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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) consultancy and (b) other fees were paid in finding a name for the public company taking over the role of New DERA. [158863]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 26 April 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, South (Mr. George) on 24 April 2001, Official Report, column 233W.

Defence Fire Service

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the locations served by appliances and firefighters of the Defence Fire Service in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) outside the United Kingdom. [159162]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The areas specifically served by Defence Fire Service (DFS) appliances and firefighters based in the United Kingdom and overseas are set out in the table.

Defence Fire Service

UK based
HMNB ClydeFaslane, Scotland
RNAD CoulportDunbartonshire, Scotland
DSDC BicesterOxfordshire
DSDC DonningtonShropshire
DM East RiggsDumfrieshire, Scotland
DM KinetonWarwickshire
DM Longtown Cumbria
Marchwood Mil PortHampshire
AAC Middle WallopHampshire
AAC NetheravonWiltshire
RMCS ShrivenhamOxfordshire
AAC WattishamSuffolk
RAF Aldergrove(1) Northern Ireland
RAF BoulmerNorthumberland
RAF CosfordWest Midlands
RAF FylingdalesNorth Yorkshire
202 Sqn Det LeconfieldNorth Humberside
RAF LeemingNorth Yorkshire
RAF LeucharsFife, Scotland
RAF Linton on Ouse(2)North Yorkshire
RAF LossiemouthMorayshire, Scotland
RAF LynehamWiltshire
RAF NortholtMiddlesex
RAF NeatisheadNorfolk
RAF OakhangerHampshire
RAF SealandFlintshire
RAF Shawbury(3)Shropshire
RAF SpadeadamCumbria
RAF StaffordStaffordshire
DM WelfordBerkshire
LATCC West DraytonMiddlesex
USAF RAF Menwith Hill(4)North Yorkshire
USAFE RAF Mildenhall(4)Suffolk
USAFE RAF Fairford(4)Gloucestershire
USAFE RAF Croughton(4)Northamptonshire
USAFE RAF Lakenheath(4)Suffolk
USAFE RAF Alconbury(4)Cambridgeshire
Based overseas
RAF AkrotiriCyprus
Ayios Nikolaos StationCyprus
Dhekalia GarrisonCyprus
BF EpiskopiCyprus
Troodos StationCyprus
RAF GibraltarGibraltar
DSDC DulmenGermany
Gutersloh GarrisonGermany
BF FallingbostelGermany
UKSC(G) RheindahlenGermany
BF SennelagerGermany
BF SipovoBosnia
BF Banja LukaBosnia
BF PristinaKosovo
BF PodujevoKosovo

(1) Includes Bessbrook

(2) Includes Dishforth/Topcliffe/Church Fenton

(3) Includes Tern Hill

(4) USAF provides appliances

27 Apr 2001 : Column: 413W

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultation has been held with the representative body of fire- fighters serving in the Defence Fire Service about (a) the Fire Service Study 2000 and (b) the competitive tendering for the defence fire services; and if he will make a statement. [159163]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Fire Service Study 2000 has been developed with full Fire Service and Trade Union consultation and support. In addition, one of the two new working groups currently being formed to handle the final stages of the study will include full Trade Union representation.

The plan to seek bids for airfield support services, which includes the capability currently provided by the Defence Fire Service, is covered by the Airfield Support Services Project (ASSP). This project is looking at the viability of a PFI/PPP solution for the provision of airfield support services to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) world-wide. MOD Trades Unions were consulted in December 1996 on the proposals for a Feasibility Study and again in February 1998 following the outcome of the study. Further meetings were held between Project staff and the TGWU on 29 April 1999 and 17 November 1999. The most recent pan-Trades Unions meeting took place at RAF Brampton on 10 November 2000. Formal consultation on the proposals for the next stage of the process was initiated on 18 April 2001.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what circumstances have caused bids to be sought for the running of the service provided by the Defence Fire Service, (b) who authorised the soliciting of such bids and (c) if he will detail the conditions relating to such bids; and if he will make a statement. [159164]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The Government are committed to seeking value for money through Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) by involving private sector management expertise, innovation and capital investment in the delivery of services to the public sector. Against this background, a feasibility study, commissioned in 1995, reported in 1997 that there was significant private sector interest in providing airfield support services and that the private sector had the necessary expertise and ability to provide it.

27 Apr 2001 : Column: 414W

Further work has established a good case that PFI/PPP arrangements have the potential to provide the Ministry of Defence's requirement for airfield support services, which includes the service provided by the Defence Fire Services, at the greatest value for money. In the light of this, ministerial approval was given in early April 2001 to issue Invitations To Negotiate (ITN) seeking proposals from three Consortia for PFI/PPP solutions for airfield support services.

The ITN will seek bids for both a 15 and 25-year solution and the service provision will be specified in output terms. Bidders will be required to examine the feasibility of the employment of Sponsored Reserves within the project. Bids will be required to demonstrate value for money and provide the manpower and equipment to maintain the required operational capability.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions, and for what purposes, Defence Fire Service personnel have been deployed overseas in the last two years. [159161]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 26 April 2001]: I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason he has not announced to the House his plans to seek tenders to run the Defence Fire Service; and if he will make a statement. [159170]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The Ministry of Defence plans to issue, in July, Invitations to Negotiate (ITN) seeking binding proposals from three consortia for Private Finance Initiative/Public Private Partnering (PFI/PPP) solutions for airfield support services. The PFI/PPP process follows a well-established system and would not always involve announcements to the House, particularly at this early stage of the PFI process.

Porton Down

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what breaches of security at the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down have been reported in the past 12 months. [157560]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The Chemical and Biological Defence Sector of DERA at Porton Down has not reported any breaches in security during the past 12 months.

Amphibious Landing Ships Logistics

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the latest in-service date is for the 4 Amphibious Landing Ships Logistics. [157729]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 24 April 2001]: The approved in-service dates for the two Alternative Landing Ships Logistic to be built by Swan Hunter (Tyneside) Ltd. are October 2004 and June 2005. Pending the outcome of negotiations with BAE Systems Marine, we expect all four ships to be in service by the summer of 2006.

27 Apr 2001 : Column: 415W

Chemical Agent CR

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the chemical agent CR was first authorised for use in 1973; and in what formats it was weaponised (a) then and (b) subsequently. [158788]

Mr. Spellar: CR was first authorised for use by British forces in October 1968, although authorisation for its use in Northern Ireland, in special circumstances only, was not given until October 1973. Strict guidelines govern both deployment and use of CR.

In 1973 CR was available both in aerosol from and for use in water cannon. Subsequently, a wheeled dispenser was introduced in December 1974, a vehicle-based version was deployed in 1976, and a projectile delivery device was authorised for use in 1977.

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