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Mr. Ingram: Serco Denholm submitted their technical proposal in March 2004 and their financial bid one month later, in accordance with the Departments invitation to tender. At MODs request, however, bidders submitted revise or confirm bids in December 2004 and revisions continued until July 2005.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 218W, what estimate was made in November 2003 of the date when the contract would be awarded. 
Derek Twigg: There is currently no means of capturing the reasons why personnel leave the RNR and therefore this information is not held centrally. However, from 1 April 2007 a new Leavers Survey will be sent to RNR leavers.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the suitability and costs involved in using the existing RAF Nimrod MR2 R1 fleet over the new Nimrod MRD4 platform for the HELIX programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: During the current Project HELIX assessment phase, the suitability and cost of potential air vehicle solutions are among the factors being investigated. The final decision on the air vehicle to be used will be taken at the main investment decision point.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 98W to my hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) on nuclear disarmament, what progress the UK has made on Step (a) 6 and (b) 9 of the 13 Steps agreed at the 2000 Nuclear non-proliferation Treaty review conference; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: The UK continues to support and make progress against the 13 Steps agreed at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference 2000, which are applicable to the UK. We continue to reiterate our unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of our nuclear arsenal leading to nuclear disarmament as required under Step 6, most recently expressed by the Minister for the Middle East, my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells) at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva last month. With regards to Step 9, we have undertaken several unilateral steps towards nuclear disarmament including reductions in warhead numbers, increased transparency by publishing historical accounting records of our defence fissile material holdings and significant reductions of the operational status of our nuclear weapons system. We have also pursued a widely welcomed programme to develop UK expertise in methods and technologies that could be used to verify nuclear disarmament.
Finally, we have pressed consistently for early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and
the commencement of negotiations, without preconditions, of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 98W, on nuclear disarmament, what the (a) evidential and (b) treaty basis is for describing the UKs announced reduction to 160 operational nuclear warheads as disarmament. 
Des Browne: The planned reduction in the maximum number of operationally available warheads to fewer than 160, announced in December last year represents a 20 per cent. decrease from the previously declared maximum number. I intend that this reduction will take place this year. This reduction is pertinent to the UKs obligations under the nuclear non proliferation treaty and means that, since coming to power in 1997, the Government will have reduced the overall explosive power of the UKs nuclear arsenal by around 75 per cent.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 2 March 2007]: No refined petroleum products were received at the Flax Bourton depot for the purposes of storage over the 12 months to December 2006. Small quantities of product were, however, brought onto the site for local consumption during that period.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many personnel have contracted Acinetobactor baumannii at Selly Oak NHS hospital having returned from (a) Afghanistan, (b) the Balkans, (c) Cyprus, (d) Falklands and Ascension Islands, (e) Iraq and (f) Northern Ireland in each year since 2001; 
(2) how many personnel contracted MRSA at Selly Oak NHS hospital having returned from (a) Afghanistan, (b) the Balkans, (c) Cyprus, (d) Falklands and Ascension Islands, (e) Iraq and (f) Northern Ireland in each year since 2001. 
Derek Twigg: The MOD does not collate information on how many service personnel have contracted MRSA or Acinetobacter baumannii. The data could only be established at disproportionate cost by examining the personal medical file of every service man and woman who has been a patient at Selly Oak, which would additionally require the permission of all individuals.
The Defence Medical Services have robust and stringent infection control procedures which fully meet NHS requirements. We take the issue of infection very seriously and work to ensure the best possible healthcare for all service patients returning from overseas.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many servicemen who returned from (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan after active duty injured in each year since 2003 are now registered blind or partially sighted; 
Derek Twigg: Comprehensive data regarding injuries and disabilities are not held centrally, and could only be established at disproportionate cost by examining the personal medical file of every current and former Service man and woman, which would additionally require the permission of all individuals.
However, Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) do compile data on medical discharges, based on Medical Board recommendations. The table below presents a tri-Service total number of medical discharges among UK regular Service Personnel in 2003 and 2004 for all eye-related disorders and injuries suffered worldwide. Data for 2005 and 2006 are still being validated and are not ready for release.
|Medical Discharges UK Regular Armed Forces( 1)|
|Primary cause of medical discharge|
|Disorders of the eye and adnexa||Injury of the eye orbit|
|Other causes of medical discharge with disorders of the eye|
|Of which: secondary to a head injury||Of which: secondary to other conditions|
|(1 )Excludes untrained naval service ratings.|
1. In accordance with DASA policy, figures are rounded to the nearest 5.
2. Figures below 5 are marked as <5 in order to preserve personal confidentiality.
Medical discharges can take place some time after the injury or disease is diagnosed. DASA are currently carrying out a 10-year validation exercise on all medical discharge information held, and updating relevant records. The data used for this answer are taken from a historical dataset for 1995-2004, and the figures presented therefore may be subject to change.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the first contracts were placed with US contractors on behalf of his Department, under the Polaris Sales Agreement, for work related to the Trident D5 Life Extension programme; and what the total value was of those contracts. 
Malcolm Wicks: In 2005, the latest year for which statistics are available, 7Â1/2 per cent. of electricity generated in the United Kingdom came from good quality combined heat and power (CHP) schemes. The target is for 10,000 MWe of good quality CHP capacity to be in place by the end of 2010, but there is no separate target for generation.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures his Department has in place to allow working parents to take paid leave in order to look after their children when they are ill. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Staff in the Department have the right to take up to five days paid special leave in order to deal with an emergency involving a dependant or to make longer-term arrangements for coping with such emergencies. In addition staff can apply for special unpaid leave.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of households in each region and nation of the UK which do not have mains access to (a) gas and (b) electricity. 
Malcolm Wicks: As part of its regional and local energy statistics publication programme, DTI has published on its website the number of domestic gas meter points in each Government office area in England, together with Scotland and Wales(1). When these are compared with the latest estimates of the number of households in these areas, the following numbers and percentages are derived(2).
(1) www.dti.gov.uk/energy/statistics/regional/quality/page36160 .html
(2) This analysis may overstate the number of households having mains access to gas because households in multi-occupancy of a property may share a gas meter. Domestic is defined as consumers of less than 73,200 kWh per year and will include small commercial and industrial businesses. Household estimates are those published in March 2006 for England, June 2005 for Scotland, and 2003 for Wales and are less up to date than the gas and meter statistics.
|Difference between number of households and number of gas meter points||Gas meter points as a percentage of the number of households|
A similar regional analysis based on electricity meter points is not possible because, where electricity is supplied through two-rate and three-rate meters (mainly those meters using dynamic teleswitching), there are two meter recordings per address. It is estimated that there are some 1,060,000 domestic customers with two meter point numbers in Great Britain. For Great Britain as a whole, it is estimated that 99.6 per cent. of households have mains access to electricity so fewer than 100,000 households do not. As with gas, some households may share an electricity meter.
Malcolm Wicks: Average fuel bills are only available for gas and electricity distribution regions. The average domestic bills for the North West(1) are shown in the following table. The data shown are for standard credit customers in cash terms, they have not been adjusted for inflation.
(1) Lancashire is contained in the North West region for gas and electricity.
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