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31 Jan 2005 : Column 736W—continued

Special Advisers

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many special advisers there are in the Department, broken down by Civil Service pay- grade. [206508]

Mr. Caplin: Details on the names and number of Special Advisers by pay band by department are published on annual basis. For information for the financial year 2003–4, I refer the hon. Member to the statement given by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 22 July 2004 Official Report, column 466W.

Specialist Units

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which specialist units have been deployed on operations since 1997 in a basic infantry role. [211388]

Mr. Ingram: Every soldier in the British Army is trained as infanteer first, and as a specialist second, therefore I have assumed the hon. Member is referring to non-infantry units that have deployed in an infantry role. Such units would not primarily be deployed in an infantry role during war fighting operations. Non-infantry units deployed in an infantry role from January 2000 to January 2005 inclusive are set out in the following tables. Details of deployments before 2000 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Royal Artillery
16th Regiment Royal ArtilleryJune 2000 to December 2000
12th Regiment Royal ArtilleryJune 2001 to December 2001
32nd Regiment Royal ArtilleryDecember 2001 to June 2002(Including a sub unit from the 5th Regiment Royal Artillery)
16th Regiment Royal ArtilleryJune 2002 to December 2002
47th Regiment Royal ArtilleryDecember 2002 to June 2003
22nd Regiment Royal ArtilleryJune 2003 to December 2003
3rd Regiment Royal Horse ArtilleryDecember 2003 to June 2004
40th Regiment Royal ArtilleryJune 2004 to October 2004
26th Regiment Royal ArtilleryOctober 2004 to April 2005
Royal Armoured Corps
Light DragoonsJanuary 2000 to June 2000
Queen's Royal LancersJanuary 2001 to June 2001

31 Jan 2005 : Column 737W

Northern Ireland

Royal Artillery
26th Regiment Royal ArtilleryOctober 1999 to April 2000
12th Regiment Royal ArtilleryApril 2000 to October 2000
39th Regiment Royal ArtilleryOctober 2000 to April 2001
39th Regiment Royal ArtilleryNovember 2002 to May 2003
4th Regiment Royal ArtilleryJune 2003 to January 2004
39th Regiment Royal ArtilleryAugust 2003 to November 2003(Including a sub unit from 5 Regt RA)
12th Regiment Royal ArtilleryNovember 2003 to June 2004(Including a sub unit from 16 Regt RA)
Royal Armoured Corps
King's Royal HussarsDecember 2002 to June 2003


Royal Artillery
40th Regiment Royal ArtilleryJuly 2003 to November 2003
26th Regiment Royal ArtilleryNovember 2003 to May 2004
1st RegimentMay 2004
Royal Horse ArtilleryNovember 2004
4th Regiment Royal ArtilleryNovember 2004
Royal Armoured Corps
2nd Royal Tank RegimentJune 2003 to November 2003
Queen's Royal HussarsNovember 2003 to May 2004
Queen's Royal LancersMay 2004 to November 2004
Royal Dragoon GuardsNovember 2004

Tornado GR4 (Servicing)

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to service Tornado GR4 jets at RAF Lossiemouth. [210259]

Mr. Ingram: RAF Lossiemouth will continue to undertake Primary and Primary Star maintenance activity for Tornado GR4 aircraft. Minor maintenance tasks for the Tornado GR4 will transfer to RAF Marham as part of the End-End-Study recommendation to centralise Tornado GR4 on-aircraft maintenance.

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many tracks are to be built at RAF Lossiemouth to service Tornado GR4 jets. [210260]

Mr. Ingram: None.

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what concerns have been expressed to him by BAE Systems about the ability of the RAF to undertake deep repair of Tornado GR4 jets at RAF Marham. [210261]

Mr. Ingram: I am not aware of any such concerns having been expressed to Ministers or senior officials within the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many tracks are to be built at RAF Marham to provide depth support for Tornado GR4 jets. [210262]

Mr. Ingram: None. The intention is to replace the track based maintenance system with a flow-line",
31 Jan 2005 : Column 738W
similar to the Harrier Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme at RAF Cottesmore.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much VAT was transferred by the Department to the Treasury in 2003–04; and if he will make a statement. [211475]

Mr. Ingram: No VAT was transferred by the Department to the Treasury in 2003–04. The total output VAT due to HM Customs and Excise was £93 million (VAT on business sales). However, this was more than offset by the total recoverable input VAT for the year, £1,093 million (recovery of input tax relating tocontracted-out services and business activities). This led to an overall VAT refund to the Department of £1,000 million (total recoverable input VAT minus output VAT).

Voluntary Signing Off

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) private soldiers and (b) non-commissioned officers have voluntarily signed off from the Army at the 11 year point in their Army career in each six-month period of the last four years. [201489]

Mr. Caplin: Although the term 'signed off' is not recognised within the United Kingdom Armed Forces, it is likely that the question relates to trained soldiers who have left under Premature Voluntary Release (PVR) terms.
31 Jan 2005 : Column 739W

The number of PVR exits of trained soldiers with a length of reckonable service equal to 11 years are as follows:

Financial year—date of flow
Non-commissioned officerPrivate soldierTotal
2000–01First half35540
2000–01Second half30535
2001–02First half25530
2001–02Second half25(85)25
2002–03First half15(85)20
2002–03Second half10(85)10
2003–04First half15520
2003–04Second half15(85)15
2004–05First half10010

(85)Indicates fewer than 5.
Totals are rounded to 5.
PVR is defined as all applications and exits from trained personnel which are generated by the individual except as of right" compassion", redundancy", medical reasons", death", services no longer required" and time expiry".

West Dean

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made with the disposal of the West Dean ordnance site; and if he will make a statement. [204546]

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are for the future of the land at the Defence Munitions Dean site. [209545]

Mr. Caplin [holding answer 15 December 2004]: The Dean Hill site comprises 340 acres within the site boundary, 230 acres of farmland beyond the boundary wire, and 35 associated residential properties.

The area within the boundary is likely to be sold as one lot on the open market during financial year 2005–06. Following discussions with local authorities, parish councils, Statutory bodies and other stakeholders a Planning Position Statement is likely to be adopted as planning guidance.

The 230 acres of farmland outside the wire has been offered back for sale to former owners under the Crichel Down Rules. Any land not purchased by former owners will be sold on the open market or to the existing farm tenants.

32 of the residential properties have already been sold or are under offer. The remaining properties are likely to be sold at auction. All existing tenants were given the opportunity to purchase the property they occupied and 10 accepted. Seven tenants chose not to purchase and these properties will be transferred to Testway Housing Association subject to their existing tenancies, with a stipulation that the tenancies are protected and provide security of tenure.

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