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Total probation staffing (expressed as full-time equivalents) was up from 13,968 in 1997 to 20,869 by June 2007 a 49 per cent. increase over the period. This is also in the context of a 70 per cent. increase in probation funding in real terms over the last 10 years and an increase of more than a third in staff.
Maria Eagle: The local reoffending figures are produced by aggregating the data of four snapshots of the probation caseload at the end of each quarter. Therefore the number of offenders quoted in the following table is approximately four times the number of offenders on the caseload at any one time.
|Local adult reoffending rates for Hampshire|
|Reoffending period covered by cohort||Number of offenders||Actual reoffending rate (percentage)|
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what mechanisms his Department uses to measure the effectiveness of referral orders in the youth justice system; and what assessment he has made of that effectiveness. 
Maria Eagle: The most relevant measure on referral orders is reoffending rates. Data on reoffending rates for 2007, the most recent year figures are available, show that the proportion of juveniles that reoffended following a referral order was 40.5 per cent. The frequency rate of reoffending shows that these offenders committed an average of 117.6 offences per 100 offenders. These are the lowest reoffending rates of all juvenile court imposed sentences.
Reoffending rates for different sentences should not be compared to assess the relative effectiveness of these sentences, as there is no control for known differences in offender characteristics or other factors that may affect both reoffending and the type of sentence given.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria his Department uses in deciding whether to fund archaeological and cultural heritage projects; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: There are three main criteria used by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in deciding whether to fund projects: compliance with legislation; compliance with planning policy obligations; and the Departments commitment to be a good practice exemplar in the management of its historic estate. These are balanced against the funding and delivery of defence capability.
As a landowner MOD has a legal responsibility for the care of designated heritage assets. We work closely with statutory bodies to identify and prioritise work resulting from the regular assessment of the condition of heritage assets.
The MOD has no separate budget to fund archaeological and cultural heritage projects. Funding is embedded within several budget areas, such as existing maintenance, minor new works and project budgets, according to its legislative, planning and policy commitments. Any funding is balanced against the delivery of defence capability.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department takes to ensure the preservation of archaeological and cultural heritage sites on land it owns; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has formally adopted the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Protocol for the Care of the Government Historic Estate (2003) and The Disposal of Historic Buildings (1999). This approach supports the effective management and sustainable conservation of all its heritage assets, balanced against the delivery of defence capability.
Performance measurement on the condition of heritage assets is reported on a biennial basis within MODs Heritage Report. The 2005-07 report is available on the Defence Estates website found at the following link:
On management and maintenance, the condition of all listed buildings and scheduled monuments is assessed on a four and five year basis respectively. Recommendations are integrated into maintenance and management plans for the asset concerned. Where an asset is considered to be at risk we develop a strategy in conjunction with our heritage partners, local planning authorities and customers.
A sustainability appraisal is undertaken for each new estate construction project. Heritage issues are managed as part of the design and construction process. Relevant planning consents are obtained in accordance with heritage legislation.
A formal engagement framework is in place covering liaison with statutory heritage bodies, but we also discuss specific cases with them. As a major stakeholder in the
heritage sector, the MOD has also contributed to the development of wider policy and legislation in this area, including the Heritage Protection Bill and the Governments Vision Statement for the Historic Environment.
Bill Rammell: The pre-deployment training inventory of equipment includes hundreds of items ranging from existing core holdings to those procured specifically for current operations. A breakdown to the level asked in the question would incur disproportionate cost. It is, however, possible to provide representative figures for major classes of equipment:
Availability ranges from above 90 per cent. for small arms to below 50 per cent. for complex items such as night vision equipment and Osprey body armour. The situation continues to improve; 75 per cent. of the funded requirement is expected to be met by December 2009 and 100 per cent. by mid-2010.
The availability of these new types of vehicles is improving from the current figure of just below 50 per cent. As the pace of delivery increases this year, at least 80 per cent. of the funded training fleet for Mastiff, Ridgback and Jackal are expected to be available by November and 100 per cent. is expected to be available by mid-2010.
Vehicles such as Panther, Viking, Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) and Warrior come from the existing fleet of vehicles; there is no shortage for training and crews and users are largely already qualified and practised in their use. There are some shortages in the number of vehicles specifically modified to TES; availability ranges from below 50 per cent. (CVR(T)) to nearly 60 per cent. (Panther).
Our priority has always been to get new equipment to the front line as quickly as possible for use by personnel facing the greatest danger. However, we have looked to ensure that sufficient new equipment is provided for troops during pre-deployment training so that they can use it safely and effectively on arrival in theatre. We have recently introduced measures to reinforce this, and all new Urgent Operational Business cases now include a clear requirement that sufficient numbers of pre-deployment vehicles be procured and delivered for training before they are deployed operationally.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) private meetings and (b) public engagements Ministers from his Department have attended at which representatives from the think-tank Demos were present in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) electricity and (b) gas was used (i) on his Department's estate and (ii) by his Department's agencies in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held in the format requested. However, the Ministry of Defence's annual consumption data for electricity and gas for the period 2004-05 to 2007-08 are provided in the following table:
|KWh (weather corrected)|
We have, however, produced an estimate of the proportion of MOD equipment expenditure spent with UK prime contractors. This information is set out in the table. Information prior to 2002-03 is not held in the format requested.
|Financial year||Percentage MOD equipment expenditure with UK industry|
VAT exclusive at current prices (£ million).
Defence Analytical Services and Advice analysis of data contained in Table 1.9 and 1.9a of UK Defence Statistics.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints have been received by the Low Flying Complaints and Enquiries Unit from residents of (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each month in the last five years. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Air Staff Low Flying Complaints and Enquiries Unit (AS LF CEU) record statistics by low flying areas (LFA), not by the country in which they occur. In most cases the attribution is simple, however, some LFAs, LFA 13,16, and 20T cut across the England/Scotland border and LFA 9 cuts across the England/Wales border. In these cases we have attributed the complaints to the country in which the majority of the LFA lies. It would not be cost effective to try and break these figures down further. Northern Ireland has only been included in the UK low flying system since the termination of Op Banner. Figures have therefore only been provided since 1 August 2008; prior to that the majority of flying in the province was deemed to be operational. Copies of the requested information have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will consider (a) reducing the frequency of grass cutting on his Department's military bases and (b) developing wildflower meadows in such locations as a contribution to the Governments targets for biodiversity. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The extent to which opportunities to encourage wildlife on grassed areas can be implemented is dictated by the requirements of the site. It is our policy that within the constraints of safety, security and establishment requirements, every opportunity should be taken in grassed areas of the Defence estate to provide habitat for wildlife and plant species. This includes wild flower meadow habitat where this is feasible and appropriate.
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