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Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 25 May 2005


Lottery Transformational Grants Programme

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 Fund—now operating jointly under the name of the Big Lottery Fund—with 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.

I have placed a copy of the policy directions and my letter to Sir Clive Booth in the Libraries of both Houses.


The Duke of York's Royal Military School

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Don Touhig): The Chief Executive of the Duke of York's Royal Military School has been set the following key targets for 2005–06.

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Defence Analytical Services Agency

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 2005–06. The targets, which build on the already high standards of service provided by the agency since its formation in 1992, are as follows:

Defence Communication Services Agency

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): Key targets have been set for the chief executive of the Defence Communication Services Agency for financial year 2005–06 as follows:
DCSA Key Targets for FY 2005–06

KT 1—SERVICE ASSURANCEThe 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 2—SERVICE AVAILABILITYThe measurement of the availability of operational services to customers.To achieve an average service availability of 98% for operational and business critical services.
KT 3—SERVICE RESTORATIONThe measurement of the Agency's service restoration performanceTo restore an average 98% of interrupted services within negotiated timelines agreed to in CSAs.
KT 4—EFFICIENCY MEASUREMENTThe 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 5—PROJECT DELIVERYThe 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.

Infantry Regimental Headquarters Review

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 review will not look into museums. However, where museums are co-located with RHQs, the implications for the museums will have to be determined and weighed in consideration of options.

Iraq: Roulement

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 Squadron12 Mechanised Brigade Headquarters and Signals Squadron
1st The Queen's Dragoon GuardsThe King's Royal Hussars
The Royal Dragoon GuardsThe Light Dragoons
4th Regiment the Royal Artillery19th Regiment the Royal Artillery
1st Battalion Scots Guards1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
1st Battalion Welsh Guards1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment
1st Battalion the Duke of Wellington's Regiment1st Battalion the Royal Regiment Wales
21 Engineer Regiment1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment
26 Engineer Regiment
7 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps3 Close Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps
The East & West Riding Regiment/Tyne Tees Regiment TAThe East of England Regiment TA/The Royal Rifle Volunteers TA
2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment

At the end of this process the number of troops in Iraq will be around 8,500—a 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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