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The following table shows the number of military personnel (UK regular forces) in Scotland as at 1 July 2009, broken down by local/unitary authority. UK regular forces includes all trained and untrained personnel. Gurkhas, full-time reserve personnel, and mobilised reservists are excluded.
|UK regular forces|
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of procurement contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies awarded to small businesses in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08, (iii) 2008-09 and (iv) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The majority, approximately 95 per cent., of MOD's contracts with supplier companies are managed through the MOD's central contract processes. When a new contract is placed under this system, a commercial officer is required to identify whether the company is a small and medium enterprise (SME). Within the contracts system, an SME is defined as a company with less than 250 employees. The MOD central contracts database shows the percentages of new contracts let where the company has been identified as an SME. This information is provided as follows:
|Percentage of procurement contracts awarded to SME|
|(1) Six months.|
The Ministry of Defence is working with the Office of Government Commerce and other Departments to implement the recommendations of the Glover report in regard to increasing SME participation in public procurement.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on first class rail travel for officials in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The information requested for 2006-07 and 2007-08 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. With the introduction of the Defence Travel (DT) in 2008, however, visibility of rail bookings can now be captured. Rail booking is processed through an online booking tool or offline through a Travel Management Company, Hogg Robinson Group (HRG). The spend for FY 2008-09 on 1st class travel through DT was £6.497 million. This figure does not include rail warrants (which were not withdrawn until 30 April 2009) or short notice travellers paying at ticket offices and reclaiming the cost.
The entitlement to first class travel is laid down in Joint Service Publication 800, Defence Movements and Transportation Regulations. The class of rail travel in UK Mainland is based on rank or, for civil servants, grade. Officers and civil servants who are Lt Cdr, Major, Sqn Ldr, pay band C2 and above are entitled to first class travel at public expense. This includes acting rank. Standard class passengers travelling with entitled officers for essential duty reasons may also travel first class.
Mr. Kevan Jones: Since August this year, a total of 292 Queen Elizabeth Crosses and Memorial Scrolls have been issued to the eligible Next Of Kin (NOK) of deceased service personnel who have died on operations, or as a result of an act of terrorism since 1 January 1948. A further 406 awards have been prepared for presentation to eligible NOK at organised events.
It is estimated that there are currently 8,000 eligible NOK, although it is not possible for the Ministry of Defence to determine how many retrospective or future recommendations for the award of the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll will be made within the next nine months.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent meetings have taken place between senior members of the UK armed forces and representatives of the Israeli Defence Force; what the purpose of each meeting was; and who attended each meeting. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 16 October 2009]: There has been one such meeting: the Chief of the Defence Staff visited Israel in Sep 09. He met with his Israeli counterpart Gen Ashkenazi and other senior members of the Israeli military. He also went to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and met with senior Palestinians including the Minister of the Interior and the President's Chief of Staff. The purpose of his visit was in support of the middle east peace process.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2009, Official Report, columns 589-90W, on military aircraft, what plans his Department has to meet the required pilot strength in the Merlin and Chinook forces. 
Bill Rammell: Required and actual strengths will both vary with time due to many factors including operational requirements, the introduction of newly trained crew on completion of training courses at set times during the year, the number of trained personnel assigned to non-flying duties (as part of the necessary broader career development), injuries, and service leavers. The helicopter fleet is managed to ensure that our operational and other commitments are met.
The RAF and Royal Navy are recruiting and training sufficient personnel to ensure that the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) rotary wing training pipeline is fully stocked with trainee pilots for both Merlin and Chinook forces.
|Cost of medals (£ million)|
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many veterans' badges have been issued to residents of (a) Fife and (b) North East Fife constituency; and how many of those were awarded to widows or widowers of former service personnel. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held in the format that identifies how many veterans' badges have been issued to residents of Fife and North East Fife constituency and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We have, however, identified that a total of 3,415 veterans' badges have been issued to residents who have included Fife as part of their address.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of hosting Navy Days 2009; how many people visited each event; and which Ministers from his Department were present at each event. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Navy Days 2009 event was held at HM Naval Base Devonport over two days on 5 and 6 September 2009. As the final accounts have yet to be ratified, the exact cost for hosting the event is not yet available. The indicative expenditure is, however, approximately £300,000 with a marginal surplus generated as income through, for example, ticket sales, brochure sales, advertising and sponsorship. As such, the event ran at zero net cost to the Department.
Based on advance ticket sales and those purchased at the gate, in excess of 20,000 people attended the event over the two days. Both my hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces and I were invited. Unfortunately, however, neither of us were able to attend.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, whether the Government has made any representations to the government of Nepal as a result of the investigation. 
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, what concerns prompted the establishment of the inquiry into the gifting of two helicopters to the Royal Nepal Army in 2002. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 16 October 2009]: Concerns over the airworthiness of the aircraft were raised by the Royal Nepalese Army during servicing of one of the aircraft. These concerns prompted the investigation into the procurement of the two aircraft and the use of UK Government funds.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2000W, on helicopters: Nepal, what the cost to the public purse was of each helicopter gifted to the Royal Nepal Army; and what the purchase price of a new model M1-17 helicopter was at the time the gift was made. 
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