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13 Jan 2010 : Column 996W—continued

The Department may promote other initiatives such as armed forces day. Spend relating to these activities, where it is available centrally, is shown in the following table. The figures given include creative and production costs, as well as media spend. Figures are not available centrally for all advertising spend and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Spend (£ million)











Figures are not available prior to financial year 2004-05 and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for 2009-10 are not yet available.

Departmental Conferences

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department and its agencies on conferences they organised which were subsequently cancelled in each of the last three years; and what the title was of each such conference. [308824]

Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Information and Communications Technology

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will commission research into possible links between the use of memory sticks on the information technology platforms used by his Department and cyber-attacks on the computer systems its operates. [302670]

Bill Rammell: The MOD takes any attacks on its information networks and associated media storage devices very seriously and has robust procedures in place to mitigate against and investigate such occurrences. Furthermore new processes, instructions and technological aids are continually being implemented to mitigate human errors and raise the awareness of every individual in the Department with regards to cyber security.

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If malicious software is detected on either a network or a memory stick its origin is researched to gain insight for its subsequent containment, and mitigation practices are introduced. However no specific instances of deliberate attack, successful or otherwise, would ever be publicly divulged so as to protect the integrity of the networks from widespread scrutiny and invoke further malicious attempts. All related security issues are investigated thoroughly by a number of related MOD cyber organisations and the MOD has established significant relationships with other agencies to assist in security issues, mitigation and risk management. These include working with Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI), the CESG (as the National Technical Authority), Other Government Departments and foreign allies. The MOD has also established ongoing strong relationships with the Office of Cyber Security (OCS) and Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) to help maintain awareness of threats and vulnerabilities. These engagements together ensure our cyber defences are as robust as possible.

On the technical front there are ongoing developments across Government on cyber to increase the protection of the infrastructure from attack. These include revised policies on the use of portable media and enhancements to the MOD's Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) Computer Network Defence (CND) architecture and also the introduction of measures that ensure only MOD-procured memory sticks can link with the DII network.

Every MOD employee now has to undergo mandatory annual Protecting Information training which aims to increase awareness and understanding of information security issues.

Future Large Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what technical problems were encountered (a) in preparation for and (b) during the recent maiden test flight of the Airbus 400M in Spain. [308621]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The first flight of A400M took place on 11 December 2009, less than four weeks after the aircraft was handed over to the flight test team. During early testing, a number of minor issues were identified and resolved prior to first flight, as is normal for these events. During the first flight itself, a number of minor anomalies were found which were successfully managed by the flight test crew. The relevant details have been made available to Partner Nations in confidence. As is demonstrated by the three and three quarter hour flight, which is at the upper end of the planned maximum duration, none of these anomalies were considered significant or in any way compromised aircraft safety. A successful second flight was undertaken on 23 December 2009 with a third flight undertaken on 7 January 2010.

It is considered that publication of details of the actual issues could lead to misinterpretation and may inadvertently release company sensitive information.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many F35 Joint Strike Fighters he plans to purchase; and what his most recent estimate is of the cost of each such fighter. [302459]

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Mr. Quentin Davies: The procurement process for Joint Combat Aircraft remains at a very early stage. We have not taken the final investment decision and at this stage cannot confirm overall numbers or the in-service date. On 18 March 2009, Official Report, column 54WS the then Secretary of State for Defence announced the purchase of the first three Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. This will enable the UK to conduct, along side the US, a joint Initial Operational Test and Evaluation programme, the results of which will inform our decision of the required size of the overall fleet. The cost of an individual JSF aircraft will depend upon how many we, and other nations, buy and when we place the order.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reply to the email from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire dated 1 December 2009 on the Taliban. [310014]

Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 11 January 2010]: The hon. Member's email was not sent to the correct address. It has now been resent and a response will be provided shortly.

Military Aircraft: Accidents

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take in response to evidence on software problems linked to the 1994 Chinook crash. [310082]

Bill Rammell: The issues raised about the FADEC software were known at the time and had been factored into the operating instructions for the Chinook Mk 2.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest estimate is of the average operating cost per flight hour of a Sea King helicopter. [309664]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The average operating cost per flying hour of a Sea King helicopter in FY 2009-10 is approximately £14,000. This includes forward and depth servicing, fuel costs, crew costs, training costs and the cost of capital charge and depreciation.

Military Aircraft: Training

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the circumstances surrounding the Chinook accident in Scotland on 2 June 1994 have been the subject of a completed simulation using test pilots; and if he will make a statement. [309995]

Bill Rammell: The flight was subject to modelling by Boeing, the aircraft's manufacturer, as part of the original investigation, and again following the report of the House of Lords Committee. There has been no attempt to conduct a complete "live" simulation, and the facts of the case do not warrant one.

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether further attempts will be made to simulate possible full authority digital engine-related causes of the 1994 Chinook accident; and if he will make a statement. [309996]

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Bill Rammell: The 1994 Chinook accident was thoroughly investigated at the time, by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Branch, and with the assistance of Boeing, the aircraft's manufacturer, who conducted simulations of the final flight, specifically including consideration of FADEC as a factor. There are no plans to conduct any further simulation.

