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30 Jun 2009 : Column 147W—continued


Afghanistan: Armed Forces

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he received the latest Theatre Capability Review for Afghanistan; and what change in the number of troops the review recommended. [282182]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 25 June 2009]: We regularly assess the military capability required for operations in Afghanistan; periodic theatre capability reviews are one element of this assessment process. Following the most recent assessment submitted to Ministers, the Prime Minister announced on 29 April 2009, Official Report, column 869, the deployment of
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additional troops to provide extra security during the Afghan election period, improve force protection particularly against improvised explosive devices and to command the International Security Assistance Forces' Regional Command (South).

Armed Forces: Health Services

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many patients have received treatment under his Department’s contract with the Priory Group in each year of its operation; and what the cost of the contract has been in each such year. [283076]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The information requested, up until 31 March 2009, can be found in the following table.

Number of patients treated Contract value (£ million)

1 December 2003 to 31 March 2004



1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005



1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006



1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007



1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008



1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009



These figures take into account the cost of assessing patients as well as any treatment programmes provided; the individual care needs of each patient will vary depending on their particular medical circumstances. They also include services provided by the Priory Group between 1 December 2003 and April 2004 prior to the formal contract start date.

The contract with the Priory Group has been replaced by a new one, awarded in November 2008 following open competition, with a partnership of seven NHS trusts led by South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust. This ensures coverage across the country, and complements the community-based approach we follow for our out-patients who are seen at our regional military mental health centres.

Armed Forces: Mental Health Services

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what progress his Department has made on arrangements to meet the mental health needs of veterans; and if he will make a statement; [283035]

(2) how many community veterans' mental health therapists there were in each region of (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; [283078]

(3) what funding (a) his Department and (b) the Department of Health has provided to each of the community veterans mental health pilots in each year since their inception; and how much has been allocated to each in the next two years; [283080]

(4) how many veterans have used each of the community veterans mental health pilots in each year since their inception; [283081]

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(5) what progress there has been on the pilots to examine ways of meeting the needs of veterans with mental health problems announced in 2007. [283028]

Mr. Kevan Jones: Veterans’ health care has been the responsibility of the national health service (NHS) since 1948. The MOD is committed to good mental health and well-being for its personnel both in service and after.

While it appears that most veterans use community wide NHS service provision satisfactorily, including for mental health, the Government have taken a number of specific steps to meet the needs of veterans with mental health issues. These steps include creating the Reservists Mental Health Programme, open to any current or former member of the UK Volunteer and Regular Reserves who has been demobilised since 1 January 2003; the Medical Assessment Programme available to veterans deployed on operations since 1982; and more recently engaging with the four UK Health Departments and the ex-service charities in piloting a new best practice, culturally sensitive, mental health care service for veterans in six NHS trusts across the UK.

Each of the six pilots across the UK are operational and being led by a Community Veterans' Mental Health Therapist. The early take up results of the pilots suggest that veterans are willing to access the service, however the numbers making use of the service are currently being validated and are not yet available. An independent evaluation of the pilots is currently under way with a final report due in 2011. Outcomes will include the range of disorders and the level of demand to inform future service planning and subsequent roll out nationwide.

Departmental Information and Communications Technology

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the amount to be paid by his Department to the company awarded the contract to deliver increment 3a of the Defence Information Infrastructure programme. [283173]

Mr. Quentin Davies: No contract has yet been awarded and any estimate of payment is subject to ongoing negotiations and as such is commercially sensitive and cannot be released at this stage.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on the redundancy costs of ATLAS staff working on the Defence Information Infrastructure programme to date. [283174]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The value of payments to ATLAS in respect of those members of staff who occupied in-scope posts, transferred to ATLAS under TUPE arrangements and subsequently made redundant, is between £5 million and £6 million.

Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what activities have been undertaken by his Department's Euro Minister in that capacity. [277165]

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Bill Rammell: The Ministry of Defence does not have a specific Minister for Europe. The Secretary of State for Defence has responsibility for NATO and European Security and Defence Policy issues, supported by the Minister for International Defence and Security, Baroness Taylor. Both the Secretary of State and Minister (IDS) have attended meetings of EU Defence Ministers under successive EU presidencies, where discussion typically focuses on issues of operations, capabilities and partnerships.

Equipment: Procurement

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the acquisition of rights over design information and assured access to relevant design knowledge in respect of procurement of (a) armoured fighting vehicles, (b) fixed wing piloted aircraft, (c) helicopters, (d) unmanned aerial vehicles, (e) ships, (f) submarines, (g) electronic equipment and programmes and (h) other purchases. [282807]

Mr. Quentin Davies [holding answer 29 June 2009]: The MOD’s general approach to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is to leave ownership of rights in design information with industry and to secure access and user rights in that information. There is a series of MOD standardised contract conditions (IPR DEFCONs) that are available to secure these rights under contract. However, our approach on an individual project may vary, according to its specific requirements. Details of MOD’s IPR policy are publicly available as part of the Acquisition Operating Framework at:

Earlier this month I announced the launch of MOD’s new Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) sector strategy, 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 52WS. For this sector, we will in future in principle wish to acquire at the outset rights over design information, as well as assured access to relevant design knowledge, sufficient to allow third party modification of designs where appropriate, and to permit routine maintenance repair and overhaul activities.

