Mr. Jack: Surveys of flood risk areas are undertaken by the National Rivers Authority at local level and the results made available to local authorities to inform the planning process. In addition, the Association of British Insurance has recently published a report entitled "Identification of Coastal Flood Areas in England and
Column 614Wales", in collaboration with the National Rivers Authority and the Ministry.
Claims for flood damage to property are handled by insurance companies. The risk of flooding is reduced significantly through expenditure by Government and the responsible local agencies on the maintenance and improvement of flood defences.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has that the change-over from grass or spring cereal crops to winter cereal crops contributes to the run-off from land.
Mr. Jack: Grass is the most effective type of vegetation for reducing the rate at which rainfall runs off from land, and there is evidence that agricultural practices which leave land without grass or crop cover can lead to an increased rate of run off. How spring cereals compare with winter cereals in this respect depends on local circumstances, but winter cereals may provide some limited crop cover--and hence surface water storage--in the winter months when rainfall is generally highest.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many lorries transporting animals through Plymouth harbour on the night of 21 November (a) did and (b) did not fulfil the requirements of the journey plan.
Mrs. Browning: Nine vehicles arrived for loading on the ferry, of which three were turned back by the Ministry veterinary inspector on the ground that the arrangements made to protect the welfare of the animals during the proposed journey were not satisfactorily recorded on the journey plans presented for his inspection.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the latest available figures for the number of sheep farmers authorised under the certification scheme to purchase organophosphorous dip products in Wales, Scotland and each of his Department's regions in England; and what, in each case, was the total estimated number of sheep farmers.
Mrs. Browning: The certification scheme is run by the National Proficiency Tests Council. There are 90,000 registered sheep farmers in the United Kingdom. The number of farmers who have applied for certification in each NPTC region by 27 October 1994 is set out in the following table. The information is not available by MAFF regions.
By 11 November, a further 647 sheep farmers had applied for certification. A total of 1,761 certificates had also been issued by that date. None of this data is available on a corresponding regional basis.
The decision on whether or not to apply for certification is a matter for the individual sheep farmer, bearing in mind their judgment on the possible need to purchase OP sheep dips for the treatment of sheep in the coming year.
Applications for Sheep Dipping Certificates received by 27 October 1994 Counties |Numbers registered ------------------------------------------------------------------ Northumberland |1,036 Durham Tyne & Wear Cumbria Lancashire Cheshire Merseyside Greater Manchester Yorkshire |493 Cleveland Humberside |170 Lincolnshire Derbyshire |339 Leicestershire Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire Shropshire |253 Staffordshire Hereford and Worcestershire |357 Gloucester and North Avon Warwickshire West Midlands Cambridgeshire |110 Norfolk Suffolk Essex |50 Hertforshire London (North of Thames) Bedfordshire |139 Berkshire Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire Kent |186 Sussex East London (South of Thames) Surrey |61 Sussex West Hampshire |89 Isle of Wight Dorset |489 Somerset South Avon Devon Cornwall Wiltshire Clwyd |522 Gwynedd Powys |327 Dyfed |520 Glamorgan |166 Gwent Scotland |1,062 Northern Ireland |235 ATB Landbase |2,277
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will place in the Library papers relating to the epidemiological investigation by his department's veterinary staff into the TB herd breakdown on the Highgrove estate in November 1993.
Mrs. Browning [holding answer 24 November 1994]: No. The report of this investigation, as of similar investigations into individual animal disease outbreaks, contains information which is unsuitable for disclosure on commercial confidentiality and other grounds.
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's budget spending planned for the current year on training for the Indonesian military; and what was so spent in 1992 93 and 1993 94.
Mr. Freeman: Information relating to arms working party clearances is commercially confidential. A company receiving approval through the AWP process still has an obligation to apply for an export licence from the Department of Trade and Industry before exporting goods. The consideration of the export licence application will, in the normal way, take account of all relevant factors.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what equipment is covered by the memorandum of understanding between the United Kingdom and Indonesia; and what is the total value of goods already sold.
Mr. Freeman: Any memorandum of understanding between the Government of the United Kingdom and another Government is confidential between the two Governments. Details of the value of goods sold are confidential between the purchaser and the supplier.
Mr. Soames: My Department employs one special adviser. Salaries for special advisers are negotiated individually in relation to their previous earnings, and are confidential. They are, however, normally paid on a special advisers' salary spine of 34 points, ranging from £19,503 to £67,609. Appointments are non-pensionable, and the salary spine reflects this.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries from which foreign students have visited or will visit the United Kingdom for military training in United Kingdom military establishments during 1994.
