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11 Jun 2007 : Column 756W—continued


The costs of staff cars cannot be broken down from the central budget and are therefore not included.

The costs of transport to and from other engagements during the day of the North East Economic Forum have not been included.

Astute Class Submarines

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration his Department is giving to further orders for Astute class submarines; and when he expects such considerations to be completed. [140999]

Mr. Ingram: Three Astute class submarines are on order with BAES (Submarine Solutions). I also refer my hon. Friend to my written ministerial statement of 21 May 2007, Official Report, columns 55-56WS, which confirmed the build of a fourth boat.

Further boat orders are being considered, subject to affordability. We are working with industry as part of the Defence Industrial Strategy to achieve an affordable and sustainable submarine programme.

Bermuda Regiment

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the evidential basis was for Colonel Baxter’s statement in his Fitness for Role Inspection Report of November 2005 into the Bermuda Regiment that it was readily apparent to the Royal Party that the Regiment were seven minutes late at the ceremony convening the Bermuda Legislature in 2005; and if he will make a statement. [111608]

Mr. Ingram: The Inspection Team had a specific remit to comment on the Bermuda Regiment’s ability to perform the ceremonial duties demanded of it. The timings of and performance on both the rehearsal and the actual parade were therefore accurately noted. The principal members of the Royal Party were HRH the Duke of York and HE the Governor of Bermuda. The landau had to progress slowly and then pause between Government House and the Cabinet Office while the gun salute, delayed while the regiment took up post, was completed.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2007, Official Report, column 1260W, on the annual personal
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weapons test, what figures for shooting standards in part-time military organisations in the UK Colonel Baxter used to reach his conclusion in paragraph 9 of the Fitness for Role Inspection Report of November 2005 relating to the Bermuda Regiment that the shooting standards in the regiment were consistent with other part-time military organisations in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [111613]

Mr. Ingram: The Inspection Team put 46 soldiers (11 per cent.) through their annual personal weapons test over the two days of the inspection, without prior notice and without the individual soldiers having a chance to practise. The team had no exact UK figures as comparators but used its collective military judgment and experience as the basis of their comment: “Although low, this pass rate is consistent with other part time organizations in the UK”. The team had some experience of serving with the TA and with the Home Service Part-Time element of the Royal Irish Regiment (and Ulster Defence Regiment before) as well as considerable experience with regular soldiers. It felt that a 70 per cent. “first time” pass rate was probably comparable to (but not quite as good as) that likely to be achieved by part-time British soldiers faced with an equivalent unrehearsed, no-notice test. It also noted that the pass rate would be improved by regular practice.

Chinook Helicopters

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long the Enhanced Flying Package for Mark 2 Chinooks is expected to remain in service. [141766]

Mr. Ingram: I have taken this question to be relating to the “night enhancement package” (NEP) which was fitted as an urgent operational requirement (UOR) to parts of our Chinook fleet as an aid to pilots in low light levels. Equipments acquired under UOR arrangements are only fitted for the period of the particular military operation for which they were needed, unless a subsequent decision is taken that the requirement is enduring. We are currently reviewing the long term requirement for the NEP.

CMT Dynamics

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) value, (b) purpose and (c) date was of each payment made by his Department to CMT Dynamics since 1997. [141312]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence Financial Management Shared Service Centre has no record of any payments being made to CMT Dynamics.

Departments: BAE Systems

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many current members of the board of BAE Systems have previously worked for his Department; and in what capacity. [141316]

Mr. Ingram: According to our records, none of the current Board of Directors of BAE Systems have worked previously for the Department.


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Departments: Carbon Emissions

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what methodology is used by his Department to account for its carbon emissions. [140780]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence collects and collates information on: energy used in its buildings; quantities of aviation, marine and ground fuels supplied to the armed forces and for their logistical support; and road and air mileage travelled by military and civilian personnel and ministers on business. This information is converted to carbon dioxide equivalent emissions using the Government’s conversion factors and reported each year in the Department’s Sustainable Development Report. Building emissions data are validated by the Building Research Establishment and provided annually to the Sustainable Development Commission for its assessment of the Department’s performance against the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets.

Departments: Data Protection

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times his Department was found to have been in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [139209]

Derek Twigg: The definition of 'found to have been in breach' can be broad. Depending on their nature, breaches by Government Departments of the Data Protection Act 1998 can be dealt with by the Information Commissioner, the Courts or by Departments at an informal local level. The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department’s special advisers were on (a) paid and (b) unpaid leave in order to assist with party political matters under section 22 (iii) of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers on 16 May 2007; and how many days’ leave each adviser was granted. [140120]

Des Browne: Special advisers’ involvement in party political matters is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, including section 22 (iii), and the guidance issued by the Cabinet Secretary in December 2006 and May 2007, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.

