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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Royal Navy ships are (a) at sea, (b) ready for deployment, (c) at reduced readiness and (d) mothballed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The number of Royal Navy ships at sea changes daily and is currently 13. A further 18 ships are ready for deployment of which a number can be at sea at any time depending on their state of readiness. Seven vessels are at reduced readiness and six at extended readiness.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department has been of the loss of spare parts while being delivered to their intended destination in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Ingram: In support of Operation Herrick (Afghanistan) there are currently four RAF passenger-carrying aircraft and four freight-carrying aircraft per week. A further two chartered commercial freight-carrying aircraft per week are also used. During periods of surge, further passenger and freight aircraft are flown to meet planned increases in operational demand. A fleet of up to four RAF tactical aircraft are used to meet logistical requirements in-theatre; and again this number may be increased to support surge requirements.
In support of Operation Telic (Iraq) there are currently four charter passenger-carrying commercial flights operating each week into Qatar, from where passengers are transferred into Theatre using RAF tactical airlift. To support freight requirements the RAF operates three military flights per week, which are supplemented by a further two chartered aircraft. During periods of surge, further passenger and freight aircraft are flown to meet planned increases in operational demand. A fleet of up to four RAF tactical aircraft are used to meet logistical requirements in-theatre; again this number may be increased to support surge requirements.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicles his Department expects to purchase in the next 12 months; what the cost will be; and what assessment he has made of their likely performance. 
Mr. Ingram: There are no plans to purchase any Watchkeeper vehicles in the next 12 months. The contract for the Watchkeeper system was signed with Thales UK in July 2005 at a value of just over £700 million.
Derek Twigg: In answering this question I have taken theft of weapon-related equipment to mean stolen weapons and ammunition. Weapons and ammunition are the only types of weapon-related equipment for which central records of thefts are maintained.
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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many temporary employees were contracted to work for his Department in 2005-06; and what the total cost of such employees was in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 1997-98. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: DTI departmental report 2006 states the number of casual and non-permanent staff in 2004-05 and the estimated outturn number for casual and non-permanent staff in 2005-06. The estimated outturn for 2005-06 is 214 full-time equivalent casual and non-permanent staff. The actual figure will be reported in the departmental report 2007 due to be published in the spring. These numbers are taken from our departmental headcount monitoring and reporting system and are an average of the number of casual and non-permanent staff DTI employs over a financial year.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the capacity of the national electricity transmission grid to meet the UKs energy needs over the next 15 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Darling: The holders of electricity transmission licences have a licence obligation to ensure that sufficient transmission capacity is made available. There is a formal process overseen by Ofgem for those wishing to connect and use the electricity transmission system; this ensures that signals are provided on the future capacity requirements of the transmission system. Within this framework, Ofgem are required to ensure sufficient funding is available to ensure network developments are undertaken in a timely manner.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) complaints and (b) items of correspondence have been received from (i) businesses, (ii) representative bodies of businesses and (iii) members of the public by his Department on energy costs in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information can be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Departments current correspondence handling system cannot order cases by topic, and to provide this information would require reading through over 9,000 cases.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average household energy bill was in (a) England and Wales, (b) England and (c) Wales in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Energywatch, has estimated the typical standard credit energy bill in Great Britain as £642 for gas and £388 for electricity giving a total bill of £1,030. Separate data for Wales, England and Scotland are not available.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) whether (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) energy efficient light bulbs are subject to the provisions of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) whether (a) incandescent and (b) energy efficient light bulbs including compact fluorescent bulbs are subject to the provisions of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Directive; what the estimated average cost of disposal per bulb is in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Incandescent light bulbs are not subject to the provisions of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, but energy efficient light bulbs, including compact fluorescent bulbs, are. According to industry estimates it costs 20 - 25p to treat a fluorescent bulb. This treatment cost
information appeared in the partial Regulatory Impact Assessment published as part of the consultation on draft WEEE regulations, which ended on 17 October. A final Regulatory Impact Assessment will accompany the WEEE Regulations when they are laid before the House in early December.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many meetings he and his Ministers have had in the last 12 months with (a) the Department for Communities and Local Government and (b) HM Treasury on the promotion of (i) decentralised energy and (ii) combined heat and power technologies. 
Mr. Darling [holding answer 27 November 2006]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and I have held regular discussions in the last 12 months with the Department of Communities and Local Government/HMT on a range of energy issues including the promotion of decentralised energy and combined heat and power technologies.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the contribution of residual municipal solid waste for the production of energy to the security of energy supply; and if he will make a statement on its overall position in the energy mix. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 4 December 2006]: The Governments waste policy prioritises prevention, reuse and recycling over the recovery of energy from residual wastes. But where prevention, reuse and recycling are not practical, recovering energy from waste could displace fossil generation and contribute to our energy policy and climate change goals as a secure source of low carbon energy. DEFRA have indicated energy from residual waste could provide some 6 TWh by 2020.
DTI commissioned Ilex Energy Consultants to look at the potential contribution from energy from waste during the review of the renewables obligation in 2005 and the reports are available at http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file21117.pdf and http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file22325.pdf. Following the review eligibility for energy from waste was extended to include good quality CHP projects and dedicated biomass projects from which at least 90 per cent. of the energy produced came from biomass.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the membership is of the Franco-British Nuclear Forum; what the (a) structure and (b) objectives are of the forum; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department (a) has made and (b) has commissioned the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to make of the problems with the spent fuel handling and storage facility at the Hinkley Point power plant. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 30 November 2006]: Nuclear safeguards arrangements apply to nuclear material (i.e. plutonium, uranium and thorium) as defined in international safeguards agreements. Such safeguards do not apply to other radioactive substances. Safeguards materials accountancy and operating records for reactors will include information on what has been produced in them. After fuel has been reprocessed however, as in any other bulk process, tracking is not accurate at the atomic level.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to announce the award of licences under the 24th licensing round for oil and gas exploration; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 4 December 2006]: DTI is carrying out the appropriate assessment of the environmental effects of awarding licences on relevant conservation sites as required under the Habitats
Directive. We are in the process of finalising the appropriate assessment and are considering the issues that have arisen some of which raise concerns regarding the possible environmental effects of potential awards. We are addressing these issues as a matter of urgency. It is important that environmental concerns are considered fully and as a result we do not have an exact timing for a decision on awards.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many sub-post offices there were in each constituency in (a) 1999 and (b) 2005, listed in descending order of the change in the number of sub-post offices between the two dates. 
The question raised relates to operational matters for which Post Office Ltd. is directly responsible. The company compiles figures for post office branches
in each parliamentary constituency on an annual basis. This information is placed in and is available from the Libraries of the House.
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