Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make it his policy to retain (a) regional committees and (b) a national council of volunteers in overall control of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations; and if he will make a statement. 
[Due for Answer on 19 March]
The Minister for the Armed Forces (James Heappey): The regional structure of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations (RFCAs) is a key enabler of the support they provide for the Reserve Forces and the Cadet organisations at a local level, and of community engagement. The Reserve Forces Act 1996 sets out how the RFCAs can be established, along with their roles and responsibilities. The legislation also outlines the flow of executive authority and allows the Associations to convene a joint committee – in this case, the Council of RFCAs – for any purpose in respect of which they are jointly interested. I remain committed to enabling the RFCAs to continue in carrying out their vital role, supported by appropriate governance and stronger national corporate functions such as finance, legal and human resources.