

The Government are not engaged in a sale of Eurostar (UK) Ltd. and continue to examine ways to best further the development of the successful Eurostar services to the benefit of passengers and in relation to value for the UK taxpayer. We are doing so in conjunction with our international partners.

Lorries: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an assessment of the potential for the use of side-flapped, automatic sheeting systems for tipper trucks to contribute to road safety; and if he will make a statement. (276615)

Current Regulations require all loads to be secured so that no danger is caused to any person or property. Vehicle users are free to select the most appropriate equipment to meet these requirements and there are no plans to request an assessment of any new systems.

For information, the Code can be found on the Department for Transport’s website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/vehicles/vssafety/safetyofloadsonvehiclescodeo4566

Recently our domestic code was complemented by a Code for Europe which can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/roadsafety/vehicles/best_practice_guidelines_en.htm

M25: Road Traffic

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of congestion of the road-widening scheme between junctions 1b and 3 of the M25. (276464)

A Post Opening Project Evaluation, which includes the effects on levels of congestion, will be carried out in autumn 2009. The report will be available in April 2010.

Motor Vehicles: Registration

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many automatic penalties the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issued for failure to submit a statutory off-road notification in each of the last five years; in how many of these cases the Agency had not sent a reminder to the registered keeper previously; and if he will make it his policy that (a) DVLA issue reminders for renewal of statutory off-road notifications in all circumstances and (b) automatic penalties are not issued by DVLA unless a renewal reminder has been sent. (277519)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not have details of the number of automatic penalties issued for failure to submit a statutory off-road notification. However, the following table provides the total number of automatic penalties issued for the combined reasons of failing to submit a statutory off-road notification or failing to relicense a vehicle.

Number

January to December 2004

790,057

January to December 2005

1,419,899

January to December 2006

1,274,143

January to December 2007

1,227,047

January to December 2008

1,124,371

January to April 2009

316,216

Reminders are automatically issued to all customers before the SORN or tax disc expires. There may be occasions when a reminder cannot be issued, e.g. if the vehicle is stolen.

Motorcycles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the frequency with which lag pipes are fitted to powered two-wheel vehicles other than those designed for racing purposes off the public highway; and if he will make a statement. (276297)

The Department for Transport has not conducted any assessment of the frequency with which modified exhausts are fitted to motorcycles in service.

Network Rail: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department paid in fees to Pender Coucher Associates for work in connection with the establishment of Network Rail in 2002. (277365)

No payments were made to Coucher Pender Ltd. by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions for work in connection with the establishment of Network Rail in 2002.

However, the Strategic Rail Authority did engage Coucher Pender Ltd. as consultants in the work to bring Railtrack out of administration.

The amount paid can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much of the fees paid by Network Rail to Coucher Pender Ltd. between 2007 and 2009 was paid in salaries and bonuses to Iain Coucher and Victoria Pender; (277366)

(2) how much of the fees paid to Coucher Pender Ltd., formerly Pender Coucher Associates, between 2002 and 2007 by Network Rail were paid in salaries and bonuses to Iain Coucher and Victoria Pender.

Iain Coucher is an Executive Director of Network Rail. Details of his annual salaries and bonuses are published in the company's Annual Reports and Accounts, which can be found on the Network Rail website at:

www.networkrail.co.uk

Victoria Pender's employment conditions are a matter for her and Network Rail. My hon. Friend should contact Network Rail at the following address for further information on his questions:

Network Rail

Kings Place

90 York Way

London, N1 9AG.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much was paid by Network Rail to Coucher Pender Ltd. formerly Pender Coucher Associates, between 2002 and 2007; (277367)

(2) how much was paid in fees by Network Rail to Coucher Pender Ltd. formerly Pender Coucher Associates, between April 2007 and April 2009.

These are commercial matters for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. My hon. Friend should contact Network Rail at the following address for a response to his questions:

Network Rail

Kings Place

90 York Way

London, N1 9AG

Railways: EU Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which EU bodies have responsibilities relating to inter-operability of European railways. (277187)

The European Commission is responsible for policy on the Interoperability of European Railways. The Commission is supported on operational and technical matters by the European Railway Agency.

Technical Specifications for Interoperability are developed with the input of a variety of representative bodies.

Draft specifications are consulted on with European social partners:

BUSINESSEUROPE

the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation

European Trade Union Confederation.

Following consultation the drafts need to be agreed with member states and the European Parliament.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on funding road improvement schemes administered by the Highways Agency. (277328)

The Department for Transport receives many representations on improvements to roads managed by the Highways Agency. Notably, the English regions (excluding London) submitted in February 2009 their regional funding advice on transport priorities in the period up to 2018-19 which included a number of proposed enhancements to Highways Agency roads of regional importance. The Department announced in January its planned programme of improvements to motorways and major trunk roads.

Southend Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effect on levels of greenhouse gas emissions of (a) passenger aircraft and (b) cargo aircraft using Southend Airport; what representations he has received on this issue since January 2008; and if he will make a statement; (276871)

(2) what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) departmental officials have had with representatives of BAA on proposals for the expansion of Southend Airport in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Transport’s latest assessment of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger and freight aircraft using the UK’s main airports is published in Annex G of “UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts 2009”. This is available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/atf/co2forecasts09/

No assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from passenger and freight aircraft using Southend Airport has been made, nor has the Secretary of State received any representations on the issue.

There have been no discussions between the Department for Transport and BAA on proposals for the expansion of Southend Airport. London Southend Airport was purchased in December 2008 by Stobart Group Ltd. from Regional Airports Limited.

The Future of Air Transport White Paper identified Southend Airport as having a valuable role in meeting local demand and the potential to contribute to regional economic development. The White Paper supported further development in principle, subject to relevant environmental considerations. The two local councils, Rochford and Southend, have recently consulted on their preferred option for the development of Southend Airport. This consultation closed on 15 May 2009.

