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11 Nov 2010 : Column 418Wcontinued
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were arrested at each prison on suspicion of offences related to bringing heroin into a prison in the last 10 years. 
Mr Blunt: NOMS does not hold information on the number of people arrested at each prison on suspicion of offences related to bringing heroin into prison.
NOMS policy is that all persons bringing drugs into prisons should be referred to the police for investigation.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations on heroin use in prisons he has received from (a) the National Treatment Agency and (b) general practitioners. 
Mr Blunt: Ministry of Justice Ministers have not had any representations from the National Treatment Agency or general practitioners on heroin use in prisons. Ministry of Justice officials are in dialogue with NTA staff and a range of organisations that work with offenders with drug problems to develop a new, recovery focused, approach to getting offenders off drugs.
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of proposals at EU level to review the length and conditions of pre-charge detention in member states. 
Mr Blunt: A Green Paper on pre-trial detention is likely to be published by the European Commission. The Government will make an assessment of any subsequent proposal as and when it is published.
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what mechanisms are in place to assist young people on apprenticeships to companies which become insolvent to complete their apprenticeships. 
Mr Hayes: I have been asked to reply.
We have developed flexibilities to help apprentices who are made redundant or at risk of being made redundant. These apprentices are helped to find a new employer by their training provider, or moved into college to allow them to complete their apprenticeship. Redundant apprentices can continue their training within a provider setting for up to six months while they and their provider look for an alternative employer.
If a redundant apprentice is close to completing their framework and has evidence of the relevant employer experience, we expect providers, sector skills councils and awarding bodies to be considerate in their individual circumstances in order to support them in completing their course of study. Apprenticeship vacancies also gives redundant apprentices online access to vacancies in their area and information to help deal with apprentice, employer and training provider concerns.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to consult employees of (a) Becta and (b) the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority in Coventry over the planned closure of each body. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 27 July 2010]: Bringing Educational Creativity to All is a strand of work by the Government's Educational Technology Agency, BECTA, so it does not have any allocated employees itself. The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) and the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA), which are both based in Coventry, are planned to close.
The Department is working closely with the management teams of both agencies to ensure that staff are consulted and provided with all the support that they need as the agencies move towards closure. Staff development programmes are being delivered that will support advice and counselling, job search, career planning, and CV writing and interview skills.
Both agencies are consulting the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, the recognised trade union, and all staff, about the risk of redundancy.
Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with (a) the London Borough of Bromley Education Authority and (b) other parties on the future of Kelsey Park Sports College, Beckenham since his appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State received a petition in September containing 750 signatures from a parents' group in Beckenham, informing him that they are keen for Kelsey Park sports college to benefit from the support offered by the Harris Federation. He has written to Bromley local authority in support of the campaign by local parents for the Harris Federation to become the sponsor of Kelsey Park sports college. The Harris Federation has an outstanding track record on improvement and is seen by local parents to be best placed to support the schools.
Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish each item of research commissioned by his Department into the efficacy of its Every Child a Reader programme. 
Mr Gibb: The Department has commissioned an independent evaluation of Every Child a Reader which is due to be completed in early 2011.
The final evaluation report for the programme will be made publicly available and copies will be placed in the House Libraries.
Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent evaluation he has made of the performance of the Every Child a Reader programme against its objectives. 
Mr Gibb: We regularly evaluate the progress of the Every Child a Reader (ECaR) programme against a range of management information. However, the programme is currently undergoing an independent evaluation, to report in early 2011, which will give a substantive view of the impact of the programme.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to announce the date on which the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency will close; and which of the agency's functions he proposes to incorporate into his Department. 
Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State announced on 27 May 2010 that he would abolish the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA). He also confirmed that certain of the QCDA's work, notably the delivery of national curriculum tests, will need to continue. The abolition of the QCDA is subject to legislation which we intend to introduce in January 2011. Subject to the will of Parliament, closure would follow soon after Royal Assent.
The Secretary of State announced on the 5 November that he was establishing an executive agency within the Department for Education which would be responsible for statutory assessment and testing for pupils up to 14 (Key Stage 3). I wrote to the chair of the Select Committee on Education to inform him of the new arrangements. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. We will announce further details about the future of any other areas of work that will need to continue beyond the abolition of the QCDA in due course.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department has spent on awareness campaigns in secondary schools on (a) alcohol or substance abuse, (b) bullying and (c) domestic violence in the last 12 months. 
Mr Gibb: In the financial year 2009-10 the Department spent £311,000 on school-based activities as part of the FRANK campaign. FRANK is a multi-media drug and alcohol awareness campaign and helpline. Its key purpose has been to ensure that young people understand the risks and dangers of drugs and know where to go for advice and help. Total departmental expenditure on FRANK in 2009-10 was £1.5 million.
The Department spent £5.16 million on the Why Let Drink Decide? campaign in 2009-10, through which materials and information were made available to schools and youth services.
The Department does not have a breakdown of its expenditure on raising awareness of bullying in secondary schools, although it spent £484,024 on general awareness-raising of bullying in the 2009-10 financial year and up to the end of September 2010.
The Department has provided no funding for awareness campaigns on domestic violence.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the in-country staff turnover rate of his Department was in the last (a) 12 and (b) 24 months; and what assessment he has made of the effect of such turnover rates on overseas project outcomes. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not retain central records of the staff turnover rate in individual country offices and has not made a specific assessment of the impact of staff turnover on project outcomes. The majority of DFID staff in-country are locally engaged staff (known as Staff Appointed in Country) who provide a high level of continuity in managing programmes and projects. Around one-third of staff in-country are UK-based Home Civil Servants, who typically serve between one and three years in post before moving to another job. The timing of moves for UK-based staff are carefully managed by heads of country offices in order to minimise the impact on programme outcomes.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2010, Official Report, column 558W, on the Access to Work programme, when he expects to (a) set programme budgets for the period to 2014-15 and (b) announce any change to the (i) amounts available and (ii) extent of availability to disabled people under the Access to Work programme. 
