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Written Answers

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 22 February 2010

Defence

Afghanistan

16. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest assessment is of progress in military operations in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (317455)

We continue to work with the Afghan national security forces and ISAF partners to bring security to the Afghan people. The increasing ability of Afghan security forces has been shown recently in their effective planning, leadership and execution of Operation Moshtarak, which is successfully extending the authority and influence of the Afghan Government in central Helmand Province.

19. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent assessment is of the role of UK armed forces in the overall military strategy in Afghanistan. (317458)

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for transition of lead security responsibility to the Afghan government for (a) each district and (b) the nation as a whole. (317459)

The Afghan Government wants the Afghan national security forces (ANSF) to take the lead and conduct the majority of operations within three years, and to take responsibility for physical security within five years. At the London conference, the international community agreed to support this goal by continuing to improve the capability and effectiveness of the ANSF.

We hope that a number of provinces will transition to ANSF lead by late 2010 or early 2011, with ISAF moving to a supporting role. However, the rate of transition will depend upon conditions on the ground, and the judgment of military commanders and the Afghan Government.

RAF Church Fenton

18. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his plans are for the future of RAF Church Fenton and its parent base RAF Linton-on-Ouse; and if he will make a statement. (317457)

RAF Church Fenton and its parent base RAF Linton-on-Ouse currently provide UK military flying training. The future roles of these stations are under review as part of the UK military flying training system programme which will deliver the future flying training needs of the armed forces. No decisions have been taken yet on the involvement of individual sites that are under review as part of the programme.

Personnel: Mental Illnesses

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements his Department has put in place to help military service personnel with mental illnesses linked to combat experience. (317454)

Defence Medical Services deploy uniformed mental health staff on major operations to provide assessment and care to personnel in theatre. In the UK, community-based mental health care is available at 15 MOD-run regional departments of community mental health (plus centres overseas), while in-patient care, when necessary, is provided in specialist NHS mental health facilities.

Defence Storage and Distribution Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency no longer has agency status. (317460)

The Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) still has agency status. The operational efficiency programme made a number of recommendations which allow removal of agency status from DSDA and my Department is therefore currently consulting with the trade unions on its removal. Once this is complete, I will make a final decision which will be announced to Parliament in the usual manner.

Accommodation: Repairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was charged to occupants of (1) Modern Housing Solutions accommodation for repair of damage caused by them to the accommodation in each of the last 12 months; (317328)

(2) family accommodation owned by Amec Turner for repair of damage caused by them to the accommodation in each of the last five years.

Modern Housing Solutions and Turner Estates Solutions are the prime contractors for the repair and maintenance of service family accommodation (SFA) in Great Britain. Neither company own any SFA properties.

However, charges for “barrack damage” are raised in cases where occupants vacate SFA below the required move-out standard, and are to cover the costs of remedial works required. The MOD manages over 20,000 moves in and out of SFA in the UK each year. Charges are not raised for normal wear and tear and any charges for the replacement of lifed items such as carpets will take into account the remaining life of the item. Housing officers visit every SFA property prior to move-out in order to advise occupants what work may be required to clean properties to the required standard, and to allow occupants to raise any concerns they may have. Figures are only available for the UK as a whole. For data prior to 2009, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 September 2009, Official Report, column 2124W. The following table shows data that are available for 2009.

Amount charged (£)

January

137,245

February

85,946

March

54,124

April

64,942

May

69,870

June

114,772

July

99,756

August

64,903

September

111,748

October

102,023

November

85,139

December

54,006

Afghanistan and Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel have served in (a) Afghanistan since 2001 and (b) Operation Telic from 2003-09. (314562)

The following table shows the numbers of personnel endorsed for Afghanistan since 2001 and Operation Telic since 2003.

Iraq

Afghanistan

2001

0

4,300 (Op Veritas—includes personnel that supported operations in Afghanistan but were not based in the country)

2002

0

2,100 (early 2002)

3,500 (spring 2002)

300 (summer 2002)

2003

46,000 (March)

300 (in ISAF)

18,000 (end May)

plus 100 (at Mazar-e-Sharif)

2004

8,600 (end May)

500 (in ISAF) (April 2004)

900 (in ISAF and Harrier GR7 deployment) (late 2004)

2005

8,500 (end November)

1,000

2006

7,200 (end May)

5,400 (summer 2006)

6,200 (autumn 2006)

6,300 (late autumn 2006)

2007

5,500 (end September)

6,300 (April)

7,800 (late 2007)

2008

4,100

8,100 (June)

2009

4,100 (end May)

9,000 (April)

150 (November)1

9,500 (October)

1 This includes the UK's contribution to the NATO Training Mission—Iraq.

The data included in this response have been rounded. The Afghanistan figures represent the endorsed troop levels at the given time.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the security threat posed by the Taliban in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. (309737)

[holding answer 11 January 2010]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bill Rammell) to the hon. Member for Reigate (Mr. Blunt) on 11 January 2010, Official Report, column 740W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops were stationed in Afghanistan in each year between 2006 and 2009. (316276)

The following table shows the number of personnel endorsed for Afghanistan between 2006 and 2009.

Afghanistan

Number

2006

Summer

5,400

Autumn

6,200

Late autumn

6,300

2007

April

6,300

Late 2007

7,800

2008

June

8,100

2009

April

9,000

October

9,500

The Afghanistan figures represent the endorsed troop levels at the given time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the effect was on the operation of the Afghan air bridge of recent severe weather conditions in the UK. (316921)

Delivery of the strategic airbridge was challenging but successful during the period of severe weather in January 2010. Some aircraft were diverted from RAF Brize Norton or pre-positioned at East Midlands airport.

In spite of the closure of RAF Brize Norton from late on 5 January 2010 until 8 January 2010, the utilisation of additional resources and the inherent flexibility in airbridge passenger tasking ensured that outbound passengers were re-allocated to the next available aircraft departing from either Brize Norton or East Midlands airport. The airbridge continued through the period of severe weather with minimal overall disruption.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to monitor the effectiveness of the changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme announced on 10 February 2010. (318023)

The Government are committed to implementing all of the recommendations put forward by Lord Boyce in his Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. A report on progress will be made in 12 months time to the Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation, a statutory advisory body, whose members include representatives of Service and ex-service organisations as well as military personnel. As recommended in the Report this same body will monitor progress on implementation of the Review’s recommendations and will also be the route through which any further reviews of aspects of the Scheme which might be required are conducted.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what means lifetime earnings lost by reservists as a result of injuries sustained in service be (a) calculated and (b) accounted for in the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme following implementation of the changes to the Scheme announced on 10 February 2010. (318024)

A Reservist’s Guaranteed Income Payment is calculated, in the same way as a Regular’s, using age and salary at time of discharge and reflecting the severity of the injury. The salary for Reservists is calculated using a military salary of equivalent rank as a Regular plus any Reservist pay supplements that an individual earns to compensate those whose gross civilian salary is higher than their gross Service pay. In line with the Review Recommendations the Guaranteed Income Payment calculation will be amended to reflect, for the most seriously injured, the average number of promotions they are no longer able to receive. This will apply to Reservists and Regulars alike.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the compensation review for people injured since April 2005 announced on 10 February 2010 to be completed. (318028)

The Government have accepted all of the recommendations put forward by Lord Boyce in his Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and these will be implemented as quickly as possible. Some of the changes will be completed by the summer, while those which require more time to translate into detailed legislation are expected to be complete in about 12 months’ time.

Armed Forces: Absent Voting

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with Ministerial colleagues on arrangements to ensure that service personnel on active duty can vote at the next general election. (317446)

I am working closely with the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, the right hon. Member for North Swindon (Mr. Wills), and the Electoral Commission regarding this important matter. The Ministry of Justice have set up a working party of officials and representatives of service families to look at long-term solutions. We are committed to ensuring, where we can, that all service personnel and their families who are eligible are registered to vote and can do so.

The proxy vote system is available to everybody and this is the most reliable means of voting for those for whom operational demands or their location would make the completion and return of postal votes difficult. None the less, we are striving to ensure that our service men and women, particularly those in Afghanistan are registered and able to vote in the forthcoming election.

