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22 Oct 2009 : Column 1636W—continued


The defence budget is not formally allocated at sub-UK level. Defence Procurement provides the UK armed forces with the equipment needed as efficiently as possible to deliver the best value for money for the armed forces regardless of where the items are procured or MOD personnel are located. The Defence Budget is planned on this basis to achieve the optimum allocation of resources in relation to current defence objectives and priorities.

Departmental Telephone Services

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many helplines his Department operates; and how much his Department has received from the operation of such helplines in each of the last three years. [294977]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The provision of helplines is determined at local level in accordance with individual business requirements and obtained directly from the supplier. Records of such helplines are not held centrally and information relating to them, including any revenue accrued, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

News International

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had (i) meetings with, (ii) communications from and (iii) other contacts with News International in the last five years; and what the subject matter of any contact was in each case. [295015]


22 Oct 2009 : Column 1637W

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In the course of accounting for the Department's work through the media, Ministers and officials deal with News International representatives on a regular basis. No central record of this routine business is held.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many (a) armed forces personnel and (b) veterans have received treatment for (i) mental health problems, (ii) alcohol addiction and (iii) drug abuse since 2001; [295082]

(2) how many and what proportion of military personnel who have served or are serving in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan have been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder; [295083]

(3) how many new diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder there have been since 2001. [295085]

Mr. Kevan Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson) on 12 October 2009, Official Report, columns 416-417W.

Territorial Army

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who within his Department took the decision to cease Territorial Army training until 1 April 2010; and whether regular unit personnel (a) attached to and (b) working in Territorial Army units will be paid up to 1 April 2010. [294266]

Bill Rammell: Like all Government Departments, the Ministry of Defence routinely reviews expenditure to ensure that we allocate our resources where they are needed most and success in Afghanistan must take priority. Accordingly, senior officials discussed emerging budgetary pressures in the summer and then asked all budget holders within the Department to review all uncommitted funding. The plan to restrict Territorial Army activity for the remainder of the current financial year was one of a number of cost saving proposals put forward by the Chief of the General Staff and endorsed by the Defence Secretary.

Regular Army personnel attached to TA units will continue to work and be paid during the period of restrictions.

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of Territorial Army (TA) reservists who will leave the TA as a result of the proposed six month stand-down of the TA; [294318]

(2) what estimate he has made of the reduction in expenditure which will accrue from the six-month stand-down of the Territorial Army. [294321]

Bill Rammell: We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the front-line is properly resourced, and that the mission in Afghanistan will have all the backing it needs to succeed. All personnel, both regular and reserve, currently earmarked for operations will be provided with the training they need before deployment and be paid for it. The suspension for the remainder of this
22 Oct 2009 : Column 1638W
financial year of Territorial Army (TA) activity not directly supporting operations will contribute £20 million to a total saving of £43 million in the TA budget this year.

The reductions in normal activity are, of course, disappointing for TA members. We hope that the majority will understand the reasons behind these restrictions and the exceptional circumstances in which they are being applied. We are confident that reservists will stay to resume training when the restrictions are lifted.

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Territorial Army (TA) reservists in (a) Pembrokeshire and (b) Wales will receive no (i) pay and (ii) training during the proposed six month stand-down of the TA; [294319]

(2) how many Territorial Army (TA) reservists in (a) Pembrokeshire and (b) Wales will continue to receive operational training before deployment on operations during the proposed six month stand-down of the TA; [294320]

(3) how many Territorial Army reservists from (a) Pembrokeshire and (b) Wales have served in operations in (i) Afghanistan and (ii) Iraq since 2002; [294322]

(4) what assessment he has made of the role and effectiveness of the Territorial Army in Wales. [294323]

Bill Rammell: The Territorial Army (TA) continues to play a vital role in support of the Regular Army, not least on operations in Afghanistan. TA personnel in Wales offer a variety of essential skills and capabilities including infantry, artillery, medical, engineers and transport.

The current period of restricted activity does not affect those TA personnel preparing for operations or those new recruits in Phase 1 (initial) training. Approximately 2,300 TA personnel are attached to TA units based in Wales. Of these 30 are attached to units based in Pembrokeshire. Of the 2300, 60 are currently on operations, a further 120 are currently training for operations and a further 420 are in Phase 1 training. Fewer than 10 of the 30 personnel attached to units based in Pembrokeshire are currently training for operations; and a further 10 are in Phase 1 training. None is currently mobilised. All TA personnel will be provided with opportunities to undertake activities required to meet the minimum standard to qualify for their bounty this year, if they have not already done so.

