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1 Apr 2008 : Column 793W—continued

1 Apr 2008 : Column 794W

Number of CSABs Heard


Number of CSAB Upheld


Upheld (percentage)


Successful Appellants

Failed Appellants


Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make available empty Ministry of Defence residential dwellings in Colchester constituency for (a) the short-term and (b) long-term use by (i) Colchester Borough Council and (ii) relevant housing associations; and if he will make a statement; [195985]

(2) what estimate he has made of how much has been received by Annington Estates in (a) 2007-08 and (b) the previous 10 years for which figures are available in payments for rent in respect of vacant residential dwellings for military personnel in Colchester constituency. [195986]

Derek Twigg: Service family accommodation (SFA) is provided to house service personnel and their dependants, and in England and Wales most SFA is owned by Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL). Surplus properties are returned to that company. In Colchester some unoccupied properties have been used to accommodate single service personnel while new single living accommodation (SLA) blocks are being built. However, as new SLA becomes available the SFA properties are returned to AHL. For instance around 100 properties have been identified for return to AHL in Financial Year 2008-09. For these, among other, reasons we have no current plans to make empty SFA available for non-military use.

Out of the 1,094 SFA properties at Colchester some 219 are currently void (not in use for their intended purpose). Void stock includes SFA being held for planned moves of service units, or awaiting planned upgrades, sale or release, modernisation or demolition. The Department is taking a number of steps to reduce the amount of void SFA. Since March 2007, the total number of void SFA worldwide has reduced from 13,336 to 12,240 properties.

Whether SFA is occupied or not, we pay the same rent to AHL, an average of £3,500 per annum per property, It is thus not possible to identify the rent paid to AHL for void properties in this and previous years, as no separate assessment of the cost of void SFA is made.

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Departmental Databases

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) companies based in the United States and (b) UK subsidiaries of US companies have been contracted by his Department and its agencies to provide services involving the use, storage, processing or analysis of databases of personal information held by the Government on UK citizens in the last five years. [188223]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: My Department including its agencies has engaged a US registered service provider and UK subsidiaries of US registered service providers to manage storage, processing or analysis of personal information during the last five years.

The Data Protection Act 1998 includes provisions to ensure that personal data benefits from adequate protection when it is transferred outside the European economic area(1) by UK data controllers. Contracts are based on UK contract law with the applicable statutory safeguards.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the hourly rates of pay of all non-permanent staff working for his Department and its agencies were in each of the last 12 months; and how many staff were receiving each rate in each of those months. [196452]

Derek Twigg: Due to the way historic records are held, individual hourly rates of pay by month could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the average hourly rate of basic salary for 1,329 casual staff paid in March 2008 was £9.42. These figures exclude any employer contributions such as national insurance.

Departmental Translation Services

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2347W, on departmental translation services, how much was spent on translation services into (a) Welsh and (b) other languages in (i) 2003-04 and (ii) 2004-05. [197544]

Derek Twigg: The following was spent on centrally-contracted MOD translation services into:


Other languages

Departmental Working Hours

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours (a) in total and (b) on average per employee were worked by civil servants in his Department in the last year for which records are available. [195826]

1 Apr 2008 : Column 796W

Derek Twigg: The annual number of hours worked by civil servants in the Ministry of Defence during 2007-08 was about 140.5 million, representing an average per employee of about 1,950 hours (equivalent to 37.5 hours per week). This figure is extrapolated from an analysis of hours worked in the first week of March 2008. It includes basic conditioned hours plus overtime and any other additional working hours, but excludes staff employed in MOD Trading Funds or locally employed staff overseas.

Departments: Manpower

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many press officers are employed by his Department. [153074]

Derek Twigg: On 27 July 2007 there were 22 press officers employed in the Ministry of Defence’s central press office in London, and seven press officers employed in Regional Press Offices. This answer does not include those employed as press officers in Defence Agencies, the Permanent Joint Headquarters, single Service Commands or at unit level, some of whom have a press officer task in addition to their main role. An audit is being conducted by MOD of overall numbers and roles of personnel involved in communications in order to assist with implementation of the Defence Communications Strategy. When this audit concludes, key findings will be made available through the MOD’s website and I will write to you.

