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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will extend the deadlines for a final decision on the A400M. [33089]

Dr. Moonie: Representatives of the eight participating nations met on 31 January to discuss the latest position on A400M. We continue to work constructively with our partners on ways to bring the project to fruition as soon as possible. One option is to extend the deadline for Germany to secure its necessary approvals.


Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 25 January 2002, Official Report, column 1118W, on Nancekuke, what anecdotal evidence he has implying nerve agent production plant built at Nancekuke contained equipment originating from Germany. [33694]

Dr. Moonie: As I indicated in my earlier answer of 25 January 2002, Official Report, column 1118W, there are no surviving records which detail the origin of equipment and materials used at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Nancekuke.

However, it is known that equipment was brought back to the UK from Germany after World War II and that some of this was used to set up the nerve agent pilot plant

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at Sutton Oak. It is probable that some of this equipment was subsequently transferred to Nancekuke, but there is no surviving documentary evidence.

Public-Private Partnerships

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the PPPs in which his Department is engaged. [34399]

Mr. Ingram: PPPs cover a wide range of acquisition techniques from major partnering arrangements and PFI to a wide range of smaller scale service contracts. The Ministry of Defence only holds centrally comprehensive records for projects involving PFI.

To date 42 PFI deals have been signed as follows:

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Three other projects have reached the preferred bidder stage. These are as follows:

Invitations to negotiate have been issued for the following:

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The following projects have been advertised:

Nuclear Materials

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) uranium and (b) plutonium is owned by this country. [31706]

Mr. Hoon: As stated in the Strategic Defence Review, Supporting Essay Five, the Ministry of Defence owns 21.9 tonnes of highly enriched uranium, 15,000 tonnes of other forms of uranium, and 7.6 tonnes of plutonium.

Army Cadet Force (South Tyneside)

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits there were to the Army Cadet Force in south Tyneside in (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001. [32094]

Dr. Moonie: Cadet recruitment figures are not held in the form requested. It is usual, however, for cadet detachments to recruit about 80 per cent. of their total strength each year. For the south Tyneside detachments this equates to approximately 100 new cadets each year.

Outreach Schemes

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department (a) is giving and (b) will give in future years to the schemes for young offenders run by the Army Cadet Force leadership as Outreach. [33302]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 4 February 2002]: The Outreach Project is run by the Army Cadet Force Association (ACFA) and aims to provide vulnerable and problem youngsters with the chance to develop a better attitude towards themselves and their communities. The programmes are run through the Army Cadet Force, in partnership with schools, local authorities and the police service, and offer challenging, adventure based activities.

The Ministry of Defence is pleased to support such a worthwhile scheme and since its launch in 1996 we have given the project £114,400 annually. We will continue to provide support in the future. Last year the Home Office committed £60,000 annually to the project for at least the next two years and the Youth Justice Board is also giving the ACFA a one-off grant of £60,000 for facilities support. In addition, Army facilities are made available to the project at no cost.

Armed Forces Pension Scheme

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many local discussion groups were held to gather views and opinions on the proposed changes to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme up to 31 December 2001. [33700]

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Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence held 17 focus groups during the initial research phase of the review. These took place in the south-east of England during November and December 1999 and covered all three services. During the consultation period (March 2001 to end July 2001), discussion groups took place at seven Army units, five Navy units and five RAF units throughout the country. Discussions were also held with ex-service organisations, such as the Confederation of British Service and Ex-Service Organisations (COBSEO), the Forces Pension Society, and the War Widows Association.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if HMS Bulwark will have (a) a full crew complement, (b) full aircraft load, (c) vehicles and (d) a complete set of equipment when she comes into service; and if he will make a statement. [32158]

Dr. Moonie: At her planned in-service date of December 2003, HMS Bulwark will provide a significant improvement in capability over her predecessor.

She will have a crew complement to enable her to conduct her trials and work-up periods and to fulfil her design capability when she becomes operational.

There has never been a requirement for Bulwark to be equipped with her own organic aircraft. Aircraft will be embarked when they are required.

When she enters service Bulwark will have a complete set of the necessary equipment. She will also have four landing craft utility, four of the smaller landing craft vehicle and personnel and a hippo (the new armoured beach recovery vehicle which is due to enter service in 2003).

Arthur Andersen

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts he has with Arthur Andersen; when they were placed; how long they have to run; and what is their (a) individual and (b) total value. [33091]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence has two current contracts with Arthur Andersen. Contract number DPT/2002 was placed in October 2000 and is due to complete in 2002. Contract number CP(PI)025/1 was placed in January 2002 and is due to complete in January 2006.

In addition, Andersen provides Secretariat support to the Review Board for Government Contracts. There are no plans to terminate this support, as the company provides crucial continuity to a review of the Government Profit Formula that is currently being undertaken by the Treasury.

Finally, there is some outstanding work for orders placed under a framework arrangement, for which the tasking period has now closed.

The values of individual contracts are withheld under Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, but the total value of the extant contracts is around £7 million.

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