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Mr. Stewart [holding answer 28 February 1994] : Urology services within the Ayrshire and Arran health board area are provided from 46 in-patient beds and operating theatre sessions at the Ayr and Ballochmyle hospitals together with out-patient clinics at Ballochmyle and Ayrshire central hospitals.

Ayrshire and Arran Health Board

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the South Ayrshire national health service trust or the North Ayrshire and Arran national health service trust offer contractual incentives to general practitioner fundholders within Ayrshire and Arran health board to secure contracts for treating their patients ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 28 February 1994] : No. Both NHS trusts have confirmed that they do not offer any contractual incentives to GP fundholders.

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which procedures are used by Ayrshire and Arran health board to make the NHS trusts within the health board aware of long-term service needs.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 28 February 1994] : Ayrshire and Arran health board's revised local health strategy, published in October 1993, sets out its strategy for the promotion of health and purchasing of health services for its residents over the next 10 years. The three NHS trusts within the board area were specifically consulted about the board's plans prior to publication.

Contracting Procedures

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions the NHS management executive has ordered a tendering process for NHS contracts to be rerun ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 28 February 1994] : There has been only one occasion on which the NHS management executive felt that the tendering process for an NHS contract should be re-run.

Ministerial Instructions

Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the occasions since 1979 when Ministers have issued written instructions to override his Department's accounting officer's objections.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 24 February 1994] : An extensive search of departmental records and inquiries of past and serving officials has identified no such occasion.

Family Mediation Scotland

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what funding has been awarded to Family Mediation Scotland for the next three years in relation to grant applications under section 10 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Stewart [holding answer 25 February 1994] : Family Mediation Scotland was awarded a grant of £56,000 per year for three years from 1992-93. The organisation is free to apply for a further grant after 1994-95.

Mossend Freight Terminal

Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of effect on the level of freight traffic over the Kingston bridge of the opening of the Mossend freight terminal.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 25 February 1994] : Issues relating to roads outwith the trunk network are the direct responsibility of the local roads authority, which in the case of the Kingston bridge and the M8 within Glasgow is Strathclyde regional council. My right hon. Friend has consequently undertaken no such assessment.

European Ferry Link

Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what feasibility study has been carried out on the effect on Scottish trade levels with eastern Europe of the introduction of a direct ferry link from Scotland to the mainland of Europe ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 25 February 1994] : I understand that a study has been carried out on behalf of Scottish Enterprise with a view to establishing the feasibility and likely impact of a direct ferry service between Scotland and mainland Europe. The study team was not given a specific remit to consider the effect on trade levels with eastern Europe, but I understand that the direct impact of such a service alone would be likely to be minimal.

Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what feasibility study has been carried out into the effect of transport costs to Scottish industry if Rosyth was developed as a direct ferry link to Europe ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 25 February 1994] : I understand that a study has been carried out on behalf of Scottish Enterprise with a view to establishing the feasibility and likely impact of a direct ferry service between Scotland and mainland Europe. The study did not focus specifically on Rosyth ; the choice of ports between which a service would operate would be for any potential operator to determine.

The study concluded that the introduction of a direct ferry service would give only a minor direct cost advantage to transport operators. The major benefit to Scottish industry would be in terms of the increased flexibility which the availability of alternative routing would provide.

Mrs. Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what feasibility study has been commissioned into developing ferry links from Rosyth to the continent ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 25 February 1994] : I understand that a study has been carried out on behalf of Scottish Enterprise with a view to establishing the feasibility and likely impact of a direct ferry service between Scotland and mainland Europe. The study did not


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focus specifically on Rosyth ; the choice of ports between which a service would operate would be for any potential operator to determine.

The study highlighted difficulties which might arise from the seasonal nature of tourism traffic to Scotland, but concluded that such a service was potentially viable. Scottish Enterprise is currently exploring the possibility of attracting an operator.

GP Fundholders

Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the national health service management executive in Scotland monitors the financial terms of the contracts awarded by national health service trusts to general practitioner fundholders ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart [holding answer 28 February 1994] : No. Health boards are responsible for monitoring the terms of the contracts awarded by national health service trusts to general practitioner fundholders. For that purpose general practitioner fundholders are required to lodge copies of all their contracts with their health board.

DEFENCE

Yugoslavia

Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement regarding catering arrangements for British troops in Bosnia.

Mr. Hanley : Every effort is made to ensure that the standard of catering for British troops in Bosnia is as close as possible to the high standard they would receive at their parent locations. To ensure that this is so, sufficient fresh food for 30 days' rations is held in theatre and is resupplied weekly. All troops receive a standard British breakfast and a choice of dishes for lunch and dinner. The United Nations has recently indicated that it would like to bring the British force into the United Nations ration supply system. Tomislavgrad has been chosen as the site for a two-week trial beginning on 1 April. As a convoy staging area with constant fluctuations in the number of personnel requiring food, Tomislavgrad should present a thorough examination of the United Nation's ability to maintain the quantity and quality of rations demanded by the British contingent.

Low Flying

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has of the number of low flying training exercises held since 1 October 1993 in airspace over, (a) Orkney and Shetland, (b) Edinburgh, Pentlands, (c) Thanet, South and (d) Huntingdon.

