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27 Nov 2002 : Column 323Wcontinued
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces (a) own their own home and (b) cite a wish to own their own home as a reason for leaving the forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Continuous Attitude Surveys (CAS) are undertaken to ascertain the attitudes of personnel towards a range of service conditions and the results used to inform personnel policies, by identifying those aspects of service life which are causes of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction to personnel. The last Naval Service CAS was in September 2002. Surveys were sent to 2000 individuals and 957 (48 per cent.) responded. Respondents represented 2.5 per cent. of the trained strength (excluding FTRS personnel). The latest Army CAS was sent out in March/April 2002. The surveys were sent to 3,978 individuals and 1,897 responded in time for the analysis work. Respondents represented 1.9 per cent. of the trained strength (excluding FTRS and Gurkhas). The latest RAF report
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was published in March 2002 and covered surveys sent out in May and August 2001. Surveys were sent out to 4,000 individuals and 2,400 responded.
The RN has for many years encouraged homeownership through its policy of freedom of choice over mobility and stability. The Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP) is an £8,500 low interest rate loan available to all RN/RM personnel over 23-years-old with more than 10 years to serve and is designed to assist in house purchase. This is very popular and the latest Service Continuous Attitude Survey (SCAS) records 82 per cent. married personnel as homeowners and 72.2 per cent. living in their own home. LSAP is available to non-married personnel and the number of single homeowners is increasing. Definitive figures on ownership are not available but there is a 66 per cent. take up of LSAP among those unmarried personnel eligible to LSAP.
Based on responses to the Army's most recent Continuous Attitude Survey, 38 per cent. of Army personnel own their own home. When questioned about the degree to which an intention to stay or leave was affected by the prospects of buying or renting their own home, 30 per cent. stated that it would increase their intention to stay, 55 per cent. stated that it would have no effect and 15 per cent. stated that it would increase their intention to leave.
Based on responses to a question in the RAF Continuous General Attitude Survey (GCAS) around 47 per cent. of RAF personnel own their own home (66 per cent. of officers and 42 per cent. of other ranks).
The questions in the GCAS do not make it possible to determine whether an individual's wish to own a home is a factor that encourages them to leave, or remain in the service. However, officers who make an active decision to leave the RAF (by applying for PVR or exercising their right to leave at an option point), and airmen leaving, whether at the end of an engagement, by giving notice, or through PVR, are invited to complete a leavers' survey in which they are asked the importance of various factors on their decision to leave.
Analysis of recent surveys show that there is no single reason for individuals deciding to leave the RAF and compared to other issues, accommodation factors do not rate highly for either officers or airmen. Job satisfaction, career opportunities outside the service, family stability and promotion prospects are among the main concerns.
Mr. Paul Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many 16 to 18-year-olds in the armed services have died in service since 1982; how many died as a result of firearms accidents; and if he will specify the other causes of death. 
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Dr. Moonie: Since 1 January 1982 there have been 332 deaths among 16 to 18-year-olds serving in the armed forces. Of these, 50 deaths have been due to firearm discharge, 12 of which were due to accidents and 38 were due to other causes (including hostile action and suicides). Of the non-firearm discharge deaths, 156 were due to road traffic accidents, 48 were due to natural causes, and 78 were due to other injuries.
Dr. Moonie: The Army has been conducting the Continuous Attitude Survey (CAS) for over 20 years. It is a valuable tool in understanding the current thinking of Army personnel and is used to help manage retention, exercise duty of care and report on progress with Army and wider departmental initiatives.
The latest survey was undertaken in March/April 2002 and sent to a 4 per cent. random sample of the trained Army (excluding Gurkhas and Full Time Reserve Service personnel); 3,978 questionnaires were sent out.
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More adventure training.
Mr. Allan : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the archaeological, historic and cultural heritage assets being disposed of by the Defence Disposal Agency; and what the (a) means and (b) mode of disposal are in each case. 
Dr. Moonie: Items of historical interest declared surplus to the Disposal Services Agency (DSA) include ships' bells, musical instruments with insignia and official gifts. These are sold by public auction through Bonhams Auctioneers & Valuers who have conducted 17 sales since 2000 and following is a table detailing the dates of these auctions and the type of items sold. These sales were promoted by Bonhams Auctioneers & Valuers and the DSA to ensure maximum awareness.
|Date of sale||Description of auction||Lot numbers|
|8 September 2000||Books and maps||6973, 286295|
|9 October 2000||Printed books, atlases and maps||248275|
|4 September 2000||Furniture, carpets and works of art||163164, 180182|
|2 October 2000||Furniture, carpets and works of art||194|
|5 February 2001||Furniture, carpets and works of art||96, 98, 248250|
|14 May 2001||Furniture, carpets and works of art, clocks and watches||452455|
|25 June 2001||Furniture, carpets and works of art||100|
|5 November 2001||Furniture, carpets and works of art, clocks and watches||476484|
|2 November 2000||Arms and armour, aeronautical automobilia||1246|
|5 December 2000||Blenheim sale||577|
|16 May 2001||Good continental ceramics and glass||9698|
|21 November 2001||Good continental and ceramics and glass||(13)8586|
|17 December 2001||Silver and plated wares||37|
|26 June 2001||Clocks and watches||266270, 279282|
|14 July 2001||Traditional rivercraft and maritime||123|
|15 August 2002||The maritime sale||(14)152|
|9 September 2002||Musical instruments||51105|
(13) Could not sell, when by private sale.
(14) Ships' bells, etc.
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he will introduce to modernise the Defence Fire Service; if he will make a statement on their capabilities; how many DFS establishments there are in the UK; how many fire engines and specialist teams are available; and what proposals he has to increase these levels. 
Mr. Ingram: A major review of the Defence Fire Services, known as the Ministry of Defence Fire Study 2000, has been under way for the past two years. This study, tasked to make recommendations on the most effective fire service for the future has recently been completed and the final report is imminent. It is expected to identify a number of modernisation initiatives for the organization of the Defence Fire Services. In parallel to this study, the Airfield Support Services Project (ASSP), encompassing the Defence Fire
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Services, is seeking to achieve the most viable and cost-effective solution for the provision of airfield support, with options that include both public-private partnership and in-house solutions. The result of Fire Study 2000 efficiencies will be used to inform the Public Sector Comparator for the ASSP.
The Defence Fire Services, including the civilian and military components, are fully capable of meeting their defence role and are equipped with the latest state of the art technology. There are 71 establishments in the United Kingdom with 169 fire engines and there are no plans at present to increase these numbers. There are no specialist teams within the Defence Fire Services, with all personnel being trained to the same standard.
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