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12 Jan 2004 : Column 537W—continued

Iraq Survey Group

Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British personnel are engaged in the Iraq Survey Group; and when he expects its next report to be published. [146579]

Mr. Ingram: On 7 January 2004, there were 55 United Kingdom civilian and military personnel attached to the Iraq Survey Group. There is no formal requirement on the ISG to report according to a particular timetable.

Operation Rockingham

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the role and function is of the unit set up under Operation Rockingham; what its cost was in the last financial year; and if he will make a statement. [146708]

Mr. Ingram: Operation Rockingham was established in 1991 to provide support to UNSCOM inspections in Iraq. It has subsequently also supported UNMOVIC

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inspections and currently supports the work of the Iraq Survey Group. In the last financial year (2002–03), the cost of the team was £78,723.53.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Oilers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the periods in dry-dock of each Royal Fleet Auxiliary oiler in each year since 1997. [146505]

Mr. Ingram: The maintenance periods undertaken by Royal Fleet Auxiliary oilers in each year since 1997 that have included a period in dry dock are shown in the following table.

Type ofmaintenanceShipStart dateEnd date
Routine dockingOakleaf2 June 199722 August 1997
RefitBayleaf4 May 199817 July 1998
RefitOlna4 May 199828 August 1998
RefitGrey Rover15 June 199827 November 1998
RefitOrangeleaf18 January 199926 March 1999
RefitBlack Rover15 February 199920 May 1999
RefitBrambleleaf19 July 199924 September 1999
Routine dockingOlwen12 April 199914 June 1999
Routine dockingGold Rover20 March 200026 May 2000
RefitOakleaf14 February 200021 April 2000
Routine dockingGrey Rover18 June 200120 August 2001
Routine dockingOrangeleaf27 August 200126 October 2001
Routine dockingBlack Rover1 April 200224 May 2002
Routine dockingBrambleleaf29 April 200228 June 2002
Contractor support periodOakleaf26 August 200222 September 2002
RefitGold Rover14 October 200220 December 2002
Routine dockingOakleaf7 April 200330 May 2003
RefitBayleaf3 June 20038 August 2003

The time in dry dock is only ever a part of the overall maintenance period and details of the exact time each vessel spent in the dock are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In addition to the routine maintenance shown in the table RFA Grey Rover was docked in 1997 to undertake an emergency repair.

The two new tankers RFA Wave Knight and Wave Ruler have not been subject to docking periods since entering service.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) year of construction and (b) anticipated year of decommissioning of each oiler in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. [146506]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is set out in the table:

RFA vesselYear of constructionPresent planned decommissioning year
Grey Rover19702007
Gold Rover19742009
Black Rover19742010
Bay leaf19822010
Fort Rosalie19782013
Fort Austin19792014
Fort Victoria19932019
Fort George19932019
Wave Knight20002028
Wave Ruler20012028

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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to use ships taken up from trade as oilers in future expeditionary warfare. [146508]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence does not routinely plan to requisition oil tankers from trade. There may, however, be exceptional circumstances where we would wish to do so.

Second World War Ordnance(Badnells Pit Landfill Site)

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what records exist detailing the disposal of ordnance from the Second World War ammunition dump near Slough into the Badnells Pit landfill site near Maidenhead. [147021]

Mr. Caplin: MOD research has identified no official records that support claims of the dumping of ammunition in the Badnells Pit landfill site.

The authorised methods of disposal for Service munitions from Service stocks, both during and after the Second World War, did not include dumping in landfill sites. The standard methods of disposal involved the use of sea dumping, burning or the demolition of the material by explosive means.


Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the due decommissioning dates are for each of the (a) Swiftsure class submarines and (b) batch 3 Type 22 frigates; and which of these dates have been brought forward during the past year. [146510]

Mr. Ingram: The current planned decommissioning dates for the Swiftsure class submarines and Type 22 Batch 3 frigates are as follows.

Swiftsure class submarines:
Type 22 Batch 3 frigates:
Cumberland 2017
Campbeltown 2017
Chatham 2018

The planned decommissioning date for HMS Chatham was brought forward from 2020. This is the only amendment to have been made within the last 12 months.

Split North Port, Croatia

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to his letter of 30 November 2003 on Split North Port, Croatia, how much the rent payable for the Split North Port was during the relevant period; and how much the underpayment was. [145219]

Mr. Ingram: The lease between the Ministry of Defence and Split North Port (SNP) provided for payments of around $8.9 million. Within the $6.35 million settlement in 2001, was an overall figure of $5.5 million for several claims by SNP taken together, including underpayment

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of rent, use of facilities and back interest. The claim for underpayment of rent arose from an Arrangement between NATO and the Croatian Government not the original lease.


Civil Service (Disabilities)

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in his Department. [145998]

Mr. Pearson: 3.5 per cent. of the senior civil servants employed in the Northern Ireland Office have declared a disability. The corresponding figure for the Northern Ireland Civil Service is 3 per cent..

The NIO is awaiting the detailed results of the Northern Ireland 2001 Census before setting a Departmental target for people with disabilities in the Senior Civil Service.

There are a number of measures in place to improve the representation of disabled people at all levels in the NIO, including in senior posts:

Work is carried out with schools and organisations for disabled people in Northern Ireland to increase their-awareness of the job opportunities available within the Civil Service.

Dental Care

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the examination of the future delivery of primary care dental services in Northern Ireland to commence; what form he expects the examination will take; and when he expects to be able to report the findings. [147382]

Angela Smith: The Chief Dental Officer is currently developing a new Oral Health Strategy, which will set the oral health agenda for the next 10 years. It will identify the oral health needs of the Northern Ireland population, determine desired outcomes and identify areas where oral health can link into the wider health agenda.

It is hoped that work on the new Oral Health Strategy will be concluded by June 2004 and this will then allow the development of a strategy for the delivery of primary care dental services to commence. That strategy will also take account of recent reviews of the dental workforce and the community dental service and consider whether any of the new contractual arrangements, currently being developed in England, should be introduced here.

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The aim is to have the necessary legislation in place to introduce any changes from April 2006 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Both strategies will be developed in consultation with service users, health and social services professionals, key stakeholders and relevant interest groups.

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