Mr. Hanley : Central records of all low flying exercises in the United Kingdom are not held. However, central records are held of major low flying exercises where advance notice has been given to Members of Parliament whose constituents may see a change in the pattern of air activity. Since 1 October 1993 one major exercise involving activity in the areas listed has been notified in this way. Exercise Northern Crusade is taking place between 1 and 13 March and involves Hercules aircraft flying in the Huntingdon area.


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EH101

Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the export potential for the EH101 helicopter, following ministerial visits to the middle east.

Mr. Aitken : The EH101 helicopter has substantial export potential worldwide, including the middle east. The Defence Export Services Organisation is working closely with the manufacturer in identifying and pursuing opportunities.

Redundant Properties

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provisions his Department is making to ensure the future protection and maintenance of redundant historic buildings.

Mr. Hanley : Redundant historic buildings are secured in a wind and weathertight condition during the period when they are out of use pending the earliest possible disposal to new owners for suitable alternative use.

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to mitigate the consequences on local economies of the programme of closure and disposal of redundant properties.

Mr. Hanley : My Department's primary reason for disposing of redundant properties is to ensure that the most cost-effective use is made of available resources. When a site is, however, identified for disposal, local planning authorities are consulted to establish what other use might be made of the property in question. We do, of course, give as much assistance as possible to individual employees who might be affected by any closure.

Dartmouth Royal Naval College

Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost of the security review at Dartmouth Royal Naval college ; who commissioned it ; who tendered for it ; when it was comissioned ; how many staff were engaged in it ; what was relevant experience ; what were the principal recommendations ; which recommendations have been implemented ; and what was the actual cost to the Exchequer.

Mr. Hanley : My Department commissioned an internal study in 1989 to review security arrangements at a number of establishments in the light of the terrorist threat. The study team consisted of five MOD security specialists and their principal recommendations affecting BRNC Dartmouth involved enhancement to security manpower, improvements in internal communications and a number of other physical security enhancements. All these recommendations have been implemented, at a total capital cost of approximately £140,000, plus extra running costs of approximately £960,000 per annum.

RAF Training

Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long it takes to train RAF skilled airframe and engine fitters ; and how many years' experience is required before they reach the rank of sergeant and flight sergeant.


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Mr. Hanley : The trades referred to are now known as engineering technician airframe and engineering technician propulsion. Trade training is by a combination of some 131 weeks of various technical courses and a period of one to two years of productive service. Promotion to sergeant and flight sergeant is by selection on merit to fill establishment vacancies. There is an intervening rank of chief technician for which promotion is also by selection on merit. The length of time taken to achieve promotion to these ranks varies from year to year depending on the number of establishment vacancies and the level of competition.

Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the number of RAF


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skilled people working in training and support roles who will be required immediately to join active duty squadrons in the event of a war.

Mr. Hanley : It would not be appropriate to comment on the detailed reinforcement capability of the armed forces.

UK Airspace (Defence)

Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft and squadrons were designated for the air defence of United Kingdom airspace in the years 1969, 1979, 1989 and 1994.

Mr. Hanley : The number of RAF aircraft and squadrons, excluding in- use reserves or those on operational conversion units, based in the United Kingdom for the air defence of United Kingdom airspace were :


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j

                 1969                1979                1989                1994                         

                |Aircraft |Squadrons|Aircraft |Squadrons|Aircraft |Squadrons|Aircraft |Squadrons          

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lightning F3/F6 |60       |5        |24       |2        |-        |-        |-        |-                  

Phantom FG1     |-        |-        |22       |2        |29       |2        |-        |-                  

Phantom FGR2    |-        |-        |30       |3        |16       |1        |-        |-                  

Phantom F4J     |-        |-        |-        |-        |10       |1        |-        |-                  

Tornado F3      |-        |-        |-        |-        |35       |3        |80       |6                  

                |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------            

Total           |60       |5        |76       |7        |90       |7        |80       |6                  

Strike Duty

Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft and squadrons were designated for strike duty in the years 1969, 1979, 1989 and 1994.


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Mr. Hanley : The number of aircraft and squadrons, excluding in-use reserves or those on operational conversion units, designated for strategic and sub-strategic nuclear use against land and surface maritime targets were :


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                   1969                1979                1989                1994                         

                  |Aircraft |Squadrons|Aircraft |Squadrons|Aircraft |Squadrons|Aircraft |Squadrons          

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Canberra B(I)6    |11       |1        |-        |-        |-        |-        |-        |-                  

Canberra B(I)8    |36       |3        |-        |-        |-        |-        |-        |-                  

Buccaneer         |45       |3        |50       |4        |24       |2        |-        |-                  

Vulcan B2         |64       |8        |48       |6        |-        |-        |-        |-                  

Sea Harrier       |-        |-        |16       |2        |24       |3        |-        |-                  

Jaguar GR1/1a     |-        |-        |60       |4        |-        |-        |-        |-                  

Tornado GR1/1a/1b |-        |-        |-        |-        |114      |10       |96       |8                  

                  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------  |-------            

Total             |156      |15       |174      |16       |162      |15       |96       |8                  

A decision was taken in 1992 to withdraw the capability of Sea Harriers to deploy tactical nuclear weapons.

One-stop Shop

Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will consider setting up a one-stop shop to deal with all ex-service people and veterans.


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Mr. Hanley : My Department has no plans to establish such a service as we believe that it would only add an unnecessary layer of administration and would not result in a better service than is already available to ex- service people and veterans through the health and social security services.


 

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