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The figures include all flying hours (both operational and non-operational) undertaken by fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. Hours flown in Hercules C130s by RAuxAF pilots, who fly a relatively small number of hours per month, have been excluded from the figures to avoid distorting the averages.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many patrols by motorised vehicles outside protected zones were undertaken by British service personnel in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last 36 months. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 28 November 2006]: Panther is currently in the demonstration and manufacture phase of procurement. The total procurement cost for this phase of the programme is estimated to be just over £200 million. Prior to this, an assessment phase was conducted which cost in the order of £2 million.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British (a) tanks and (b) armoured personnel vehicles are stationed in Germany; and what the cost of keeping the German-based fleet was in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ingram: The number of British tanks and Armoured Personnel Carriers currently stationed in Germany is 183 Challenger 2 (CR2) and 457 Armoured Personnel Carriers of which 277 are Fighting Vehicle 432 (FV432) and 180 are Warrior 510 (WR510).
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how often (a) Devonport, (b) Rosyth, (c) Aldermaston, (d) Faslane and (e) each other site associated with Trident is decontaminated; what his most recent estimate is of the costs of decontamination for each site; and to which environmental standard decontamination cleans the site. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 27 November 2006]: Decontamination of whole sites is not needed or routinely undertaken. Any instance requiring localised decontamination is dealt with as it arises. Standards of decontamination comply with the requirements of the regulators, including the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and the MODs Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator and Defence Ordnance Safety Group, and are conducted in accordance with the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (RSA93) and Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRR).
Decontamination costs are included in the nuclear liabilities published in the Departments Annual Report and Accounts. A breakdown of the liabilities was provided in the answer my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary gave on 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 778W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, West (Paul Flynn).
Mr. Ingram: I am withholding details about the lifespan of individual sub-systems within the overall Trident missile system as this could prejudice national security and international relations. Obsolescence management programmes are, however, in place to ensure that no single sub-system will limit the life of the overall weapon system.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what options for the replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent have been considered by his Department in the preparation of the forthcoming White Paper; 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the running costs have been of the strategic nuclear deterrent in each of the past 10 years, broken down by main budget heading. 
Des Browne [holding answer 29 November 2006]: Since the Trident nuclear deterrent became operational in 1994, annual expenditure for capital and operating costs, including the costs for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, has ranged between 3 and 5.5 per cent. of the annual defence budget.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 27 November 2006]:The effectiveness of the Tri-service management of the movements of troops to and from theatre is the responsibility of the Permanent Joint Headquarters and is subject to continuous review. We assess the movement of troops into and out of theatre to be working well. This has been demonstrated recently by the successive conduct of reliefs in place of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are, however, occasional and regrettable delays to the movement of personnel. Every effort will be made to seek to ensure that such events are minimised.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has held with (a) BAE Systems and (b) VT Group on compensation for reducing the order for Type 45 Destroyers. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of patients in each health trust area in the Province who will receive digital hearing aids over the next 12 months. 
(1) This estimate assumes that the factors affecting supply, demand, and fitting of digital hearing aids over the next12 months will be similar to those operating during the quarter ending 31 March 2006.
|HSS Board||Approximate number for 12 month period|
1. Figures include information on new and existing clients fitted with a digital hearing aid during quarter ending 31 March 2006.
2. Figures do not include information on digital hearing aid replacements issued during the quarter to avoid possible double counting.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what services are available in the community to assist residents of North Down and Ards who are blind and visually impaired. 
Paul Goggins: Services for residents of North Down and Ards who are blind or visually impaired are provided by the Ulster Community and Hospitals Trust. People with a visual impairment are entitled to an assessment of need for packages of care including home help services.
There are three rehabilitation workers and a social worker who provide assistance and support, as well asa community development worker employed as partof a Trust/ Royal National Institute of the Blind partnership focused on developing the capacity of local blind people to play an active role in community life.
During 2005-06, the community development worker worked with over 200 individuals, and provided information and advice to 70 organisations. More than 200 visually impaired people, who previously did not avail themselves of the sight support service, have been engaged.
Blind and visually impaired people are encouraged to participate in a number of community activities. Computer training is provided and a number of writers' groups, women's groups, parent support groups, social groups and awareness raising groups have been established.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans there are to extend the Green Paper Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care to apply to Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: We endorse the general approach outlined in the Green Paper, which is currently out to consultation. However, it is essential that equivalent proposals for NI reflect need here. On this basis I have instructed officials from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to draft an NI equivalent paper in conjunction with other Departments and taking account of the views of other stakeholders. It is our intention that this paper will be issued for public consultation before the end of January 2007.
People presenting with chronic fatigue syndrome can expect to receive the full range of assessment, treatment and support services appropriate to their needs from within existing mental health services, community services and other programmes of care. While there are no specifically dedicated services for people presenting solely with chronic fatigue
syndrome in the Southern, Northern and Western Health and Social Services Board areas Eastern Health and Social Services Board employs a senior occupational therapist to work in collaboration with other services, providing clinical care for people experiencing problems.
|DHL payments (£)|
|(1) Figures provided for 2004-05 and 2005-06 have been adjusted to exclude DHL costs in relation to the Parades Commission. The Commissions contract with DHL started in 2004-05 in order to distribute Commissioners Packs and the issuing of Determinations to interested parties. The costs for this service in 2004-05 and 2005-06 were £2,833 and £14,531 respectively.|
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he plans to change the charging system in Northern Ireland for long-term care for the elderly to avoid the family home of the elderly person concerned having to be sold. 
Paul Goggins: There is no legal requirement for those entering long-term care to sell a family home to fund their care. Following an individual financial assessment to calculate how much each individual can afford to pay towards the cost of their care, it is entirely a matter for each individual and their advisers to decide how best to meet any charges. I am not proposing to change the charging system to totally exclude the value of a residents family home from the assessment of each individuals resources.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the timetable is for the implementation of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006; and if he will delay the introduction of these regulations until April 2007. 
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