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17 Jun 2010 : Column 501Wcontinued
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many meetings his officials have had with Lockheed Martin on the procurement of the Joint Strike Fighter in the last six months; and what was discussed on each occasion. 
Peter Luff: Ministry of Defence officials of the Joint Combat Aircraft Project Team, including US-based officials seconded to the JSF Programme Office, meet regularly with Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Defence-approximately on a daily basis. These meetings take place either in person or via video conference facilities. The majority of these meetings take place at a working level and cover a wide range of matters relating to the project.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the effect on costs of delays in the Joint Strike Fighter programme. 
Peter Luff: As the only Level 1 partner in the JSF programme, the UK has been closely engaged with the changes recently made by the US and is fully aware of the impact in terms of performance, cost and time.
There is no impact on the performance of the aircraft. There is also no change to the cost of UK's contribution to the JSF development programme which is fixed by the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the US in 2001. The aircraft already purchased for Operational Test will continue to be used for that purpose and in the timescales originally planned.
Our plans to purchase further JSF are incremental and have always been based on the programme reaching technical maturity levels and being affordable within the overall resources for Defence. We will review our future purchase plans accordingly and as part of both the Strategic Defence and Security Review and normal departmental planning process.
Mr Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review his Department's contract for the Lynx Wildcat project to ensure it represents value for money. 
Peter Luff: Under the Strategic Defence and Security Review work has been set in hand to review all major equipment and support contracts to ensure the future programme is coherent with future defence needs and can be afforded.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the change has been in the number of helicopter hours available to commanders in the last three years. 
Nick Harvey: The number of funded helicopter hours available to commanders for training and operational flying for the last three financial years is shown in the following table:
The reduction in flying hours for the Puma is as a consequence of fewer airframes being available due to the Puma upgrade programme. Gazelle hours are reducing as this aircraft is being withdrawn from service.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people are employed in his Department's Guard Service. 
Mr Robathan: On 31 May 2010 the Ministry of Defence Guard Service had 3,615 guards and guard managers, and a further 66 staff in management, training, administrative and support roles, making a total of 3681 staff. The Ministry of Defence Guard Service covers over 200 sites across Great Britain.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) US personnel visited the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and (b) AWE staff visited US establishments under the terms of the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement in each of the last three years. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: The total number of personnel visiting the Atomic Weapons Establishment and US installations under the terms of the UK-US Mutual Defence Agreement in each of the last three years is as follows:
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to keep wildlife off the runways at RAF Kinloss. 
Nick Harvey: RAF Kinloss has a bird control contract in place to provide a bird scaring service and uses radar to monitor carefully the movement of migratory birds. In addition, the natural territorial instincts of a carefully managed herd of resident deer discourage other deer from entering the site.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete negotiations on the development of the Defence Training College at St Athan. 
The contract negotiations with the preferred bidder, Metrix, are ongoing. The core of the commercial deal is planned to be completed by the end of the year under current plans. This is important to the funding process because it will enable banks to examine the essential elements of the draft contract and hence support the process of due diligence. Work will continue
until all aspects of the contract, including funding, reach an acceptable conclusion. I will update the House when negotiations are finalised.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of the regional War Pension Committees; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan [holding answer 15 June 2010]: The role of War Pensions Committees (WPCs) has evolved since they were established in 1921. To ensure they remained relevant for the current ex-service community it was decided to review the structure and function of the WPCs.
The WPCs are now known as the Veterans Advisory and Pension Committees (VAPCs), and a pilot scheme is being established to assess an informal broadening of their role to include, most notably, support and advice in relation to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. On completion of the pilot, in June 2011, a full evaluation will be carried out and a decision on the future role of the VAPCs will be made.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) make, (b) model and (c) place of manufacture is of the car allocated for the use of each Minister in his Department. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) currently has access to two cars from the Government Car and Despatch Agency as required for official business:
(a) Jaguar (b) model XJ Sovereign, and manufactured in (c) the United Kingdom.
(a) Toyota (b) model Prius T3, and manufactured in (c) Japan.
The current use of ministerial cars is the same as the previous Administration but is currently under review.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was paid in bonuses to civil servants in his Department in 2009-10. 
Mr Paterson: Figures for the 2009-10 financial year are not yet available. I will write to the hon. Member when they become available.
Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 137W, on Government Departments: reviews, what reviews his Department is undertaking; and what the (a) purpose and (b) timescale of each is. 
Mr Paterson: The coalition agreement sets out in detail the Government's future plans, including the key reviews they will be undertaking. My Department will bring forward detailed information about these reviews in due course.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what her policy is on the use by Ministers in her Department of cars allocated from (a) her Department's pool and (b) the Government car pool which are manufactured in the UK; whether Ministers in her Department are entitled to request the use of a car manufactured in the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs Gillan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), on 14 June 2010, Official Report, column 291W.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in her Department are entitled to the use of (i) a car with a dedicated driver, (ii) a car from the Government car pool and (iii) a taxi ordered through a departmental account. 
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with Ministers and officials of the Ministry of Justice on the siting of a prison in North Wales. 
Mrs Gillan: I recently wrote to the Minister for Prisons, my hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Mr Blunt), outlining my strong support for the siting of a new prison in North Wales where there is currently a shortfall in the number of prison places.
I understand that the Ministry of Justice is currently considering the various sites that have been recommended for a potential prison in North Wales. I will work closely with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice to ensure that implications for Wales are fully taken into account in the decision process.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of invoices from suppliers to his Department were paid within 10 days of receipt in (a) March and (b) April 2010. 
Michael Gove: Since November 2010 the Department for Education has had a Shared Service Agreement with the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) which includes the Purchase to Pay function.
(a) The percentage of invoices paid within 10 days of receipt in March 2010 was 96%.
(b) The percentage of invoices paid within 10 days of receipt in April 2010 was 96%.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether any domestic properties in the gift
of the Government have been allocated to the use of Ministers in his Department. 
Michael Gove: No Ministers in the Department for Education have been allocated any domestic properties in the gift of the Government.
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