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Column 1216Together, these steps have contributed to a significant fall in repossessions. In the second half of 1991, 38,930 properties were repossessed. In the first half of 1994, the figure was down to 25,020, a reduction of 35.7 per cent.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he or his colleagues have had with building societies to explore ways to help borrowers and to reduce the number of defaults on mortgage repayments.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke: Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve my recommendation that a £5 coin be issued featuring a special commemorative design to commemorate Her Majesty's 70th birthday. Her Majesty The Queen has also been pleased to approve a proposal that a £2 coin be issued to commemorate the European Football Championship which will be held in England during 1996. It is not intended that these coins should go into general circulation although the coins will be available at most banks and post offices at face value and special versions will be issued in precious and base metal.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the NHS trusts which deposit funds with him; and what changes there have been in the arrangements for the deposit of funds in each of the last two years.
Mr. Aitken: There are 25 NHS trusts that make use of the National Loans Fund temporary deposit facility, which requires a minimum deposit of £1 million. Previously deposits had to be in units of £1 million, but the arrangements were changed on 1 April 1993 to permit deposits above the minimum to be made in multiples of £1,000. All 507 NHS trusts hold bank accounts at the Paymaster Agency, on which interest is also payable. The 25 trusts that use the NLF temporary deposit facility are listed as follows:
Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital Trust
East Gloucestershire Trust
East Hertfordshire Trust
East and Midlothian Trust
Guild Community Healthcare Trust
Gloucestershire Royal Trust
Hastings and Rother Trust
King's Lynn and Wisbech Hospital Trust
Milton Keynes Community Trust
Northern Birmingham Mental Health Trust
Northern Devon Healthcare
Norwich Community Health Services Trust
North Hampshire Hospitals Trust
Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare Trust
Pilgrim Health Trust
Pinderfields Hospitals Trust
Pontefract Hospitals Trust
Column 1217The Mental Health Service of Salford Trust
South Buckinghamshire Trust
Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust
Wakefield and Pontefract Community Health Trust
Walsall Community Health Trust
Walsall Hospitals Trust
Mr. Nelson: The average cost, across all Departments, of preparing an answer was assessed as £97 for a written question and £225 for an oral question in November 1993. Up-to-date costings should be available shortly.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions in the past year the spouse of a Minister in his Department has travelled abroad at public expense to accompany a Minister on public duties, and what has been the total cost to public funds; and on how many occasions such travel has been undertaken at own cost.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 26 October 1994]: There have been eight occasions since September 1993 where a Minister's spouse has accompanied the Minister, of these three have been at public expense at a total cost of £1,544.
Dr. Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many public appointments (a) he is responsible for making and (b) require his approval including those not listed in "Public Bodies"; and if he will give this figure in terms of (i) appointments to executive bodies, (ii) appointments to advisory bodies and (iii) other appointments.
Number of |Executive |Advisory |Other Appointments |Bodies |bodies |Appointments ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Listed in Public Bodies 1993 (including Royal Mint) |- |<1>57 |40 Not listed in Public Bodies<2> |<3>27 |<4>56 |<5>146 Total |27 |113 |186 Notes: <1> Of these, the 44 Pay Review Body appointments require the Chancellor's approval but the Prime Minister is responsible for appointing members; the 13 appointments to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (listed separately in Public Bodies 1993) are Crown appointments made on the Chancellor's advice; <2> These appointments relate to the bodies listed in the answer given response to on 3 March 1994 (official report, column 879); <3> Of these, the 12 appointments to the Public Works Loan Board are Crown appointments on the recommendation of the Prime Minister who is in turn advised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; <4> Of these, the 16 appointments to the Treasury Academic Advisory Panel are made by the Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury with oversight by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; <5> Of these, the 7 appointments to the Crown Estate Commission are Crown appointments on the recommendation of the Prime Minister who in turn is advised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which former hon. Members of this House have been appointed since 1988 by his Department to quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations; and if he will list, in each case, the title of the post, the salary, the duration of the appointment, and the party which each represented as an hon. Member.
Mr. Soames: Former membership of the House of Commons is not a relevant qualification for appointment and is not centrally recorded. We are aware of only one example. Sir Antony Buck QC, the then Member for Colchester, North, served on the independent board of visitors for the military corrective training centre, Colchester from 1980 to 1992. At the date he stood down as a Member of Parliament and relinquished his appointment. Appointments are reviewed every three years and Sir Antony's last reappointment was in 1989. The post was as a member of the board and was not salaried.
Mr. Soames: We remain committed to developing the Western European Union as the means to strengthen the European pillar of the NATO alliance and as the defence component of the European Union. We shall continue to contribute to the development of its operational planning, and to other aspects of its work. As agreed at the NATO summit last January, this process will include the development of separable but not separate capabilities which could respond to European requirements and contribute to alliance security.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 5 July, Official Report , columns 173 74 , when the royal naval aircraft yard Fleetlands bid for the Puma NVG contract; if the bid was the lowest; if
Column 1219other contenders were invited to resubmit their tenders; and if the final bid accepted was lower than that for Fleetlands.