Country |Country |Country ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Abu Dhabi |Greece |Pakistan Albania |Grenada |Paraguay Antigua |Guyana |Philippines Australia |Hong Kong |Poland Austria |Hungary |Portugal Bahrain |India |Qatar Bahamas |Indonesia |Romania Bangladesh |Ireland |South Africa Barbados |Israel |Saudi Arabia Belgium |Italy |Senegal Belize |Ivory Coast |Seychelles Bermuda |Jamaica |Sierra Leone Botswana |Japan |Singapore Brazil |Jordan |Slovakia Brunei |Kenya |Slovenia Bulgaria |Korea |Spain Canada |Kuwait |Sri Lanka Cayman Island |Latvia |Sudan Chile |Lebanon |Swaziland St. Christopher Nevis |Lithuania |Sweden Cyprus |St. Lucia |Switzerland Czech Republic |Malaysia |Tanzania Denmark |Maldives |Thailand Dominican Republic |Malta |Trinidad and Tobago Dubai |Malawi |Turkey Ecuador |Mauritius |UAE Egypt |Montserrat |Uganda Estonia |Mozambique |Ukraine Falkland Islands |Namibia |USA Fiji |Nepal |Venezuela Finland |Netherlands |St. Vincent France |Norway |Yemen Gambia |New Zealand |Zambia Germany |Oman |Zimbabwe Ghana
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the estimated total eventual costs of repairing HMS Brazen following her grounding; where the repairs will be carried out; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: The initial repair work to HMS Brazen was carried out in the Chilean port of Talcahuano and further repair work will be undertaken by Devonport Management Limited at Devonport royal dockyard under the existing commercial arrangements for operational repairs. The eventual total cost of the repair work is expected to be some £2.5 million.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what conditions as to the use of British defence suppliers for equipment updates and replacement were agreed in the contract for the sale of four type 21 frigates to Pakistan; what information he has on the value of contracts placed for such work (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) elsewhere; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman: No conditions as to the use of British defence suppliers were stipulated in the contract for the sale of six--not four--ex -RN type 21 frigates to Pakistan. United Kingdom companies competed for all subsequent major Pakistan upgrade or replacement programmes and so far two equipment contracts have been won. It is not our practice to disclose details of values of such contracts which are commercially confidential between the supplier
Column 619and the customer Government. Authoritative details of contracts awarded for major upgrades elsewhere are not available.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the result of his Department's inquiry into the theft of a car from the home of the Army commander of southern district on 11 November; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: A private car belonging to the General Officer Commanding, southern district, was stolen from the grounds of his official residence on 11 October. The theft was investigated by the Hampshire constabulary as a criminal matter. The vehicle was found on 4 November and returned to its owner.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North can expect a reply to his letter of 19 September concerning the recall to his unit of one of his constituents who had previously been discharged on medical priority.
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the report by the Policy Studies Institute on Northolt airport; if it remains his policy to retain Northolt as an exclusively military airport whilst allowing no more than the currently permitted number of civilian or business flights; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: Consideration of the report issued by the Adam Smith Institute on airport capacity in the London area is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, although RAF activity at Northolt, in particular flying operations, will continue to have primacy over civil use.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what have been the legal costs of his Department's police and the Crown Prosecution Service relating to byelaws at HMS Forest Moor and Menwith Hill station since 1990; how much in costs has been awarded to people appealing against their convictions; and how many appeals against convictions concerning byelaw offences have been upheld.
Mr. Soames: The costs incurred by the Ministry of Defence police as they relate specifically to HMS Forest Moor and Menwith Hill station are not recorded separately and could only be provided at disproportionate cost; costs to the Crown Prosecution Service are a matter
Column 620for my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General. Records of costs awarded to individuals appealing against their convictions and of appeals upheld against convictions for byelaws offences are not held centrally.
Mr. Soames: New Military Lands Act byelaws are being drafted to replace those ruled to be defective by the courts; and for establishments where changes to the boundaries necessitate new byelaws. The opportunity is being taken to review many existing sets of byelaws.
Military Lands Act byelaws are extant and operable at all sites to which they apply, except where they have been found defective by the courts.
Mr. Soames: RAF Molesworth is situated on Crown freehold land and Her Majesty's Government retain control over the use made of the site and its facilities. These facilities are operated with the agreement of Her Majesty's Government by the United States European Command and the base commander is an officer of the United States Air Force.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the five items received at NSA Molesworth containing polychlorinated biphenyls, referred to in his answer of 25 October 1994, Official Report, column 584 ; and what is the name of the contractor through which they were disposed of.
