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30 Jun 2010 : Column 556Wcontinued
Horses that have served for long periods will, wherever possible, be sent to a home that has been found suitable following inspection. Horses that have failed training will usually be sold.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Pinzgauer Vector vehicles are deployed for use by British forces in Afghanistan. 
Peter Luff: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure could prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons there have been changes to the previously announced timescale for the Astute-class submarine programme. 
Peter Luff: There are two main reasons for the changes that have been made to timetable for the delivery of the Astute class submarines. First, delays to boat one have been caused by technical issues, which are not uncommon on first of class vessels. These have been exacerbated by the need to re-establish the UK's nuclear submarine design, build, testing and commissioning capability following a ten year gap since the delivery of the last submarine and 17 years since the last first of class, HMS Vanguard. The second reason was a conscious decision of the previous Government to slow down the production of boats two to seven in response to in-year budgetary pressures.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what change there has been in the budget allocated to the Astute class submarine programme since its inception. 
Peter Luff: The National Audit Office's Major Projects Report (MPR) 2009, HC 85-1, 2009-10, dated 15 December 2009 records that the procurement cost was originally approved in 1997 at £2,578 million for three boats, Batch 1. The report also records that the equivalent cost has, since 1997, increased by £1,355 million, to £3,933 million.
MPR 2009 also records that the boat four procurement cost was approved in 2007 at £1,610 million, and that this has since reduced by £21 million to £1,589 million.
There are no equivalent approved procurement costs for boats five to seven, so it is not possible to make any cost comparisons.
Similar cost estimates are being developed to inform MPR 2010.
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has paid for the eight Chinook Mk3s ordered since 1997; what steps his Department is taking to ensure that orders for military equipment are delivered on time and on budget; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: Since 1997, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has paid £389.4 million for the eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters. The payments include the original procurement cost and expenditure to make the helicopters suitable for operational deployment.
Defence acquisition continues to be faced with the significant challenge of procuring and supporting some of the most complex engineering available, in some of the harshest global environments. While performance in defence acquisition has improved, we accept that there is more to do. The Department has an ongoing acquisition reform agenda. The reforms are designed to ensure it remains strategically-aligned, affordable and achievable, including by improving internal skills, management and decision-making.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what projects in Iraq are being funded by his Department; what the budget of each such project is; and if he will make a statement. 
The tri-departmental conflict pool's middle east programme is jointly managed by Ministry of Defence (MOD), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Development, and has an allocation of £6.8 million to support projects in Iraq in the current financial year. The objective of the middle east north Africa conflict pool is to support the development of the effective and accountable public institutions to protect citizens and deliver services in Iraq. The solely MOD element of these projects amounts to £342,000 and has been allocated in support of the
MOD-sponsored Iraqi officer training programme, which is developing the capability and capacity of the Iraqi security forces.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to ensure that British troops have the most advanced equipment to detect land mines. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) attaches the highest priority to this work. A range of equipment, is in service to counter, and neutralise, the threat of land mines and the MOD's ongoing research programme is continually looking at all aspects of the ways in which we deal with the land mine threats. For operational reasons, it would be inappropriate to be more specific.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the military objectives are of the British Tornado aircraft stationed at Incirlik. 
Nick Harvey: No RAF Tornado or any other British military aircraft types are stationed at the Turkish Air Force Base at Incirlik. A small detachment of RAF Tornado GR1 aircraft was maintained at Incirlik between 1995-99. The detachment was operating in direct support to Operation WARDEN/NORTHERN WATCH, enforcing no-fly zones over Iraq.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department was reimbursed by the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation under the Service Level Agreement in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 28 June 2010]: The costs the Ministry of Defence transferred to UKTI in 2008-09 was approximately £8,231,000 and in 2009-10 approximately £4,304,000.
The reduction largely reflects the transferring of staff and contracts to UKTI and the move out of St Georges Court rather than a overall reduction in activity.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what methodology the task force on farming regulation will use to assess the environmental impact of the use of chemicals in farming under the current regulatory structure; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: The methodology of the task force on farming regulation will be left to the discretion of its chairman, Richard Macdonald. We expect to announce the task force's members and its terms of reference in the very near future.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who will have responsibility for the subject of environmental protection on the task force on farming regulation; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: We are currently approaching prospective members to form the task force on farming regulation. Full membership will be announced in the near future. The group will consist of individuals invited for their personal experience and not as representatives of specific sectors. However it will be important to have a good balance of interests and expertise among the members, including working farmers.
