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Mr. Howard : The Department is asking water authorities to estimate the cost of complying with the pesticides and nitrate standards in EC directive 80/778/EEC, in the context of setting initial K (the initial price-increase limit) and identifying further items of expenditure (cost pass-through). For nitrate all cost of achieving compliance will be in initial K, while for pesticides some will be in K and some in cost pass- through.
Mr. Howard : The range of facilities at the beach and the degree of use of the water at east beach, Shoeburyness bring this bathing water within the scope of the directive and I am pleased to announce that we have now identified it for the purposes of the directive.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is (a) his and (b) the EC's policy on involving non-EC European countries in the common measures to protect the environment against acid rain, water pollution, chlorofluorocarbons, and similar dangers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government and of the European Community that measures to protect the environment should be taken at the most appropriate level for the problem addressed, whether by individual member states, by the Community as a whole or in a wider context. The United Kingdom and EC play a leading role in developing a common approach with other European countries in such bodies as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the United Nations environment programme.
Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when details of the top-up payments for farmers who undertake to bring about environmental improvements on set-aside land will be announced.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Details of the Countryside Premium for set -aside land were announced today by the chairman of the Countryside Commission. The scheme will be run by the Countryside Commission, with the help of the Nature Conservancy Council and in close co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. We believe it will ensure that the set-aside scheme introduced last year by MAFF will produce positive benefits for the environment. We welcome the imaginative way this scheme has been developed. Farmers will be invited to manage their set-aside land in ways that will benefit landscape and wildlife habitat, or provide increased recreational opportunities for the local community. Five options will be available to farmers, comprising the management of existing hedgerows or creation of new hedgerows and belts of broadleaved trees and shrubs ; the creation of grassland area for the enjoyment of local people and the benefit of wildlife ; the creation of habitat for suitable ground- nesting birds ; the provision in selected areas of winter grazing for Brent geese ; and the restoration of particularly valuable habitat in certain areas.
The scheme will be discretionary with applications assessed on their merits. Payments to farmers will range from £45 to £120 per hectare.
The scheme will initially be open to farmers in eastern England, in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire,
Column 55Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Suffolk. This is an area in which there has been a relatively high rate of take-up for set aside, and the scope for environmental improvement under the countryside premium is that much greater.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate the number of English community charge leaflets delivered to occupants in houses in the county of Berwickshire in Scotland, on behalf of his Department.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 15 June 1989] : It is not possible to provide a precise estimate. On the best information available to me, however, up to 1,450 community charge leaflets may have been delivered to addresses in the former county of Berwickshire. This arose because a postal sector and certain postal addresses are common to both England and Scotland. The mailing house involved has apologised for the mistake. The Central Office of Information, which acted as our agents in this matter, is seeking an abatement of the cost. This is however likely to have been about £500. At the same time, approximately 21 million copies of the leaflets were being delivered throughout England.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received the Association of District Councils document and letter of 2 May regarding its proposed operation of a national dog registration scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 8 June 1989] : No. I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 14 June in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Drake (Dame J. Fookes) at column 465 on extended controls over dangerous dogs.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he now expects that agreement will be reached on a choice of radar and avionics systems for the European fighter aircraft ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : As my hon. Friend knows, the choice of radar for EFA is under active consideration, and a decision will be made at the earliest opportunity. The selection of other elements of the avionics fit is being undertaken progressively.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what agreement has been reached with his West German counterpart on further transfers of low-flying training by West German military aircraft to Britain.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what figure has been agreed with his West German counterpart for the maximum number of low-level training flights to be conducted by the Royal Air Force over West Germany in 1989.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of low-flying training by Royal Air Force units based in Germany has been conducted in the United Kingdom in each year since 1980.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what agreement has been reached with the United States authorities on the transfer of United States Air Force low-flying training from West Germany to Britain.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the legislative provisions and flying regulations governing the jettisoning of (a) live weapons, (b) inert weapons, (c) fuel tanks and (d) other equipment from military aircraft in flight.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Military aircraft activity over the United Kingdom and surrounding waters is carried out in accordance with comprehensive joint service regulations. These prohibit the dropping of articles over land or sea except when authorised for training or operational purposes or at the discretion of the pilot when the safety of the aircraft may be seriously endangered by not doing so.
Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all incidents since 1979 in which weapons, fuel tanks or other equipment have been inadvertently dropped, or deliberately jettisoned for safety reasons, from military aircraft over the United Kingdom, stating the date, location, type of aircraft and nature of the equipment dropped in each case.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he hopes to answer the letter dated 8 March from the hon. Member for South Hams about Darren Francis of 4 Victoria place, Brixham, Devon, and his discharge from the Army.
Mr. Neubert : Underwear is not issued to armed services personnel for normal everyday wear. Certain items of underwear are issued to personnel engaged in some field training, operational or specialist tasks, but information on the number of issues is not readily available.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list each country to which United Kingdom armed forces are currently posted as loan service personnel ; and the numbers involved for each country.
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
The number in each country is confidential between Her Majesty's Government and the Government concerned.