Speed Limits: Cameras

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue from fines for motoring offences arising from detections by speed cameras was paid into the Consolidated Fund (a) directly and (b) from surpluses of safety camera partnerships in each of the last 10 years. (276454)

The Department for Transport only holds information about speed and red light cameras operating under the National Safety Camera programme which started in 2001 and ended on 31 March 2007. The Department does not hold details of fines imposed by courts and paid directly into the consolidated fund. The gross surpluses returned to the consolidated fund from the partnerships are shown in the following table. This surplus represents the difference between the total of fixed penalties paid for speed and red light offences detected by cameras, and the costs reclaimed by partnerships in the prevention, detection and enforcement of these offences. A portion of the amount shown will have been deducted prior to payment to Treasury in order to cover departmental costs.

Amount (£)

Number of partnerships operating

2000-01

1,356,978

7

2001-02

4,106,086

14

2002-03

17,507,241

28

2003-04

22,746,086

35

2004-05

18,649,830

35

2005-06

15,348,764

38

2006-07

7,955,505

38

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent from the public purse on the (a) purchase and (b) maintenance of speed cameras in each year since 1997. (276455)

The Department for Transport only holds information about speed and red light cameras operating under the National Safety Camera Programme which started in 2001 and ended on 31 March 2007. Under the netting off funding arrangements, safety camera partnerships reclaimed expenditure directly attributed to the prevention, detection and enforcement of speeding and red-light offences from fines issued as a result of camera enforcement. The programme was therefore not funded from the public purse but by drivers who had been caught speeding or contravening red traffic lights.

Figures from the audit certificates for the partnerships in England and Wales for the seven financial years between 2000-01 and 2006-07 are contained in the table. These show the amount of fine revenue reclaimed by the partnerships and used for the prevention, detection and enforcement of speed and red light offences. The Department does not hold more specific information on purchase and maintenance costs.

£

2000-01

8,611,793

2001-02

15,386,939

2002-03

57,620,133

2003-04

91,877,359

2004-05

95,079,784

2005-06

99,542,900

2006-07

97,929,754

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what methodology his Department uses to estimate the number of lives saved attributable to the installation of speed cameras. (276467)

The independent evaluations of the National Safety Camera Programme assessed the effectiveness of cameras using a statistical model which took account of a range of parameters including the effects of long-term trends and seasonal variations. Details of the modelling approach are included in the Appendices to these reports.

The four-year evaluation, published on 15 December 2005 and available in the Library of the House and on the Department for Transport's website, found a 42 per cent. reduction in people killed or seriously injured at camera sites, that means around 1,745 fewer people killed or seriously injured per annum, including over 100 fewer deaths.

Defence

Afghanistan

8. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the military situation in Afghanistan. (277540)

Progress has been made, but the insurgency remains resilient. The majority of people can go about their daily lives, but in certain areas of the country, particularly in the south and east, significant security challenges remain.

10. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of (a) internal and (b) external threats to the security of Afghanistan. (277542)

25. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of (a) internal and (b) external threats to the security of Afghanistan. (277557)

Our assessment is that Afghanistan faces a serious security challenge from within and outside its borders, and this threat will continue for the foreseeable future.

The NATO ISAF mission will continue to support the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan as it seeks to address these threats using a politically-led approach to dismantle the insurgency; and by building the capacity and capabilities of its security forces.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

9. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's policy is on the present and future use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the armed forces. (277541)

On current operations, unmanned aerial vehicles are giving our troops vital information and are an invaluable asset for our commanders. They have a crucial role to play in future operations and we will continue to invest in them.

Human Rights Legislation

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance he has issued to the armed forces on the application of human rights legislation to personnel on the battlefield. (277544)

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) and the hon. Member for Blaby (Mr. Robathan).

Elections: Service Personnel

13. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements have been made for service personnel and their families overseas to vote in the forthcoming local and European elections. (277545)

For this week’s elections a Defence Instruction Notice was published notifying personnel of the date and nature of the elections with key dates by which they must be registered, and the Electoral Commission have distributed publicity campaign posters to all units during the past month. Those personnel overseas who are registered as ordinary or service voters can vote by post or by proxy in both the local and European elections. Those registered as overseas voters can only vote in the European elections.

Army Recruitment Contract

14. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) in-house and (b) private sector bids have been submitted for the army recruitment contract. (277546)

No in-house or private sector bids have been submitted in relation to the Army’s Recruit Partnering Project. An industry day was held on 28 May to provide information to companies who may be interested in submitting tenders in due course.

Training: New Equipment

15. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures are in place to provide that troops receive training on new equipment before deployment to theatre with such equipment. (277547)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Bexleyheath and Crayford (Mr. Evennett).

Burden Sharing

16. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions on burden sharing have taken place in the North Atlantic Council. (277548)

The North Atlantic Council routinely discusses all aspects of NATO operations, including burden-sharing. Last month, the issue of burden-sharing featured prominently at the Alliance’s Summit meeting, and it will do so again when NATO Defence Ministers meet on 11 to 12 June.

Mental Health

17. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of the number of service personnel who are likely to experience long-term mental health problems. (277549)

Less than 0.1 per cent. of regular service personnel are discharged annually for mental health reasons, whatever the cause. The King’s Centre for Mental Health Research is undertaking an MOD-funded study looking at the prevalence of mental health disorders in both serving and veteran personnel. This study will inform our mental health care policies when the results are available towards the beginning of next year. A copy will be placed in the Library of the House.

Afghanistan: Military Vehicles

18. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the main characteristic requirements are which his Department demands for military vehicles used in Afghanistan. (277550)

The requirements of vehicles for Afghanistan are primarily determined by the specific task the vehicle is to carry out and the threat it is expected to face. This means we need to find the right balance between capability, survivability, serviceability, mobility and physical protection for each task.

