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Serious Fraud Office

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General what the (a) names and (b) qualifications are of the people appointed to work on the Crown Prosecution

16 Apr 2012 : Column 52W

Service Inspectorate's review of the Serious Fraud Office led by Chief Inspector Michael Fuller. [102379]

The Solicitor-General: It is not the standard practice of HMCPSI to identify publicly the names or qualifications of employees or individuals appointed to work on its inspections.

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General how many and what proportion of senior civil servants in the Serious Fraud Office were from an ethnic minority background in March (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [102428]

The Attorney-General: The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) collects diversity data in line with the “Best practice guidance on monitoring equality and diversity in employment” and the “National Statistics Code of Practice”. This requires that all diversity data are collected on the understanding that they will be used anonymously and no statistics will be published where a number might be less than five. This ensures the anonymity of the data and protects staff confidentiality.

During the years covered by the question SFO have employed relatively few individuals graded at SCS, and are therefore unable to disclose the information requested for the reason mentioned above.

The Office for National Statistics routinely publishes data on the civil service and there includes data on ethnicity. The latest available figures can be found at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pse/civil-service-statistics/2011/stb---civil-service-statistics-2011.html

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General for what reasons there are no plans to publish the findings and recommendations of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's review of the Serious Fraud Office. [102429]

The Solicitor-General: The HMCPSI inspection of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is an internal management report and intended to provide information to the Law Officers and the new SFO Director in order to assist them in setting the strategy and direction for the SFO in the coming months and years.

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General when he expects the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's review of the Serious Fraud Office to be completed. [102432]

The Solicitor-General: HMCPSI is intending to provide a report of their inspection to the Law Officers and the new Director of the Serious Fraud Office by the end of May.

Transport

Aviation

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps she has taken to improve the frequency of flights to Brazil, India and China; and what assessment she has made of the effect of the volume of flights to such countries on levels of UK exports. [102566]

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Mrs Villiers: The Department held negotiations with Brazil in 2011, with India in 2010 and with China in 2011. Our aim is to maintain close aviation relations with important markets and to remove government-level restrictions as far as is possible within the context of a bilateral or EU-level agreement. While uptake of routes is a commercial matter for airlines, the Air Services Agreements with these countries all provide considerably more frequencies than the airlines currently use.

The Department has recently analysed whether air services at Heathrow adequately serve important countries for UK exports. It found a correlation between air services and exports but not a causal link; they are interrelated factors and the existence of one will influence the other.

Aviation: Exhaust Emissions

Kwasi Kwarteng: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work her Department has undertaken on the possible effect of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme on the volume of traffic at UK airports. [102666]

Mrs Villiers: The UK conducted an impact assessment in 2010 which indicated that the overall reduction in UK terminal passenger demand caused by the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS could be approximately 3% in the period up to 2020.

Aviation: Working Hours

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average flying hours were per (a) week, (b) month and (c) year for a commercial pilot in the latest period for which figures are available. [102579]

Mrs Villiers: Neither the Department nor the Civil Aviation Authority holds information on average flying hours for commercial pilots.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment her Department has made of the European Aviation Safety Agency evaluation of flight time limitations. [102580]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the right hon. Member to the evidence I gave in February 2012 to the Transport Committee inquiry into flight time limitations.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average Flight Duty Period was for (a) UK pilots and (b) pilots in other EU countries in the latest period for which figures are available. [102581]

Mrs Villiers: Neither the Department nor the Civil Aviation Authority holds information on average flight duty periods for pilots in the UK or in other countries.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information her Department holds on the frequency with which the Flight Duty Period is extended for UK pilots. [102582]

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Mrs Villiers: The Civil Aviation Authority receives reports of the extension of flight duty periods by an aircraft commander when the extension exceeds a specified threshold. This information is not collated centrally.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking to protect commercial pilots from fatigue. [102583]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman), on 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 98W.

Bus Services: Concessions

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with the devolved Administrations on the provision in the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 that allows bus passes issued in any part of the UK to be used throughout the UK since May 2010; and what plans she has to discuss this issue with the devolved Administrations. [103013]

Norman Baker: None. The Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 contains a power to allow, through future regulations, for mutual recognition of bus passes across the UK. Although discussions have taken place at official level with the devolved Administrations there are no plans to introduce mutual recognition of concessionary bus passes throughout the UK.

Civil Aviation Bill

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) she, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in her Department have had with Belfast International airport and Belfast George Best airport on the Civil Aviation Bill. [102567]

Mrs Villiers: Since the Civil Aviation Bill was published in draft on 23 November 2011 for pre-legislative scrutiny, Ministers in the Department for Transport have not had any discussions with either George Best Belfast City airport or Belfast International airport on the Civil Aviation Bill.

However, since the publication of the Civil Aviation Bill on 23 November 2011 in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny, DFT officials have provided updates to George Best Belfast City airport and Belfast International airport on the progress of the Bill, both before and after its introduction into Parliament on 19 January 2012.

Harbours

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what date she expects to finalise proposals for the Dee Harbour Revision Order. [102559]

Mike Penning: This is complex case as there is an outstanding application for an overlapping and conflicting harbour revision order from another harbour authority, Mostyn Docks. There has also been a long exchange of post-inquiry correspondence. We continue to consider whether we can proceed on the basis of the evidence

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considered at that inquiry or whether we need to conduct further consultation. The intention is for a decision to be made this year.

Gospel Oak-Barking Railway Line

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with the Mayor of London and Network Rail on the proposal to electrify the Barking to Gospel Oak section of the London Overground system. [102370]

Mrs Villiers: The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), has had no such discussions.

Heathrow Airport: Air Pollution

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the compatibility of a third runway at Heathrow with the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change in its report on Meeting the UK aviation target: options for reducing emissions to 2050, published in December 2009. [102660]

Mrs Villiers: We have made no such assessment.

London Airports

Kwasi Kwarteng: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on the development of an airport in the Thames estuary. [102649]

Mrs Villiers: We issued a scoping document last year seeking views and evidence on strategic issues relating to aviation policy. We received approximately 600 responses and some parties put forward proposals for a new airport in the Thames estuary.

