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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

Defence

Courts Martial

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the effectiveness of the courts martial process; and if he will make a statement.
[129308]

Mr. Ingram: The courts-martial process was most recently examined during the passing of the 2006 Armed Forces Act. As a result changes are being made which include enhancing the role of the service police in the conduct of investigations likely to lead to a court-martial, and applying the same rules across the three services.

Armed Forces’ Housing

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has
had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the
provision of local authority housing for former members of the armed forces.
[129309]

Derek Twigg: I discussed the issue of local authority housing for former members of the armed forces when I met my hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government, on 13 March. We agreed that our officials should work together to ensure that servicemen and women are fairly treated in terms of access to social housing.

Afghanistan

Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of counter-narcotics operations on the level of insurgency in southern Afghanistan. [129312]

Des Browne: Targeted counter-narcotic operations by Afghan forces continue to contribute positively to the international effort to stabilize that country. While there has been some opposition, this has been localised and it is not assessed to have significantly affected the wider insurgency.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in establishing Afghanistan development zones; and if he will make a statement. [129314]

Des Browne: UK operations in Afghanistan are focused around the Lashkar Gah Development Zone. To date, the creation of six other Afghan Development Zones has been announced and we expect more to follow.

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether British forces will take (a) M26 and (b) any other cluster munition rockets among the ammunition to be used by multiple launch rocket systems when deployed in

Afghanistan. [129317]

Des Browne: No.
PFI Liabilities

16. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s private finance initiative liabilities are; and if he will make a statement.
[129313]

Mr. Ingram: The MOD’s private finance initiative commitments are published in the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Injured Troops

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he next expects to meet Department of Health Ministers to discuss the medical treatment of injured service personnel. [129315]

Derek Twigg: I am looking forward to sharing a platform at the veterans plenary
conference on 28 March with the Minister of State for Health Services. My right
hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence and I met with my right hon.
Friend the Secretary of State for Health on 22 February. There is regular contact between our Departments at official level, both formally through the

Partnership Board which meets three time a year, and informally as required.

Hercules Fleet

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has
been made in the fitting of suppressant foam to the Hercules fleet. [129318]

Mr. Ingram: The programme to fit explosive suppressant foam to the majority of the RAF Hercules fleet is ongoing. On current plans it is expected that this work will be completed around the end of the year.

Bevin Boys

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has
been made on proposals to recognise the contribution of the Bevin boys. [129319]

Derek Twigg: I met with Warwick Taylor, the vice-president of the Bevin Boys
Association, on 7 F

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