New Liarbour MP starts investigating Army Skiing!

#1
These answers are taken from Hansard from questions asked by Keevan Jones MP. This guy is seriously digging the dirt on the armed forces - check out his latest questions from the past week alone - this guy worries me! Also why does he have such an issue with the army ski championships - is this new labour at its worst - cracking down on the army skiing?

Army: Costs
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2007, Official Report, column 50W, on the Army: costs, what the reasons were for the amount spent on maintenance of the property occupied by the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland, broken down by main budget heading. [136625]
Derek Twigg: The figure of £4,702.52 previously provided under the generic heading ‘maintenance’ contained an error of £17.50, the total figure spend on maintenance was actually £4,685.02, which covered a range of costs, a breakdown as follows:

Work carried out Cost (£)
Supply gardening sundries
196.20

Various electrical repairs
288.40

Power wash external areas
654.48

Treat flea infestation
100.00

Wash windows/frames (internal and external)
599.25

Rebed loose masonry at patio wall
341.61

Eradicate wasps nest at driveway
99.88

Clean out guttering and down pipes
352.50

Replace dish washing machine
348.92

Rectify leak at waste disposal m/c
102.23

Trace/rectify leak in roof space
156.28

Supply and fix chrome soap dish
14.61

Reseal kitchen sink
26.40

Supply and fix handle at T/dryer
88.13

Replace x 8 tensioners at curtains
188.00

Replace bath c/w taps etc.
587.50

Replacement of oil pump
185.51

Testing of portable appliances (33)
88.20

Replace thermostatic valves x 2
125.92

Planned maintenance for boilers and smoke alarms
141.00

Total
4,685.02



Army: Greater London
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions the General Officer Commanding London District met hon. Members and peers in the last 12 months. [137437]
Derek Twigg: The information is provided in the following table.

Date Event
11 May 2006
Armed forces parliamentary scheme visit.

17 June 2006
Lunch with Lord Inge

27 July 2006
Office call with Lord Guthrie

4 December 2006
Dinner with Philip Dunne MP

17 January 2007
Dinner with Keith Simpson MP

21 March 2007
Ex Household Division MP’s dinner at Queen’s Guard:-Hugo Swire MP, Andrew Robathan MP, Ben Wallace MP, Hugh Robertson MP, Mike Penning MP, David Trevithic MP, and Adam Holloway MP



The above list does not include meetings with Ministers.


24 May 2007 : Column 1380W

Army: Skiing
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which regiments of the Army have ski lodges. [138519]

Derek Twigg: The Army does not own any ski lodges. A number of lodges are rented by the Army to enable the conduct of Adventurous Training Activities under the auspices of the Joint Service Adventurous Training Scheme.

Individual regiments or corps are at liberty to have ski lodges using non-public funds. Information on which regiments or corps do so is not collated.

Chief of Defence Material
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the claims for expenses made by the Chief of Defence Material since January 2005. [137131]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 May 2007]: The chief of defence materiel has made no claims for expenses since 2 April 2007, when the post was established.



Departments: Official Hospitality
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) gifts and (b) hospitality were received by the (i) Chief of the General Staff, (ii) Adjutant General, (iii) General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland and (iv) Commander in Chief Land in the last 12 months. [135010]

Derek Twigg: Between 26 April 2006 and 26 April 2007 the gifts and hospitality received and accepted by the Chief of the General Staff, the Adjutant General, the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland and the Commander in Chief Land are shown in the following tables.

During the same period, the Chief of the General Staff received 209 offers of hospitality/gifts and accepted 46. Commander in Chief Land received 75 offers, and accepted 19. General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland received 41 offers and accepted 16 and the Adjutant General received 42 offers and accepted 10.

Chief of the General Staff
Date Provider Description
1 May 2006
Brazilian Chief of the General Staff
Books

