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Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received on the subject of the provision of chiropody services in (a) Gwynedd and (b) Wales during 1994; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) residential and (b) non-residential properties there are currently in (a) Wales and (b) each Welsh constituency; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: Information on residential properties, for Wales and for district council's, is published in table 1.4 "Welsh Housing Statistics", No. 14, 1994 and on non-residential properties in table 9.1 of "Welsh Local Government Financial Statistics", No. 18, 1994, copies of which are in the Library of the House. Equivalent information for Welsh constituencies is not available.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the percentage of existing residential property built before 1945 for (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Wales and (c) each Welsh constituency; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: The information for Wales and the United Kingdom is in table 6.3 of "Regional Trends 29", 1994, published by the Central Statistical Office, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Information is not available for each Welsh constituency.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of the population is aged 65 years or over for (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Wales, (c) each Welsh county and (d) each Welsh constituency; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Richards: The latest available information for the United Kingdom, Wales and each Welsh county is from the 1993 mid-year estimate and for each constituency from the 1991 census of population, as given in the following tables:
Percentage of residents aged 65 or over |Per cent. ------------------------------------ United Kingdom |15.8 Wales |17.3 Clwyd |18.0 Dyfed |19.1 Gwent |16.2 Gwynedd |20.0 Mid Glamorgan |15.6 Powys |19.1 South Glamorgan |15.7 West Glamorgan |17.8 Source: 1993 mid-year population estimate-Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.
Percentage of residents aged 65 or over Constituencies |Per cent. ------------------------------------------------------------ Aberavon |18.2 Alyn and Deeside |14.1 Blaenau Gwent |17.3 Brecon and Radnor |19.9 Bridgend |17.7 Caenarfon |19.6 Caerphilly |13.2 Cardiff Central |13.7 Cardiff North |20.0 Cardiff South and Penarth |16.2 Cardiff West |15.9 Camarthen |19.3 Ceredigion and Pembroke North |19.9 Clwyd North West |23.5 Clwyd South West |18.1 Conwy |22.0 Cynon Valley |17.2 Delyn |17.4 Gower |19.3 Islwyn |15.6 Llanelli |20.4 Meirionnydd Nant Conwy |20.4 Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney |16.2 Monmouth |18.7 Montgomery |17.7 Neath |18.3 Newport East |14.1 Newport West |16.4 Ogmore |14.5 Pembroke |16.6 Pontypridd |13.8 Rhondda |18.1 Swansea East |14.8 Swansea West |19.4 Torfaen |14.8 Vale of Glamorgan |14.8 Wrexham |16.1 Ynys Mon |17.6 Source: 1991 census of population-Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 1 February, Official Report , column 747 , on what grounds the information requested cannot be provided by the hospitals; and on what grounds the consent of GPs is necessary.
Mr. Richards: The information on waiting times requested is routinely provided by hospitals but, by agreement with the General Medical Services Committee (Wales), data identifying individual GPs or GP practices are not issued or published without their individual consent. As information on average waiting times by general practitioner practice is not regularly published, no steps have been taken to obtain the necessary consents for such publication. To provide the requested information would therefore entail disproportionate costs in obtaining individual consents.
Mr. Ron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) bicycle and (b) car parking spaces there are for use by staff in (i) Gwydyr house office and (ii) Cathays Park office; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood: There are six car parking spaces at Gwydyr house. Welsh Office personnel are also able to park up to seven vehicles in the adjacent MOD car park. There are 47 spaces available for bicycles in that car park.
There are 533 car parking spaces and spaces for 72 bicycles at Cathays Park.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
£000 |Current|1994-95 |prices |prices ----------------------------------- 1987-88 |345 |494 1988-89 |479 |643 1989-90 |342 |429 1990-91 |229 |266 1991-92 |1,109 |1,212 1992-93 |1,416 |1,489 1993-94 |1,454 |1,483 1994-95<1> |475 |475 <1> Year to date.
Information on savings resulting from consultancy work is not recorded centrally.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 27 January, Official Report , column 423 , what further consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency pursuant to the resignation of the executive director, finance; if he will place a copy of his letter to the chairman relating to the breaches of the procurement rules in the Library; and if he will make a further statement.
