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|Table 3: Percentage of each grade that took early retirement 2002-03 to 2006-07( 1)|
|(1) Percentage is based solely on early retirement data by grade compared against a 13-month average strength profile by grade for each financial year. Notes: 1 The streamlining of Head Office prior to the reoccupation of main building in London led to 540 personnel taking early retirement on compulsory early retirement on structural grounds. 2 This table excludes Royal Fleet auxiliary and locally engaged civilian staff for whom no information on civilian early retirements is available.|
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance he has given to military establishments on the flying of the Union flag on a daily basis; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Guidance is set out in Queen's Regulations and stipulates that all service and major commands and headquarters are required to fly the Union flag daily. In addition, these establishments are permitted to fly flags signifying the relevant single service and commander, corps, regimental, station and establishment.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) his Department's final bid to HM Treasury for resources in the 2004 spending review and (b) the final settlement letter from HM Treasury setting out his Department's expenditure limits for the period covered by the review. 
Derek Twigg: The Department has not estimated the number of its staff using public transport to commute. MOD encourages the use of public transport and cycling to work by providing interest-free loans for the purchase of public transport season tickets.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. 
Derek Twigg: The number of formal complaints of racial harassment in the Ministry of Defence and armed forces for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007, the latest period for which figures are available, was as follows:
The Departments Unified Diversity Strategy makes clear that harassment of any kind is not tolerated in the Ministry of Defence or the armed forces. Revised complaints procedures were published in January 2007. Ongoing internal communications keep personnel informed of their rights and responsibilities.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and how ex-servicemen and women waiting for digital hearing aids due to service-related hearing loss will be informed of their priority status. 
Derek Twigg: Advice regarding entitlement to priority treatment from the NHS is referenced in Leaflet 2 which is sent out by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency with the war pension disablement acceptance notification letter.
Regular reminders about priority treatment for war pensioners are circulated by the Health Departments to senior NHS managers who are tasked to ensure that relevant clinical staff are aware. Reminder action, due this year, will reference this issue. Priority for assessment, treatment, aids etc is decided by the clinician in charge based on clinical need.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions have been sent to NHS trusts in relation to affording priority status to ex-servicemen and women needing digital hearing aids due to service-related hearing loss. 
MOD is working with the UK Health Departments regarding awareness of NHS priority treatment among health professionals. Later this year Health Departments will distribute reminders to the chief executives of trusts requiring them to ensure that general practitioners and hospital clinicians are aware of all those veterans who are eligible for priority treatment, including the group who have noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss accepted as caused by
service. Priority refers to assessment, treatment and provision of aids. Allocation of priority is by the clinician in charge based on clinical need.
|Financial year||£ million|
Des Browne [holding answer 16 July 2007]: As of June 2007, around 5,500 UK armed forces personnel are deployed on operations in Iraq, although numbers do fluctuate due, for example, to roulements and rest and recuperation breaks.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the decision of the Ministry of Defence Police to cancel all non-mandatory staff overtime on (a) the security of military bases and (b) the capacity of his Department (i) to implement its anti-terrorism strategy and (ii) to meet its financial targets. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I am unable to comment on security matters in detail as to do so would, or would be likely to prejudice national security. The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency is managing this reduction in overtime.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 321W, on the MV Bugaled
Breizh, whether his Department has received any communication from those conducting the French judicial investigation into the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh; and whether a completed report of that investigation has been received. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department has received indirect communication from the French Tribunal conducting the inquiry into the loss of the fishing vessel Bugaled Breizh via the Home Office (United Kingdom Central Authority) and the French embassy, London. This has been for additional information to assist with their inquiries and declassification of signal messages respectively. The Department has not received or had sight of any official reports from the investigation.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 16 July 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave on 26 June 2007, Official Report, column 670W, to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans).
Derek Twigg: The approval for the Project MoDEL contract included £177 million for capital expenditure for the development of RAF Northolt. Project MoDEL is currently forecast to remain within its original approval.
A second contract including around £30 million for capital expenditure was awarded to a separate contractor to relocate the British Forces Post Office to RAF Northolt. This contract is also currently forecast to remain within its original approval.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1286W, on transport: AWE Burghfield, under what circumstances special nuclear materials convoys travel from AWE Burghfield without (a) a visible police escort and (b) emergency support vehicles; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether local incident management plans are put in place when special nuclear materials convoys travel from AWE Burghfield; and whether local authorities are informed before those convoys travel. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The transportation of nuclear and other hazardous materials is governed by the Radioactive Material (Road Transport) (Great Britain) Regulations 2002 and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004 (as amended in 2005). Although the Department is exempt from the regulations, it is nevertheless MOD policy to comply with their principles although they place no obligation on a carrier to inform local authorities. The publicly available Local Authority Emergency Services Information (LAESI) document provides the emergency services, local and health authorities with information on contingency arrangements for the transport of special nuclear material.
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