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18 Mar 2003 : Column 621W—continued


Conservative Party

Mr. Tyler: To ask the President of the Council pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cannock Chase (Tony Wright), of 11 March 2003, Official Report, column 156W, if he will list the individual sums of public money paid for (a) salaries, listing the offices held, (b) expenses and (c) Short money; and what the value was of services in kind to the Conservative Party since 1997. [103339]

Mr. Bradshaw: The scheme for financial assistance to opposition parties (Short money) provides funding for three purposes:

The amounts received under these three headings were as follows:


YearAssistance for parliamentary businessOffice of Leader of OppositionTravel expenses etc.Totals


As a result of roundings, figures may not total exactly.


Award Schemes

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the award schemes in (a) 2001 and (b) 2002 promoted by the Department; what their scope was when the relevant participating organisations are scheduled to be sent results; and whether other parties will be given notification of the results at the same time. [102064]

Peter Hain: None.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his estimate is of his Department's spending on (a) consultants, (b) advertising and consultancy, (c) travel and (d) conferences in each year from 1999–2000 to 2002–03; and if he will make a statement. [90357]

Peter Hain: My Department was created on 1 July 1999. Figures for 1999/2000 are not readily available in the format requested.

(a) for spending on consultants, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 12 March 2003, Official Report, column 249W.

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(b) for spending on advertising I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave the hon. Member for Buckingham on 15 April 2002, Official Report, column 750W.

(c) total expenditure on travel, excluding payments to the Government Car and Despatch Agency, was £86,000 in 2000–01; £105,233 in 2001–02; and has been £121,000 in 2002–03 to date.

(d) there is no separately recorded expenditure on conferences in any year.

Fiscal Balance

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the fiscal surplus or deficit was in Wales in the most recent year for which figures are available. [89825]

Peter Hain: No official figure for the fiscal deficit/surplus in Wales has been calculated in recent years.

Overseas Trips

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the overseas trips made by himself and other members of his ministerial team in 2002; and what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was in each case. [101484]

Peter Hain: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister of State, Cabinet Office, on 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 334W, in response to a similar question from the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws).

Special Advisers

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many special advisers in the Department (a) have left and (b) will be leaving to work in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections. [103599]

Peter Hain: None.

University Students

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many university students his Department has supported or sponsored with a work placement in the last year; what his policy is on work placements; what plans he has to develop such schemes; and what his policy is on paying their university fees. [98538]

Peter Hain: The staff of the Wales Office are secondees from other Government Departments and in particular the National Assembly for Wales. The Assembly has an annual scheme which offers opportunities to students as well as work placements.

Whole of Government Accounts

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what impact the Whole of Government Accounts project has had on Wales. [103371]

Peter Hain: The introduction of Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) will assist in ensuring that best practice accounting methods are used to construct accounts covering the public sector as a whole,

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and that fiscal reporting is as transparent as possible. Central Government Accounts (CGA) are the first step towards WGA.

The Treasury has planned to produce 'dry-run' CGA for 2001–02 and 2002–03, with the first CGA published for 2003–04. The Wales Office and the National Assembly for Wales are part of this process.

Both the Wales Office and National Assembly for Wales have produced consolidation information for the first dry run year. The Assembly's 'consolidation group' currently includes the Assembly itself, its agencies, the Health Authorities in Wales, Estyn and the Assembly Sponsored Public Bodies.

In future years the project will be extended to include NHS Trusts and local authorities. The Assembly is co-funding a project with the Treasury to examine the issues involved in consolidating local authority accounts in Wales.

In addition to CGA the Assembly will produce a 'Whole of Government of Wales Account' to the same timetable. This account will include bodies designated for inclusion in CGA plus the 'Wales elements' of certain cross-border authorities like the Forestry Commission in Wales.


Allied Harmony Operation

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in implementing the common action for an EU military mission to take over from NATO's Allied Harmony operation in FYROM; which (a) European states that are not yet EU members and (b) other third countries have expressed the intention of taking part in that mission; what NATO assets the EU will use for that mission; whether the launching of this operation depends on finalising permanent arrangements for the EU's use of NATO assets; when those arrangements are expected to be finalised; and if he will make a statement. [102671]

Mr. Hoon: The "Berlin Plus" arrangements for ready access by the European Union to the collective assets and capabilities of NATO are now in place.