Armed Forces: Aviation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) flights and (b) passengers have been delayed at (i) Brize Norton, (ii) Kandahar and (iii) Akrotiri for more than (A) 24, (B) 48 and (C) 72 hours in the last six months; what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Afghan Air Bridge; and if he will make a statement. (313928)

Data are not recorded in the format requested as any flight that does not depart within 24 hours is replaced by a standby reserve flight and consequently the original tasking is no longer required. The required number of weekly airbridge trips has always been achieved in the time period.

There have been 14 occasions (9 per cent. of flights) since 1 July 2009 when a scheduled TriStar from Brize Norton has needed to be replaced by a reserve flight, and passengers have had to wait until at least the next day to travel. This also impacts on the return flight from Kandahar. A fallback flight has run on 19 occasions in the same period to account both for these cancelled flights and for the differing capacity between KC1 TriStars that carry 115 passengers, and C2 TriStars that can carry 190, which are normally scheduled. As a result, there have been a further five occasions when passengers will have had to wait until at least the next day to travel.

As with any aircraft, there are occasions when for technical reasons or bad weather flights are delayed; there are also operational reasons, such as casualty evacuation, when priorities may be changed causing delay to other passengers either on departure for Kandahar or returning to the UK. However, these delays have not compromised the overall performance of the Afghan Air Bridge, which is kept under constant review.

Armed Forces: Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to provide assistance to soldiers normally resident in Derbyshire following active service in Afghanistan and Iraq. (317697)

My Department has taken many steps in recent years to improve the support available to all service personnel on their return from operations. These include improvements to medical support, welfare and financial packages.

The hon. Member will be aware of the Defence Secretary’s recent statement on 10 February 2010, Official Report, column 926, to the House regarding improvements to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. He will also be aware of my recent announcement on the Army Recovery Capability, which is an integrated and coherent programme to help injured and sick personnel return to work or prepare for civilian life.

In terms of mental health, we continue to have a package of measures to assist with the early intervention of mental health problems. These include the use of Trauma Risk Management (TRiM), which is a model of peer group mentoring and support. We also provide out-patient and in extreme cases in-patient care to ensure any mental health needs are managed as early as possible.

There are no specific programmes of assistance for service personnel from Derbyshire, but a coherent package for all Service Leavers and Veterans regardless of location.

Armed Forces: Discharges

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers subject to manning control are (a) awaiting discharge and (b) have been discharged since 2007. (316937)

No soldiers have been discharged under Manning Control Points since 2002, and no soldiers are awaiting discharge.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers have been subject to discharge after failing a compulsory drugs test in each of the last two years; and what the class of drug was in each such case. (316938)

The Army does not tolerate drug abuse within its ranks, as it is incompatible with military service and reduces operational effectiveness.

Positive results in the Army Compulsory Drug Testing over the last three years average around 0.8 per cent, which is much less than in similar civilian work place drug testing programmes in the UK.

The number of soldiers the British Army discharged after failing compulsory drugs tests, in each of the last two calendar years is as follows:

Number

2008

580

2009

1508

1 As at 30 November 2009

Information on the class of drug in each case of discharge is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, I can provide a breakdown of the types of drugs that have been detected by compulsory drug testing, by year for the British Army for the requested period:

Ser

Drug Type

2008

2009

1

Heroin

1

1

2

Cocaine

427

231

3

Ecstasy

32

4

4

Cannabis

171

165

5

Amphetamine

4

8

6

Benzodiazepine

15

9

7

Ketamine

1

11

8

Total

651

429

The figures for 2009 are as at 30 November 2009.

It should be noted that soldiers are not necessarily discharged in the year in which they fail a compulsory drugs test. It can take up to five months to process a discharge if the soldier wishes to challenge the decision. A soldier might also return multiple positive tests in one period. This may account for the apparent disparity between the totals of discharges and drugs detected.

Armed Forces: Expenses

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by members of the armed forces with a rank of Brigadier or equivalent and above in each of the last 12 months. (316374)

The following table provides information on expenditure reimbursed through the Joint Personnel Administration expenses system for those officers holding the rank of Brigadier and equivalent and above.

2009

£

January

67,392.31

February

81,780.41

March

114,559.39

April

76,809.24

May

120,100.37

June

100,542.10

July

97,569.42

August

51,536.52

September

77,002.27

October

96,296.42

November

104,682.84

December

75,724.20

Total

1,064,095.49

The figures provided reflect the month in which payment has been made. Although all claims for reimbursement will be made as soon as practical after the activity, it is possible that some claims will be listed against the month following an activity or even later.

The majority of reimbursed expenses relate to subsistence allowance and motor mileage allowance. In order to reduce expenditure greater use is being made of video and telephone conferencing. When travel is necessary, all personnel are strongly encouraged to maximise the value of their time away by incorporating several meetings, thus avoiding the need to travel to the same location on separate occasions. If travelling by road, all practical measures are to be taken to allow the sharing of transport. Furthermore, when arranging meetings, due consideration is to be made to holding the meeting at a time that will allow attendees to return to their home units and avoid the need to stay overnight.

Armed Forces: Foreigners

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2009, Official Report, column 52W, on armed forces: recruitment, how many members of the armed forces there are from each other Commonwealth country. (316925)

The number of personnel joining the UK armed forces from Commonwealth countries is given in the following table. There is a discontinuity between the statistics for 2006-07 and other years presented in the table due to the introduction of the Joint Personnel Administration System and direct comparisons should not be made.

Nationality

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Total non-UK Commonwealth

680

1,220

1,460

Australian

1

10

10

Bahamian

1

1

1

Bangladeshi

1

1

1

Barbadian

1

1

1

Belizean

1

1

30

Bermudan

1

1

1

Botswanan

1

10

20

Cameroonian

10

20

20

Canadian

10

1

1

Fijian

20

230

170

Seychellois

1

1

1

Sri Lankan

1

1

1

Dominican

10

10

1

Gambian

30

80

80

Ghanaian

160

220

180

Grenadian

10

20

90

Guyanese

1

1

10

Indian

10

40

30

Jamaican

20

30

40

Kenyan

30

40

60

Lesotho

1

1

1

Malawian

20

60

60

Malaysian

1

1

1

Maltese

1

1

1

Mauritian

10

20

10

Namibian

1

1

1

New Zealander

1

10

10

Nigerian

20

60

50

Pakistani

1

1

10

St. Lucian

20

20

60

Sierra Leonean

1

10

10

Singaporean

1

1

1

South African

170

160

170

Swazi

10

1

1

Tanzanian

1

1

1

Tongan

1

1

1

Trinidadian

10

10

20

Ugandan

20

20

20

Vincentian

10

40

190

Zambian

10

10

20

Zimbabwean

60

50

60

1 Denotes zero or rounded to zero.

Notes:

1. Figures for 2006-07 exclude RAF data as the nationality of those joining the RAF can be identified only after 2006-07 with the introduction of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) System.

2. Army figures for 2006-07 are for an 11 month period between 1 April 2006 and 28 February 2007. Due to the introduction of JPA, Army intake by nationality is unavailable for March 2007.

3. The data provided are provisional and subject to review due to ongoing validation of data from the JPA system.

4. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

Armed Forces: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many armed forces personnel Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court is able to accommodate at any one time; (316997)

(2) how many armed forces personnel undergoing a course of rehabilitation at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court are accommodated outside Headley Court;

(3) how many armed forces personnel are awaiting appointments at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court.

The facilities at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court currently include 66 ward beds and 120 other beds that are available for patients who do not require full ward facilities.

We keep the numbers of beds required at DMRC under regular review. I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement on 10 February 2010, Official Report, column 52WS, which states that we are working on plans to provide up to 30 extra ward beds later this year.

No individuals undergoing a course of residential rehabilitation at Headley Court are housed elsewhere. As part of its services, DMRC also provides a range of out-patient treatment. Personnel attending for a routine out-patient appointment may be offered overnight accommodation in a local hotel if they are unable to travel to and from the unit in a day.

Armed forces personnel requiring residential care or rehabilitation at DMRC are transferred there in accordance with their clinical need at a given date. No patients are awaiting admission because of any shortage in the availability of ward beds. Some personnel undertaking long-term rehabilitation programmes will spend periods of time at home with their families between concentrated periods of treatment at Headley Court. This practice is in accordance with recognised clinical procedures; our experience suggests that patients can often recover better and faster in this way rather than through continuing accommodation in the rehabilitation unit.