Mr. Soames: The five items suspected of containing PCBs were two empty five gallon cans of electrical insulation oil, and three items of electronic scrap and capacitators. The licensed contractor used to dispose of the contaminated items was Biffa Waste Services Ltd.
Mr. Soames: Regulation 20f of the Radioactive Substances (Carriage by Road) (Great Britain) Regulations 1974, as amended in 1985, exempts vehicles carrying nuclear weapons from the requirement to display radiation symbols.
Column 621towards the future management of the dockyards-- Official Report, 18 October 1993, columns 39-41 --and 31 October 1994, total identifiable expenditure for work associated with developing and implementing plans for the proposed privatisation of the royal dockyards amounts to some £7.2 million. Given that the current dockyard management contracts are due to expire no later than April 1996, my Department would expect to have incurred in any case costs for work related to any future management arrangements for the royal dockyards.
Mr. Freeman: Payments made or outstanding to consultants for work related to the proposed privatisation of the royal dockyards between 18 October 1993, when my right hon. and learned Friend announced our policy towards the future management of the dockyards,-- Official Report, 18 October 1993, columns 39 41 --and 31 October 1994 total some £6.5 million. Costs attributable to Devonport cannot be separately identified.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what proposals he has to replace F3 Tornados assessed as no longer suitable for operational use, subsequent to the 25 fatigue index modification contract carried out at RAF St. Athan by Airwork Ltd; (2) if he will give the number of F3 Tornado aircraft damaged in the course of the 25 fatigue index modification contract by Airwork Ltd. at RAF St. Athan, which have been assessed as (a) capable of flying again and (b) suitable only for cannibalisation
Mr. Freeman: I am pleased to confirm the plans on three major equipment programmes. For the Royal Navy, we are now ready to issue an invitation to tender for the build of a further batch of up to three type 23 frigates. These vessels will form a most valuable contribution to the maintenance of a modern, capable force of 35 destroyers and frigates.
I am also glad to confirm the plans on two weapons programmes of major importance to the RAF. An ITT will be issued for a conventionally-armed stand-off missile to enhance the RAF's capability for precision attack against high-value fixed targets, the importance of which was demonstrated in the Gulf conflict. In addition, we shall at the same time be issuing an ITT for an advanced air-launched anti-armour weapon. This will be a vital element of the offensive support capability to be provided by the Harrier GR7, Tornado and Eurofighter 2000 in the next decade.
Mr. Freeman [holding answer 25 November 1994]: We offered contracts to both GEC and VSEL for studies to produce, in advance of bids, innovative and improved construction and integration techniques in order to reduce the ultimate costs to my Department. Both companies have agreed to provide early sight of such proposals but only GEC accepted the offer of a contract to do so. The value of the contract is commercially confidential.
Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the costs incurred if the proposed relocation of the Royal Marines school of music to Portsmouth takes place in respect of (a) hiring new music professors and other civilian staff at Portsmouth, (b) expenditure on contract staff and casuals while permanent posts are being filled and (c) training new staff.
Mr. Soames [holding answer 25 November 1994]: Salary costs for 15 professors of music are estimated at £481,000. This figure is the same regardless of the location chosen for the Royal Marines school of music. The salary costs for other directly-employed civilian staff should the Royal Marines school of music move to Portsmouth are estimated at £165,000. This figure compares with that estimated for continued occupation at Deal of £932,000. The cost of recruitment action to take on new staff is expected to be negligible. Pre-planning and timely recruiting would aim to avoid the use of contract staff and casuals while permanent posts are being filled. Any training necessary for new staff would be conducted under current internal arrangements at negligible cost.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. John Spellar, dated29 November 1994 :
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the number of deductions from earnings orders that have been served in the last 12 months by each of the Child Support Agency offices.
During 1993 94, 2,600 deductions from earnings orders (DEOs) were issued. In the first year of the Agency's operations, this information was collected on a national basis only, and cannot be broken down by month or by regional centre.
Column 623Between April and September 1994, a further 11,470 DEOs were issued, split between the Agency's regional centres as follows:
|Number ------------------------- Belfast |2,006 Birkenhead |1,981 Dudley |1,296 Falkirk |2,162 Hastings |2,323 Plymouth |1,702
I hope that this reply is helpful.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many beds have been stolen from the nursing and first aid stations on the Newcastle sites of his Department's Benefits Agency and Contributions Agency;
(2) if he will place in the Library a list of all items over £100 in value stolen from the Newcastle sites of (a) the Benefits Agency and (b) the Contributions Agency;
(3) what was the cost of stolen items from the Newcastle sites of the (a) DSS Benefits and (b) DSS Contributions Agency in each of the last three financial years;
(4) what computing equipment has been stolen from the Newcastle sites of his Department's Benefits and Contributions Agencies; and whether data on staff or claimants were removed with the computing equipment.
