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4 July 2007 : Column 1036W—continued


4 July 2007 : Column 1037W

Chemicals: Ballast Bank

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will provide funding for the clean up of chemicals and asbestos at Ballast Bank, Charlestown in Fife. [146777]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 29 June 2007]: The land in question does not belong to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and has not been used as an MOD site. Thus MOD has no responsibility for the current condition of this land, for any activities that may have taken place there in the past, or for funding on carrying out any remediation required.

Departments: European Union

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials in his Department are (a) involved in assisting European Council negotiations, (b) involved in assisting and advising the European Commission, (c) seconded to the European Commission, (d) involved in monitoring EU decisions, communications, regulations and directives, (e) involved in enforcing compliance with EU decisions, communications, regulations and directives and (f) involved in other work related to the European Council, Commission or Court of Justice. [146099]

Derek Twigg: In the Ministry of Defence there are four members of staff working exclusively on European Security and Defence Policy business in the Directorate for Policy on International Organisations, and one full time member of staff dealing with EU business in the Defence Equipment and Support International Relations Group. A number of other staff throughout the Department are involved for part of their time in a wide range of EU business.

The MOD has nine military and civilian staff in the UK Military Representation to the EU in Brussels and two seconded to the UK diplomatic representation to the EU to work on European Security and Defence Policy. In addition there are 20 MOD military and civilian staff seconded to the European Council General Secretariat, including the European Union Military Staff, and eight to the European Defence Agency.

A functional breakdown of staff roles as requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Pay

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working at the Department and its agencies in each year between 1997 and 2006; and what the total cost of those bonuses was. [146498]

Derek Twigg: The numbers and values of annual appraisal related bonuses paid to members of the senior civil service (SCS) and to fixed term appointees at SCS equivalent level over the past four years are listed in tables 1 and 2. We are only able to provide information from 2003-04 as pay arrangements for SCS staff were changed from 1 April 2002; bonuses for performance during 2002-03 were paid in 2003-04. Bonuses for performance in 2006-07 are in the process
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of agreement through the MOD SCS Pay Committee structure and will be paid in November 2007.

Bonuses are designed to reward those who are deemed to have made the greatest contribution, through specific in-year achievements, to departmental objectives or defence business more widely.

Table 1: b onuses paid to senior civil servants
Number of bonuses paid Value of bonuses paid (£)

2006-07

181

1,178,500

2005-06

184

918,000

2004-05

136

711,737

2003-04

140

701,221


Table 2: bonuses paid to senior fixed term appointees
Number of bonuses paid Value of bonuses paid (£)

2006-07

10

73,191

2005-06

10

65,586

2004-05

14

112,329

2003-04

13

86,531


Departments: Travel

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many travel warrants were provided from Abbey Wood to Chippenham in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [146518]

Derek Twigg: A total of 17 rail tickets were issued by the Abbey Wood travel office for the 12 month period 1 July 2006 to 28 June 2007.

Ex-servicemen: Housing

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under what circumstances discharged service personnel can be classed as vulnerable service leavers and eligible for priority housing. [145712]

Derek Twigg: Guidance on vulnerability of former members of the armed forces and their need for priority housing is set out in Chapter 10: Priority Need, paragraphs 10.12 (iv)—10.14 and 10.21—10.23 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities, issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government in July 2006.

People who seek social housing, including service personnel approaching discharge or recently discharged, should apply to their local housing authority to join the waiting list for an allocation of housing under Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996

The homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) provides a safety net for people who become homeless in a crisis. Under the legislation local housing authorities must secure suitable accommodation for housing applicants who are homeless through no fault of their own and who fall within a priority need group. This applies to all applicants who are eligible for homelessness assistance, including discharged service personnel.

The priority need groups include, among others, applicants whose household includes a child or pregnant woman and applicants whose household includes a person who is vulnerable in some way. In
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2002, the Government extended the priority need groups by Order to include, among others, applicants who are

It is a matter of judgment by the local authority whether an applicant’s circumstances make him or her vulnerable for the purposes of the legislation. Local authorities must consider whether, when homeless, the applicant would be less able to fend for him or herself than an ordinary homeless person, so that he or she would suffer injury or detriment in circumstances where a less vulnerable person would be able to cope without harmful effects.

The potential vulnerability to homelessness of personnel due to leave the Service would be considered by the individual’s resettlement officer as part of the normal discharge process, and referral made to the Joint Service Housing Advice Office as necessary, which can assist with applications for social housing.

