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8 May 2008 : Column 1129W—continued

Armed Forces: Housing

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to help (a) service personnel and (b) service leavers onto the property ladder. [203982]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) encourages Service personnel to prepare for their return to civilian life during their careers by purchasing their own homes. A Long Service Advance of Pay is available which currently consists of an interest-free loan of up to £8,500. In September 2006, Service personnel were given access to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Key Worker Living programme (KWL). On 28 December, the Government extended the scheme for KWL low cost home ownership schemes for qualifying Service personnel across all English regions. This will continue to give additional routes for Service personnel to enter the housing market.

8 May 2008 : Column 1130W

In addition, we announced in a written statement on 19 March 2008 that we are launching a new initiative on home ownership for Service personnel. This will be a pilot scheme tailored to the particular needs of Service personnel. In the coming months we will work with commercial providers and public bodies to identify the most suitable approach. £20 million has been allocated for this pilot scheme which will be launched during financial year 2009-10 and run for up to four years.

The MOD also has a Joint Service Housing Advice Office that gives regular briefings which are available to all Service personnel. In addition to these, they can provide detailed advice and information on specific aspects related to sourcing accommodation. Service leavers may also be provided with assistance to find housing, although this would not necessarily be related to the property ladder’.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of service accommodation units owned by Annington Homes have been sold since 1997. [203984]

Derek Twigg: Once surplus properties are handed back to Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) there is no requirement for the Department to maintain records of their subsequent use or sale.

Armed Forces: Manpower

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British members of the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) RAF left the service before their term of service was due to end in 2007. [193363]

Derek Twigg: The following table shows the number of British personnel to leave the UK regular forces(1) during the calendar year 2007 (for Naval service and RAF) and during calendar year 2006 for the Army.

Business area Outflow( 3) before time expiry







(1) Figures are for UK regular forces and therefore include nursing services and exclude full time reserve service personnel, Gurkhas, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists. It includes trained and untrained personnel.
(2) Due to ongoing validation of data from the new Personnel Administration System, all Army Voluntary Applications data from 1 April 2007 are unavailable. Therefore the Army outflow figure is for the calendar year of 2006.
(3) Figures include all outflow to civil life excluding time expiry.
(4) Data are provisional.
Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10
DASA (Quad-Service)

Armed Forces: Pensions

Mr. Mates: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of increasing the pension entitlement of those forces' widows receiving one-third of their late husband's pension entitlement to one-half. [197894]

8 May 2008 : Column 1131W

Derek Twigg: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by the then Minister for the Armed Forces on 18 January 2002, Official Report, column 500W. The situation remains unchanged.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent assessment is of the Army's capability to react to the unexpected. [203773]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Army and armed forces as a whole continues to plan for contingencies and should the unexpected occur we would respond accordingly.

Army: Labour Turnover

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have (a) joined and (b) left the regular Army since 2005. [203718]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of people joining the regular Army since 2005 can be found in Table 3 of Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 1—Strength, Intake and Outflow of UK Regular Forces. The number of people leaving the Army since 2005 can be found in Table 4 of the same publication. TSP1 is published monthly. The most recent publication shows figures for 1 April 2003 to 1 March 2008 and can be found at for intake(1 )and for outflow(2). Copies of TSP1 are available in the Library of the House and also at

Ballistic Missile Defence

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the memorandum of agreement concerning the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station at Fylingdales Moor of 1960. [203583]

Des Browne: I presume that the hon. Member is referring to the document entitled Exchange of Notes between the United States of America and the UK relating to a Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station at Fylingdales Moor dated 15 February 1960. This document is available on the United Nations website at I shall also place a copy of the document in the Library of the House.

Departmental Pay

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of (a) salaries for permanent Civil Service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-Civil Service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in his Department was in each month since May 2005. [199622]

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Derek Twigg: The costs for the financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07 are as follows:

£ million
2005-06 2006-07

Permanent civil service staff



Permanent non-civil service staff



Temporary/agency staff



Figures are derived from the annual report and accounts and reflect personnel employed within the Departmental Boundary for the Annual Accounts, and therefore exclude Trading Funds.

