HC Deb 05 February 1987 vol 109 c799W
Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will report on the current progress of operation Lean Look.

Mr. Stanley

The Lean Look programme of some 4,000 uniformed manpower savings in the support areas to permit enhancements to the front line is well on course. In particular, manpower cover will be made available in 1987–88 for the initial build up of personnel for the 12th in-theatre armoured regiment for BAOR, for Royal Engineers armoured and explosive ordnance disposal enhancements, and for additional Army Air Corps pilots.

Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration is being given to introducing a lower training liability for some members of the Territorial Army; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman

A trial was launched in September 1986 at selected Territorial Army hospitals, aimed at testing the effectiveness of a lower training liability on the recruitment and retention of certain specialised medical personnel in Royal Army Medical Corps (volunteer) units. This trial is scheduled to run for two years.

A further proposal is under consideration to introduce a lower training liability for experienced Territorial Army members who, for special business or domestic reasons, would be unable to fulfil the prescribed training commitment for their unit. The precise details of this scheme are being worked out, with a view to its introduction in training year 1987–88.