Armed Forces Day

19. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to mark Armed Forces Day; and if he will make a statement. (277551)

The MOD will be supporting over 80 community events across the country with major events in every region. The historic dockyard Chatham will host the inaugural Armed Forces Day National Event on Saturday 27 June. We have also invited all local authorities to fly a flag for our armed forces. So far 460 of the 480 borough, city, district and county councils across the UK have registered to take part as have the Governors of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

Defence Storage and Distribution Agency

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the future role of the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency. (277552)

The Defence Storage and Distribution Agency is being reviewed under the Treasury’s Operational Efficiency programme in order to maximise value for money for the taxpayer. A progress report was published in the Operational Efficiency Programme Final Report in April 2009. Work to date has concentrated on identifying a range of possible business models to deliver its services while seeking to minimise its ongoing capital investment requirement. The next phase of work will also include a review of the boundaries, synergies and relationship with the Defence Support Group.

Further progress will be reported in the pre-Budget statement in the autumn.

Trident

21. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on inclusion of the UK's future Trident nuclear deterrent in negotiations at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2010. (277553)

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I regularly discuss a wide range of issues. The UK gave a detailed statement to the 2007 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee on decisions regarding the future of the UK nuclear deterrent. We will make further statements to future NPT conferences as appropriate.

Warships

22. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many warships are in service in the Royal Navy. (277554)

The Royal Navy currently has 85 warships in service. These include aircraft carriers, amphibious vessels, destroyers, frigates, mine countermeasures ships, River Class offshore patrol vessels, inshore patrol craft, survey ships, and 12 submarines.

Service Families

23. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to support the families of service personnel. (277555)

The Ministry of Defence takes very seriously its responsibility to ensure that service personnel, their families and veterans are properly looked after. We also accept our clear obligation to support their families and those who have left the armed forces.

The Service Personnel Command Paper sets out the nation’s commitment to our armed forces, their families and veterans. It is designed to end any disadvantage imposed by the unique demands of service life today, and to improve the level of support given to service personnel, their families and veterans.

Driving Instruction

24. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are for his Department’s arrangements for provision of driving instruction. (277556)

In 2007-08, the last full year for which figures are available, the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield provided over 25,000 driving licences to trainees across the armed forces. In addition, a number of local contracts exist to provide driver training. The Army also conducts training for drivers of tracked vehicles. All these arrangements are kept under constant review, to ensure their continuing effectiveness and relevance to operational requirements.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel who have served in Afghanistan have been treated for post-combat stress disorder in each year since 2001. (276040)

Since July 2007 the Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation has reported on the Psychiatric Morbidity of the UK armed forces. Quarterly reports for the whole of 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008 are available in the Library of the House and on the DASA website found at the following link:

www.dasa.mod.uk

Equivalent verified data prior to 2007 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of treating service personnel injured in Afghanistan in each year since 2001; (276042)

(2) what funds his Department has allocated for the treatment of service personnel (a) injured and (b) diagnosed with post-combat stress disorder as a result of serving in Afghanistan since 2001.

Medical policy for the Defence Medical Services (DMS) is overseen by the Surgeon General's Department (SGD). However, the organisational structure of the DMS means that comprehensive primary care and individual operational costs cannot be provided without disproportionate cost as they are disaggregated and embedded in the budgets of individual military units and overall operational budgets.

In Afghanistan, members of the DMS are deployed to provide the necessary in-theatre care and treatment for all our personnel. Funding for these personnel, and all associated treatment costs, are provided from overall operational budgets.

In the UK, the majority of secondary health care is provided in NHS hospitals by both DMS and civilian medical staff. The single service medical services are responsible for delivering primary health care to their respective service commanders-in-chief. This includes local medical centres, including GPs, Regional Rehabilitation Units (RRUs), and Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMHs). It is not possible to separate out costs from overall unit medical budgets without disproportionate cost.

The DCMHs provide out-patient mental health treatment for those requiring it, and, as noted above, funding for these falls to the single service commands. In the relatively few cases where in-patient care is required, this has since 2004 been provided under contract with external providers. The costs for in-patient care of UK service personnel in each year to date are provided in the following table:

Contract value (£ million)

1 December 2003 to 31 March 2004

0.4

1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005

4.2

1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006

4.5

1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007

3.4

1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008

3.9

1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009

3.3

The figures cover all service patients admitted for any mental health condition, not just post-traumatic stress disorder. They include the cost of assessing patients as well as any treatment provided, and also include services provided between 1 December 2003 and April 2004 prior to the formal contract start date.

Prior to 2004, in-patient treatment was provided by MOD's Duchess of Kent Psychiatric Hospital (DKPH) at Catterick. Although figures for each year since 2001 are not readily available, DKPH's costs in the final year of operation were some £10 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 1170W, on armoured fighting vehicles, how many Panther Command and Liaison vehicles have been modified for deployment to operations in Afghanistan in the last 12 months. (277337)

To date, 46 vehicles have been modified to a theatre entry standard, appropriate for deployment to operations in Afghanistan.

Armed Forces: Casualties

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed services of each (a) sex, (b) age cohort, (c) regiment and (d) service stationed in Iraq were (i) killed, (ii) seriously injured and (iii) otherwise injured in each year since 2007. (277235)

Since 1 January 2007, 52 UK service personnel have died while on deployment, or as a result of injuries sustained in Iraq. The figures presented for fatalities are correct as at 19 May 2009. Of the 52 service personnel who have died, information for three soldiers has not been publicly released and therefore their detailed information has been excluded from the tables.

Since 1 January 2007, three female UK service personnel have died while on deployment, or as a result of injuries in Iraq. These figures are correct as at 19 May 2009.

The following table provides a breakdown of fatalities by age-group and year.

Age-group

All

2007

2008

20091

All

52

47

4

1

<20

6

5

0

0

20-24

22

21

0

1

25-29

11

10

1

0

30-34

5

4

1

0

35-39

3

3

0

0

40+

3

2

1

0

Not released

3

2

1

0

1 As at 19 May

The following table provides a breakdown of fatalities by service, corps/unit and year.

