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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how long (a) 20 minutes of free telephone calls each week, (b) free e-blueys and (c) free e-mail facilities have been available to service personnel on (i) operations and (ii) exercises lasting more than two months; and what the annual cost of each service is. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 28 March 2001]: Previously, operational welfare support has been provided only to personnel who are deployed overseas on operations under the command of PJHQ. As of 1 April 2001, welfare provision will be extended to include those personnel on maritime deployments that are expected to be away from the UK for two months or more and, also, other exercise deployments that are expected to last for two months or more outside the country in which the personnel are based.
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free e-bluey facilities is gradually being made available as equipment is delivered and personnel trained in its use. E-bluey equipment was deployed to the Balkans and the Falkland Islands for trials in December 1999. It was subsequently deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cyprus and Sierra Leone during 2000 and is to be deployed to Turkey in May 2001. UK service personnel who are deployed to the Gulf have for some time been given free access to the US forces' own e-mail system, as a goodwill gesture. There is no information available to indicate when the US system was first deployed. Limited e-mail facilities were introduced in the Balkans in February 1999, and extended theatre-wide in November 2000, on completion of a programme of communication network infrastructure improvements. An e-mail facility was introduced in February 2001 for personnel deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone. The system will be extended to all personnel in theatre in April 2001, with the deployment of an additional satellite terminal.
The annual cost of giving personnel a free 20-minute telephone call each week is currently in the region of £6 million and forecast to rise by £6.3 million from April. The annual cost of the e-bluey facility is £1.39 million and forecast to rise to £2.19 million from April. Information on the annual running costs of the e-mail facilities could be provided only at disproportionate cost, because call charges for this are contained in the telephone bills for each of the operational theatres.
The figures given assume that the current level of operational commitment remains unchanged and do not include the provision of welfare communications for personnel deploying to Oman on Exercise SAIF SAREEA later in the year, the costs for which are expected to be in the region of £6 million to £8 million.
(3) which units and agencies will be responsible for the provision of hot shower facilities and laundry facilities for deployed forces. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 28 March 2001]: Previously, operational welfare support has been provided only to personnel who are deployed overseas on operations under the command of PJHQ. As of 1 April, however, such welfare provision will be extended to include personnel on maritime deployments that are expected to be away from the UK for two months or more and, also, other exercise deployments that are expected to last for two months or more outside the country in which the personnel are based. This will result in improvements to, among other things, the provision of shower and laundry facilities.
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Currently, not all personnel deployed on operations have access to hot shower facilities. At Ali Al Salam, in Kuwait, the reliability and quality of the facilities is poor and the Ministry of Defence is currently addressing this problem. Also, Short-Term Training Team personnel in Sierra Leone do not have hot water shower facilities; they do, however, have access to cold water showers, which is regarded as satisfactory in view of the climate. All current operational deployments have access to laundry facilities.
Information on the availability of hot shower and laundry facilities during exercises is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We are, however, conscious of the fact that there have been significant shortfalls in this area and have therefore provided additional funding within the new Operational Welfare Package, amounting to more than £6 million over the next four years, specifically to redress the problem. We expect future shower and laundry facilities to be incorporated in the Expeditionary Campaign Infrastructure Procurement programme, due in Service in 2004. It is expected that they will be cabin-based, similar to those procured under the Improved Tented Camp urgent operational requirement for Kosovo.
The senior deployed logistics officer is responsible for ensuring that hot shower and laundry facilities are provided. The one exception to this is that UK Service personnel deployed on UN operations are administered under UN arrangements.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 March 2001, Official Report, column 756W, if he will place in the Library copies of reports and representations made to him by the armed forces during the consultation period and drafting of the International Criminal Court Bill, with particular reference to those that set out concerns expressed by the armed forces. 
