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Teachers (Early Retirement)

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the final date on which teachers can apply for early retirement under the existing regulations. [11036]

Mrs. Gillan: Teachers do not apply for premature retirement under the regulations. Premature retirement is at employer's discretion. Arrangements whereby teachers express a wish to be granted premature retirement by their employers are for local determination. Under my right hon. Friend's proposals, employers would pay part of the pension to teachers under 60 to whom they granted premature retirement, for all those teachers whose date of retirement is 1 April 1997 or later.

Education Funding (Lancashire)

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will list the funding,

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per pupil, of school children in Lancashire, allocated by Government, for 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98 for (a) under five-year-olds, (b) five to 11-year-olds and (c) 11 to 16-year-olds. [11227]

Mr. Robin Squire: The table sets out the education standard spending assessment per pupil in Lancashire for 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98 for (a) under five-years-olds (b) five to 10-year-olds and (c) 11 to 16-year-olds.

Education SSAs do not determine the level of school spending. It is up to local authorities to decide how much they spend on schools and other services within the resources at their disposal.

Lancashire Education SSA Per Pupil

Under five years £Five to 10 years £11 to 16 years £

(3)1997-98 figures are provisional.

(4)This figure is lower than in previous years because of the SSA deduction for the nursery voucher scheme.


Child Care Facilities

Mr. Allen: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee what provision the House currently makes for the child care needs of hon. Members. [11352]

Mr. Michael J. Martin: The Members' Families Room, off the Lower Waiting Hall, is available for use by hon. Members and their spouses on sitting days from 10 am until the Rising of the House, and on non-sitting days from 10 am until 6 pm. A colour television set is available. If space permits, it may also be used by the children, parents, brothers and sisters of hon. Members, but not by other guests.

The Library maintains a small collection of books in the room for the use of hon. Members' children, and welcomes any suggestions about this collection from hon. Members.

There is also a small changing room, with washing facilities, off the Families Room. A nappy changing table is available in the disabled persons' lavatory off the Lower Waiting Hall.

Children of any age, accompanied by an adult, are admitted to the Galleries, provided they do not interrupt the business of the House.

Serjeant at Arms Department (Survey)

Mr. Rowlands: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee when the survey of the Serjeant at Arms Department is expected to be completed; and when it will be made available to hon. Members. [11328]

Mr. Michael J. Martin: The Administration Committee was not directly involved in the Serjeant at Arms survey, which was completed in March 1996. I

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understand that all those who completed the questionnaire were sent a management summary of the results, and I have asked the Serjeant at Arms to send a copy to my hon. Friend.


Custody Services

Mr. Tim Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the progress of the sale of custody services. [11693]

Mr. Freeman: I have decided that Apax Partners and Co., the proposed acquire of the support services division of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, should be granted exclusive access to further information about custody services, with a view to its supporting a final bid for the business. Three other indicative offers were submitted, but I considered these to be unacceptable as they did not meet the objectives for sale. The bid for custody services will be compared with the option of retaining the business in the public sector.



Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what studies his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned into the terrorist threat posed by non-state sub-groups threatening to use crude nuclear weapons. [10886]

Mr. Arbuthnot: My Department keeps the possibility of such a threat under constant review. It would not be appropriate, for reasons of national security and defence, to provide more specific details of any studies in this area and the information is therefore withheld under exemption 1 of the code of practice on access to Government information.

Mr. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations were made to his Department at the seminar held in London on 27 November 1996 on the terrorist threat posed by crude nuclear weapons; and what plans he has to take any action following the information disclosed at the seminar. [10887]

Mr. Soames: A member of my Department attended this seminar. Conversations on a range of topics took place but no specific representations were made to the Ministry of Defence. Contingency plans exist for responding to terrorist threats which involve the threatened or actual use of nuclear material. In the interests of national security, and for the protection of the public, these plans are regularly reviewed, tested and updated in the light of changing circumstances.

Gulf War

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current location of the tents used in Operation Granby in the Gulf war; how many were returned form the Gulf after hostilities ended; and how many were (a) burned and (b) buried in the Gulf area. [10897]

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Mr. Soames: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the anti-malarial agents administered to troops and medical support personnel during Operation Granby in the Gulf war. [10895]

Mr. Soames: I will write to the hon. Member.

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if all vaccinations and injections administered to service personnel during the Gulf war were recorded on their medical records; and if he will make a statement. [11222]

Mr. Soames: Details of the vaccinations administered to personnel during the Gulf conflict should have been entered on to individual medical records--form FMed4--by transcription from nominal rolls compiled in theatre. Details should also have been recorded on personal medical records--form BMed27--if available. Unfortunately, in many cases transcription of the relevant details has not taken place. Some nominal rolls have also been lost or destroyed since the conflict. A search has now been initiated for any surviving nominal rolls, and medical records of Gulf veterans which are currently incomplete will be updated to a more acceptable standard wherever possible.

Dr. Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if Gulf war veterans are being charged a fee to obtain a copy of their service medical records; and if he will make a statement. [11225]

Mr. Soames: No charge is made to general practitioners who request copies of service medical records to assist their treatment of ex-service personnel. Under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, a charge to cover the cost of retrieval, plus a photocopying charge per sheet may be made to individuals who themselves request their medical notes. The Ministry of Defence normally levies a charge of £10 plus 10p per sheet, as does the national health service.

Harrier Pilots (Redundancies)

Mr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Harrier pilots have applied for premature volunteer redundancy in each of the past 12 months; how many of these were turned down in each month and for what reason; and if he will make a statement. [11224]

Mr. Soames: In February 1996, one RAF Harrier pilot applied for premature voluntary release, and his application was accepted. Applications under the RAF's redundancy scheme were required to be submitted by November 1995.

Ex-service Personnel (Falklands War)

Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many ex-service people who served in the Falklands conflict have (a) committed suicide and (b) been found guilty of criminal acts since 1982. [11038]

Mr. Soames: Statistics held by the Defence Analytical Services Agency indicate a total of 329 confirmed suicides by serving personnel, from January 1982 to the

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present time. The information requested in respect of ex-service personnel who served in the Falklands is not, however, available, as my Department does not keep records pertaining to ex-Service personnel, nor specifically to those who served in the Falklands conflict.

Statistics on disciplinary convictions, are contained in "Tri-Service Personnel Statistics 16", copies of which are held in the Library of the House. The latest available are those for 1994. Such statistics have only been kept since 1986. Until 1991 they were contained in "Tri-Service Manpower Statistics 32".

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