Service

Corps/unit

All

2007

2008

20091

All

All

52

47

4

1

Naval Service2

All

0

0

0

0

Army

All

43

40

2

1

Army Air Corps

1

0

1

0

Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

1

1

0

0

Corps of Royal Engineers

1

0

1

0

Corps of Royal Military Police

1

1

0

0

Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment

5

5

0

0

Foot Guards

3

3

0

0

Intelligence Corps

1

1

0

0

Mercian Regiment

1

1

0

0

Parachute Regiment

2

2

0

0

Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

1

0

0

1

Rifles

9

9

0

0

Royal Armoured Corps

5

5

0

0

Royal Army Medical Corps

2

2

0

0

Royal Corps of Signals

1

1

0

0

Royal Logistic Corps

3

3

0

0

Royal Regiment of Scotland

2

2

0

0

Royal Welsh

3

3

0

0

Yorkshire Regiment

1

1

0

0

RAF

All

6

5

1

0

1 Squadron RAF Regiment

3

3

0

0

230 Squadron

1

1

0

0

504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force

1

1

0

0

903 Expeditionary Air Wing

1

0

1

0

Info not released

3

2

1

0

1 As at 19 May

2 Naval Service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines

Note:

The breakdown for Army Corps is presented for the current Army structure, following the merger of many regiments over the last few years. Also, detail of an individual's Corp is subject to change as further information becomes available.

Since 1 January 2007, 79 UK service personnel have been very seriously or seriously injured (VSI/SI) while on deployment in Iraq. The figures presented are sourced from the NOTICAS reporting system and include casualties reported up to 16 May 2009. Casualties within the cause category of ‘natural causes’ are excluded from the figures.

Information on very seriously and seriously injured casualties by sex for the time period requested cannot be released without disclosing individual identities.

The following table provides a breakdown of very seriously and seriously injured casualties by age-group and year.

Age-group

Total

2007

2008

20091

Total

79

69

9

1

<20 years

13

12

1

0

20-24

21

18

2

1

25-29

16

14

2

0

30-34

11

9

2

0

35-39

14

12

2

0

40+

4

4

0

0

1 As at 16 May

Note:

These figures exclude natural causes

Information on very seriously and seriously injured casualties by regiment, or other service equivalent, for the time period requested cannot be released without disclosing individual identities.

A breakdown of very seriously and seriously injured casualties by service and year is provided in the following table.

Service

Total

2007

2008

20091

Total

79

69

9

1

Naval Service1

1

1

0

0

Army

70

60

9

1

RAF

8

8

0

0

1 As at 16 May

2 Naval Service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines

Note:

These figures exclude natural causes

Since 1 January 2007, 409 UK service personnel have been recorded on the NOTICAS casualty reporting system with a medical listing of Incapacitating Illness/Injury (III), Unlisted Condition (UL) or Minor Injury (MI) while on deployment in Iraq. The figures presented include casualties reported up to 16 May 2009. Casualties within the cause category of ‘natural causes’ are excluded from the figures.

Since 1 January 2007,13 female members of UK service personnel have been recorded on the NOTICAS casualty reporting system with a medical listing of III, UL or MI while on deployment in Iraq.

The following table provides a breakdown of casualties listed as III, UL and MI by age-group and year.

Age-group

Total

2007

2008

20091

Total

409

243

124

42

<20 years

47

20

18

9

20-24

166

104

46

16

25-29

91

54

29

8

30-34

46

31

14

1

35-39

39

23

11

5

40+

20

11

6

3

1As at 16 May

Note:

These figures excludes natural causes

Information on the breakdown of casualties by regiment, or other service equivalent, for the time period requested cannot be released without disclosing individual identities.

The following table provides a breakdown of listed as III, UL and MI by service and year.

Service

Total

2007

2008

20091

Total

409

243

124

42

Naval Service2

17

4

11

2

Army

365

226

100

39

RAF

27

13

13

1

1 As at 16 May

2Naval Service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines

Note:

These figures exclude natural causes

Armed Forces: Deployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what UK (a) Army and (b) Royal Navy personnel are based in the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean; (276784)

(2) what UK armed forces are based in (a) Anguilla, (b) the British Virgin Islands, (c) the Cayman Islands, (d) Montserrat and (e) the Turks and Caicos Islands.

There are no UK armed forces based in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, or Turks and Caicos Islands.

Armed Forces: Dismissal

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) senior and (b) junior officers and personnel at (i) senior and (ii) junior ranks in each service have been compulsorily discharged in each year since 2006-07. (275121)

The tables provided show the numbers of personnel in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force that have been compulsorily discharged in each year since 2006-07. The Army is unable to provide this information as it is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Navy figures are for administrative and disciplinary discharge only as all other information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. During this period, the RAF was engaged in a significant redundancy programme to meet manning targets and this is reflected in the table. The RAF figures include personnel who have been discharged under the following exit methods: Administrative and Disciplinary, Medically Unfit and Compulsory and Voluntary Redundancy.