Good progress has been made on the Council's Joint Action on the EU military operation in Macedonia. For example, the EU has agreed that the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe will be appointed as the EU Operation Commander and that the Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe will be used as the EU Operational Headquarters. Arrangements with third states have been agreed and a Committee of Contributors has been formed. The Operation Plan has been finalised, subject to approval by the Council. As envisaged, contacts and meetings between the EU and NATO have been stepped up.

The non-EU European states that are expected to take part in the operation are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Iceland, Turkey, Hungary and Norway. Canada is also expected to take part.

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NATO has drawn up an indicative list of those assets that will be available for the EU-led operation in Macedonia, and the EU is expected to place a formal request for the assets that it wishes to use in the very near future.

Chartered Ships

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what special measures are being taken to vet the crews of ships chartered by his Department from overseas countries where there are security considerations. [103638]

Mr. Ingram: It is not possible to vet the crews of commercial ships chartered from overseas countries, due to a combination of circumstances which include: non-residency in the United Kingdom, the rapid turn-over of crew members and the short notice nature of the Ministry of Defence charter requirements. Special measures are taken when there are security considerations and these can include the placing of a UK military escort party on-board chartered commercial ships.

Civil Defence

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimates the Government have made regarding the number of military personnel required to provide support to the civil authorities in response to a large scale (a) conventional and (b) chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack on the UK. [103410]

Mr. Ingram: The primary responsibility for handling the consequences of any attack in the United Kingdom lies with the emergency services. The nature of any request they might make for military assistance will be determined by the type, scale, impact and location of the attack and the availability of civil resources. It is therefore not possible to make a specific estimate of the level of military support that might be requested. Information on the contingency plans for specialist Armed Forces responses to terrorist attacks is classified and details are therefore being withheld under Exemption la of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which Department's budget the cost of (a) creation, (b) maintenance and (c) deployment of the civil contingency reaction forces will be taken. [103411]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence budget will bear the cost of establishing and maintaining the civil contingency reaction forces. The treatment of the costs of deployments will be determined case by case under existing arrangements in the same way as other military assistance to the civil authorities.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost is of (a) creating and (b) maintaining the civil contingency reaction force. [103412]

Mr. Ingram: The annual cost of maintaining the 14 civil contingency reaction forces will be some £4.5 million. This comprises the costs of the 406 new Volunteer Reserve posts established within the parent Territorial Army Infantry battalions to support the administration and training of the civil contingency

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reaction forces, and of the additional man-training days allocated to existing Volunteer Reserve personnel who volunteer for the CCRF role in addition to their current roles.

Start-up costs are estimated to be some £2 million in 2002–03.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many joint regional liaison officers have been created since July 2002 to act as a single point of liaison between civil authorities and the armed forces on emergency planning matters. [103407]

Mr. Ingram: 22 Joint Regional Liaison Officer posts have been established as part of the SDR New Chapter measures to enhance the Armed Forces' capability to respond to requests for assistance from local authorities and emergency services. These measures were announced in the House on 31 October 2002.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many more civil contingency reaction forces are planned. [103408]

Mr. Ingram: The establishment of fourteen Civil Contingency Reaction Forces was announced in the House on 31 October 2002.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists are deployed in civil contingency reaction forces. [103409]

Mr. Ingram: None of the 14 Civil Contingency Reaction Forces has yet been deployed.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals there are to commit units and assets from the regular armed forces to home defence. [103413]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom from military attack, including air defence. The lead responsibility for security within the UK, including the response to the activities of terrorist groups, rests with the Home Office and the police. However, where appropriate, the Ministry of Defence responds positively to requests for military assistance from civil authorities, drawing on available resources. Although fluctuations do occur, a significant number of military personnel are stationed in the UK at any one time and we are also establishing a capability in the Reserve Forces to undertake military assistance.

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