We will consult on our draft Aviation Policy Framework this summer. Alongside this consultation, we will publish a separate call for evidence on the options for ensuring that we maintain the UK's status as an international hub for aviation.

We will consider a range of suggestions on how to maintain the UK's hub connectivity in a cost-effective and sustainable way, with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish the draft aviation framework ahead of a call for evidence on maintaining the UK's aviation hub status. [102661]

Mrs Villiers: We intend to consult in the summer on a draft sustainable framework for UK aviation. Alongside this we intend to publish a call for evidence on maintaining effective UK hub airport connectivity.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on (a) retaining runway alternation and (b) the introduction of mixed mode operations at Heathrow. [102662]

Mrs Villiers: I refer my hon. Friend to my written statement of 7 September 2010, Official Report, columns 13-14WS.

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Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties

Sir Alan Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was collected in road tax payments in respect of each category of vehicles in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011. [102751]

Mike Penning: The information requested is not available. However, information is available showing how road tax was collected and is shown in the following table. The information in the table is taken from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's Annual Report and Accounts.

£ million
VED collected by channel 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

Post Office

3,232

3,059

2,846

Local Services Network

381

353

345

Electronic Vehicle Licensing

1,752

2,148

2,421

Motor Manufacturing

305

251

257

Fleet Operators

120

128

109

Telephone Relicensing

1

4

5

Amounts refunded

(248)

(201)

(201)

Total

5,543

5,742

5,782

Motor Vehicles: Freight

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials from her Department have had with the European Commission on EU directive 96/53 and the prohibition of cross-border transport of long and heavy vehicles; and what representations her Department has received on EU directive 96/53. [102674]

Mike Penning: Ministers and officials have regular contacts with colleagues at the European Commission on a range of transport issues.

The Department has received representations from Freight on Rail about the European Commission’s long-term intentions on cross-border transport.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment her Department made of the road safety implications of cross-border transport of long and heavy vehicles; [102675]

(2) what assessment her Department has made of the (a) level of carbon emissions and (b) modal shift from rail implications of cross-border transport of long and heavy vehicles. [102676]

Mike Penning: None. Cross-border operations of these vehicles are not permitted under European law. The Government have made clear that longer and heavier vehicles such as megatrucks or ‘super lorries’ will not be permitted on the UK’s roads for the foreseeable future.

Official Cars

Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on providing a Government car for the Leader of the Opposition since May 2010. [101748]

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Mike Penning: The charge to the taxpayer for the provision of a Government car to the Leader of the Official Opposition for the period May 2010 to March 2011 was £55,355.59. The estimated cost for the financial year 2011-12 will be £57,671.15.

The Cabinet Office re-charges the Labour party 25% of the total cost paid to GDCA. This is consistent with the practice for the previous Leader of the Official Opposition.

The above amounts exclude VAT.

The charge for 2010-11 is the actual charge, less the 25% re-charge. The cost for the previous financial year is based on actual costs from April 2011 to February 2012, and the expected cost for March 2012. The Labour party has only been re-charged for six months of costs so far this year. The re-charge for the last six months of the year will be made at the end of the financial year (31 March 2012).

Railway Stations: Islington

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has held with Network Rail and the Mayor of London on step-free access to Finsbury Park and Highbury and Islington stations. [102371]

Norman Baker: No recent ministerial discussions have been held with Network Rail or the Mayor of London about accessibility at Finsbury Park or Highbury and Islington.

The mainline areas of both stations are included in the Department’s Access for All programme which provides an accessible route into the station and to all platforms. The work at Highbury and Islington was completed in October 2010 at a cost of £1.3 million. Finsbury Park is due to start on site in late spring 2013 and take around 12 months, costing approximately £5 million.

Accessibility on the London underground network, including funding decisions, is a matter for Transport for London and the Mayor.

Railways: Electrification

Nigel Mills: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cambridge of 6 March 2012, Official Report, column 635W, on electrification, how many miles of track the Government plans to electrify in (a) Wales, (b) the north-east, (c) the north-west, (d) Yorkshire and the Humber, (e) the west midlands, (f) the east midlands, (g) the east of England, (h) the south-west, (i) the south-east and (j) London. [102605]

Mrs Villiers: Under the Government's committed electrification schemes, Network Rail plans to electrify over 600 single track miles as part of the Great Western main line scheme of which over 100 single track miles are in Wales. Over 180 single track miles will be electrified as part of the north-west scheme.

Nigel Mills: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cambridge of 6 March 2012, Official Report, column 635W, on electrification, what estimate she makes of the annual saving in carbon emissions as a

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result of the track electrified between May 1997 and May 2010. [102606]

Mrs Villiers: The Department has not made such an estimate because we do not have the necessary modelling tools to quantify the carbon impact of electrification over this time period. Furthermore, as there was very little new rail electrification between 1997 and 2010, the annual carbon savings will be minimal.

Nigel Mills: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cambridge of 6 March 2012, Official Report, column 635W, on electrification, what estimate she makes of the annual saving in carbon emissions that will be achieved as a result of the Government's proposals to electrify railway tracks. [102607]

Mrs Villiers: The Department estimates that the electrification of the Great Western Main Line and routes in the north-west of England will, once operational, deliver annual emission savings of around 0.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Railways: North West

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what funding her Department committed to the Northern Hub rail project prior to May 2010; [103104]

(2) how much her Department spent on the Northern Hub rail project in each year between 2005 and 2010; [103105]

(3) how many track miles of the Northern Hub rail project were completed between 2005 and 2010. [103106]

Mrs Villiers: In relation to the Northern Hub, no expenditure or funding commitments were made by the Department for Transport and no track works were completed between 2005 and May 2010.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Sir Alan Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the cost of maintaining the UK's road infrastructure in each year from 2009 to 2011 inclusive; [102749]

(2) how much central Government spent on improving the road network in each year from 2009 to 2011 inclusive. [102750]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport is responsible for the strategic road network which is managed by the Highways Agency on the Secretary of State for Transport's behalf. The remaining roads are the responsibility of local highway authorities under the Highways Act 1980. For roads in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland these are the responsibility of the respective devolved Administrations. We have therefore made no estimate of the cost of maintaining the UK's road infrastructure.