Approximately 930 TA personnel have mobilised to serve on operations overseas from units based in Wales since 2003. Of these fewer than 10 have deployed from units based in Pembrokeshire. These figures include small numbers of personnel who deployed on operations other than in Afghanistan and Iraq. Information prior to 2003 and on numbers who have deployed to specific operational theatres is not held centrally.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the stoppage of payments for the Territorial Army training until 31 March 2010 is being applied in respect of (a) Royal Marines Reserve, (b) 2/3 Regiment Special Air Service and (c) 4th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. [294478]


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Bill Rammell: The restrictions being applied this financial year to Territorial Army training affect only those units that are funded from the Land Forces budget. This includes 4th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. The Royal Marines Reserves receive their funding by other routes. It is the long-standing practice of this Department not to comment upon Special Forces.

Territorial Army: Civil Contingency Reaction Forces

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether members of the Territorial Army will be paid if they are called out as part of the Civil Contingency Reaction Force in the next six months; and if he will make a statement. [293987]

Bill Rammell: In response to a recommendation within the recent report on the Strategic Review of the Reserves, the current Civil Contingency Reaction Force structure has been discontinued as a role for regional Territorial Army units. However, joint regional liaison officer posts and brigade reinforcement teams have been retained within regional forces brigade headquarters to continue in a command and control framework providing the necessary link with the civilian authorities and emergency services.

Support to operations remains the highest priority for Defence including support to United Kingdom operations. Territorial Army personnel who are called out in support of any operation will be entitled to remuneration in accordance with normal, extant policy.

Communities and Local Government

Departmental Flexible Working

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what flexi-time arrangements were available to staff of his Department in each of the last five years; and how many staff participated in such arrangements in each such year. [290583]

Barbara Follett: Flexi-time arrangements are just one of many flexible working arrangements that are available to staff.

Participants in the flexi time arrangement are required to be present during certain hours of the day, known as "core-time". However, subject to operational needs and line management agreement, participants may start and finish work each day at the times they choose during the "flexible range" (ie the hours before and after core-time), provided they complete their net conditioned hours exclusive of lunch-breaks (36 hours per week in London and 37 elsewhere) during the agreed "accounting period".

Hours

Flexible starting period

07.30-10.00

Core-time

10.00-12.00

Flexible lunch break

12.00-14.30

Core-time

14.30-16.00

Flexible finishing period

16.00-20.30


22 Oct 2009 : Column 1640W

Subject to the workflow and reasonable demands of the office, staff may accumulate in any accounting period a credit balance of up to 22.2 hours (21.6 hours in London) or a debit balance of up to 11.1 hours (10.8 hours in London). Staff should not arrive at work and finish work in such a way as to accumulate credit hours without regard to the proper needs of the office.

Flexi time arrangements are delegated to line managers and no central record is kept. Therefore, the number of staff participating in such arrangements in each of the last five years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Manpower

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff there were in (a) his Department's predecessor in 1997 and (b) his Department on the latest date for which figures are available. [292058]

Barbara Follett: Information about staff numbers in the Department of the Environment on 1 April 1997 are given in Civil Service Statistics 1997 which can be accessed via the link at:

In accordance with the definition provided by the Office for National Statistics, there were 2,266 staff (full-time equivalent) in Communities and Local Government at 30 September 2009.

Departmental Motor Vehicles

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on hire vehicles in each of the last five financial years. [291600]

Barbara Follett: Figures for the Department's expenditure on hire vehicles for the last three years are tabled as follows. Figures for earlier years could be extracted only at disproportionate cost.

£

2006-07

48,444

2007-08

57,250

2008-09

25,657


Departmental Pay

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what employee reward schemes are offered to staff of his Department; what the purpose of each scheme is; how many staff participate in each scheme; and what the cost of operating each scheme was in each of the last five years. [290585]

Barbara Follett: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 19 May 2009, Official Report, column 1340W and to the reply given to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 19 January 2009, Official Report, column 1074W.


22 Oct 2009 : Column 1641W

Departmental Procurement

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of procurement contracts (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) its agencies awarded to small businesses in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08, (iii) 2008-09 and (iv) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. [293233]

Barbara Follett: The information requested is not held centrally by the Department and the Planning Inspectorate and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Department is currently putting in place systems that will identify small and medium enterprises on its finance system which will allow this to be reported on in the future.

However the Department's other agencies, Fire Service College and Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre were able to supply the following figures:

Percentage

2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009( 1)

Fire Service College

43

40

100

50

QEII Conference Centre

36

32

33

29

(1) To date

Departmental Recruitment

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what data his Department holds on the level of diversity in the recruitment of employees by his Department and its predecessor in each of the last three years. [290503]

Barbara Follett: Information on workforce diversity is published as part of our Disability Equality Scheme, Gender Equality Scheme, Race Equality Scheme and their related updates. These are available on our corporate web pages.

Our Workforce Diversity Data Reports, which also contain data on work force diversity and recruitment, have been published annually on our Workforce Equalities web pages since 2006; hard copies are also available on request.

Departmental Training

John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many external training courses were attended by staff of his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost was of attendances on each such course. [289705]

Barbara Follett: The Department does not hold information on the number of external training courses attended by staff in the last 12 months centrally. External training courses are agreed by line managers and there would be a disproportionate cost in trying to obtain such information.


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