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5 Jan 2004 : Column 29W—continued

HMS Echo/HMS Enterprise

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on why (a) HMS Echo and (b) HMS Enterprise are not in service; for how long they will be laid up; and what the annual cost of their (i) repairs and (ii) crew is. [143367]

Mr. Ingram: HMS Echo was accepted into service on 17 October 2003. HMS Enterprise was accepted from the prime contractor, Vosper Thornycroft in September 2003 and is expected to enter service in the third quarter of 2004. Both vessels' in-service dates have been delayed by design and production difficulties at the shipbuilder and subsequent technical difficulties. Neither vessel is laid up; however, HMS Enterprise's trials programme is currently on hold because of technical problems with her propulsion system. She is expected to resume her trials programme in April next year and in the meantime her crew are using the time to undertake training and vessel familiarisation.

These ships are maintained under novel contractor logistic support arrangements, the annual costs of which are commercially sensitive and I am withholding them in accordance with Exemption 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which relates to effective management and operations of the public service.

The annual crew costs for both vessels is approximately £3.8 million, excluding seagoing allowances and training costs.


Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) deaths involving UK services personnel there have been in Iraq in each month since March; and how many military vehicles have been (i) written off and (ii) damaged in road accidents in Iraq since March. [R] [141059]

Mr. Ingram: The following table provides the information requested.

MonthTotal RTAs involving UK forces in IraqTotal UK military fatalities as a result of an RTA in IraqTotal vehicles beyond economic repair after being involved in RTAs in Iraq

The number of vehicles that have been damaged in Road Traffic Accidents, but are not beyond economic repair, is not held centrally and would be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many claims for compensation have been submitted by Iraqis in connection with fatalities allegedly involving British Forces since 1 May. [141688]

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Mr. Ingram: Iraqis have submitted 23 claims for compensation in connection with alleged fatalities involving United Kingdom Forces since the 1 May 2003. Of these, seven have been repudiated, 13 are still under investigation, and three have received compensation payment.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much compensation has been paid by UK authorities in (a) Basra and (b) all of Iraq for injuries caused by UK forces; and if he will make a statement. [142177]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 9 December 2003]: Of the 73 claims submitted for compensation by Iraqi civilians claiming to have been injured by United Kingdom Forces since 1 May 2003, 15 have been rejected, 39 are still under investigation and 19 have received payment. Of the 19 successful claims, seven were paid to people in Basra (total £2,000) and 12 were paid in the rest of Iraq (total £4,625).

Mrs. Liddell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give an update on United Kingdom operations in Iraq as part of Operation Telic. [143728]

Mr. Ingram: United Kingdom Forces continue to mount security operations in Iraq. Recent operations against smuggling, for example, have been a considerable success and were widely welcomed by the Iraqi people. Our forces are also closely engaged in developing Iraq's own security capabilities so that Iraqis can take greater responsibility for their own security. Already more than 10,500 Iraqi police are on patrol in the Multinational Division (South East), and more are being trained; other Iraqi security personnel are guarding vital infrastructure, facilities and coastline.

I refer my right hon. Friend to the statement to the House of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 1302, for the most recent announcement on troop deployments.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the level of deployment of (a) armoured Land Rovers, (b) Puma helicopters and (c) Gazelle helicopters to Iraq in relation to the number of British troops in the area. [144686]

Mr. Ingram: United Kingdom forces in Iraq currently operate 208 armoured Land Rovers. The helicopter fleet includes six Gazelles and six Pumas.

We keep equipment and force levels under constant review, but there are no immediate plans to significantly alter the Land Rover or helicopter fleets.

Mrs. Liddell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the UK (a) naval and (b) air components deployed in the Gulf. [143732]

Mr. Ingram: There are two Royal Navy frigates deployed to the Gulf, currently HMS St. Albans and HMS Norfolk, and a supporting Royal Fleet Auxiliary, currently RFA Bayleaf.

The air assets deployed to the region are six Tornado GR4s, two VClOs, two Hercules C130Js, one HS125 and three Nimrod aircraft.

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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the security situation in Kosovo. [143440]

Mr. Ingram: The overall security situation in Kosovo is stable. Within the secure environment provided by KFOR, the International Community continues to develop the capacity of the Kosovans to provide their own security, including through the Kosovo Police Service.


Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation sponsored by his Department in 2002–03 was introduced to implement EU requirements. [141136]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence did not sponsor any primary legislation during the 2002–03 session.

In the case of secondary legislation the Department was responsible for the making of 11 general statutory instruments, none of which was introduced to implement EU requirements.

Military Personnel (Psychiatric Treatment)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list private mental health establishments used by his Department for treatment of military personnel in each of the last six years; and what the cost was in each year. [144152]

Mr. Caplin: The private mental health establishments that have been used by the Ministry of Defence for treatment of military personnel, referred from secondary care, in each of the last six years were:

Harrogate Clinic (Cygnet); Newcastle Nuffield; Lindisfarne; The Priory Altrincham; Middleton St. George; Cheadle Royal; Marchwood Priory Southampton; The Retreat (York); Priory Hospital (Chelmsford); Foxleigh Grove (Maidenhead); Tree's Park; The Priory Glasgow; The Priory Ticehurst and The Priory Bristol.

The total costs in each year are detailed in the table. The costs shown are actual outturn prices.

Financial yearTotal cost £

(10) Cost up to and including November 2003

Some additional referrals have been made from Service primary care centres across the United Kingdom. This information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

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Queen's Lancashire Regiment

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on (a) recruitment in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment and (b) the future of the Regiment. [144796]

Mr. Caplin: Recruitment in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR) remains steady and current enlistment shows an improvement on that achieved at this point last year.

There are currently no plans regarding the future of the QLR. The Defence White Paper provides the policy context for shaping the structure of our armed forces. Subsequently, the details of individual systems and units within that structure will need to be developed, but presently no decisions have been taken.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment were deployed in Iraq. [144798]

Mr. Ingram: Some 484 members of The Queen's Lancashire Regiment have been, or are, currently deployed in Iraq. Of these, 64 are Territorial Army personnel.

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