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) longest, (b) shortest and (c) average period of time taken was to make repairs to forces accommodation after a call out in the last period for which figures are available.

Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 11 January 2010]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 6 July 2009, Official Report, column 552W, to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox).

Additional information is currently being collated and verified. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Substantive answer from Kevan Jones to Willie Rennie:

In my answers of 13 January (Official Report, column 995W) I undertook to write to you with details of the number of calls made to the Department’s accommodation helplines and details of the longest, shortest and average periods of time taken to carry-out repairs to Service accommodation.

The repair and maintenance of Service accommodation worldwide is carried out under many different arrangements, managed by different areas of the Department. Given this fact, the requested details for Single Living Accommodation worldwide and Service Family Accommodation (SFA) overseas are not held centrally and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Repairs to SFA properties in the UK are carried out under the Housing Prime Contract (HPC) in England and Wales, the Regional Prime Contract (RPC) in Scotland and separate arrangements exist in Northern Ireland (NI). In all cases, occupants can report faults and request repairs via a freephone helpdesk.

The HPC is being delivered by Modern Housing Solutions (MHS), which is responsible for maintaining some 45,000 properties. The MHS helpdesk received some 393,656 calls in 2009, of which some 226,889 resulted in work orders being raised. Although the total number of calls regarding SFA in Scotland and NI is not available, the RPC raised 15,424 work orders for Scottish SFA in 2009 and 11,148 were raised for NI SFA.

The longest, shortest and average times taken to carry out repairs on UK SFA in 2009 are as follows:

Repair time (in days)

Emergency repair

Urgent repair

Routine repair

England and Wales SFA (HPC)

Longest

12

22

39

Shortest

Less than 1

Less than 1

Less than 1

Average

Less than 1

4

8.5

Scotland SFA (RPC)

Longest

1

23

59

Shortest

Less than 1

1

1

Average

Less than 1

4

11

Northern Ireland SFA

Longest

3

43

60

Shortest

Less than 1

Less than 1

Less than 1

Average

1

6

10.7

The MOD contracts set the response time for attending emergency repairs as three hours, repairs to remedy or make safe are to be completed within 24 hours and subsequent rectifications in line with urgent and routine timescales. Urgent jobs would include a partial loss of essential facilities such as heating or hot water, and are to be attended within seven working days. All other jobs are classed as routine, and are to be attended within 20 working days.

From the way the data are held, it is not possible to identify the specific reasons why the longest repairs took the time they did to complete. In general, repairs can take longer based on a number of factors, including the complexity of the work, whether accommodation is occupied or the availability of parts and materials that are required to finalise repairs. In many cases the fault is made good at the first visit, but additional work is required to complete the repair. (310247)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2010, Official Report, column 654W, on housing, how much his Department spent on those properties in 2008-09. (317117)

It is not possible to separately identify maintenance and other housing costs for individual service family accommodation properties.

Contribution in lieu of council tax is paid on these properties; however the individual cost per property cannot be readily identified.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received on standards of service accommodation for service personnel and their families. (317449)

I have recently received representations from the three armed forces family federations regarding the standards of service accommodation. I will be replying to them shortly, addressing the issues they raise.

In addition, as the House is aware, I regularly respond to questions and correspondence from hon. Members and the public regarding the standard of accommodation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) service family and (b) single living properties designated as empty were subsequently removed from his Department's housing stock in Scotland in each of the last five years. (317785)

Those service family accommodation (SFA) properties in Scotland that are declared surplus to requirements will be held empty prior to being sold on the open market. To date, the following numbers of properties were sold in each of the last five financial years:

Financial year

Number of SFA sold

2005-06

238

2006-07

242

2007-08

107

2008-09

407

2009-10

134

1 To date.

Single Living Accommodation (SLA) is normally located within the wire of a defence establishment and therefore can be sold only as part of a wider disposal. Although details are held of Scottish establishments sold in the last five years, the amount of SLA included could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2010, Official Report, column 810W, on armed forces: housing, who rented each of the 17 properties listed in the last 12 months. (317887)

In accordance with data protection principles and for security reasons, the Department does not disclose the details of service families living in service accommodation.

Armed Forces: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many people have been recruited to the Royal Regiment of Scotland in each year since 2007; (317056)

(2) how many Commonwealth citizens have been recruited to the Royal Regiment of Scotland in each year since 2007.

Figures for entrants to the Regular Battalions of Royal Regiment of Scotland (RRS) as a whole are as follows:

Soldiers

Of which: Commonwealth citizens

Officers

2007-08

220

18

19

2008-09

177

31

13

2009-10

305

58

These figures reflect the numbers who have passed out of training into the RRS. They therefore exclude those who have rejoined the regiment and those who have transferred into it from other regiments.

No Commonwealth citizens have passed into the RRS as officers during this period.

Armed Forces: Prisons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times the Prison-in-Reach working group referred to on the service personnel and veterans website has met in the last 12 months. (317634)

The Veterans Prison-in-Reach working group meets on a quarterly basis. During the course of 2009, the Group met four times:

19 March

18 June

24 September

3 December.

The Group will next meet on 11 March 2010.

Armed Forces: Reorganisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to integrate the activities of the three services. (317692)

The recent Defence Green Paper recognised that joint operations have become the norm and the benefits arising from our ability to co-ordinate our activities across land, sea and air. The Green Paper suggested that the future Strategic Defence Review would look at how the joint approach could be taken further.

Armed Forces: Salt

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has a policy on stockpiling of salt and grit by the armed forces for adverse winter weather. (316892)

There is no specific policy on stockpiling of salt and grit by the armed forces for adverse winter weather.

Armed Forces: Cadets

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on assistance to cadet forces in maintained schools in (a) 1997, (b) 2003 and (c) the latest year for which figures are available. (316311)

The information is not held in the format requested. A recent study, however, estimated the overall annual public contribution to the cadet forces to be in the region of £140 million.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce the winner of the contract to supply the further elements of the new electronic systems for the Warrior armoured vehicle upgrade programme. (316922)

The competition for Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), which includes an upgrade to the Warrior's electronic architecture, is ongoing. I intend to make an announcement shortly on the outcome of this competition once the assessment is complete and the investment decision approved.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce his plans for the future of the Future Rapid Effects System contract. (316923)

The Future Rapid Effect System programme has been recast from a single programme into a set of constituent projects, namely: the Specialist Vehicles; the Utility Vehicles; and the Manoeuvre Support Vehicles. The competition for the Specialist Vehicle project is ongoing and I intend to make an announcement on the outcome of this competition shortly, once the assessment is complete and the investment decision approved.

Baha Mousa Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monetary value is of awards of legal aid made in respect of the Baha Mousa inquiry; and whether an estimate has been made of the total value of such awards made during the course of that inquiry. (317370)

No awards of legal aid have been made to witnesses to the Baha Mousa Inquiry. However, all witnesses to the Inquiry are provided with free independent legal advice funded by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The MOD has so far paid £3.7 million in legal costs for witnesses to the Inquiry. Future costs are uncertain and will depend on the number of witnesses the Inquiry decides to call before it concludes.

Batteries

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on (a) rechargeable and (b) single use batteries in the latest period for which figures are available. (316720)

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Blandford Camp

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of Blandford Camp; and if he will make a statement. (317350)

It is currently anticipated that all communications training that currently takes place at Blandford Camp will move to RAF St. Athan as part of the implementation of the Defence Training Review by the end of 2015. We are pursuing alternative defence uses for Blandford Camp, but it is still too early to say what these might be.

Blaydon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Blaydon constituency, the effects on Blaydon of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. (315303)

The Ministry of Defence delivers security for the equal benefit of all the people of the UK, and the Overseas Territories, by defending them, including against terrorism; and acting as a force for good in the world by strengthening international peace and stability. Our continuing main effort of success in Afghanistan, preventing al-Qaeda from having a secure base from which to threaten us directly, keeps our country safe from the threat of terrorism.

