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24 Apr 2009 : Column 925W—continued


Music

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the funding allocated for new rehearsal spaces for musicians referred to in his Department's press release of 17 December 2007 has been spent to date; and if he will make a statement. [270340]

Barbara Follett: Discussions have been held with local authorities and other partners with the aim of setting up 10 pilot community music rehearsal spaces in England over the two financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10. Of the £500,000 allocated for the scheme, expenditure has so far totalled £72,434. We are aiming to have all 10 spaces established by March 2010.

Regional Cultural Consortiums

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 434W, on regional cultural consortia, what the estimated costs are of ending the consortia, including redundancy payments. [270134]

Barbara Follett: The total grant in aid allocated to the Regional Cultural Consortiums (RCCs) in 2008-09 was £1,994,408. The additional cost to the Department of closing the RCCs was £399,745. From these two amounts the total amount paid in redundancy to RCC staff was £765,505. The Department also has a budget of between £45,000 and £55,000, plus expenses and VAT, for professional liquidation advice in respect of the RCC closure. Although the RCCs are now closed for business their formal liquidation will not take place until the summer of 2009 and so liquidation costs have not yet been finalised.

Defence

Armed Forces: Death

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what type of inquiry his Department undertakes when a member of the armed forces dies in suspicious circumstances; and if he will make a statement. [270782]


24 Apr 2009 : Column 926W

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Jurisdiction over the investigation of the death of a member of the armed forces will vary depending on where the death occurs. In the United Kingdom the armed forces are subject to the law in the same way as other citizens. Therefore primacy for any investigation lies with the local civil police force. Jurisdiction over the investigation of the death of a member of the armed forces overseas will vary depending on the nature of the incident: foreign civil police and/or service police will sometimes investigate if the death occurs overseas, arrangements will vary from country to country. Where a death occurs on a warship or auxiliary at sea, investigations will fall to the service police and/or (within UK territorial waters) Ministry of Defence police until such time as it can reasonably be established that no criminal act by a person within the services’ jurisdiction has taken place. In operational theatres, the service police will usually investigate the cause of death for all unnatural deaths under the lead of the Provost Marshal (Army). A service inquiry will be convened for deaths where it is considered that anything of consequence may be learned which is not apparent from the incident or which has not been or is unlikely to be identified by any other report into the matter.

Armed Forces: Pay

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government is taking in respect of the recommendations of the Armed Forces Pay Review Board. [270476]

Mr. Hutton: On 31 March 2009 I announced the Government’s full acceptance of the recommendations contained in the 2009 report of the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB). The AFPRB recommended an increase of 2.8 per cent. in basic pay for all service personnel, including the reserves, in addition to increases in the rates of some allowances and charges. These changes were effective from 1 April 2009. The AFPRB also recommended the introduction of new pay spines for Royal Navy divers and service nurses from 1 August 2009.

Copies of the AFPRB report are held in the House of Commons Library.

Army: West Midlands

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Army regiments regularly recruit for full-time personnel from the West Midlands. [270385]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Recruitment within the West Midlands Region (Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and the county of West Midlands) is undertaken by the following regiments.


24 Apr 2009 : Column 927W

Ex-servicemen: Identity Cards

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what timetable he has set for the introduction of the veterans’ identity card; what functions will be associated with the card; to what benefits cardholders will be entitled; and if he will make a statement; [270951]

(2) what estimate he has made of the annual cost of the proposed veterans’ identity card to (a) the public purse, (b) bearers of the card and (c) others; and how many cards he expects to be issued. [270954]

Mr. Kevan Jones: In response to the recommendation for a veterans ID card we have determined the associated issues, options and approximate costs of its introduction and are currently considering these in tandem with the potential functionality and associated benefits of the card. Since no decision has been taken in relation to the introduction of a veterans ID card, no timetable for this has been set. I will inform the House once a decision on these issues has been made.

