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17 Jun 2010 : Column 496Wcontinued
A reportable incident is described as an occurrence involving an aircraft which results in the aircraft sustaining category 1, 2 or 3 damage; or in a person receiving a minor or slight injury; or which discloses a flight safety hazard or potential hazard. As the MOD damage categorisation system does not apply to civilian registered aircraft, the occurrence is to be classed as an incident if the damage is repairable by the contractor's aircraft maintenance staff at the aircraft operating location.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what AIRPROX incidents have taken place in the last five years; and what the (a) location and (b) aircraft type was in each incident. 
Nick Harvey: There were 832 reported Air Proximity Hazard incidents between June 2004 and June 2009. I am placing details of these incidents, including the date, aircraft type and location, in the Library of the House. Investigations into Air Proximity Hazard incidents after June 2009 are not yet fully completed.
Details of all incidents are published in bi-annual reports by the Air Proximity Board on its website:
In the information I am placing in the Library of the House, I am also including a reference for each of the incidents to the relevant report. By publishing the causes,
risks, trends and lessons learnt from all Air Proximity incidents, whether they are military or civil, the aim is to minimise the possibility of re-occurrence.
An Air Proximity Hazard is formally defined as an incident in which, in the opinion of a pilot or controller, the distance between aircraft as well as their relative positions and speeds have been such that the safety of the aircraft involved was or may have been compromised.
Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is planning to take to observe the principles of the military covenant. 
Mr Robathan: We have made it clear in our Programme for Government that rebuilding the military covenant is one of the highest priorities for Defence.
We have published a series of concrete measures to achieve this including in areas such as health and education. Work has begun on how to put these measures into practice as soon as possible.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what timetable has been set for completion of work with Help for Heroes on the purpose-built centre for injured soldiers in (a) Catterick, (b) Tidworth, (c) Colchester and (d) Edinburgh. 
Mr Robathan: The Army Recovery Capability was launched on 11 February 2010, in partnership with Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion. This new capability marks a further step forward in the support to our armed forces and will ensure the best possible care and management is provided to our wounded, sick and injured personnel.
The provision of four purpose built Personnel Recovery Centres is a key element of the Army Recovery Capability. The centres will provide a day centre facility for all recovering personnel and a residential base for those who need it, whether their recovery is focused on a return to duty or a transition into civilian life. Each centre will be located inside or close to Army sites, enabling access to Army facilities and support from the Army, including existing medical, educational and other garrison facilities.
The Pathfinder centre, in Edinburgh, opened on 17 August 2009 in partnership with Help for Heroes and the veterans' charity Erskine Homes. This centre will provide the capability until the three other Personnel Recovery Centres open. Current plans are for the Colchester centre to open in September 2011, the Catterick centre to open in April 2012, and the Tidworth/Bulford centre to open in April 2012.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department allocated to the development of Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Funding for the treatment of wounded personnel at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court has been, and will continue to be,
made available to match clinical requirements, including surges in casualty numbers. Our future budgetary plans assume a continuing need for additional investment in facilities and staff at Headley Court. Comprehensive financial data for the past five years are not readily available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Headley Court has received steadily increased investment in facilities and staff over recent years. The unit's operating costs, including estate management, are about £20.4 million in the current financial year, as compared with some £10.7 million (actual costs) in 2005-06. Significant new facilities brought into service over recent years, at an additional total cost of about £7.5 million, include a 30-bed ward annexe (May 2007), a 58-bed staff and patient accommodation block (January 2009) and the new Centre for Mental and Cognitive Health (opened in spring 2009). For many years the Headley Court estate, which is owned by a charitable trust, has also benefited from additional funding of projects by that trust and other charities.
In addition to funding the projects just listed, it was announced in May 2008 that an extra £24 million in capital funding over the next four years for a Headley Court development programme. Over the first two years (i.e. up to June 2010) this funding has been mainly applied to the MOD contribution to the Help for Heroes rehabilitation complex, which recently came into service, and a utilities upgrade for the whole site.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what timetable has been set for completion of work on supported housing for service leaders in Catterick. 
Mr Robathan: Construction work began on 18 January 2010 on the training and housing centre, 'The Beacon', in Catterick, North Yorkshire, and based on current estimates, work is due to be completed by the end of April 2011.
Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces were born in or are domiciled in (a) Aberavon constituency and (b) Wales. 
Mr Robathan: The information is not held in the format requested.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on his Department's outstanding bills relating to Ascension Island. 