The Service Personnel Command Paper set out the Nation's Commitment to our Armed Forces, their families and veterans. This is a cross-Government initiative that is making real differences to the lives of our service personnel, veterans and their families and we are fully committed to upholding its key principles. The first annual report on the Service Personnel Command Paper was published on 19 November 2009. This report captured the progress made against the commitments of the Command Paper within the first year following its launch. It can be found at the following link:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Showcase/Providing ForOurPeople.htm

The report sets out the substantial progress that has been made including:

compensation for most serious injuries doubled;

free further education for service leavers;

retention of places on NHS waiting lists;

Local Connection legislation amended in England and Wales, with a similar exercise currently being worked on in Scotland, to give service leavers credit for having lived and worked in an area when applying for social housing; and

from April 2009, ex-service men and women who are seriously injured were given priority for specially adapted social homes.

Defence Statistics are not available at constituency level, but regional statistics on service personnel numbers and defence employment can be found on the Defence Analytical Service and Advice website. Location of military personnel can be found in Tri Service Publication 10 at the following link:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/applications/newWeb/www/index. php?page=67&pubType=0&thiscontent=100&date=2010-01-28

Regional defence employment can be found in Tables 1.11, 1.11a and 1.1 1b in UK Defence Statistics 2009 at the following link:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/modintranet/UKDS/UKDS2009/c1/table111b.html

Additionally, although not defence-related, the Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at the following link:

http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk

Chemical Weapons: Animals

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2010, Official Report, columns 811-12W, on chemical weapons: animals, what quantities of each (a) chemical and (b) biological warfare agent are held in the UK; when such agents were manufactured; and what quantity of each agent is permitted to be held under the (i) Chemical Weapons Convention and (ii) Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention. (317542)

The UK is a State Party to both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). In accordance with these conventions, the UK maintains small quantities of chemical and biological warfare agents for research purposes, that are not prohibited under the conventions, to ensure that UK forces are adequately protected in the event that chemical or biological weapons are used against them.

The CWC categorises chemical warfare agents under Schedule 1 chemicals. Under the CWC the UK is permitted to hold a maximum aggregate quantity of one tonne of Schedule 1 chemicals. There are no set limits on quantities of individual chemicals within this overall amount. The MOD holds some Schedule 1 chemicals within the one tonne limit. The Schedule 1 chemicals held by MOD are between approximately 10 and 40 years old, although on occasion small quantities (typically a few grammes) of Schedule 1 chemicals that are not normally held have been manufactured. These holdings are inspected by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (the OPCW), the international body set up to implement the CWC, to ensure compliance with the convention.

The BTWC does not stipulate specific agents that are prohibited, nor does it specify quantities of agents that are permitted to be held. It permits the possession of biological agents and toxins of types and in quantities consistent with prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes, recognising that such agents exist in nature and are used for legitimate purposes, including the development of protective materials and medical countermeasures to biological agents and toxins.

Defence Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) military equipment and (b) sensitive personal data were lost by his Department in the last 12 months. (317330)

The value of equipment lost or stolen, along with a range of other types of losses, is published in the summary of losses and special payments in the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts. Copies are available in the Library of the House and online at the following link:

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

An explanation is provided for all losses which exceed £250,000. Loss information for equipments below £250,000 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

There has been one incident involving the loss of sensitive personal data in the past 12 months.

Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monthly occupancy rate for (a) ward and (b) other beds has been at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court since January 2003. (318022)

Since May 2007, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court, has had a total of 66 ward beds for the care of complex trauma and neurological in-patients. The majority of such patients are accommodated in these ward beds but some who have an appropriate level of function can alternatively be accommodated in 15 bed spaces in a separate building on site which are suitable for their clinical needs. These beds are part of a total of 120 hostel beds for patients whose condition (trauma or less serious musculoskeletal problem) allows them to be independent of nursing.

Occupancy rates for ward beds and other beds from 2008 are as follows:

Ward bedsOther beds

Average patient numbers

Percentage occupancy

Average patient numbers

Percentage occupancy

2008

January

24

36

February

39

59

March

43

65

April

43

65

May

43

65

June

42

64

July

34

52

August

35

53

September

38

58

98

82

October

38

58

120

100

November

36

55

109

91

December

25

38

23

19

2009

January

27

41

86

72

February

37

56

75

63

March

40

61

104

87

April

42

64

120

100

May

43

65

68

57

June

42

64

120

100

July

43

65

104

87

August

42

64

80

67

September

50

76

92

77

October

57

86

84

70

November

56

85

101

84

December

55

83

18

15

2010

January

61

92

82

68

Data prior to January 2008 for ward beds, and prior to August 2008 for other beds, are not centrally held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Non-ward bed occupancy is deliberately managed to achieve high percentages in order to speed the rehabilitation of less seriously injured personnel by maximising the size of groups undertaking rehabilitation together.

While the statistics also indicate that ward bed occupancy has risen markedly in recent months, accommodation has been made available in ward beds for all operational casualties as and when they required it. Given this rise in patient numbers, we have a range of contingency plans, which include greater use of the 15 non-ward bed spaces mentioned, for those patients whose clinical condition allows, and greater use of our regional rehabilitation units for the treatment of less seriously injured personnel who might otherwise be accommodated at Headley Court. In addition, as I announced to the House on 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 926-36, we are now planning to create up to 30 more ward beds at Headley Court later this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many follow-up visits former in-patients at DMRC Headley Court had on average in 2009. (318029)

Between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2009, 722 patients attended out-patient appointments following either an in-patient stay or residential rehabilitation course at DMRC Headley Court. On average these patients had two follow-up visits during 2009, amounting to 1,683 out-patient appointments following their in-patient stay or residential rehabilitation course.

Defence Medical Services: Private Sector

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on employing private contractors in defence medical services in each of the last five years. (314176)

The vast majority of health care for service personnel is provided by the Defence Medical Services or the NHS. However, there will be times when it is necessary to employ private medical contractors, such as when a particular specialism is not readily available, or when it would be impractical to provide the service overseas using internal resources. For example, aspects of health care for personnel posted overseas to Germany and other smaller bases and detachments.

In practice, such private sector health provision is funded by a number of individual budgets across the MOD, including at local unit level within the single services. This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

However, we have a breakdown of costs from the MOD centre budget and British Forces Germany which indicates the sums involved for the health services they have contracted. This information is provided in the following tables.

MOD centre budget

Financial year

Expenditure (£)

2005-06

5,802,167

2006-07

4,892,840

2007-08

6,561,094

2008-09

7,830,192

2009-10 (to end January 2010)

3,744,016

These figures include specialist services where appropriate NHS provision is not available, including prosthetics and neurological services, and civilian locums for operational deployments. Prior to 2009-10, they included contract costs for the provision of in-patient mental health provision; this service is now provided through contract with NHS providers.

British Forces Germany

Financial year

Expenditure (£)

2005-06

43,790,000

2006-07

43,720,000

2007-08

45,450,000

2008-09

51,283,000

2009-10 (to April 2009)

39,016,000

These figures include secondary health care contracts with German hospitals; non-contracted extra-contractual costs for specialist care; primary care contract costs with SSAFA Forces Help and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (i.e. not all private contractor provided); non-contracted primary care costs; and costs related to Isolated Detachments in European Theatre.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated (a) amount and (b) cost was of energy used in his Department and its agencies in each year since 1997; what proportion of the energy used was generated from renewable sources in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. (317235)

The MOD total energy consumption, spend and proportion of energy used generated from renewable sources is shown in the following table:

Financial year

Consumption (kWh)—weather corrected

Cost (£ million)

Percentage generated from renewables

2008-09

5,994,113,743

345

10

2007-08

6,222,357,786

307

8

2006-07

6,313,429,656

319

9

2005-06

6,440,586,442

291

6

2004-05

7,587,922,256

241

6

2003-04

6,796,490,248

220

1

2002-03

6,645,837,501

223

1

2001-02

6,784,279,754

234

1

2000-01

5,403,345,255

240

1

1999-2000

2,439,054,321

231

1

1 Data not held

Data on energy consumption prior to 1999-2000 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Similarly data on the amount of energy generated from renewable sources prior to 2004-05 are not held.

Departmental Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on (a) permanent and (b) temporary accommodation for civil servants in each of the last 12 months. (314198)

I will write to the hon. Member when I have obtained the information, and will place a copy in the Library of the House.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much the Director General Land Warfare has spent on entertainment in each of the last 12 months; (316901)

(2) how much the Director General Land Warfare spent on (a) car hire, (b) accommodation, (c) hotels and (d) air fares in each of the last 12 months.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave him on 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 968-70W, on Departmental Visits Abroad, Armed Forces: Housing and Armed Forces: Official Cars.

