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15 Jan 2003 : Column 629W—continued


United Nations

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Prime Minister if he intends to visit New York before 27 January to discuss with other world leaders business likely to come before the UN. [90591]

The Prime Minister: I have no plans to do so.

Drug Treatment

John Mann: To ask the Prime Minister what validation there is of statistics on waiting times for drug treatment held by the national treatment agency. [90592]

The Prime Minister: Information on waiting times for drug treatment is collected annually through the Drug Action Team treatment planning process. The data, which is provided by the service providers, is subject to scrutiny by the DATs. The figures are further scrutinised by the National Treatment Agency, the Government Offices and other local partners.

Cricket World Cup

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has made in the last six months to (a) the International Cricket Council and (b) the English Cricket Board with regard to (i) World Cup matches being rescheduled outside Zimbabwe and (ii) the England Cricket Team not playing in that country. [90642]

The Prime Minister: The Government's position on this remains as I set out in the House on 8 January 2003, Official Report, column 162. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Minister for Sport, and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office met the ECB on 9 January. This was the culmination of dialogue between the ECB and government that began on 5 July last year at official level. The ECB nominate the England and Wales representative to the ICC. They are well aware of the situation in Zimbabwe and the Government's views on their participation.


Dr. Iddon: To ask the Prime Minister how many honours have been awarded in each constituency since 1 May 1997. [90954]

The Prime Minister: This information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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House of Lords Reform

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister if it is his policy that the political balance of the House of Lords should be maintained prior to the implementation of legislation completing the second stage of reform. [89812]

The Prime Minister: While the way forward on reform of the House of Lords is still under consideration, arrangements for identifying new members of the House remain unchanged. Membership of the House is kept under ongoing review.

Job Sharing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the extent of job sharing in his office. [90865]

The Prime Minister: At 31 December 2002, my office had a total of three job-share arrangements involving six members of staff.

My office is committed to supporting part-time working, job-sharing and other forms of alternative working patterns. Cabinet Office policies apply in my office and all advertised posts will normally be open to anyone wishing to work an alternative working pattern, including part-timers and job-sharers although there will be some instances where this is not possible due to the nature of the work. The flexibility of any alternative working pattern is decided in conjunction with the local management to suit an individual's needs and the needs of their work.

Michael Barber

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Prime Minister to whom Mr. Michael Barber is responsible. [91168]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor) on 13 January 2003, Official Report, column 461W.


Air Defence

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has held with the United States on measures to fill the Royal Navy's air defence gap between the withdrawal of the Sea Harriers and the advent of the Joint Strikefighter; and what assessment he has made of the risk of aerial attack against Royal Navy ships between 2006 and 2012. [89886]

Mr. Ingram: It is our current assessment that the main threat to the Fleet in future would come from sea-skimming missiles. The Sea Harrier FA2 lacks utility in countering this threat. There have been no discussions with the United States of America on the Royal Navy's air defence capability for the period following the withdrawal of the Sea Harrier FA2 aircraft, although they were advised of the decision as part of the United Kingdom's annual submission to the NATO Defence Planning Questionnaire. Following the withdrawal of the Sea Harrier FA2, Royal Navy Task Groups will

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typically include Type 42 Anti-Air Warfare Destroyers and Type 22 and 23 Frigates also equipped with air defence capability. The Type 42 Destroyers systems are being enhanced to ensure that they remain effective in the air defence role.

The first upgraded Airborne Early Warning Sea King Flight has recently entered service providing a marked improvement in capability to detect airborne threats to the Task Group over both sea and land, and the introduction of the Type 45 Destroyers, equipped with the highly capable Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) will represent further improvement in our air defence capability. It is also highly unlikely that the Royal Navy will operate alone, but instead is more likely to be part of a coalition force with other Allied defence assets, as well as our own.

Army (Joiners and Leavers)

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people joined the Army in the last year for which figures are available. [90355]

Dr. Moonie: The number of people joining the Army in the latest calendar year for which information is available is as follows:

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people left the Army in each of the last six calendar years. [90354]

Dr. Moonie: The number of people leaving the Army in the last six calendar years for which information is available is as follows:

YearNumber of personnel leaving the army

Castle Class Patrol Ships

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the Castle class patrol ships will be deployed in 2003. [90336]

Mr. Ingram: There are two Castle class patrol ships, one of whom is always allocated to the Falkland Islands as the FI Patrol Vessel. This is currently Leeds Castle. She deployed from the United Kingdom in January 2001 and will remain in the Falklands until June 2004.

Dumbarton Castle is acting as Flagship for Commander Mine Countermeasures Force (North) until May 2003—a role she took up in May 2002. When she leaves the NATO Squadron she is programmed to enter Refit, in Rosyth, in June 2003 until February 2004.

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Catering Staff (Combat Training)

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many chefs and catering staff, broken down by regiment, have undergone combat training in the last six months in addition to any routine training that they may receive; and if he will make a statement. [90773]

Dr. Moonie: This information is not held centrally and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Chemical Detectors

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the LCD-S palm sized chemical detectors have been delivered to service personnel; and if he will make a statement. [90170]

Mr. Ingram: Deliveries of the Lightweight Chemical Agent Detector have not yet been made but are scheduled to commence shortly.

Defence Logistics Organisation

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures of efficiency are used within the Defence Logistics Organisation; and on which occasions these measures have not been met in the last three years. [88409]

Mr. Ingram: The Defence Logistic Organisation has since its formation on 1 April 2000 continued to contribute to the overall Year on Year Departmental Efficiency Target set as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review of 1998 and reported annually via the Departmental Performance report. Prior to 1 April 2000 Efficiency reports against the Departmental Target were the responsibility of the individual logistic Commands, Naval Support Command, Quartermaster General and Air Member Logistics.

The individual DLO efficiency measures that contributed to the overall Departmental efficiency target for these years also contribute to the DLO's strategic goal, a 20 per cent. reduction in DLO output costs (as at March 2000) by 31 March 2006. Examples of the types of measure are contained within the latest Ministry of Defence Departmental Performance Report 2001–02 paragraphs 75 and 110 (available at the MOD website at From March 2000 to March 2002 the DLO has made a 5.6 per cent. efficiency saving in resource terms against its strategic goal. We have now agreed with the Treasury how the efficiency achievement in financial year 2002–03 will be measured, and we are currently discussing with them how performance against the remainder of the strategic goal (from 2003–04 onwards) will be measured.

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