2 May 2006
General Commanding 1 Division
Plaque and clock

2 May 2006
Chilean ambassador
Book

2 May 2006
Chief of Joint Operations Chile
Pencil case

2 May 2006
Chief of Joint Operations Chile
Metal salver

2 May 2006
Chief of Joint Operations Chile
Pair of spurs

10 May 2006
Australian Chief of the General Staff
Boomerang

22 May 2006
Oxford Union
Address and dinner

25 May 2006
Editor of the House Magazine
Dinner

26 May 2006
Royal Chelsea Flower Show
Tickets and lunch

1 June 2006
De la Rue
Dinner

6 June 2006
Bucks Club
Dinner and speech

13 June 2006
Deborah Tan
Dinner

14 June 2006
Andrew Nurnberg
Lunch

15 June 2006
Aberdeen Asset Managers
Scottish music spectacular

16 June 2006
Robert Fox
Lunch

20 June 2006
Royal Academy of Music
Concert and dinner

23 June 2006
Afghani Minster of Defence
Plaque

29 June 2006
Fergus Greer (Studios)
Drinks

2 July 2006
Brazilian Defence Attaché
Books

8 July 2006
Lawn Tennis Association
Tickets and lunch

14 July 2006
Dutch Chief of the General Staff
Statuette

15 July 2006
Jamaican Chief of Staff
Picture

20 July 2006
Pakistani Vice Chief of the Army Staff
Plaque

23 July 2006
Canadian Forces Base Suffield and British Army Training Unit Suffield
Embroidery

24 July 2006
Vauxhall Cross
Dinner

25 July 2006
Archbishop of Canterbury
Reception

31 August 2006
Victory Services Association
Lunch

5 September 2006
Defence Correspondents
Cocktail party

6 September 2006
Brazilian embassy
Reception

6 September 2006
Pakistani high commissioner
Reception

7 September 2006
Ralph Zoellner (Boeing)
Dinner

12 September 2006
Lieutenant General Shoke
Figurine

14 September 2006
Brigadier-General Quezeda
Plaque

19 September 2006
The Lord Boyce
Dinner

20 September 2006
Egyptian embassy
Reception


24 May 2007 : Column 1383W

24 May 2007 : Column 1384W
21 September 2006
Saudi Arabian embassy
Reception

25 September 2006
Vickers Defence Systems
Bronze cannon

3 October 2006
Nigerian Chief of the General Staff
Book

2 December 2006
New Zealand Army Chief
Ceremonial weapon

2 December 2006
New Zealand Army Chief
Scarf and gloves

2 December 2006
New Zealand Army Chief
Plaque

2 December 2006
New Zealand Chief of the Defence Force
Plaque

2 December 2006
Australian Army Chief
Boomerang

2 December 2006
Australian Army Chief
Plaque

2 December 2006
Australian Army Chief
Scarf


Adjutant General
Date Provider Description
6 May 2006
The Babcock Inter-Services Championship
Rugby match/reception

23 May 2006
Visit of the British American Forecasting Exchange (BAFEX)
Gift—paperweight

29 June 2006
The British Forces Foundation
Annual charity ball

6 October 2006
The Variety Club
Lunch—guest

11 November 2006
Royal British Legion—Festival of Remembrance
Guest—Army Board representative

14 November 2006
United Services Mess
Remembrance dinner/speech

9 January 2007
The Basic Skills Agency
Reception/speech

15 January 2007
Visit from UAE, Chief of Administration and Manpower
Silver plate

24 January 2007
Woodroffe's
Lunch/speech

19 February 2007
Company of Fruiterers, The Masters, Wardens and Court of Assistants
Livery banquet—guest


General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland
Date Provider Description
8 May 2006
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Civic dinner, City Hall Belfast

9 May 2006
PUS (NIO) and Director of Policing and Security NI
Reception, Hillsborough Castle

15 May 2006
Secretary of State (NI)
Garden Party, Hillsborough Castle

7 June 2006
Stn Comd RAF Coningsby
Plaque on occasion of GOC's visit

9 August 2006
NICSS Regt
BFPO official first day cover

23 August 2006
25 Engr Regt
Plaque made of South Armagh Tower

9 September 2006
Order of Malta
Victory Day lunch and mass, Armagh

20 October 2006
North Irish Horse
Dinner, Belfast

4 November 2006
Royal British Legion
Festival of Remembrance, Belfast

11 November 2006
Queens University Services Club
Dinner, Belfast

23 November 2006
Presentation from unit under Command
Hip flask and cup set

24 November 2006
Forces Financial
Champagne reception London

11 December 2006
Secretary of State (NI)
Christmas reception

22 December 2006
Secretary of State (NI)
Security forces Christmas reception, Hillsborough Castle

20 February 2007
Thales
Meeting and lunch, Castlereagh

21 February 2007
Chief Constable
International policing conference, City Hall


Commander in Chief Land
Date of hospitality Provider Description
1 to 4 May 06
Allied Canadian Army StaffTalks
Mounted rock statue on base