Director General Land Warfare has responsibility for staff located in several overseas locations where the British Army regularly conduct training exercises, including Canada, Kenya, and Brunei. A certain amount of overseas travel is therefore an essential part of the job. When travelling overseas, the Director General Land Warfare stays in local service facilities rather than hotels whenever possible.

Director General Land Warfare has claimed the following expenses in the last 12 months:

Entertainment

Flights

Accommodation/hotels

Car hire

February 2009

0

8,260

0

0

March 2009

40

0

0

0

April 2009

0

430

0

0

May 2009

0

4,960

0

460

June 2009

290

2,130

330

0

July 2009

50

0

0

0

August 2009

0

310

0

0

September 2009

320

300

0

0

October 2009

0

2,210

0

0

November 2009

0

30

0

0

December 2009

0

100

0

0

January 2010

0

0

0

0

Total

700

18,730

330

460

All claims submitted by Director General Land Warfare in the last 12 months have been in accordance with relevant MOD policy, rules and guidance.

Departmental Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was received by his Department from sales of property in Scotland in 2009. (317058)

The value of receipts from sales of property in Scotland for the last auditable period of 2008-09 was £24.84 million. The list of potential sales for the period 2009-10 is held in the House of Commons Library. This covers all property sales in the period including Service accommodation.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date his predecessor was first informed of the determination by HM Treasury in autumn 2003 that his Department had exceeded its budget in the previous 15 months in respect of the flexibility permitted by resource account budgeting; what estimate was made of the size of that overspend; what discussions he had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on that matter; and if he will make a statement. (316087)

Following the 2002 spending review, a technical issue arose regarding flexibility between the MOD’s core cash and non-cash expenditure plans.

HM Treasury and MOD officials identified the issue in the preparation of Main Estimates for 2003-04. My predecessor was first informed in April 2003. Discussions between MOD and HM Treasury officials and Ministers led to agreement on a way ahead in late 2003.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2010, Official Report, column 813W, on departmental training, what the cost was of each media and communications training session. (317536)

The training sessions were conducted by Ministry of Defence personnel based at the Defence Media and Operations Centre. The only additional cost to the Department was their travel costs into London which were approximately £30 per session.

European Defence Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 November 2009, Official Report, column 153W, on European Defence Agency, with which Capability Development Plan programmes the UK is involved, what the monetary value of each such programme is; and what the nature is of the UK's involvement. (316926)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 28 January 2010, Official Report, column 1017W, to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox)

Ex-servicemen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the Royal British Legion on support services for former service personnel. (314223)

I meet regularly with representatives of the Royal British Legion. Most recently, these meetings have concentrated on, among other things, Royal British Legion’s involvement as a member of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Review’s Independent Scrutiny Group; the launch of the Army Recovery Capability; and the launch of the Welfare Pathway initiative.

This demonstrates that the Royal British Legion remains a key partner in the Government’s work to ensure that former service personnel receive the services, benefits and respect they deserve. I would like to pay tribute to all the work they do in support of the armed services family.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department provides to military personnel upon discharge with regard to (a) employment needs, (b) housing needs and (c) financial planning advice; and if he will make a statement. (317790)

The National Audit Office report “Leaving The Services” of 2007 acknowledged the success of the resettlement programme which found that 94 per cent. of those seeking work who used the career transition partnership resettlement services were in paid employment within six months of leaving the armed forces. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Defence recognises that making the transition from the armed forces into civilian life can be daunting.

Individual employment needs are identified from a mandatory interview with a trained service resettlement adviser who is able to signpost to a number of organisations and services ranging from the ‘flexible new deal’ programme available at Jobcentre Plus through to workshops and training delivered through the career transition partnership, a partnering arrangement with a leading specialist outplacement company. Furthermore, lifetime job finding support is available through the Officers’ Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.

For housing, all service personnel can attend presentations delivered by the Joint Service Housing Advice Office throughout the country and overseas. The “Options for Housing” presentation includes financial advice for housing options and accessing the Key Worker Living Scheme, entitlement to which has been extended for a year after discharge, in line with our Service Personnel Command Paper (7424) commitment. We have also removed the local connection criteria that treated service personnel unfairly when accessing social housing. For single personnel, SPACES (Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex-Services) aims to assist single service leavers with securing accommodation. Our latest project “The Beacon” in Catterick complements Mike Jackson House in Aldershot and the Galleries in Richmond, which help us to reduce the potential of a single person leaving the armed forces becoming homeless.

Financial planning advice is provided through the Financial Aspects of Resettlement Briefing by the Forces Pension Society. This advises all service leavers throughout the country and overseas on matters ranging from the Armed Forces Pension Schemes through to debt counselling. The recent review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme recommended that for those who receive compensation, there needs to be better guidance and/or access to independent financial advice to allow for informed decisions. The Government have accepted all recommendations in full.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the 1999 protocol between the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff and the Director General of the Prison Service on the identification of former service personnel in prison to link them with their former regiment upon release is still in force; and if he will make a statement. (317794)

We continue to work closely with the Ministry of Justice and the third sector to raise awareness of veterans in prison to the help and support available to them and to their families, while they serve their sentence and as they prepare for release. The Veterans In Custody Support Service, for example, is designed so that prison staff can quickly identify veterans in prison and refer them to the various support organisations available to assist them, including the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. The agency’s website, “Veterans: UK”, provides additional links to further organisations, including regimental associations. Through this service, veterans are encouraged and assisted in seeking the necessary support to help address their needs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there is a minimum length of time that must be served by military personnel to qualify for entitlement to support services provided by his Department upon discharge. (317791)

There is no minimum length of time that must be served by military personnel to qualify for entitlement to some form of support services provided by the Ministry of Defence upon discharge. In order to reflect the differing needs of service personnel, the longer that is served the greater the amount of time that is allocated to enable resettlement activity. The level of support needed and given for those that have served for a relatively short period of time, and who therefore have more recent experience of life outside the armed forces, is less than someone who has spent their working life in service. However, all service personnel are entitled to receive lifetime job finding support through either the Officers’ Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.

Any personnel medically discharged are entitled a full resettlement package.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the budget for support services offered by his Department to military personnel upon discharge has been in each of the last 10 years. (317792)

The information is not held in the format requested. Only those costs relating to the contract held between the MOD and Right Management Ltd., a specialist outplacement company, are held centrally. The following table provides information on the amount expended, which reflects the number of service leavers taking advantage of the resettlement opportunities available.

Financial year

Total contract payments (£ million)

2000-01

6.0

2001-02

6.3

2002-03

6.3

2003-04

6.5

2004-05

7.1

2005-06

8.3

2006-07

8.9

2007-08

8.4

2008-09

8.2

Other costs attributable to resettlement, such as the staffing costs for the Resettlement Information Service or the travel and subsistence for the service leaver, is not held centrally and could be provided only from a search of manual records at disproportionate cost.

Ex-servicemen: Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the number of armed forces veterans in prison in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. (316845)

Information on the number of veterans in prison in Scotland is not held.

On 6 January 2010, Official Report, columns 6-7WS, my hon. Friend the Minister for the National Offender Management Service and I announced the results of the joint work by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice to determine the number of veterans in prison in England and Wales. The Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation within the MOD have estimated that almost 3 per cent. of the prison population in England and Wales are veterans.

We are currently investigating the feasibility of conducting a similar exercise with the Scottish Prison Service to determine the number of veterans in prison in Scotland.

Falkland Islands

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the total expenditure under the defence budget of the military presence in the Falkland Islands since 1982; and what estimate he has made of such expenditure in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. (317591)

The costs from 1982-83 to 2008-09 (outturn figures) for the Falkland Island are as follows:

Financial year

£ million

1982-83

780

1983-84

637 (391)

1984-85

644 (403)

1985-86

572 (396)

1986-87

402 (236)

1987-88

229 (118)

1988-89

102 (59)

1989-90

68 (60)

1990-91

66

1991-92

72

1992-93

58

1993-94

67

1994-95

66

1995-96

70

1996-97

81

1997-98

76

1998-99

72

1999-2000

71

2000-01

143

2001-02

115

2002-03

120

2003-04

111

2004-05

113

2005-06

143

2006-07

65

2007-08

67

2008-09

70

From 1983-84 to 1989-90 you will note two figures are available. The higher figure includes garrison costs, the cost of replacing capital equipment lost and residual campaign costs associated with the Falkland conflict. The lower figure reflects just garrison costs.

