HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 c548
12. Mr. Richard Page (South-West Hertfordshire)

If the final reduced Territorial Army establishment will include civilian support staff and non-regular permanent Staff. [55889]

The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mr. Doug Henderson)

Following the current restructuring exercise, the Territorial Army establishment will be reduced to approximately 40,000. Civilian support staff and non-regular permanent staff will not be included in that figure and their establishments will be considered separately.

Mr. Page

I thank the Minister for that answer. It is, of course, very sad that the TA is to suffer such a savage attack. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer is back in the borrowing business and as it seems apparent that, if rumours are to be believed, TA units covering the 7th (Volunteer) Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment in Hertfordshire—at Hertford, Dunstable and Hemel Hempstead—are to be closed, affecting civilian staff as well, will the Minister approach the Chancellor and ask for a little of that borrowing to maintain a TA presence of some sort in Hertfordshire? A county of that size should have a TA presence.

Mr. Henderson

As I have already said to hon. Members today, we shall be looking at the footprint of the Territorial Army throughout the country, and will consider the hon. Gentleman's points in relation to his area. I cannot say any more than that; he will have to wait until the statement is made. However, I assure him that consideration will be given to the question of civilians and non-regular permanent staff, as I acknowledge that they do important subsidiary and support jobs for the Territorial Army.

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