Maria Miller: Following the spending review settlement we are now scrutinising all aspects of departmental expenditure, to ensure that we deliver the most effective range of services possible at the best value for money. Access to Work will be part of this. Budgets for directly delivered programmes such as Access to Work are subject to in-year review and it is not possible to specify in advance the amounts that will be spent. Information on spend is however available after the end of a financial year.
In the year 2009-10 the Access to Work programme spent £98 million and helped over 37,000 disabled people to stay in work, and we are on course to help even more disabled people in 2010-11.
The coalition agreement set out our commitment to Access to Work, including plans to reform the programme so disabled people can apply for jobs with funding already secured for any adaptations and equipment they will need and I expect to make an announcement about this shortly.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of recipients of (a) cold weather and (b) winter fuel payments in (i) Wales, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Northern Ireland and (iv) England are solely resident in care or residential homes. 
Steve Webb: Cold weather payments are not payable to people in the UK who are solely resident in care or residential homes.
The information requested is not available for winter fuel payments in Great Britain. Information regarding Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Office.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what occasions he has discussed the devolution of council tax rebate with (a) the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, (b) local authorities in Scotland and (c) the Scottish Executive since his appointment. 
Steve Webb: No formal discussions have yet taken place with local authorities, the associations representing them, or with the devolved Administrations about the proposal announced in the spending review to localise support for council tax benefit in local authorities in England, Scotland, and Wales. Preliminary discussions have taken place at official level with the Scotland Office and the Government will have discussions with the devolved Administrations as part of the policy development process.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of appeals against medical assessments for disability living allowance undertaken by each company contracted to perform such assessment for his Department were upheld in the most recent 12-month period for which records are available. 
Maria Miller: Around 80% of applications have additional information requested. Some of this is medical assessment. We are unable to say how many and what proportion of successful appeals there were against medical assessments for disability living allowance (DLA). DLA appeals can be made against all decisions and the management information systems of the Pension, Disability and Carers Service (PDCS) and the Tribunal Service do not go to the level of detail that would identify those appeals specifically related to medical assessments.
Only one company is contracted to provide medical assessments for disability living allowance for the Department. Atos Healthcare was awarded the contract commencing September 2005 following open competitive tender for a period of up to 12 years.
The figure for applications is for the 2009-10 financial year.
Department for Work and Pensions-2009-10 RDA60205/60209 report-DLA Management Information Statistics.
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on Government assistance for organisations which seek to increase employment opportunities for (a) disabled people and (b) others who experience complex barriers to employment; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Miller: The Department is committed to working with organisations which seek to increase employment opportunities for disabled people and others who experience complex barriers to employment to improve the job outcomes of people who are seeking to enter and remain in work.
To this end, we will introduce the Work Programme which will be an integrated package of support providing personalised help to a broad range of individuals, including those who may previously have been receiving incapacity benefits for many years. We will offer providers differentiated levels of payment for supporting harder customers into work that reflect levels of support to ensure it is worthwhile for providers to offer different customer groups appropriate support. We aim to have the Work Programme in place nationally by the summer of 2011.
As of 25 October 25 2010 we launched Work Choice, a new pan-disability supported employment programme for disabled people, which provides tailored support and targets those customers who face the most complex barriers in reaching or retaining employment, including self-employment. Under a new funding model in which prime providers work closely with their subcontractors, individuals get early, quality support that helps them progress at work and, where it is appropriate for the individual, helps them move into sustainable long-term employment.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claims have been made for a funeral payment in the last five years. 
Steve Webb: The information requested is given in the table.
|Funeral payment claims received in Great Britain|
| Notes: 1. The information provided is management information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using official/National Statistics but in this case we only have management information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as official/National Statistics and there are some issues with the data, for example, numbers of funeral payment claims do not include claims which were processed clerically and had not been entered on to the social fund computer system by the end of the relevant financial year. 2. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100. Source: Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.|
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claims for a funeral payment have been (a) rejected and (b) accepted in the last five years. 
Steve Webb: The available information is given in the following table.
|Funeral payments in Great Britain|
|Financial year||Number of initial refusals||Number of awards|
1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics and there are some issues with the data, for example, numbers given do not include claims which were processed clerically and had not been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System by the end of the relevant financial year.
2. The number of awards includes those made after re-consideration or appeal.
3. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100.
Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of recipients of funeral payments where that payment did not meet the full cost of the funeral for which the payment was made in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Steve Webb: In April to October 2010, in Great Britain, the number of Funeral Payment initial awards which did not meet the full cost of the funeral for which the payment was made was 17,100.
1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics and there are some issues with the data, for example, the number given does not take into account claims which were processed clerically and had not been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System by the end of October 2010.
2. A Funeral Payment covers the necessary cost of specified expenses (mainly burial or cremation costs) plus up to £700 for non-specified expenses. Deductions are made for money immediately available (apart from the claimant's own savings).
3. The number is for initial decisions and does not include the impact of re-considerations or appeals.
4. The number has been rounded to the nearest 100.
Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment has been made of the adequacy of the level of funeral payments in order to meet the basic cost of a funeral. 
Steve Webb: Funeral payments provide a contribution towards the costs of a simple, respectful, low cost funeral.
The amount allowable covers the necessary cost of specified items, including burial or cremation fees, plus up to a maximum of £700 for all other funeral expenses. The average funeral payment awarded in 2009-10 was £1,208.
