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7 Mar 2007 : Column 1974W—continued

Navy: Military Bases

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date Serco Denholm Ltd submitted its final bid for the future provision of marine services contract. [123823]

Mr. Ingram: Serco Denholm submitted their technical proposal in March 2004 and their financial bid one month later, in accordance with the Department’s invitation to tender. At MOD’s request, however, bidders submitted revise or confirm bids in December 2004 and revisions continued until July 2005.

Since February 2006, when Serco Denholm were announced as the preferred bidder, further changes have been made to their bid as part of the negotiation process.

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. [123906]

Mr. Ingram: When the future provision of marine services invitation to negotiate was issued in November 2003, the estimated date for award of contract was May 2005.

Navy: Reserve Forces

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the reasons for the outflow of volunteers from the Royal Navy Reserve. [124592]

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.

Nimrod Aircraft

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. [123864]

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.

Nuclear Disarmament

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. [124111]

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
7 Mar 2007 : Column 1975W
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 UK’s announced reduction to 160 operational nuclear warheads as disarmament. [124112]

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 UK’s 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 UK’s nuclear arsenal by around 75 per cent.

Oil: Flax Bourton

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what refined hydrocarbon liquids were received at Flax Bourton oil storage depot in the 12 months to December 2006. [125055]

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.

Selly Oak Hospital: Infectious Diseases

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; [123813]

(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. [123814]

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.


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Service Personnel: Medical Conditions

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; [117292]

(2) how many (a) servicemen and (b) reserve servicemen returned injured during active duty in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan and were registered disabled in each year since 2003. [117298]

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

2003

15

<5

2004

25

<5


Other causes of medical discharge with disorders of the eye
Of which: secondary to a head injury Of which: secondary to other conditions

2003

<5

<5

2004

<5

<5

(1 )Excludes untrained naval service ratings.
Notes:
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.

Trident: Contracts

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. [123985]

Des Browne: No order has yet been placed with the US authorities for procurement of Trident D5 Life Extension on behalf of the UK.


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Trade and Industry

Combined Heat and Power

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of electricity is sourced from good quality combined heat and power; and what his target is for 2010. [124638]

Malcolm Wicks: In 2005, the latest year for which statistics are available, 71/2 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.

Conditions of Employment: Parents

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. [121961]

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.

Energy Supply

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. [125181]

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).


7 Mar 2007 : Column 1978W
Difference between number of households and number of gas meter points Gas meter points as a percentage of the number of households

England

2,700,000

87.4

North East

70,000

93.7

North West

190,000

93.6

Yorkshire and the Humber

160,000

92.4

East Midlands

220,000

88.0

West Midlands

260,000

88.5

East

470,000

80.1

London

290,000

90.9

South East

480,000

86.0

South West

560,000

74.4

Wales

170,000

85.9

Scotland

500,000

77.7

Great Britain

3,380,000

86.5


Corresponding data are not available for Northern Ireland.

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.

Where a household owns more than one property, the statistics take account of meters in all properties.

Energy: Lancashire

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent on (a) electricity and (b) gas by the average household in Lancashire in each of the last 10 years. [125318]

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.


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