Letter from George Bertram to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 28 November 1994 :
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS ON SECURITY AT DSS, LONGBENTON
As Acting Chief Executive of the Contributions Agency, I have responsibility for answering questions about relevant operational matters. As I have overall control of accommodation and equipment for all Agencies which share the Department's Newcastle site, I have been asked to respond to the points raised in your recent Parliamentary Questions about the theft of equipment. Because of the nature of the questions I have combined the responses.
It is over nine years since one bed was reported missing from a sick bay of the nursing facilities on the Newcastle site of the, then, Department of Health and Social Security.
I have attached as an annex to this letter a list of individual items stolen and which were valued at over £100.
For the financial years in question the recorded value of the items reported stolen on the Newcastle site are:-
1991 1992: £15,900
1992 1993: £8,778
1993 1994: £6,850
Separate figures are not kept for the individual agencies on the site. All Information Technology equipment is included in these figures.
The computer equipment stolen has been stand-alone personal computers, printers, and a software package. Data on staff and customers is not stored on this equipment. The annex gives more detail on these losses.
Column 624We regularly meet with the Departmental Security Office and our Departmental Information Technology Security Group to address the current levels of security, exchange information and consider whether further improvements can be made. It is clear from this work that the current threat to IT equipment and other items from an increase in theft is the same for all governmental departments and commercial premises.
Our physical security at the Newcastle site, which is 64 acres and employs some 9000 people has been reviewed in the last year. We have made a number of improvements such as the completion of the perimeter fencing of the site and the introduction of modern security equipment but we continue to look for further ways of improvement and are very much aware of this in our plans for the future.
Items over £100 stolen from DSS Longbeaton Reported |Item missing --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1991-92 4 April 1991 |VCR 14 June 1991 |ICL PC 24 July 1991 |TV set 13 September 1991 |Mackintosh PC 20 September 1991 |Vacuum cleaner 4 October 1991 |Fax machine 7 November 1991 |£120.00 cash from unlocked | drawer 20 January 1992 |Two Protocol Analysers 13 March 1992 |£180.00 cash from unlocked | drawer 17 March 1992 |231 desk tidies from store 18 March 1992 |Monitor, CPU, Keyboard and | Printer 1992-93 3 May 1992 |Microwave from Bellway 11 May 1992 |Apricot xen-s keyboard 18 May 1992 |Microwave from Bellway 21 May 1992 |£140.00 cash 22 July 1992 |Multi-meter and rechargeable | torch 28 July 1992 |60 desk tidies from store 31 July 1992 |£100.00 cash from drawer 2 October 1992 |Two rolls of carpet 9 October 1992 |Two hydroponic plant displays 12 October 1992 |Microwave from store 25 November 1992 |£152.90 cash from unlocked | drawer 8 December 1992 |HP Laserjet printer 5 January 1993 |VDU Monitor 10 January 1993 |One Siemens Nixdorf PC 10 October 1993 |Once ICL DRS M55 PC 2 April 1993 |Lap top computer 1993-94 28 April 1993 |7 Feature telephones and | adapted phone for hard of | hearing 18 May 1993 |HP Laserjet printer 29 May 1993 |Portable TV/Radio from | unlocked drawer 8 June 1993 |Fujitsu dot matrix printer 28 July 1993 |Two 14 inch TVs and two VCRs 9 August 1993 |HP Laserjet printer 10 August 1993 |HP Laserjet printer 13 September 1993 |£100.00 cash from unlocked | drawer 23 December 1993 |"Apple" style desk top printer 30 December 1993 |HP Laserjet printer 22 January 1994 |HP Laserjet printer 15 May 1994 |Computer monitor. "Thief | apprehended"
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Derek Fatchett, dated 28 November 1994:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking about plans to transfer more Benefits Agency staff to Quarry House, Leeds.
There are presently no plans to transfer more Benefits Agency staff into Quarry House. A number of Benefits Agency staff are located in other buildings in Leeds and should space become available in Quarry House in the future the Agency would consider the possibility of transferring some of these staff into the vacated offices.
I hope you find this reply helpful.