Royal Navy—Officers

Calendar Year

2006

2007

2008

Senior Officers

1

1

1

Junior Officers

28

35

43

1 Figures that are less than five are withheld to avoid disclosure of sensitive information

Royal NavyOther Ranks

Calendar Year

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Senior Rates

1

1

Junior Rates

11

16

13

1 Figures that are less than five are withheld to avoid disclosure of sensitive information

Royal Air ForceOfficersl

Financial Year

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Senior Officers

80

59

Junior Officers

30

35

13

1 Figures are provisional.

Royal Air ForceOther Ranksl

Financial Year

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Senior Ranks

594

341

42

Junior Ranks

524

607

177

1 Figures are provisional.

Armed Forces: Foreigners

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-UK nationals of each nationality are serving in each unit of the armed services. (277253)

The number of non-UK nationals of each nationality serving in each unit cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. Data by service as at 1 April 2008 are provided in the following table:

Trained strength of UK regular forces1 by service and nationality as at 1 April 20082

All services

Army

Navy

RAF

Total

168,620

93,830

34,530

40,260

British

161,040

87,270

33,750

40,260

Commonwealth3

6,580

6,000

530

40

Antiguan

Australian

80

60

20

Bahamian

Bangladeshi

10

10

Barbadian

10

10

Belizean

Botswanan

10

10

Bruneian

Cameroonian

30

30

Canadian

70

50

20

Citizen of Fiji

2,040

1,950

80

10

Citizen of Sri Lanka

10

10

Citizen of St. Kitts

Cypriot

Dominican

20

20

Gambian

120

110

10

Ghanian

660

650

10

Grenadian

50

50

Guyanese

20

20

Indian

60

60

10

Jamaican

740

700

30

10

Kenyan

120

110

10

Malawian

130

130

Malaysian

10

Maltese

10

Mauritian

30

30

Namibian

New Zealander

80

60

10

Nigerian

80

80

Other Commonwealth

10

10

Other West Indian

Pakistani

10

10

Papua New Guinean

Saint Helenian

Saint Lucian

200

200

10

Seychellois

10

10

Sierra Leonean

40

40

Singaporean

South African

770

710

60

Swazi

10

10

Tanzanian

Tongan

10

10

Trinidadian

100

70

30

Ugandan

50

50

Vincentian

430

240

190

Zambian

20

20

Zimbabwean

480

460

20

Other

360

280

60

20

Afghan

American

Austrian

Danish

Dutch

Egyptian

Foreign

10

10

French

German

Hong Kong/Chinese

Irish

280

200

50

20

Iranian

Iraqi

Libyan

Mauritanian

Nepalese

60

60

Norwegian

Pacific Islander

Saudi Arabian

Sudanese

Swedish

Swiss

Ukrainian

Unknown4

640

279

200

170

“—“ denotes zero or rounded to zero. 1Trained UK regular forces exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve personnel and mobilised reservists. 2 Provisional. 3 Includes Zimbabwean and Fijian citizens, who continue to retain Commonwealth status under the British Nationality Act 1981. 4 Those with an unrecorded nationality. Note: Due to ongoing validation of data from the Joint Personnel Administration System, all services strength statistics for 1 April 2008 are provisional and subject to review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-UK nationals of each nationality were serving in the armed forces in each of the last 10 years. (277254)

The following table shows the strength of trained UK Regular Forces as at 1 April 2007 and 2008 by nationality. Nationality data for all three services are only available since April 2007 post introduction of the Joint Personnel Administration System.

All UK Regular Forces1, 2, trained strength by nationality

April 2007

April 2008

Total

172,910

168,620

British

165,780

161,460

Commonwealth3

6,500

6,580

Antiguan

Australian

90

80

Bahamian

Bangladeshi

10

10

Barbadian

20

10

Belizean

Botswanan

10

10

Bruneian

Cameroonian

20

30

Canadian

80

70

Citizen of Fiji

1,990

2,040

Citizen of Sri Lanka

10

10

Citizen of St. Kitts

Cypriot

Dominican

10

20

Gambian

80

120

Ghanian

610

660

Grenadian

50

50

Guyanese

20

20

Indian

50

60

Jamaican

920

740

Kenyan

100

120

Malawian

100

130

Malaysian

10

10

Maltese

10

10

Mauritian

20

30

Namibian

New Zealander

70

80

Nigerian

70

80

Other Commonwealth

10

10

Other West Indian

Pakistani

10

10

Papua New Guinean

St. Helenian

St. Lucian

220

200

Seychellois

10

10

Sierra Leonean

40

40

Singaporean

South African

740

770

Swazi

10

10

Tanzanian

Tongan

10

10

Trinidadian

90

100

Ugandan

40

50

Vincentian

420

430

Zambian

20

20

Zimbabwean

530

480

Other

310

360

Afghan

American

Austrian

Danish

Dutch

Egyptian

Foreign

10

French

German

Hong Kong/Chinese

Irish

260

280

Iranian

Iraqi

Libyan

Mauritanian

Nepalese

30

60

Norwegian

Pacific Islander

Saudi Arabian

10

Sudanese

Swedish

Swiss

Ukrainian

Unknown4

310

640

“—” Denotes zero or rounded to zero.

1 Trained UK Regular Forces exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve personnel and mobilised reservists.

2 Denotes provisional.

3 Includes Zimbabwean and Fijian citizens, who continue to retain Commonwealth status under the British Nationality Act 1981.

4 Those with an unrecorded nationality.

Due to ongoing validation of data from the Joint Personnel Administration System, all services strength statistics for 1 April 2007 and 1 April 2008 are provisional and subject to review.

Armed Forces: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of (a) meningitis, (b) food poisoning, (c) pneumonia and (d) gastroenteritis have been recorded among members of the armed forces serving in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan since 2003; and if he will make a statement. (277006)

This information is not held centrally in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many voids there were in the married quarters estate in each month since 1997. (276801)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many married quarters of each standard of condition in the married quarters estate there were in each year since 1997. (276802)

Although figures for 1997 and 1998 are not available, those UK Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties assessed for their Standard for Condition (SfC) were at the following standard in each year since 1999:

S1fC

S2fC

S3fC

S4fC

Total

1999

3,412

20,194

30,174

2,242

56,022

2000

12,750

28,352

15,667

605

57,374

2001

15,623

31,936

7,061

1,078

55,698

2002

20,699

26,007

4,877

349

51,932

2003

23,827

23,772

3,481

203

51,283

2004

25,276

22,215

3,083

146

50,720

2005

26,426

20,774

2,792

195

50,187

2006

28,796

18,950

2,309

159

50,214

2007

29,691

17,910

2,165

145

49,911

2008

28,354

17,414

2,098

109

47,975

Like for like figures are not available for the overseas SFA estate.