There is some variation between years caused by what categories of expenditure were included. For example, in recent years figures do not include military equipment, military personnel pay, service children’s education facilities, estate works and maintenance, IT and communication, maritime visits or air charter. Costs associated with these activities are met by other top level budget holders. The MOD’s core budget is separated into eight top level budget holders (TLBs), each responsible for delivering individual military objectives. Within these TLBs the budget is not routinely allocated in terms of regions, but in terms of categories of expenditure. To provide the level of detailed breakdown of these categories in relation to the Falkland Islands would be of disproportionate cost.

The reason for the lower figures since 2006-07 is due to a change in MOD accounting policy, whereby reporting fixed asset depreciation costs and the cost of capital on fixed assets are recorded elsewhere.

The estimated costs for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are £70 million and £69 million respectively.

Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the end of service dates are of the helicopters in the Sea King fleet. (317782)

I refer the hon. Member for Moray to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence on 15 December 2009, Official Report, columns 99-100WS.

HMS Gannet

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many search and rescue missions were flown from HMS Gannet in each of the last five years. (317779)

The information requested is provided in the following table:

HMS Gannet Search and Rescue

Calendar year

SAR callouts

Persons assisted

2005

267

226

2006

269

303

2007

359

286

2008

382

347

2009

447

378

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) civilian and (b) service staff have been employed at HMS Gannet, Royal Navy Unit Prestwick in each of the last five years. (317780)

The civilian and service staff employed at HMS Gannet, Royal Navy Unit Prestwick, in each of the last five years is as follows:

Manning levels at HMS Gannet

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Royal Navy aircrew

20

20

20

20

21

21

Royal Navy support

92

63

17

13

8

5

Contractor engineering support

0

0

40

42

42

45

Civil service

11

10

8

8

8

8

Support staff

18

20

20

17

16

15

MGS/MDP

21

21

21

20

10

9

Totals

162

134

134

120

105

103

The figures reflect: the award of the Sea King Integrated Operational Support contract in 2007, which replaced the Royal Navy Maintenance personnel with civilian contractors; and the reduction in the Military Guard Service/Ministry of Defence Police following the closure of the Greensite (accommodation and administrative site) which came under the jurisdiction of the Prestwick Airfield authority during 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the maintenance costs were of HMS Gannet, Royal Navy Unit Prestwick in each of the last five years. (317781)

Planned and reactive maintenance costs for HMS Gannet for each of the last five years are shown in the following table.

Financial year

Maintenance cost (£)

2005-06

72,351

2006-07

72,082

2007-08

69,804

2008-09

61,634

2009-10

143,724

1 To date.

Projects outside the scope of this response include changes to operational requirements, condition improvements, and lifecycle replacements.

The reduction in maintenance costs per year is due to the reactive maintenance element of the service provided. By its very nature reactive maintenance is unpredictable in its volume, scope and cost and is dependent on many operational usage factors.

Improvised Explosive Devices: Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of improvised explosive devices identified by the armed forces in Afghanistan in each quarter of each of the last three years. (317965)

I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Iraq Committee of Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether any (a) documents and (b) other items of information in electronic format sought from his Department by the Iraq Inquiry have not been disclosed owing to the Government's obligations to foreign governments or international bodies; and if he will make a statement; (310177)

(2) how many (a) documents and (b) other items of information held in electronic format at each level of security classification the Iraq Inquiry has requested from his Department; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many and what proportion of (a) documents and (b) other items of information held in electronic format at each level of security classification requested by the Iraq Inquiry have been provided to it by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office (Angela E. Smith) on 14 December 2009, Official Report, columns 840-41W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) documents and (b) other items of information in electronic format provided by his Department to the Iraq Inquiry that Inquiry has sought to publish under the procedure set out in the protocol on documents and other written and electronic information; and if he will make a statement. (314547)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 9 February 2010, Official Report, column 894W.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will reply to the e-mail from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 10 November 2009, on citation. (317249)

The hon. Member’s e-mail was not sent to the correct address. It has now been resent and a response will be provided shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to answer question 312672, on the crash of Nimrod XV230, tabled on 19 January 2010. (317506)

Met Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the definition of the Met Office’s Public Task has been amended to take account of the reference to it in the most recent edition of the Cabinet Office Asset Portfolio; and if he will make a statement. (317583)

The definition of the Met Office’s Public Task has not been amended. The December 2009 Cabinet Office Operational Efficiency Programme: Asset Portfolio document reflects Met Office’s public task.

Met Office: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the forecasts provided by the Met Office in the last 12 months. (316872)

Met Office's short-range forecasting accuracy is one of its four key performance targets which is regularly monitored by the Met Office Board on behalf of the Minister. The targets are agreed annually and are laid in Parliament. Met Office report against their performance in their annual report which is also laid before Parliament.

As a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) designated centre for seasonal/long-range forecasts, Met Office is required to carry out assessments of its forecasting accuracy using procedures laid down by WMO. The most recent assessment was carried out in September 2009.

Military Exercises

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of his Department's planned military training exercises were cancelled before they took place in each of the last five years. (314177)

Success in Afghanistan is our main effort, and will remain our principal commitment for as long as it takes. Our approach at this time must be and is Afghanistan first. All exercises that better prepare our forces for operations in Afghanistan will continue but those that are considered not to directly support our effort, have limited training value to support our effort, or where the planned objectives for that exercises can be achieved elsewhere have been cancelled.

The proportion of MOD exercises cancelled in the last five full financial years is in the following table

Scheduled training events

Cancelled events

Percentage

Conducted

2008-09

542

80

14.7

462

2007-08

722

76

10.5

646

2006-07

680

64

9.4

616

2005-06

533

58

10.8

475

2004-05

379

79

20.8

300

Missile Defence Centre

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what expenditure his Department has incurred on the Missile Defence Centre since it opened. (318010)

Since its launch in July 2003 until the end of financial year 2008-09, the Ministry of Defence has spent some £35.7 million on missile defence research managed by the UK Missile Defence Centre. A further £4.6 million is forecast for the current financial year.

Navy: Middle East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what tasks (a) HMS Pembroke and (b) HMS Lancaster are currently deployed in the Middle East. (317326)

HMS Pembroke is assisting with ensuring free movement of ships to Iraq and the region as part of Operation Telic. At the invitation of other nations, she may also take part in multinational exercises with regional naval forces.

HMS Lancaster is tasked under Operation Calash to carry out counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations in order to improve the stability of the region.

Nimrod Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral statement of 16 December 2009, Official Report, columns 967-69, on the Nimrod review, whether he has taken steps to apportion (a) responsibility and (b) liability to (i) BAE Systems and (ii) QinetiQ in respect of the crash of Nimrod XV230 in September 2006. (312672)

Yes. We set up the Nimrod Review in order, among other things, to assess where responsibility lay for the crash of Nimrod XV230. BAE Systems and QinetiQ were therefore put on notice in December 2007 that MOD might bring them into the compensation claims brought against MOD by the bereaved families. That position has been confirmed since the publication of Mr. Haddon-Cave’s report and discussions with the companies’ lawyers will commence shortly.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the Government’s position at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010. (317451)

I have regular exchanges on nuclear matters with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and my other Cabinet colleagues.

We continue to work with partners from across the international community to seek a mandate for concrete, realistic and balanced action to strengthen the NPT’s three mutually reinforcing pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as addressing the threats to nuclear security.

Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Major-Generals and (b) Brigadiers there are posted in the South of England. (316936)

As at 1 October 2009, a total of 120 Brigadiers and 30 Major-Generals were stationed in the South of England. These figures include those temporarily deployed on operations away from their home station.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Major-Generals and (b) Brigadiers there are in the army; and what the establishment is for each such rank. (316903)

As at 1 December 2009, there were 41 Major-Generals against an establishment of 44, and 174 Brigadiers against an establishment of 174.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Major-Generals and (b) Brigadiers in the army are on gardening leave. (316904)

Officers: Pay

The base pay of a Major-General ranges between £101,537 and £114,729, depending on performance. This is augmented by an X-Factor of £2,336. The X-Factor is a percentage increase to basic pay which reflects the difference between the conditions of service experienced by members of the armed forces and conditions in civilian life, which cannot directly be taken into account by the job evaluation process.

