Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Feb 2010 : Column 654W—continued

Departmental Written Questions

David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 28 January 2010, Official Report, column 1014W, on departmental written questions; by which mechanism the Law Officers' Departments monitor their responses to parliamentary questions; what the target times for responses is; and how success against that target is measured. [316507]

The Solicitor-General: My office now routinely collects statistical data measuring our performance in answering written questions within one week of tabling or on the specified named day. For the present session we are currently answering 83.6 per cent. of written PQs within these targets, With effect from the current Session of
8 Feb 2010 : Column 655W
Parliament, each Department has agreed to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics on the time taken to answer written questions. This implements recommendation 24 of the third report from the Procedure Committee, Session 2008-09.


Departmental Public Expenditure

David Simpson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much the Government Olympic Executive has spent on (a) new furnishings, (b) works of art and (c) new vehicles in each year since its inception. [312516]

Tessa Jowell: The Government Olympic Executive reports to me through the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) therefore figures are included in the answer provided by the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Simon).

Olympic Games 2012: Portsmouth

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what steps she is taking to ensure that the Portsmouth region obtains a legacy from the London 2012 Olympics. [313072]

Tessa Jowell: The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have established the Nations and Regions Group to ensure UK-wide engagement and to maximise the legacy for London 2012. This group works directly with representatives from each of the nations and English regions to maximise the sporting, economic, and cultural benefits of the 2012 Games. Some examples of how Portsmouth is benefiting from the Games are as follows.

In Portsmouth 895 small and medium sized enterprises have registered on CompeteFor, the electronic brokerage service which enables businesses to compete for Games-related contract opportunities. These businesses have also been supported by Business Link, a Government run online support and advice service. Business Link is running an Advanced Bid Writing Workshop in Portsmouth on 24 February to support local businesses in securing contracts related to the Games. Other similar events will take place in the area in the coming months.

Additional local assistance and funding was agreed in December 2009 to maximise tourism opportunities arising from 2012, and the Solent area is one of four areas targeted for this support across the South East region. This includes funding support to assist with global marketing to showcase the area and maximise tourism opportunities during and beyond the 2012 games. The provision of customer care training to promote a commitment to high level customer service for visitors is part of this programme.

To make the UK a world-leading sporting nation and increase active participation in sports is at the heart of the Government's legacy ambitions. In the South East, there are 134 facilities included in the Pre-Games Training Camp Guide which are available to teams from the UK
8 Feb 2010 : Column 656W
and overseas to use. The Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth has had several visits from representatives of nations participating in the Games. Malawi has signed a memorandum of understanding to hold its pre-games training camp in Portsmouth. Work to encourage other visiting nations to hold training camps across the region is ongoing.


Afghanistan: Armed Forces

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2009, Official Report, column 1201W, on the Afghan National Army, what information his Department holds on the tribal origin of (a) the commander, (b) officers and (c) non-commissioned officers of the Afghan troop force in Helmand province. [312409]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The requested information on the tribal origins of 205 Corps from which the majority of Afghan National Army troops in Helmand are drawn is provided in the table:


Pashtun Tajik Hazara Uzbek Others







Non Commissioned Officers






These data have been provided by the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. The Commander of 205 Corps is Pashtun.

Armed Forces: Housing

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many residences his Department owns for the purpose of housing members of the armed forces with a rank of Brigadier or equivalent and above; and what the value is of each such property. [316393]

Mr. Kevan Jones: In accordance with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations, officers of Brigadier (or equivalent) rank and above are normally entitled to Type I or II Service Family Accommodation (SFA).

SFA Type MOD owns





In addition to this the MOD leases under various arrangements a number of properties.

With regard to the value of the properties, details of all MOD holdings over £1 million, together with their latest asset valuations, can be found in Chapter Seven of the National Asset Register, on HM Treasury's website, last published in 2007:

The requested details of all property below £1 million in value, could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The value of leased properties is a commercial matter for the companies concerned.

8 Feb 2010 : Column 657W


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out, with statistical information as closely related to Chorley constituency as possible, the effect on that constituency of the policies of his Department since 1997. [314227]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Ministry of Defence delivers security for the equal benefit of all the people of the UK, and the Overseas Territories, by defending them, including against terrorism; and acting as a force for good in the world by strengthening international peace and stability. Our continuing main effort of success in Afghanistan, preventing al-Qaeda from having a secure base from which to threaten us directly, keeps our country safe from the threat of terrorism.

