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11 Dec 2007 : Column WA23



11 Dec 2007 : Column WA23

Written Answers

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Airports: Heathrow

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government issued their consultation on Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport on 22 November. The consultation document seeks views on a number of issues, including proposals for a third runway and a new terminal. The Government made it clear in the 2003 White Paper The Future of Air Transport that they supported a third runway and additional terminal capacity conditional on strict local environmental limits being met. The Government will take account of the results of the consultation exercise in making final policy decisions later in 2008. It would then be for the airport operator to decide whether and when to bring forward a planning application.

Animal Welfare: Wild Birds

Lord Krebs asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Licences can be issued by Natural England for the purpose of taking wild birds for scientific study, but do not permit actions prohibited by any other legislation, including the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Under Section 2(b) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, an animal is a “protected animal” if it is under the control of man whether on a permanent or temporary basis. Temporarily to restrain wild birds for the purpose of scientific study is, therefore, likely to render them “protected animals” under the legislation. A public consultation is, however, currently underway on whether wing-tagging should be added to the list of exempted procedures under the Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007.



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Armed Forces: Medical Services

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): During the financial year 2006-07, at any one time up to four intensive treatment unit nurses and four emergency medicine nurses were deployed as civilian locums in Afghanistan and Iraq by the Defence Medical Services. A civilian neurosurgeon was also deployed for a period of three months.

A total of 54 individual civilian medical locums were deployed on this basis to operational theatres in the financial year 2006-07. The total spend for this period was £1.155 million. This figure includes agency fees, salaries and pre-deployment training costs.

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: The MoD employs locum GPs to provide cover for manning shortfalls in filling civilian and military posts on a permanent basis and to cover for periods when permanent staff are absent on duty (including periods when uniformed personnel are on operational deployments), or on leave, sick leave, maternity leave or taking further education.

Across the MoD, some areas will have contracts with local surgeries where they pay a monthly fee in return for medical cover. Other areas use locum agencies to supply individuals to fill empty posts; one or more individuals might be engaged over a period to cover a single vacancy.

Officials are collating the available data on how much was spent in the year 2006-07 on employing locum general practitioners and the number of days’ cover that was provided for this amount. Once this is complete I will write to the noble Lord and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Reserves

Lord Rogan asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): It is not possible to determine whether there has been an increase in resignations from the volunteer reserves since the phased introduction of joint personnel administrations.

Territorial Army data have been captured on JPA since its introduction on 1 April 2007. However, they are immature and require further validation before they can be published.

JPA was introduced on 1 November 2006 for Royal Marine Reserves but no outflow data are available prior to that date.

The tables below show the outflow from 2003-04 onwards of the Royal Naval Reserve, for whom JPA was introduced on 1 November 2006, and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, for whom JPA was introduced on 1 April 2007. These JPA data also require further validation before they can be published. The outflow figures below have been compiled from local unit administration systems but resignations cannot be distinguished from other outflow reasons.

Royal Naval Reserve
PeriodOutflow

Apr 2003-Mar 2004

530

Apr 2004-Mar 2005

500

Apr 2005-Mar 2006

420

Apr 2006-Oct 2006

240

Nov 2006-Mar 2007

140

Apr 2007-Oct 2007

160

Royal Auxiliary Air Force
PeriodOutflow

Apr 2003-Mar 2004

280

Apr 2004-Mar 2005

340

Apr 2005-Mar 2006

270

Apr 2006-Mar 2007

280

Apr 2007-Sep 2007

150

The strength of the Reserve Forces in each of the past five years is shown in Table 2.14 of UK Defence Statistics 2007, which is available at www.dasa.mod.uk/natstats/ukds/2007/c2/table2l4.html

Armed Forces: Vehicles

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): We expect to have to repair and overhaul military vehicles used on operations more often than is normally planned in through-life costings. At a fleet management level, however, it is not envisaged that this will affect the original assumptions on the working life of the vehicle.



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Bangladesh: Cyclone

Baroness Uddin asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): Bangladesh not only suffered infrastructure damage from the recent cyclone, but also from the floods in August and September 2007. The Government of Bangladesh have welcomed international assistance from development partners. In this regard, the World Bank approved a US$150 million rehabilitation credit in response to the floods and has additionally offered up to US$250 million to help cyclone recovery efforts and to strengthen the country’s disaster mitigation systems.

Cyclone damage has exacerbated needs and damage is still being assessed. However, we expect the Government of Bangladesh to discuss priority needs with the international community in due course.

Civil Service: Northern Ireland Office

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The NIO’s CSR07 settlement reduced the department’s administration cost budget by 5 per cent year on year, from 2008-09 through to 2010-11. These administration cost reductions will be reallocated to front-line service delivery areas, and so may not have a direct effect on overall headcount numbers. The department is currently finalising work to allocate its CSR07 settlement across all spending areas and it will then be in a position to establish headcount figures for the three CSR07 years. This information will be available in advance of the start of the 2008-09 financial year.

Climate Change: Emissions Trading

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): It is difficult to assess the full picture of emission reductions across the EU until the 2007 results are known. This will be in April 2008.



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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Retirement and Redundancy

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Based on overall departmental gross pay bill costs the estimated net savings from the voluntary early retirement and severance schemes in the current year and over the next three years will be:

VERVESTotal

2007-08

£4.8 million

£5.2 million

£10 million

2008-09

£8.45 million

£8.75 million

£17.2 million

2009-10

£8.8 million

£9.00 million

£17.8 million

2010-11

£9.1 million

£9.4 million

£18.5 million


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