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These numbers vary slightly from those reported previously as different reports have been reconciled. The Ministry of Defence meets the cost of early departures, and this includes the cost of lump sum severance payments and the additional costs of benefits beyond the normal Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) benefits in respect of employees who retire early.
The following table shows the number of staff who will voluntarily leave the Ministry of Defence under the departmental-wide voluntary 2008 early release scheme (early retirement or early severance) in the years 2008-09 and 2009-10, grouped by the cost of their severance package. These figures are subject to change as final selection and acceptances are still to be confirmed:
|Up to £25,000||£25,001 to £50,000||£50,001 to £75,000||£75,001 to £100,000||Over £100,000||Total|
The Civil Service Management Code outlines various categories of early departure under which civil servants can retire and be retired early. These categories provide for the circumstances of departure, and details of the compensation benefits associated with these departures are contained in the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. The categories are split between early retirement, which applies to staff aged 50 or over, and early severance which applies to staff aged under 50.
Staff who leave on compulsory redundancy receive benefits under the compulsory early severance or compulsory early retirement categories, depending on their age. Benefits are also payable to those who leave voluntarily under these categories, and under the flexible early severance, flexible early retirement and approved early retirement categories.
Departments meet the full costs of early departure. This includes the cost of lump sum severance payments and the additional costs of benefits beyond the normal Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) benefits in respect of employees who retire early.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on upgrading the infrastructure at (a) RAF Benson, (b) RAF Odiham and (c) RAF Lyneham in each of the last five years. 
|Financial year||RAF Benson||RAF Lyneham||RAF Odiham|
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the evidence given by the Permanent Under-Secretary of State in his Department to the Public Accounts Committee on 19th November 2008 on the UK's Future Nuclear Deterrent Capability, what recent estimate he has made of the procurement cost of four submarines and their associated equipment and infrastructure; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: As the December 2006 White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994), makes clear, our initial estimate is that the procurement costs will be in the range of £15 billion to £20 billion for a four-boat solution at 2006-07 prices. The programme is currently is the Concept phase and the costs will be refined as experts continue to engage in detailed discussion with industry.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to increase the number of nuclear watchkeepers to oversee the safety of the nuclear propulsion units in nuclear powered submarines. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The shortage of nuclear Watchkeepers does not affect nuclear safety. The impact of manpower shortages is considered, among other factors, by the relevant safety committees to ensure that standards are not degraded.
Measures taken to address the shortfall of nuclear Watchkeepers include: financial, with regard to submarine pay; the restructuring of the engineering branches; modifying career pipelines to deliver suitably trained personnel earlier in their careers; increased recruiting of submariners and encouraging transfers of experienced technicians from other engineering branches.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of using the Tornado GR4 to carry (a) 540lb freefall airburst/impact bombs, (b) Maverick Missiles and (c) Paveway 4 (500lb class GPS/LGB). 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
No estimate has been made of the cost of allowing the Tornado GR4 to carry the 5401b freefall airburst/impact bombs or the Maverick Missiles. There is no requirement to integrate these additional weapon systems into Tornado GR4 because
the platform already has similar capabilities. An interim Paveway IV capability is planned to be integrated onto the Tornado GR4 as part of an Operation Herrick Urgent Operational Requirement at an estimated cost of up to £4milllion. Full integration will follow as part of the Tornado Capability Upgrade Strategy.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) aircrew and (b) ground crew members of the Royal Air Force serving with a Tornado GR4 front line squadron have broken harmony guidelines in the last three years. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Information on numbers of RAF air and ground crew personnel who may have broken harmony guidelines in the last three years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, on average, Tornado squadrons spend two months out of every 14 deployed on Operation Telic.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the statement by the then Foreign Secretary on 14 March 2007, Official Report, column 309, on Trident, what reports his Department has made on the Trident programme in the last six months; and when he plans to make the next regular report to Parliament. 
Mr. Hutton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend, the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) gave on 20 November 2008, Official Report, columns 671-2W to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Davies).
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the evidence given by the Permanent Under-Secretary of State in his Department to the Public Accounts Committee on 19th November 2008 on the UK's Future Nuclear Deterrent Capability, what the approved procedure is for the initial gateway report on the Trident replacement programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Future Nuclear Deterrent capability programme is subject, like all major acquisition programmes, to the Ministry of Defence approvals and scrutiny process detailed in the Ministry's Acquisition Operating Framework. The Acquisition Operating Framework is available on the Ministry of Defence's internet site at
The next major approval point is the platform's Initial Gate when the MOD Investment Approvals Board will decide if it is ready to enter the assessment phase that leads to the Main Gate decision point.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the evidence given by the Permanent Under-Secretary of State in his Department to the Public Accounts Committee on 19th November 2008 on the UK's Future Nuclear Deterrent Capability, what the reasons are for the delay on the (a) Trident replacement programmes and (b) Astute-class submarine programme at Barrow; what estimate he has made of
the additional costs arising from these delays; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: There was a six week delay in the two-year concept phase for the Trident successor programme due to the speed of contract letting and the build up and mobilisation of capacity in the supplier base. The Department has since taken action to bring the programme back on schedule and is confident that the submarine concept phase can still be completed in time for initial gate in Autumn 2009. This has not led to any additional costs.
There have been a number of reasons for the delays to the Astute programme, but the underlying cause has been the near 10-year gap in production between the Vanguard and Astute classes, which led to valuable staff and skills being lost. As a result, BAE Systems has had to refresh these skills and recruit the staff numbers needed for a project of this size and complexity. The cost of the first three Astute boats was approved in 1997 at £2.5 billion; the current forecast is £3.8 billion.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the available skills base required for the Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: MOD recognises that building the skills required, both in the Department and in industry, to successfully deliver the Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme in the future will be challenging.
An initial audit of the projected skills requirements of the MOD's Future Submarines Directorate for the life of the programme has been undertaken and actions are underway to address its recommendations. These include a significantly increased graduate recruitment and post graduate training programme in the nuclear area, robust succession planning and a significantly increased programme of advanced modern apprenticeships.
We are working closely with Cogent, the Sector Skills Council that covers the nuclear industry, and with the industrial supply chain, including BAE Systems Submarines, Rolls-Royce and Babcock Maritime to address and promote an adequate skills base for the life of the programme. We also continue to work closely with the United States on this issue.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2008, Official Report, column 419W, on Department written questions, what the cost of preparing that answer was. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Vehicle safety matters are usually dealt with by the Department for Transport and its Agencies. All Public Service Vehicles operating on our roads, including so called bendy buses, are inspected prior to entering service to ensure they comply with the relevant safety regulations. The Department for Transport is currently reviewing the safety of all heavy vehicles including on buses and coaches.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving cyclist (a) injuries and (b) deaths have involved collisions with (i) cars, (ii) vans, (iii) heavy goods vehicles, (iv) motorbikes, (v) other cyclists and (vi) pedestrians in each of the last 10 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of reported personal injury road collisions involving a pedal cycle and another vehicle or an injured pedestrian in which at least one pedal cyclist was (a) injured and (b) killed are shown in the following tables.
In collisions involving more than two vehicles, information on the type of collision between the vehicles involved can not be reliably determined. In 2007, there were a total of 458 accidents involving more than two vehicles in which a pedal cyclist was injured, and six collisions involving more than two vehicles in which a pedal cyclist was killed.
|Two vehicle accidents in which at least one pedal cyclist was injured: other vehicle involved|
|Car||LGV||HGV||Motorcycle||Other pedal cycle||Single vehicle accidents in which a pedal cyclist was injured with at least one pedestrian casualty( 1)|
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