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Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last used the railway service in connection with his official duties; what station he left from and what was the destination; and whether it is his intention to make greater use of the railways in future. 
I last used the railway service for official duties on 5 July 2001 to travel to Brighton for the Transport and General Workers Union Conference. All arrangements for official travel are made in line with the guidance set out in Chapter 7 of the "Ministerial Code", and the accompanying guidance document "Travel by Ministers", using the most efficient and cost effective mode of transport, and bearing in mind security considerations.
28 Jan 2002 : Column 13W
constituency, what the average figures for working age employment in the UK were in each year from 1997 to 2001. 
|March 1997 to February 1998||72.8|
|March 1998 to February 1999||73.5|
|March 1999 to February 2000||73.8|
|March 2000 to February 2001||74.1|
(6) Men aged 1664 and women aged 1659
(7) Total employed of working age as a percentage of all persons of working age
ONS Labour Force Survey (annual LADB dataset)
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many C130Ks are being used in the deployment in Afghanistan; how many flying hours per week they are flying; and whether that can be increased. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 11 January 2002]: The number of C130Ks deployed to support operations in Afghanistan has varied with time, depending on operational requirements. As of 20 January, eight C130Ks were deployed. Flying hours vary depending on the operational requirement; between 13 and 19 January the deployed aircraft averaged 30 hours per week. There is no operational reason at present to increase the numbers of hours flown by each aircraft but, if it were necessary, the deployment of additional crews would allow us to do so.
Mr. Ingram: We consider delivery of mail to all overseas personnel, including parcels, to be a high priority. Accordingly, a BFPO number has been assigned to Afghanistan, and parcels can be sent at reduced rates. Mail is delivered as frequently as possible using the military aircraft deploying and sustaining the UK armed forces personnel in country, within the constraints of operational imperatives.
28 Jan 2002 : Column 14W
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to his answer of 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 359W, on fixed wing aircraft, how many and what type of fixed wing aircraft there were in the Royal Air Force in each year from 1985 to 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 December 2001]: The best available set of centrally held figures denoting the size of the RAF's fixed wing aircraft fleet for the period from 1985 to 1991 inclusive, is the 'RAF Form STATS 1003'. I will place a copy of these figures in the Library of the House.
Ministry of Defence annually published figures for the years 19922000 are contained in either the Statement on Defence Estimates or the MOD Performance report, copies of which are in the Library of the House. Specific references are as follows:
1993: The Statement on the Defence Estimatespages 99101 inclusive
1994: The Statement on the Defence Estimatespages 102104 inclusive
1995: The Statement on the Defence Estimatespages 131133 inclusive
1996: The Statement on the Defence EstimatesAnnexe D D1-D5
1997: MOD Performance Reportpages 6367 inclusive
1998: MOD Performance Reportpages 6367
1999: MOD Performance ReportAnnexe B B8-B13
2000: MOD Performance ReportAnnexe B, pages 6972.
Mr. Ingram: The lowest age at which people are able to join the armed forces is 16 years. Applicants under the age of 18 years require the formal consent of their parents or guardians before they are permitted to join.
No service personnel under the age of 17 are deployed on operations. No personnel under the age of 18 carry out operational patrols in Northern Ireland, although 17-year-olds can be based in the Province. Under-18s are not deployed as aircrew or in submarines.
We are currently finalising detailed administrative procedures and guidelines for the armed forces to give concrete form to the United Kingdom's commitment made on signing Optional Protocol II of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to take all feasible measures to ensure that personnel under the age of 18 do not take a direct part in hostilities.
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28 Jan 2002 : Column 16W
Mr. Ingram: The information is not centrally held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However details on the current United Kingdom Trained Adult Personnel (UKTAP) manning state by arm/service as at 1 December 2001 are in the table.
|Household Cavalry/Royal Armoured Corps||861||815||5,011||4,915|
|Army Air Corps||459||411||1,309||1,319|
|Royal Army Chaplains Department||148||144|||||
|Royal Logistic Corps||1,653||1,583||15,022||13,152|
|Royal Army Medical Corps||882||661||2,040||1,869|
|Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers||875||817||9,856||8,360|
|Adjutant General Corps (Provost)||214||178||1,895||1,895|
|Adjutant General Corps (Staff Personnel Support)||488||441||4,345||4,036|
|Adjutant General Corps (Education and Training Corps)||335||315|||||
|Adjutant General Corps (Army Legal Service)||90||88|||||
|Royal Army Veterinary Corps||23||21||146||126|
|Small Arms Service Corps||31||30||112||122|
|Royal Army Dental Corps||149||127||271||240|
|Army Physical Training Corps||50||50||354||362|
|Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps||343||284||610||404|
|Corps of Army Music||35||36||1,120||993|
|Long Service List||||||638||577|
|Full-time Reserve Service||||339||||562|
|Whole Army total||13,644||13,262||93,329||87,542|
|Whole Army trained strength||100,804|
1. The officer strength figures exclude 105 mobilised reservists.
2. The soldier strength figures exclude 646 mobilised reservists.
3. The liability figures are based on the Manpower Planning Targets (MPT) for 2001.
4. Gurkha liability does not include an addback against UKTAP undermanning of 409 or 22 non-established posts (two officers and 20 soldiers).
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