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13 Jun 2007 : Column 1047W—continued


Departments: Information Officers

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many full-time press officers are employed in his Department. [142715]

David Cairns: Two.

Departments: Legal Fees

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by his Department on legal fees in each of the last five years. [139394]

David Cairns: Over the last five years, the legal fees paid by the Scotland Office have arisen solely in the financial year 2006-07, when £4,404 was spent.

Departments: Pay

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was paid in bonuses to civil servants in his Department in the last financial year; and how many civil servants received such bonuses. [142542]

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David Cairns: Staff in the Scotland Office are seconded from the Scottish Executive (SE) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) who each have bonus schemes, part of which relate to annual performance appraisal. The Scotland Office does not hold information on bonus payments under the annual performance appraisal systems. Under the special bonus scheme of the SE and the reward and recognition scheme of the MoJ, the Office may also directly authorise bonus payments for special effort, achievement and commitment; the following shows the number and cost of such non-pensionable bonuses:


Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by his Department on the use of electronic counting vote technology and equipment for the May 2007 elections to the Scottish Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [137687]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not yet have final figures on the costs of electronic counting as these form part of the accounts which have yet to be submitted by each returning officer. Returning officers have 12 months in which to submit their accounts.


Afghanistan: Peace Keeping Operations

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of supply of military helicopters in Afghanistan. [141276]

Des Browne: In common with other capabilities, we continue to keep our helicopter requirements under review to ensure that we have sufficient helicopter support to meet current and anticipated tasks.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) minimum and (b) maximum period of time was to repatriate members of the armed forces killed on active service in (i) Afghanistan and (ii) Iraq in each of the last 36 months. [141521]

Des Browne [holding answer 11 June 2007]: All casualties suffered by UK forces are a matter of profound sadness and regret. MOD guidance is that repatriations should be carried out within seven to 10 days of the next of kin being informed and every effort is made to ensure that these guidelines are met. We do not hold data on the actual time taken for repatriation.

Armed Forces: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the clinics which treat post-traumatic stress disorder for members of HM armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [142294]

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Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) currently has 15 military Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH) across the UK to provide community-based mental healthcare. These are as follows:

Similar satellite facilities are available to service personnel serving overseas in Germany and Cyprus.

The care provided in these facilities is multidisciplinary in nature. Teams comprise consultant psychiatrists, community mental health nurses, psychologists and specialist social workers; the individual’s medical condition dictates which disciplines are involved in their care. The approach to assessment and treatment is delivered in accordance with national guidance (issued through NICE) and is delivered in conjunction with the patient’s general practitioner and where appropriate, key individuals in the patient’s chain of command.

If a service person’s condition requires a period of in-patient assessment and/or treatment, patients can be admitted to an in-patient facility under the MOD’s contract with the Priory Healthcare Group. This contract provides specialist assessment and treatment in a facility proximate to their home unit or home. During a period of in-patient care, the Defence Mental Health Services continually liaise with the patient and their medical team through a nominated service liaison officer (SLO) who is a senior mental health nurse.

The primary aim of assessment and treatment, be it community or hospital based is correct diagnosis (as early as possibly), treatment and stabilisation, rehabilitation and return to work. If the patient’s condition and prognosis dictates that he/she can no longer service in the armed forces, the focus is on a seamless transfer of care and support from the military medical and welfare services to the NHS and other relevant bodies.

The MOD also provides a care programme for recently demobilised reserve personnel called the Reserves Mental Health programme (RMHP). Under the RMHP, we liaise with the individual's GP and offer a mental health assessment at the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre in Chilwell. If diagnosed to have a combat-related mental health condition, we then offer out-patient treatment via one of the MOD's 15 Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMHs). If more acute cases present, the DMS will assist access to NHS in-patient treatment.

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Armed Forces: Recruitment

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the (a) affordability and (b) deliverability within existing allocated resources of the Army Recruiting and Training Division draft Management Plan 2007; and if he will make a statement. [138743]

Derek Twigg: The Army Recruiting and Training Division (ARTD) draft Management Plan 2007 details the training programme required to meet the individual training needs of the army over the plan period. The Plan takes account of the ARTD’s capacity to deliver training. The army has a standard in-year management process whereby plans and resources are kept in balance.

Army Board: Domestic Services

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what criteria are used to determine whether a non-ministerial member of the Army Board qualifies for a full-time (a) cleaner and (b) gardener at public expense; and if he will make a statement; [134509]

(2) what criteria are used to determine the number of members of staff a non-ministerial member of the Army Board requires in their household. [134555]

Derek Twigg: Guidance on the management of official service residences is set out in Joint Service Publication 448. I have placed it in the Library of the House along with a copy of the Cazalet report to which it refers.