The Service Personnel Command Paper set out the nation's commitment to our armed forces, their families and veterans. This is a cross-Government initiative that is making real differences to the lives of our Service personnel, veterans and their families and we are fully committed to upholding its key principles. The first annual report on the Service Personnel Command Paper was published on 19 November 2009. This report captured the progress made against the commitments of the Command Paper within the first year following its launch. It can be found at the following link:

The report sets out the substantial progress that has been made including:

HMS Sultan

Sir Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are for the future of HMS Sultan; and if he will make a statement. [314701]

8 Feb 2010 : Column 658W

Mr. Quentin Davies: Under the current proposals put forward by the Defence Training Review (DTR) Package 1 (P1) Preferred Bidder, the Metrix Consortium, training activity at HMS Sultan is due to transfer to St. Athan, South Wales, no later than 2020.

Following this move and assuming that there is no further Defence requirement for the HMS Sultan site, the property will be declared surplus and considered for disposal with the most appropriate use determined with the local planning authority.

Middle East: Armed Forces

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops are stationed in the Middle East other than in Iraq; and where each contingent is stationed. [315922]

Bill Rammell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 February 2010, Official Report, column 37W, to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox).

Reserve Forces: Injuries

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance his Department provides for reservists who sustain injuries on deployment which render them unfit to (a) return to work and (b) return to work in their previous earning capacity. [316086]

Mr. Kevan Jones: Our reserve forces have served this country with distinction in all the major conflicts and crises that we have faced in recent times. They play a vital role in both overseas operations and in the defence of the UK. Reservists who sustain injuries or illness whilst mobilised may be retained in service, prior to being demobilised and returning to work, to ensure that they receive the best possible welfare support and care and are eligible for the full range of Defence Medical Services. Once reservists have been demobilised their local reserve unit continues to ensure that they have access to welfare services. Reservists that are medically discharged as a result of injuries sustained during deployment are also entitled to resettlement training and to the range of services available to regular veterans.

Members or former members of the reserve forces may qualify for awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), where service is the only or main cause of injury or illness. AFCS consists of a tax-free lump sum payment and is based on a tariff of injuries to take account of the pain and suffering associated with an injury, in recognition of service personnel's sacrifice on the nation's behalf. For the more seriously injured, it also provides a guaranteed income payment. This provides a substantial tax-free income (index linked) following termination of service for the rest of their lives to compensate for their potential loss of earnings and pension.

Injured personnel who receive compensation from the no fault AFCS, are also able to bring common law claims where they feel that negligence may have occurred.

8 Feb 2010 : Column 659W

Yemen: Military Aid

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department gives (a) financial and (b) material assistance to the armed forces in Yemen in order to combat terrorism. [315921]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 January 2010, Official Report, column 743W, to the hon. Members for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Ellwood) and for Kettering (Mr. Hollobone).

The Ministry of Defence does not provide direct financial or material support to the Yemen armed forces but we will continue to offer support to the Government of Yemen and will consider any further requests for training assistance.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2010, Official Report, column 88W, on departmental manpower, on what matters each of the 43 policy and senior advisers provide advice. [313041]

Mr. Simon: The 43 advisers are all civil servants and provide advice across a range of policies for which DCMS is responsible.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year. [313244]

Mr. Simon: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Royal Parks Agency currently have no employees in transition-i.e. officially declared surplus-and awaiting redeployment elsewhere in the civil service or leaving it through compulsory redundancy, and neither has this situation arisen in any of the last five years.

Departmental Sick Leave

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in his Department have had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more of the last three years. [316461]

Mr. Simon: In the last three years (2007-08; 2008-09; 2009-to date) the Department had 61 staff members who had five or more periods of sickness absence and the duration of absence was less than five days in two or more of the periods.

8 Feb 2010 : Column 660W

Departmental Training

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2010, Official Report, column 1069W, on departmental training, on what date the training was provided; which organisation provided the training; and what the cost was of that training. [315781]

Mr. Simon: The training took place on 19 March 2008, with a follow-up session on 7 October 2008. It was provided by Angela Coles at a total cost of £1,387.

Next Section Index Home Page