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30 Jan 2006 : Column 28W—continued

Thames Gateway Port Project

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact on the Thames Gateway Port project of the possible takeover of P&O by Dubai World Ports; and if he will make a statement. [46214]

Dr. Ladyman: None. The potential change in ownership of P&O does not affect the application for the port. The proposed harbour empowerment order would involve the establishment of London Gateway Port Limited as a separate new statutory harbour authority, the London Gateway Port Harbour Authority.

Thameslink 2000

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what stage the approval by his Department of the Thameslink 2000 project has reached; what the estimated cost of the project is; and if he will make a statement. [41336]

Dr. Ladyman: The public inquiry into the Thameslink 2000 project was re-opened between 6 September and 7 December 2005, following the submission of fresh applications by Network Rail to address deficiencies in the scheme identified by the original inquiry.

The Inspector is currently preparing his report on the re-opened inquiry for submission to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Deputy Prime Minister, who are jointly and severally responsible for determining the various consent applications required to implement the project. We expect to receive the Inspector's report in March. We also expect to receive in the spring a report from London Travelwatch on the railway closures required to implement the project. The estimated cost of the project is £2.7 billion at 2001 Quarter 2 prices.

Transport 2010 Document

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will update Table A3 of the Transport 2010 document published in July 2000 with actual totals for the years 2000–01 to 2004–05. [40856]

Ms Buck: The Department for Transport (DfT) no longer records spending in the same way as presented in Table A3 of the Transport 2010 and so comparable figures are not available. The latest outturn figures for public spending by DfT for each year from 1999–2000 to 2003–04 are set out in Tables A1-A3 of DfT's Annual Report 2005 (Cm 6527, June 2005).
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Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel on duty in Afghanistan were injured in (a) action and (b) accidents, broken down by severity of injury, for each year since UK forces have been deployed there. [45457]

John Reid: In the period 1 to 25 January 2006, no UK Service personnel have been categorised as very seriously ill/injured (VSI) or seriously ill/injured (SI) as a result of injuries sustained in Afghanistan in any circumstances. The information for previous years is not held centrally and will take some time to collate.

I will write to the right hon. Member when the figures are available and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

The Ministry of Defence intends to publish casualty figures for Afghanistan from 1 January 2006 onwards, identifying the number of personnel categorised as SI and VSI, on its website in the coming weeks, and to update them regularly.

Aircraft Cannibalisation

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cannibalisations of (a) C-130 Hercules, (b) Tristars, (c) VC-10s and (d) C-17A Globemasters occurred in each of the last five years. [45142]

Mr. Ingram: The removal of serviceable parts from one aircraft for use on another is a routine and temporary measure to ensure that the maximum number of aircraft are available to the front line.

The number of these instances over the last five years is given in the following table.
C130K113145116(5)177(6)No data
C130J8796388481717(6)No data

(5) April to December data only.
(6) C130 data is not available before April 2002.

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Apache Helicopter Fleet

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the job satisfaction of Apache helicopter (i) qualified pilots and (ii) engineers; and if he will make a statement; [43873]

(2) what steps he plans to take to retain the services of Apache helicopter (a) qualified pilots and (b) engineers for (i) the full three year term of their posting and (ii) a longer period; and if he will make a statement. [43874]

Mr. Touhig: There has been no specific research commissioned to evaluate the job satisfaction of Apache pilots or engineers, though job satisfaction across the Army is monitored through the Continuous Attitude Survey. This survey has been in place for over 20 years and is based on a stratified random sample of personnel and sent out twice a year. The surveys are analysed by occupational psychologists.

Apache pilots are required to sign a four year 'Training Return of Service' from the start date of their conversion course. This means the individual cannot leave the service for that period of time.

Aircraft and avionics technician trades are required to sign a three year 'Training Return of Service' from the completion of basic technician training. Technicians who progress in grade sign a further two year 'Return of Service'.

There are financial retention incentives for certain aircrew for all aircraft types and the eligibility is generally connected to length of service. These are in the form of taxable lump sums at particular stages of career and in certain circumstances with the advantage of an enhanced pension scheme.

Across the Army a range of financial and non-financial retention measures have been put in place which include improvements to service housing and the Operational Welfare Package.

Armed Forces (Divorce Rates)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the divorce rates have been in each of the armed forces since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [45170]

Mr. Touhig: Available information is shown in the following table on the annual divorce rates of Army and RAF personnel:

Other ranks(7)(7)
Other ranks(7)

(7) Denotes not available.
DASA (Tri-Service)

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Figures are for UK regular forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve service personnel, the home service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, mobilised reservists and Naval Activated Reservists.

Rates are calculated as a percentage of the average married strength during the calendar years.

For the years 1999, 2000 and 2001, annulments are excluded from the calculations for divorce rates, as the information is not available. The remaining years include annulments in their calculation.

Naval Service marital status data is not available.

Armoured Infantry Units (Trade Pay)

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will extend trade pay for crews in armoured regiments to armoured infantry units. [45937]

Mr. Touhig: The current armed forces pay structure, known as pay 2000, does not use the 'trade pay' system. Instead it places each rank within each and every trade into either a higher or lower pay band, based upon job weight.

All Infantry and Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) trades have undergone job evaluation within the last two years. As a result, from 1 April 2006 the only
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differences in pay banding between the infantry and RAC will be at colour sergeant rank where the infantry are in the lower band, and RAC staff sergeants (the equivalent rank) are in the higher band, and at corporal rank where infantry corporals are in the higher band and RAC crewmen are in the lower range. Infantry soldiers are paid in the higher band at all ranks except private and colour sergeant.

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