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18 Apr 2006 : Column 11W—continued


Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why his Department discounts flying pay for flight lieutenants as pensionable pay in the final reckoning of service pension paid to qualified pilots. [62570]

Mr. Touhig: Pension benefits paid under the Armed Forces Pension Schemes, like other public sector pension schemes, are calculated on basic pay only. Any additions, such as specialist pay or allowances are not included because these are earned intermittently, rather than all the way through an individual's career.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what criteria were used in deciding not to make a dedicated pension scheme available to members of the reserve forces. [61540]

(2) if he will consider allowing members of the reserve forces to have the option of contributing their annualbounty payment into a reserve forces pension scheme. [61539]

Mr. Touhig: Members of the reserve forces who serveon a full time reserve service commitment or an additional duties commitment are pensioned in accordance with administrative arrangements made under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 75 or the Reserve Forces Pension Scheme. Aside from mobilised service, volunteer reserve service does not attract entitlement to an armed forces pension because the terms and conditions of service are entirely different from those of the regulars. It attracts payment of an annual bounty in recognition of the different nature of the commitment. Volunteer reserves have an option to make pension savings through the Armed Forces Stakeholder pension scheme.

Royal Ordnance Establishments (Chemical Licences)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the existing chemical licences at (a) Royal Ordnance Chorley and (b) Royal Ordnance Bridgewater will expire. [61599]

John Reid: BAE Systems Land Systems has had frequent dialogue with the Environment Agency regarding its chemical licenses. There is an agreed process to revoke the chemical licenses for sites and this will be undertaken in line with the company's decommissioning programmes for the Chorley and Bridgwater sites.
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Sonar (Marine Mammals)

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the use of low frequency active sonar by naval and survey ships on marine mammals. [63049]

Mr. Ingram: The low frequency active sonar operated by the Royal Navy is known as Sonar 2087. The Ministry of Defence has conducted environmental impact assessments of marine habitats in which Sonar 2087 might operate. These assessments indicated that the use of Sonar 2087, as with underwater sound generally, has the potential to impact on the marine environment. A range of rigorous mitigation measures have been developed to minimise this and they are integral to Royal Navy operating procedures. There have been no recorded incidents of harm being caused to marine life by Sonar 2087. We continue to support a sustained programme of research into the effects of active sonar.

Copies of the environmental analysis reports relating to the Sonar 2087 sea trials conducted in 2002 and 2004 have been released to interested parties and placed in the Library of the House.

Territorial Army

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will break down by rank the 900 personnel reduction in Territorial Army infantry; [62639]

(2) what the new establishment figure is for the Territorial Royal Army Medical Services. [62637]

Mr. Touhig [holding answers 30 March 2006]: The new rank structure of the TA infantry has yet to be agreed. I will write to the hon. Member when this information is available.

The new establishment figure for the Territorial Army Medical Services will be 5,268. This excludes the Officer Training Corps and Full Time Regular Service, Non Regular Permanent Staff and Regular Army personnel.

Tours of Duty

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many tours each regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps has undertaken in the last five years; what the (a) location and (b) length was of each; and what the length of time was between each deployment. [57476]

Mr. Ingram: The following table contains information on the tour intervals between unaccompanied regimental or formed sub-unit level operational deployments by the Royal Armoured Corps (including the Household Cavalry Regiment) in the past five years.
The deployments and the length of time (intervals between each deployment for each royal armoured corps regiment in the past five years—1 March to 28 February 20 06

The Household Cavalry RegimentBosnia (sub-unit) October 2001 to September 20023 monthsIraq (sub-unit) February to July 20032.5 monthsBosnia (sub-unit) October 2003 to March 20040.5 monthIraq (Regt minus) April to October 2004
1st The Queen's Dragoon GuardsBosnia (sub-unit) October 2000 to September 200116 monthsIraq February to June 20031 6 monthsIraq November 2004 to April 2005
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)Iraq February to June 200326 monthsIraq November 2005 to date
The Royal Dragoon GuardsIraq November 2004 to April 2005
The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish)Kosovo (Regiment minus) November 2001 to April 2002n/aKosovo (sub-unit) May to October 200212 monthsIraq November 2003—April 2004
9th/12th Royal Lancers (The Prince of Wales' s)Kosovo (sub-unit) March to June 200121 monthsBosnia (sub-unit) April to October 20031 monthsIraq (Regt minus) November 2003 to April 20041 8 monthsIraq November 2005 to date
The King's Royal HussarsNorthern Ireland December 2002 to July 200321 monthsIraq May to October 2005
The Light DragoonsBosnia (sub-unit) October 2002 to March 20034 monthsIraq August to October 20031 8 monthsIraq May to October 2005
The Queen's Royal LancersBosnia (sub-unit) May to October 200115 monthsKosovo May to October 200212 monthsIraq May -October 2004
2nd Royal Tank RegimentKosovo March to June 200119 monthsIraq (sub unit only from June to November)
February to November 2003
1 3 monthsKosovo (sub-unit) May to November 2005

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Cabinet Office Strategy Board

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the membership of the Cabinet Office Strategy Board; and what its current work programme is. [63126]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Cabinet Office Strategy Board was replaced by a new Cabinet Office board in November 2005. These changes were made to provide better governance and leadership in order to help create a more effective Department. The current board membership is:

The Chief Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister (David Bennett) and the Cabinet Office Minister's private secretary also attend. David Bennett does not attend for staffing discussions.
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Karen Jordan, chair of the Department's Audit and Risk Committee is a non-executive member. The board is currently considering what further non-executive membership is needed.

The board's role is to steer and manage the business of the Department in accordance with ministerial priorities. It routinely considers HR, finance issues. Its current and future work programme includes consideration of business continuity planning, risk, leadership within the Cabinet office, the future direction of the Cabinet Office, performance management. Its responsibilities include:

The Board will continue to keep under review its work programme and membership to ensure that it is fully effective.

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