23 to 24 May 06
Gen McNeil US Army
US army silver plate

22 June 2006
CGSNZ
Book and ceramic bowl

10 to 11 July 2006
Commander in Chief Germany
Tank in case

10 to 11 July 2006
Commander in Chief Germany
Paperweight

18 July 2006
Vice Chief of Army Staff Pakistan
Plaque

18 July 2006
Vice Chief of Army Staff Pakistan
Cufflinks and tie pin

13 September 2006
Lt Gen Shoke—CGS South African Army
Plaque

16 October 2006
Comd US Army Combined Arms Centre
Four silver cups in case

17 October 2006
CO US Army Welfare College
Wooden pencil box

17 October 2006
CO US Army Welfare College
Book on Westpoint


24 May 2007 : Column 1385W

24 May 2007 : Column 1386W
17 October 2006
CO US Army College of General Staff
Book ‘Block by Block’

13 December 2006
BAE Systems
Christmas drinks

12 October 2006
COS US Army
Bronze coin

15 October 2006
Chief of Staff Army (US)
US army book

15 October 2006
Deputy Chief of Staff Army (US)
Tankard

15 October 2006
Chief of Staff US Army
Serving bowl

9 March 2007
BAE Systems
Grand Military—lunch and hospitality

29 to 30 January 2007
COMFAT
Pewter ashtray


Snow Queen Exercise
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of the last exercise Snow Queen was; and if he will make a statement. [137440]

Derek Twigg: Exercise “Snow Queen” used to be run in Germany with the objective of introducing soldiers to skiing. This exercise was discontinued over ten years ago and details of the costs incurred on the last occasion that it took place have not been retained. An adventurous training activity weekend undertaken by the wives and other female members based in Suffield, Canada in March this year, also titled “Exercise Snow Queen”, was funded through the British Army Unit Suffield Wives’ Club. All costs incurred by the Army were recovered from the participants

Army: Greater London
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an estimate has been made of the value of the property occupied by the general officer commanding London district. [138926]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 18 May 2007, Official Report, column 989W


Armed Forces: Housing
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what percentage of accommodation provided by his Department to those of the rank of (a) General, (b) Lieutenant General, (c) Major General, (d) Brigadier, (e) Colonel, (f) Lieutenant Colonel, (g) Major and (h) Captain is considered to be of Standard 1 condition; [137728]

(2) what percentage of accommodation provided by his Department to those of the rank of (a) general, (b) lieutenant general, (c) major general, (d) brigadier, (e) colonel, (f) lieutenant colonel, (g) major and (h) captain is considered to be of Standard 4 condition. [138313]

Derek Twigg: Service Families Accommodation (SFA) is provided in accordance with the published Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations. The Standard for Condition of each Type of SFA, along with the Army ranks entitled to it, is shown in the following table:

Percentage
SFA Rank Standard 1 for Condition Standard 2 for Condition Standard 3 for Condition Standard 4 for Condition
Type 1
General, LtGen
29
46
25
0

Type 2
Maj Gen, Brig, Col
46
41
12
1

Type 3
Brig, Col, LtCol
54
40
6
0

Type 4
Major
53
42
4
1

Type 5S
Major
36
53
5
1

Type 5
Captain and below
57
40
2
1

Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest whole per cent. Some Type 5 Special SFA is not categorised, so the percentage figures do not add up to 100.



The Type of SFA offered to Captain (and below) can be affected by their number of dependants.


Armed Forces: Winter Sports
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which ranks of the armed services attended the Army Ski Championships in 2007. [137127]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 May 2007]: All Army ranks from private soldier to Major participated in the Army Ski Championships, with predominance on the lower ranks—Private, Lance Corporal and Corporal. The Officials organising the event ranged in rank from Sergeant to Brigadier.

A number of senior officers made brief visits to the Championship including the Chief of the General Staff in his capacity as the President of the Army Winter Sports Association.

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the costs of holding the 2007 Army Ski Championships were met. [137130]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 May 2007]: The costs of the Army Skiing Championships are met from a combination of public, commercial sponsorship and non-public funds. The non-public element included contributions from the Army Winter Sports Association funds, Army Sports Lottery grants and individuals.

Military Bases: Visits
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the occasions in the last 12 months where Ministers have approved visits to barracks by hon. Members. [134153]

Derek Twigg: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Officers
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions the (a) Commander in Chief Land, (b) General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland, (c) Adjutant General and (d) Chief of General Staff met journalists in the last 12 months. [135296]

Derek Twigg: In the period 27 April 2006 to 27 April 2007 neither the Commander in Chief Land nor the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland had any formal meetings with journalists. In the same period the Chief of the General Staff and his predecessor met with journalists on nine occasions, as did the Adjutant-General. The breakdown for these meetings is as shown:

Chief of the General Staff

15-18 May 2006—Richard Norton-Taylor, Stryker McGuire, William Shawcross and Sarah Sands—Iraq visit.