Column 58to familiarise himself with the defence relations between the two countries. The result has been to establish warm, personal contact between himself and the most senior members of the Saudi Defence Ministry and armed forces.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when it is proposed that the first venture proposals are to be discussed with the Saudi Government offset committee ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : The first two venture proposals developed under the Al Yamamah economic offset programme were put to the Saudi Government offset committee for its consideration in mid-May. As announced in a news release by my Department on 26 May, the first proposal is for the establishment of a missile engineering facility in the kingdom involving British Aerospace and Dowty Rotol. Secondly, British Aerospace has expressed positive interest in participation in an aluminium smelter which may be established in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply, Official Report, 27 April, column 663, whether he will make a statement on the policy of allowing UKSL Ltd. to choose the programming languages for the IUKADGE command and control computer ICCS and this policy's relationship with the departmental policy of standardisation on the use of the programming language ADA as the means to ensure reliability and maintainability of software ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : The IUKADGE ICCS is a largely NATO-funded project and therefore subject to NATO policy direction ; the NATO financial authorities, in approving the NATO contribution to IUKADGE ICCS costs, directed that existing NATO air defence ground environment (NADGE) software was to be re-used to the greatest extent possible. Neither the MOD nor NATO formally adopted ADA as the single preferred language standard for real- time defence computer applications until more than three years after the award of the IUKADGE ICCS contract to UKSL.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes tenders for the operation of civilian staff restaurants within his Department receive any subsidy from the Department beyond that available to all other tenderers and if that part of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes which submits tenders produces discreet accounts to demonstrate that its activities are not receiving subsidy from other Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes activities within his Department.
Mr. Neubert : No. The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) is treated no differently from other contractors invited to tender for the operation of civilian staff restaurants in MOD establishments, in that premises, equipment, power and utensils are all provided at public expense. All contractors are responsible for management, staff and labour costs, food supply, preparation and serving. Cleaning of premises is arranged under separate contracts. There is no requirement for the Navy, Army
Column 59and Air Force Institutes to produce separate accounts of the operation of the civilian staff restaurants, which they have been contracted to operate.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total cost of the service life extension programme for RAF Lightning aircraft ; and how many aircraft were involved in this programme.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft from the fleet requirements and air direction unit will operate from Stornoway airport during the forthcoming military exercise.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many military aircraft, other than Phantoms and Tornados, and from which units, will operate from Stornoway airport during the forthcoming military exercise ;
(2) how many military personnel will be deployed to Stornoway airport during the forthcoming military exercise ;
(3) how many Phantom aircraft, and from which units, will operate from Stornoway airport during the forthcoming military exercise ; (4) how many Tornado aircraft, and from which units, will operate from Stornoway airport during the forthcoming military exercise ; (5) what instructions are being issued to military pilots making use of Stornoway airport in the forthcoming military exercise concerning the carrying out of run and break manoeuvres prior to landing ;
(6) what is the planned number of military jet sorties to be flown into and out of Stornoway airport during the forthcoming military exercise (a) per day and (b) in total ; and how many of these are planned to take place between the hours of 5 pm and 7 am ; (7) what is the stipulated circuit height for military jet aircraft using Stornoway airport during periods of military control of the airfield.
Mr. Neubert : From 20 June to 3 July, six Tornados from No. 11 Squadron, RAF Leeming and one Sea King from No. 202 Squadron, RAF Manston, accompanied by 175 personnel, will deploy to RAF Stornoway. During 21 to 22 June and 30 June to 3 July, support will be provided by a small number of Hercules transport sorties. Between 22 to 29 June, it is planned that the Tornados will fly some 52 sorties, normally six to eight each day. An average of two sorties each day will be between 5 pm and 10.45 pm, but there will be no flying between 10.45 pm and 7 am, and no flying at all on Sunday 25 June. The Sea King helicopter will undertake a small number of sorties as required.
All flying will be conducted in accordance with normal RAF regulations. Aircrew will be briefed fully on local conditions. The stipulated circuit height for Tornados
Column 60flying the Westerly circuit at Stornoway (largely over land) is 1, 100 ft ; for the Easterly circuit (largely over sea) it is 800 ft. With regard to run and break manoeuvres, I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 10 March, Official Report , column 675 .
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many publications are currently being handled by the service publications and forms store at Woolwich arsenal ; how many documents are now being issued annually ; and what were the comparable figures (a) five and (b) ten years earlier.
Mr. Neubert : The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy keep forms and publications in two separate stores at Woolwich arsenal. These, together with the Army stocks at Donnington, are to be relocated to Llangennech, Dyfed by 1991.
The Air Force currently holds about 2 million copies of publications and the Navy almost one million. Some 950,000 and 250, 000 copies are issued annually from the respective stores. Records of stock holdings and issues, five and 10 years ago, are not maintained and it would not be cost effective to research these details. Stocks of publications have, however, increased over the years and the collocation of the stores will present an opportunity to reduce stocks, rationalise systems and generally improve efficiency.