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13 Jan 2003 : Column 408W—continued

RAF Welford

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what long-term plans he has for the future use of RAF Welford. [89443]

Mr. Ingram: RAF Welford will continue to be made available for the use of the United States Visiting Force. There are no plans to change the current mission of the base, which is that of a munition storage site.

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken to assess the risks from accidents involving vehicles carrying munitions to and from RAF Welford and other military bases. [89447]

Mr. Ingram: All road movements are carried out in accordance with Ministry of Defence policy, which complies fully with national and international regulations. Formal assessments have been carried out by the MOD Explosives Storage and Transportation Committee on all types of munitions carried by road.

Recruitment Initiatives

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on recruitment initiatives for (a) the Royal Navy and (b) the Royal Marines. [89872]

Dr. Moonie: The Directorate of Naval Recruiting continually utilises various advertising mediums for promoting careers in the Naval Service, and has an on-going programme of recruiting initiatives. Current initiatives include: the London Ethnic Minorities Recruiting Strategy, which commenced in June 2002—a dedicated campaign based on ethnic minority recruiting success in previous years; a campaign to improve submarine recruiting by offering acquaint visits to submarine facilities, and the production of a dedicated submarine recruiting video; and a proposal to use an external response handling agency to deal with the handling of potential recruiting inquiries to improve efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, visits to ships and establishments by potential recruits are encouraged and exhibition trailers participate regularly in local and regional events.

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RN Presentation Team

Dr. Julian Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the structure, role and programme of the RN Presentation Team. [89871]

Dr. Moonie: The role of the Royal Navy Presentation Team (RNPT) is to improve the public image, understanding and perception of the Royal Navy through the organisation and delivery of presentations to a wide cross-section of audiences around the United Kingdom.

The team of nine personnel are all serving members of the RN or Royal Marines, led by Captain RNPT. They typically serve with the team for about two years. Four members comprise the road team, which delivers the presentations. Others are responsible for generating and directing the presentation events, while the remainder provide administrative support.

The RNPT operates an annual programme of presentations commencing each September and ending in the following June. Between September 2002 and June 2003, the team aims to give over 90 presentations across the United Kingdom, including universities, and groups from industry and commerce. Presentations to school students aged 18 and under are given by a separate students presentation team.

Scientific Advisory Council Reports

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department will deposit documents relating to the reports and papers of the Scientific Advisory Council in 1970 and 1971 into the WO 195 classmark at the Public Record Office; and for what reason these documents are not already deposited in accordance with the 30-year rule of the Public Records Act 1967. [89464]

Dr. Moonie: The Scientific Advisory Council was abolished on 1 April 1969 and was replaced by the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC). There are therefore, no papers held for the Scientific Advisory Council for the years 1970 and 1971. Papers relating to DSAC covering the years 1970 and 1971 have been deposited in the Public Record Office under class DEFE 10, which covers major Committees.

Spending Review

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for his Department (a) those Comprehensive Spending Review 1998 targets that were outstanding at the time of the statement on the Comprehensive Spending Review 2002, (b) progress on such targets since then and (c) the expected date when targets not yet achieved will be met. [87692]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 17 December 2002]: The Ministry of Defence published details of achievements against current PSA targets with its Expenditure Plans (Cm 5412) in July 2002 and details of progress against all outstanding PSA targets in its Performance Report 2001–02 (Cm 5661) in November 2002.

War Pensions

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many veterans from (a) the Second World

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War and (b) conflicts since 1945 are claiming (i) a war disablement pension, (ii) an armed forces pension and (iii) a war pension. [89471]

Dr. Moonie: The information requested is not available in the format required and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Entitlement to War Pension and Armed Forces Pension is not dependant upon service during a war/conflict.

As at 30 June 2002, there were 214,265 war pensions in payment in respect of veterans who have served since 1939, and there are currently 270,000 armed forces pensions in payment.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's policy is in regard to back-dating a claimant's war pension entitlements; and how many claims his Department received in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002 from (i) veterans of the Second World War and (ii) veterans of conflicts since 1945. [89472]

Dr. Moonie: The policy for commencing dates of war disablement pension (for ex-service personnel) is incorporated into Schedule 3 to the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983 (Statutory Instrument 1983 No. 883).

The normal rules are that a pension is commenced from the date of claim or application for review.

Statistics on claims to back-dating of war pensions are not kept by the Veterans Agency.


Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Clelland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in (a) Newcastle upon Tyne and (b) Gateshead are receiving working families tax credit; and what the average value of the credit is. [89527]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of families with children receiving Working Families' or Disabled Person's Tax Credit in each local authority, and the average weekly values, appear in XWorking Families' and Disabled Person's Tax Credit Statistics. Geographical analyses". This is available on the Inland Revenue web site, at

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many recipient families live in a household receiving Working Families' Tax Credit but not housing benefit. [89693]

Dawn Primarolo: It is estimated that a little over one million families in Great Britain were in receipt of Working Families' Tax Credit (WFTC) but not Housing Benefit (HB) at May 2001, the latest date for which such an estimate is currently available. This estimate is based on WFTC administrative data and an analysis of Department of Work and Pension's 1 per cent. sample of HB recipients; the latter is subject to sampling uncertainty.

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Accounting Officers

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on which occasions since May he has been informed of a Minister issuing a direction to an accounting officer as set out in paragraphs 12–15 of the Treasury document, The Responsibilities of an Accounting Officer; on which grounds the note of dissent was issued; and if he will make a statement. [88314]

Mr. Boateng: The circumstances in which an Accounting Officer should seek a direction from a Minister are set out in paragraphs 14–17 of the Treasury document The responsibilities of an Accounting Officer. The Treasury has not been informed of any directions issued by Ministers to Accounting Officers under this guidance, since the reply given by my predecessor (Andrew Smith) to the hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Bacon) on 8 May 2002, Official Report, column 253W and my own further reply to the hon. Member (Mr. Bacon) on 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 1037W.

British Supplies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent calculation he has made of the cost to public funds if (a) the Army, (b) the Education Service and (c) the NHS were required to purchase all supplies from exclusively British sources. [90254]

Mr. Boateng: To purchase supplies from exclusively British sources could restrict the Government's procurement policy that all procurement decisions are taken on grounds of value for money and be contrary to international obligations. No such calculations have therefore been made.

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