25-28 June 2006—Robert Fox, Sarah Sands and Con Coughlin—Armed Forces Germany visit.

1-4 September 2006—Sir Max Hastings and Ron Moreau—Armed Forces Germany visit.

5 September 2006—Defence Journalists Reception—Cavalry and Guards Club.

6 October 2006—Final Parade and Review in Belfast for Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment—tribute interviews—various.

10 October 2006—Interview with Sarah Sands.

11 October 2006—Interview with Patience Wheatcroft.

8 December 2006—Izzy Barnard (British Forces Broadcasting Service) and Mark Page (Garrison Radio).

13 March 2007—BBC—statement regarding medical care to Armed forces personnel.

Adjutant - General

10 May 2006—Sir Max Hastings.

19 June 2006—John Elliot - (Editor Soldier Magazine)—Blake Report Interview.

11 July 2006—Interview with Andy Simms—(Deputy Editor Soldier Magazine).

17 October 2006—Sir Max Hastings.

4 December 2006—Josette Lessor—(Garrison Radio)—Christmas message.

8 December 2006—Rob Watson—Ditchley Foundation.

3 January 2007—BBC News—Defence Estate issues.

5 January 2007—Max Hastings—SSAFA event.

7 March 2007—Kate Adie.


Army: Conferences
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which budget the cost of the Chief of the General Staff’s attendance at the North East Economic forum was met; and how the Chief of the General Staff travelled to the event. [137134]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 May 2007]: The Chief of the General Staff attended the North East Economic Forum as a guest speaker. His travel arrangements for the day are shown as follows. All transport was provided by Ministry of Defence assets
21 May 2007 : Column 1049W
and the associated costs were absorbed by the relevant budgetary areas. The visit gave rise to no external costs.

From To Method of Transport Budget
Somerset
Minley
Helicopter
32 Squadron RAF

Minley
RAF Northolt
Helicopter
32 Squadron RAF

RAF Northolt
Teesside airport
Plane
32 Squadron RAF

Teesside airport
Forum Venue, Durham
Car and Driver
HQ London District

Forum Venue, Durham
Teesside airport
Car and Driver
HQ London District

Teesside airport
RAF Northolt
Plane
32 Squadron RAF

RAF Northolt
Home
Car and Driver
CGS Household

Army: Greater London
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated value is of the house provided by his Department to the General Officer Commanding London District. [137442]
Derek Twigg: The house occupied by the General Officer Commanding of London District is leased from Cadogan Estates Group. The market value of the property is a matter for them.
 
#2
Thats it folks, say goodbye to skiing.
The powers that be are going to have to travel around on a tandem bicycle.
And no more buying boomerangs for the australian Generals.
 
#3
Treat flea infestation
100.00
Was this on the GOC Northern Ireland personally, or just the building?
 
#4
Just what is he trying to achieve? Can you imagine the cost of civil servants in MOD ferreting out answers to his stupid questions?
 
#5
I know that good a government should be an open government, and that every MP has the duty to find out how public money is spent, but why does a back bench MP for North Durham have such a hard on about Army ski-ing trips?

Why does he wish to know about the gifts made to CoGS, given that MP's have just voted themselves out of the FoI act. Surley his time could be better spent dealing with the poeple of North Durham.
 
#6
How bloody dare the MP's start nitpicking about the forces when they've just voted themselves a 66% payrise and are in the process of making themselves exempt from FOI enquiries...
 
#7
Thats rich..MPs are trying to find ways out of not declaring how much money they are spending from public expenses.

Im sure part of being in the Army is the sport..the army encourages sport as its good for fitness and morale. Also many athletes and sports people are from the Army, heres a few examples

Dame Kelly Holmes
Nigel Benn
Chris Akoubousi
Guy Whittingham ( former Aston Villa player).

Some people would have never got the chance to ski..if it wasnt for the Army. Are they trying to get rid of any perks the job has?

If this happens, top brass must say something.
 
#8
Does this MP? actually have a job or does it[sic] exist to ask banal questions that give the idea that the government is being monitored correctly.

JJ
 
#9
He must have heard some reports (maybe wrong) about free or subsidised skiing for armed forces pers and not like it. What we need to do is ask him all the things he gets for free or subsidised, oh wait, no, we cant now can we......
 
