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Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the outcomes were of his Department's investigation into the gifting of two M1-17 helicopters from the Conflict Prevention Fund to the Royal Nepal Army in 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: After investigation, MOD Police Fraud Squad concluded that there was no evidence of criminality in the procurement and purchase process of these helicopters, nor any misappropriation or misuse of UK Government funds. The Nepalese Government has been advised to dispose of them in the manner which best suits them.
Mr. Quentin Davies: Figures for the numbers of MOD civilian personnel who are directly employed at MOD establishments/bases located in the Fife local authority area in each of the years since 1997 where data are available are presented in the following table. Requested information prior to 2007 broken down at local authority level is not available and cannot be compiled without incurring disproportionate costs.
|Table 1: MOD civilian personnel directly employed in MOD establishments/bases located in the Fife local authority area as at 1 January of each year.|
Estimates for those people employed directly and indirectly in industry and commerce in Scotland in those companies that receive contracts directly from MOD and indirectly through the supply chain supporting such contracts (for each of the last five years) where data are available are presented in the following table. Requested information prior to 2002-03 broken down at local authority level is not available and cannot be compiled without incurring disproportionate costs.
|Table 2: Estimated Direct employment dependent on MOD expenditure in Scotland|
Figures rounded to the nearest 500 jobs
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tracking system for missiles his Department will use in circumstances in which its proposal to close its base on St. Kilda is implemented. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: There is no intention to close the St. Kilda base. Under the proposals to rationalise the use of the MOD Hebrides ranges, the more modern G-Band radars based on South Uist would perform the missile tracking role in place of the ageing I-Band NIDIR radars based on St. Kilda.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of operating a (a) Type 22, (b) Type 23 and (c) Type 42 vessel was in the last year for which information is available; and what the estimated annual cost of operating a Type 45 vessel is. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: Operating costs for Royal Navy vessels are not held centrally. Officials are, however, in the process of compiling this information and I will write to you once the work has been completed.
I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 1 September 2009 (Official Report, column 1804W) regarding the operating costs for various Royal Navy vessels.
As you are aware from my previous answer, such costs are not held centrally within the Ministry of Defence. Officials have, however, consolidated the key cost driver information in order to provide you with approximate annual operating costs for Type 22 and Type 23 Frigates, and Type 42 Destroyers. Current estimates of the operating costs for Type 45 Destroyers have also been provided.
I should first make clear that, as the Type 45 Destroyers have not fully entered service with the Royal Navy, their costs are estimates and not directly comparable with the actual operating costs provided for in-service vessels. This is due to the different cost base information that has been used in determining operating costs for each class of vessel, which is explained below.
As you will also be aware, in-service Class operating costs are heavily influenced by an individual ship's operational tasking and upkeep/maintenance regime during any particular 12 month period. Direct comparisons can, therefore, be misleading and should be avoided. For the same reasons it is pragmatic to only provide operating costs for each class of ship, rather than for an individual vessel.
The annual operating cost for the Type 22 Class of Frigates, which comprises four ships, is £129.8M. This is based on information primarily from Financial Year 07/08 the last year for which this information is available, and includes typical day-to-day costs such as fuel and manpower and general support costs covering maintenance, repair and equipment spares. Costs for equipment spares are also included, although these are based on Financial Year 08/09 information as this is the most recent information available. Costs for weapon system support are not included as they could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
The Type 23 Class of Frigates, comprising 13 vessels, has a combined annual operating cost of £340.3M, This figure is derived in the same way as that for the Type 22 Class cost.
The annual operating cost of the Type 42 Class of Destroyers, covering a total of eight vessels in the 07/08 period, is £250.8M. The costs have been derived in the same way as the Type 22 and 23 Frigates.
Turning to the Type 45 Destroyers, their actual running costs cannot be provided as the First of Class, HMS DARING, has not yet entered operational service with the Royal Navy. For the purpose of internal planning, however, estimates have been derived from cost modelling based on a class of six ships, which indicate a support cost of around £188 million per annum for the Class. This figure includes support for weapon systems (including the Sea Viper missile system) but excludes a number of other operational costs, such as berthing and fuel, which have yet to be determined.
I hope this information is helpful.
Bill Rammell: A Royal Navy submarine was conducting routine training off the Isle of Scalpay on the 24 July 2009, but it was not involved in any incident. A Scottish Fisheries Protection vessel and a Maritime Patrol Aircraft were also in the area at the time, but these units were not involved in any coordinated activity.
Mr. Quentin Davies: We are unable to predict how often the I-Band NIDIR radar on St. Kilda will be used in each of the next seven years. They are, however, currently used infrequently and this usage will continue to decline as the majority of the current and planned weapons systems are equipped for G-Band radar tracking.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what mechanisms the outer range area will be (a) monitored and (b) used by his Department in circumstances in which its proposal to close its base on St. Kilda are implemented. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The proposal would not involve the closure of the St. Kilda base. Range area monitoring would also not be affected by this proposal. The surveillance radars on St. Kilda remain but would be remotely controlled and deep range clearance would therefore be unaffected.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The UK's nuclear deterrent comprises a number of elements, including the Trident D5 missile system, the nuclear warhead and the Vanguard Class submarines. Decisions are not required in the near future on the D5 missile or the warhead and neither will be included in the forthcoming Initial Gate business case, which will concentrate on the replacement submarine and associated propulsion system.
Initial Gate is a decision point in the acquisition process. The final spend on reaching Initial Gate cannot be calculated until after that point is reached; however, the total spend on the replacement submarine and associated propulsion system since the beginning of April 2007 to the end of June 2009 is some £250 million.
(3) how many flight training hours have been purchased from the United States Air Force to train Royal Air Force crews on the Reaper unmanned air system; and what the cost was of that purchase. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The final Reaper unmanned air vehicles are due to be delivered in 2010. I am withholding further details as disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
We are delivering the training of UK Reaper mission crews through a combination of places on the US Air Force Reaper Formal Training Unit and the UK Reaper Operational Conversion Course based at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. I am withholding further details of the support provided by the US Air Force as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.
In the longer term, the UK is exploring the viability of basing and flying a UK Reaper unmanned air vehicle in US airspace to support UK mission crew training. We are, however, in the very early stages of this complex process and it is too early to comment on when a UK Reaper unmanned air vehicle might require or receive clearance to fly in US airspace.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's policy is on the provision of allotments by local authorities; what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the matter since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin:
The provision of allotments is the responsibility of local authorities. Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 places a duty on local authorities (except for inner London boroughs)
to provide sufficient allotments where they consider that there is a demand for them in their area.
Government do not provide a formula for local authorities to determine the number of allotments they should provide. However, the Planning Policy Guidance Note 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation 2002 (PPG17) requires local authorities to make provision for all types of open space and requires them to undertake robust assessments of local needs and audits of existing open space, to establish standards for new provision. The accompanying guidance to PPG17 advises local authorities on setting local standards.
Given the ever increasing demand for allotments, my Department has recently written to the Government Office responsible for determining applications for consent for disposal of statutory allotments in England on behalf of the Secretary of State, to stress the need to demand and scrutinise evidence from local authorities to support their applications for allotment disposals.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been allocated to each group receiving funding under the Prevent Partnership area-based grant in each area since 2008. 
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