Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Jun 2008 : Column 1087W—continued

Welsh Language

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the level of demand for the services provided by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental bodies to be provided in the Welsh language; and if he will make a statement. [210545]

Jonathan Shaw: Our current assessment is that the level of demand for the services provided by core DEFRA and its agencies and non-departmental public bodies to be provided in the Welsh language is falling slightly. This assessment is based on a comparison of the number of requests received by DEFRA’s Translation Section to translate documents into Welsh in financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08, set out in the following table:

Number of requests received
Financial year Core department Agencies and NDPBs Total

2006-07

32

46

78

2007-08

22

38

60


World Environment Day

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department took to mark World Environment Day on 5 June 2008. [210729]

Mr. Woolas: World Environment Day 2008 focused on moving towards a low carbon economy, complementing DEFRA’s Act On CO2 campaign, which encourages behavioural change and increased understanding of the link between CO2 emissions and climate change. The Act On CO2 calculator helps people to work out and reduce their carbon footprint. To coincide with World Environment Day, DEFRA announced that the calculator received its one millionth unique visitor.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Hilary Benn) attended the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg. Discussions focused on EU-wide emissions targets, the Carbon Trading scheme, and vehicle emissions targets.

To mark World Environment Day, I attended and spoke at the UK Final of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, a global award scheme for young British entrepreneurs who are engaging with climate change.


19 Jun 2008 : Column 1088W

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste (Joan Ruddock) attended the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Birmingham city council’s joint climate change festival and gave a speech welcoming the launch of the city council’s Climate Change Strategy. The Minister also visited one of the 38 schools in Birmingham that marked World Environment Day by showing first hand how teachers were integrating messages about climate change into the national curriculum.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the modifications which could be made to Land Rovers to give greater security to troops operating in Afghanistan and Iraq. [211425]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The protection available to the Land Rover fleet is under constant review. A number of improvements have been made to provide ballistic and blast protection and further programmes are under way to provide additional protection enhancements within the limits of the vehicle capability. I am withholding the details of these measures as release would or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Armed Forces: Deployment

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many armed forces personnel were placed on standby for deployment prior to the planned firefighters' strike in 2005; [211963]

(2) how many armed forces personnel were deployed in support of responses to the foot and mouth outbreaks in (a) 2001 and (b) 2007. [211966]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: During the national fire fighters' strikes in 2002 and 2003 approximately 19,000 members of the armed forces, drawn from the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force were deployed to provide fire cover at the request of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

In 2005, armed forces were deployed to provide fire cover at the request of ODPM during two industrial disputes. In Suffolk, 115 personnel were deployed and in the west midlands 451 personnel were deployed to provide fire cover.

Armed Forces: Disciplinary Proceedings

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many courts martial have taken place in each year since 2001. [211960]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table shows the number of individuals who have been tried by court martial in each calendar year since 2001.


19 Jun 2008 : Column 1089W
Number

2001

810

2002

625

2003

610

2004

635

2005

800

2006

730

2007

760

2008(1)

320

(1) As at 31 May.
Note:
Figures are rounded to the nearest five.

Armed Forces: Dorset

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which military units of company strength or larger are based (a) temporarily and (b) permanently in the county of Dorset. [212467]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following military units of company strength, and above, are based in Dorset:

Serial Unit Location

1

‘A’ Squadron Royal Wessex Yeomanry

Bovington

2

233 Transport Squadron, 155 Transport Regiment (V)

Poole

3

Defence College of Command and Information Systems

Blandford

4

Royal School of Signals

Blandford

5

11 Signal Regiment

Blandford

6

HQ Blandford Garrison

Blandford

7

HQ Signal Officer in Chief

Blandford

8

Defence Fuels Group and School of Petroleum

Wimbourne

9

HQ Bovington Garrison

Bovington

10

HQ Armoured Centre and Royal Armoured Corps Training Centre

Bovington

11

Gunnery School and HQ Lulworth Station

Wareham

12

Armoured Support Company (Royal Marines unit)

Bovington

13

1 Assault Group Royal Marines

Poole

14

Detachment Royal Marines Reserve

Poole


All the units listed are permanently based at the locations shown.

Armed Forces: Fuels

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effects of an interruption in fuel supply arising from industrial action on the armed forces; [211529]

(2) what contingency plans his Department has made for interruptions in supply of fuel arising from industrial action; what collaboration with other Government Departments his Department has undertaken in developing such plans; and whether such plans include further collaboration with other Departments. [211530]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Officials regularly undertake assessments of the Department's predicted fuel usage and assess the impact on Defence outputs of any shortages. In the event of extreme disruptions to the fuel supply, Defence activities would be considered alongside wider Government priorities and fuel supplies would be allocated accordingly.

Defence has a standing contingency plan to ensure that it is able to maintain its core outputs in the event of
19 Jun 2008 : Column 1090W
fuel disruption, regardless of its cause. Defence officials are in regular contact with officials in other Government Departments, in particular the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) who are the lead Government Department for these types of incidents. The contingency plans are currently being updated to reflect the latest version of the National Emergency Plan for Fuel which has been published by BERR.

The Cabinet Office's Civil Contingencies Secretariat co-ordinates the Government's approach to planning for and responding to all civil contingencies. As a central Government Department, the MOD routinely takes part in this work.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Congleton on 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2553W, on armoured fighting vehicles, on which date his Department signed the contract to procure Ridgeback vehicles. [211991]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The vehicles are being supplied under a Foreign Military Sales case and the US Marine Corps Systems Command is responsible for the contract with Force Protection Industries Inc. The contract for the base vehicles was awarded on 19 May 2008.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Spare Parts

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the percentage shortfall in availability of spare parts for each type of (a) armoured and (b) protected vehicle in the Army. [211961]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Army: Manpower

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) required, (b) actual and (c) actual personnel medically fit for purpose strength for each battalion of the infantry is. [211957]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The figures requested are shown in the following table:


19 Jun 2008 : Column 1091W
Division Unit Required strength Actual strength Fit for purpose strength

Guards

1 Grenadier Guards

580

491

429

1 Coldstream Gds

627

563

505

1 Scots Guards

760

595

485

1 Irish Guards

636

570

481

1 Welsh Guards

631

588

515

Scots

1 Scots

633

628

534

2 Scots

566

449

405

3 Scots

535

470

389

4 Scots

760

642

562

5 Scots

654

560

514

Queens

1 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

760

658

625

2 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

616

578

481

1 Royal Regt Fusiliers

753

649

613

2 Royal Regt Fusiliers

623

530

469

1 Royal Anglian

670

691

592

2 Royal Anglian

627

629

582

Kings

1 Lancs

741

666

569

2 Lancs

664

737

679

1 Yorks

633

541

505

2.YORKS

627

501

428

3 Yorks

684

547

453

PoW

1 Mercian

627

513

436

2 Mercian

620

555

510

3 Mercian

690

564

467

1 Royal Welsh

625

509

438

2 Royal Welsh

756

647

543

Rifles

1 Rifles

633

627

572

2 Rifles

615

584

507

3 Rifles

625

602

563

4 Rifles

702

684

566

5 Rifles

760

700

613

RI

1 Royal Irish

654

516

453

Para

2 Para

654

646

589

3 Para

654

607

574

RGR

1 Royal Gurkha Rifles

643

759

681

2 Royal Gurkha Rifles

822

913

839


Next Section Index Home Page