The salaries for Major-Generals and above, and their equivalents in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, are determined by the Senior Salaries Review Body.

Public Holidays

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the introduction of an additional public holiday; and if he will make a statement. (315121)

We have made no estimate of the cost of an additional public holiday. Salary costs are fixed and would be unchanged. Military pay already takes account of the need to work unsocial and additional on-call hours as required, and elements of our Armed Forces already undertake duties on certain public holidays. While it might be necessary for some civilians in key roles to work on the public holiday, we would seek to minimise the cost to the Department by encouraging them to take time off in lieu, as is the MOD's current working practice. Similarly, we plan activities in advance to minimise disruption.

There would be some compensating savings, for example from reduced consumption of utilities, such as electricity, at MOD premises.

RAF Croughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates US (a) military personnel, (b) civilians and (c) contractors moved from RAF Fairford to RAF Croughton. (317981)

RAF Lyneham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the construction cost was of the (a) new HQ building, (b) C130J simulator building, (c) new HQ for (i) 24 and (ii) 30 Squadron, (d) new gymnasium, (e) new pitch roof on the barrack blocks, (f) new sergeant’s mess annexe, (g) new HQ for 47 Air Despatch Regiment and (h) extension to the security fence on the south side of the main entrance; and what further infrastructure improvements are planned to take place at RAF Lyneham. (310129)

In line with guidance from the National Audit Office, financial records are not retained for longer than six years and the information requested is therefore not available prior to 2004. Most of the construction projects referred to in the question were completed before this date and are no longer considered as new. The fitness suite was completed in 2004 and cost £784,000. The extension of the security fence was completed in 2009 and cost £18,000. These have been minimal expenditure on infrastructure since collocation at RAF Brize Norton was announced in 2003.

RAF Menwith Hill

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates members of the Intelligence and Security Committee have visited Menwith Hill since 2000; and which members of the committee participated in each such visit. (317979)

The Intelligence and Security Committee does not comment on its work programme. Where appropriate it publishes information on visits it has undertaken in its annual reports.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the Missile Defence System operations at RAF Menwith Hill in the next two years. (317980)

Rescue Services: Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monetary value is of the contract agreed with the Soteria Consortium for the provision of search and rescue services in Scotland. (317788)

While Soteria have been chosen as the preferred bidder for the search and rescue helicopter (SAR-H) project, the contract has yet to be signed. The finalised value of the contract to provide the search and rescue helicopter capability for the whole of the UK is likely to be in the region of £6 billion over the 25-year life of the service. It is not possible to break down the value of the contract by region.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the privatisation of search and rescue operations on local economies in Scotland. (317789)

The future SAR helicopter service in Scotland is expected to be provided from four locations (Stornoway, Sumburgh, RAF Lossiemouth and Glasgow airport, which is taking over from RNAS Prestwick). With the introduction of new, modern, more reliable helicopters there is likely to be a reduction in personnel at the two locations where they take over from the MOD Sea Kings (RAF Lossiemouth and RNAS Prestwick). The details will be finalised as the contract is agreed. As such, there is likely to be a negligible impact on the economy of Scotland as a whole from the contractorisation of the future service.

Reserve Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the (a) Royal Auxiliary Air Force, (b) Territorial Army and (c) Royal Naval Reserve are based in Scotland. (316516)

As at 5 February 2010, there are 224 Royal Naval Reservists, 141 Royal Marines Reservists, 2,506 in the Territorial Army and 252 personnel in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force based in Scotland.

Royal Navy Unit Prestwick

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated monetary value is of the property comprising Royal Navy Unit Prestwick; how much is planned to be spent on its redevelopment; and if there are plans to sell this facility. (317786)

The MOD has a long-term commercial lease to 2019 with the Prestwick Airport Authorities for the HMS Gannet Air Station. The existing assets on the site are appropriately maintained but, as we do not own the site itself, there are no plans for redevelopment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be lost as the result of the transfer of search and rescue operations from the Royal Navy Unit Prestwick to Glasgow; and what plans there are for the transfer of existing staff. (317787)

It is not anticipated that the decision to move future search and rescue operations from HMS Gannet at Prestwick to Glasgow airport will result in any job losses. Appropriate civilian personnel will be offered the opportunity to work with the successful contractor under the rules of Trade Union Protection of Employment (TUPE).

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many employees there have been in the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency in each month since its creation; and what expenditure his Department has incurred on the Agency in each year since it was established. (318030)

The Veterans Agency (VA) merged with the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency in April 2007 to become the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA).

These figures and further related information can be found in the SPVA Annual Report and Accounts, copies of which are held in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many calls have been received by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Veterans-UK Helpline in the month since that service was started; (317639)

(2) what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the Veterans-UK Helpline.

Veterans-UK Helpline has been in place for a number of years and answered 249,739 calls in financial year 2008-09 and has answered 176,898 calls for April 2009 to January 2010.

Benchmarking exercises in August 2007 and August 2008, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, assessed the effectiveness of the Veterans-UK Helpline and compared it against internal and external call centres. In these assessments, the Veterans-UK Helpline compared favourably, being placed in the top quartile for overall performance.

Regular customer surveys also are conducted. In the 2008 survey 99 per cent. of customers rated the overall service provided as very satisfactory or satisfactory. Recommendations made in surveys are implemented where practicable.

In addition ongoing management checks are conducted to assess call handling and management.

As part of the Welfare Pathway I launched an additional National Point of Contact on 4 November 2009. This provides members of the Armed Forces, their families and Veterans with a single number to access support from a number of established service helplines and the Veterans-UK helpline on 08000 22 33 66.

In March 2011 an evaluation of the Welfare Pathway initiative will include the National Point of Contact.

Stabilisation Unit

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations the Military Stabilisation and Support Group has at the Permanent Joint Headquarters. (317518)

The Military Stabilisation and Support Group (MSSG) is a tri-service unit that forms part of 8 Force Engineer Brigade. While there is no MSSG ‘representation’ in PJHQ, the military stabilisation and support function, also known as Civil-Military Co-operation, or CIMIC, is well represented. PJHQ has a CIMIC-trained officer, and its deployable Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) has a specialist officer responsible for engineering and CIMIC issues. Within the MSSG itself, there is a small Operations and Planning team of three staff officers ready to deploy with JFHQ at one week's notice.

Stabilisation Unit: Haiti

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to use members of the Military Stabilisation and Support Team to assist in humanitarian efforts in Haiti. (317517)

There are currently no plans to deploy a Military Stabilisation Support Team from the Military Stabilisation and Support Group (MSSG) to Haiti. The Department for International Development has the lead role in the UK's response to the Haitian earthquake, and does not currently require any military assistance beyond that already in Haiti or en route in RFA Largs Bay, following a reconnaissance by Permanent Joint Headquarters staff. The Ministry of Defence continues to take an active role in the UK response, and will provide further assistance where possible if required.

Veterans’ World

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) cost and (b) circulation was of the publication Veterans World in the latest period for which figures are available. (317640)

Approximately 18,000 hard copies of the January 2010 edition of Veterans World were distributed at a cost of approximately £10,000. The publication is produced three times a year and is sent to ex-service organisations, mental health care workers, resettlement offices, homeless shelters, disability employment advisers, citizens advice bureau and the HM Prison Service. Audio copies of the publication are available and it can also be accessed via the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency website.

The aim of the publication is to raise awareness of the help, advice and support available to ex-service personnel and their families. For example, in the latest issue—No 15 it included articles on the launch of the Armed Forces Community Pathway, St. Dunstan’s plans for a new centre in Wales, changes to the Veterans Welfare Service and initiatives for helping Veterans in Prison.

Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to receive the final report of the Saville Inquiry. (318065)

Lord Saville has indicated that he intends to deliver his report to Government in the week commencing 22 March 2010.

Departmental Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many freedom of information requests were submitted to the Northern Ireland Office in each of the last two years. (318066)

The following table shows the number of requests received by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) in the last two years.