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the monetary value is of the equipment to be left in Iraq by the armed forces on completion of Operation Telic. [270949]

Mr. Hutton: After the withdrawal of UK forces from Basra, we will retain in Iraq the military equipment needed to support the training and assistance that UK service personnel will continue to provide to the Iraqi security forces as part of the normal bilateral relationship. We are continuing to discuss the precise scope of that activity with the Government of Iraq. As UK combat forces drawdown, any proposal to gift equipment to Iraq would follow established procedures.

Military Exercises

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what overseas military exercises (a) the armed forces have undertaken in each year since 2003 and (b) have been cancelled in each year since 2003; and what the reason for cancellation was in each such case. [269726]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The armed forces conduct a wide variety of overseas military exercises each year. All overseas exercises are conducted in order to generate, or maintain military capability in line with the tasks outlined
24 Apr 2009 : Column 928W
in Defence Strategic Guidance. On occasion, exercises are cancelled for reasons that include: effectiveness of delivery; value for money constraints; international policy dimensions and circumstances; operational constraints; and focus on current operations. Table two on page 54 of the MOD Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08 (volume 1) summarises the military exercises cancelled each year since 2004-05. Copies of this report are available in the Library of the House.

Further data in response to this question has been collated from the Defence Exercise Programme and from the Front Line Command (FLC) archives depicting both the overseas collective training exercises that were undertaken and those cancelled since 2003. I have placed a copy of this information in the Library of the House.

Security Guards: Contracts

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which private security companies are employed by his Department in volatile countries; what the (a) duration and (b) monetary value is of each contract; and what local arrangements are in place to manage each contract. [266901]

Mr. Hutton: The Ministry of Defence does not currently contract with any private security companies in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Territorial Army: West Midlands

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army personnel were recruited from the West Midlands in the last 12 months. [270386]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Information on the number of personnel from the West Midlands who have joined the Territorial Army in last 12 months could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, 15 officers and 501 soldiers were recruited into Territorial Army units based in the West Midlands region (Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and the county of West Midlands) between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009.

Duchy of Lancaster

Futurebuilders England: Catz Club

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) Futurebuilders' review of Catz Club's investment portfolio dated January 2008, (b) Futurebuilders' review of Catz Club for the November 2008 board meeting and (c) the accompanying Events Timeline and Catz Club Detailed Overview produced for that board meeting. [270138]

Kevin Brennan: I have placed extracts from the documents requested by the right hon. Member in the Library. The documents have been redacted to remove the names of individuals.


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Energy and Climate Change

Solar Power

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many applications have been received for grants for solar photovoltaic technology under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (a) phase one and (b) phase two from organisations in (i) Ribble Valley constituency, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) the UK since the start of the scheme. [269832]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Applications received for grants for solar photovoltaic technology under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (a) phase one and (b) phase two from organisations in (i) Ribble Valley constituency, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) the UK since the start of the scheme are as shown as follows:

Applications under Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1

Number of applications Grant amount (£)

Householder stream

Ribble Valley

3

22,076.50

Lancashire

11

50,020.50

All UK

1,876

7,462,585.94


Number of applications Grant requested (£)

Communities

Ribble Valley

0

0.00

Lancashire

0

0.00

All UK

32

556,616.13

Stream 2A—projects up to £100,000

Ribble Valley

(1)

(1)

Lancashire

5

29,799.00

All UK

119

1,997,444.33

Stream 2B—projects up to £1,000,000

Ribble Valley

0

0.00

Lancashire

0

0.00

All UK

17

1,736,041.00

(1) Not known

Applications under Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many grants have been made for solar photovoltaic technology through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (a) phase one and
24 Apr 2009 : Column 930W
(b) phase two in (i) Ribble Valley constituency, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) the UK in each year since the start of the scheme. [269833]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The following number of grants have been made for solar photovoltaic technology through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (a) phase one and (b) phase two in (i) Ribble Valley constituency, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) the UK in each year since the start of the scheme.

Grants made under Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1

N umber of applications Grant paid (£)

Householders

Ribble Valley

2

16,577.00

Lancashire

8

38,421.00

All UK

1,342

5,721,553.47

Communities

Ribble Valley

0

0.00

Lancashire

0

0.00

All UK

220

281,678.70

Ribble Valley

0.00

Lancashire

0

0.00

All UK

23

373,821.79


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