The figure has been rounded to the nearest £1.
Annual report by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund 2009-10
Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department plans to review the statutory definition of homelessness. 
Grant Shapps: I have been asked to reply.
There have been problems with the way homelessness has been perceived and measured in the past. That is why the Government made it an early priority to overhaul the way rough sleeping levels are measured, which revealed figures that are almost three times higher than previously reported. We are committed to maintaining a robust homelessness safety net, and will keep the current framework under review to ensure that local housing authorities in England have sufficient flexibility to meet housing need in the most effective way.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the Social Security Advisory Committee to report on the proposed changes in housing benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Steve Webb: We have received the Social Security Advisory Committee's report on the proposed changes to housing benefit in 2011 and are considering our response. We will publish a Command Paper shortly.
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the findings were of the equalities impact assessment on the proposed changes to housing benefit; and how many recipients of housing benefit are (a) black or ethnic minority people, (b) single mothers with children, (c) working mothers with children and (d) two parent families with children. 
Steve Webb: The Department published a document on "Impacts of Housing Benefit proposals: Changes to the Local Housing Allowance to be introduced in 2011-12" and a separate equality impact assessment on the 23 July. A copy of the documents has been placed in the Library.
(a) The following table shows the distribution of benefit units in receipt of housing benefit by ethnicity of the head of the benefit unit:
|Ethnic group, head of benefit unit||Percentage of benefit units|
| Source: 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09 Family Resources Survey, United Kingdom.|
As at July 2010, our records show that there were:
(b) 1,031,120 recipients of housing benefit who were single mothers with children;
(c) 255,470 recipients of housing benefit who were single working mothers with children;
(d) 484,560 recipients of housing benefit that were two-parent families with children.
1. The Single Housing Benefit Extract does not collect robust information on ethnicity to enable a reliable breakdown.
2. Data for 2008-09 Family Resources Survey were collected between April 2008 and March 2009.
3. The Family Resources Survey is a nationally representative sample of approximately 25,000 UK households.
4. The Family Resources Survey is known to under-record benefit receipt so the estimates presented should be treated with caution.
5. The figures from the Family Resources Survey are based on a sample of households which have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the Family Resources Survey to Government office region population by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error.
6. Figures have been rounded to the nearest percentage point.
Single Housing Benefit Extract for July 2010. Figures rounded to the nearest ten recipients.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much in housing benefit has been paid to individuals in (a) Wimbledon constituency and (b) the London Borough of Merton in each year since 1996-97; 
(2) how much was paid in housing benefit to individuals in (a) Wimbledon constituency and (b) the London Borough of Merton for a (i) one bedroom, (ii) two bedroom, (iii) three bedroom and (iv) four bedroom property in each year since 1996-97. 
Steve Webb: Housing benefit expenditure data by parliamentary constituency and number of bedrooms are not available. The available information is shown in the following table.
Benefit expenditure data can also be found at the following URL:
|Housing benefit expenditure London borough of Merton|
|£ million (nominal terms)|
Local Authority Subsidy Returns
Housing Benefit expenditure tables can be found at the following URL:
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the adequacy of measures to protect water supplies from contamination with nano-silver. 
Richard Benyon: I have been asked to reply.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate has commissioned research to understand the extent of any potential risk to drinking water posed by nano particles, including nano silver, and the pathways nano particles could take. This study complements one commissioned by DEFRA, looking at nano silver in sewage effluents, to provide robust values on the discharge of colloidal silver in sewage effluent for the purposes of river catchment risk modelling. The Drinking Water Inspectorate's research findings will inform the regulatory risk assessments and
raw water monitoring undertaken by water companies for each individual drinking water supply.
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of families with children that are likely to be affected by the implementation of proposals to allow social housing providers to charge up to 80 per cent. of market rent. 
Grant Shapps: I have been asked to reply.
We will publish more detail on the implementation of new 'affordable rent' tenure shortly. This scheme is intended to increase the chance for those on housing waiting lists to have access to affordable housing. Moreover, existing social tenants will retain their existing rights and tenure. Families with children have been poorly served by a system which saw the number of households languishing on the waiting lists nearly double.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average cost to the public purse of redundancy and other payments made by public sector organisations in respect of redundancies of (a) 100 or more, (b) 250 or more and (c) 500 or more employees. 
Danny Alexander: I have been asked to reply.
The costs of redundancies vary according to the scheme applicable to that work force, depending on factors such as length of tenure, salary and type of exit. It is for individual employers to determine their costs on this basis and according to their budgets.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged (a) 60 to 64, (b) 65 to 69, (c) 70 to 79 and (d) 80 years or over in Mid Sussex constituency were in receipt of winter fuel allowance in each year since 2005. 
Steve Webb: The information is in the table.
|Winter fuel allowance|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and therefore totals may not sum.
2. '-' denotes nil or negligible.
3. Constituencies used are for the Westminster Parliament of May 2005.
4. DWP are currently working to produce 2009-10 winter fuel payment figures for the Westminster Parliament of May 2010.
5. The 'under 60' category contains cases where an income support/job seeker's allowance claimant receives a payment on behalf of their partner who is aged 60 or over.
6. The age breakdown for 2005-06 winter fuel payments shows a larger than expected number of recipients aged under 60 compared with subsequent years. The age breakdown has been withdrawn while the figures are investigated.
DWP Information Directorate 100 percent data.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many jobs are dependent on the digital arts industry; in which geographical areas those jobs are concentrated; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated November 2020:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning the number of jobs in the UK dependent on the digital arts industry (23803).
The requested information is not available.
Mr Winnick: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the (a) name and (b) post is of each civil servant paid from the public purse who was employed by the Conservative Party in May 2010. 
Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the letter the Cabinet Secretary sent to the hon. Member for Barnsley East (Michael Dugher) on 10 November 2010. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent consideration his Department has given to relocating civil service jobs to (a) East Ayrshire and (b) Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Maude: As at end March 2010, 1,127 civil service posts had been relocated to Scotland, although none of these went to East Ayrshire or the Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency. There are currently no plans to relocate further posts. However the Government are committed to achieving efficiency savings through further rationalisation and reduction of Government's presence in London and elsewhere, and this could lead to further posts being relocated.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps his Department is taking to improve its level of compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr Maude [holding answer 13 October 2010]: The Department aims to deal with FOI cases in accordance with the provisions of the legislation. It is taking a number of steps to improve its performance. For example, further training for members of staff handling FOI requests.
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what departmental policy reviews his Department has undertaken since 6 May 2010; on what date each such review (a) was announced and (b) is expected to publish its findings; what estimate he has made of the cost of each such review; who has been appointed to
lead each such review; to what remuneration each review leader is entitled; how many (i) full-time equivalent civil servants and (ii) seconded staff are working on each such review; from which organisations such staff have been seconded; and how much on average such seconded staff will be paid for their work on the review. 
Mr Maude: The following independent reviews have been undertaken since 6 May and are based in the Cabinet Office:
Review on Poverty and Life Chances
(a) The Prime Minister announced the review on 5 June 2010.
(b) The final report will be delivered in mid-December and the anticipated cost is in the order of £20,000, excluding civil service salaries. The review is led by Frank Field MP who does not receive any remuneration for this role but is entitled to reasonable travel expenses.
(i) The team consists of five full-time and two part-time civil servants.
(ii) All staff have been loaned from home Departments. None are seconded from outside Whitehall.
Review on Early Intervention Delivery
(a) The review was announced on 28 July 2010 by the Work and Pensions Secretary.
(b) The review will report to the Government's Social Justice Cabinet Committee in two stages: (i) in January 2011 on models of best practice around early intervention; and (ii) by May 2011 on new ways to fund early intervention. In addition to staff costs, the anticipated cost of the review is expected to be less than £50,000. The review is led by Graham Allen MP who is not being paid for his time but will be entitled to reasonable travel expenses.
(i) The team consists of five full-time and one part-time civil servant.
(ii) All staff have been loaned from home Departments. None are seconded from outside Whitehall although staff costs are expected to include £36,600 to be used on expert advice from the WAVE Trust and the Social Research Unit in Dartington.
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what mechanisms his Department has put in place in respect of winter emergency planning. 
Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office has well established business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements in place. These arrangements ensure that the Department can continue to function effectively and ensure that its core business is sustained in response to any event that poses a threat to its ability to deliver its services.
These plans are regularly reviewed, tested and if necessary amended to ensure that they remain up to date and comprehensive.
In addition, the Cabinet Office works with other Departments to ensure that arrangements are in place, nationally and locally, to respond to a wide range of potential challenges, including winter disruption.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what arrangements are in place to ensure that payments for schemes under the Futurebuilders programme are available in cases where final invoices are not presented by the end of the financial year; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hurd: The Futurebuilders programme is managed by the Social Investment Business under contract to the Cabinet Office. All Futurebuilders investees have been advised by the Social Investment Business that all funding must be drawn down by 31 March 2011.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the proportion of Government contracts to be awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises in each year of the comprehensive spending review period. 
Mr Maude: The coalition Government has set an aspiration that 25% of contracts should be awarded to SMEs. There are no plans at this stage to change this aspiration.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office from what date Government Departments will be required to publish figures on the number of procurement contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises. 
Mr Maude: The previous Government did not keep data on the total SME spend in Government. We are in the process of collecting this data and all new contracts over £10,000 will be published from January 2011.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans he has to require Departments to publish their plans for increasing the proportion of Government contracts to be awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises. 
Mr Maude: We intend to agree actions with individual Departments once baseline figures for SMEs in procurement are published later this month. Departments will be responsible for publishing their plans.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many different pre-qualification questionnaires are used in Government Departments. 
Mr Maude: This information is not held centrally. However, we are aware that pre-qualification questionnaires vary significantly between organisations. We are simplifying and standardising a single set of pre-qualification questions, which will be mandated for use in central Government.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what timetable he has set for the adoption of a simplified, standardised pre-qualification questionnaire for contractors seeking contracts with all Government Departments. 
Mr Maude: The standardised pre-qualification questionnaire will be mandated on 1 December to central Government Departments including Departments, their agents and agencies and all non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what timetable his Department has set for its (a) consideration of and (b) decision on the method for
rolling out simplified and standardised pre-qualification questionnaires to (i) local authorities, (ii) the NHS and (iii) other public sector bodies. 
Mr Maude: The standardised pre-qualification questionnaire will not be mandated to local authorities, the NHS or other public sector bodies outside central Government. However, the core questions will be made available for any public sector body to use, and we will encourage authorities across the wider public sector to adopt this standard.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how frequently he expects Government Departments to publish figures on the proportion of procurement contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises. 
Mr Maude: We will be asking Departments, when they award a contract, to make transparent whether it has gone to an SME, in line with our commitment to publish contract details from January 2011. This information will be available for public scrutiny alongside other Government datasets.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what timetable he has set for the Government to meet its aspiration to award 25 per cent. of Government contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises. 
Mr Maude: On 1 November we announced a package of measures to move us further towards meeting the aspiration to award 25% of Government contracts to SMEs. Work on this package of measures began immediately.
We intend to agree actions with individual departments once baseline figures for SMEs in procurement are published later this month.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which aspects of existing pre-qualification procedures adversely affecting small and medium-sized enterprises are to be addressed through the introduction of a simplified and standardised pre-qualification questionnaire. 
