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9 Dec 2009 : Column 365Wcontinued
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assets his Department has sold and leased back in each of the last 10 years; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: During the last 10 years this Department has entered into a number of temporary lease back arrangements in the course of estate disposals, for example to allow time for facilities to be reprovided.
The details requested are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
So far as the disposal of other surplus Ministry of Defence assets (such as ships, tanks, aircraft, plant, IT and other equipment) is concerned, no lease backs are entered into.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on (a) damages awarded against it and (b) legal costs in respect of cases in the courts relating to a decision of the Army Board under the redress system in respect of which legal proceedings have been completed since 1997. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on (i) alcohol and (ii) entertainment in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 October 2009, Official Report, columns 422-33. The provision of alcohol at public expense must be in moderation and is subject to both financial and quantity restrictions.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 28 January 2009, Official Report, columns 509-22, on supply estimates, what the equivalent figures are for each estimate type in his Department's winter supplementary estimate for 2009-10. 
Bill Rammell: I am placing a copy of the requested information in the Library of the House, which breaks down the MOD's 2009-10 winter supplementary estimate in the same format as we have supplied before.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what payments the Met Office has made to (a) Cavendish Communications and (b) Politics International in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each contract under which such payments have been made. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The following payments have been made in each of the last three financial years:
|Politics International||Cavendish Communications|
Payments relate principally to training and support for Met Office events. The contracts between the Met Office and Cavendish Communications and Politics International are confidential.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many telephone lines with the prefix (a) 0870, (b) 0845 and (c) 0800 his Department (i) operates and (ii) sponsors; how many calls were received to each number in the last 12 months; and whether alternative numbers charged at the BT local rate are available in each case. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The use of 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers is determined at local level in accordance with individual business requirements and obtained directly from the supplier. Records of such numbers are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many questions tabled for answer on a named day his Department received in each of the last 12 months; and to how many such questions his Department provided a substantive answer on the day named. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The MOD received 643 named day questions during the past 12 months and answered 482 (75 per cent.) on the day named. The MOD aims to answer all named day questions on the day named, but where this is not possible, we aim to provide a substantive reply at the earliest opportunity.
The following table shows the number of questions which were due for answer in each month and the number answered on the day named:
|Month||Number of n amed d ay Questions for answer||Number of q uestions answered on the day named|
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what decisions have been taken in respect of the (a) repair and (b) replacement of HMS Endurance; what tenders have been sought in respect of damage caused to her; what the cost was of her return to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Options for restoring our Ice Patrol capability are presently being examined and no final decisions on whether to repair or replace HMS Endurance have yet been taken. Therefore, no tenders have yet been sought. The cost to the Department of returning her to the United Kingdom was approximately £4.3 million.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and for what reasons his Department decided to sell and lease back its Kentigern House site in Glasgow. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The decision to sell and lease back Kentigern House in Glasgow was taken as part of the planning round that concluded in spring 2009.
Sale and leaseback is a commercially accepted practice ensuring the MOD maintains use of the facility while releasing useful capital.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultation was undertaken with unions representing staff at his Department's Kentigern House site in Glasgow prior to the sale and lease back of the site. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Ms Clark), on 26 November 2009, Official Report, column 294W.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helicopter call outs of each type from each search and rescue station there were in each of the last 10 years; and how many (a) day and (b) night time hours off-station each call out entailed. 
Bill Rammell: I am placing data showing the number of helicopter call outs of each type from each search and rescue (SAR) station in each of the last 10 years in the Library of the House.
Information on the actual daytime and night-time hours off-station for each call out is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Further data on military SAR activities is published by Defence Analytical Services and Advice at the following link;
All UK SAR helicopter units are able to provide overlapping cover when an adjacent unit is either already committed to a SAR operation or operating at a reduced capability for any reason, or during periods of temporary closure. The provision of adjacent SAR cover is standard practice and occurs routinely when a SAR helicopter is already airborne on a search and rescue sortie or is unserviceable.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many incidents of oil leakage from his Department's facilities in the vicinity of St. Kilda have been recorded in each of the last three years; 
(2) what measures are in place to prevent the leakage of oil into seawater from his Department's facilities in the vicinity of St. Kilda. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: No oil leakages from Ministry of Defence facilities on or in the vicinity of St. Kilda has been recorded during the last three years.
The Bulk Fuel Installation (BFI) located on St. Kilda, in support of activity at the MOD Hebrides Range, is compliant with the current legal standard, the Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
Ship-to-shore replenishment of the BFI is undertaken in compliance with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency approved "St Kilda Oil Spillage Response Plan", prepared
in accordance with the merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998.
A number of measures are in place to protect the environment from spills and leakage. The oil tanks and associated equipment are enclosed within a physical containment barrier, known as a bund. As an additional precaution, the fuel connection points, pipe-work, valves, vent points, sight glass, rainwater sump, oil-water interceptors, and spillage kits are protected against the effects of ice.
Vehicle refuelling on the island is undertaken within the containment area. The refuelling pump is only operated by authorised personnel, and is locked when not in use.
Mr. Caborn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the effect on the Horserace Betting Levy of the operation of betting exchanges. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government have not made such an estimate. However, the Horserace Betting Levy Board informs me that the levy payable by betting exchanges is equivalent to 10 per cent. of their gross profits, defined as gross commission on British Horserace Betting Business deducted from winnings paid out to bettors and bet-takers. In the year ended 31 March 2009, Betfair also made a voluntary contribution to the Levy Board in respect of British Horserace Betting Business conducted by their off-shore website in Malta.
Betting exchanges operate a business model that does not deliver product through shops. When bookmakers accept risk on bets and do so in shops, liability to levy and gross profits tax is calculated without the deduction of overheads. This leads to a proportionately larger contribution to the levy than would be the case for a betting exchange.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people resident in (a) West Derbyshire and (b) the East Midlands have access to high-speed broadband. 
Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.
The Next Generation Fund will help to bring fast broadband to at least 90 per cent. of households in the UK by 2017. The fund will promote the roll out of infrastructure that meets the needs of businesses and households in regions the market would not otherwise deliver to. It will work alongside the Government's Universal Service Commitment, a parallel infrastructure investment programme to ensure virtually every community has access to a broadband connection capable of providing at least 2Mbps.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on works and refurbishment to offices allocated to Ministers in his Department's buildings in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Simon: The Department has not refurbished or carried out any works to offices allocated to Ministers in the last 12 months.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many plasma screen televisions his Department has purchased since 2001; and what the cost has been of purchasing and installing such screens in each such year. 
Mr. Simon: Since 2001 my Department has purchased one plasma television screen at a cost of £2,715.31 inc VAT. The cost covered purchase and installation in June 2007.
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