|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 130W, on Armed Forces: Council Tax, what options are being considered; when he expects to publish his proposals; and what powers he has to ensure that his proposals are implemented across the UK. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of recruits to each of the armed forces were from ethnic minorities in each of the last five years; and how many were (a) British and (b) foreign nationals. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plans his Department has put in place to manage service personnel who are South African if the South African Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Regulation of Certain Activities in Areas of Armed Conflict Bill is enacted. 
Mr. Ingram: We are urgently investigating the potential consequences for South African personnel currently serving in the UK armed forces, should the legislation be enacted, so that we can support those who may be affected.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2007, Official Report, columns 749-50W, on Army costs, what the reasons were for the amount spent on maintenance of rented property occupied by the Adjutant General; and if he will break down the costs incurred for that maintenance. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 26 March 2007]: The figure of £13,284,44 previously provided under the generic heading maintenance covered a range of costs including the supply of replacement equipment; redecoration; rectification of faults; and the supply and erection of garden fencing. A breakdown follows:
|Description of maintenance||Cost (£)|
Derek Twigg [holding answer 30 April 2007]: The Armys Foreign and Commonwealth task force was set up in 2004 and works to identify concerns and to implement practical and achievable measures to ameliorate them. Since its inception, the task force has seen adjustments to Tri-Service or Army policy and guidance, including changes in other Government Department regulations.
Reviewing services allowances and ensuring priority allowances take account of country of origin implications;
Promulgating guidance on in-service UK naturalisation opportunities; and
Providing a Commonwealth soldiers and families information website.
The task force met most recently on 26 April 2007. There are a number of ongoing issues; dialogue continues with other Government Departments where appropriate, while work within MOD control includes providing improved guidance for non-British soldiers during initial training and improving the flow of communications through the chain of command to both soldiers and their accompanying families.
|1 April 2006||1 October 2006|
|n/a = not available.|
Derek Twigg: Within the official North East Government Office Region, the Ministry of Defence has nine establishments, excluding Reserve Forces Cadet Association sites and Careers Offices which are not considered to be main establishments.
Army Museum Alnwick Castle
Bowes Moor Chemical Weapon Stores
Catterick Training Area
Otterburn Training Area
Warcop Army Field Training Centre
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which British military units will form the EU Battle Group in 2008.  Mr. Ingram: The British military units which will form the EU Battle Group that the United Kingdom will have on standby in the second half of 2008 will come from our Joint Rapid Reaction Force. We have yet to nominate the particular Battalion to provide the core of this capability. A decision is likely to be taken during the summer.Mr. Ingram: 18 British service personnel are currently assigned to the European Union Military Staff.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government take to ensure that war pensioners receive priority treatment on the NHS for their accepted disablements; what systems the Government have in place to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these measures; and how many war pensioners were given priority treatment on the NHS for their accepted disablements in each year since 1997. Derek Twigg: NHS hospitals should give priority to war pensioners, both as out-patients and in-patients, for examination or treatment relating to their pensioned disablement, subject to clinical priority. Reminders about priority treatment for war pensioners are circulated by the health services to senior NHS managers who are tasked to ensure that relevant clinical staff are aware.There is no formal system to monitor or evaluate the provision, but officials take up cases with the relevant health authority where it is alleged that there is an issue around provision of priority treatment. The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency monitor these cases. The Ministry of Defence and its Service Personnel and Veterans Agency do not keep records of those war pensioners who receive priority treatment for their accepted disablements; this is a matter for the Department of Health.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements have been made for members of Royal Welsh Regiments 1 and 2 to visit friends and families before deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. Derek Twigg: The First and Second Battalion the Royal Welsh will be deploying to both Afghanistan and Iraq this year (in the case of the Second Battalion the Royal Welsh the entire unit will deploy to Iraq; the First Battalion the Royal Welsh will send troops to both theatres).Generally, commanders will ensure that troops who are about to deploy receive up to three consecutive weeks leave during the two months prior to deployment. The First Battalion the Royal Welsh (1 RW) is based permanently in Cyprus, and in most cases spouses and children are located with the unit. The elements of 1 RW who will be deploying have already had their pre-deployment leave (Friday 30 March to Wednesday 18 April). However, a handful of personnel were not able to take this in full owing to operational commitment. Arrangements are in place for those affected to return to their home base and receive the balance of leave owed shortly after the unit arrives in theatre.The Second Battalion the Royal Welsh (2 RW) is based in Tidworth, Wiltshire. 2 RW have been on leave since after duties on Friday 30 March and returned to work on Monday 23 April.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2007, Official Report, column 1359W, on Navy: deployment, whether any other ships are held at low readiness. Mr. Ingram: As I made clear in my letter of the 6 March 2007 to the hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis), copies of which were placed in the Library of the House, it is not MOD policy to publish details of the readiness states of individual RN vessels or types. The only exceptions are HMS Invincible and ships in refit: currently HMS Gloucester, HMS Liverpool, HMS Cumberland, HMS Somerset, HMS Iron Duke, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Grimsby. These eight ships are all at low or very low readiness. In addition, HMS St. Albans is preparing for refit.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the costs of replacing the (a) air-to-air refuelling system, (b) wing fuel tanks and (c) single skin fuel pipes in his decision to refurbish the current fleet of Nimrod MR2 R1 aircraft. 
Mr. Ingram: The MR2 and the R1 are two separate variants of the Nimrod aircraft. There are no current plans to refurbish the MR2 fleet before it is replaced by the Nimrod MRA4 aircraft. The MRA4 design was costed as a whole, not by individual elements such as the air to air refuelling system, the wing fuel tanks or the fuel system. No decisions have yet been taken on whether the R1 platform will carry the replacement for the current mission system, and whether the R1 fleet would be refurbished.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|