Highways Agency spending on improving the strategic road network in each year from 2009 to 2011 (including smaller schemes and technology improvements) was as follows:

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  Spend on improving road network (£ million)

2008-09

1,022

2009-10

1,109

2010-11

1,204

For roads in London capital funding is a matter for the Mayor and Transport for London.

The Department for Transport has published information on its website regarding how much local transport capital funding has been allocated for Integrated Transport and Highways Maintenance Block grants for the financial years, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/integrated-transport-block-and-highways-maintenance/

These tables provide information on what each local authority (including integrated transport authorities, shire counties and unitary authorities) has been allocated. This funding can be used to improve local roads that they manage if they so wish.

In addition, the Department also provided capital funding for a series of local major schemes, costing over £5 million, in 2008-09 to 2010-11. The following table details the funding allocated to local authorities in England for local major schemes which are either categorised as a road scheme, or have an element that includes a road or improvement to the road:

  Capital funding for road schemes (£ million)

2008-09

278

2009-10

287

2010-11

265

Revenue funding for highway maintenance is provided through the Communities and Local Government Revenue Support Grant (RSG). RSG is an unhypothecated grant provided to local authorities to enable them to carry out their functions, and local authorities can choose to spend this on any services for which they have responsibility, as per local spending priorities.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assumptions about the (a) procurement and (b) deployment of rolling stock were made in relation to (i) her Department’s press release of 26 November 2010 and (ii) paragraph 1.17 of her Department’s publication on reforming our railways. [102565]

Mrs Villiers: As the press release of 26 November 2010 explained, franchised train operators are free to introduce extra carriages at any time at their own expense. However, if the train operator does not feel it can recover the additional costs of running the extra carriages from passenger revenues they are unlikely to introduce them. This was why the Government intervened with additional funding at the time, in order to increase capacity and reduce overcrowding.

The Government are committed to a less prescriptive approach to the specification of rail franchises, with decisions such as rolling stock provision devolved primarily

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to franchise operators. This position is set out in paragraphs 4.65 to 4.67 of the Department’s publication on reforming our railways.

Shipping: Recruitment

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the total number of new training roles for UK ratings created by shipping companies (a) outside and (b) inside the tonnage tax scheme in each year since 2000-01. [102669]

Mike Penning: The Department for Transport does not collate information on the number of training roles for UK ratings. I hope that the ratings apprenticeships programme recently launched by the Merchant Navy Training Board will enhance UK ratings' training and further allow new entrants and existing ratings to meet the maritime industry's needs for skilled support staff.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the rate of recruitment is of UK ratings in the maritime sector; what assessment she has made of the likelihood of a deficit in UK ratings in the maritime sector by 2021 based on current recruitment rates; and whether she has made a recent estimate of the extent of any such future deficit. [102927]

Mike Penning: In the written ministerial statement I made on 23 January 2012, Official Report, column 5WS, I announced the outcome of the independent review which I commissioned into the economic requirement for trained seafarers in the UK. The report found that overall supply and demand for deck and engineer ratings at sea should be broadly in balance over the next decade.

The report identified a need to develop the next generation of UK ratings for the short-sea, coastal and offshore (including renewables) sectors. In announcing a budget of £12 million a year for the support for maritime training scheme for the remainder of this Parliament, I made clear that support would be made available for ratings training and ratings to officer conversion training.

Taxis

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department spent on taxis for (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants between August 2011 and January 2012. [101410]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not record taxi expenses for Ministers and civil servants separately. Total figures for the central Department and five of its agencies are included in the following table.

The Department's remaining two agencies (Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) do not record taxi fares separately from other travel costs, and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Highways Agency did not record taxi fares separately prior to 2010-11.

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£
  Financial year 2009-10 F inancial yea r 2010-11 Half-year August 20 11 to January 2012

Department for Transport (Central)

121,815

84,740

38,292

Driving Standards Agency

15,859

12,986

5,142

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

38,018

26,398

13,200

Government Car and Despatch Agency

0

0

0

Highways Agency

0

45,384

20,478

Vehicle Certification Agency

1,558

9,603

2,927

The table shows that the coalition Government have significantly reduced expenditure on taxis since May 2010.

Transport for London

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether she has considered bringing forward proposals to change Transport for London's remit to include responsibility for the South East; [102084]

(2) whether she has received bids from Transport for London for overground rail services in the London area; and what assessment she has made of the potential effects of the awarding of any such contracts on commuters from Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency. [102085]

Mrs Villiers: The Government are currently conducting a public consultation to assess whether a more decentralised approach to franchise specification and procurement could potentially deliver benefits in relation to some rail services.

The consultation document can be found on the Department's website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-10/

The consultation will close on 28 June 2012. Submissions made as part of the consultation will be considered in due course.

Vodafone Group

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many contracts Vodafone has been awarded by her Department in the last 12 months. [103195]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport (including its agencies) has let two contracts to Vodafone via the Government Procurement Services framework agreement in the last 12 months.

The contracts were awarded by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contracts her Department has with Vodafone. [103196]

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Norman Baker: The Department for Transport uses the contract for Mobile Services centrally let to Vodafone by the Government Procurement Services team in the Cabinet Office.

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on how many occasions a charter plane has been used to transport service personnel to Afghanistan since May 2010; [100760]

(2) how much he has spent on chartering planes to Afghanistan (a) in total and (b) to replace flights in military transport aircraft since May 2010. [100761]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 19 March 2012]: The routine use of commercial charter flights to carry personnel on a return journey basis between the UK and the Middle East began in December 2008. Since then, a total of £128 million has been spent transferring personnel in this way. For force protection reasons, chartered aircraft are not permitted to fly to Afghanistan and this leg of the journey is carried out using military C-17 or TriStar aircraft. This enables the Department to maximise the numbers of movements to and from the operational theatre, making optimum use of the force protected military fleet.

Since May 2010, 345 chartered flights have been used to transport UK armed forces personnel to and from the Middle East.

Between 1 May 2010 and 31 December 2011 (the last full month for which figures are available) the total expenditure on chartered flights for the transportation of personnel and freight between the UK and the Middle East was £215 million.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many supply and re-supply operations there have been to Afghanistan since (a) operations began and (b) January 2011; and what the cost of those operations was in each period. [101836]

Nick Harvey: [holding answer 26 March 2012]: It will take time to compile the information held by the Ministry of Defence about the number of movements to transport supplies to and from Afghanistan.

