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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what steps are being taken by Defence Estates to reduce the number of void properties on the estate; what discussions he has had with Defence Estates on the practice of releasing information on the number of voids; what discussions he has had with HM Treasury on the spending of revenue from the sale of properties on the estate on service accommodation; what the cost of void properties was to his Department in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many void properties there are in the Defence Estate; how many such properties have been void for (a) one year, (b) three years, (c) five years and (d) 10 years and over; how much of the £3 billion allocated by his Department to rent, routine costs and leasing of service accommodation he projects will be spent on rent in each of the next 10 years; how much was spent on maintenance and emergency repairs of void properties in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) keeps its estate of around 240,000 hectares under continual review to ensure that it is no larger than is required for defence purposes. Details of all MOD properties that are currently void or have been void for the periods specified are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
However, detailed records are held of void service family accommodation properties (SFA) in Great Britain (GB) and at 5 March 2008, there were 9,066 void properties out of a stock of some 49,000, of which, the following have been void for over a year.
|Number of years||Number of properties|
The Department accepts that the remaining amount of void accommodation is unacceptably high and work is in hand to reduce this. Since March 2007, the total number of void SFA worldwide has reduced from 13,336 to 12,240 properties.
The Department is seeking to reduce the number of void SFA properties by seeking to maximise the number of properties that can be declared surplus to requirements, bringing forward decisions on the future use of sites and by reducing the number of properties retained in anticipation of agreed deployments.
No separate assessment of the cost of void properties is made. However, the majority of SFA in England and Wales is owned by Annington Homes Ltd. and an average rent of £3,500 per annum is payable. In Scotland, SFA is owned by the MOD and no rental charges are incurred. All GB SFA incur costs in respect of contributions in lieu of council tax, which averages £600 per void property per annum. Maintenance costs average £1,600
per property per annum. Minimal maintenance will be carried out where properties are due to be disposed of or are scheduled for major refurbishment.
It is not possible to provide a detailed breakdown of expenditure on rent in each financial year, but we currently plan to spend some £2 billion on the rental of GB service accommodation over the next 10 years.
The MOD agrees disposal targets with HM Treasury as part of the periodic Spending Reviews and these form part of the Defence budget. Where disposal targets have been exceeded, HM Treasury has allowed the Department to invest any surplus in key priorities, including the provision of new and improved accommodation. As part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review, the proceeds from the disposal of Chelsea barracks were specifically ring-fenced for investment in new and improved accommodation for service personnel.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which unit will back-fill the requirement for the Spearhead Land Element (SLE) if the current SLE is deployed as part of the pan-Balkans Operational Reserve Force. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The 1st Battalion the Welsh Guards are currently providing the Operational Reserve Force (ORF) with the 2nd Battalion the Royal Ghurkha Rifles undertaking the Spearhead Land Element (SLE) role. Should the ORF be deployed the SLE role will remain with 2nd Battalion the Royal Ghurkha Rifles.
In due course 2nd Battalion The Rifles will take over both the ORF and SLE roles. Should they be required to deploy, the SLE role would be filled by three Commando Bde or alternatively the Small Scale Focused Intervention Battle Group (SSFI BG).
(1) Figures show all intake from civil life to UK regular forces including re-enlistments and rejoined reservists.
(2) Figures are for UK regular forces (including both trained and untrained personnel), and therefore excludes Gurkhas, full-time reserve service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists.
|(1) Provisional (2) Revised. Notes: 1. Figures are sourced from the annual publication TSP19 "UK Regular Forces Intake and outflow by age for financial year 2006-07". 2. Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system, Naval Service statistics from 1 October 2006, and Army and RAF statistics from 1 April 2007 and RAF statistics from 1 April 2006 are provisional and subject to review. 3. Due to rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in five have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias. Source: DASA (Quad-Service)|
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel of each unit are unfit for duty for medical reasons; and how many have been diagnosed with diseases under each international classification of diseases code. 
Derek Twigg: The MOD collates, on a quarterly basis, fit for task figures, which provide a measure of all trained personnel that are considered medically fit for the task they were posted to their ship/unit/station to perform. It is the balance of the trained strength that is not medically downgraded. It is important to note, however, that the majority of medically downgraded personnel remain fit enough to work in some other capacity and therefore continue to make a contribution to operational effectiveness.
|Service||Fully fit for task||Not fully fit for task||Unfit for task||Total trained strength|
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what improvements have been made since 2002 in the provision of an effective supervisory regime in the Army training establishment; and what was the ratio between numbers of Officers, non-Commissioned Officers and recruits at (a) Deepcut, (b) Catterick barracks and (c) the 10 other largest Army training establishments in each of the last five years. 
a revised Supervisory Care Policy that mandates that all commanding officers have a Supervisory Care Directive underpinned by a Commanders Risk Assessment;
the opening in June 2007 of the Army Recruiting and Training Division Staff Leadership School which is dedicated to instructor training;
improved training for instructors which, since October 2007, is accredited to meet the National Standard required of those delivering work based training in the Learning and Skills Sector;
improved care and management of those deemed to be at risk; and,
a revised Under 18 policy, which provides comprehensive guidance to commanding officers as to how the care of personnel under 18 is to be managed.
I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 12 December 2007, (Official Report, column 609W) about the ratio between Officers, Other Ranks and recruits.
I am unable to provide the information in the format requested as the data have not been recorded in a consistent format over the period and different elements of the data have not been recorded at all. However, I am able to provide a snapshot of numbers in November each year since 2003 which provides an appreciation of the numbers involved. It should be noted that not all permanent staff posts are training posts and therefore the numbers cannot be taken as representative of supervisory ratios.
The information is provided in the attached Annex A.
Off = Officers, ORs = Other Ranks, Rec = Recruits
SCHINF = School of Infantry, DCLPA = Defence College of Logistics and Personnel Administration, ATR(P) = Army Training Regiment (Pirbright), RSA = Royal School of Artillery, RMAS = Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, RSME = Royal School of Military Engineering, Const Engr Sch = Construction Engineer School, Cbt Engr Sch = Combat Engineer School, AFC(H) = Army Foundation College (Harrogate), ARMCEN = Armour Centre, ATR(B) = Army Training Regiment (Bassingbourn), ATR(W) = Army Training Regiment (Winchester), SAAvn = School of Army Aviation.
(1) Figures provided by DCLPA are for those Officers and Other Ranks in duty of care roles in 25 Training Support Regiment at Deepcut.
1. Unless stated otherwise Officers and Other Ranks figures will include Headquarters staff. Not all permanent staff posts are training or duty of care posts, and the numbers given cannot be taken as being representative of supervisory ratios. In addition, there will also be civilian staff working at each establishment, some of whom will have direct training roles.
2. The figures show the ratios as at November in each year. Recruit numbers fluctuate over the course of a year.
3. Many of these training establishments will also provide career training to members of the Field Army. The Recruit figures shown only include those under basic training (phase 1) or trade training (phase 2).
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