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Derek Twigg: In each of the last three years there has been no expenditure on new works of art by the MOD. It is not possible to separately identify the costs of new vehicles from the overall leasing costs of non-operational vehicles operated by the Department. For new furnishings the expenditure in each year is shown in the following table.
These costs represent only the cost of new furniture purchased including office furniture, furniture for messes and barracks, service families accommodation and Ships; other furnishing costs are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the standard retirement age in his Department is; and how many people worked beyond the standard retirement age in each of the last five years. 
Derek Twigg: The retirement age for senior civil servants is decided centrally and is set at age 65. Determination of the retirement age for grades below the senior civil service is delegated to employing Departments and was set by the Ministry of Defence at 65 with effect from 1 April 2006. Departmental regulations reflect the right to request to work beyond the normal retirement age and for such requests to be given proper consideration. UK Defence statistics include detailed breakdowns of the civilian workforce. These show that, against a reducing overall headcount, the numbers of MOD civil servants aged 65 and over have increased as follows:
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the euro changeover plan of (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies was last updated; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent version of each. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department last updated its euro changeover plan (now known as the euro implementation strategy) on 24 October 2005. I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
Future Gazelle flying activity has been reviewed in successive departmental planning rounds. Under current planning assumptions the out of service date for the Gazelle is 2012; however there will be a significant reduction in Gazelle flying by 2010. The Gazelle is an older aircraft type with limited capability and is not deployed on combat roles. This decision will therefore have no impact on deployed military capability.
Where there is an enduring requirement for the capability currently provided by Gazelle we are exploring arrangements based on leased aircraft.
The decision to bring forward the Gazelle out of service date will lead to the disbandment of 7 Regiment Army Air Corps (Volunteers) (7 Regt AAC(V)) by 1 April 2009. 7 Regt AAC(V) is currently based at Netheravon with a flight each at Shawbury and leuchars. All affected personnel have been informed of the decision.
Des Browne: There are no Saxon armoured personnel carriers currently deployed in Iraq. I am withholding detailed information on the number of Saxon vehicles deployed in Afghanistan as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the role of the then permanent under- secretary at his Department was in taking the decision not to use a competitive process for the contract to meet the battlefield reconnaissance helicopter requirement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The decision to use a non-competitive process for the procurement of the Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter requirement was taken by Ministers on the basis of advice from the Departments Equipment Approvals Committee. The then permanent under-secretary did not sit on that committee.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Parliamentary Under-Secretarys reply to the Adjournment debate in Westminster Hall, of 11 June 2008, Official Report, columns 91-6WH, on Lance Corporal Compton (Compensation), if he will make a statement on (a) the compensation and (b) the pension payable to Lance Corporal Compton. 
Derek Twigg: There is a dedicated team of four people in MOD Headquarters (the Low Flying Complaints and Enquiries Unit) who deal specifically with complaints about military low flying. In addition, there are three regional community relations officers (for Wales, Cumbria and Tynedale, and Southern Scotland), each of whom has an assistant, appointed to provide a point of contact in areas which see relatively high levels of military low flying, but where there is no active military flying unit. However, all military establishments will have mechanisms in place to receive and record complaints about low flying, to be passed on to the Complaints and Enquiries Unit for answer.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints have been received from residents of Angus constituency concerning low-flying military aircraft in each of the last 12 months. 
Derek Twigg: Angus is within Low Flying Area 14, part of the UK Military Low Flying System, which covers all of Scotland north of the Forth-Clyde region. The UK Military Low Flying system is open for use by fast jet aircraft from 0700 to 2300 local time Monday to Friday. The system is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, and UK public and Bank Holidays. The system in Scotland is additionally closed on Scottish Bank Holidays. Unless specifically authorised for major training events or urgent pre-operational training, fast-jet low flying is not permitted outside the core times given above.
Derek Twigg: We do not hold the information in the form requested. Low flying is recorded in terms of the number of hours flown rather than the number of sorties, broken down by fixed or rotary winged aircraft rather than fast jets specifically; and the information is held for the low flying area in which the activity is booked. The Angus constituency lies within Low Flying Area 14, which covers the whole of Scotland north of the Forth-Clyde region. In 2006-2007, the last year for which the figures have been published, there were 4,372 hours flown by fixed winged aircraft in Low Flying Area 14.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the requirement for trained pilots for all three services has been in each year since 1997; and how many trained pilots entered the services in each year. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the requirement for trained pilots for the RAF, the Fleet Air Arm and the Army for each year since 2001 and how many trained pilots entered service in each year. Data prior to 2001 are not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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