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15 July 2008 : Column 308Wcontinued
Details of the cost of each Defence Section outside the UK in each year from 1997 to 2000 are not available by city and capital. The overall costs of all Defence Sections for Financial Year 1996-97 to Financial Year 1999-00 are as follows:
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent progress has been made with (a) the upgrade of RAF Northolt and (b) the decommissioning of other sites; 
(2) how far the London MoDEL project has progressed since it was commenced; what land has been earmarked to be sold under this project; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The upgrade of RAF Northolt and the decommissioning and sale of other sites forms part of Project MoDEL, which is making good progress.
At Northolt, approximately half of the construction programme has been completed since contract award in August 2006. 11 new facilities have been delivered so far, including: four blocks of Single Living Accommodation (SLA)250 rooms in total; welfare facilities; office accommodation; a five-bay hangar; and the new British Forces Post Office (BFPO) facility. The new facilities, not least the SLA blocks, have improved the living and working conditions for personnel at RAF Northolt.
So far as decommissioning and sales are concerned, six sites across the Greater London area have been designated surplus and are being released as part of Project MoDEL. Of these, RAF Eastcote and RAF West Ruislip have been sold for residential development, releasing funding for development of the Defence estate and other departmental priorities. The former BFPO site at Mill Hill and RAF Bentley Priory closed in January and May 2008 respectively. These two sites will be sold once planning submissions have been agreed by the local planning authorities.
We are engaging closely with the local planning authority and a number of other organisations and stakeholders to secure the future of Bentley Priory's heritage. A way forward has been agreed and a planning application is currently with the London Borough of Harrow for approval.
RAF Uxbridge and Victoria House, Woolwich, remain operational at present. At Uxbridge, our contractor is preparing a supplementary planning document for the site for submission to the London borough of Hillingdon, and at Victoria House a planning application for development of the site as a residential care home is currently with the London borough of Greenwich for approval.
In addition, Chelsea Barracks was sold earlier this year.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has made to ensure the security of fuel supply to all Royal Navy vessels. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The security of fuel supply to Royal Naval vessels is maintained through the use of multiple supply sources, together with the maintenance of appropriate reserves, and by international agreements that allow access to partners fuels stocks.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the Royal Navy has in the defence of (a) trade and (b) shipping in international waters; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Royal Navy maintains a constant presence in the Gulf, Arabian sea, Indian ocean, Mediterranean and Atlantic to ensure that the vital sea lanes and choke points along the maritime trade routes are preserved for free, safe and lawful use. This task is achieved in collaboration with other navies and coastguards through a series of coalition maritime operations and strategic alliances.
The Royal Navy also works closely with other Government Departments on shipping protection issues and maintains a worldwide Maritime Trade Operations policy which is capable of providing a range of options to support British merchant shipping.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the status of the ISOLUS programme is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 14 July 2008]: Following the Government and Devolved Administrations response to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management's report in October 2006, the ISOLUS project team has been able to take forward technical and siting issues in conjunction with the new stakeholder groups, which have been created. The results of a technical options study are due by the end of this year. The project procurement strategy is currently being developed within the context of the Defence Industrial Strategy. These work areas are interrelated and the output from each will be drawn together over the next year to inform a recommendation for the way ahead. The project remains committed to further public consultation before major decisions are made.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces officers have received initial specialist officer training for (a) caterers and (b) administrators at RAF Halton in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table gives the number of armed forces personnel who have received initial specialist officer training at RAF Halton in the categories requested. Information is available only from financial year 2003-04.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-commissioned officers have taken the (a) junior management and leadership course, (b) intermediate management and leadership course and (c) advanced management and leadership course at RAF Halton in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table gives the number of non-commissioned officers who have taken courses at RAF Halton in the areas requested, from financial year 2003-04 to present.
|Course||Financial year||Number of officers|
Junior management and leadership course (Junior - on promotion to corporal)
Intermediate management and leadership course (Intermediateon promotion to sergeant)
Advanced management and leadership course (Advancedon promotion to flight sergeant)
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) inflow and (b) outflow was of civilian staff at RAF Halton in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table gives the inflow and outflow of civilian staff at RAF Halton. This does not include personnel who have transferred within the MOD to or from posts at RAF Halton. The information is only available from financial year 2004-05. Earlier dates could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) inflow and (b) outflow was of armed forces personnel at RAF Halton in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table gives the inflow and outflow of the armed forces personnel at RAF Halton.
Data before 1 April 2006 are not held centrally and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) RAF personnel have received training at RAF Halton in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many defence training personnel have been consulted on proposals for relocation to St. Athan; what the outcome of such consultation has been; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Defence Training Review (DTR) Package 1 Integrated Project Team (IPT) has from the outset routinely consulted the trade unions representing all the civilian employees potentially affected by the proposals stemming from the project. Such meetings, which now include representatives of the Metrix Consortium, take place every three months and provide an informal opportunity to update trade union representatives on project progress and address concerns and questions. Where required, the obligations under TUPE (2006) Regulations have been met through more formal consultation and exchanges of information. The approach taken has been as open as commercial considerations allow and has been cited by the trade unions as best practice. The MOD remains committed to continue the consultative process as the project proceeds. Consultation at MOD level is also matched by meetings and briefings that take place within DTR colleges.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what ways his Department plans to participate in the public consultation proposals for a defence and training academy at St. Athan. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
Following selection by the Ministry of Defence as preferred bidder for provision of the Defence Technical Academy at St. Athan, the Metrix Consortium is preparing to submit planning applications to the Vale of Glamorgan council. As part of their preparations, Metrix have instigated a public consultation process, the first stage of which will be a series of public exhibitions in the week of 14 July. This aims to ensure
that local stakeholders and members of the public can view and discuss the proposed plans. A public website will be made available, letters will be sent to key stakeholders and advertisements will be placed in the local press. The Ministry of Defence will be supporting Metrix in this process, in particular by providing advice and guidance on both their proposals and approach to public consultation and by making available representatives who can respond to any questions arising. The MOD and Metrix are committed to this programme of consultation and communication with the local community.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to increase the number of suitably qualified submarine warfare officers and ratings in naval service. 
Derek Twigg: Addressing manning shortfalls within the Submarine Service is a key personnel priority. The entire Submarine Service recruiting process has been re-invigorated and its profile raised. Additional people are now in the training pipeline. Work continues to promote recruiting from General Service for both officers, from suitable junior and senior rates, and ratings. Retention measures are being exploited and financial packages updated. These include:
£7,500 Submarine 'Golden Hello' for transferees from the General Service;
£5,500 commitment bonus for specific submarine branches at the five year point;
£1,000 'recruit an oppo' bounty for individuals who recruit someone to specific submarine branches;
£5,000 submarine 'Golden Hello' for new recruits when they complete their training and are awarded their Dolphins.
£25,000 submarine warfare officer financial retention initiative which is payable on qualifying as a Watchleader.
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