Previous Section Index Home Page


Lynx Helicopter Accident

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he will publish the accident report on the Lynx helicopter which crashed near Tilton on the Hill, Leicestershire on 17 May 1999; [1082]

Dr. Moonie: The Military Aircraft Accident Summary—a report that summarises the accident report and the findings of the subsequent investigation—will be published shortly and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.

The Board of Inquiry proceedings were issued to the families of those killed in the accident earlier this year.

Navigation Marks

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what responsibility his Department has for the maintenance of navigation marks, with special reference to moorings and lighthouses; and what plans he has to review those responsibilities. [1263]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS), part of the Warship Support Agency (WSA), is responsible for the maintenance of some 224 navigational buoys, 148 moorings and 12 targets around the coast of the British Isles. The Chief Salvage and Mooring Officer (CSALMO), also part of the WSA, is the tri-Service manager and design authority for Ministry of Defence moorings and is responsible for the oversight of all maintenance work in the UK and of a further 54 moorings

2 Jul 2001 : Column: 5W

and navigational buoys overseas. Responsibility for lighthouses rests with the three General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) administered by the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR). The GLAs are ultimately responsible through legislation for all navigational marks including those owned by the MOD.

The Government's Better Quality Services (BQS) policy encourages a robust review of services and the opportunity has therefore been taken to explore the obvious synergy between the GLAs and the RMAS.

Exploratory meetings with the GLAs have led to Trinity House, acting on behalf of the three GLAs and with the authority of the DTLR, making an offer for the absorption and maintenance of all MOD navigational buoys in UK waters. The MOD is now assessing the GLAs' offer and an initial meeting took place on 27 June 2001. Further work is required and the MOD and the GLAs have agreed to jointly examine their operations without commitment.

It is unlikely that any firm recommendations will be made before the end of 2001 and implementation will be subject to full consultation with staff and their representatives, as well as requiring ministerial approval in both Departments.

Aberporth

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of his Department's apprenticeships at Aberporth. [843]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 26 June 2001]: The apprentice school at Aberporth is run by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), and is staffed by DERA personnel. On completion of their apprenticeship the great majority of apprentices are employed by DERA. As a result, the school forms part of the undertaking that is planned to become QinetiQ plc, as part of the DERA Public-Private Partnership. DERA receives a contribution from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for various aspects of the apprentice training at the school. The MOD will continue to contribute funding for the apprentices who are attending the school at the date of vesting of assets in QinetiQ plc. Discussions on the funding of future intakes of apprentices will take place during the summer between MOD, QinetiQ plc and trade union representatives, and are scheduled to conclude in September 2001.

Stun Grenades

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many stun grenades have been issued to the Army in the last 12 months; how many have been used in Northern Ireland in the past 12 months; what level of authorisation is required for use of this weapon; and what (a) rules and (b) guidance applies to its use; [1232]

Mr. Ingram: The use of stun grenades must be reasonable, proportionate and no more than absolutely necessary in the circumstances. The service personnel

2 Jul 2001 : Column: 6W

concerned are fully trained in how to use them. I am withholding details of numbers, use, level of authorisation and rules of engagement under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

RAF Training Group Defence Agency

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent agreement between his Department and the Horizon consortium to market spare training capacity in the RAF/Training Group Defence Agency. [1594]

Mr. Ingram: The RAF has identified some unavoidable surplus training capacity, particularly in the area of engineering training. Although the RAF has had some success in selling this capacity, it was recognised that it does not have the necessary skills to market, promote and sell opportunities presented by the spare capacity. To maximise both the potential use of the capacity and income generation, the RAF has sought a commercial partner to provide the expertise required.

The Agreement for the Marketing Partnering Arrangement between the RAF and the Horizon consortium, consisting of BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Westland Augusta, PERA and Bournemouth and Poole College, was signed on 30 May 2001. The agreement is for seven years.

In addition to increasing the income received from selling training capacity, the partnership will help to meet the increasing aerospace industry demand for technician training.

East Timor

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what British forces are operating in and around the East Timor theatre; and what their role is within the United Nations contingent. [1181]

Mr. Ingram: Four British observers are currently deployed in support of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Their roles typically include observation, monitoring and reporting; registration and negotiation between belligerent factions and other agencies. In addition, an Army legal officer has recently been seconded to the Office for Defence Force Development (ODFD) to assist with the development of the new East Timorese Defence Force (ETDF).

Two British servicemen currently serving on exchange programmes with the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces are also deployed to East Timor with their host units.

WORK AND PENSIONS

New Deal

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Coventry are in the New Deal programme; and how many had been placed in employment up to June. [1178]

2 Jul 2001 : Column: 7W

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information is in the table.

Numbers currently on new deal and jobs gained in Coventry

Numbers currently on as at end March 2001Jobs gained to March 2001
New Deal for Young People5051,836
New Deal for Long Term Unemployed aged 25+13887
New Deal for Lone Parents632559
New Deal 50plus: Employment Credit202282
New Deal for Musicians113
New Deal for Partners81

Notes:

1. Figures relate to Coventry 'Unit of Delivery'.

2. Latest figures relate to the period ending March 2001 which were reported in the May Statistical First Release for New Deal for Young People/25 plus and June First Release for New Deal for Lone parents.

3. New Deal 50 plus figures relate to clients claiming the Employment Credit only. Figures relating to the numbers on the ND50 plus caseload are not available.

4. Jobs gained includes those who gain a job while accessing New Deal or as an immediate destination on leaving the programme.

5. New Deal for Disabled People is being piloted in various districts. Coventry is not included in the pilot scheme.

Source:

The New Deal Evaluation Database; except for figures on New Deal for Partners which is collated from management information.


Pensioners (Preserved Rights)

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners with preserved rights who are ineligible for local authority support. [1320]

Mr. McCartney: Estimates of the numbers of pensioners with preserved rights who are ineligible for local authority support are not available.

Pension Credit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the way in which the Pension Credit will operate for claimants whose entitlement to the basic state pension is below 100 per cent. [1461]

Mr. McCartney: The Pension Credit forms a key part of the Government's overall strategy for tackling pensioner poverty.

We are completing the design of the Credit and will publish details of our proposals when the Bill is introduced.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library (a) a summary and (b) full copies of the replies he has received to his consultation paper on the Pension Credit. [1266]

Mr. McCartney: We will be announcing our response to the Pension Credit consultation in due course.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to publish the Pension Credit Bill. [920]

Mr. McCartney: As indicated in the Gracious Speech, we intend to introduce legislation in this Session of Parliament.

2 Jul 2001 : Column: 8W

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people eligible for Pension Credit. [929]

Mr. McCartney: I refer the hon. Member to "The Pension Credit: A consultation paper" (November 2000, Cm 4900).

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the results of and submissions to the Pension Credit consultation process will be placed in the Library. [366]

Mr. McCartney: We will be announcing our response to the Pension Credit consultation in due course.


Next Section Index Home Page