|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 13 June 2005, Official Report, columns 1516W, on natural disasters (military assistance), if he will list the improvements identified in the review of operations following the tsunami. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has carried out a formal Lessons Study conducted by the Directorate of Operational Capability, to identify what improvements could be made in any such future operation. The lessons identified will inform the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations Doctrine and associated procedures.
In addition, the MOD is undertaking steps to improve the information flow both within the Department and cross-Government, in particular, enhancing liaison and potentially information infrastructures with DFID and the Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit. This fully supports the Government's effort to reform cross-Government interoperability.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many infantry private soldiers have been subject to negligence discharge from the (a) Regular Army and (b) Territorial Army since hostilities started in Iraq. 
Our records indicate that, between March 2003 and June 2005, 80 Regular Army infantry private soldiers, and two Territorial Army infantry private soldiers, have been disciplined as a result of negligent discharges in Iraq.
19 Jul 2005 : Column 1535W
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the works that are (a) planned and (b) under way in Salisbury constituency in connection with Project Aquatrine; who the contractors are; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: The Aquatrine Private Finance Initiative (PFI) commercial arrangements involve the leasing of up to 28 types of water and wastewater assets to the Service Provider, Brey Services Ltd. who is responsible for operation and maintenance, and capital development of the assets over the 25-year period of the PFI. Brey is required to maintain a three-yearly Rolling Operations Programme, which outlines their prioritised capital development programme. Brey's Capital Solutions Partner for the Salisbury area is Earth Tech Engineering. Brey's Rolling Operations Programme currently includes 21 planned capital works schemes. Of these, 17 are still in the planning stage and contracts have not been awarded. There are currently four capital works schemes for which the contractor is known. These are:
(6) how many (a) officers, (b) non-commissioned officers and (c) other ranks he expects to be made redundant or allowed early retirement following the merger of the King's, King's Own Borderers and Queen's Lancashire Regiment; what the strength is of each regiment; and what percentage is overseas recruits. 
The following table sets out the trained strength of the King's Own Royal Border Regiment (KORBR), the King's Regiment (KINGS) and the
19 Jul 2005 : Column 1536W
Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR) as at 1 May 2005. A breakdown between personnel of UK nationality and foreign nationality is shown.
|King's Own Royal Border Regiment|
|Overseas as percentage||0.0||8.6||7.5|
|Overseas as percentage||||4.9||4.5|
|Queen's Lancashire Regiment|
|Overseas as percentage||0.0||1.0||0.9|
It is not possible to provide a breakdown of personnel by the recruiting centre in which they attested because this information is not held centrally. However, recruiting centres recruit to the infantry as a whole and not exclusively for their local infantry regiment. Only on completion of initial training are recruits finally assigned to a particular regiment, the location of attestation having no bearing on this decision.
Redundancy is one of the mechanisms being utilised to achieve a manning balance post implementation of the Future Infantry Structure. To the maximum extent possible those posts released from the reduction to the infantry will be reinvested elsewhere in the Army and personnel re-rolled and re-trained. However, in order to prevent structural imbalances and career blockages, 121 officers have been, and up to 195 soldiers will be, selected from across the infantry for redundancy under the Army Redundancy Programme 200607. There is no other Army redundancy programme in place at the current time.
Infantry officers have now been notified of their redundancy and will be retired from the Army by 30 June 2006. All of the officers who were selected for redundancy had expressed a prior interest in accepting the package on offer. The officers selected are drawn broadly from across the infantry. With regard to specific regiments, two of those selected are serving with KINGS, five with KORBR and four with QLR.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that personnel from RAF Innsworth are not disadvantaged when applying for posts at High Wycombe following the transfer of operations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Ministry of Defence policy and procedures will be followed. It is envisaged that the majority of posts across the collocated RAF HQ will be openly competed. In the first instance the competition will be amongst existing civilian employees at Headquarters Personnel and Training Command, Strike Command, and those in the MOD-wide redeployment pool.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of redundancies from (a) RAF Innsworth and (b) High Wycombe, following the transfer of operations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Redundancies resulting from the planned collocation of the RAF Headquarters at High Wycombe form part of the 10,000 civilian post reductions announced as part of the July 2004 Defence White Paper Delivering Security in a Changing World". It is not yet known how many staff, or at which grades, will be made redundant at each site. It is therefore too early to estimate the cost of these redundancies.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of the removal and transfer of (a) staff and (b) operations from RAF Innsworth to High Wycombe; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The total estimated cost of removal and transfer of staff and operations for the collocated RAF Headquarters at High Wycombe is in the region of £23 million. £6 million is for staff costs, £3 million of which is identified for staff relocation packages, in accordance with the appropriate departmental guidelines. The other £3 million, spread over a period often years, is for additional housing cost allowance payable to civilian staff. £17 million is for operational costs.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recruitment and retention allowance is paid to staff at (a) RAF Innsworth and (b) High Wycombe; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: A recruitment and retention allowance (RRA) of £2,000 is paid to all civilian staff below the senior civil service at RAF High Wycombe. No recruitment and retention allowance is currently paid at RAF Innsworth.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Defence what steps he has taken to obtain theagreement of other agencies to use the RAF Innsworth site following closure; and if he will make a statement. 
We are still considering whether RAF Innsworth might be suitable for alternative defence requirements. If none are identified the site will be
19 Jul 2005 : Column 1538W
placed on the English Partnerships (EP) Public Asset Register to allow other Government Departments and agencies 40 days to declare an interest.
Mr. Ingram: Any request from the trade unions for an extension to the consultation period, identifying the length of time required and defining the reasons why it is needed, will be considered very carefully.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the decision was made to move the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency from the RAF Innsworth site; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The planning assumption that the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA) should move from Innsworth in mid-2008 was agreed as part of the RAF HQ collocation study in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Funding for the relocation of AFPAA from Innsworth was included in collocation costings. This decision formed part of my written statement of 16 June 2005, Official Report, column 21WS.
Mr. Ingram: A recommendation on the collocation of Headquarters Strike Command and Headquarters Personnel and Training Command was submitted to me on 13 May 2005 and a decision was announced on 16 June 2005, Official Report, column 21WS. The decision was not taken lightly and followed a comprehensive study into the feasibility of collocating the two headquarters (currently based at RAF High Wycombe and RAF Innsworth) by rationalising and collocating them on a single site.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the financial effect on the Innsworth area of the decision to close the RAF site; what plans he has to provide financial assistance to the area following the closure; and if he will make a statement. 
The RAF HQ Collocation Business Case examined all direct costs and benefits as well as other considerations such as economic impact. We estimate that the 1,800 service and civilian jobs on the Innsworth site make up approximately 3.5 per cent. of local employment. However, as jobs on the site reduce progressively over the next three years, the economic impact will clearly depend on the future use of the site. We will work with local employers and the local
19 Jul 2005 : Column 1539W
authorities to keep them informed of the progress of the collocation and enable them to plan as effectively as possible.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when it was decided to include the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency in the review of operations on the RAF Innsworth site; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA) was automatically considered as part of the RAF Headquarters collocation study, which has been under way since February 2004. The cost of relocating AFPAA was taken into account in the Investment Appraisal.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|