Nick Harvey: The Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs have discussed the dispute over the Ministry of Defence's annual property tax liability on Ascension Island. The MOD is continuing to work towards securing a cross-government sustainable financial future for Ascension Island.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the objectives are of the business review under way at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. 
Peter Luff: A number of reviews are currently under way at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. All have primary objectives aimed at ensuring the maintenance of a safe and credible UK deterrent, and the maintenance of an efficient and effective deterrent capability to achieve maximum value for money.
Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monetary value of receipts from the Disposal Services Authority has been in each year since 1993. 
Peter Luff: Data on the monetary value of receipts from the Disposal Services Authority for the last five years is as follows:
|Gross s ales||Direct costs of sales||Net s ales|
Data prior to Financial Year 2005-06 are no longer available as this is the first full financial year that the Disposals Sales Agency was set up and transferred into the Defence Logistics Organisation (subsequently Defence Equipment and Support).
Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monetary value of receipts from the e-disposals service has been in each year for which figures are available. 
Peter Luff: Information on the monetary value of receipts from the website e-disposals service is not recorded separately by the Disposal Services Authority (DSA). The items sold under e-disposals are disposed of by contractors who also use other disposal routes. They are required to declare their total income to the DSA but not to breakdown the source of the sales .
Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monetary value was of goods sold to (a) Government Departments, (b) non-departmental public bodies and (c) other public sector organisations by (i) the Disposal Services Authority and (ii) edisposals in each year for which figures are available. 
It is not usual for the Disposal Services Authority (DSA) to dispose of MOD items to other Government departments because the items are generally of a military or specialist nature, or are unattractive because of their age or wear and tear. Exceptionally, however, during 2009-10, DSA sold surplus medical
equipment to Portsmouth NHS Trust for the value of £630,435 during the financial year which ended on 31 March 2010.
No other sales were made directly by DSA to Government departments, non-departmental public bodies or other public sector organisations.
Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the annual operating cost of (a) the Disposals Services Authority and (b) e-disposals has been in each year for which figures are available. 
Peter Luff: Total operating costs from 2005-06 for the Disposal Services Authority (DSA), including e-disposals are as follows:
|Financial year||Direct costs||Other operating costs||Total operating costs|
Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how many days persons employed on consultant contracts worked for his Department, its agencies and the armed services in the last 12 months; at what cost to the public purse; how many people have been so employed on consultant contracts for more than (a) two, (b) three and (c) four years; and if he will publish the daily rates upon which such persons have been engaged in (i) the current financial year, (ii) 2009-10, (iii) 2008-09, (iv) 2007-08 and (v) 2006-07. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracts for External Assistance with consultancy companies to deliver a specific output at an agreed price. The Department does not involve itself in how the company deploys its staff in order to deliver the output and does not, therefore, hold such details.
MOD expenditure on External Assistance has been reported to Parliament since 1995-96. For the years in question expenditure by MOD including its agencies and the armed forces was as follows:
The figure for expenditure in 2009-10 will be placed in the Library of the House in the next few months and the figure for 2010-11 will be placed in the Library after the end of the financial year.
Wherever possible MOD tries to use its internal resources to meet its needs rather than bringing in outside assistance.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Ministers in his Department have been issued with (a) a BlackBerry, (b) an iPhone, (c) another make of mobile telephone and (d) a personal digital assistant supplied by the Department. 
Mr Robathan: The Secretary of State for Defence has been issued with a BlackBerry and the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology has been issued with a Nokia mobile telephone.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the use by Ministers in his Department of cars allocated from (a) his Department's pool and (b) the Government car pool which are manufactured in the UK; whether Ministers in his Department are entitled to request the use of a car manufactured in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: No Minister in the Department has an allocated pool car.
The Government's policy is that Ministers may make use of the Government Car Service (GCS) under the terms of the recently announced Ministerial Code. Ministers will be entitled to use cars from the GCS pool as needed. UK manufactured cars make up a relatively small proportion (around 16%) of the current GCS fleet, most of which comprises low carbon emission hybrid vehicles manufactured abroad. Changed rules for allocation of cars and the need to reduce the cost of operating the GCS mean that vehicle replacement is likely to be restricted in the immediate future, necessarily limiting the options for reconfiguring the fleet without incurring additional cost. For reasons of efficient and economic fleet management, it is not practical for Ministers to specify a particular vehicle or type of vehicle for a journey in a pool service car.
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