Mr Maude: Excessive bureaucracy and a lack of standardisation of pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) are among the obstacles to securing government business most cited by small and medium-sized enterprises. In simplifying the PQQ we are stripping out questions that inadvertently discriminate against SMEs, eg levels of insurance or financial data; and removing those questions that have become redundant.
The simplified set of standard core questions will enable a streamlined and consistent approach to pre-qualification across central Government.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he has assessed the merits of changing the (a) terms and (b) size of contracts offered by Government Departments in order to meet the aspiration of awarding 25% of such contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises. 
Mr Maude: The Prime Minister has appointed Lord Young of Graffham as his Adviser on Enterprise, to identify ways in which government can remove barriers to growth faced by SMEs, and to maximise ways in which Government Departments and the public sector can support SME growth through reforming Government procurement. Work is ongoing to make procurement faster and cheaper to open it up to more SMEs.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is eligible to receive funding from (a) the Big Society Bank and (b) the Transition Fund for the voluntary sector. 
Mr Hurd: The Big Society Bank will not deal directly with frontline organisations. Instead it will operate at a wholesale level through social investment intermediaries to catalyse growth in the social investment market, encouraging mainstream investors to invest in social enterprises and broadening the finance options open to the sector. This means it may indirectly invest in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
The Transition Fund will give organisations the breathing space they need to adjust to the new spending environment. It is a chance to review the ways they are working and prepare for a future where there will be more opportunities to engage in the Big Society agenda. The Fund will be delivered by the BIG Fund, the non Lottery funding operation of the Big Lottery Fund, and will be open to organisations with an income of between £50,000 and £10 million who are most vulnerable to short-term reductions in public spending. Detailed eligibility criteria will be available shortly and we expect applications to open at the end of this month.
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to combat corruption in Afghanistan at (a) local and (b) national level. 
Alistair Burt: The UK is working closely with the Government of Afghanistan to support their efforts to tackle corruption.
At the national level, the UK provides direct support to the Major Crimes Task Force and the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office in the Attorney-General's Office. In addition, we have played a supporting role in developing other Afghan structures designed to tackle corruption-including the Independent High Office of Oversight-and have been working with the Afghan Government to establish a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee to oversee anti-corruption efforts. We are also working with the World Bank and IMF to strengthen Afghanistan's public financial management and with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and are involved in projects to strengthen accountability of the police, build civil society and make delivery of Government services more transparent.
At the local level in Helmand, we are mentoring and supporting justice officials and tracking cases, in order to limit opportunities for corruption in the justice sector.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reviews of its non-departmental public bodies his Department plans to undertake in the next three years. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office regularly reviews the performance of its non-departmental public bodies. The formal timetable for reviews over the next three years, announced by the Cabinet Office, has not yet been agreed.
Michael Ellis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on recent attempts to pass a letter to Gilad Shalit via the International Committee of the Red Cross. 
Alistair Burt: We have called repeatedly for the release of Gilad Shalit and will continue to do so, and the international community will continue to work towards that end. We are aware of media reports on the specific issue highlighted but do not have further information.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to (a) the Israeli Government and (b) the US Administration on the need for negotiations with the Palestinians for the purposes of securing a peace settlement; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: During my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's visit to the region on 2 to 4 November, he emphasised to both the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers the need to persist with direct negotiations and the risk that the window would otherwise close on a two state solution. He underlined to the Government of Israel the need to announce a new moratorium on settlements so that talks can continue. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discusses these issues regularly with Secretary Clinton and Senator Mitchell.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent representations his Department has made to the government of Nigeria on the situation of Christians in Jos Province; 
(2) what recent reports he has received on the incidence of discrimination against Christians in Jos Province, Nigeria. 
Staff from our high commission in Abuja and the Department For International Development have regular discussions with political, religious and
traditional leaders, both Christian and Muslim, in the city of Jos in Plateau State. Our assessment is that both communities in Jos have suffered discrimination in various ways, and appalling loss of life in inter-communal violence this year. We continue to believe that this conflict has a religious element but is being driven by underlying social, political and economic factors.
I raised inter-communal violence with Vice President Namadi Sambo on 21 October. Our high commission has met the Christian State Governor, Jonah Jang, and also discussed these issues with Chief Solomon Lar, head of the Presidential Committee on the Jos Crisis, on 21 September. We encourage the Government of Nigeria to consider the implementation of the Presidential Committee's recommendations in accordance with the views of all parties in Plateau State.
Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Israeli and (b) Palestinian counterparts on the Israeli government's plans for new settler homes in East Jerusalem; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: We are extremely disappointed by the decision of the Israeli Government to issue tenders for the construction of further settlements in east Jerusalem. This is not helpful.
As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear during his recent visit to the region, settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are an obstacle to peace. Their construction should stop.
Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Ministers of foreign governments have immunity from arrest during visits to the UK. 
Mr Bellingham: Whether a visiting Minister of a foreign government is entitled to immunity from arrest in the UK will depend on the status of the person concerned, whether they are travelling on official government business, as well as on other considerations. By virtue of their office, immunities will attach to visiting Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as well as, by extension, other Ministers who travel by virtue of their office. The extent to which such immunities may attach to other visiting senior officials will fall to be determined case by case depending on their status and the reasons for their visit to the UK.
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Yemen; and what his foreign policy objectives are for Northern Yemen. 
Alistair Burt: The February 2010 ceasefire holds in Northern Yemen, despite low-level skirmishing.
We are concerned about the lack of an agreed political settlement and support the Qatari-led mediation efforts.
We encourage all sides to facilitate humanitarian access to those Yemenis who have been internally displaced.