Mr. Hoon: No report or representations were made to me by the armed forces during the drafting of the International Criminal Court Bill or during the formal consultation period on the Bill starting in August 2000. Advice provided to Ministers during the development of policy on the International Criminal Court is withheld in accordance with Exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information and cannot therefore be placed in the Library of the House.
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The total cost of the UK clearance activity in Holy Loch to date is £10.5 million. This covered an initial survey and pilot phase, clearance and disposal, a further survey and environmental management. A further £0.2 million will be spent in financial year 2001-02 as the project winds down.
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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 22 March 2001, Official Report, column 298W on Ministry of Defence police, in what way the proposals in clause 32 of the Armed Forces Bill are designed to restore parity between his Department's police and Home Department forces in respect of disciplinary procedures. 
Mr. Spellar: The proposals contained in clause 32 give effect to schedule 5 to the Bill. Schedule 5 introduces amendments to the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987, in particular the introduction of section 3A(2)(a)(i) and 3A(2)(b), thereby restoring parity between the Ministry of Defence Police discipline regulations and the discipline regulations of the Home Department forces which were introduced in August 1999.
In particular they allow persons other than the Secretary of State--for example, Appeals Tribunals--to make decisions, whereas under the present regulations decisions are confined to the Secretary of State.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the report by chief inspector Reid into the complaint against the Ministry of Defence police by Mr. E. McHugh was forwarded to the Police Complaints Authority. 
Dr. Moonie: The Deputy Chief Constable Ministry of Defence police is currently examining the report and will forward it, together with his recommendations, to the Police Complaints Authority in due course.
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on how the costs of members of the armed services assisting in dealing with the Foot and Mouth outbreak will be apportioned between Government Departments. 
Mr. Spellar: Any additional costs that the armed forces incur as a result of providing military assistance in dealing with Foot and Mouth will be recovered from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Walthamstow constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
Ms Armstrong: The principal funding that this Department has provided to Waltham Forest in the years 1997-98 to 2001-02 is shown in the table. These include grants and borrowing approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.
|Nature of funding||1997-98||1998-99||1999-2000||2000-01||2001-02(13)|
|Revenue Support Grant(14)||119.632||127.547||131.501||131.124||139.903|
|Income from National Non-Domestic Rates(14)||48.277||50.137||54.129||61.461||59.480|
|Neighbourhood Renewal Funding||0||0||0||0||.638|
|Transport Supplementary Grant||.150||.150||.270||n/a||n/a|
|Transport Annual Capital Guideline||.075||.075||.135||n/a||n/a|
|Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval||.996||.789||1.247||1.439||n/a|
|Capital Challenge (Supplementary Credit and Basic Credit Approvals)||1.800||3.564||2.430||0||0|
|Housing Investment Programme||6.247(15)||6.605||7.922||(16)22.418||(17)24.435|
|Housing Revenue Account Subsidy||27.028||25.146||24.141||24.478||n/a|
|Capital receipts Initiative||1.289||4.221||4.967||n/a||n/a|
|Cash Incentive Scheme||1.028||.731||.044||0||0|
(13) Where known
(14) The amounts of Revenue Support Grant and Income from National Non-Domestic Rates shown for 1997-98 and 1998-99 are the revised amounts allocated under "The Local Government Finance Report (England) 1997-98 Amending Report 1999" and "The Local Government Finance Report (England) 1998-99 Amending Report 2000" respectively.
(15) 1997-98 HIP allocation inherited from the previous Government's spending plans. Present Government introduced CRI from 1997-98.
(16) Single Housing Pot introduced from 2000-01 resulting in CRI being merged with HIP.
(17) Resource accounting has resulted in a change to the way capital resources are allocated for 2001-02, with the introduction of a new Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) to cover the cost of maintaining local authority housing in a sound condition. Waltham Forest's MRA allocation for 2001-02 is £9.937 million and, for comparison purposes, is included in the 2001-02 HIP allocation above.
n/a = not available
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29 Mar 2001 : Column: 735W
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