#10
EX_REME said:
He must have heard some reports (maybe wrong) about free or subsidised skiing for armed forces pers and not like it. What we need to do is ask him all the things he gets for free or subsidised, oh wait, no, we cant now can we......

.
Maybe???

How about he tackles the subject of a lot of his constituents* being sponging work shy idle fcukers and getting them off the dole?

(* this applies to every other MP as well)
 
#11
He also asked about the ranks that go ski-ing. Maybe he still thinks that the Officer Class live in stately homes doing now't but gin and jollies while the proles form squares in red and get shot to bits.

I wonder how many athletes for team GB in the next winter olimpics will be forces, or ex-forces. Loads I reckon. All the figure skaters are marines aren't they?
 
#12
As much as I despise any New Labour MP, I'm going to keep quiet and see where he's going with this before passing judgement. There may well be more to this than meets the eye.

Then again...
 
#13
I love skiing, and have no problems with taking novices downhill skiing especially when exercising close to ski resorts - Canada or NW USA. Snow queen and its like are also great exercises for the same reason.

I'm not sure that I really see the justification for the expense that goes into the organisation of corps and army downhill ski championships though. They tend to be the province of the gladiators rather than ordinary toms. What is their contribution to combat effectiveness?

A strong case can be made for genuine adventurous training at public expense, less so for this type of activity.
 
#16
Copied from his website.


Overseas visits

16-21 March 2007, to the United Arab Emirates, with all-party delegation to meet Government representatives, as guest of the Government of the UAE. The cost of flights and accommodation was met by the Government of the UAE. (Registered 23 March 2007)

25 February-1 March 2007, to Washington DC, to meet Members of Congress and business interests, US officials and British diplomats including the UK Defence Attaché, to discuss UK/US defence trade, especially technology transfer issues and UK/US defence policy. My travel and accommodation were paid for by the UK Defence Forum. (Registered 8 March 2007)

21-24 April, 2006, to Dubai to attend Mini Trade Mission to promote County Durham businesses. Accommodation paid for by County Durham Development Company. (I paid for my own flights.) (Registered 9 May, 2006)

10-16 April, 2006, to Malawi to visit WaterAid with Northumbrian Water to see work carried out by the UK charity. Travel and accommodation paid for by WaterAid with a contribution from Northumbrian Water. (Registered 9 May, 2006)

24-29 November, 2005 visit to United Arab Emirates with All-Party delegation to meet Government representatives, as guest of the Government of the UAE. The cost of flights and accommodation was met by the Government of the UAE. (Registered 15 December, 2005).

8-11 September, 2005, visit to Gibraltar for National Day. Flights and accommodation paid for by the Government of Gibraltar. (Registered 6 October, 2005)

22-24 August, 2005, visit to Norway on Defence issues. Flights to Norway and accommodation paid for by Scandef. UK flights paid for by Northern Defence Industries. (Registered 6 October, 2005)

24-28 July, 2005, to Washington DC, to meet congressional and business interests and British diplomats, to discuss UK/US defence trade, especially current technology transfer issues and UK/US defence policy. My flights and accommodation were paid for by the UK Defence Forum. (Registered 19 August, 2005)
 
#17
Fleas, nasty wasps, repairs to a chrome soap dish, FFS.

Why doesn't Mr Jones muse over some rather more dramatic financial burdens.... the Eurofighter, for example?
 
#18
It has been alleged that the man is set up by neues arbeit to ask questions that are intended to embarass the Serving armed forces whenever the govt comes under pressure over funding. Witness the how much spent on so and so's house - an opportunity to trumpet armed forces have no money but thy have enough to buy v expensive soapdish for overpaid general

As all answers are in hansard a quick phone call to the scum or gruniad will almost guarantee a wonderful article taking the heat off the govt. It is particularly shabby.

Skiing under attack because it will be used to demonstrate that we are
1. wasting money
2 have enough soldiers
3. all the generals take freebies to see it

Of course I cannot substantiate the claim that this is run from the treasury nor can I substantiate the fact that the man is a tosser. I wonder which way he voted on the expenses claims FOI bit. It is a bit rich when they voted to keep theirs secret.

They really are low life aren't they
 
#19
Lets take all the military personnel out of the next winter olympics and tell Team GB to pick there teamfrom Eddie the Eagle type civvies. The big recruiting tool for the MOD is adventure training which is a key to get your whole section/squadron away together. This is needed even more now when you have tours coming round every 18 months with OPTAG training in between and normal work. Obviously he needed a bit of extra cash in his pocket so needs to go into work to claim his expenses. :x
 

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