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Munitions Depots

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the anticipated remediation costs will be, including munitions and chemical retrieval, prior to the market sale of Dean Hill munitions depot; and when he expects to put it on the market. [65734]

Mr. Ingram: Defence Munition (DM) Dean Hill's primary task is (and has been) the storage of munitions. The limited (compared to other Defence Munitions sites) processing facilities at the Dean Hill site have primarily been used for maintenance of munitions and associated stores. There has been no explosives manufacturing on site and hence little anticipated contamination to remediate. This has been confirmed by Land Quality Assessment action and a sum of £216,000 has been included in the Investment Appraisal to cover any "industrial site" remediation identified as necessary during run down and closure activities.

It is anticipated that Defence Estates will market the sale of the Dean Hill site in 2004–05 once all closure activities have been completed.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Ministry of Defence police are employed at West Dean Munitions Depot; and how they will be deployed following the closure of the depot. [65706]

Mr. Ingram: There are currently 21 MDP officers stationed at Defence Munitions (DM) Dean Hill. DM Dean Hill is scheduled for closure by 1 April 2004 and the MDP officers stationed there will be subject to redeployment procedures. We do not envisage any compulsory redundancies of MDP officers.

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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the employees at the West Dean Munitions Depot are (a) under 25, (b) under 45, (c) under 60 and (d) over 60 in each category, broken down by sex. [65707]

Mr. Ingram: The age profile and gender of the bearing of 57 Defence Munitions civilian staff currently employed at DM Dean Hill near West Dean village in south Wiltshire is as follows:

Under 25415
26 to 45(2)19423
46 to 6018624
Over 6055

(2) Includes two members of civilian staff on long term detached duty due to return to DM Dean Hill.

Golden Jubilee

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost is of the tri-service Jubilee celebrations held on 27 June. [66164]

Mr. Ingram: In accordance with the wishes of Buckingham Palace and the direction of the Government it was agreed that there would be no undue expenditure from public funds. The sum of £1.5 million was allocated from the budget of the Royal Naval Base Commander, Portsmouth, towards core project costs and any additional costs will lie where they fell. It will be some months before an accurate assessment of this expenditure could be made, but it will consist primarily of additional travel and subsistence costs.

Defence Assistance

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which countries received expenditure under the (a) defence military assistance fund and (b) the defence assistance fund in (i) 1997–98, (ii) 1998–99, (iii) 1999–2000, (iv) 2000–01 and (v) 2001–02; how much each country received in each year from (A) the defence military assistance fund and (B) the defence assistance fund; how much was used to support defence sales in each case; and if he will make a statement. [66553]

Mr. Ingram: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.


Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel his Department has contributed to monitoring the Nuba ceasefire in Sudan. [65659]

Mr. Ingram: One British colonel was deployed to Sudan in May of this year to act as deputy vice chairman of the joint military mission monitoring the Nuba mountain ceasefire.

Medical Treatment

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 21 June 2002, Official Report, column 597W, on medical treatment, on what date the Army Training and Recruitment Agency secondary health

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care initiative commenced and with what budget; by what criteria personnel are treated under the scheme; how many personnel in (a) the Army, (b) the Navy and (c) the RAF have been treated under the initiative and at what cost to his Department in each month since commencement; which health care providers have been used under the scheme; and if he will make a statement. [65569]

Mr. Ingram: The Army Training and Recruiting Agency's (ATRA) secondary health care initiative was formally introduced on 1 April 2001 and the Budgetary sum allocated for the financial year 2001–02 was £1.3 million. Personnel eligible for treatment under the scheme are ATRA trainers or trainees who are referred by their unit general practitioner for investigation, opinion and/or treatment for a condition which is preventing them from continuing with their employment/training. Personnel are referred only when waiting lists at the local Ministry of Defence hospital unit or NHS hospital are deemed excessive. The vast majority of these are Army personnel; a small number of RN and RAF personnel might have been included who were posted to ATRA units, either as trainers or trainees, but these cannot be readily identified. Records held do not allow for numbers treated per month to be easily identified, as an individual may well be treated over a period and therefore feature in more than one month's figures. The costs per month since inception are as follows:

MonthNumbers treatedCost (£)
April 200135,035
May 200161,201
June 200188,289
July 200177,286
August 200197,995
September 200193,581
October 2001129,601
November 200179,544
December 2001100,397
January 2002136,503
February 2002159,605
March 2002150,262
Total financial year 2001–021,3511,209,299
April 2002169,047
May 2002129,788
June 2002(3)42,701
Total financial year 2002–03(3)435341,435

(3) To 15 June

The healthcare providers utilised under this scheme have been:

The initiative has proved successful in reducing the average waiting time for both consultation and treatment, enabling trainers and trainees to return to work or training more quickly. The scheme is kept under constant review.

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RAF Fylingdales

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what new agreements have been reached regarding the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station at RAF Fylingdales following the end of the 1972 ABM Treaty. [66684]

Mr. Ingram: None.

Bereaved Services Families

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support is given to the widows and families of servicemen who have died. [66362]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence operates a comprehensive Casualty and Compassionate Reporting Policy that extends from the moment of casualty notification all the way through to making arrangements for stress counselling for partners, offering advice on eligibility for pensions, compensation or other financial support and helping with relocation arrangements for surviving dependants.

The MOD also provides an annual Grant-in-Aid to the Remembrance Travel Department of The Royal British Legion in respect of the War Widows Pilgrimage Scheme. The scheme provides financial assistance to any Service widow, whose husband died and was buried overseas between 1914 and 1967, to visit her husband's grave. The Grant contributes 7/8ths of the cost of a pilgrimage organised by Remembrance Travel and to date has benefited over 4,000 widows. The scheme has recently been extended to 31 March 2005.

Support to the bereaved partners and family of ex-service personnel also comes from the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association—Forces Help (SSAFA-FH) and the Armed Forces Benevolent organisations for whom the MOD has the utmost appreciation. We are very conscious of the tireless and highly professional way these organisations assist their former colleagues and know how greatly their efforts are valued both by the present Service community and by ex-Servicemen and women.


Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support the Government are giving to voluntary organisations that help ex-servicemen. [66363]

Mr. Ingram: In keeping with the practice that central Government do not provide funding in direct support of charities' core activities, the Ministry of Defence does not provide any direct financial support to the ex-Service voluntary organisations as they are independent of government and responsible for raising their own funding through private donations.

Nevertheless, the MOD does provide annual Grants-in-Aid to The Royal British Legion's Benevolent Department to assist with the welfare they provide to distressed Polish ex-Servicemen and also to Remembrance Travel, the Pilgrimage Department of The Royal British Legion. This money is used to fund the War Widows Pilgrimage Scheme which enables Service widows to visit the graves of their husbands who were buried overseas between 1914 and 1967. Finally, a

3 Jul 2002 : Column 328W

Grant-in-Aid is given to the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association every two years to assist with the travel costs associated with their biennial reunion.

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