I will write to the hon. Member once the information has been collated.

Substantive answer from Nick Harvey to Stephen Barclay:

I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question answered on 27 March 2012 (Official Report, column 1048W) about supply and re-supply operations to Afghanistan. I said that I would write to you once the requested information had been compiled. This task has now been completed.

We have defined ‘supply and re-supply operations’ to mean the forward movement of freight through the available Lines of Communications (LOCs) between the UK and Afghanistan.

Re-supply operations are not discrete events (with the exception of a small number of deliberate operations to deliver equipment by sea to Cyprus and then by air to Afghanistan) and MOD continuously replenishes Afghanistan through daily and weekly deliveries using other LOCs. In order to provide comparable indicative cost data and a single unit of measure, a standard industry measurement of a Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) is used by the MOD.

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The TEU is an inexact unit of cargo volume used to describe the capacity of container ships and is based on the volume of a 6.1m long, 2.44m wide container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks. The average MOD loading of these containers is 10 tonnes. Whilst there is of course in month variability the 10 tonne figure has remained consistent over the last few years. This enables collated weight statistics for Air and Surface LOCs to be translated into an equivalent comprehensible unit of measure.

Information on the number and cost of TEU movements between 2001 (when operations began) and 2008 can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010, 9,892 TEUs were moved to Afghanistan at an indicative cost of £166 million.

Between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011 (the last full month for which figures are available) 4,440 TEUs were moved to Afghanistan at an indicative cost of £82 million.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much is being saved from the Reserve in each year of this Parliament from operations in Afghanistan; and from where such savings are being found in each year; [102764]

(2) how he plans to save £2.4 billion from the Reserve from operations in Afghanistan. [102765]

Mr Philip Hammond: The changes to the forecast claim by the Ministry of Defence on the Special Reserve were set out in Budget 2012 (HC1853) published on 21 March 2012, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in the Budget reflects a change in the MOD's and Treasury's assumptions about the likely cost of operations in Afghanistan, reflecting changes in the nature of UK operations as transition progresses and recent announcements regarding the draw-down of forces from Afghanistan in future years.

These changes enabled the release of a proportion of the Special Reserve, and allowed the Chancellor to provide further funding to improve military housing, to increase the council tax rebate for thousands of deployed military personnel, and to improve welfare provision for the families of personnel on operations.

The MOD's ability to claim funds from the Reserve has not changed as a result of the Budget. The MOD will continue to claim all of the net additional costs of operations from the Reserve.

Air Force: Working Hours

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average flight duty period for RAF personnel is; and what assessment he has made of how this compares to other NATO countries; [102212]

(2) how many times the flight duty period was extended in the last 12 months. [102216]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 27 March 2012]: No assessment has been made of the average flight crew duty hours across all RAF aircraft fleets or how the set maximum periods compare with those set in other NATO countries. The maximum permissible duty periods vary depending on the type of aircraft and role undertaken.

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Individual crew member records are supervised to ensure they do not exceed approved limits unless an extension is authorised.

The authorisation to extend flight crew duty periods is delegated to squadron, station, group or air officer commanding level dependent on the length of extension required and the operational circumstances for the extension. Consequently, the information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the European Aviation Safety Agency evaluation of flight time limitations. [102213]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 27 March 2012]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has made no independent assessment of the European Aviation Safety Agency regulations on flight time limitations. However, NATO Standardisation Agreement 3527—Aircrew Fatigue Management, under which military flights operate, is reviewed annually and takes account of relevant civil regulations.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether RAF personnel are subject to European flight time limitations. [102214]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 27 March 2012]: No.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average flying hours for RAF personnel are. [102215]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 27 March 2012]: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost, as it would require manual searches of individual crew member records.

Aircraft Carriers

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at the time of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, what the estimated unit cost was of the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. [101178]

Peter Luff: I am withholding the information as publication at this time would prejudice the commercial interests of Ministry of Defence.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what contracts have been signed for the (a) Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and (b) arrester hook equipment to be installed on the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers; [102512]

(2) what long lead items have been purchased for the (a) Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and (b) arrester hook equipment; and what the cost to the public purse was of any such purchases. [102517]

Peter Luff: We have not placed any contracts for the purchase of aircraft launch and recovery equipment, be that the electro-magnetic aircraft launch system or advanced arrestor gear. The arrestor hook is an integral part of the F-35C aircraft, not the carrier.

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Ammunition: Scotland

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) service and (b) civilian personnel were employed at UK munitions centres at (i) Crombie, (ii) Beith and (iii) Glen Douglas in each of the last 10 years. [101995]

Mr Robathan: Records are no longer held for civilian personnel prior to 2004 or for military personnel prior to 2007.

No service personnel have been employed at the Defence Munitions (DM) Centres at Crombie, Beith and Glen Douglas since 2007. Details of civilian personnel employed since 2004 are contained in the following table:

Year (1) DM Crombie DM Beith DM Glen Douglas

2004(2)

115

236

75

2005

210

394

143

2006

199

391

136

2007

170

380

133

2008

141

363

130

2009

119

333

125

2010

107

322

121

2011

101

305

118

2012

84

281

109

(1) As at 1 January. (2) Details of industrial civilian personnel employed were not recorded on the Ministry of Defence's personnel data recording system until March 2004. Therefore, the figures provided for 2004 are incomplete and are for non-industrial civilian personnel only.

Armed Forces: Cadets

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects of changes to home-to-duty allowance conditions on air cadet volunteers; and if he will make a statement. [102011]

Mr Robathan: The rate of the personal contribution which Service personnel who live in public accommodation, and adult cadet volunteers, are required to make towards the cost of home-to-duty travel, will now remain at three miles for each journey undertaken. Therefore, no such assessment has been made.

