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Almost 10,000 children took part in activities organised by the 12 Trailblazer County Sport Partnerships in term 1. Of these, 6,747 met the retain target of attending at least 60 per cent. of sessions.
The average retention rate across all the Trailblazer CSPs was 69 per cent.
Andy Burnham: Funding for the PE and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP) will total more than £783 million over the next three years. This will bring Government and lottery investment in young people's PE and sport since 2003 to £2.4 billion by 2011.
Coaching and competition in sport is central to our ambitions to offer all 5 to 16- year-olds two hours of high quality PE and sport a week at school, and all 5 to 19-year-olds an additional three hours of sport outside the curriculum. Through the PESSYP we will increase the quality and quantity of coaches available to work
with young people both inside and beyond school hours. We will also create a world-class system for competitive sport, supported by a new network of 225 competition managers in England.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which local authorities have expressed their intention to take part in his Department's scheme for free swimming for (a) over 60 and (b) under 16 year olds. 
Andy Burnham: A full list of participating authorities will be available on the DCMS website (www.culture.gov.uk) in due course.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 1052W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, (1) what the details were of each confirmed report of theft; 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) operational control, (b) administrative control, (c) technical control, (d) tactical control and (e) other command relationships between British armed forces and non-British armed forces operating in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan broken down by unit to the lowest level for which information is available; and what the nationality of each such unit is in each case. 
Des Browne [holding answer 17 September 2008]: In Iraq, the UK has tactical control of a number of US force elements in the MND(SE) area of operations. These include: 21 Military Police Company; a Military Transition Team embedded with 26 Brigade of the Iraqi Army; a Transition Team embedded with an Iraqi National Police Battalion; a Civil Military Operations Cell; an Explosive Ordnance Detachment; and a Biometrics Team.
A number of other US elements, including the Coalition Air Force Training Team and the 14(th) US Engineer Battalion, operate within MND(SE). The UK works to co-ordinate effort and influence with these organisations but there is no requirement for a formal command relationship.
There are no formal command relationships between the Iraqi armed forces and UK armed forces although their activities are very closely co-ordinated, primarily through key leader engagement at the senior military level and by the UKs embedded military transition teams.
Other non-UK units may, on occasion, temporarily deploy into the MND(SE) area of operations for specific missions. The precise command relationship with these units will vary depending on the nature of their operational tasking.
The Afghan National Army (ANA) currently deploys five units of battalion size or greater in Helmand province. Their operations are closely coordinated with ISAF operations, including through the use of Operational Mentoring, Liaison and Training Teams, although there is no formal command relationship between ISAF and ANA units.
As in Iraq, other non-UK units may, on occasion, temporarily deploy into Helmand province for specific missions: the precise command relationships with these units will vary dependent on the precise nature of their operational tasking.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what operations British forces have been deployed in each year since 1997; and what the scale of each operation was according to the terms set out in the defence planning assumptions. 
Des Browne: There have been over 100 deployments by UK forces since 1997. These vary in size, for example the current support to the UN Mission in Sudan with only two people up to the deployment of a whole division to Iraq in 2003.
Defence planners use the terms large, medium and small to distinguish the scale of putative or generic operations. These are the building blocks which guide the size and shape of our armed forces, rather than a blueprint for actual operations. Force packages will ultimately be determined by the requirements of each operation.
Nonetheless, in very general terms, of our major recent operations, the size of our commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq both roughly align to the planning assumptions for a medium scale operation with our commitment in the Balkans more closely representing a small scale commitment since the withdrawal of the majority of UK troops from Bosnia in March 2007. The deployment of a division to Iraq in 2003 could be categorised a large scale operation.
The level of concurrent operations sustained by the MOD and the armed forces since 2001 is detailed in Figure 4, Page 44 of the Ministry of Defence's Annual Report and Accounts 2007-2008 Volume I: Annual Performance Report and illustrates our relative commitment to each operation over the last seven years. This can be found at:
[ h olding answer 10 September 2008]: Pay as You Dine was introduced in response to a strong belief, particularly amongst Junior Ranks, that the previous system, which raised monthly food charges irrespective
of how many meals were taken, should be replaced with a more flexible scheme that offered longer opening hours and only charged for meals or other services consumed. Pay as You Dine is still being rolled out across all three Services and where it has been introduced, the single Services are monitoring the delivery of the scheme with the contractor. While feedback from Service personnel has been gathered through the various Continuous Attitude Surveys, implementation across the Services is ongoing and it is too early to make an overall assessment of the effectiveness of the Pay as You Dine scheme.
Derek Twigg [holding answer 15 September 2008]: Pay as You Dine was introduced in response to a strong belief, particularly amongst Junior Ranks, that the previous system, which raised monthly food charges irrespective of how many meals were taken, should be replaced with a more flexible scheme that offered longer opening hours and only charged for meals or other services consumed.
There is no Hungry Soldier scheme, but an administrative procedure within units that recognises that some individuals, on occasions, are unable to manage their budgets effectively. Our policy for dealing with this is to place such individuals on the Food Charge and to provide the standard core meals until they are able to resolve their financial difficulties. The cost of these meals is then deducted from the following months pay.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the target number of (a) single living accommodation and (b) service family accommodation in the UK to be upgraded to each standard of condition grade in 2007-08 was; and how many of each were upgraded to each standard of condition category in that year. 
Against a target of 7,650 in 2007-08, we have delivered some 6,816 SLA bed-spaces to the top standard. However, since 2003-04, the Department has upgraded some 26,707 bed-spaces against a target of some 25,705.
[holding answer 10 September 2008]: It is a condition of service that Regular Service personnel are provided with accommodation. The charges for this accommodation are set by the independent Armed Forces Pay Review Body, with a discount that reflects the
disadvantages of living in such accommodation e.g. lack of choice and lack of security of tenure on leaving the armed forces. These charges are deliberately set lower than those readily available in the private sector.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) encourages service personnel to prepare for their return to civilian life during their careers by purchasing their own homes. To help in this area, a Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP) is available which currently consists of an interest-free loan of up to £8,500.
In July 2008 MOD published The Nations Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans (Command Paper Cm 7424). Paragraph 2.13 in particular explains more about the Prime Ministers announcement on 19 March 2008 about plans to launch a new initiative on home ownership for service personnel, which will be a pilot scheme tailored to their particular needs.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) authorised establishment and (b) number of vacancies of each (i) battalion and (ii) other definition of army unit is; and what the comparative figures were on the same date in each of the calendar years (i) 2005, (ii) 2006 and (iii) 2007. 
|(1) The explanation for a Not Known category appearing in 2008 is that a very few personnel have not yet been categorised by the Joint Personnel Administration system.|
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