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21 Oct 2002 : Column 55Wcontinued
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the re-instating of the headstones of the war graves situated in Belfast City Cemetery which were removed after being vandalised in 1979; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: This information is not yet available. Fire Study 2000 continues to be developed to inform a robust Public Sector Comparator for the Airfield Support Services Project. When the Study is complete we will have a clearer view of the potential savings.
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Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the written questions asked of him between (a) 1 to 30 June 2001, (b) 1 to 31 July 2001, (c) 1 to 30 September 2001, (d) 1 to 31 October 2001, (e) 1 to 30 November 2001, (f) 1 to 31 December 2001, (g) 1 to 31 January 2002, (h) 1 to 28 February 2002, (i) 1 to 31 March 2002 and (j) 1 to 30 April 2002 that had not received a substantive answer by 30 April; and if he will state (i) the name of the hon. Member asking the question and (ii) the reasons the question had not received a substantive answer. 
|Month||No still to receive a substantive reply|
|120 June 2001||Nil|
|131 July 2001||1|
|130 September 2001||0|
|131 October 2001||2|
|130 November 2001||3|
|131 December 2001||1|
|131 January 2002||13|
|128 February 2002||25|
|131 March 2002||29|
|130 April 2002||11|
Officials are working to provide substantive answers to the questions as soon as possible. In some cases the information is not immediately available in the form requested, and additional time is required to answer.
Ministers aim to answer named day written questions on the day named and ordinary written questions within five working days.
The name of the hon. Member asking the question could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
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economic impact (a) on rural areas and (b) of supporting locally based defence contractors in the South Dorset area. 
Dr. Moonie: A Regional Impact Assessment was carried out by staff in the office of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Director General Management and Organisation. The assessment concluded that the loss of approximately one hundred jobs from the Winfrith area, though regrettable, should not significantly affect the area in the longer term. The plans do though, offer significant benefits to Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and MOD in terms of improved technical synergy and operational effectiveness and also to staff through better career development opportunities.
Jim Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research his Department has conducted to assess the cost benefits to be gained from moving DSTL staff from Winfrith to Portsdown Main; and what evidence has been gathered to prove the scientific benefits of co-location of staff. 
Dr. Moonie: Options for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) site rationalisation were considered on the issues of improved technical synergy and operational effectiveness and on affordability. The selected option demonstrates the greatest improvements in technical synergy and operational efficiency while remaining affordable.
To examine the financial benefits, an investment appraisal model was produced. To meet Treasury requirements financial modelling has to cover a 25-year period. Dstl plans fully meet all Ministry of Defence and Treasury financial targets. This appraisal has been subject to an independent review by the MOD Senior Economic Adviser.
Studies show that to preserve, sustain and develop the essential technical capabilities found in Dstl a critical mass of staff is required that cannot be achieved with the current dispersed organisation. Geographical fragmentation of the workforce inhibits our ability to build technical excellence and the dispersion of staff significantly degrades the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will renegotiate the leasing arrangements with the Duchy of Cornwall to exclude the two highest points in the Dartmoor National Park for live firing purposes. 
Dr. Moonie: The implications of the Ministry of Defence's use of Yes Tor and High Willhays are currently under consideration and officials will meet shortly with Duchy representatives to discuss the position.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the pension award made to the former Territorial Army medical auxiliary Shaun Rusling following illness he suffered after the Gulf War. 
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Dr. Moonie: Ex-Reserve Forces personnel who have served during the Gulf conflict, and who are injured or fall ill as a result of that Service, may be entitled to benefits under the War Pensions Scheme and the Reserve Forces (Attributable Benefits etc) Regulations. It would not be appropriate for the Ministry of Defence to disclose details of the benefits awarded to Mr. Shaun Rusling under these schemes, as they are of a personal and private nature. I am therefore withholding them in accordance with Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place a copy of the research commissioned by his Department by the universities of Bristol and Birmingham into the impact of the February 1999 changes to the limits on right to buy discounts in the Library. 
Mr. Leslie: As at 31 March 2002 there were 6,277 women and 1,040 staff from minority ethnic background in the fire service in England and Wales as a whole. The following table shows the breakdown by service areas:
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|Operational Staff (Uniformed) (Wholetime and Retained)||Control Staff (Uniformed)||Total Uniformed Staff||Non Uniformed||Total|
|Percentage of total employed in service area||1.7%||80%||4%||59%||11.0%|
|Minority Ethnic Staff||698||13||711||329||1040|
|Percentage of total employed in service area||1.5%||0.85%||1.4%||4.6%||1.8%|
Fire service targets are to work towards 15 per cent. of operational staff to be women by 2009, and 7 per cent. of the uniformed and 8 per cent. of the non uniformed work force to be from minority ethnic background, also by 2009.
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