The Minister for Sport and Tourism (Mr. Richard Caborn): I am pleased to inform the House that on 24 May I formally issued the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) and the Community Fundnow operating jointly under the name of the Big Lottery Fundwith policy directions in connection with the transformational grants programme. We announced our intention to establish such a programme in the National Lottery funding decision document in July 2003.
NOF and the Community Fund applied to the Secretary of State in December 2004 to authorise the two funds to participate in a joint scheme to make transformational grants. The New Opportunities Fund (Specification of Initiative) Order 2005, which came into force on 5 April 2005, following a resolution of each Houses of Parliament, specified transformational grants as a new NOF initiative
The policy directions which I have issued to the Big Lottery Fund were subject to public consultation and will allow the fund to carry forward the best of the Millennium Commission's work. This presents an opportunity for the fund occasionally to support exciting major capital projects. These will benefit community regeneration and contribute to growth and transformation across the UK.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): Key targets have been set for the chief executive of the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) for the financial year 200506. The targets, which build on the already high standards of service provided by the agency since its formation in 1992, are as follows:
Publish the five key national statistics on time, with no major errors and with no breaches of the pre-release arrangements, and meet 95 per cent. of the timeliness and quality targets for other defence national statistics publications.
|KT 1SERVICE ASSURANCE
|The single agency measure of performance against Customer Supplier Agreements (CSAs).
|To meet an average of 98% for measured services against the performance targets agreed in Agency CSAs.
|KT 2SERVICE AVAILABILITY
|The measurement of the availability of operational services to customers.
|To achieve an average service availability of 98% for operational and business critical services.
|KT 3SERVICE RESTORATION
|The measurement of the Agency's service restoration performance
|To restore an average 98% of interrupted services within negotiated timelines agreed to in CSAs.
|KT 4EFFICIENCY MEASUREMENT
|The measurement of the reduction in the average unit cost of output.
|To achieve an improvement in efficiency by reducing the average unit cost of output by 7% over 2004/05 costs.
|KT 5PROJECT DELIVERY
|The measurement of the Agency's effectiveness in introducing major complex projects.
|More than 91% of new projects will meet their time, cost and performance targets.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): On 16 December 2004 my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Defence, announced arrangements for the future Army structure (FAS). A significant part of this work regarded the future infantry structure (FIS).
As we work to implement FIS, it is appropriate that we examine whether the supporting infrastructure of regimental headquarters (RHQs) is correctly configured.
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We need to ensure that the design of the RHQs will support the future infantry. As before, they will give support to our soldiers whilst making the most effective use of taxpayers' money. RHQs will also continue to fulfil their remit of supporting former members of the Army.
The infantry RHQ review has therefore been commissioned to undertake this work. It will ultimately recommend the most effective and efficient method of delivering the functions of an RHQ in order to support the future infantry. This work is due to report by the end of the year and a final recommendation is not therefore expected until 2006. The review will not include RHQ Royal Irish.
The Secretary of State for Defence (John Reid): As part of the routine management of UK forces in the Multinational Division (South-East) (MND(SE)) in Iraq, we are conducting a roulement offerees. The lead UK formation, previously 4 Armoured Brigade, will now be provided by 12 Mechanised Brigade. The majority of forces involved in this roulement will complete their deployment by 30 May. The following units are involved:
|Currently Deployed in Iraq(TELIC 5)
|After Roulement(TELIC 6)
|4 Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron
|12 Mechanised Brigade Headquarters and Signals Squadron
|1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
|The King's Royal Hussars
|The Royal Dragoon Guards
|The Light Dragoons
|4th Regiment the Royal Artillery
|19th Regiment the Royal Artillery
|1st Battalion Scots Guards
|1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
|1st Battalion Welsh Guards
|1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment
|1st Battalion the Duke of Wellington's Regiment
|1st Battalion the Royal Regiment Wales
|21 Engineer Regiment
|1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment
|26 Engineer Regiment
|7 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps
|3 Close Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps
|The East & West Riding Regiment/Tyne Tees Regiment TA
|The East of England Regiment TA/The Royal Rifle Volunteers TA
|2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
|1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment
At the end of this process the number of troops in Iraq will be around 8,500a little over 400 more than at present. The reason for this small increase is in order to allow greater effort to be put into the training, development and mentoring of the Iraqi security forces: this will enable them to take on ever greater responsibility for their own security and so pave the way for UK troops to withdraw.
We will continue to consider, with the Iraqi Transitional Government and our partners in the multinational force, the levels and dispositions of forces required in Iraq. If we judge that further changes to the UK military contribution would be appropriate, we will of course inform the House at the earliest opportunity.
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