Previous Section Index Home Page

22 Oct 2007 : Column 11W—continued

Departments: Official Hospitality

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent by his Department on official hospitality in the last 12 months. [158933]

Derek Twigg: We routinely publish this information in our Annual Report and Accounts (see page 244 of HC 697 of 23 July 2007 for 2006-07 expenditure). Copies are available in the Library of the House and also online at:

Departments: Publications

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the latest version of (a) his Department's Corporate Planning Assumptions, (b) the Defence Programme Directory and (c) the Defence Strategic Guidance. [158390]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The key elements of the Defence Planning Assumptions can be found in the second Supporting Essay to the 2003 Defence White Paper, ‘Delivering Security in a Changing World’ (Cm 6041-I) and the annex to ‘Delivering Security in a Changing World—Future Capabilities’ (Cm 6269) published in July 2004. Since these papers were published, only minor amendments have been made to the assumptions on Strategic Effects.

The planned force structure derived from the Defence Programme Directory can also be found in the 2004 Command Paper ‘Delivering Security in a Changing World—Future Capabilities’ (Cm 6269). Since this paper was published there have been no changes to the planned force structure although there have been minor changes to some platform numbers. The complete Defence Programme Directory contains readiness profiles which are classified and for security reasons cannot be placed in the Library.

22 Oct 2007 : Column 12W

Defence Strategic Guidance provides guidance to the Department on how Defence policy should be delivered and includes the complete set of defence planning assumptions. I am withholding the guidance as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the defence of the British Isles and the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the 140 Mastiff vehicles whose purchase was announced by the Prime Minister on 8 October 2007 will be (a) delivered and (b) in use by frontline troops in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan. [157155]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 11 October 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Congleton (Ann Winterton) during the Defence Procurement debate on 9 October 2007, Official Report, column 202.

Iraq: Resettlement

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to assist in the identification of Iraqis who have worked for the British Army in relation to investigation of asylum applications based on the implications of such work. [158784]

Des Browne: The Ministry of Defence will provide the Home Office with details of those eligible current and former staff who have applied for resettlement or asylum under those terms announced by the Foreign Secretary on 9 October.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance he has issued to the armed forces on terms in contracts for Iraqi workers relating to entitlements to assistance in resettling in (a) the UK and (b) elsewhere. [158798]

Des Browne [holding answer 17 October 2007]: The precise details of the scheme are still being refined and will be announced in due course. Specific guidance to staff on implementation will be promulgated shortly thereafter.

Military Aid: Belize

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost has been of the assistance provided by the British Army Training and Support Unit to the manatee conservation project in Belize; and what type of helicopter was used by the Army Air Corps to assist the project. [158385]

Derek Twigg: On 26 and 28 March 2007 the British Army Training Support Unit Belize provided assistance to the Wildlife Trust’s manatee conservation project, in locating, examining and tagging manatees. Two helicopters were involved, a hired Bell 212 operated by 25 Flight Army Air Corps and a RAF Puma. The extra cost of this activity to the Ministry of Defence was £1,765, covering the hire of the Bell 212 for approximately two and a half hours. All armed forces personnel and equipment involved were already in Belize for training purposes.

22 Oct 2007 : Column 13W

Peacekeeping Operations

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme visits were (a) cancelled and (b) reduced in size in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan in each year since 2001, broken down by reason. [157038]

Derek Twigg: Neither the Ministry of Defence nor the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme keep detailed historical records of the details of cancelled Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme visits to Operational Theatres.

Radioactive Materials

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what definition his Department uses of (a) special nuclear materials and (b) other radioactive materials. [157797]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Applied generally within the MOD, the term “special nuclear material” refers to materials associated with nuclear programmes and for which there is a requirement for special handling arrangements.

“Other radioactive materials” include any substance not included in the above, containing one or more radionuclides, whose activity requires radiation protection.

Royal Regiment of Scotland

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) people and (b) non-UK Commonwealth citizens have been recruited to the Royal Regiment of Scotland in each year since its creation. [158701]

Derek Twigg: The information is as follows:

Number of recruits to the Royal Regiment of Scotland between 1 April 2006 and 28 February 2007
The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Total r ecruitment





Of which : non-UK Commonwealth





(1)( )Denotes a value that is zero
1. Figures are shown for the 11 months to the 28 February 2007, as reliable Army flows information to this level of detail are not yet available after 28 February 2007 onwards due to ongoing validation of Army data following the introduction of the new Personnel Administration System.
2. The numbers have been rounded to the nearest five.

The figures in the table are Trained Regular Officers and Soldiers only and exclude full-time Reserve Service (FTRS), Gurkhas and Royal Irish (Home Service).

Shipping: Accidents

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will audit records of the number of collisions between commercial vessels and (a) Royal Navy warships and (b) Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels in Portsmouth harbour in each of the last 10 years. [159046]

22 Oct 2007 : Column 14W

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 18 October 2007]: There is no requirement to undertake an audit of the number of collisions, as all navigation incidents that occur worldwide involving HM warships are reported in accordance with the Queen’s Regulations for the Royal Navy. Records show that there has been one collision incident involving a commercial vessel and a Royal Navy warship in the port of Portsmouth during the last 10 years, while there have been no recorded incidents involving commercial and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

Territorial Army: Armed Forces Training

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Combat Fitness Test is undertaken at the start of the Potential Junior NCOs course for Territorial Army personnel. [159180]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The combat fitness test (CFT) forms part of the mandatory military annual training test (MATT) for all members of the Army, including the Territorial Army. Active serving members of the Territorial Army are normally required to take this test annually in order to qualify for their training bounty, unless undertaking a staff posting.

