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Further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 1 November (WA 36) on medical care for veterans, whether the aftercare following hospitalisation is adequate and of a suitable quality; and what lessons were learnt from the case of Corporal Corrigan.[HL127]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The veterans programme aims for an excellent delivery of public services for veterans by working in partnership with other government departments, the devolved Administrations, local authorities, ex-service and other charities and individual volunteers. Individual veterans and the ex-service organisations are encouraged to report back on their experience to officials in the Veterans Agency or MoD to monitor their aftercare. This means that any issues identified can be investigated, discussed and addressed by the responsible body.
Some problems have been identified in a small number of individual cases. The associated support processes and procedures are being reviewed and made more robust. This work involves discussion with other government departments and is being carried out by multidisciplinary teams, both military and civilian, including representatives from the ex-service charities.
Corporal Corrigan, a field ambulance commander in the Territorial Army, was evacuated from Iraq to RAF Halton following an accident in which he damaged his knee. Regrettably, administrative shortcomings meant that Corporal Corrigan was not provided with the adequate transport arrangements to return to his home in County Durham. The circumstances surrounding his treatment have been the subject of full investigations, and procedures have since been revised to ensure that appropriate transport arrangements are available for all service personnel who require it.
Whether they will now publish the correspondence to date between the Ministry of Defence and the president of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal for England and Wales on the draft Pensions Appeals Tribunals (Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme) Amendment Regulations 2006.[HL126]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The Pensions Appeals Tribunals (Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme) Amendment Regulations 2006 were made on 30 October 2006 by my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans, having been satisfied that the regulations are appropriate. The president has been approached for his agreement to place copies of his correspondence on this topic in the Library of the House along with correspondence from the Ministry of Defence. When the president confirms his agreement, I will write to the noble Lord to confirm that this has been done.
Whether they will provide, in tabular form, details of the current trained strength of (a) regular, and (b) reserve personnel in (i) the Army; (ii) the Royal Navy; and (iii) the Royal Air Force; and how many in each category are planned to be abroad on 15 December. [HL46]
|UK Regular Forces trained strength at 1 October 2006|
|1 Figures are for UK Regular Forces trained personnel, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve service personnel, the home service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists.|
|Regular and volunteer reserve strength at 1 October 2006 is as below|
|1 Source of naval service regular reserve data is Director Naval Career Management (DNCM)-Reserves. Source of naval service volunteer reserve data is Fleet Commander Maritime Reserves (CMR).|
|2 Naval service regular reserve figure includes personnel serving on full-time reserve service (FTRS). Naval service volunteer reserve figure excludes FTRS.|
|3 Army volunteer reserve figure includes group A & B, mobilised TA and Officer Training Corps, but excludes non-regular permanent staff (NRPS) and FTRS.|
|4 Army reserves figures are for trained and untrained personnel. This is to ensure consistency with official reserve national statistics and for ease of comparison with the TA requirement which comprises both trained and untrained personnel.|
|5 Army regular reserve figure includes mobilised regular reserve, but excludes long-term reserve, pensioners and Regular Army reserve of officers (RARO).|
|6 RAF reserve figures are for trained and untrained personnel, as it is currently not possible to split RAF reserve personnel by training indicator.|
|7 RAF reserve (RAFR) figure is for active RAFR only; it does not include those who have left the service and have reserve liability. The figure comprises FTRS, additional duties commitment (ADC) personnel, part-time personnel and sponsored reserves. The latest available figure including non-active RAFR personnel is 7,790; this is based on data at the 1 April 2006 situation date.|
|8 RAF volunteer reserve figure includes mobilised volunteer reserve and FTRS.|
|Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.|
|p denotes provisional. Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system for RAF, UK Regular Forces and FTRS, RAF data are provisional and subject to review.|
In the process of answering this Question, it was found that a previous Answer which I gave on 8 November 2006 (Official Report, col. WA 164) to a similar Question was incorrect, for which I apologise. The correct figure for the naval service regular reserve for 1 September 2006 was 10,390. It should also be noted that the Army and RAF figures included in that Answer were for both trained and untrained strength. Due to the deployment and movement of personnel changing continuously, it is not possible to say how many personnel will be abroad on 15 December.
Whether they have made an assessment of the conclusion published in the Lancet in 2005 regarding the negative effects of (a) road traffic, and (b) aircraft noise on children's cognition; and, if so, whether they will take steps to ensure that aircraft noise does not have a negative impact on children's education in (i) schools; (ii) play areas; and (iii) homes. [HL397]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The Government have not made an assessment of the number of children whose learning might be negatively affected by aircraft noise. However, under Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise, the Government will be making strategic noise maps for major airports, major roads, major railways and agglomerations by June 2007. Based on these maps, action plans will be drawn up to manage and reduce noise and its effects as necessary.
The Government part-funded the European Commission fifth framework research project, Road Traffic and Aircraft Noise and Children's Cognition and Health (RANCH). Details of the findings of this project can be found at www.wolfson.qmul.ac.uk/RANCH_Project/ and were published in the Lancet in 2005. This research is a valuable part of the evidence base for developing policy on noise.
Lord Davies of Oldham: Gatwick and Heathrow are required to provide acoustic insulation under powers in the Civil Aviation Act 1982. The Government do not monitor voluntary schemes run by other airports. However, the UK's 30 major airports are publishing master plans that, alongside their development proposals, include current and future proposals for noise mitigation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): No statistical data are kept in relation to the number of instances where the Court of Appeal Criminal Division has found a conviction for rape unsafe in these circumstances.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: No statistical data are kept in relation to the number of instances where a person imprisoned for rape has been released following a finding in these circumstances that the conviction was unsafe.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We have lobbied the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government on their duty and international obligations to protect all their wildlife. We have also
6 Dec 2006 : Column WA143
Lord Triesman: Poaching of wild animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been seriously exacerbated by the beginning of armed conflict in DRC in 1996. Researchers from academic institutions and non-governmental organisations believe that several species, including hippopotamus, rhinoceros, elephant and okapi, are under threat from poaching. The recently reported killing of wild animals including hippos by militias in eastern DRC has left hippopotamus populations at dangerously low levels, according to academics. We continue to press the Congolese authorities to do more to prevent poaching of wildlife and remind them that the country will not be able to pursue sustainable development or prosper economically if it does not protect its wildlife.
Further to the Written Statement by Lord Drayson on 19 October (WS 87-88), when the findings of the Vaccines Interactions Research Programme into the health effects of the combinations of vaccines administered to troops involved in the 1990-91 Gulf War first became known to the Ministry of Defence. [HL24]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The Vaccines Interactions Research Programme consisted of three
6 Dec 2006 : Column WA144
Study of potential adverse health effects of a combination of vaccines with and without pyridostigmine bromide in the marmoset: pre-study dose determination phases reported March 1999 and September 2000; interim findings reported November 2001, September 2002 and May 2003; main findings reported January and April 2004; supplementary/final findings reported May 2005.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 1 November (WA 34) on Gulf War illnesses, on what date they first became aware of the research at Wright State University in Ohio into autonomic dysfunction following low-level sarin exposure and its possible relevance to illnesses among British veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War. [HL128]
Lord Drayson: Wright State University issued a press release about its research in early October 2005. As set out in my Answer of 1 November 2006 (Official Report, col. WA 34), we will review the findings in the final paper when it is published.
|1998-99 (£)||1999-2000 (£)||2000-01 (£)||2001-02 (£)||2002-03 (£)||2003-04 (£)||2004-05 (£)|
|Source: Annual financial returns from 1998-99 to 2004-05|
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