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17 Jan 2005 : Column 740W—continued

Parachute Regiment

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether trainees with the Parachute Regiment wear emergency parachutes during training jumps; and if he will make a statement. [209152]

Mr. Ingram: Trainees with the Parachute Regiment undergo their training as infantrymen at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick. Their course is 26 weeks in length, followed by a three week Basic Parachute Course at RAF Brize Norton. All jumps are made with the Low Level Reserve Parachute (LLRP), as the reserve parachute is known. Students are not allowed onto an aircraft for their first training jump until they are fully confident in the actions required to deploy the LLRP.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many written questions for his Department were unanswered when Parliament Prorogued; and how many of the unanswered questions were tabled in each of the previous months of the 2003–04 Session; [201545]

(2) when he will reply to the Question tabled for answer on 1 December, reference 201545. [207315]

Mr. Caplin: No written questions to the Ministry of Defence remained unanswered when the House Prorogued on 18 November.
17 Jan 2005 : Column 741W

Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what precedent he referred in deciding upon a method for disbanding the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. [208830]

Mr. Ingram: It is vital that we ensure that the Army of the future is properly configured to meet the priorities and challenges of the future, rather than the past. The Army has always evolved to meet current and future challenges and it is a fact that very few of our regiments and corps exist today in the same form as they did in the past.

Of a number of options considered for the Prince of Wales's Division, the solution of merging the prior Glosters element of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and the prior Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment element of the RGBW with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, was judged to offer the least overall disruption and the most coherent regional and structural outcome.

Service Discipline

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the complaints considered under redress procedures since 1997 concerned (a) sexual harassment, (b) racial harassment, (c) parental leave directive, (d) pay and (e) religion broken down by service. [201841]

Mr. Caplin: Information is not held in the form requested as the Services only hold statistics for the number of complaints considered at Service Board level. Details are as follows:

Naval Service

The Naval Service do not hold complete records prior to 2001. Between 2001 and 2003, one case involved sexual harassment and 22 pay related issues.


Between 1999 and 2003, the Army recorded 29 complaints alleging sexual harassment, 18 alleged racial harassment, one religious harassment and 192 related to pay issues.


Between 1997 and 2003, the number of complaints for sexual harassment and discrimination was 87, the number for racial harassment and discrimination was 28 and 262 complaints concerned pay.

Tsunami (Military Assistance)

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Government Department is paying the costs of using the Hercules aircraft based at RAF Lyneham for disaster relief. [208818]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is currently engaged in assisting the Department for International Development (DfID) in providing disaster relief in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean. DfID has agreed to reimburse MOD the marginal costs incurred.
17 Jan 2005 : Column 742W

Welsh Regiments

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will change the name of the new Welsh infantry regiment to ensure that the names of the Royal Regiment of Wales and the Royal Welch Fusiliers are more prominent, in a manner similar to that used for the renaming of the Scottish infantry regiments. [208692]

Mr. Ingram: As I have made clear throughout, the process of re-structuring the infantry has been worked through by the Army, consulting with the divisions and regiments concerned.

The outcome of the Army's deliberations, announced on 16 December by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, is that a new large infantry regiment will be formed to represent Wales. The Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Wales will combine to form what will be known as The Royal Welsh Regiment. They will be known respectively as 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers) and 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Regiment of Wales).

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the decision was taken not to name the new Royal Welsh regiment by showing its name in brackets behind the old battalion names in the same way as the Royal Regiment of Scotland. [208796]

Mr. Ingram: The Executive Committee of the Army Board (ECAB) took into account advice from the Colonel Commandant of the Prince of Wales's Division (in which the Welsh regiments sit) as the representative of the regiments concerned. The ECAB accepted this advice and concluded that the new regiment should be called The Royal Welsh and that its two battalions should be called 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers) and 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Regiment of Wales).

The title for the new Scottish Regiment and those for its constituent battalions proposed by the Colonel Commandant of the Scottish Division, were endorsed by the ECAB, who considered that the bold move direct to the largest single cap badge regiment warranted the retention of the antecedent names foremost. It was also felt that given the very different nature and large geographical spread of the existing regiments from Scotland, this would help maintain the best possible recruitment.