Ex-servicemen: Mentally Ill

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British Gulf War I veterans suffering from mental health issues there are in the Stockport area; and what proportion are receiving treatment. [147261]

Derek Twigg: The MOD does not hold this information.

Gibraltar: Police

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Gibraltar Services Police Staff Association will be consulted in connection with the review of the Gibraltar Services Police. [146673]

Derek Twigg: The Gibraltar Services Police Staff Association (GSPSA) has been consulted about the conduct of the Gibraltar Policing and Security Review, in accordance with established and agreed consultation procedures. The terms of reference for the review were provided to the GSPSA, and to other interested parties, on 4 June 2007. In response to a written request from the GSPSA, an extension to the consultation period on the terms of reference was granted. They subsequently responded on 19 June 2007, and conduct of the review commenced on 20 June 2007.

The GSPSA will also be consulted on emerging conclusions from the review in due course.

Gurkhas

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people applied for service in the Gurkhas in each of the last three years; and what the average selection time was. [146957]

Derek Twigg: Approximately 10,000 young men in Nepal applied to join the British Army as Gurkhas in 2004, with 15,000 applying in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The average selection time takes about 50 days.


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Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to be in a position to make a detailed report of the (a) costs and (b) other aspects of UK involvement with Operation Telic; and if he will make a statement. [147187]

Des Browne: The cost of operations are calculated on a net additional basis and audited figures are published each year in the MOD’s annual report and accounts. The total of the annual audited figures for the cost of operations in Iraq for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06 was £4,026 million. A total estimated cost of £1,002 million for 2006-07 was included in the Spring Supplementary Estimates published in February. Final figures will be published in the MOD’s annual report and accounts for 2006-07 in July.

I have updated the House regularly on various aspects of the UK operation in Iraq.

Official Residences: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what costs were incurred for maintenance at the official residence of the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland in each year since 1997. [136611]

Derek Twigg: The table provides maintenance costs for the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland’s Official Service Residence from financial years 2001-02 to 2005-06. Information covering earlier years has not been retained.

£

2001-02

31,048

2002-03

22,333

2003-04

11,335

2004-05

3,512

2005-06

6,394


Princess Royal Barracks

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made in implementing the recommendations from the Deepcut Review report produced by Sir Nicholas Blake, QC, published in March 2006; and if he will make a statement. [147064]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statements of 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 91-95WS, and 28 June 2007, Official Report, column 35WS. The Ministry of Defence is committed to maintaining the improvements already achieved, and to continuing to address the areas where performance can be improved. Independent inspection of the training environment will continue and our internal training inspection team is working hard to ensure that policy is fully implemented, change sustained and good practice shared.


4 July 2007 : Column 1041W

Territorial Army

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) regular and (b) Territorial Army staff work in the Inspector General’s Territorial Army department, broken down by (a) appointment and (b) location. [146756]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 29 June 2007]: The following table shows those military staff who provide dedicated support to commander regional forces (CRF) in his capacity as Inspector General Territorial Army (IGTA). All appointments are located at HQ Land Command in Wilton, Salisbury.

Appointment Status

Deputy Inspector General Territorial Army (DIGTA)

Territorial Army

Staff Officer 2 (SO2) to DIGTA

Territorial Army

TA Colonel

Territorial Army

Colonel Territorial Army Media and Communications

Territorial Army

SO1 TA Projects

Territorial Army

Chief of Staff Regional forces

Regular

Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Regional Forces and Territorial Inspectorate

Regular

SO2 Territorial Army (A) Plans

Regular

SO2 Territorial Army (B) Management Information Systems Plans

Regular

SO2 Territorial Army (C) Projects

Territorial Army

SO2 Territorial Army (D) Projects

Regular

SO2 Territorial Army Media Operations

Territorial Army


Territorial Army: Recruitment

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the strength of the various sections of the Territorial Army have seen active deployment, broken down by (a) officers and (b) other ranks. [146766]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Territorial Army (TA) is the reserve of “first choice” and its personnel are currently providing crucial support to the Regular Forces on operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Since January 2003 around 13,000 volunteers from the TA have been mobilised on overseas operations. The ability of the TA to meet its operational requirement is closely monitored. However, there is no requirement to hold or maintain information centrally in the format requested and such data could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

World War II: Military Decorations

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will introduce a campaign medal for the servicemen and women involved in the Bomber Command campaign in the second world war; and if he will make a statement. [147304]


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