Armed Forces: Council Tax

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of military families posted overseas who do not receive a 50 per cent. discount in council tax as a result of leaving their UK home unoccupied; and if he will make a statement; [101911]

(2) what consideration he has given to applying the 50 per cent. discount in council tax to all military families posted overseas; and if he will make a statement. [101913]

Mr Robathan: Council tax discounts in respect of private properties being unoccupied while a member of the armed forces is serving overseas are a matter for local authorities. However, as part of the commitment in the Armed Forces Covenant, the Government will encourage local authorities to be more aware of the

16 Apr 2012 : Column 66W

payments service personnel and families pay in lieu of council tax when overseas when considering an application for a second home discount. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not keep records of the number of service personnel who own, rent or let their private properties; and I am therefore unable to provide an estimate of those who are liable for council tax.

For those service personnel deployed on operations overseas, the MOD’s council tax relief (CTR) scheme is available. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), announced on 21 March 2012, Official Report, column 796, that the CTR payment is to be doubled to just under £600 for a typical six-month tour. This will directly benefit some 9,500 members of the armed forces each year. Given the current financial position, the Government wish to focus CTR on those who are serving on operations overseas.

Armed Forces: Training

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people from other countries have completed (a) the Principal Warfare Officers Course, (b) the International Joint Operational Planners Course and (c) international staff courses in each of the last five years; and from which countries they came. [101994]

Nick Harvey: There are several versions of the Principal Warfare Officers (PWO) Course: the Royal Navy's PWO Course, the International PWO Course A and the International PWO Course B. There is also the International Joint Operational Planners (IJOP) Course and the Joint Operational Planners (JOP) Course. Each of these courses may be attended by foreign nationals, as long as the course criteria are met.

The number of people from other countries who have completed the relevant courses in each of the last five years is as follows:

2007-08
  Number

Royal Navy PWO Course A

 

New Zealand

1

Germany

2

Total

3

   

International PWO Course A

 

Brunei

2

Greece

2

Malaysia

3

Pakistan

1

Singapore

1

Total

9

   

International PWO Course B

 

Ghana

1

Greece

2

Qatar

1

Oman

1

Total

5

   

IJOP Course

 

Chile

2

16 Apr 2012 : Column 67W

Denmark

2

Netherlands

4

Poland

2

Saudi Arabia

2

Singapore

2

South Africa

2

United Arab Emirates

1

Total

17

   

JOP Course

 

Denmark

3

France

9

Netherlands

10

Norway

5

Total

27


2008-09
  Number

Royal Navy PWO Course A

 

New Zealand

3

Total

3

   

International PWO Course A

 

Brunei

2

Greece

2

Pakistan

1

Total

5

   

International PWO Course B

 

Chile

1

Ghana

1

Greece

1

Trinidad and Tobago

2

Total

5

   

IJOP Course

 

Bahrain

7

Ghana

1

Norway

2

Saudi Arabia

2

Total

12

   

JOP Course

 

Denmark

1

France

2

Netherlands

9

Total

12

2009-10
  Number

Royal Navy PWO Course A

 

New Zealand

3

Germany

1

Total

4

   

International PWO Course A

 

Brunei

2

Greece

1

Malaysia

2

16 Apr 2012 : Column 68W

Pakistan

1

Singapore

1

Total

7

   

International PWO Course B

 

Chile

1

Greece

2

Iraq

2

Nigeria

2

Trinidad and Tobago

1

Total

8

   

IJOP Course

 

Chile

1

Netherlands

2

Saudi Arabia

4

Senegal

4

United Arab Emirates

3

Total

14

   

JOP Course

 

Denmark

1

France

2

Netherlands

2

Norway

1

Sweden

1

Total

7

2010-11
  Number

Royal Navy PWO Course A

 

Germany

1

New Zealand

5

Total

6

   

International PWO Course A

 

Brunei

2

Greece

1

Kuwait

1

Pakistan

1

Singapore

1

South Africa

2

Total

8

   

International PWO Course B

 

Ireland

2

Kuwait

2

Nigeria

5

Poland

1

Turkey

2

Total

12

   

IJOP Course

 

France

1

Denmark

1

Netherlands

3

Oman

4

Singapore

11

16 Apr 2012 : Column 69W

Total

20

   

JOP Course

 

France

1

Netherlands

2

Norway

1

Total

4

2011-12
  Number

Royal Navy PWO Course A

 

New Zealand

3

Total

3

   

International PWO Course A

 

Brunei

2

Chile

1

Kuwait

3

Malaysia

4

Pakistan

1

Singapore

1

Total

12

   

International PWO Course B

 

Estonia

1

Kuwait

9

Nigeria

2

Poland

2

Total

14

   

IJOP Course

 

Belgium

3

India

4

Norway

2

Oman

2

Saudi Arabia

2

Sri Lanka

1

United Arab Emirates

2

Total

16

   

JOP Course

 

Netherlands

2

Norway

1

Total

3

Information related to international staff courses is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will publish the terms and conditions of the contract awarded to General Dynamics for the production of the Scout fighting vehicle; and if he will make a statement; [101914]

(2) whether the contract awarded to General Dynamics for the production of the Scout fighting vehicle is a cost-plus contract; and if he will make a statement. [101915]

16 Apr 2012 : Column 70W

Peter Luff: I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. Moreover, the publication of the contract is exempt under the Government's Transparency Agenda due to the war-like nature of the equipment being procured.

The contract with General Dynamics UK is not a cost-plus contract, but is a mix of firm and fixed prices.

Bahrain

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) officials and (b) members of the armed forces assisted in the training of Bahraini security forces in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012. [99555]

Nick Harvey: Members of the armed forces have provided training—including in the UK—as part of a longstanding programme of security co-operation and assistance. This training includes elements which enhance an individual's understanding of the control and employment of security forces in accordance with the rule of law.

Blue Force Property

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2011, Official Report, column 73W, on Blue Force Property, whether the Ministry of Defence Police launched a formal investigation into the Blue Forces property management company based at Colchester; whether he has considered the findings of the review undertaken by insolvency practitioners FRP Advisory into the liquidation of the Blue Forces group; and whether his Department is providing (a) financial and (b) other assistance to current and former members of the armed forces who lost money as a result of the collapse of Blue Forces; and if he will make a statement. [103251]

Mr Robathan: Jurisdiction for any investigation into the financial practices of Blue Forces is a matter for Essex police. The MOD Police is not involved in this process.

As we were not in a financial relationship with Blue Forces, there is no requirement for the MOD to consider the findings of the insolvency practitioners. This is a matter for the creditors, some of whom are service personnel, and have acted in a private capacity.