For the latest number of SFA in England and Wales at each SfC I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 17 March 2009, Official Report, columns 43-44WS. As at March 2009, SFA in Scotland was at the following SFC:

SfC

Properties

S1fC

3,120

S2fC

102

S3fC

5

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the new spend on (a) each married quarters estate and (b) married quarters in total (i) was in 2008-09 and (ii) is projected to be in each of the next five years. (276803)

In 2008-09 the Ministry of Defence spent some £48 million on new projects and upgrades relating to its worldwide holdings of Service Family Accommodation (SFA). Of this expenditure around £40 million was in respect of SFA in the UK, £7 million in Cyprus and £1 million in Germany.

A breakdown of the major elements of expenditure on the UK SFA, by location is shown in the following table.

Location

£ million

Abingdon

0.8

Aldershot

1.1

Brize Norton

1.0

Blandford

5.9

Bulford

0.4

Catterick

0.2

Chester

6.0

Chicksands

2.0

Colchester

0.7

Coningsby

0.7

Cranwell

0.2

Craigiehall

0.5

Elgin

0.4

Giffnock/Hampden

0.2

High Wycombe

1.5

Leeming

1.6

Leuchars

0.4

Lisburn, Northern Ireland

4.1

Innsworth

2.0

Invicta Park

3.5

Peninsular Towers, London

0.4

Warminster

0.8

Williams Gardens, Putney

3.0

Total

37.4

The Department was planning to spend £48 million in each year of the next five years on the upgrade of SFA to its highest standard for condition. However as the hon. Member will know from the Budget statement on 22 April 2009, this Department is bringing forward £50 million to be spent on accommodation.

The details of this expenditure have yet to be determined. I will write to the hon. Member when a decision has been taken.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many surplus married quarters he expects to have been ceded to Annington Homes without compensation to the Exchequer by the end of 2009-10. (276804)

The decision was made in early 1996 to sell some 57,428 Service Family Accommodation (SFA) to Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL), of which some 55,055 were immediately leased back in order to provide accommodation for entitled service personnel and their families.

When it is identified that there is no future requirement for properties, the leases are terminated and the properties returned to AHL. Since 1996 the MOD has handed back some 16,751 SFA.

As the properties are not owned by the MOD, compensation is not payable when leases are terminated. The onward sale or disposal of properties is a matter for the company. However, the 1996 Sale Agreement included a profit-share whereby the Exchequer receives a percentage of any profit made on the subsequent disposal of properties and land that form a part of any release to the company. To date the Exchequer has received approximately £156 million under the terms of this agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many emergency maintenance requests were made for properties occupied by service personnel and their families in each month since October 2007; and what the average time was for requested maintenance to take place. (277258)

The requested information is not held centrally and will take a little time to collate and verify. I will write to the hon. Member.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many mortgage interest payments were made by his Department to service personnel with second homes required for their work in each of the last 10 years; how much was paid for such purposes in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. (277708)

None. There is no mechanism for service personnel to receive mortgage interest payments for any type of property they may have a financial interest in.

Armed Forces: Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many residents of (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland serving in the UK armed forces have been injured in enemy action in the last year. (272892)

Data on injuries suffered by armed forces personnel who are resident of a specific location are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Medals

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department takes to (a) verify and (b) validate accounts of the actions of soldiers for which they are given awards for gallantry. (276812)

The integrity of the operational honours system is a matter of the utmost importance to the MOD. The award of Operational Honours is an independent military activity. Commanding Officers in the field initiate recommendations for awards, having gathered evidence and corroborated the incidents contained therein. These recommendations are then screened at various levels in the military chain of command and passed to a committee comprising senior military officers, all with operational experience, who decide the appropriate awards.

Armed Forces: Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average annual pension payment received by a retired British soldier has been in each year since 1997. (276666)

The available average annual amount paid to AFPS members for all three services for each year since 1999 are as follows:

Financial year

Average pension payment (£)

1999-2000

5,493

2000-01

5,698

2001-02

5,941

2002-03

6,154

2003-04

6,405

2004-05

6,739

2005-06

6,736

2006-07

6,728

2007-08

6,941

Information for financial years 1997-98 and 1998-99 are no longer held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for 2008-09 are still being finalised.

The figures provided are based on average pensions paid to former members of the armed forces, their spouses, and dependants. Figures provided are not held in the format requested to reflect average pensions paid to veterans alone. This could be done only at disproportionate cost.

The figures do not include any Terminal Grants or Commutations paid to AFPS members.

Armed Forces: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many former members of the armed forces in each region have re-enlisted to each (a) service and (b) trade in each year since 2000. (273585)

None of the three Services is able to provide this information by region, as it is not held in the format requested. Information for the Naval Service is available broken down by trade, but this is not possible for the Army and Royal Air Force as the information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Total numbers of personnel that have re-enlisted in each year are provided in the following tables.

Re-enlistment into the Naval Service by Trade—Officers1

Financial Year

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Warfare

2

Air

8

9

Engineering

2

Logistics

2

3

1 Figures provided include transfers to the Naval Service from the Army and RAF, and also between RN and RM, in addition to personnel having had previous service in the RN or RM. The numbers include all re-entrants: Trained, those not requiring Phase 2 training; Part-trained, those requiring only Phase 2 training; and untrained, those requiring Phase 1 training.