The figure for permanent non-civil service staff includes locally engaged civilians employed overseas, and Ministers. The figure for temporary and agency staff includes both directly employed casual staff and payments to contractors for agency staff. Monthly figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what allowances and bonuses civilian staff receive for being located to (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. [203209]

Derek Twigg: Civil servants deployed on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan receive two operational allowances and one grant. The operational deployment allowance reflects the day-to-day challenges and hardships of life in an operational theatre compared to the normal living and working environment. The operational working allowance, which differs depending on location and grade, reflects the significantly longer hours associated with operational posts. Finally, an operational deployment grant covers the additional cost of suitable clothing, personal effects and luggage for the area of deployment.

There are no bonuses awarded specifically for being located in Iraq or Afghanistan but service here counts towards the consideration of annual performance awards in the same way as all other Ministry of Defence civil servants.

Departmental Property

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what property his Department owns (a) in London, (b) elsewhere in the UK and (c) overseas; and what the latest available valuation of the property was in each case. [203511]

Derek Twigg: Details of all Ministry of Defence holdings over £1 million and their latest asset valuation are available in Chapter 7 of the National Asset Register (CM7022), which can be found on HM Treasury's website.

Records of all MOD property below £1 million in value could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Ex-servicemen: Pensions

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of former service personnel is receiving a pension from his Department. [203456]

8 May 2008 : Column 1133W

Derek Twigg: The proportion of former service personnel receiving a pension cannot be identified as the overall number of surviving veterans is not known. However, the number of pensions in payment, broken down by scheme is as follows:

Pension scheme Pensions in payment

War Disablement pension scheme


Armed Forces pension scheme


Armed Forces compensation scheme


Reserve Forces pension scheme


Total number of pensions in payment


Iraq: Detainees

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1310W, on Iraq: detainees, what monitoring and administration of individuals in detention is necessary; and what the UK's reporting obligations are to the International Committee of the Red Cross. [200806]

Des Browne [holding answer 24 April 2008]: In order to ensure that we can effectively administer individuals while they are detained by the UK armed forces, it is necessary to obtain and record some personal details. This is important, for example, to enable the relevant persons, such as their next of kin, to be informed of their detention and the location in which they are being detained. We collect information on an individual throughout their time in our detention, including their date of capture, medical records, and the date of release or transfer.

We are obliged, as laid out in the Coalition Provisional Authority Memorandum Number 3 (Revised), to report to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) information on individuals we have in our detention in Iraq and to grant the ICRC access to them.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the armed forces' helicopter fleet of the types (a) Apache, (b) Gazelle, (c) Lynx Mk3, (d) Lynx Mk7, (e) Lynx Mk8, (f) Lynx Mk9, (g) Merlin Mk1 and (h) Merlin Mk3 were deployed on operations in the last 12 months. [202153]

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

RAF Brize Norton

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of (a) single living accommodation and (b) service family accommodation are in each standard for condition grade at RAF Brize Norton. [203210]

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Derek Twigg: All single living accommodation (SLA) in Great Britain is assessed by grade for charge (GfC), an assessment of the chargeable condition which takes into account physical condition along with other factors such as the size of the property and closeness to amenities. Service family accommodation (SFA) in Great Britain is assessed by standard for condition (SfC), an assessment of the physical condition of the property alone. In both standard and grade, one is the highest and four the lowest.

SLA at RAF Brize Norton is at the following GfC
Number of SLA bed-spaces As a percentage of the total stock

Grade 1



Grade 2



Grade 3



Grade 4



SFA is at the following SfC
Number of SFA properties As a percentage of the total stock













While the Department recognises that some accommodation at Brize Norton is not of the standard that service personnel and their families deserve we are taking steps to address this. We plan to invest over £38 million to deliver some 670 new en-suite bed-spaces by 2012 after which around 70 per cent. of the SLA at Brize Norton will be at Grade 1 or 2. There will be no occupied Grade 4 accommodation at Brize Norton after 2008-09.

Regarding SFA, we plan to demolish and rebuild to the highest standard some 600 of the poorest condition SFA properties.

From 2012, RAF Brize Norton will become the UK's single air port of embarkation for the deployment and recovery of forces and material committed to operations and training. Programme CATARA (the Centralisation of Air Transport and Air to Air Refuelling assets and Associated Units), is taking forward the development and reconfiguration of the station's infrastructure to ensure RAF Brize Norton's future contribution to the Defence output can be delivered effectively and efficiently. In connection with this project, we will provide an additional 200 SFA.

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