Departments: Pendle

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what expenditure is planned to be carried out in Pendle by his Department in the years up to 2010; and if he will make a statement. [120614]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence does not plan its expenditure on a regional basis.


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Departments: Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what properties his Department (a) owned and (b) rented in each of the last five years. [139360]

Derek Twigg: Details of properties owned by the Ministry of Defence in the relevant period that are valued at over £1 million can be found in the national assets register, copies of which are available in the Library of the House or at

Information on properties owned that are below £1 million in value is not held centrally and will take time to collate. Details of properties rented by this Department are not held centrally and it will need to be determined whether the information can be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate has been made of the value of his Department's property portfolio. [139382]

Derek Twigg: The 2005-06 Departmental Resource Accounts show the net book value of land and buildings at 31 March 2006 as follows:

Value (£)

Dwellings

2,912,696,000

Other land and buildings

15,543,467,000


Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of leasing buildings and office space was for (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years. [139473]

Derek Twigg: The details requested are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Travel Agents

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies paid in travel agencies’ fees in each year since 1997. [139910]

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

Ex-servicemen: Military Decorations

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will examine the merits of extending eligibility for the HM armed forces veterans badge to personnel involved in conflicts since 1984; and if he will make a statement. [141503]

Derek Twigg: Over 460,000 veterans badges have been issued since it was launched in 2004 and it is my intention that all armed forces veterans should receive their badge at the earliest opportunity. However, for
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practical reasons relating to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency's capacity to handle demand, this has had to be done in stages, commencing with those who served first. Further extensions of eligibility to apply for the badge will follow as soon as practicable.

Iraq: Peace Keeping Operations

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the principal militias identified as involved in insurgency attacks on UK service personnel in Iraq, together with their known leaders. [139148]

Des Browne [holding answer 4 June 2007]:A small number of individuals are involved in attacks against UK forces deployed on operations in southern Iraq. While some claim membership of a range of militia groups, we assess that the majority of these individuals are affiliated to the militant and extremist elements of Muqtada al Sadr’s Jaysh al-Mahdi.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he intends to make publicly available captured (a) munitions and (b) documentation indicating Iranian involvement in insurgency attacks on UK service personnel in Iraq. [139150]

Des Browne [holding answer 4 June 2007]: I am withholding this information as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

Joint Exercises: Kuwait

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any British military personnel took part in United States Lt. General David McKiernan’s evaluation exercise Lucky Warrior, conducted in Kuwait in November 2002; whether any outcome of this exercise was passed to British military commanders; and if he will make a statement. [139084]

Des Browne: Records indicate that consideration was given to limited British military involvement in exercise Lucky Warrior, conducted in Kuwait in November 2002, but do not show whether this actually happened. There are no records of any subsequent communication about it to British military commanders. However, 201 Signal Squadron took part in the next Lucky Warrior exercise, in early 2003.

Lynx Helicopters

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK forces Lynx helicopters are in (a) the UK, (b) Germany, (c) North America, (d) Southern and Central America, (e) Iraq, (f) Afghanistan, (g) Africa and (h) on board Royal Naval vessels. [137381]

Mr. Ingram: I am withholding information about military capability, including numbers of specific aircraft deployed on operations, as it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.


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Members: Correspondence

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reply to question 127539, tabled by the hon. Member for North Durham on 12 March. [138516]

Des Browne: I replied to my hon. Friend today.

Military Aircraft: Russia

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions RAF aircraft have intercepted Russian military flights in or near British airspace in the last 12 months. [141246]

Des Browne: Twice.

Nimrod Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Kapton wiring is used in the Yellow Gate system in place in Nimrod aircraft; when this system was fitted in Nimrods; what wiring is used on other Nimrod electrical systems; and if he will make a statement. [140911]

Mr. Ingram: Kapton wiring is not used in the Yellow Gate system on the Nimrod aircraft but KTCL, a hybrid Kapton wiring, was introduced on the Nimrod MR2 as a part of the Yellow Gate modification programme during the period 1980 to 1985. The wiring used in the electrical systems of the Nimrod MR2 and Rl consists of: Nyvin, Minyvin, Efglas, KTCL, Febsil, ACT260, Raychem 44A and Raychem 55A.

Nuclear Submarines: Scotland

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has investigated potential scenarios for the basing of nuclear submarines, including Trident, in locations other than Scotland. [140998]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy's nuclear powered submarine fleets, SSN and SSBN, are currently base ported at HM Naval Base Devonport and HM Naval Base Clyde. As announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 18 September 2006, we are, as part of the Defence Industrial Strategy, conducting a Naval Base Review to ensure that we have the right Naval Base infrastructure to meet the needs of the future fleet. No decisions have yet been taken. However, there are currently no plans to change Naval Base Clyde as the home base of the nuclear deterrent or Devonport as the supporting dockyard.


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