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24 July 2006 : Column 765Wcontinued
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) fighter, (b) training, (c) tanker and
transport, (d) reconnaissance and (e) maritime patrol aircraft were in service with the Royal Air Force in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Ingram: The following table gives aircraft numbers that were planned to be in service as at the end of March in each financial year (FY) shown. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
|Financial Year||Fighter||Training||Tanker and Transport||Reconnaissance||Maritime Patrol Aircraft|
| Notes: 1. Only provisional figures are available for FY 2000-01. 2. Training numbers include approximately 150 gliders each year. 3. Contracted fleets are not included.|
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what fleet tankers will be available to support each future aircraft carrier, if the in-service dates for the two new carriers are (a) confirmed as 2012 and 2015, (b) moved to 2015 and 2018 and (c) postponed to 2018 and 2021. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 17 July 2006]: Existing Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers and/or those planned within the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme will support our Future Aircraft Carriers (CVF). As for all projects, the in-service dates for CVF will only be set following the main investment decision and once the dates have been approved by Ministers. As I indicated in my answer on 19 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1579-80W, the main investment decision has not yet been taken.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the houses sold to Annington Homes have subsequently been (a) demolished and (b) sold to private buyers (i) in total and (ii) in Colchester. 
Mr. Watson: Under the terms of the 1996 Sale Agreement with Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL), houses for which this Department has no further requirement are handed back to AHL. The Ministry of Defence maintains no records of how such properties are disposed of or developed. As a private company it is entirely a matter for AHL. It is believed that the majority are sold on the open market.
May I suggest that for further information the hon. Member may wish to write to the Chief Executive of AHL at the following address: Mr. J Hopkins, 1 James Street, London W1U 1DR.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much Annington Homes has paid to the Government for the houses it acquired from the Ministry of Defence (a) in total and (b) for the housing stock at Colchester. 
Mr. Watson: The 1996 sale of 57,428 properties in England and Wales to Annington Homes Ltd raised £1.662 billion for the Exchequer.
Some 1,400 properties in the Colchester area were included in the sale, and were sold for £34,694,122. Of these, all but 46, which were surplus to requirements at the time, were leased back by the Ministry of Defence to house service families.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the conventions are concerning armed services regular and reserve personnel having contact with hon. Members; and when they were last circulated. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 20 July 2006]: Queen's Regulations provide guidance to service personnel regarding contacts with Members of Parliament for example on handling inquiries from Members, visit requests and political activity. Queen's Regulations are publicly available and I have placed copies in the Library.
There are no service regulations restricting the right of service personnel as citizens to write to their Member of Parliament.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 10 July 2006, Official Report, column 1436W, on injured British servicemen (treatment), how many armed forces personnel in (a) the Army, (b) the RAF and (c) the Royal Navy have been transferred to the NHS for continued medical care as a result of injuries sustained in (i) Iraq since 2003 and (ii) Afghanistan since 2002. 
Des Browne: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 13 July 2006, Official Report, column 1942W, which stated that details of armed forces personnel who have been medically discharged from the armed forces as a result of a condition that can be attributed specifically to service in Iraq or Afghanistan and whose continued medical care has therefore been transferred to the NHS, could be obtained only by a search of the individual medical records of all personnel discharged from the armed forces since the beginning of those Operations. This could be done only at disproportionate cost.
The vast majority of serving military patients in the UK requiring secondary care are treated in NHS facilities by NHS staff. I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Forest of Dean (Mr. Harper) of 10 May 2006, Official Report, column 288W, which set out the number of Service personnel treated since the year 2000 at those NHS hospitals where Ministry of Defence Hospitals are hosted. It is not possible to break down these figures to show the number of patients treated for injuries sustained on particular operations. Such information is not held centrally and to obtain it would require the examination of the individual medical records of every patient. These can only be viewed for non-clinical reasons with the express consent of the individual concerned, to protect patient confidentiality. To seek permission and then to extract the information from the records could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how compensation for service personnel dismissed from the armed forces on the grounds of sexuality is assessed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Watson: The assessment of compensation in cases where service personnel were dismissed from the armed forces on the grounds of sexual orientation depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, taking into account detailed schedules of loss from the claimants and the jurisprudence of the ECHR.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces who were dismissed on the grounds of their sexuality are yet to receive compensation. 
Mr. Watson: There are 62 claims against the Ministry of Defence from ex-Service personnel who allege that they were dismissed from the armed forces as a result of their sexual orientation that remain to be settled.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which NATO members require their troops to pay income tax when they are on active service. 
Mr. Watson: The Ministry of Defence does not hold the information and it could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many chaplains are serving with the (a) Royal Navy and Royal Marines, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Air Force; how many in each category are (i) Christian, (ii) Jewish, (iii) Muslim, (iv) Hindu, (v) Sikh and (vi) of other religions; and what the total cost was to public funds of providing chaplaincy services in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Watson: There are a total of 376 chaplains serving with the armed forces. The breakdown per service is as follows:
|(1) There are five chaplains who serve all three services from the following religions, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish. All are civilian chaplains and do not deploy.|
The breakdown by religion is as follows:
|(1) The Jewish chaplain is an honorary officiating chaplain.|
In addition, there are 207 officiating chaplains to the forces (OCF) who are fee earners and are used by the armed forces in the United Kingdom only.
There are also three Hindu Pandits who are engaged as locally employed civilians specifically to provide pastoral care and support to Gurkhas.
The last available figures for the total cost to public funds for providing chaplaincy services to the armed forces are as follows:
|(1) The figures are based on capitation rates as at October 2005. (2) This category includes Buddhist, Hindu (including Pandits), Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish faiths. It is an estimated cost and includes travel and subsistence. (3) Estimated costs of officiating chaplains to the forces.|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 209W, on Colombia, what his assessment is of the current level of risk to UK personnel involved in the bespoke counter narcotics training provided to Colombian law enforcement agencies. 
Mr. Ingram: The risk to any personnel associated with counter narcotics activities in Columbia is potentially very high.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions he has accepted corporate hospitality in the last 12 months. 
Des Browne: Paragraph 5.28 of the ministerial code sets out the rules on the registration of hospitality.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Minister for Veterans will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 31 May 2006 (Ref: 03319/2006). 
Mr. Watson: I wrote to the hon. Member on 21 July 2006.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what budget has been made available to support his Department's Counter-Terrorism Science and Technology Centre at Porton Down for 2006-07. 
Mr. Ingram: Some £5 million has been made available in 2006-07 to support the Department's Counter-Terrorism Science and Technology Centre. Planned consumption of resources in 2006-07 will take into consideration funding already available through the MOD's research budget in support of related equipment projects to ensure value for money is achieved. Once fully established it is anticipated that the centre will attract further third party funding from other Government Departments and industry through joint projects.
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