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8 Apr 2010 : Column 1510W—continued

Military Aircraft: Operating Costs

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average total operating cost per flight hour for the (a) Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer, (b) E-3D Sentry AEW1, (c) Hercules C-130J, (d) C-17 Globemaster III and (e) MQ-9 Reaper was in the latest period for which figures are available. [325233]

Bill Rammell: The average operating cost per hour for E-3D Sentry, Hercules C-130J, and C-17 Globemaster, for financial year 2009-10, is provided in the following table. The cost includes forward and depth servicing, fuel, crew and training costs and the cost of capital charge, depreciation and other overheads.

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Aircraft Approx cost (£ per hour)

E-3D Sentry AEW1


Hercules C-130J


C-17 Globemaster III


The Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer is in the process of being introduced into service and has only flown 450 hours in FY 2009-10. A mature estimate of flying hour costs will only be available once it is fully in-service which is not expected until 2012-13.

The average operating cost per hour for the Reaper Urgent Operational Requirement is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nimrod Aircraft

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out details of the transitional arrangements to provide (a) a long range maritime search and rescue capability and (b) a long range anti-submarine warfare capability between the time the Nimrod MR2 was withdrawn from service and the entering into full operational capability of the Nimrod MRA4; and how long he expects that transitional period to last. [325791]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 7 April 2010]: The Nimrod MR2 provided a state-of-the-art Long Range Search and Rescue (LR SAR) capability. The Nimrod MRA4 will bring a substantially more capable aircraft into the RAF's fleet.

In the period of transition until the MRA4 achieves its initial operating capability, we intend to make every effort to ensure that we are able to provide a response to the most serious SAR incidents, using other assets, as available, in the long-range search and rescue role. No specific aircraft has been allocated to the LR SAR task; our response to any particular SAR incident will be dependent on aircraft and crew availability, taking account of other high priority operational tasks.

Nimrod MRA4 deliveries began in March this year and initial operating capability, including for LR SAR operations, is planned to be achieved by October 2012, with some ad hoc capability available before that date.

I cannot comment on long range anti-submarine warfare capability for reasons of national security.


Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has undertaken costings of the policies of the (a) Conservative Party and (b) Liberal Democrat Party at the request of Ministers or special advisers in the last 36 months. [324239]

Bill Rammell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on 30 March 2010, Official Report, column 1044W.

RFA Darkdale

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will take steps to remove the fuel, oil and ammunition from RFA Darkdale after its sinking in James Bay, St Helena; and if he will make a statement; [325669]

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(2) if he will ensure that RFA Black Rover during its visit to St Helena in May (a) provides oil spill equipment to deal with oil leaks from the sunken RFA Darkdale and (b) assists with clean-up operations; and if he will make a statement. [325671]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The Ministry of Defence is working with other Government Departments to assess the options following the recent oil leak from the former Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Darkdale which sank during World War II. A full survey of the wreck will be required to determine whether the removal of fuel, oil and ammunition is the most appropriate course of action. Before the survey work can begin, a risk assessment is being carried out based on current knowledge of Darkdale and the recent oil leak. This will determine the nature and degree of risk involved in carrying out the full survey.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Black Rover is neither suitably equipped nor has suitably qualified crew members to assist with any operation to clean up the recent oil leak, which is specialised work. However, depending on the outcome of the aforementioned risk assessment, Black Rover may be used to transport a survey team and specialist equipment to St. Helena.

Territorial Army: Northern Ireland

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army recruits in Northern Ireland have been waiting to commence phase one recruit training since September 2009; and when it is expected they will all have received such training. [325864]

Bill Rammell: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons Territorial Army potential officer training was transferred from the Regional Training Centre in Ballykinler to Queen's University. [325870]

Bill Rammell: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.


Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what methodology her Office used to determine whether answers to Questions in the formulation "if she will set out with statistical information related as directly as possible to the tabling hon. Members' constituency the effects on that constituency of her Department's policies since 1997" could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost; and if she will make a statement. [323871]

Tessa Jowell: The Government Olympic Executive seeks to answer all parliamentary questions that do not incur disproportionate cost. Disproportionate cost is determined via a disproportionate cost threshold (DCT).
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The current DCT is £800, announced in Parliament by HM Treasury on the 20 January 2010.

Olympic Games 2012: Construction

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what the cost was of building the freight facility at the main Olympic site. [323339]

Tessa Jowell: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has constructed a temporary wharf on the Waterworks River for the construction phase of the programme to provide contractors with the opportunity to move material into and out of the Park by water. The construction cost of this is £1.86 million (excluding VAT), This figure includes the costs of the pontoons, moorings, pilings, hard-standing, vehicle access and river wall protection.