Re-enlistment into the Naval Service by Trade—Other Ranks

Financial Year

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Warfare

55

31

66

Air

9

8

18

Engineering

66

36

78

Logistics

34

22

24

Medical

8

4

7

Other1

1

3

3

1 Photographer and Physical trainer.

Re-enlistment into the Naval Service—Royal Marines—Officers and Other Ranks

Financial Year

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Officers

2

4

Other Ranks

91

128

103

Re-enlistment into the Army—Officers and Other Ranks

Financial Year

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Number of personnel

260

385

512

486

Re-enlistment into the Royal Air Force—Officers and Other Ranks

Financial Year

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Number of personnel

10

10

18

13

No information is shown for earlier years because these data are not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Retirement

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications for extension of service from members of the armed forces approaching retirement have been declined in each year since 2000. (277525)

Army: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average percentage shortfall against requirement for the infantry rank of (a) private and (b) lieutenant colonel was in each year since 2003. (275225)

The available data on average percentage surplus or shortfall of privates and lieutenant colonels for the infantry are provided in the following table. Consistent infantry requirement data for 2003 and 2004 are not available at the level of detail requested.

Percentage

Financial year

Lieutenant Colonel (surplus)

Private (shortfall)

2005-06

12.7

-2.6

2006-07

10.9

-6.3

2007-08

12.5

-10.5

2008-091

13.4

-9.8

1 Based on first 11 months of the financial year.

Notes:

1. The figures are for trained Regular Army only and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, TA and all other Reserves, but includes those personnel that have transferred from GURTAM to UKTAP.

2. The information is based on paid rank.

Astute Class Submarines

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost of the Astute-class submarine from the (a) direct resource departmental expenditure limit (DEL), (b) indirect resource DEL and (c) capital DEL was at 31 March (i) 2001, (ii) 2002, (iii) 2003, (iv) 2004, (v) 2005, (vi) 2006, (vii) 2007, (viii) 2008 and (ix) 2009. (275058)

The information requested is detailed in the following table. The figures include the cost of the Assessment, Demonstration and Manufacture Phases.

£ million

As at 31 March each year

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Direct Resource DEL

29

29

29

29

29

29

29

29

Indirect Resource DEL

442

471

694

667

666

651

655

663

Capital DEL

2,256

2,236

3,016

2,817

2,826

3,005

3,143

3,143

Total

2,727

2,736

3,739

3,513

3,521

3,685

3,827

3,835

I am withholding the figure for 31 March 2009 as this information is intended for future publication in the Major Projects Report 2009.

Atomic Weapons Establishment: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the expenditure incurred at the Atomic Weapons Establishment of £800 million in 2008-09, £900 million in 2009-10 and £950 million in 2010-11 is additional to (a) the capital cost of warheads included in the Defence White Paper, (b) the £5.3 billion 25 year AWEML and management contract, (c) the running costs of the current Trident programme and (d) settlements made under the Comprehensive Spending Review. (271399)

The figure of £5.3 billion was the estimated 25-year management and operation costs produced when the AWE Management and Operation contract was extended to a 25 year term. This was published on 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 14WS. Since 1 April 2008 the financial planning for AWE has made no distinction between these costs and additional investment associated with the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme (NWCSP), which was announced on 19 July 2005, Official Report, column 59WS. The figures of £800, £900 and £950 million quoted therefore comprise both additional NWCSP investment and the underlying management and operation costs for the years in question.

There is no programme to develop a new warhead at AWE. The December 2006 White Paper Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994) refers, in paragraph 5-11, to

“£2-3 billion for the possible future refurbishment or replacement of the warhead”.

The decision on whether to refurbish or replace the warhead has yet to be made and will likely be necessary in the next Parliament. This cost is not reflected in any of the figures quoted in the question.

In service costs of the current Trident programme were provided in a response to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), on 13 November 2008, Official Report, column 1302W. These did not include the cost of AWE.

Finally, the 2007 pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review White Paper (Cm 7227), made clear in paragraph D8.7 that additional NWCSP funding, (which is incorporated within the £800, £900 and £950 million figures) was provided to continue the programme of investment in sustaining key skills and facilities at AWE,

“both to ensure we can maintain our existing nuclear warhead for as long as necessary and to enable development of a replacement warhead should that be necessary”.

Concept for Special Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the EU (a) Concept for Special Operations and (b) Military Rapid Response concept. (277522)

I will place a copy of the EU Military Rapid Response Concept in the Library of the House. I am withholding the document requested on the Concept for Special Operations as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice international relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) military and (b) civilian staff of his Department carried out work on the 1998 Strategic Defence Review; which other Departments provided staff to carry out such work; what discussions his Department had with the governments of other countries during that review; how many days were taken to complete it; and how much was spent on it. (277636)

A very wide range of civilian and military staff carried out work on the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. The Department also received over one hundred inputs from staff as part of the consultation process. An exact record of the number of staff who contributed work is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The first stage of the review was conducted jointly by the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in consultation with the Cabinet Office. The Treasury were informed at all stages. The Department of Trade and Industry were involved in all work with industrial ramifications. The views of all Departments on the options arising from the review work were gauged within a Cabinet Office inter-departmental committee.

Our NATO allies and other partners were kept fully informed of the process during the period of the review. The NATO and WEU Secretary Generals, Defence Ministers of NATO allies and Five Power Defence Arrangements and Gulf Co-operations Councils were kept informed in letters and at a broad range of NATO and bilateral meetings.

The review was announced on 28 May 1997 and published on 8 July 1998.

The exact cost of the review is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, we assess the cost to be in the region of £2.3 million. This does not include normal staff costs, as all MOD staff involved in the work completed it as part of their day to day activities.

Defence Storage and Distribution Agency: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the surplus of income over expenditure was at the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency base at Crombie in each of the last five years. (276721)

Over the last five years there has been no surplus of income over expenditure at any of the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) bases, including Crombie.

Defence Storage and Distribution Agency: Location

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons it was decided not to transfer the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency base at Crombie to the Clyde. (276720)

Due to changes in the MOD’s maritime business there was a need to conduct further analysis into the future requirement for the provision of support services by DSDA Crombie and it was decided it would be unwise to transfer the ownership of the site before this work was completed.