We support a peaceful, prosperous and unified Yemen.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to take steps to assist the government of Yemen to strengthen its capabilities against militants. 
Alistair Burt: We are concerned about the terrorist threat in the Arabian Peninsula.
We are helping the Yemeni Government build its capability to disrupt Al Qaeda and to tackle the underlying grievances which fuel conflict.
Terrorism and conflict are challenges which the Yemeni Government must address. We continue to support them in their efforts.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment his Department has made of alternative strategies for the campaign in Afghanistan other than (a) war among the people and (b) total military withdrawal. 
Dr Fox [holding answer 4 November 2010]: None. NATO's strategy in Afghanistan is the product of considerable discussion and seeks to bring about a more secure Afghanistan. The international community and Afghans are protecting the civilian population from the insurgents, building up the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces, transferring security responsibility for districts and provinces to Afghan control once they are ready, and supporting a more effective Afghan government.
The international community is united in backing the mission and, as the Kabul conference has shown, we share a clear, realistic and achievable strategy and we are seeing progress.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Rafale aircraft the new aircraft carriers will be able to accommodate. 
Peter Luff: The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers have been designed with the capacity to deploy up to 36 Joint Strike Fighters. The number of Rafale aircraft that they could accommodate will depend on their support requirements under different planning assumptions which we are now evaluating.
Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times air assets of allied nations have been used in anti-submarine operations in UK waters in the last 12 months. 
Nick Harvey [holding answer 9 November 2010]: None.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of residents of Maidstone and the Weald constituency serving in the armed forces; and how many of those are under the age of 21. 
Mr Robathan: Residential address information for serving personnel is not held with reference to parliamentary constituency and there are questions over the accuracy and completeness of what is held, as the information is maintained by the individual Service person.
Further information on the stationed location of UK Regular Forces is published quarterly by the Ministry of Defence and can be found at the following website:
http://www.dasa.mod.uk/applications/newWeb/www/index.php?page=48&pubType=0&thiscontent=100&Publish Time=09:30:00&date=2010-08-26&disText=01%20Jul% 202010&from=listing&topDate=2010-08-26
I will place a copy of the publication in the Library of the House.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how far HMS Astute was from the area normally used for personnel transfers when the submarine grounded on 22 October 2010; 
(2) when he expects the Board of Inquiry report into the grounding of HMS Astute to be published; 
(3) whether, following the grounding of HMS Astute on 22 October 2010, the reactor on the submarine was shut down automatically or manually; 
(4) what role the Naval Emergency Monitoring Team (North) played in the response to the grounding of HMS Astute on 22 October 2010; 
(5) what use HMS Astute made of the (a) operational berth in Loch Ewe and (b) the former operational berth in Broadford Bay following the grounding of HMS Astute on 22 October 2010; 
(6) whether HMS Astute returned to HMNB Faslane after its grounding on 22 October 2010 using diesel power or nuclear power. 
Peter Luff: Following the grounding of HMS Astute on 22 August 2010 and in accordance with standard procedures, the Naval Emergency Monitoring Team were mobilised and forward deployed but were not required. The reactor was deliberately shut down as a precautionary measure but once refloated, and following routine checks, a normal reactor start up was carried out to allow the submarine to proceed under her own nuclear power to Faslane. There was no requirement to use the operational berth in Loch Ewe or the former operational berth in Broadford Bay.
The position of HMS Astute at the time of personnel transfers will be subject to a formal Service Inquiry. The Service Inquiry commenced on 25 October 2010 and will be published once all parallel investigations are complete.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the change in the number of jobs in the UK defence industry consequent on implementation of the proposals in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. 
Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 2 November 2010, Official Report, column 695W, to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials in his Department have been (a) subject to disciplinary action, (b) removed from post, (c) transferred to another position and (d) dismissed for matters relating to their (i) disciplinary record and (ii) performance in each year since 1997. 
Mr Robathan: Prior to April 2007 all cases were managed locally and data are not available. From April 2007 all cases have been centrally recorded. The data, where held, have been grouped by financial year together with relevant additional information.
(a) Subject to disciplinary action
|Financial year||Number of individuals|
The data relate to individuals who were recorded as downgraded.
|Financial year||Number of individuals|
(c) T ransferred to another position
The disciplinary process does not permit a transfer to another position as a suitable penalty.
(d) Dismissed for matters relating to their disc iplinary record and performance
| Note s:|
1. These figures include the Ministry of Defence main employees only. They exclude trading funds, agencies and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
2. To prevent disclosure numbers have been rounded to the nearest five.
3. '-' denotes 0 or numbers less than five.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in bonuses and other payments in addition to salary in each year since 1997; how many officials received such payments; and what the monetary value was of the largest 20 payments made in each such year. 
Mr Robathan: The information is as follows:
Non-consolidated performance awards-MOD: A close and effective link between pay and performance is a key element of the reward arrangements for the civil service. The performance element of pay is colloquially known as a bonus, but it is a misleading description because the performance-related element of pay is not additional, it is part of the departmental pay bill.
For the senior civil service (SCS) performance incentives are paid primarily as non-consolidated performance payments. Any award is based on a judgment of how well an individual has performed against their peers and awards are made to those judged to have made the greatest in-year contribution to business objectives. There is no restriction on the nature of the contribution but it must benefit the Department or defence more widely. Recommendations for awards are considered by moderation committees and must be linked to clear evidence of delivery.
All satisfactory performers at SCS level were eligible to be considered for a non-consolidated performance award in line with Cabinet Office guidelines and the MOD pay strategy.
Financial year 2003-04 was the first year in which the MOD paid non-consolidated performance awards to any of its staff.