Olympic Games 2012: Voluntary Work

Tom Levitt: To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will take steps to reduce the minimum age for Olympic volunteers from 18 to 16 years. [325657]

Tessa Jowell: The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited (LOCOG) is responsible for the London 2012 Volunteer Programme, to provide up to 70,000 volunteers for the Games. LOCOG has set the lower age limit for the programme at 18 after considering extensive legal advice and practical operational constraints at games-time, which include: the number of hours under 18s can legally work; the associated management to comply with the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006; and, the commitment of volunteers to undertake a set number of shifts that can finish late at night.

LOCOG's Get Set education programme provides an excellent route for those under 18 to get involved in 2012-inspired activity, as do Inspire Mark projects and London 2012 Open Weekend events held in communities across the UK.



Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many repeat abortions women aged (a) under 20, (b) 20 to 24, (c) 25 to 29, (d) 30 to 34 and (e) 35 years old and over had in each area contained in current strategic health authority region boundaries in each of the last 10 years. [325824]

Gillian Merron: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 8 March 2010, Official Report, column 51W. The information requested was placed in the Library on 18 March 2010.

Burnley Hospital

Kitty Ussher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on providing building and services at Burnley General Hospital in (a) capital and (b) revenue terms in each of the last 10 years; and how much is projected to be spent in each such category in each of the next five years. [325827]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is not available in the format requested. However, capital expenditure on buildings and dwellings for the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (which includes Burnley General Hospital) for the years 2002-03 to 2008-09 is shown in the following table:

Tangible fixed assets-Purchased additions

Buildings excluding dwellings Dwellings






















The forecast total capital expenditure outturn for the whole trust for 2009-10 is £22.3 million, of which £12.5 million is expected to be spent on buildings (excluding dwellings).

Information on revenue expenditure in respect of premises costs for the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust from 2002-03 to 2008-09 for the trust is shown in the following table:

Operating expenses-premises (£000)















Notes: 1. The Department only holds accounting data at organisation level for seven years, therefore 2002-03 is the earliest information available. 2. The operating expenses represent the amounts included in the operating expenses of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for "premises" between 2002-03 and 2008-09. 3. East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust was operational from 1 April 2003, therefore the 2002-03 figures are the aggregate of its two predecessor bodies-Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Health Care NHS Trust and Burnley Health Care NHS Trust. 4. In the audited summarisation schedules, "premises" includes expenditure on utilities (such as electricity and gas), other fuels, water and sewerage, external general services and contracts, furniture, office and computer equipment, computer hardware and maintenance contracts, business rates, rent, building and engineering equipment and contracts. Source: 2002-03 to 2008-09 figures-NHS Trusts Audited Summarisation Schedules 2002-03 to 2008-09.

Cervical Cancer

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance he has issued to primary care trusts on the use of full pelvic examinations in cases of suspected cervical cancer; [325888]

(2) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) undertaken on the detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer (i) in general and (ii) among those aged between 20 and 24 years in the last 12 months. [325889]

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Ann Keen: "Clinical Practice Guidance for the Assessment of Young Women aged 20-24 with Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding" was issued through the Department of Health's GP and Practice Team Bulletin and Chief Nursing Officer's Bulletin in March 2010. The guidance, developed by the independent Advisory Committee on Cervical Screening (ACCS), re-emphasises the importance of pelvic examinations in young women with abnormal vaginal bleeding and provides primary care practitioners with an easy to follow algorithm to help in their management of these young women. A copy of the guidance has been placed in the Library.

Regarding research on the detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer in general and among those aged between 20 and 24 years in the last 12 months, NHS Cancer Screening Programmes provided funding of £52,000 in 2009-10 to Cancer Research UK on the ongoing audit of invasive cervical cancers. This included funding for specially commissioned work on younger women to inform the ACCS review of cervical screening in May 2009.

In addition, in autumn 2009 the Department commissioned the "What Women Know" survey to assess the current levels of knowledge about cervical cancer among women in England. The survey was carried out as part of an initiative in collaboration with the Eve Appeal and University College London's Health Behaviour Research Centre. It covered awareness of the symptoms and risk factors for cervical cancer, knowledge of the cervical screening and human papillomavirus vaccination programmes, anticipated barriers to seeking medical help with a possible cervical cancer symptom, and beliefs about screening and other protective behaviours.

The Department has also provided £4,000 to Jo's Trust, a charity that raises awareness of cervical cancer, to undertake a pilot to assess the potential for using television advertisements in general practitioner surgeries to improve uptake of cervical screening invitations.

Depressive Illnesses: Health Services

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts provide services for clinical depression; and if he will make a statement. [325890]

Phil Hope: We do not collect these data centrally. The provision of local health services is a decision for primary
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care trusts and their strategic health authorities. Clinicians are best placed to decide what services their local communities need and how they are provided.

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