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Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the costs and benefits of (a) maintaining the courts martial system and (b) maintaining services disciplinary processes while transferring criminal cases to the ordinary courts. 
Mr. Ingram: The system of military law, delivered through the Services' disciplinary processes which include courts martial, upholds the discipline structure inherent throughout the armed forces, and underpins tri-Service doctrine and the military chain of command that are both necessary for good order and operational effectiveness to be maintained. The military courts martial system has the statutory power and capability to deal with all but the most serious of criminal cases in the UK, subject to discussion over jurisdiction rights with appropriate civilian law agencies. Overseas, the military courts martial system has the power to deal with all military and civilian criminal cases, subject to agreement with the local authorities over jurisdiction rights. The benefit of transferring the most serious criminal cases to the ordinary courts allows a balance to be maintained between the military and civilian judicial systems. The costs of service courts martial accrue across the entire military system and are part of the running costs of each of the Services. It is therefore not possible to quote a figure separately for the military courts martial system.
Mr. Ingram: The system for administering discipline in the armed forces is kept under review, with the principal vehicle for any legislative changes that may be necessary being the five-yearly Armed Forces Acts. The Armed Forces Act 1996 made substantial changes in order to reinforce the independence of courts martial, and these came into effect on 1 April 1997. Further changes on this scale were not considered necessary as a result of the most recent review, which led to the Armed Forces Act 2001, not least because the procedures introduced in 1997 have worked very well.
We have announced the intention to replace the present legislative framework for the armed forces, particularly the separate discipline Acts for each of the three services, with a single tri-service Act. The work on this will provide a further opportunity to consider whether changes
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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who decides the priority of need in (a) the upgrade programme and (b) the routine maintenance programme at the Larkhill married quarters estate. 
Dr. Moonie: The assessment of need for routine maintenance is undertaken at Defence Housing Executive (DHE) Area level. In-house teams are advised by our professional establishment works consultants and works services managers in formulating the forward maintenance plan. DHE staff also undertake regular discussions with local families through the Larkhill Resident's Association and through our regular meetings with the Garrison staff.
Assessment of upgrade requirement is undertaken on a DHE regional basis (Larkhill is within DHE South West Region covering all properties west of Andover) by the regional controller and her team. Regional recommendations are then judged by DHE HQ staff against competing priorities across the entire married quarter estate in Great Britain. The services are consulted throughout.
Dr. Moonie: Project Allenby is a Ministry of Defence Study into the Public Private Partnership (PPP) potential for the redevelopment and maintenance of the MOD estate and the provision of supporting services for garrisons in the Salisbury Plain and Aldershot areas. It does not include the married quarters estate.
Dr. Moonie: The condition of married quarters is assessed against the criteria of standards, one to four. At present the core long-term estate at Larkhill has 67 properties at standard 1 for condition, 314 at standard 2, 142 at standard 3 and 49 at standard 4.
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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the planned maintenance programme for the defence married quarters estate includes provision for (a) gutters, (b) downpipes, (c) underground pipes, (d) drain covers and (e) garden fences; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Planned maintenance programmes extend to 10 years and with the help of Establishment Works Consultants and Works Services Managers, Defence Housing Executive's property managers determine comprehensive schedules of work. These items are then categorised for relative priority against other maintenance requirements (with health and safety issues given highest priority). If gutters, downpipes, underground pipes, drain covers and garden fences, among other items, are not assessed as requiring attention for health and safety reasons they will not necessarily attract high priority although they will be included in planned maintenance programmes for the future.
Dr. Moonie: DHE's overall works budget of £155 million in 200102 is negotiated within the Department's overall process for future planning and resource allocation. Funds are bid for against (a) upgrade projects and (b) planned and response repairs. DHE's Areas and Regions produce planned maintenance programmes for a minimum of three years ahead and funds secured are delegated to Regions and thence the Areas according to a number of factors including numbers and condition of properties and levels of statutory and mandatory work. Area Property Managers manage expenditure using the services of a commercially contracted Works Services Management company. However, upgrade funding is managed from defence Housing Executive HQ and delegated with final approval of upgrade projects.
Dr. Moonie: In 1996, its first year of operation, the Defence Housing Executive (DHE) estimated that the upgrade programme could be completed by 2003, subject to a full housing survey. The subsequent survey, completed in 1998, revealed that the extent of the work required was considerably more than originally estimated. It was therefore agreed that DHE would be set an achievable but challenging key target of achieving Standard 1 for Condition for core properties by November 2005. This target has been in place since 199899.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the budget for (a) property refurbishment and (b) property maintenance in the Larkhill married quarters estate for (i) 2000, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2002. 
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Dr. Moonie: The budgets for refurbishment and property maintenance are managed on a much wider geographical basis to provide flexibility and assessment of relative priorities. Funding in support of Larkhill is managed within the Defence Housing Executive area 6 budget, which is detailed below:
|Financial year||Property maintenance|
(47) not yet known
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the relationship is between the functions of (a) the Larkhill Garrison Commander, (b) area 6 of the Defence Housing Executive, (c) EWC Ltd., (d) Atkins Ltd. and (e) Turners Ltd. 
Dr. Moonie: The Larkhill garrison commander has overall responsibility for the operational effectiveness of his garrison. The Defence Housing Executive area 6 team have responsibility for the management of the married quarter estate and undertake regular consultations with the garrison and families.
The DHE area team are supported by professional establishment works consultants (EWC-Carillion Services Ltd.), which provides an independent assessment of the services provided by our current works services manager (WSM)W S Atkins Ltd.
W S Atkins Ltd. will be replaced by Turners Ltd. in January 2002 as our works services manager for DHE area 6. The role of the WSM is to provide and manage all works requirements in support of the married quarters estate.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what money is budgeted in (a) 2001 and (b) 2002 for (i) refurbishment and (ii) maintenance of the married quarters estate within Larkhill garrison as a result of the arrival of 19 Regiment RA; how many homes will be improved; at what locations; and by what dates. 
Dr. Moonie: In the current financial year 200102, an additional £240,000 has been allocated to make ready some 180 houses for the arrival of 19 Regiment. Improvements will include general internal redecoration and re-carpeting. Where necessary, some minor alterations to kitchens will also be undertaken. The houses are located throughout the Larkhill estate. Completion of this programme is planned for March 2002.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if annual checks on all hot water and central heating boilers required under health and safety legislation have been completed this year in all service married quarters. 
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approximately 45,000 properties requiring a test, which means that on average some 3,750 properties are inspected each month. The latest figures available, for August 2001, indicate that 529 properties were overdue for testing. This is due to problems with gaining access to carry out the necessary inspections. The figure tends to vary over the year due to factors such as holiday seasons or during military operations when families left behind often take the opportunity to visit relatives.
Dr. Moonie: Legal agreement with adjoining house owners is near completion and the Ministry of Defence is currently seeking, in conjunction with Amesbury town council, to resolve an outstanding issue of grass verge/village green elements of the estate owned by a third party. Construction is expected to commence mid 2002.
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