There is no centrally mandated requirement for members of the TA to pass the CFT at the start of Potential Junior NCO courses, the syllabuses for which are tailored by each of the Corps to meet their individual needs. In practice, however, it is usual either for the CFT to be included at some point during such a course or for participants to demonstrate the required MATT standard before the course begins.

Territorial Army: Driving

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what regulations cover the driving hours per week of Territorial Army drivers with private carriage vehicles and heavy goods vehicle licences who also drive professionally in their civilian job in those categories; and if he will make a statement. [159154]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Members of the reserve forces are subject to the following regulations in relation to the number of hours that they can drive:

Territorial Army: Manpower

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) outflow and (b) inflow of the Territorial Army was in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in each year since 1997. [159009]

22 Oct 2007 : Column 15W

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: It is not possible to provide information on outflow and inflow for the Territorial Army by geographic region, as this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The following table shows the total intake and outflow for territorial personnel during the period 1 October 2003 to 28 February 2007. October 2003 is the earliest date for which reliable TA inflow and outflow data are available.

Inflow and outflow of the Territorial Army by calendar year( 1,2,3,4)
Calendar year Inflow( 5) Outflow( 6)

2003 (1 October—31 December)












2007 (1 January—28 February)(7)



(1) The data exclude Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS), Non-Regular Permanent Staff (NRPS) and Mobilised TA but includes the Officer Training Corps (OTC).
(2) The data are based on flows during the period 1 October 2003 to 31 December 2003, calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006, and the period 1 January 2007 to 28 February 2007.
(3) The data have been rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in ‘5’ have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to avoid systematic bias.
(4) Figures are for both Officers and Soldiers.
(5) Inflow figures include all inflow e.g. intake from civil life and intake from other parts of the armed forces, but does not include the inflow of personnel returning from mobilisation.
(6) Outflow figures exclude those personnel who became mobilised.
(7) Due to ongoing data validation following the introduction of the new Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) System, there is no TA information available since 1 March 2007.

Territorial Army: Reorganisation

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes in the Territorial Army structure he plans to make; and if he will make a statement. [158975]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by the then Minister for the Armed Forces on 26 March 2006, Official Report, columns 426-28, about Territorial Army rebalancing.

Within a continuing overall establishment of 42,000 (including some 3,500 Officer Training Corps Personnel) the TA will be rebalanced with some units re-roled, some expanded and others reduced. Work is continuing to implement the changes announced.

UK Hydrographic Office

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many stakeholders the team carrying out the review of the UK Hydrographic Office has met during the course of their work thus far. [158888]

Derek Twigg: The study team has engaged and met international stakeholders, including Foreign Government Hydrographic Offices and data suppliers, commercial and Government customers and Trade Union representatives. Survey work on behalf of the study has also sought views of fleet operators, distributors and flag states. In total study team members have formally met and consulted with approximately 25 stakeholders in addition to stakeholders within the MOD.

22 Oct 2007 : Column 16W

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce the outcome of the review of the UK Hydrographic Office. [158889]

Derek Twigg: I expect to make an announcement in early 2008.


Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future number of warships required by the Royal Navy. [159395]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The requirement is not defined by numbers of warships alone but by the overall capability that they deliver. Our plans for the Royal Navy include the introduction of more advanced and more capable vessels such as the Daring Class destroyers, Astute Class submarines and the Future Aircraft Carriers.


Bicycles: Helmets

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will bring forward proposals to make it mandatory for children under 14 to wear a helmet when cycling on a public highway. [159870]

Jim Fitzpatrick: We have no proposals to bring forward legislation on compulsory cycle helmet wearing. We believe that it is sensible for cyclists, especially children, to protect themselves by wearing a cycle helmet. A 2002 review commissioned by the DfT concluded that overall there is evidence that bicycle helmets can be effective at reducing the incidence and severity of head, brain and upper facial injuries and that they can be effective in reducing injury for users of all ages, particularly for children. However, the report also concluded that making cycle helmet wearing compulsory may in some cases discourage some people from cycling, leading to decreased bicycle use. We will shortly be commissioning further research on a range of cycle safety issues, including the use of cycle helmets.

Our regular surveys of helmet wearing rates show that cycle helmets were worn by 28 per cent. of all cyclists on major roads in built up areas in 2004; this compares to 16 per cent. in 1994. The corresponding figures for child cyclists are 14 per cent. in 2004 compared to 18 per cent. in 1994. The wearing rate for teenage boys has decreased from 16 per cent. to 11 per cent. The 2006 helmet wearing rate survey will be published later this year.

While compulsion remains an option that we will review from time to time, it has been our view that, at current helmet wearing rates, making helmets compulsory would cause enforcement difficulties and without greater public acceptance could have an effect on levels of cycling. Meanwhile, we will continue to encourage all cyclists to wear helmets, through our road safety publicity campaigns and advice in publications such as The Highway Code.

Next Section Index Home Page