The MOD continues to develop a number of industrial sector strategies, under the umbrella of the Defence Industrial Strategy 2005. We expect to make announcements about these, including any relevant IPR issues, as they mature.

Pakistan: Military Aid

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military personnel are deployed in Pakistan; and what duties they are undertaking. [283090]

Bill Rammell: I can confirm that there are currently 31 UK military personnel based in Pakistan undertaking a variety of roles including training, liaison and diplomatic duties. The number of military personnel based in Pakistan varies from time to time. This can be for a variety of reasons, including revised tasking and changes to previous roles.

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Type 45 Destroyers

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the launch of the Type 45 destroyer has been delayed; and if he will make a statement. [283017]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The Government have previously acknowledged that the original estimates of the Type 45 destroyers in-service dates were overly optimistic. These judgments were made in the early period of the programme's life when the ship design was still relatively immature. Since a review of the programme and subsequent renegotiation of the contract in 2007, Type 45 has made strong progress, achieving a series of critical programme milestones without any further time or cost overruns.

Veterans Forum

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times the Veterans Forum has met in each year since its establishment; and which Ministers and officials from (a) the Government and (b) the devolved administrations have been present at each meeting. [283024]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Veterans Forum has met 18 times since its establishment in 2002 and currently meets bi-annually. It is chaired by the Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans, and is attended by a number of officials from the Ministry of Defence, including single service representatives. Representatives are also invited from other Government Departments including the Department for Health; Children, Schools and Families; Communities and Local Government; as well as from each of the Devolved Administrations. A number of ex-service organisations are also in attendance making the total number of attendees more than 30 at each meeting.



Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the Highways Agency on required improvements to the A419 between Nettleton Bottom and Brockworth, Gloucestershire. [282722]

Chris Mole: The proposed A419 Cowley to Brockworth Improvement Scheme has been considered by the South West Region as part of its refresh of regional funding priorities. The region has not included the scheme in their forward programme of priorities up to 2019 and I am currently considering their advice.

Bus Lanes: Essex

Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent representations he has received on funding for the construction of bus lanes in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point. [282812]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport received advice in February 2009 from the East of England region on its transport priorities in the period up to 2018-19 as part of its Regional Funding Advice to
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Government. This includes proposals for investment in Essex for bus-based schemes such as South Essex Rapid Transit and the A13 Passenger Transport Corridor. The Department expects to be in a position to respond to this advice in the next few weeks.

Buses: Concessions

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of free bus travel for the elderly; and if he will make a statement. [282683]

Mr. Khan: The Government are now providing around £1 billion each year to support the statutory minimum concession which improves social inclusion for older and eligible disabled people who can now travel free on local buses at off-peak times in any part of England. The Government are very confident in the adequacy of this statutory minimum. The provision of services over the network of bus routes and their frequency is for operators to decide as most services are run on a commercial basis. Where a commercial service is not considered viable, local authorities may contract with bus operators to provide services.

Channel Tunnel Railway Line

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent progress has been made towards the introduction of a direct high-speed rail service between London and Amsterdam. [283196]

Chris Mole: The Government are currently engaged in a restructuring of London and Continental Railways. Following this, it is the Government's intention, as market conditions allow, to sell, via an open and competitive auction, a long-term concession for High Speed 1 in such a way as to maximise value for money for the taxpayer.

High Speed 1 is incentivised to maximise usage of the line, and to help operators develop new international services. London to Amsterdam is a large market under consideration by train operators. Operators that wish to utilise High Speed 1 will negotiate access rights with the holder of the concession to operate the railway.

Crossrail Line: Contracts

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which Crossrail contracts awarded for (a) the Crossrail Programme Partner, (b) the Crossrail Delivery Partner, (c) the DfT Programme Partner and (d) the Network Rail Delivery Partner were awarded to (i) US companies, (ii) UK companies and (iii) other companies; which were subject to open tender; and if he will make a statement. [282884]

Mr. Khan [holding answer 29 June 2009]: The Programme Partner and Delivery Partner contracts were awarded by Crossrail Ltd., the Project Representative contract was awarded by the Department in conjunction with TfL, and the Network Rail Delivery Partner contract was awarded by Network Rail.

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The Crossrail contracts referred to above were awarded as shown in the following table. All of the contracts in the table were awarded under European procurement rules.

Client Contract Awarded to Supplier country of origin

Crossrail Ltd.

(a) Crossrail Programme Partner

Transcend—Joint Venture between AECOM, CH2M Hill and The Nichols Group

AECOM—US CH2M Group—US Nichols—UK

Crossrail Ltd.

(b) Crossrail Delivery Partner

Bechtel Ltd.



(c) Project Representative

Jacobs Engineering Ltd.


Network Rail

(d) Network Rail Delivery Partner

Bechtel Ltd.


All contracts of this scale are subject to the European rules on procurement which require contracts to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union where any supplier that wishes to do so can express an interest, thus attracting the widest possible field of prospective bidders.

Under the “restricted procedure” interested suppliers are narrowed down, usually by means of some kind of qualifying questionnaire, to a shortlist from which suppliers are invited to tender.

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