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Departmental Policies

(Plymouth Unitary Authority)

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to (a) Plymouth, Sutton constituency, (b) Plymouth, Devonport constituency and (c) South-West

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Devon constituency, the effects on the Plymouth unitary authority area of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [158028]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The Ministry of Defence has a wide-ranging presence throughout the UK in terms of defence establishments and the service and civilian personnel they employ. This presence brings benefits to many communities, local economies and jobs. Also, 60,000 new defence contracts are placed each year that provide support to industry and create and sustain defence-related employment.

The Ministry of Defence has maintained a very large number of personnel in the area reflecting the strategic importance of Plymouth to the services--especially the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. MOD direct employees as of 1 October 1999 (service and civilian) were around: (a) Plymouth, Sutton--1,150 personnel; (b) Plymouth, Devonport--2,850 personnel; and (c) South-West Devon--850 personnel.

Since 2 May 1997, around 6,240 contracts with a total value of some £859 million were placed with prime contractors in the Plymouth area 1 .

I draw attention to the Defence Analytical Services Agency report "UK Defence Statistics 2000" that contains a wealth of defence statistical information, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.


Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what telephone helplines to assist the public are administered by his Department and its agencies. [159505]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence administers a wide variety of telephone helplines to assist the public. Our primary public helplines for all general inquiries are the MOD public inquiry office helpline--telephone number 0870 607 4455; and the Welsh language public inquiry office helpline--telephone number 01154 821 413.

We also administer a number of helplines to provide advice to the public on specific subjects. The main helplines are:

HelplineTelephone number
The Low Flying Helpdesk020 7218 6020
The Veterans Advice Unit0845 602 0302
The Gulf Veterans Advice Unit0800 169 4495
The Medical Assessment Programme Helpline0800 169 5401
The Porton Down Volunteers Helpline0845 603 9140
The Meteorological Office Helpline0845 300 0300
The Defence Vetting Agency Helpline01904 662644
The Defence Suppliers Service Helpline0117 913 2844
The Defence Diversification Agency (DDA) Connect Helpline0845 600 1221
Defence Estates Work Services Opportunity Bulletin Helpline0121 311 2067

The table does not include those helplines created

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specifically for recruiting purposes, nor for serving military and civilian personnel and their dependants. Nor does it include helplines that may from time to time be administered by individual units or establishments to provide advice on local issues.

Scottish Brigades

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what studies his Department has undertaken into the reduction of Scottish brigades from two to one. [160338]

Mr. Spellar: There have been no studies undertaken by this Department into a reduction in the number of brigades in Scotland.


Special Advisers (Overseas Visits)

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on how many occasions between 31 March 2000 and 31 March 2001 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity. [158550]

Ms Beverley Hughes: During the period 31 March 2000 to 31 March 2001, special advisers in this Department travelled overseas on seven occasions.

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Access to Hastings Study

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he plans to make an announcement regarding the outcome of the Access to Hastings study. [159197]

Mr. Prescott: Ministers are considering the recommendations made by the South East England Regional Assembly, and an announcement will be made when that consideration is complete.

London Underground

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the total Government investment in London Underground was in each of the last 10 years. [157467]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The Government provide grant to London Transport. Although the major part of this has been allocated to London Underground, the grant has also been used for investment in non-Underground activities such as bus and river services, and Croydon Tramlink.

The last Administration's 1996 Budget spending plans covered the period up to 1999-2000, at which time annual grant to London Transport (including non-Underground services such as buses and Tramlink) would have fallen to £161 million. An additional £1 billion of grant has been provided to London Transport by this Government for investment in the Underground.

Government funding, together with London Transport's own revenues and investment through Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals, supported the following total levels of investment in the Underground over the 1990s.

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£ million at cash prices

YearGovernment grant to London Transport(4)Core investment (including JLE)Private finance investment(5)Total investment in Underground (excluding JLE)Total investment in Underground

(4) Excludes grant to Docklands Light Railway in years 1990-91 and 1991-92, and retained scale proceeds from disposal of bus companies in year 1994-95

(5) The PFI figures are not actual amounts the private sector is investing in London Transport. Instead they are London Transport's estimates of what investment in PFI projects would have cost had they done the investment themselves

(6) The Underground Own Investment figure for year 2000-01 is not directly comparable to earlier years. The figure shown is the forecast outturn of London Underground Ltd.'s projects programme, and reflects their adoption of the accounting standard Financial Reporting Standard 15, which excludes capital renewal works.

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Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on (a) train, (b) signal and (c) track failures in each financial year since 1994-95 for each line of the London Underground and the cumulative figures for all lines. [159435]

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Mr. Hill [holding answer 30 April 2001]: Further to previous questions from the hon. Member on 21 December 1999, Official Report, column 523W, and 12 May 2000, Official Report, columns 483-84W, London Underground have been pursuing the question of standardisation of data

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on failures. They have now been able to confirm a breakdown on a line by line basis. Any variations from

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previously published figures are a result of this clarification.

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Service disruption due to failures in:1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-991999-2000
Non LT7614092167249134
Jubilee and East LL1,1351,1569221,2392,3761,722
Metropolitan and Circle (c&h)1,7416091,1672,1701,3801,568
Metropolitan and Circle--main1,6851,6871,3631,2381,0651,047
Non LT212620412626
Jubilee and East LL1407979110197338
Metropolitan and Circle (c&h)180212129131125238
Metropolitan and Circle--main247256209266194290
Other track
Non LT63826101412
Jubilee and East LL5474453877146
Metropolitan and Circle (c&h)617875615762
Metropolitan and Circle--main88118105738382

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Since London Underground was reorganised in 1999, reporting of failures has changed slightly, so 2000-01 figures can be provided in only a slightly different format. Figures for 2000-01 are only available to the end of Quarter 3 (6 January 2001). London Underground inform me that the figures for Quarter 4 are currently being processed and will be available shortly.

2000-01--Quarters 1-3(7)

LineTrainsSignals/ PointsOther Track
East London line78323
Circle and Hammersmith1,18230361
Waterloo and City(8)12135

(7) 2000-01 figures only to end of Quarter 3 (6 January 2001).

(8) Waterloo and City line figures formerly recorded under Central line data.

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These figures show a continuing reduction in the number of train failures. LUL explain that this is achieved through more reliable rolling stock on the Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines.

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects the London Underground PPP to be implemented. [160730]

Mr. Prescott: I announced on 4 May that I had reached agreement with the Commissioner of Transport for London, Robert R. Kiley, on a way forward which will provide a secure basis for progressing the PPP. This should enable the PPP to be completed by the autumn, with the Underground transferring to the control of Transport for London once the first deep tube competition is concluded.

Mr. Kiley, who will remain Commissioner of Transport for London, will be appointed Chairman of London Transport. He will lead negotiations with the bidders aimed at finding a way to meet his concerns on unified management within the framework of the PPP and the current procurement. The way forward protects the key objectives of achieving safety and value for money. The details are set out in a Memorandum of Agreement, a copy of which has been placed in the Libraries of

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both Houses. Day-to-day management of the London Underground service will remain with Derek Smith, the Chairman and Managing Director of London Underground.

The current Chairman of London Transport, Sir Malcolm Bates, will step aside, but will remain a valued member of the London Transport Board. Sir Malcolm has played a crucial role in taking forward the PPP since he was appointed Chairman in February 1999, and I am grateful for his help in enabling these changes to take place.

I understand that Transport for London's application for judicial review will continue, as they believe that it involves an important point of legal principle which should be tested. Mr. Kiley has given an undertaking that he will play no role in the judicial review in his capacity as Chairman of London Transport.

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