Number of requests received

2008

183

2009

254

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has committed to publishing quarterly updates in relation to departmental performance under FOI, including information on both the volume and outcome of requests. The bulletins up to the 2009 third quarter can be found on the MOJ website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/freedomofinformation quarterly.htm

and in the Libraries of both Houses. MOJ will be publishing information from the 2009 fourth quarter in spring 2010.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many performance reviews were undertaken in respect of staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years; in how many cases performance was rated as unsatisfactory or below; how many staff left as a direct result of such a rating; and what percentage of full-time equivalent staff this represented. (313826)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) operates a rigorous performance review policy that applies to all staff. The policy dictates that all NIO staff are subject to annual performance reviews and procedures are in place to deal with inefficiency/poor performance.

Full electronic records are not held to allow for an exact figure to be given in relation to the number of performance reviews actually carried out. It is, however, estimated that the overall figure in relation to the NIO and its agencies would be approximately 2,000 in each of the last five years.

The number of cases within the NIO and its agencies where annual performance was rated as unsatisfactory in each of the last five years is detailed in the following table.

Number

2004-05

1

2005-06

6

2006-07

1

2007-08

1

2008-09

6

1 Suppressed. Information not released on grounds of confidentiality.

No staff have been dismissed in the last five years as a direct result of an unsatisfactory annual performance review.

Offences against Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland were convicted in connection with an offence of a sexual nature that involved a child under 15 in each of the last three years. (318064)

The information is not available in the format requested. Northern Ireland conviction data do not include victim information, such as age, in relation to the commission of an offence. It is possible, therefore, only to give the number of convictions for those sexual offences which by their definition refer to a child or children. The one exception to this is the offence ‘unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14 years’—which confirms that the victim was under 15.

Convictions for these offences are documented in the following table. Data cover the calendar years 2004 to 2006 (the latest year for which figures are available) and are collated on the principal offence rule; so only the most serious offence for which an offender is convicted is included.

Number of convictions for sexual offences involving children by offence 2004-06

Offence

2004

2005

2006

Gross indecency with child

3

6

5

Buggery with a boy under 16 years

6

1

3

Buggery with a girl

1

0

0

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 14 years

4

3

3

Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17 years

2

4

5

Permitting girl under 17 years to use premises for intercourse

0

1

0

Indecent assault on female child

3

18

2

Indecent assault on male child

4

5

0

Meeting a child following sexual grooming

0

0

2

Distributing indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

1

1

1

Possessing indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

1

2

0

Possession of indecent/pseudo photographs of children with a view to distribution

1

0

0

Taking indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

8

1

0

Copying indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

2

0

0

Making indecent photograph or pseudo photographs of children

7

10

15

Total

43

52

36

Prisoners: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether prisoners in Northern Ireland have regular access to the internet. (316844)

Managed internet access arrangements that allow controlled access to approved sites are available to prisoners in Northern Ireland. Supervised access to approved sites is an essential part of education provision, in particular for prisoners who are studying Open University, ICT or Essential Skills courses.

Reoffenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his most recent estimate is of the proportion of prisoners released from prisons in Northern Ireland who re-offended within two years. (316842)

The most recent estimate of prisoners released from prison in Northern Ireland who are reconvicted within two years was published by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) within ‘Research and Statistical Bulletin 8/2008—Reconviction in Northern Ireland: Results from the 2005 Cohort’. During 2005, 892 people were released from immediate custody and, of these, 444 were reconvicted of a subsequent offence within two years of being released. This equates to a two-year reconviction rate of 49.8 per cent.

The bulletin can be downloaded from the following link:

http://www.nio.gov.uk/index/statistics-research/publications.htm

House of Commons Commission

House of Commons: Buildings

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission when the carpets in the Chamber and the division lobbies were last replaced; by what means carpets removed were disposed of; and whether the House of Commons Commission has made a recent estimate of the cost of replacing those carpets. (316939)

The carpets in the Commons Chamber and Division Lobbies were last replaced in 1995; there is no record of the disposal method. The cost of replacing the carpets now is some £62,000, including fitting and VAT. The old carpet will be recycled into biofuel.

Members: Allowances

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission under what budgetary headings the House of Commons Commission has incurred expenditure in relation to (a) the review of the Additional Cost Allowance and (b) Sir Paul Kennedy's review. (316965)

The budgetary headings under which expenditure has been incurred for the Additional Cost Allowance review are: work commissioned, staff costs and office supplies. The budgetary headings in relation to Sir Paul Kennedy's work are: work commissioned, travel and office supplies.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Essex

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what recent assessment she has made of the economic effects of the London 2012 Olympics on (a) West Chelmsford constituency and (b) Essex. (314889)

The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games have established the Nations and Regions Group with representatives from each of the nations and English regions to maximise the economic, as well as the sporting and cultural, benefits of the 2012 Games.

To date, 84 businesses registered in the East of England have won contracts directly with the Olympic Delivery Authority, 27 of which are in Essex including one in West Chelmsford.

The London 2012 Business Network was set up to provide businesses across the UK with access to contracts in the London 2012 supply chains and any support they need to compete for them. At the end of January, over 11,600 businesses from the East of England had registered on CompeteFor, the electronic brokerage service for buyers and suppliers. So far 60 of these have won contracts. Businesses can find out about Games-related contract opportunities on CompeteFor at:

www.competefor.com

and for business support services, businesses in the East of England can contact Business Link at:

www.businesslink.co.uk/eastofengland

or by calling 0845 717 1615.

Hosting the Olympic Mountain Biking Competition in Hadleigh Farm in Essex will provide an opportunity to showcase the region to the rest of the UK and abroad, increasing further the potential for the region to benefit economically.

Prime Minister

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Prime Minister when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 29 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Colin Bardsley. (316878)

Stabilisation Unit

To ask the Prime Minister which Minister is responsible for the Stabilisation Unit; and what the unit's budget is for 2009-10. (317514)

I refer the hon. Member to the press notice issued by my office on 9 February 2010. A copy is available on the No. 10 website:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22421

Wales

Devolution: Referendums

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the cost to the public purse was of the most recent referendum on devolution in Wales. (316967)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what estimate he has made of the (a) highest and (b) lowest likely cost to the public purse of a referendum in Wales on the extension of powers under the Government of Wales Act 2006; (317312)

(2) by what mechanism public funding in respect of any referendum held in Wales on the extension of powers under the Government of Wales Act 2006 would be (a) provided and (b) allocated.

My officials are currently considering the potential costs of a referendum, and the mechanisms involved, for discussion with other key stakeholders.

Leader of the House

Departmental Training

To ask the Leader of the House whether any (a) staff away days and (b) staff team building exercises have been held for staff in the Leader of the House’s Office in each of the last two years. (317267)

A range of development opportunities are open to civil servants in the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons. These are discussed by each member of staff as part of their appraisal process.

To ask the Leader of the House how much was spent on (a) staff training and (b) communication training for the Leader of the House’s Office in the last 12 months. (317271)

Training courses are just one aspect of the development opportunities open to civil servants in the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, and every member of staff discusses their personal development as part of their appraisal process.

Information on courses attended is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, during the last 12 months members of staff participated in training provided by external training organisations and internal training courses which are provided by the Cabinet Office free of charge.

Women and Equality

Crimes of Violence: Females

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much the Government Equalities Office spent on producing and distributing the Tackling violence against women and girls: a guide to good practice communication document. (316958)

The production of “Tackling violence against women and girls: a guide to good practice communication” cost the GEO £134,868.78 excluding VAT. This cost includes considerable new research. The guide is a web-based document; therefore no distribution costs were incurred. The guide has been well received by partners in government and outside.

Departmental Disabled Staff

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what proportion of staff in (a) the Government Equalities Office and (b) the executive agencies for which she is responsible are disabled; and what the average salary in the Office is of (i) full-time disabled staff, (ii) full-time non-disabled staff, (iii) part-time disabled staff and (iv) part-time non-disabled staff. (317904)

The Government Equalities Office has less than 10 staff that have elected to declare themselves as disabled. Given these small numbers it is not appropriate to give the information requested.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the estimated (a) amount and (b) cost was of energy used in her Department and its agencies in each year since 1997; what proportion of the energy used was generated from renewable sources in each of those years; and if she will make a statement. (317240)

Since it's creation on 12 October 2007, the Government Equalities Office has occupied accommodation in Communities and Local Government-owned buildings under a memorandum of terms of occupancy. The invoices that result do not show the components of the cost of GEO occupancy and no figures are available on the amount and cost of energy used.