Iraq: Peace Keeping Operations

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the (a) strategy and (b) tactics of the Mahdi Army; and for how many attacks on UK service personnel he estimates it to have been responsible. [139149]

Des Browne [holding answer 4 June 2007]: The Jaysh al-Mahdi also referred to as the Mahdi Army, which acts as the militia wing of the Office of the Martyr Sadr is opposed to the presence of Multi National Forces in Iraq and wish to see their withdrawal. Jaysh al-Mahdi and its factions have been responsible for many attacks against coalition forces including UK troops.

We routinely assesses the capabilities and objectives of insurgent and militia groups in Iraq including the Jaysh al-Mahdi. I am withholding further details as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.

Military Aircraft: Procurement

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Britten Norman Defender 4S A2 Mk 1 aircraft are being operated by the army in Iraq. [130327]

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Mr. Ingram: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Nuclear Submarines

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected cost is of developing a new submarine reactor to replace the PWR2. [108882]

Des Browne: Decisions on whether or not to develop a replacement for PWR2 have not yet been taken. Initial projected costs for the procurement of the nuclear propulsion system were factored into the estimated procurement costs of the new ballistic missile submarines, set out at paragraph 5-11 of the White Paper (Cm 6994) on the Future of the UK's Nuclear Deterrent, published on 4 December. Cost estimates will be refined as work on the concept and assessment phases is taken forward with industry, but at this early stage of the procurement process, we are not in a position to break these estimates down.

Veterans: Mental Health

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Dunfermline and West Fife (Willie Rennie) of 12 December 2006, Official Report, column 940W, on veterans: mental health, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Health and Social Care Advisory Service’s recommendations of 2005 on mental health services for veterans; and if he will make a statement; [137531]

(2) what progress has been made with his Department’s work to ensure that there is a coherent response to veterans’ mental health issues; and if he will make a statement. [137532]

Derek Twigg: The Government are committed to good mental health and wellbeing for armed forces personnel, both in service and after they leave. For veterans, healthcare is primarily the responsibility of the NHS.

Following recommendations on mental health services for veterans made in 2005 by the independent Health and Social Care Advisory Service, officials from the Ministry of Defence, the UK Health departments and Combat Stress have been working together to develop and implement a new community-based model for mental health services for veterans; this is designed to provide health professionals with access to expert understanding of veterans’ mental health problems and appropriate treatment options. Based on NHS practice and procedures, the new service would deliver culturally sensitive, evidence-based interventions through a network of public, private and charitable providers; an aim of the new model would be to integrate Combat Stress into NHS commissioning arrangements. It is planned that, beginning in the summer, the model will be piloted at sites across the UK. The pilots are likely to last two years and, if successful, will be rolled out nationally. We have established separately an arrangement for the assessment and treatment of mental health problems
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that may have affected Reservists as a result of deployment on operations since 2003.

I will place a copy of the recommendations made by the Health and Social Care Advisory Service's in their 2005 report on mental health services for veterans in the Library of the House.

Written Questions

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to answer question 108882, on submarine reactors, tabled by the hon. Member for North Devon on 7 December 2006. [142091]

Des Browne: I replied to the hon. Member today.

Home Department

Crime: Internet

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has instructed any police force to close any website or webpage of any organisation demonstrably linked with criminal activity; and if he will make a statement. [140662]

Mr. Coaker: The issue of whether a website should be shut down is an operational matter for the police to discuss with the internet industry.

However, UK ISPs work effectively with law enforcement and take a robust approach to ensuring their services are not used for illegal activity or activity that falls just short of illegality. The Government have also worked closely with law enforcement agencies to build greater clarity on when criminal offences have been committed on the internet.

In addition, the Government are working with international colleagues in a number of fora to develop an approach which allows us all to deal effectively with illegal activity, across very different legal systems, while protecting free speech.

Departments: Public Expenditure

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) he and (b) (i) other ministers and (ii) officials from his Department attended a (A) steering group, (B) working group and (C) other regular series of meetings on HM Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review policy review into counter-terrorism and security. [141310]

Mr. McNulty: Matters relating to the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) 2007 are routinely discussed at meetings between Home Office Ministers and officials and HM Treasury Ministers and officials.

Driving Under Influence

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) women, (b) men, (c) women under 30 years old and (d) men under 30 years old committed drink driving offences in each of the last 10 years. [141234]

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Mr. Coaker: The information requested is set out in the following tables.

Table A: Findings of guilt at all courts for driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs( 1) females by age of offender, England and Wales, 1995 to 2004
Number of offences
Total findings of guilt at all courts
All ages Aged under 30































(1) Offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988 ss. 4 (1) & (2), 5 (a) & (b), 6 (4), 7 (6) and s.7A as added by the Police Reform Act 2002 s. 56.
1. It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete. Work is under way to ensure that the magistrates courts’ case management system currently being implemented by the Ministry of Justice reports all motoring offences to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. This will enable more complete figures to be disseminated.
2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

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