The following table details how much was paid to members of the SCS in non-consolidated performance payments by financial year.
Senior fixed term employees are individuals who are recruited through fair and open competition from outside the civil service. Those employed as senior fixed term appointees (FTAs) are on individual contracts and have a higher percentage of pay set to performance awards which are judged against stringent and stretching delivery based objectives. Some have staged payments and it is now usual to pay a smaller annual performance award with the remainder deferred for two to three years and judged against the delivery of medium to longer term objectives. Performance is judged by line management with assistance from senior officials, stakeholders, remuneration committees and in some cases internal audit.
Details of how much has been paid in non-consolidated awards and to how many SCS each year are shown in tables 1 and 2. Table 3 shows the monetary values of the largest non-consolidated payments made in each year to the combined SCS population of permanent staff and fixed term appointees.
|Table 1-SCS permanent staff|
|Table 2 -SCS fixed term appointees|
|SCS FTA performance year|
|(1) Six yet to be decided|
|Table 3-Top 20 highest non-consolidated awards for combined SCS population|
For staff below the SCS, non-consolidated performance awards are paid to staff who meet the eligibility criteria. Higher levels of award are available for those who have contributed most to the business. These awards are distributed on the basis of relative assessment among peers and are designed to encourage continuous high attainment against stretching objectives.
The MOD also operates an in-year non-consolidated payment scheme, the special bonus scheme (SBS), which rewards eligible MOD civilians for exceptional performance in a specific task or for the achievement of a professional qualification the use of which benefits MOD and the individual. Separate arrangements apply to Ministry of Defence police (MDP) officers.
In 2007 the Department moved to a new pay system and the ability to interrogate payments made through the SBS before this date has been diminished and therefore any effort now to try and access this data would require a disproportionate cost. SBS data is though available for financial years 2003-04 to 2006-07 because it was reported in previous parliamentary questions.
The following table details the total value of payments made to staff below the SCS by way of non-consolidated performance payments and SBS awards by financial year.
|Financial year||Total value of awards made (£)||Total number of awards made( 1)|
|(1) It is not possible to state how many individuals received awards since the data is held as the number of awards made and not the number of recipients.|
Figures for financial year 2010-11 will not be available before 30 April 2011 since SBS awards are payable in year.
This response excludes information on staff below the SCS in MOD trading funds which have separate pay delegations.
With the exception of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force Museum, figures for the Department's non-departmental public bodies are included in the figures above.
Like the MOD, financial year 2003-04 was the first year in which non-consolidated performance awards were paid to staff at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The following table details the total value of payments made to staff by way of non-consolidated performance payments awards by financial year.
|Financial year||Total value of awards made (£)||Number of staff receiving awards||Value of largest 20 payments|
The National Museum of the Royal Navy has no special bonus scheme.
The Museum does not keep records going back to 1997, but since 2004 non-consolidated performance awards and other payments have been available for staff employed by the museum and its trading subsidiary through one or more of the following:
a special bonus scheme (typically £7,000 per annum in total has been set aside and payments to staff have been of the order of £250 to £1,000, generally under 10 awards each year),
performance related pay (where the level of award has varied between a percentage-based amount or cash sum-both non consolidated-and is linked to the annual appraisal-individual payments typically being between £400 and £1,000 although in individual cases have been up to £3,000), costing the Museum approximately £100,000 per year,
'incentivised' contracts for key trading subsidiary managers (head of retail or head of corporate events) where payments have varied from zero to over £3,000, depending on the trading subsidiary's performance and a percentage-based award for more junior trading subsidiary staff (typically 1% of salary) the cost falling on the trading subsidiary,
in the case of the director general (until this year) through the non-consolidated performance award scheme applicable to senior civil servants, again linked to the annual appraisal process where
payments in excess of £10,000 have been made, No award was made in 2009 and the system does not apply to the newly appointed director general.
The largest payments made were to the director general under the conditions set out in the last paragraph and the directors (where performance awards were percentage-based) although these would have generally been below £5,000.
Other payments: The Department currently has over 500 pay-related allowances and payments in addition to salary available to civilian staff. The majority of which are listed on the People, Pay and Pensions Agency services website:
http://www.pppaservices.qinetiq-tim.com/https@ knowledge.chris.r.mil.uk/pppa/index@page=content&id =us131&cat=pay_and_expenses&actp=list.htm
In addition allowances and payments in addition to salary in regard to civilian travel and subsistence claims and transfer allowances are payable. These are listed on the PPPA services website:
http://www.pppaservices.qinetiq-tim.com/https@knowledge .chris.r.mil.uk/pppa/index@page=content&id=pr200&cat= travel_and_subsistence&actp= list.htm
Information on the monetary value of each type of allowance and payment in each year since 1997 is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost for such a large number of allowances and payments. Information is available from July 2007, but will take a short while to compile. I will write to my hon. Friend with the details as soon as possible.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what aircraft he expects to be available for operations in the Falkland Islands in the next 10 years. 
Nick Harvey: The Government are unequivocally committed to the defence of the Falklands.
The armed forces have a range of aircraft, both fixed wing and rotary, available for deployment in the Falkland Islands as operational circumstances require. We currently have Typhoon aircraft deployed in defence of the Falkland Islands. We also have a range of further capabilities to deter aggression.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how often RAF GR4 Tornado pilots are required to re-qualify for operational low flying; where re-qualification is carried out; and from where training flights originate. 
