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Written Answers

Wednesday, 8 March 2006.

Agriculture: Research

The Earl of Selborne asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Bach): Defra research expenditure and commitments at Rothamsted Research and the Institute of Grassland and Economic Research (IGER) for the years in question are as follows:
£'000


RothamstedIGER
1999–20006,1916,437
2000–016,3496,275
2001–025,9226,040
2002–035,5556,339
2003–045,2836,537
2004–055,1096,996
2005–06*4,1996,361
2006–07**2,4455,210
2007–08**1,6922,243




* Provisional


** Figures for these years are incomplete. Data given represent committed and planned expenditure at this time, but many contracts are still under negotiation or are yet to be formally commissioned.






The Earl of Selborne asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Rothamsted Research (RRes), its predecessor body (the Institute of Arable Crops Research) and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) are research institutes of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The areas of expertise within these institutes is, therefore, a matter for BBSRC, RRes and IGER.
 
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Defra's needs for scientific evidence and, therefore, the expertise required within the scientific community to service these needs, are changing. This has been documented in our Science Forward Look 1 and our recent consultation document on our Evidence and Innovation Strategy 2 . We look to the UK science and engineering base as a whole, including public sector research institutes, the higher education institutions and the private sector, to provide the expertise required to support the delivery of our strategic priorities.

The Earl of Selborne asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Rothamsted Research, its predecessor body (the Institute of Arable Crops Research) and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research are research institutes of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Therefore, redundancy costs at these institutes are a matter for the BBSRC.

Armed Forces: Pay Review Body

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The operational pinch points that have been identified will not have a significant impact on planned operations over the next 12 months.

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: The Government welcome the assessment of the manning situation made in the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body report. The Armed Forces
 
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are broadly in manning balance in spite of some significant shortfall areas. Restructuring and subsequent requirement reductions will help to resolve many of these structural imbalances and close the deficit by April 2008. There will, however, continue to be shortfalls in some branches and trades beyond this date.

Both recruitment and retention remain generally satisfactory despite a challenging environment. A number of measures, which are covered in the report, continue to address problem areas. In addition, a two-month recruiting bounty scheme has been put in place for Royal Artillery and Infantry to assist in this problem recruitment area.

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: The total net additional cost of the full pay increase, taking account of increased charges, will be some £208 million in 2006–07. The additional cost of the award will be met from within the existing departmental expenditure limits.

Armed Forces: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Baroness Greenfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The Ministry of Defence has put measures in place to increase awareness at all levels and to mitigate against the development of post-traumatic stress disorder and other stress-related disorders among service personnel. Personnel receive briefings before they are deployed to prepare them for dealing with potentially stressful operational situations. While personnel are in theatre, we provide appropriate levels of support from trained mental health staff, either based in the UK or in theatre. On their return from theatre, personnel receive a post-deployment briefing, which includes leaflets and a presentation covering stress reactions. The families of returning personnel are also offered a presentation and issued with leaflets to alert them to the possible after-effects of operational deployment.

On the relatively rare occasions when personnel develop a mental health problem as a result of their deployment, community-based mental health care is available to every military unit and every service person via our 15 departments of community mental health across the UK and satellite centres in Cyprus, Germany and Gibraltar.
 
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Aviation: Bilateral Air Travel Arrangements

Lord Smith of Leigh asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Applications by non-EU airlines for permits to operate scheduled or charter flights to the UK are scrutinised to ensure that all the detailed criteria have been met. These criteria include valid certificates of airworthiness, air operators' certificates and insurance details. A small percentage of applications have been rejected over the past two years. The reasons commonly relate to inadequate documentation or to issues relating to safety or security.


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