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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) number and (b) percentage of properties in his charge are empty; and what steps are being taken by his Department to reduce the number of such properties. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 3 April 2000]: At 1 April 1999 there were a total of 13,962 unoccupied properties within the Services married quarters estate in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. This represented some 21 per cent. of total stock.
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At 1 April 1999 the Defence Housing Executive held a stock of 62,420 married quarters in England, Scotland and Wales, of which 48,852 were occupied and 1,999 were in the course of disposal. Of the balance of 11,569 properties, 2,559 were under offer to Service families and were likely to be occupied within the next two months; 1,035 properties were vacant awaiting future Unit deployments or use as decant accommodation during the refurbishment programmes; 1,931 properties were empty awaiting modernisation and 6,044 were routine empty properties, i.e. a working management margin for some 22,000 family moves each year.
The majority of empty Service quarters are only temporarily so. The large number of Service family moves a year requires a management margin of empty stock ready for incoming occupants. Additionally, an ongoing modernisation programme and Defence reorganisation also demand that a considerable number of properties are empty while work is undertaken and future plans are clarified. Some 2,000 properties were released in 1999 and some 6,500 properties are planned to be released over the next two years.
The majority of the MOD housing stock in England and Wales is owned by Annington Homes. Properties identified as having no long term requirement to the Department are released to that company. Surplus MOD-owned properties are sold through Defence Estates.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many properties in the United Kingdom earmarked for Army officers, Naval officers, and RAF officers are empty; how many have been empty for more than six months; what the figures are for Hampshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Service Families Accommodation (SFA) is managed on a tri-Service basis and is made available according to entitlement, i.e. by rank and family size. A breakdown by individual Service is not available. At 31 March 2000 there were 2,288 unoccupied officers' SFA in England, Scotland and Wales. Of these, 1,161 have been empty for more than six months. There were 234 unoccupied officers' SFA in Hampshire at 31 March 2000 of which 96 had been empty in excess of six months.
Overall, 6,500 properties are planned for disposal during the next two years. Most of the MOD housing stock in England and Wales is owned by Annington Homes and underleased by MOD. Properties identified as having no long-term requirement to the Department are released to that company. Surplus MOD owned properties are sold by Defence Estates.
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I am replying to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the cost of UK participation in the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS). This matter falls to me to answer within my area of responsibility as Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency.
As I said in my letters to you of 15 and 21 December 1999, the total programme cost for the twelve currently planned Type 45 warships (including weapon systems) is approximately £6Bn. This includes approximately £1.2Bn for the development, design and build of the first of class ship and £1Bn for the development and initial production of PAAMS. The balance of £3.8Bn contains funding for additional missile procurement and allows for the incremental acquisition of the combat system.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) trained strength and (b) trained requirement of the UK (i) regular armed forces, (ii) reserve forces and (iii) Territorial Army. 
(a) UK Regular Forces trained strength and trained requirement as at 1 February 2000:
UK Regular Forces 1 trained strength--186,317
UK Regular Forces 2 trained requirement--194,661
(b) UK Volunteer Reserve Forces strength and post-SDR establishment as at 1 February 2000 (all figures include trained and untrained personnel):
UK Volunteer Reserve Forces 3 current strength (includes Territorial Army strength 4 of 44,387)--50,224
UK Volunteer Reserve Forces 5 post-SDR establishment (includes Territorial Army post-SDR establishment of 41,204)--48,288
1 Excludes trained strength of 3,259 Gurkhas.
2 Excludes trained requirement of 2,945 Gurkhas.
3 Includes volunteer reserve forces only. These comprise the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marine Reserve, the Territorial Army and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
4 Excludes strength of 1,408 non-regular permanent staff.
5 See note 3 .
Mr. Hoon: Following the announcement in 1998 of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), consultation has been an important and regular feature of the process.
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We have consulted directly with staff on a formal and informal basis and also through trade union representatives, and will continue to do so.
Following the announcement in the House, 17 April 2000, Official Report, columns 366-67W, we are now engaged in a period of formal consultation on our revised proposals for the PPP. A consultation document has been made widely available with comments invited by 9 June 2000. A copy of this document has been placed in the Library of the House.
During this consultation period presentations and discussions with staff and trade unions will also be arranged in order to address any issues and concerns regarding the PPP proposal prior to a final decision being made.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent consultation he has carried out with private sector defence contractors on the future of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. 
Mr. Hoon: Following the announcement in 1998 of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), consultation has been an important and regular feature of the process. We have consulted with a wide range of key stakeholders, including private sector defence contractors. This has focused on formal industry bodies such as the National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) and Association of Independent Research and Technology Organisations (AIRTO), although there have been direct representations from individual companies. Last year's consultation exercise on a potential PPP solution produced valuable responses, which have informed the most recent phase of work.
The current consultation exercise, which I announced in the House on 17 April 2000, Official Report, columns 366-67W, will give all stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views on our revised proposals for the DERA public private partnership. We also plan to
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hold various consultation events with key stakeholders. I can assure my hon. Friend that views expressed will be taken into account before a final decision is made.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of shares in NewDERA plc he expects the Government to hold (a) on flotation of the new company and (b) as a minimum public holding. 
Initially, MOD is likely to retain a significant financial stake in NewDERA to ensure that taxpayers receive full value for their investment. However, retention of this stake would not be a long term position.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans are in place to ensure that information on experiments and the welfare of animals held at DERA will still be accessible when DERA is part-privatised; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Hoon: Animal Welfare within DERA is conducted strictly in accordance with the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 under which the Home Office licenses and oversees all such activity. These regulations, of course, apply to all private sector organisations, and will therefore continue to govern the welfare of any animals in defence research, whether in the public or the private sector.
Information held on defence research using animals within MOD will continue to be available as it is at present. However, subject to meeting all the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, access to information on any such research carried out by the new private sector company will be a matter for that organisation to determine.
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