Somalia: Piracy

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to assist UK-registered vessels following the most recent hijacking in waters around the coast of Somalia. [310416]

Bill Rammell: The MOD has been working comprehensively with Government Departments and international coalitions to find ways to support shipping transiting through the Gulf of Aden, focusing in particular on minimising the risk of pirate attack on merchant shipping. This includes the offer of group transits to vulnerable vessels using the internationally recognised transit corridor, protected by international forces, and the provision of planning advice and support to mariners by the Royal Navy manned UK Maritime Trade Operations office.

The UK Government endorse the advice prepared by the contact group on piracy off the coast of Somalia, and endorsed by the International Maritime Organisation, which provides specific advice to global shipping on how to prevent, deter and delay acts of piracy off the Horn of Africa, notably through inexpensive and simple self-protection measures, as well as through advice on course and speed.

The Shipping Defence Advisory Committee, jointly chaired by industry and the MOD and supported by other Government Departments is proving to be a good forum for liaison and a two-way mechanism for providing advice. The shipping industry is also providing liaison officers to the EU counter-piracy operation Atalanta headquarters at Northwood.

The Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa website (, created and maintained by the EU operation, contains general advice to shipping companies. We encourage all UK shipping to register with this website and transit through the internationally recognised transit corridor in addition to adhering to the latest maritime advisories in force throughout the piracy threat region.

Communities and Local Government

Energy Performance Certificates

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate his Department has made of the effect on the level of energy efficiency of (a) owner-occupied dwellings, (b) private rented dwellings and (c) the commercial property sector of the introduction of energy performance certificates. [309402]

John Healey: No estimate has been made, as yet, of the effect on the level of energy efficiency of buildings following the introduction of energy performance certificates.

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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's most recent estimate is of the rate of non-compliance with the requirement to produce an energy performance certificate in respect of (a) domestic properties marketed for (i) sale and (ii) rent in the private sector, (b) domestic properties marketed for rent in the social sector and (c) commercial properties offered for sale or rent. [309403]

John Healey: The Department does not hold the information in the format required to answer this question. However, information about the number of energy performance certificates (EPCs) that have been produced is available from the EPC Register. Information about the number of EPCs produced in relation to domestic properties is available on the Domestic EPC Register and the same information for non-domestic properties is available on the Non-Domestic EPC Register. Both the Domestic and the Non-Domestic EPC Register can be accessed from the following website address:

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's most recent estimate is of the number of public buildings required to have a display energy certificate which do not have such a certificate. [309404]

John Healey: Compliance with the directive is a matter for local weights and measures. There are approximately 42,000 public buildings that require a display energy certificate (DEC). The current number of lodgements can be found on the following website:

Home Information Packs

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what his Department's most recent estimate is of the number of people who have paid fees to train as home inspectors; how many people are undertaking such training; and if he will make a statement; [309405]

(2) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 6 November 2006, Official Report, column 875W, on home inspectors, what assessment his Department has made of the effects on the job opportunities of people who have trained to become home inspectors of the decision to implement home condition reports on a voluntary basis; [309406]

(3) how many (a) people have trained to become home inspectors and (b) home condition reports have been commissioned on a voluntary basis since the implementation of home information pack regulations; [309407]

(4) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 6 November 2006, Official Report, column 875W, on home inspectors, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of voluntary roll-out of home condition reports; and if he will make a statement. [309408]

John Healey: The home condition report (HCR) remains authorised for inclusion in the home information pack (HIP) on a voluntary basis and certificated home
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inspectors are accredited to produce domestic energy performance certificates (EPCs) which are a required component of the home information pack. No such assessment of the job opportunities of home inspectors has been made.

Communities and Local Government does not hold information on the number of people who have paid fees to train as home inspectors, or the number of people who have undertaken or are undertaking such training. The most recent figure supplied to us by the national EPC and HCR register operator, shows that there are 971 certificated home inspectors as of 4 January 2010. This figure may include duplicate numbers of those home inspectors who have registered with more than one certification scheme.

Although since the decision in July 2006 to make the HCR an authorised rather than required document, we continued to promote the benefits of including an HCR within a HIP. However, take-up has been disappointing with only 327 reports lodged on the central register since 1 August 2007 and it is clear that the product as it stands is not seen as the right one either by consumers or industry.

We still believe that consumers should be better informed about any property they are looking to buy before making what is undoubtedly one of the biggest purchases of their lives and that they want information about the condition of homes before they commit to buying them. As a result Margaret Beckett established the Working Group on condition information in the home buying and selling process to explore options for ensuring consumers receive appropriate information about a property's condition before they commit to buy, by building on existing products such as the HCR, and creating opportunities for all practitioners including home inspectors.

Housing: Owner Occupation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average length of tenure was in (a) an owner-occupied dwelling, (b) a private rented dwelling and (c) a social rented dwelling in each year since 1997. [308265]

Mr. Ian Austin: Estimates of the average (median) length of residence at the current address for owner occupiers, social renters and private renters are provided in the following table for each year from 1997-98 to 2007-08 inclusive. These estimates are based on data from the Survey of English Housing. The survey is only able to estimate the average length of time that residents have been in their accommodation at the time of interview, this will not be the overall length of time that they will eventually spend in that accommodation.

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Average (median) length of residence (so far) at current address by tenure, England: All households

Owner occupiers Social renters Private renters













































(1) Estimates are presented in decimal format. An estimate of 11.5 years means 11 years 6 months.
Survey of English Housing, SEH15 dataset

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