Substantive reply from Derek Twigg to Mark Hoban:

Iraq: Compensation

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Government paid in compensation to Iraqi nationals injured by British armed forces in Iraq in each year since 2003. [198014]

Des Browne: Since 2003 the Ministry of Defence has paid £3,340,000 in compensation to Iraqi nationals injured or killed by British forces as follows:

Financial year Total payments (£)











1 Apr 2008 : Column 797W

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flying hours were completed by (a) Apache Attack helicopter, (b) Gazelle, (c) Lynx Mk3, (d) Lynx Mk7, (e) Lynx Mk8, (f) Lynx Mk9, (g) Merlin Mk1 and (h) Merlin Mk3 helicopters in the armed forces in the last 12 months. [197097]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The flying hours completed during the last 12 months, broken down by helicopter type, are as follows:

Helicopter type Flying hours

Apache Attack Helicopter




Lynx Mark 3


Lynx Mark 7


Lynx Mark 8


Lynx Mark 9


Merlin Mark 1


Merlin Mark 3


Radar: Wind Power

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1311W, on radar: wind power, what guidelines his Department provides on the siting of wind farms in relation to maintaining working aerial defences; and how many planning applications have been refused on the grounds that windmills may interfere with defence equipment. [198225]

Derek Twigg: All wind farm applications which are assessed to fall within line of sight of an air defence radar are subject to individual consideration. This scrutiny includes consideration of a range of factors which will be particular to each application in order to assess the likely operational impact of the scheme should it proceed. An objection will be lodged if the operational impact is assessed as being unmanageable. Where an objection is lodged mitigation options will be suggested to the developer where possible.

The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on planning applications refused, however, since 2005 the Department has objected to 54 pre-planning applications for wind turbines on the grounds of interference with defence equipment. Of those objections, three were subsequently withdrawn.

Rapid Reaction Corps

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Rapid Reaction Corps to move to RAF Innsworth; and if he will make a statement. [197270]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1604W.

1 Apr 2008 : Column 798W

Culture, Media and Sport

Cultural Heritage

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2121-2W, on cultural heritage, how many people each percentage figure represents. [194820]

Margaret Hodge: Pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2121-2W, the table previously supplied is repeated with additional information relating to population.

The table shows the percentage of people from our priority groups and the population as a whole who had made at least one visit to a designated heritage site during the 12 months prior to interview. Population figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.

2005-06 2006-07
Priority group Percentage Thousand Percentage Thousand

Black and minority ethnic





Limiting disability





Lower socio-economic





All adults





All data are taken from the DCMS ‘Taking Part’ survey, which provides national data on engagement in culture, leisure and sport by adults aged 16 and over.

Cultural Heritage: Young People

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to his Department's press release of 13 February 2008 entitled young people to get five hours of culture a week—£135m funding boost announced, how he plans to measure the number of hours of arts and culture a week children receive in the pilot areas; and what estimate he has made of the number they currently receive. [194873]

Andy Burnham: The Find Your Talent pilot programme will test different ways of delivering a range of cultural opportunities over the next three years, including ways of ensuring all children are able to experience at least five hours.

The pilots will build on the considerable amount of cultural activity already taking place in and out of school and the investment we put into this area. They will also be asked to audit current level of provision and the take up of cultural activities by children and young people. What we learn from them will give us the information we need to make decisions about implementing the scheme nationally.

Although I am unable to give figures for how many hours young people currently receive, the ‘Taking Part’ survey showed that overall 99 per cent. said they had engaged in cultural sector at least once during the last 12 months. Within this, 61 per cent. of young people said they had engaged in cultural activities at least once a week during the last 12 months, and a further 21 per cent. said at least once a month.

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