10 Jun 2008 : Column 117W

10 Jun 2008 : Column 117W

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many attacks have been made on Kandahar airbase in each of the last 12 months; what the average number of daily attacks against Kandahar airbase was in the last three months, broken down by day of the week; and what type of munitions have been used against Kandahar airbase. [209644]

Des Browne: The following table shows the number of attacks for each of the last 12 complete months.

Number of attacks

2007

May

5

June

0

July

1

August

3

September

3

October

3

November

4

December

3

2008

January

0

February

1

March

4

April

3

May

7


The following table shows the daily average number of attacks for each day of the week over the past three months.

Day of the Week Daily average attacks

Monday

0.15

Tuesday

0.08

Wednesday

0.00

Thursday

0.38

Friday

0.31

Saturday

0.00

Sunday

0.15


Kandahar airfield has been attacked with 107mm, 122mm and unknown calibre rockets. Incidents involving the launch of multiple rockets are classed as one attack.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many rocket attacks there were on Kandahar airbase in each year since 2001. [209645]


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Des Browne: The following table shows the number of rocket attacks on Kandahar Airfield by year. Prior to 2006, no rocket attacks were recorded by UK forces.

Number of attacks

2006

42

2007

32

2008 (to 31 May)

15


Incidents involving the launch of multiple rockets are classed as one attack.

Armed Forces: Health Services

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which companies manage the (a) television, (b) internet and (c) telephone contracts for (i) the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital and (ii) Headley Court rehabilitation centre. [206913]

Derek Twigg: At Selly Oak hospital, where the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine is based, telephone, internet and television services are provided under contract by Premier Telesolutions.

At Headley Court internet and telephony services are provided under the Defence Fixed Telecommunications service with BT. The televisions that are provided in communal areas of the unit are not managed by a contractor.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the most recent estimated cost of the Future Rapid Effects System programme is. [210168]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The cost of the Future Rapid Effect System family of armoured vehicles will be fixed at the main investment decisions. It is our policy not to release or discuss programme costs ahead of the main investment decisions.

Ballistic Missile Defence

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials have had recent discussions with counterparts in the United States administration on the possibility of deploying anti-missile interceptors at United Kingdom bases. [209131]

Des Browne: No discussions of this nature have taken place.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many discussions he has had with (a) NATO and (b) Russia on Ballistic Missile Defence in the last 12 months. [209582]

Des Browne: The issue of ballistic missile defence is routinely discussed at a high level in a number of NATO and bilateral forums.


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Departmental Manpower

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of his Department's employees are (a) male, (b) female, (c) from an ethnic minority, (d) disabled and (e) not heterosexual; and if he will make a statement. [208390]

Derek Twigg: The information is provided in the following table:

Headcount
Strength Percentage of employees

Male

53,610

63.9

Female

30,320

36.1

Ethnic minority

2,060

3.0

Disabled

3,320

5.5

Source:
DASA (Quad-Service)

MOD civilian statistics above exclude staff employed as locally engaged civilians, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel for whom details of gender, ethnic minority status and disability status are not centrally reported.

Percentage of MOD civilian from ethnic minority and disabled staff are based on known voluntary declaration and excludes staff of unknown declaration.

The number of MOD civilian employees recorded as (e) not heterosexual, is not held by the Department.

Departmental Vocational Training

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what proportion of its staff his Department has provided vocational training in the last three years. [209423]

Derek Twigg: All service and civilian personnel complete some form of vocational training as there are a number of training courses which personnel have to complete as part of their core or functional training throughout their career. In addition a wide variety of courses, education and work-related attachments are provided on an elective basis.

Food

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much food waste his Department generated in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [208138]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence does not hold data on the amount of food waste generated over the past five years.

Military Aid

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions military aircraft have been used for humanitarian aid since 1997. [209652]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Details of the usage of military aircraft used for humanitarian aid are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the UK Trident warhead complies with the guideline that insensitive high explosive should be used for the supercharge in a nuclear weapon, as specified in JSP 538 regulation of the nuclear weapon programme, Annex G, on safety principles and guidelines for nuclear weapons systems. [209190]

Des Browne: I am withholding the information requested, as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice national security.

World War II: Military Decorations

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the medals given to (a) RAF servicemen for service during the Second World War and (b) RAF servicemen who were part of the Bomber Command in the Second World War. [209650]

Derek Twigg: Armed forces personnel, including members of the Royal Air Force, could qualify for a range of medals and campaign Stars instituted for service during the second world war. Individuals who met the qualifying criteria could qualify for the following campaign Stars:

The regulations specified that in certain circumstances the 1939-45 Star had to be earned before additional Stars could be awarded.

In addition, the Defence Medal was instituted for non-operational service in potentially hazardous locations and the War Medal 1939-45 was issued to all armed forces personnel who had completed 28 days service.

Personnel who served as members of Bomber Command, and who met the appropriate qualifying criteria, could receive the following campaign Stars and medals:

Women and Equality

Departmental Translation Services

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much was spent by her Department on translation and interpretation services in 2007-08, broken down by language. [205171]

Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office spent £1,390.61 on interpretation (signing) services in 2007-08.


10 Jun 2008 : Column 121W

Smoking

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many smoking shelters were built at each of the Government Equalities Office’s London buildings in each of the last five years. [205034]

Barbara Follett: Since its establishment in October 2007, the Government Equalities Office has sub-let offices in buildings run by the Department of Communities and Local Government and I refer you to the response given by them to the smoking shelters question.

Wales

Council Housing: Property Transfer

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on its evaluation of the results of housing stock transfer in Wales. [208246]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on a range of issues.

Housing stock transfer in Wales is devolved. The Assembly Government's overall policy in relation to housing and stock transfer, as set out in the "One Wales" document, is to ensure that social housing in Wales meets 21st century standards—the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS). Local authorities in Wales are required to submit annual 30-year Housing Revenue Account business plans demonstrating how they intend to achieve and maintain the standard, or to submit a notice that the council has resolved to ballot tenants on a stock transfer to a registered social landlord.


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