We will shortly publish the terms of reference of the group but it will clearly state that simplification of regulation will not involve any reduction in standards.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many single payment scheme cheques issued by the Rural Payments Agency were for amounts less than (a) £60, (b) £40, (c) £10, (d) £1 and (e) £0.50 in 2009. 
Mr Paice: The number of 2009 single payment scheme payments issued by the Rural Payments Agency for the bands and scheme year specified in the question are shown in the following table:
|Band||Number of payments made|
Single Payment Scheme payments are made directly into bank accounts.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department has spent on administering non-compliance penalties under the single payment scheme in each of the last five years. 
Mr Paice: It is not possible to identify separately the costs of administering non-compliance costs from overall administrative costs.
Penalties, reductions and exclusions may be applied to single payment scheme applications for a number of reasons if an application is found to be non-compliant.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish her Department's assessment of the scientific evidence which was used to decide on a targeted cull of badgers. 
Mr Paice: We are currently looking at all the key relevant evidence, including published scientific evidence from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) and subsequent post-trial analyses, to draw up proposals which we will publish for consultation.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated cost will be to her Department of carrying out a targeted cull of badgers. 
Mr Paice: The coalition has committed that, as part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB.
We need to consider all the issues carefully, including the scientific evidence, to work out the detail of the package to ensure we get it right. We will be looking at vaccine and culling options as part of that package.
We will set out our proposals in due course, including the estimated costs.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has been made of the area of the country in which (a) badger culling measures and (b) other measures would be necessary in order to carry out the science-led approval to bovine tuberculosis control as set out in the Coalition Agreement; in which areas each type of measures would take place; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: The coalition Government have committed to introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis, as part of a package of measures on bovine TB. We are currently looking at options including culling and vaccination, and which areas of the country might be affected, and will set out our proposals in due course.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of implementing the science-led approach to the control of bovine tuberculosis in each of the next five years. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA-funded expenditure on bovine tuberculosis in England was £63 million in 2009-10. We are currently looking at options to introduce a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB, and it is not yet possible to provide cost estimates. More generally, it is difficult to forecast TB expenditure accurately because compensation and testing, which account for the largest proportion of annual expenditure on TB, are linked to market values for cattle and to disease levels.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her plans are for the six badger vaccination demonstration projects approved by the previous Government. 
On 25 June it was announced that the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project (BVDP) has been reviewed and for the time being will proceed only in one area (Gloucestershire, near Stroud), in order to help maintain capacity at the Food and Environment Research Agency to train lay vaccinators. Badger sett surveys will also be completed in the Gloucestershire area near
Cheltenham since this was already well under way. The areas in Staffordshire, Herefordshire/Worcestershire and Devon where the BVDP was due to take place will not now be trapped and vaccinated as part of the project.
Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East of 9 June 2010, Official Report, column 148W, on departmental mobile phones, what the (a) purchase cost of the handset, (b) network provider, (c) type of tariff and (d) name of the supplier is of the BlackBerry device issued to each Minister in her Department. 
Richard Benyon [holding answer 24 June 2010]: DEFRA purchases BlackBerrys from Vodafone through a procurement contract, which also covers the provision of the network services. Under this contract, DEFRA has built up a credit bank; all the ministerial BlackBerrys were obtained through these means at no extra cost to the Department. The BlackBerry tariff is the UK Standard tariff (plus voice calls) of £17 plus VAT per month.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding her Department has allocated for flood defence projects in each of the next five financial years. 
Richard Benyon: Plans for investment in flood defences by flood and coastal erosion risk management operating authorities in 2011-12, and subsequent years, will be subject to the forthcoming spending review, concluding in the autumn.
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department has made in introducing flood alleviation measures for Aylesford. 
Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency's preferred flood alleviation option is to intercept flood water upstream of the village and divert it into a nearby quarry via a 250m long culvert. This is due to be completed in 2011-12.
The Environment Agency is now undertaking the outline design and preparing a funding bid which will be considered against other schemes as part of the National Investment programme in October 2010.
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