16 Dec 2002 : Column 507W
It should however be noted that an AFB130A may have been signed in other cases in which discharge action was terminated. These figures are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Navy is able to mount an Amphibious Task Group within the readiness requirements of Defence Planning Assumptions from high readiness units earmarked for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what circumstances at (a) Deepcut and (b) Catterick Barracks specified areas of the camp may be declared out of bounds; and what safeguards are in place to ensure a soldier's right of access to (i) the regimental medical office, (ii) the Padre, (iii) the unit
16 Dec 2002 : Column 508W
welfare officer, (iv) the local army welfare worker and (v) the Women's Royal Voluntary Service Welfare Office. 
Mr. Ingram: At both Deepcut and Catterick, certain areas of the camps and surrounding areas are placed out of bounds to personnel for security, health and safety or similar reasons, on a temporary or semi-permanent basis. The offices specified in the question would only be placed out of bounds in exceptional circumstances, such as a security alert or other emergency. None of these offices are routinely out of bounds and all personnel have unrestricted access during normal opening times.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what environmental tests have been made in relation to the outlet pipe in the Beaufort Trench; and what assessments have been made of (a) human health and (b) the immediate area surrounding the River Dee and (c) contamination of (i) land and (ii) aquatic and ornithological life. 
Dr. Moonie: The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) is provided through a contract let by the Ministry of Defence with the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC), which is an independent limited company with charitable status. The service provides, subject to practicality and affordability, radio and television broadcasts to most locations overseas where significant numbers of British forces are stationed, such as Germany and Cyprus, together with areas of deployed operation such as Afghanistan. There are currently two radio and two television channels, although the second TV channel, which is specifically aimed at the 1830 age group, is at present only available to deployed operational areas, eg Balkans, Middle-East, Afghanistan.
Authority to transmit any particular television or radio programme or sporting event rests with the Rights Holder for the programme or event concerned and all broadcasters, including SSVC, must negotiate accordingly with Rights Holders for licences to broadcast.
SSVC already provides live television coverage of all England (and other Home Nation) international rugby and football matches, subject to scheduling practicalities where fixtures clash, and makes arrangements to do so with the Rights Holders through the primary broadcaster, eg the BBC, ITV etc.
16 Dec 2002 : Column 509W
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the defence budget was spent in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available (a) in actual terms and (b) as a percentage of the total defence budget; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence continuously reviews its business processes and organisation to ensure that military capability is delivered with best value for money for the taxpayer. As part of the 2002 spending review, the MOD agreed the following Public Service Agreement value for money target for 200203 to 200506:
Achieve 0 per cent. average annual cost growth (or better) against the Major Equipment Procurement Projects, while meeting customer requirements.
16 Dec 2002 : Column 510W
By 31 March 2006, to reduce MOD Head Office and other management costs by 13per cent.
Performance against the targets will be reported annually through the Department Performance Report. Further information on the MOD's value for money Public Service Agreement target is available on the MOD website www.mod.uk.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are to substitute depleted uranium rounds with safer and equally penetrative rounds; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: There are currently no plans to substitute DU rounds. At present no satisfactory alternative material exists to achieve the level of penetration needed to defeat the most modern battle tanks. DU ammunition therefore currently remains our most operationally effective capability and the use of non-DU ammunition would significantly threaten operational success and would potentially lead to increased United Kingdom casualties. However, I can confirm that research is continuing into more effective alternatives to DU ammunition.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what major improvements have been made to the facilities for non-Vanguard submarines at Devonport dockyard; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A contract was placed with Devonport Management Ltd in 1997 to upgrade their existing facilities to provide the sole refitting and refuelling facilities for Vanguard and all other Royal Navy nuclear submarines.
|14 and 15 Docks||The construction of seismically qualified dock structures, caissons and cradles for the submarines to sit in. 14 Dock has also been adapted to accommodate the new Astute class submarines.|
|New Equipment and Maintenance Support Facility (NEMSFAC)||New shared facility for maintenance and storage of equipment.|
|Power Range Testing Berth (PRT)||Upgraded berth at which the refuelled reactors are first tested after refit.|
|Low Level Refuelling Facility (LLRF)||New facility used to store new and used fuel for all submarines.|
|Nuclear Transfer Route (NTR)||To enable access between the refuelling docks and LLRF. In place for 14 Dock, work in hand for 15 Dock.|
|Cranes||Seismically qualified dockside cranes fitted to 14 Dock; installation work about to commence for 15 Dock.|
|Electrical services to submarine berths||Ring main around dockyard upgraded.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|