Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Military Aircraft available for Operations

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The table below details aircraft available for military operations and undergoing second-line repair or extensive modification on specific dates at the end of November/beginning of December. Numbers can change on a daily basis as aircraft move in and out of maintenance.

RAF Strike CommandAvailable for Operation (as at 4 Dec 00)Undergoing maintenance or Extensive Modifications at 2nd Line (Note 1) (as at 4 Dec 00)
Sentry AEW152
Tornado F38111
Tornado GR 1/41094 (Note 2)
BAe 12541
BAe 14630
Sea King HAR3/3A184
Joint Helicopter Command(as at 29 Nov 00)(as at 29 Nov 00)
Sea King Mk4303
Commander Naval Aviation(as at 29 Nov 00)(as at 29 Nov 00)
Sea King Mks 2 & 3/6407


1. Second-line maintenance includes scheduled servicing, which can take a number of weeks, but in many cases aircraft can be recovered quickly if required for operations.

2. This figure excludes aircraft undergoing mid-life update. As at 15 December 2000, 21 Tornado GR1s were in the process of being upgraded to GR4 standard.

15 Jan 2001 : Column WA104

Rail Transfer Equipment

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Ministry of Defence is experiencing any difficulties with the rail transfer equipment manufactured by Klaus; and, if so, what; and[HL146]

15 Jan 2001 : Column WA105

    Whether the Ministry of Defence has experienced any serious accidents with the rail transfer equipment manufactured by Klaus; and, if so, in what circumstances.[HL147]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The rail transfer equipment (RTE) manufactured by Klaus has been in service for some 10 years and a small number of trailers have shown signs of distortion within the main chassis. As a result, some trailers have been removed from service and a regular inspection programme has been introduced for the remaining trailers. A post design services (PDS) contract has been let to investigate the problem and develop potential design solutions.

Our records show that there has been only one serious incident involving Klaus RTE. This occurred in June 1999 during a training exercise in Poland when a combination of factors led to the equipment locking up while being operated. During action to recover the situation, the RTE trailer overbalanced and fell onto a rail wagon. No personnel sustained any injuries. The incident has been fully investigated and further work is being undertaken to examine certain design and operating aspects of the equipment. Operator training has also been reviewed and it is now mandatory that a training course is completed at the Defence School of Transport before personnel are allowed to operate the equipment.

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 29 November (WA 133), in which respects the rules of engagement for troops operating in Sierra Leone differ from those used in Northern Ireland.[HL263]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: In accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it is not our policy to release details of the Rules of Engagement for specific operations since this may adversely affect the effectiveness and capabilities of our forces in future operations.

EMU: Conditions for Participating in Stage 3

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the "necessary conditions for participating in stage 3 of Economic and Monetary Union" which all candidate countries must be judged to meet, as stated in their response to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee's 8th report (Session 1999-2000) on 14 November.[HL175]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Article 121 (ex Article 109j) of the treaty establishing the European Community sets out the necessary conditions for

15 Jan 2001 : Column WA106

judging whether candidate countries should participate in stage 3 of economic and monetary union.

Ofgem, Oftel, Ofwat and Orr: Staff Turnover

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the annual turnover of senior and support staff during the last financial year in:

    (a) the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets;

    (b) the Office of Telecommunications;

    (c) the Office of Water Services; and;

    (d) the Office of the Rail Regulator.[HL204]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The turnover of support grades for all four organisations (on a comparable basis) is not readily available.

The turnover of senior civil servants (above previous Civil Service grade 6 level) in the year April 1999 to March 2000 was:

(a) the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) 3 moves
(b) the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) 2 moves
(c) the Office of Water Services (Ofwat)1 move
(d) the Office of the Rail Regulator (Orr)3 moves

Note 1: The annual turnover of Ofgem SCS staff has been based on best estimates because pre-merger staff records are not held centrally.

Educational Projects in Museums and Galleries: DfEE Funding

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the total amount spent through the Department for Education and Employment since 1997 on new funding initiatives which have directly funded additional educational projects in museums and galleries, including galleries and galleries in art centres; and what has been the allocation of funds under each of these initiatives between:

    (a) non-art museums;

    (b) specialist art museums; and

    (c) art galleries without collections, including those in art centres.[HL277]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The department supports educational projects in museums and galleries through a variety of schemes, major examples of which are listed below, although as some projects involve both museums and galleries it is not possible to distinguish between funds for non-art museums and those for art galleries in the way requested.

In 1998-99 &163;140,000 was awarded to fund 17 study support projects involving museums and galleries. The Partners for Study Support Scheme, which is a two-year scheme which began in the summer of 2000,

15 Jan 2001 : Column WA107

includes funding of &163;121,000 for nine projects involving museums and galleries, of which &163;21,000 has been claimed to date.

In July 1999 a major three-year museums and galleries programme was announced to provide funding of up to &163;2.5 million for some 40 projects to develop the educational role of museums and art galleries. Further funding of &163;650,000 was announced in January 2000 to support an additional number of small projects linking museums and galleries with schools. The scheme covers a wide variety of projects, including several which are focused on arts activities. In total approximately &163;1.2 million has been spent to the end of November 2000.

In 2000-01 the department is also funding three education projects for adults in museums and galleries and supporting their development. To the end of November, &163;74,000, out of a total of &163;145,000, had been spent on the projects, including expenditure related to the training needs of the staff involved.

Boarding and Tuition Fees Schemes

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list, as at the latest date for which data are available, the name and postcode of each school, and the number of students receiving financial support towards boarding or tuition fees at each school, in (a) the Armed Forces schemes, (b) the Diplomatic Service scheme, (c) the music and ballet scheme and (d) any other similiar scheme whereby the Government support the cost of sending pupils aged between five and 18 years to independent schools or state boarding schools; and whether they will state the latest available figures for the annual cost of each such scheme.[HL176]

Baroness Blackstone: The information requested involves tables listing several hundred schools. I am therefore placing a copy of the tables for those schemes operated by the Department for Education and Employment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence in the Library of the House. Pupils attending state boarding schools receive their tutition free, and only the boarding costs are charged to parents; there is no central government scheme for assisting with the latter.

Teachers: Stress-related Illness

Baroness Walmsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many teachers are currently off sick with stress-related illnesses.[HL163]

Baroness Blackstone: The information is not held centrally.

The department has issued guidance to schools on good practice in sickness absence management and has set a target of a 30 per cent reduction of sickness absence by 2002.

15 Jan 2001 : Column WA108

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page