Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Service Married Quarters: Renovation

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The Defence Housing Executive, which is responsible for the maintenance and provision of accommodation to Service families, is working to bring all properties required for long term retention up to Grade 1 condition by means of an extensive works programme.

In order that families are not disturbed by renovation work during their occupancy, every effort is made to ensure that any necessary work is carried out before a new family moves into a property. Unfortunately, however, this is not always feasible. In such cases DHE will, wherever possible, offer to move affected families to another property while major work is going on. Such moves are known as "decanting", and are not always possible. Even where such a move can be offered, not all families wish to accept it.

From the information supplied, it is not possible to provide a more precise answer to the noble Lord's question. If his Lordship is able to supply further particulars, a full reply can be given, based on the specific circumstances of each incident.

Army Recruitment

The Earl of Carlisle asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Gilbert: I thank the noble Earl for his interest in "The Army and Its People" presentation, shown in Parliament on 25 November, and for his helpful suggestion. This presentation is primarily designed to be delivered at a very personal level, in a lecture hall. The presentation is inter-active and, as such, is not easily transferable to film. The Army is, however, involved in a number of projects to promote the Army as a vocation and career of first choice for young people from a broad cross-section of society. At present there are five television documentaries, either completed or under way, about various aspects of life in the Army. In addition, recruit marketing utilises TV advertising, radio, press, videos and the internet, all of which inform in a visually appealing manner.

8 Dec 1998 : Column WA89

Armed Forces: State of Readiness

Lord Rowallan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How long they consider it possible to keep British and American servicemen in a state of Red Alert.[HL23]

Lord Gilbert: The term "Red Alert" has no meaning as a measure of readiness of UK armed forces. The highest state of readiness of UK forces is "ready and on

8 Dec 1998 : Column WA90

task". All forces deployed on operations--such as those currently in Bosnia or the Gulf--are constantly at this state of readiness. Other deployable forces are kept at graduated readiness states, of which the shortest is normally 24 hours. In order to reduce the burden on those forces held at the highest state of readiness, we undertake regular roulements. For example, aircrew serving with Tornado squadrons in the Gulf are rotated every two months. We have no responsibility for the states of readiness of US forces.

   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page