The resignation of the chief finance officer is a separate matter and I understand that his decision was connected with his wish to return to the private sector.
Mr. Soames: The British Army's winter training exercise includes cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, operating on snow shoes, survival in arctic conditions, live firing in the sub-arctic, tactical training over snow and ice up to unit and force level, logistic support in arctic conditions and maintenance and operation of vehicles, predominantly BV 206s.
Mr. Soames: Following issue of a consultative document on 18 October 1994 recommending collocation of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency on a single site, representations were made by trade unions, a number of local authorities, Members of Parliament and an action group based at Colchester. Full and careful consideration was given to all of these representations and the criteria of the original investment appraisal has also been subject to close scrutiny and recalculation where additional relevant factors have been drawn to our attention. Following this work, I am satisfied that the basis of the original recommendation was sound and I have decided to proceed with the collocation of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency on part of the former RAF Bicester site at Caversfield, Bicester. This work will be undertaken in accordance with the phased programme published in the consultative document. We will of course continue to consult staff and trade unions about the detailed implementation of this programme.
The product licence number of anthrax vaccine is PL 01511/0058. Information about manufacturers can be commercially sensitive and is not normally disclosed. However, in this case I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) on 19 December 1994, Official Report, column 995 96.
Mr. Freeman: Liaison with the local community is undertaken by the company managing AWE, Hunting-BRAE. The company will be discussing the consequences of rationalisation with local representatives when its Cardiff liaison committee next meets.
Column 411of (a) AWE Cardiff, (b) Foulness and (c) the proposed cuts at Burghfield.
Mr. Freeman: Eventual estimated savings for the proposed closure of AWE Cardiff, for rationalisation of work from AWE Foulness, and for the proposed changes at AWE Burghfield, will be substantial. Costs of the defence nuclear programme have been regarded by successive Governments as inappropriate for public disclosure.
Mr. Freeman: Some component manufacture, including work on rubber, plastic, salts, high explosives components and detonators, as well as some laboratory work from Foulness, will move to AWE Aldermaston.
Mr. Freeman: The costs of the defence nuclear programme have been regarded by successive Governments as inappropriate for public disclosure. With contractorisation, AWE operating costs have also become commercially sensitive.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for liaising with representatives of the local community regarding the proposed changes at AWE Burghfield and AWE Aldermaston; and if he will make a statement.
1991 92: £176,000,000
1992 93: £156,000,000
1993 94: £103,000,000
This includes the costs of manpower, stores and spares, refits and the in- service support of warheads, submarines and their weapons systems. The annual running costs of Polaris since it first entered service could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Soames: The annual running costs, including staff costs, utilities, contract services and property management of RAF Marham, RAF Honington and RAF Bruggen for the last financial year 1993 94 were:
Station |£ --------------------------------- Marham |60,200,000 Honington |47,100,000 Bruggen |90,600,000
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 27 January, to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) Official Report , column 448 , how chemical weapons and munitions disposed of by methods other than being sealed in sunk cargo vessels were disposed of; and at what dates and locations such other methods were used.
Mr. Soames: Surviving records of sea dumping indicate that between July and October 1945 some 14,000 tonnes of 5-in artillery rockets filled with phosgene gas were dumped in Beauforts Dyke explosive dumping ground in the north channel. The munitions, contained within ammunition crates, were jettisoned from vessels and sunk. Current scientific evidence indicates that chemical weapon dump sites present no significant risk to human health or to the marine environment and the living resources it supports. On exposure to sea water, phosgene gas rapidly decomposes to non-toxic compounds through dilution and hydrolysis.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the United Kingdom has direct access to the information produced by the United States of America satellite reconnaissance system; and what agreements or treaties govern such access.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and in what circumstances United States high altitude long-range reconnaissance aircraft are based in Britain; if new types of such aircraft have been located, or are being considered for location in Britain; and what treaties or agreements authorise any such arrangements.