As I said in an answer on 7 March 2011, Official Report, column 807W, we have issued advice through the chain of command for those service personnel who may be affected. However the MOD cannot provide any financial assistance to serving or former members of HM armed forces who have lost money as a result of a private company going into liquidation. Serving personnel who believe they may be affected should consult their chain of command. Former service personnel can contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau or the insolvency practitioners.

Canada: Submarines

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the Canadian government has asked for compensation with regard to the submarines purchased in 1998; [99868]

16 Apr 2012 : Column 71W

(2) whether the Canadian armed forces has asked for assistance with regard to submarines purchased in 1998. [99869]

Peter Luff: The records providing detailed background to this topic are stored in archives and need to be retrieved in order to provide a full answer to the hon. Member. I will write to the hon. Member in due course.

Substantive answer from Peter Luff to Mike Hancock:

In my written answer to your Parliamentary Questions on 20 March 2012 (Official Report, column 584W), I promised to write to you regarding the Upholder Class submarines (subsequently renamed the Victoria Class) purchased in 1998 by the Canadian Government. Officials have carried out a review of the records on this matter, most of which had been archived given their age, and I am now in a position to provide you with a substantive answer.

I can confirm that in 2002 and 2004 the Canadian Government asked for compensation to be paid for the submarines due to concerns about their condition and ability to meet the Canadian requirements. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) did not pay any compensation; however, an amendment to the contract was agreed where the cost of the final submarine was reduced by £2 million as an act of good faith and without liability.

The MOD holds annual meetings with the Canadian Department of National Defence to discuss any issues of mutual interest arising from the operation of the Victoria Class submarines. Outside these meetings, requests for information or assistance, in the form of technical advice on through life support, are occasionally received from either the Canadian Government or Babcock International Ltd, the contractor that maintains the submarines. Both the annual meetings and individual requests are handled as routine business under a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding for the exchange of technical information.

Conflict Prevention

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent steps his Department has taken to support conflict prevention; and if he will make a statement. [102126]

Mr Gerald Howarth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 26 March 2012, Official Report, column 956W, to the right hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (Simon Hughes).

Defence

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the value of the defence sector is to the economy; how many people are employed in the industry; what proportion of the industry operates in each region; and what the industry spent on its supply chains in the UK in 2011. [101981]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence produce the ‘UK Defence Statistics (UKDS)’ which are published annually. These include estimates of MOD spend with industry and commerce in the UK, and the information can be found in Table 1.10.

We no longer collect any analysis data relating to national and regional employment.

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to support the defence industry and its domestic supply chain. [101985]

16 Apr 2012 : Column 72W

Peter Luff: The Government recognises that to meet our defence requirements, we need thriving, innovative, and highly efficient suppliers. A healthy and competitive industry in the UK makes a significant contribution to developing and sustaining key defence and security capabilities, as well as contributing to export-led growth and a re-balanced economy.

That is why, in our recently published White Paper ‘National Security Through Technology’ (Cm 8278), the Government have set out a number of measures to support UK-based suppliers, including supporting responsible defence and security exports and ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are often vital elements of the supply-chain, are able to fulfil their potential.

Defence Equipment: Internet

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the ability of the Ministry of Defence Police to identify and investigate incidents of (a) respirators and (b) other armed forces equipment being available for purchase on the internet. [103107]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence Police currently uses proactive intelligence-led initiatives to identify and detect thefts of armed forces equipment, and those involved in the unlawful disposal of stolen Defence property, by monitoring internet trading sites and other markets, and then taking appropriate law enforcement action.

Defence Equipment: Theft

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to prevent theft of its equipment. [103108]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence (MOD), working with the MOD Police and the Service Police have actively promoted a number of crime reduction initiatives, which encourage the safeguarding of MOD property.

Examples include an ongoing proactive initiative targeted on the sale of MOD equipment which should not lawfully be available in the public domain; the establishment of a Defence Irregularity Reporting Cell, which is the central pan-MOD point to which all suspicions of irregularity, including fraud, theft and corruption involving personnel, contractors or other bodies, should be reported.

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many incidents of theft from his Department have been referred to the Ministry of Defence Police for investigation in the latest period for which figures are available. [103110]

Mr Robathan: A total of 361 reported suspicions were referred to the Ministry of Defence Police in financial year 2011-12 up to 30 March 2012.

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many incidents of theft of his Department's equipment there were in the fiscal year 2011-12. [103239]

16 Apr 2012 : Column 73W

Mr Robathan: There have been 310 thefts of Ministry of Defence equipment in the fiscal year 2011-12 (inclusive 30 March 2012).

Departmental Public Expenditure

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on new furnishings in the last year. [73120]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence's expenditure on free standing furniture in the last two financial years was £10.045 million in 2011-12 and £19.225 million in 2010-11. This includes expenditure on furniture for bases and service accommodation.

Diamond Jubilee 2012: Medals

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will award the Queen's diamond jubilee medal to Territorial Army personnel who have served over five continuous years but not qualified for the 2012 bounty. [102415]

Mr Robathan: Medals are traditionally awarded for royal jubilees to recognise and reward the service and dedication of key front line services and in particular to those who are exposed regularly to difficult, often emergency situations and who potentially risk their lives.

The Culture Secretary's announcement on 28 June 2012 stated that members of the armed forces (regular and reserves) who have completed five full calendar years of service, and are serving on 6 February 2012, will be presented with a medal to mark Her Majesty the Queen's diamond jubilee. These two criteria are consistent with the approach adopted for earlier jubilee medals, such as the golden jubilee in 2002.

Reserve forces are eligible to receive this medal providing they hold five Certificates of Efficiency that do not have to represent consecutive years. However, the latest certificate must reflect financial year 2011-12. There are no plans to change this important principle.

Early Retirement

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many holders of letters of Airworthiness Delegation left his Department under early release or early retirement schemes in each of the last three years; and which team such staff worked for. [100594]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 19 March 2012]: Five holders of Letters of Airworthiness Authority left the Department under early release or voluntary redundancy in 2011. None left in 2010 or in 2012 to date.