Defence Storage and Distribution Agency: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received from Commander-in-Chief Fleet on the minimum number of posts required to ensure the safe conduct of operations at the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency, Crombie. (276717)

No such representations have been received from Commander-in-Chief Fleet.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Defence Equipment and Support risk register for the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency base at Crombie includes a minimum staff requirement. (276718)

The minimum staff requirement does not appear on the DE&S risk register but is recorded on the technical site risk register. Also, DSDA is undertaking a study looking at DSDA Crombie's future tasking. In common with all similar projects, a risk register is being produced that will include staffing matters and articulate any perceived risks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the recommendation of the Investments Approval Board was on the minimum number of posts for the safe conduct of operations at the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency base at Crombie. (276719)

In February 2006, The Future Role of Crombie Study made recommendations as to the future role and manpower requirements at DSDA Crombie. These recommendations were approved by the then Minister of State for Armed Forces. At the time it was determined that 26 posts would enable the safe and effective running of DSDA Crombie, as the site was to reduce to that of a jetty/waterfront support operation upon the intended drawdown of explosive storage and processing activity by 31 March 2010. Prior to the full implementation of the recommendations, additional work was transferred to Crombie from other DSDA sites, which brought with it an increase in manpower of 14 posts, although future manpower requirements at the site are still being considered. I will write when this work is finalised.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which services his Department has outsourced in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (274450)

Information on services outsourced is held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Information on the MOD's PFI commitments is published in our Annual Report and Accounts, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House and are available online under the MOD's Freedom of Information Publication Scheme, found at the following link:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceIntemet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/AnnualReports/

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the post of Director General Safety and Security in his Department is a full-time appointment. (277521)

Following a change in naming convention, the position of Director Business Resilience replaced that of Director General Security and Safety; it is a full-time post. In keeping with civil service policy on promoting work force diversity and alternative working patterns, full-time positions can be filled by one or more individuals with flexible-working contracts, provided the Department is satisfied that the key outputs of the post can be maintained. The Director Business Resilience post is currently filled on this basis.

Departmental Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent by his Department on advertising in weekly and regional newspapers in the last five years. (277159)

The Department is unable to provide this information as it is not held in the format requested. However, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on recruitment advertising on 23 February 2009, Official Report, columns 23-24W, to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey).

Departmental Official Cars

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, columns 311-12W, on official cars, how many of the cars leased by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies are over six years old. (276776)

Only two of the vehicles leased by the Ministry of Defence are over six years old.

Departmental Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many breaches of security have been reported at (a) the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, (b) the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency, (c) the Defence Support Group, (d) the Defence Vetting Agency, (e) the Meteorological Office, (f) the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency, (g) the People, Pay and Pensions Agency, (h) Service Children's Education, (i) the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency and (j) the UK Hydrographic Office in the last five years; and what procedures each agency follows when a breach of security involves the disclosure of personal data. (276947)

MOD units are not required to centrally report all breaches of security and therefore the requested information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The procedures followed when breaches occur are in accordance with the Defence Manual of Security and additionally, in respect of data losses, a Defence Instruction designed to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the Information Commissioner.

Departmental Surveys

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what surveys of (a) service personnel, (b) service families, (c) veterans and (d) the public his Department has conducted in the last 12 months. (275012)

The Ministry of Defence keeps all its activities, processes and structures under regular review. As a result, a wide range of internal and external reports, surveys and studies are carried out periodically to collect information on the attitudes, opinions and circumstances of both civilian employees, service personnel, service families, veterans and others dealing with the Department. Information on these is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Ex-servicemen: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on veterans of closures of dedicated military hospitals and wards for veterans. (277370)

The decision to close most of our military hospitals was taken over a decade ago, after it had become clear that they did not have a sufficient patient volume or range of military cases to develop and maintain the skills of our medical personnel.

On a typical day we have barely enough military inpatients, in all NHS hospitals across the UK, to fill two wards. This would be insufficient to sustain even a single, low-level civilian hospital and would require all patients to be brought together in one location, which in many cases would involve a major disruption for families and friends as well as for the patient. Meeting the health needs of veterans is the responsibility of the NHS and in the main their needs will reflect the health needs of the wider population. The same argument of not sending patients to a single dedicated hospital to keep it viable would apply equally to the national veteran patient population.

The House of Commons Defence Select Committee agreed with the policy finding:

“the arguments in favour of the closure of the stand-alone Service hospitals irresistible. We accept that the reduction in numbers of personnel which took place in the Armed Forces after the end of the Cold War meant that there was insufficient patient volume to make the military hospitals viable in the long term.”

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have worked in field hospitals during each roulement of Operation (a) Telic and (b) Herrick; and how many and what proportion of such personnel were reservist medical personnel. (277526)

The following tables summarise data available from centrally held records for service personnel for the period January 2003 to April 2009. They represent instances, at one point in time in each roulement, showing the current and planned manning for that roulement.

Service personnel deployed within field hospitals: Op Telic

Telic

Established posts

Total personnel

Of which reservists

As a percentage

1 (January 2003-May 2003)

939

939

167

18

2 (May 2003-November 2003)

173

189

18

10

3 (November 2003-May 2004)

154

192

40

21

4 (May 2004-August 2004)

128

187

168

82

4a (August 2004-November 2004)

127

198

106

49

5 (November 2004-May 2005)

116

213

37

17

6 (May 2005-November 2005)

116

223

93

42

7 (November 2005-May 2006)

116

204

22

11

8 (May 2006-November 2006)

98

192

28

15

9 (November 2006-June 2007)

98

161

9

6

10 (June 2007-December 2007)

105

162

7

4

11 (December 2007-June 2008)

105

174

11

6

12 (June 2008-December 2008)

92

178

16

9

Service personnel deployed within field hospitals: Op Herrick

Herrick

Established posts

Total personnel

Of which reservists

As a percentage

4 (April 2006-October 2006)

94

145

3

2

5 (October 2006-April 2007)

98

163

13

8

6 (April 2007-October 2007)