Mr. Soames: The basing of all United States Air Force aircraft in the United Kingdom is governed by arrangements mutually agreed between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States in accordance with the operational need pertaining at the time. No new types of high-altitude, long-range reconnaissance aircraft have been based or are being considered for basing in the UK.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. Byers) of 25 January, Official Report , column 286 , if he will list the changes in accounting conventions relating to the Defence Export Services Organisation.
Mr. Freeman: Receipts from the disposal by sale of equipment belonging to the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force have been disaggregated from the DESO budget to the relevant service principle accounting officer budgets. Receipts from the disposal for Defence Research Agency equipment have, since the establishment of the agency, also been disaggregated.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what studies are being undertaken with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies into the risks posed by proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; if these studies include (a) defences against ballistic missiles, (b) defences against theatre missiles and (c) defences against cruise missiles; and what time scale is intended for their completion.
Mr. Soames: At the NATO summit in January 1994, alliance leaders agreed that NATO should develop a policy framework to address the risks posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The first phase of this work, which assessed the risks posed to the alliance by the proliferation of these weapons, has been completed. This assessment did not examine specific defensive measures, though future work is likely to do so. We hope that significant progress will have been made by the end of this year.
Mr. Soames: The United Kingdom has welcomed the NATO report on the risks posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means. We believe that it will form a good basis for the future work of the alliance in addressing risks posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Freeman: It has been the policy of successive Governments not to release details of invitations issued to attend British forces equipment exhibitions. Invitations are issued on a confidential basis and it would be a breach of trust to release details.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the Royal Navy and British Army equipment exhibition will be held; and on which days it will be open to (a) overseas customers, (b) the press and (c) the public.
Mr. Freeman: The Royal Navy and British Army equipment exhibition will be held at Pegasus Village, Aldershot, with daily ships visits to Portmouth, from 3 to 10 September 1995. The exhibition will be open to overseas visitors from 4 to 8 September, to the national press on 3 September only, and to the trade press for the whole week. The exhibition is not open to the public. Trade visitors are admitted on 7 and 8 September.
Mr. Freeman: The cost of the exhibition will not be available until the list of participants has been finalised. There will, however, be no direct cost to the MOD since this will be covered by participating companies.
Mr. Freeman: Invitations to attend the Royal Navy and British Army equipment exhibition are extended to appropriate overseas Government officials and industrialists, members of the United Kingdom national and technical press and British representatives from the trade.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the tonnage of Land Rovers currently used by the Army; when they first came into operational use; and what major refurbishments have been carried out on them.
Mr. Soames: The Army currently has three basic Land Rover variants: the half-ton truck utility light, TUL, the three-quarter-ton truck utility medium, TUM, and one ton which is being replaced by the truck utility heavy, TUH, and by the TUM, heavy duty; the replacement is expected to be completed by 1996, when the final buy of TUM, heavy duty, is completed.
In service, the Army currently has the following numbers in each category:
TUL--4,584; this is made up of Land Rover Series III and Land Rover Defender 90 vehicles, all but three of which entered service after 1973.
TUM--10,824; this is made up of Land Rover Series III and Land Rover Defender 110 vehicles, all but five of which entered service after 1973.
1 Tonne--573; all these vehicles are of the one type which initially entered service in 1972.
Apart from routine maintenance, none of these vehicles has been subject to a refurbishment programme. Engines and major assemblies from the vehicles are routinely overhauled and refurbished through the Army base repair organisation.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what technical and operational concerns resulted from the trials of the RB44 Army light vehicle at Larkhill; what actions were taken to remedy them; and how much it cost;
(2) what technical and operational difficulties his Department has found with the RB44 Army light vehicle during its operational service;
(3) what plans his Department has for the RB44 Army light vehicle.
Mr. Freeman: During the initial operational deployment to Larkhill a problem associated with the handling of the vehicles while braking was experienced. The manufacturer proposed and demonstrated a modification which was accepted by my Department. The modification was incorporated at the manufacturer's expense. Following acceptance into service there have been further technical problems of a similar nature which are being investigated by my Department in conjunction with the manufacturer. All vehicles have been taken out of service until the problem has been rectified.