Of the five individuals who left in 2011, two worked in the UK Military Flying Training System Project Team and one in each of the Aircrew Equipment and Survival Project Team, Merlin Helicopter Project Team and Lynx Helicopter Project Team.

Early Warning Systems

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on the Airborne Warning and Control System in each of the

16 Apr 2012 : Column 74W

last five years; and what further spending has been allocated to this system. [101189]

Peter Luff: The information requested on expenditure in each of the last five years is presented in the following table:

Financial year Total spend (£ million)

2007-08

62

2008-09

60

2009-10

64

2010-11

74

Forecast 2011-12

80

Details of future spending on the Sentry Airborne Early Warning and Control System are currently being finalised as part of the Department’s Planning Round 2012.

Explosives: Large Goods Vehicles

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the security of transport arrangements for the purpose of identification of explosives and projectile ammunition carried by lorries. [101544]

Peter Luff: Statutory Instrument (SI) 1348—The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009—details the security and the marking and labelling requirements for the transport of ammunition by road. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) policy for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail is contained in Joint Service Publication (JSP) 800 Volume 4B—Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Sea. JSP 800 incorporates the requirements of SI 1348 and includes additional security measures for the transport of those goods that have been assessed by MOD security to be attractive to criminal and terrorist organisations.

Each transport operation, including those conducted by approved contractors, is assessed in accordance with the extant security alert state and conducted in accordance with these requirements. MOD policy is reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains in line with legislation and all units and establishments involved in the transport of dangerous goods are audited to ensure compliance.

London Olympics 2012

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many invitations to attend events at the London 2012 Olympics (a) he, (b) other Ministers in his Department and (c) senior officials in his Department have accepted; and if he will make a statement. [93636]

Mr Philip Hammond: No invitations to attend events at the London 2012 Olympics have been accepted by the Secretary of State or other Defence Ministers. Information on whether senior officials have accepted invitations to attend events at the London Olympics is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Details of hospitality received by Ministers and Special Advisers and the most senior officials are published on a quarterly basis and will be available for July-September 2012 in due course.

16 Apr 2012 : Column 75W

Military Bases: Edinburgh

Mr Darling: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects to announce his decision on whether (a) Redford Barracks and (b) Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh are to be vacated or disposed of; [102501]

(2) on which dates valuations of (a) Redford Barracks and (b) Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh have been made since 2007. [102538]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence is currently undertaking work to determine the potential capacity of the estate including options for maximising its use and disposing of sites no longer required. This work is progressing alongside other studies such as Army 2020 and the resulting plans for the estate will be announced in due course.

Valuations of the sites were produced by GVA in September 2007 and March 2011. GVA are currently assessing the sites and will report shortly.

Missile Technology Control Regime

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the range and payload criteria currently established in the Missile Technology Control Regime. [102372]

Nick Harvey: The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an important part of the international counter proliferation architecture and the UK and other regime partners continuously review the guidelines and annexes.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he proposes to amend the Missile Technology Control Regime in the light of the development of unmanned aerial vehicles. [102373]

Nick Harvey: The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an important part of the international counter proliferation architecture and the UK and other regime partners continuously review the guidelines and annexes. The UK recognises the distinction between unmanned air systems (UAS) and cruise and ballistic missiles and discusses the effects of developments in UAS with regime partners. However, the MTCR works on a consensus basis and thus each of the 34 member states has to be in agreement before changes to the guidelines can be implemented.

Navy: Training

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people from other countries have completed flag officer sea training in each of the last five years; and from which countries they came. [101993]

Nick Harvey: Royal Navy records indicate that a total number of 14,241 people from other countries have completed flag officer sea training in the last five years.

The breakdown of this figure for each financial year is as follows:

16 Apr 2012 : Column 76W

2007-08
  Number

Chile

181

Estonia

35

France

90

Germany

1499

Greece

259

Netherlands

705

Poland

200

Portugal

182

South Africa

100

Sweden

66

Turkey

206

Total

3523

2008-09
  Number

Belgium

156

Chile

181

Estonia

29

Germany

955

Greece

87

Netherlands

526

Portugal

182

South Africa

120

United States

346

Total

2582

2009-10
  Number

Australia

377

Belgium

156

Estonia

35

Germany

1151

Greece

87

Netherlands

204

Portugal

156

Sweden

123

Trinidad and Tobago

25

United States

358

Total

2672

2010-11
  Number

Germany

1535

Netherlands

645

Portugal

182

Sweden

86

Total

2448

2011-12
  Number

Algeria

80

Australia

69

Germany

2031

Netherlands

266

Sweden

292

United States

278

Total

3016

Procurement

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of contracts issued by (a) his Department and (b) agencies for which he is responsible

16 Apr 2012 : Column 77W

were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises in the latest period for which figures are available. [100361]

Peter Luff [holding answer 19 March 2012]: The percentage of contracts awarded to small and medium enterprises as a proportion of overall number of contracts, for the latest period for which figures are available, is as follows:

Department or agency Percentage of contracts awarded (%) Latest period for which figures are available

MOD

40

April to September 2011

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

32

April 2011 to February 2012

Defence Support Group

54

January to December 2011

UK Hydrographic Office

45

April 2011 to February 2012

Theft

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2012, Official Report, column 421W, on departmental theft, (a) how many of the thefts were investigated by (i) local police and (ii) military police and (b) how many of these investigations resulted in (i) prosecution and (ii) conviction; and if he will make a statement. [103041]

Mr Robathan: A total of 13 cases of theft have been investigated by local police ie Home Office Police Services. This number includes nine cases investigated by Home Office Police Services, one jointly investigated by Home Office Police and Ministry of Defence Police and three cases investigated by Overseas Police.

A total of 73 cases were investigated by Service Police ie Royal Navy Police, Royal Air Force Police and Royal Military Police. In addition, 120 cases were investigated by the Ministry of Defence Police.

One case resulted in prosecution and it led to a conviction.

The MOD takes detecting and deterring theft very seriously. In many cases a suspected perpetrator is not identified or there is insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution. Where a suspected perpetrator is identified prosecution or internal disciplinary action follows as appropriate.

