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Type 23 Frigates

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's estimate of the value of the equipment to be placed on the new type 23 frigates. [25780]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The estimated value of the major combat systems, including the command system, for the new type 23 frigates is about £115 million.

Married Quarters Estate

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many married quarters his Department currently possesses; how many of these are currently up for sale; and how many are currently unoccupied. [25778]

Mr. Arbuthnot: As at 31 December 1995--the latest date for which figures are available--the married quarters stock of the Ministry of Defence numbered 71,016. Of these, 14,396 were unoccupied. Those currently available for sale include 58,371 in England and Wales offered in the sale of the married quarters estate and approximately 4,000 other surplus properties being disposed of by the MOD directly.

25 Apr 1996 : Column: 225

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many bids for the married quarters estate are (a) for the whole estate and (b) for selected parts. [25918]

Mr. Arbuthnot: All the indicative bids for the married quarters estate are for the whole of the estate for sale.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many units of housing (a) are currently being sold from the married quarters estate and (b) are the subject of sale negotiations. [25919]

Mr. Arbuthnot: We intend to transfer ownership of the majority of the married quarters estate in England and Wales to the private sector. In addition, 3,322 quarters are currently in the process of disposal, separately from the overall sale of the estate.

Admiralty Arch Residence

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he moved into a residence in Admiralty Arch; for how long he plans to retain the residence; how many rooms it possesses; if he is paying rent on it; and if he will make a statement. [25777]

Mr. Portillo: Like a number of my predecessors as Secretary of State for Defence, I obtained the Prime Minister's permission to use one of the three flats in Admiralty house which are within his gift. I have used the flat since August 1995, including for overnight accommodation between October 1995 and March 1996. In accordance with long-standing practice, the ministry of Defence makes a payment to the landlord--since 1 April 1996, the Cabinet Office--for its rent and maintenance costs. Council tax on the flat is paid direct to the City of Westminster. The flat has up to three bedrooms.

Defence Estates Organisation

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on Defence agency for the Defence Estates Organisation. [27292]

Mr. Soames: The Defence Estate Organisation was formed on 1 April 1995 from the Defence works service, Defence lands service and a central secretariat branch. The DEO provides a strategic overview of the defence estate and professional support to MOD budget holders and United States visiting forces for the management of the estate, including the contract provision of works services, maintenance of the rural estate, advice on planning issues and the disposal of surplus property. The organisation will now be considered for Defence agency status under the next steps procedures. The first stage of this process is a "prior options" study. This study will consider whether the work that the DEO does should be abolished, privatised or contractorised. An entry inviting comments from interested parties will appear tomorrow in the May 1996 edition of the "Government Opportunities Bulletin".

Copyright

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made towards obtaining a photocopying licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency to ensure compliance with copyright law. [26721]

25 Apr 1996 : Column: 226

Mr. Arbuthnot: My Department is currently considering a licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency. We are awaiting a reply to correspondence sent to the agency.

Phoenix Aircraft

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement concerning current progress on the Phoenix unmanned surveillance aircraft; when he plans to make an announcement concerning its future; and what is the current estimated cost of the project. [25799]

Mr. Arbuthnot: The Phoenix prime contractor, GEC-Marconi Avionics, has recently completed, at its own expense, the agreed programme of work described by my predecessor on 5 April 1995--Official Report, columns 1139-40. The results are now being assessed, and I hope to make an announcement about the future of the project before the summer recess. The estimated cost of procuring the system is £227 million at 1994-95 price levels.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Pupil Assessments

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to her answer of 25 March, Official Report, columns 434-35, what evidence she has evaluated which shows that performance of a school pupil in respect of subjects and grades achieved in any public examination at the age of 16-plus years can be predicted on the basis of assessment made at the age of 11-plus years. [25852]

Mr. Paice: The school year 1999-2000 will be the first year when it will be possible to compare pupils' 1995 key stage 2 national curriculum assessment results at age 11 with the same pupils' public examination results at age 16.

The majority of existing local schemes that I am aware of use GCSE examination results in any measurement of value added at secondary level. Measurement with other results, such as vocational qualifications, is made more difficult because the nature of the qualifications aimed for are often not directly comparable with the previous academic attainments of the pupils concerned.

Teaching Agencies

Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when she published draft codes of conduct to regulate the activities of agencies supplying teachers for schools; and when she intends to publish a definitive code. [26768]

Mr. Robin Squire: A draft circular giving advice to schools on the recruitment of supply teachers, and guidance notes for employment agencies, were sent to consultees on 17 November 1995. A wide range of comments has been received and is still under consideration. We plan to issue the final guidance later this term.

25 Apr 1996 : Column: 227

Incapacity for Work

Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people who have been found incapable of work since April 1995 have signed on as unemployed and receive (a) income support, (b) unemployment benefit, (c) both unemployment benefit and income support and (d) credits only; and how many people have joined the unemployment register as a result of being found capable of work or disallowed incapacity benefit, income support or severe disablement allowance. [26819]

Mr. Forth: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Robert Horne to Mr. Keith Bradley, dated 25 April 1996:


Copyright

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what progress her Department has made towards obtaining a photocopying licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency to ensure compliance with copyright law. [26720]

Mr. Robin Squire: The Department has been in correspondence with the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd. and is awaiting a proposal directed at the Department for Education and Employment.


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