New Liarbour MP starts investigating Army Skiing!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jim30, May 25, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  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. 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. 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.