Mr. Freeman: The royal naval aircraft yard Fleetlands submitted a budgetary estimate for the Puma NVG modification which contained a number of qualifications and exclusions particularly relating to the timeliness of delivery of modified aircraft to the concurrent firm price Puma navigation update programme. It was decided that placing the work with Fleetlands or with any organisation other than the PNU prime contractor would have exposed the Department to considerable financial risk arising from late delivery to the Puma aircraft. For this reason the NVG modification was not offered for open competition. The work, including acceptance of all risks arising from NVG modification delays, was awarded at higher cost to the PNU prime contractor under single tender arrangements and priced under the Departments stringent "no acceptable price no contract" procedure.
Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those areas designated as sites of special scientific interest where his Department has issued a licence to hunt in (a) 1993 and (b) 1994.
Area |Year ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ramsey's Burn Wood, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Holystone Burn Wood, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Billsmoor Park, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Grasslees Wood, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Durtrees Burn Grassland, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Harbottle Moors, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Barrow Meadow, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Unbrigg, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Barrow Burn, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Cottonshape Head Quarry, Otterburn Training Area |1993 and 1994 Appleby Fells, Warcop |1993 only Spadeadam Mires, RAF Spadeadam |1994 only Lower Swaledale Woods, Catterick |1993 and 1994 Foxlease and Ancell's Meadow, Minley |1993 and 1994 Thursley and Hankley Commons, Elstead |1993 and 1994 Woolmer Forest, Borden |1993 and 1994 Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heath, Surrey |1993 and 1994 Ash and Brookwood Heaths, Surrey |1993 and 1994 Salisbury Plain Training Area |1993 and 1994
|Year ---------------------------------------------------------------------- The North Shropshire Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The West Shropshire Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Tanatside Hunt |1994-95 only The Border Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The West Percy Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Newcastle and District Beagles |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Tynedale Hunt |1994-95 only The Ullswater Foxhounds |1993-94 only The Lunesdale Foxhounds |1993-94 only The Bedale Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The West of Yore Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Wensleydale Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Zetland Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Catterick Beagles |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Blankney Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Staff College and Royal Military Academy Drag Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Windsor Forest Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Surrey Union Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Brecon Farmer's Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Sennybridge Farmer's Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Irfon and Towey Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Glyn Celyn Beagles |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Avon Dale Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The Royal Artillery Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95 The South and West Wiltshire Hunt |1993-94 and 1994-95
Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total income form licences to hunt on Ministry of Defence land in 1992, 1993 and to date for 1994; when the costs of such licences were reviewed; and whether such licences are open for public tender.
Mr. Soames: Total receipts from annual hunting licences were £729.85 for 1991 92, £292.80 for 1992 93 and £507.30 for 1993 94. The charge for individual licences are reviewed at different times so no specific date can be given for reviews of licence fees. The licences are granted on application and are not open to public tender.
Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many licences to hunt on Ministry of Defence land were issued in 1992, 1993 and to date in 1994 for which there was no charge; to which hunts or bodies the licences were issued; and which area of land were involved.
Mr. Soames: The numbers of licences to hunt on MOD land issued in 1992, 1993 and to date in 1994 for which there was no charge were 10, 10 and seven respectively. The hunts or bodies to which these licences were issued and the areas are as follows:
The Bedale Hunt--Feldom
The West of Yore Hunt--Feldom
The Wensleydale Hunt--Feldom
The Zetland Hunt--Feldom
The Catterick Beagles--Feldom
The Aldershot Staff College and Royal Military Academy Drag Hunt--MOD Training Areas in north east Hampshire and north west Surrey
The Windsor Forest Hunt--MOD Training Areas in north east Hampshire and north west Surrey
The Brecon Farmer's Hunt Sennybridge Training Area (not 1994) The Sennybridge Farmer's Hunt Sennybridge Training Area (Not 1994)
The Irfon and Towey Hunt Sennybridge Training Area (Not 1994)
Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total income from licences to shoot birds and game on Ministry of Defence land in 1992, 1993 and 1994; what are the annual charges for each licence; and if these are open for public tender.
Mr. Soames: The total income from licences to shoot birds and game on my Department's land in 1992, 1993 and 1994 was £12,012.61, £9, 582.84 and£15,349.05 respectively. The annual fees for individual licences are commercial in confidence. Licences to shoot birds and game are not generally let by public tender.
Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hares have been captured on Ministry of Defence land at Foulness in each of the past three years; what methods of capture have been employed; to which locations the hares have been transported; which expert bodies have been utilised to supervise the capture, transportation and release of such hares and which organisations were consulted for advice; what were the
Column 1222costs of this exercise in 1993 and 1994 and who was responsible for the costs; and what costs were incurred by the Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Soames: Under the provisions of the Ground Game Act 1880, tenant farmers on Foulness Island have the absolute right to take ground game. This is a private matter and my Department does not maintain records relating to the capture of game.
Mr. Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list details and dates of when the Household Cavalry participated in fox hunting; with which hunts; and on how many occasions since February 1993.
The Belvoir Hunt The Quorn Hunt The Cottesmore Hunt Date |Number |Date |Number |Date |Number ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 March 1993 |4 |5 March 1993 |4 |11 November 1993|4 20 October 1993 |1 |8 March 1993 |2 |11 January 1994 |1 23 October 1993 |2 |25 October 1993 |2 |27 January 1994 |1 27 October 1993 |3 |29 October 1993 |4 |8 February 1994 |2 30 October 1993 |2 |1 November 1993 |1 1 November 1993 |1 |5 November 1993 |1 3 November 1993 |4 |8 November 1993 |4 8 November 1993 |4 |15 November 1993|4 10 November 1993 |2 |19 November 1993|4 13 November 1993 |3 |22 November 1993|5 17 November 1993 |4 |26 November 1993|4 24 November 1993 |3 |29 November 1993|3 27 November 1993 |3 |3 December 1993 |4 1 December 1993 |4 |6 December 1993 |5 4 December 1993 |7 |10 December 1993|4 8 December 1993 |2 |13 December 1993|1 11 December 1993 |4 |17 December 1993|3 15 December 1993 |4 |20 December 1993|4 18 December 1993 |4 |24 December 1993|4 22 December 1993 |4 |27 December 1993|5 5 January 1994 |4 |30 December 1993|4 8 January 1994 |3 |2 January 1994 |4 12 January 1994 |3 |3 January 1994 |3 15 January 1994 |2 |10 January 1994 |3 19 January 1994 |4 |14 January 1994 |4 22 January 1994 |4 |17 January 1994 |2 26 January 1994 |4 |21 January 1994 |4 29 January 1994 |2 |24 January 1994 |5 2 February 1994 |2 |28 January 1994 |3 5 February 1994 |4 |31 January 1994 |4 9 February 1994 |3 |4 February 1994 |4 12 February 1994 |4 |7 February 1994 |2 2 March 1994 |2 |11 February 1994|2 5 March 1994 |4 |18 February 1994|2 9 March 1994 |2 |21 February 1994|2 |28 February 1994|4 |4 March 1994 |4 |7 March 1994 |1 No additional costs to public funds were incurred as a result of this activity.
Mr. Soames: Officers and soldiers of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery have taken part in fox hunts during 1993 and 1994. No additional costs to public funds were incurred as a result of this activity.
Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 31 October, Official Report column 911 .
Mr. Robert Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in (a) mobile and (b) non-mobile grades employed at the RAF support management group in Harrogate have moved or have agreed to move to RAF Wyton.
Mr. Freeman: The defence cost study "Front Line First" has had a significant effect upon the size and shape of the Department's competing for quality initiative. The programme has been reviewed and we are currently finalising a much expanded version which will include a broad range of support activity. The 1994 95 programme is expected to cover activities valued at some £330 million. Details of individual market tests are published in the Cabinet Office's market testing bulletin.
Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many airfields and how many runways are available to the Royal Air Force in each region of the United Kingdom; and how many of those runways will be lost to the service during the next five years.
Mr. Soames: Details of all airfields in the United Kingdom available to the RAF, including the number of runways at each location, can be found in the RAF flight information publication--En Route Supplement British Isles and North Atlantic--a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. Over the next five years there is planned to be a reduction of eight in the number of runways operated by my Department.
Mr. Soames: There is no evidence that RAF Greenham Common contains any nuclear contamination attributable to its former military use. The Defence Radiological Protection Service recently undertook an environmental radioactivity survey of the site. The levels of radioactivity present were similar to those prevailing throughout the United Kingdom.
Column 1224armies, leading to the eventual formation of a European army.
Mr. Freeman: In line with the assurances given to the Public Accounts Committee, my Department controls specification changes very carefully. Only a small number of essential changes to the specification have been agreed. These represent an additional cost of less than one half of 1 per cent. of the contract value.
Mr. Freeman: My Department will, in the usual way, be giving its views to the regulatory authorities on the competition and any other relevant aspects of the possible takeover of VSEL. These views are confidential.
Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were (a) the outturn prices, (b) the estimated prices at the time of Ministry of Defence approval, (c) the actual time and (d) the estimated time to completion of defence projects valued at over £50 million undertaken for the Ministry of Defence since 1979 by GEC, where GEC was the prime contractor or was a member of a consortium with joint and several liability.