Asylum Seekers

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the net current expenditure on asylum seekers by each local authority in (a) Scotland and (b) Wales has been in each year since 1996–97. [204530]

Mr. Browne: The information is not available in the precise format requested. There is no information available for financial years prior to 1999–2000. The Home Office assumed responsibility for the budget for asylum seekers on 1 April 1999.
17 Jan 2005 : Column 743W

For Wales, The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) makes payments direct to each local authority responsible for supporting asylum seekers. Information is only available for the periods 6 December 1999–31 March 2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02 and this information is reproduced.
17 Jan 2005 : Column 744W

For Scotland, in the years 1999–2000 to 2001–02, NASS made payments to the Scottish Executive who distributed the funding to local authorities in Scotland supporting asylum seekers. NASS does not have any information relating to expenditure incurred by Scottish local authorities.

6 December 1999 to 31 March
1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001
1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002
Local AuthorityExpenditure claimedMaximum claimExpenditure claimedMaximum claimExpenditure claimedMaximum claim
Blaenau Gwent County6,014.397,280.00
Bridgend County1,844.001,680.00
Caerphllly County10,946.2113,819.0235,659.1243,680.0023,413.0522,770.00
Ceredigion CC3,118.653,780.006,350.157,280.00
Conwy CBC1,200.002,240.002,925.005,460.00
Denbighshire County1,300.001,300.005,276.837,280.001,007.211,240.00
Isle of Anglesey CC
Merthyr Tydfil County1,220.652,380.003,269.176,300.00
Monmouthshire County6,425.244,480.0010,610.2814,560.0011,292.1014,560.00
Neath Port Talbot1,685.812,380.008,186.1014,560.005,740.157,280.00
Newport County (South Wales)30,721.3627,871.73167,784.43160,400.00159,494.42179,370.00
Powys CC
Rhondda Cynon Taff County16,713.3614,041.0050,635.7756,860.0031,424.0039,740.00
Swansea City and County6,973.1527,380.0036,504.0045,960.0039,264.6848,360.00
Torfaen CBC
Vale of Glamorgan17,122.0013,320.0054,501.0056,160.0055,009.0056,160.00

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers have been held at HMP Lewes in each month from January 2003 to date; and how many (a) had been convicted of an offence, (b) were on remand and (c) were otherwise held in each month. [207201]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 10 January 2005]: Details of the nationality or immigration status of a defendant proceeded against are not collected centrally on the Home Office Court Proceedings Database. Therefore it is not possible to say how many asylum seekers who have been convicted of an offence or were on remand are held at Her Majesty's Prison Lewes.

Information on the number of persons who had claimed asylum at some stage and were detained at Her Majesty's Prison Lewes solely under Immigration Act powers, on the final Saturday of each quarter since January 2003 is shown in the table. Information on the total number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers in each month is not available.
Persons recorded as being in detention in HMP Lewes solely under Immigration Act powers, who have applied for asylum at some stage(8)

As at given dateNumber of detainees
29 March 2003*
28 June 2003*
27 September 2003*
27 December 2003*
27 March 2004*
28 June 20045
25 September 2004*

(8) Figures rounded to the nearest 5, with * = 1 or 2

Work is ongoing to improve the quality of data held on those people detained under Immigration Act powers in Prison Service establishments.

Information on persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers is published on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information in respect of asylum seekers held within prison establishments is provided to outside individuals and groups who have as part of their remit the helping of such individuals. [207202]

Mr. Browne [holding answer 10 January 2005]: Her Majesty's Prison Service does not provide personal data about individual prisoners to other organisations because of Data Protection Act considerations.

All prisons have a Legal Services Officer whose role is to facilitate access to legal services for all prisoners in respect of all legal issues, including asylum claims. A number of establishments—such as Brixton—work
17 Jan 2005 : Column 745W
with non-governmental organisations such as the Detainee Advice Service to ensure prisoners have access to advice on their immigration cases.

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