15 Jan 2004 : Column 817W
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his Department's strategy for (a) increasing cycle journeys and (b) reducing cycling injuries and deaths. 
Mr. Jamieson: We are improving cycling infrastructure and have initiated the Cycling Projects Fund to give over £4 million for local cycling facilities and training. On the safety front, we are promoting training and measures which cyclists can take to protect themselves, such as making themselves conspicuous. We are also improving training and testing for motorists.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what routes passengers will be able to travel from Manchester to Waterloo to connect with the Eurostar following the withdrawal of existing services; and whether the Newport to Waterloo service will be withdrawn in May. 
Mr. McNulty: Passengers can travel to London Euston and connect with London Underground services to Waterloo, a journey of around 3 hours 20 minutes (the ManchesterLondon Waterloo direct service takes over six hours). Direct services between Newport and London Waterloo will be withdrawn from May. However, alternative services will continue to operate to London Paddington.
Mr. Ingram: The Cormorant Communication System has an approved in-service date of May 2004 which is expected to be achieved. This will be some 19 months later than the latest date originally approved for entry into service.
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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which contractors tendered for the design, development, build and supply of cartridge RF distraction Mark 216 Model 3; when the winner will be announced; when production will commence; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 January 2004]: The closing date for receipt of bids from industry to supply the Seagnat 216 Model 3 RF Distraction Round was 18 December 2003. I am withholding further details in accordance with Exemption 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information as the tender evaluation process is at a very early stage and is classified Commercial in Confidence. It is anticipated that the contract will be let by the end of May 2004, enabling production to commence to meet the stated in service date for the round, which is December 2007.
Mr. Ingram: We are continuing to investigate the full requirement and costs for an enhanced Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) (Future-Deployed) capability, and no formal budget has yet been approved. Funding for some elements of the programme will come from existing provision for in-service systems that DII (Future-Deployed) will subsume, such as updates to current Navy and Army administrative information systems. Any additional funding required will be sought through the normal departmental resource planning process.
The Ministry of Defence is also investing significantly in other programmes to develop our information infrastructure for deployed operations, such as Skynet 5 (satellite communications services); Cormorant (voice and data communications services to support Joint Rapid Reaction force deployments); Falcon (tactical formation level secure communications), and Bowman (tactical secure voice and data system).
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what inquiries his Department has conducted into alleged leaks from members of staff since 1997; and on what occasions the names of those persons accused of leaking information from his Department have been made public (a) by the Government and (b) by way of another source. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 12 January 2004]: Since 1997, the Ministry of Defence has investigated 47 suspected leaks. In line with exemptions l(a) and 7(b) set out in Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on the outcome of such inquiries in order to safeguard security and investigative arrangements.
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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the findings of the Cheshire Coroner, regarding the death of Major Ian Hill; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caplin: We are aware of the Cheshire Coroner's conclusion of 24 November 2003 as to the death of Edward Ian Hill. To facilitate our understanding of the Cheshire Coroner's conclusion, officials wrote to him on 19 December 2003 under the Coroner Rules of 1984, requesting copies of reports of the post mortem examination and any special examinations, notes of evidence and documents put in evidence at the inquest. We understand that delivery of the letter was delayed. The Coroner has confirmed that he is dealing with our request.
Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many medical flights, involving civilians, were conducted by military aircraft between Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. 
We do not hold information about Medevac flights in a form which allows easy analysis of the point of origin and final destination of each trip. Those flights which cross the borders between Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom are thought to be few in number and mainly confined to transplant patients.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether negotiations between his Department and Microsoft regarding future licensing arrangements have been completed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has now completed negotiations with Microsoft regarding the continuation of future licensing arrangements for a range of software products (the 'Enterprise Agreement'). However, formal signature has not been completed at this stage. The new licensing arrangements will deliver savings to the Department and will come into effect in April 2004.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason employment services with the armed service is not considered relevant for pensions entitlement for employees who transfer to the MOD police. 
Mr. Caplin: Under the rules of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, a civil servant whose pensionable service begins on or after 1 January 1986 may apply in writing to bring in a transfer value in respect of any accrued pension benefits within 12 months of the date on which he or she takes up pensionable service in the PCSPS.
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The Public Sector Transfer Club (the Club) consists of a number of occupational pension schemes which have agreed reciprocal transfer arrangements. The Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) is a participant of the Club. Members joining the PCSPS before 6 April 1988 had to apply for a Club transfer within six months of becoming a member. Members joining after 6 April 1988 have to apply within 12 months of doing so.
Before this, arrangements were set up in 1979 to enable transfer between the AFPS and the PCSPS under which those who had left the armed forces on or after 1 April 1975 without immediate pension benefits could apply for a transfer into the PCSPS. The deadline for applications was 30 June 1980.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many appeals have been made by employers against compulsory call-out notices to their employees in each of the last five years; and how many of those appeals were allowed in each year. [R] 
Mr. Caplin: As at 12 January 2004 only 41 employers had lodged an appeal against the compulsory call-out of their employees under the appeals procedure set out in Part IX of the Reserve Forces Act 1996. Of these, seven were awarded to the Service authority, one was awarded to the employer, one remained outstanding and 32 were withdrawn before going to appeal. All of these appeals were lodged in 2003.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many compulsory call-out notices were issued to serving members of the Territorial Army in 2003; and how many of the recipients were actually mobilised. [R] 
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Territorial Army mobilised after receiving a compulsory call-out notice have served for (a) up to four months, (b) four to six months, (c) six months to one year and (d) over one year in the last three years. [R] 
Mr. Caplin: The number of Territorial Army personnel who have been mobilised, during the period 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2003, after receiving a compulsory call-out notice is shown according to length of service in the table.
|Up to four months||3,259|
|Four to six months||1,573|
|Six months to one year||3,137|
|Over one year||43|
15 Jan 2004 : Column 821W
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his written statement of 7 January 2004, Official Report, column 910WS, on reserve forces, what his policy is in respect of (a) full-time regular Service and (b) compulsory call-out when making provision for medium-sized operations of low intensity. [R] 
Mr. Caplin: The reserve forces are an integral part of the United Kingdom's military capability for a wide variety of different types of operations. Many factors will determine the number of reservists required to support a particular operation and whether it is necessary to mobilise reservists compulsorily. These factors include: the size of the operation; other concurrent operations; the time available to set up and train a force before deployment; the expected length of a particular operation; the individual skills and trades required; and the pool of people available with the requisite qualifications.
Royal Navy Reserve: 2,670
Royal Marines Reserve: 750
Royal Auxiliary Air Force: 1,300.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been paid in (a) reservist standard award and (b) reservist hardship award to mobilised reservists in each of the last five years; and how many individuals were involved in each case. [R] 
Mr. Caplin: The Defence White Paper made clear that work is in hand to produce new regulations governing the award of both Reservist Standard Award and Reservists Hardship Award. The new regulations will take into account the lessons arising from the mobilisation for Iraq. It is too early to state what the finalised proposals might be. However, once the MOD has completed our deliberations we plan to publish a consultation document to seek the views of interested parties prior to the issue of the final regulations.
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