Trident

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was in the current spending round of the maintenance of Trident and all aspects of preparation for its successor. [102636]

Peter Luff: As stated in the White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent’ (Cm 6994), published in December 2006, the costs of maintaining the UK's nuclear deterrent are around 5% of the defence budget. This is expected to remain the case during the current comprehensive spending review (CSR) period, which covers the financial years 2011-12 to 2014-15.

16 Apr 2012 : Column 78W

The assessment phase of the programme to replace the Vanguard class submarines started in February 2011 and will continue through to Main Gate approval in 2016. As noted in the parliamentary report ‘The United Kingdom's Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate’, published in May 2011, we expect to spend £3 billion on the assessment phase.

I am withholding further information on expenditure during the CSR period at this time, as this would be likely to prejudice commercial interests and the development of Government policy.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Trident Alternatives Review being conducted by his Department will consider alternative basing locations for the nuclear deterrent fleet. [102637]

Nick Harvey: It will not.

As a separate point of clarification, the Trident Alternatives Review is led by officials in the Cabinet Office under my oversight, with support from the Ministry of Defence and other Departments.

Veterans

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the long-term outcomes for disabled and traumatised veterans; and if he will make a statement. [102651]

Mr Robathan: The Government continue to monitor closely the arrangements for veterans whose physical and mental injuries are such that they will need long-term support and assistance. The Ministry of Defence works with other Government Departments, devolved Administrations and voluntary sector organisations to ensure that the needs and circumstances of these veterans are known, with the aim of improving their access to services and to assist with their transition to civilian life.

The Armed Forces Covenant underlines our commitment to ensuring that all the service community, including family members and ex-service personnel, receive the support and recognition which they deserve. This includes work undertaken by the Department of Health to inform GPs about the potential health problems that veterans may face and a programme run by the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that local authorities give eligible veterans priority in housing.

Wildcat Helicopters

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what weapons systems are expected to be used on the Wildcat helicopter by (a) the Army and (b) the Royal Navy; and if he will make a statement. [100500]

Peter Luff [holding answer 19 March 2012]: We currently expect to be able to use the following weapons systems on the Lynx Wildcat helicopter:

The General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) 7.62 mm and Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) 12.7 mm for the Army variant—Lynx Wildcat Mk 1 AH (Army Helicopter).

The Sting Ray Torpedo; Mk 11 Depth charge; GPMG; HMG; Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW) for the Royal Navy variant—Lynx Wildcat Mk 1 HMA (Helicopter Maritime Attack).

16 Apr 2012 : Column 79W

Education

Academies

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what information his Department uses to identify failing schools to be converted to academies. [102823]

Michael Gove: Schools are considered to be underperforming if they are below the floor standards or in an Ofsted category.

NEETs

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training. [102827]

Mr Hayes: We are investing over £7 billion to fund a place in education or training for every 16 to 18-year-old in England who wants one.

In addition, we are investing £126 million to provide a new programme of intensive support for the most vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds NEET.

Academies

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what correspondence (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) his officials have had with (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools in Newcastle Upon Tyne Central constituency on academy status; and what representations he has received from primary schools in Newcastle Upon Tyne Central constituency on this issue. [102610]

Mr Gibb: The Department has regular discussions with schools across the country, including in Newcastle, about academy status. Schools that apply to convert to academy status will be allocated a dedicated contact within the Department to support them through the process. Where a school is underperforming officials will discuss sponsored academy solutions with the local authority and school. Information on schools that have applied to convert to academy status is available on the Department's website:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/b0069811/open-academies-and-academy-projects-in-development

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what governance arrangements are in place when two or more schools join together in an academy federation; what governing bodies are responsible for such schools; and where the primary accountability to the Secretary of State lies. [103063]

Mr Gibb: There are two types of academy federation with a shared governance structure. The first is a multi-academy trust, where two or more academies are part of a single charitable company with one set of members, one board of directors (governing body) and a local governing body (with delegated executive functions) or advisory body (with no executive functions), operating at a local level for each academy. There is a master

16 Apr 2012 : Column 80W

funding agreement covering all academies in the trust, and a supplementary funding agreement for each individual academy between the multi-academy trust and the Secretary of State. The multi-academy trust is accountable to the Secretary of State.

The second is an umbrella trust, set up by two or more schools. The umbrella trust (which could be a charitable trust) establishes an individual academy trust (a charitable company with its own members and governing body) to run each academy. Each academy trust enters into a separate funding agreement with and is accountable to the Secretary of State. An umbrella trust, which is less formal than a multi-academy trust, allows individual academies to keep their own governance arrangements.

Academies: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what arrangements are in place for academies to reply to letters from hon. Members who have written on behalf of their constituents regarding admission places; and if he will make a statement; [102101]

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that Walsall Academy replies to letters from the hon. Member for Walsall North when he writes on behalf of constituents regarding admission places; and if he will make a statement. [102102]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 27 March 2012]:All academies are required under the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010 to have a complaints procedure for parents of pupils so they can raise issues with a school or academy. No school is required by law, or in the case of academies their contract with the Secretary of State for Education, to respond to all correspondence they receive but all state funded schools are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Our general expectation would be for all schools to respond to enquiries from whomever they come.

Academies: Private Finance Initiative

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which academies in England and Wales are private finance initiatives. [102069]

Mr Gibb: 30 schools that form part of a private finance initiative construction contract have become academies, as of 1 March 2012:

These academies are:

Bristol Brune Academy;

Bristol Metropolitan Academy;

Clacton Coastal Academy;

Park Hall Academy;

Gosforth Junior High Academy;

Hillyfield Academy;

Debden Park High School;

Welling School Academy;

Caroline Chisholm School;

Wirral Grammar School for Girls;

Malmesbury School;

Bexleyheath Academy;

Weatherhead High School;

Salendine Nook High School;

16 Apr 2012 : Column 81W

Harlington Upper School;

Oasis Academy Brightstowe;

Oasis Academy Shirley Park;

South Leeds Academy;

University Academy Keighley;

University Academy of Birkenhead;

The Academy at Shotten Hall;

The Long Eaton School;

Wootton Bassett School;

Prenton High School for Girls;

Tuxford School;

Moor End Academy;

Voyager Academy;

Barnhill Community High School;

Samuel Whitbread Community College;

Lord Lawson of Beamish Community School.