Nick Harvey: Once operational low flying qualified, RAF GR4 Tornado pilots remain qualified provided they conduct at least two operational low flying flights in a six-month period. If re-qualification is required, it is carried out in one of the three operational low flying areas in the UK (Mid Wales, Scottish Borders and West Highlands) or on an overseas exercise where operational low flying is authorised. Training flights are predominantly launched from the two RAF Tornado main operating bases located at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Marham.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which of his Department's aircraft are equipped with the (a) Searchwater 2000 radar, (b) UYS503/AQS970 sonar, (c) Northrop Grumman Night Giant EO system, (d) DASS 2000 ECM and (e) EL/L8300UK ESM; and what the capabilities of each system are. 
Peter Luff: The Airborne Early Warning variant of Searchwater 2000 radar is fitted to the Royal Navy Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Area Control Mark 7 helicopter. The remaining systems are not in service on UK military aircraft.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which aircraft operated by his Department are capable of deploying torpedoes; and what the combat radius of such aircraft is. 
Peter Luff: Royal Navy Merlin and Lynx helicopters are capable of deploying Stringray torpedoes.
I am not prepared to comment on the combat radius of these assets as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the planned role for maritime patrol aircraft has been in the event of a confrontation between a Royal Navy taskforce and a hostile taskforce (a) preparatory to and (b) in the course of engaging in action at sea; 
(2) what the role of the Nimrod Mark 2 in detecting potentially hostile submarines has been; what assessment he has made of its effectiveness in fulfilling this role; what provision will be made to fulfil it in future; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) by what method a maritime patrol aircraft capability will be reconstituted in the event of a strategic requirement to do so. 
Peter Luff: Maritime patrol aircraft, including the Nimrod MR2, have contributed to the protection of deployed Maritime Task Groups by tracking submarines and surface ships, and possessing the capability to attack hostile submarines.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 October 2010, Official Report, columns 450-51W, to the hon. Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr McCann), the right hon. Member for Coventry North East (Mr Ainsworth) and the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones). A range of military assets will be used to mitigate the capability gap which emerged as a result of the withdrawal from service of Nimrod MR2. Further requirements which might emerge as a result of any increase in threat will be considered as part of the Department's capability planning process.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent the UK's ability rapidly to deploy maritime forces into areas of high threat will be affected by the loss of a maritime patrol aircraft capability. 
Peter Luff: While I can confirm that we have judged that the decision not to bring the Nimrod MRA4 into service to be operationally manageable, I am not prepared to comment on the levels of protection afforded to our armed forces under potential threat scenarios.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to acquire from the United States a maritime patrol aircraft off-the-shelf platform for the protection of the strategic nuclear deterrent; and what assessment his Department has made of the affordability of a ready-made United States platform. 
Peter Luff: We have not made any assessment of the affordability of procuring a maritime patrol aircraft from the United States, and currently have no plans to do so.
Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of Airborne Maritime Forces following the cancellation of the Nimrod project. 
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements for aerial surveillance he plans to make consequent on the proposed cancellation of his Department's order for a fleet of Nimrod surveillance aircraft. 
Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK's independent nuclear deterrent of the decision not to proceed with the Nimrod MRA4 programme. 
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the remaining assets which will be available to protect nuclear submarines entering and leaving Faslane in consequence of the cancellation of the MRA4; 
(2) what functions of the Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft have been lost as a result of its withdrawal from service; and which functions will not be replaced; 
(3) when he plans to review the consequences for (a) protection of the nuclear deterrent and (b) other maritime patrol aircraft roles of the withdrawal of Nimrod; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 28 October 2010, Official Report, column 451W, to the hon. Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr McCann), the right hon. Member for Coventry North East (Mr Ainsworth) and the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) for what costs his Department is liable in respect of redundancies for (a) BAE systems employees, (b) military service personnel and (c) civilian personnel arising from the cancellation of the Nimrod MR4A programme; 
(2) which components of the Nimrod MR4A his Department owns; and what the monetary value is in each case; 
(3) what the (a) current and (b) projected annual costs are for storage of the Nimrod MR4A airframes and components; 
(4) what stage of completion the remaining Nimrod MR4A aircraft have reached. 
Peter Luff: Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review announcement on 19 October 2010 we have begun discussions with BAE Systems to terminate the contracts for production and support of the aircraft. Until these negotiations are complete I am unable to comment on the likely costs or the impact on personnel employed on the Nimrod MRA4 programme.
To date the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has taken delivery of: the training simulator and building (approximate value £150 million); one production standard aircraft (approximate value £90 million); various rigs (approximate value £100 million) and various spares (approximate value £10 million).
In addition, the MOD has funded the design and development programme, which produced three trials aircraft, and work under the production contract including the purchase and manufacture of components for the production aircraft. Ownership of components funded under these contracts is with the MOD, however, as they are an integral part of the overall contract it is not possible to individually identify the components and their current values.
Storage costs cannot be separately identified in the current Nimrod MRA4 contracts. Any future storage costs associated with the termination of the contract will be a matter for negotiation with BAE Systems.
One Nimrod MRA4 aircraft has been delivered, three aircraft are over 90% complete and the remaining five aircraft are over 40% complete.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) for what reasons hand and foot radiation monitors were installed in the reactor compartment tunnels of operational nuclear-powered submarines; and what assessment of the health of nuclear submariners (a) was made prior to and (b) has been made since the installation of such monitors; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing the in-port, on-land mandatory secondary radiation monitoring of nuclear submariners returning to port at Faslane. 
Peter Luff: The compulsory use of hand and foot contamination monitors was introduced to provide additional reassurance to workers and personnel exiting the reactor compartment of nuclear submarines during maintenance work. The health of submariners is monitored in line with armed forces policy. This process has not changed since the introduction of the hand and foot monitors and no comparative analysis exists.
The introduction of a shore based secondary monitoring system for personnel exiting controlled areas on nuclear submarines is not currently under consideration. Existing arrangements comply with legal requirements and have
been the subject of a number of successful inspections by the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.
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