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22 May 2000 : Column: 317W
Clare Short: Last week I made my third visit to Rwanda and saw for myself the progress being made by the Government and the people to overcome the legacy of genocide. I also saw evidence of the severe challenges which Rwanda must overcome if the Government's objectives for poverty elimination, peace and reconciliation are to be achieved. My Department's main priority in Rwanda for 2000-01 is to work with Government in a collaborative effort to meet these challenges.
We will support Government's own efforts to develop the poverty reduction strategies needed to secure HIPC debt relief. We will provide flexible recurrent budget support to facilitate increased social sector spending, particularly on education and will expand our capacity building support to help Government strengthen its social sector planning and delivery mechanisms. We will be supporting Government's efforts to improve skills at all levels and will be helping Government take full advantage of new opportunities in the field of information and communications technology.
We plan to hold development talks with Government later this year to discuss the detail of future UK support and to develop further the positive dialogue already established on a range of economic, social and political challenges facing Government.
Clare Short: The Indian constitution provides dalits (scheduled castes) with a range of guarantees of equality and affirmative action. Yet, while policies and a wide range of government schemes exist to provide them with services, patchy implementation and discriminatory social attitudes continue to retard progress. DFID is working with government to improve services and to demonstrate and replicate systems to promote access for scheduled castes and other marginalised groups.
For example, DFID supports the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), which is designed to increase access to quality primary education for all, with special measures to reach scheduled castes and other marginalised groups such as scheduled tribes.
We also support efforts to empower individuals and groups from scheduled castes and other marginalised communities. DFID's Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme aims to support civil society initiatives which empower poor people in the poorest districts to realise their rights. Scheduled castes will be a major target group for this programme which will support initiatives in five areas: self-governance; women's empowerment; policy advocacy; social cohesion; and self help to meet basic needs.
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Mr. Garnier: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will list opinion research projects undertaken on behalf of his Department in the financial year 1999-2000 itemising (a) focus group research, (b) quantitative surveys and (c) other market research surveys and in each case stating when and where the results were published. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the planned service life of (a) HMS London, (b) HMS Beaver, (c) HMS Boxer and (d) HMS Brave; and what was the forecast date for withdrawal from Royal Navy service, prior to the decision in the Strategic Defence Review to dispose of them. 
|Ship||Pre-SDR date for withdrawal|
|HMS London||28 February 2005|
|HMS Beaver||31 December 2002|
|HMS Boxer||31 January 2002|
|HMS Brave||29 February 2004|
Mr. Spellar: The running costs of each of the Royal Naval's Type 42 destroyers for each of the past five years are contained in the following table. This includes repair and maintenance, manpower, fuel and other costs such as port and harbour dues. Year-on-year variations are largely attributable to refit periods.
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under what terms and conditions staff from the DERA workforce will be transferred to a new organisation after the split of DERA; if the conditions of service for those who remain will stay the same; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Staff transferring to the NewDERA organisation would have their terms and conditions protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations. This means that staff transferring to the private NewDERA organisation would transfer with their existing terms and conditions. The Cabinet Office "Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector" covers the conditions of service for staff remaining in the Ministry of Defence. The principle is that these staff should be treated no less favourably than if TUPE regulations had been applied to them. These matters are part of the consultation process on DERA PPP which is currently underway and which is scheduled to be completed on 9 June 2000.
I am replying to your parliamentary questions about the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) estate as responsibility for operational matters such as these fall to me as the Chief Executive of the agency.
I attach at annex a list showing the name, size and location of DERA owned sites within the United Kingdom. These sites where the freehold of either all or part of the land has been vested to DERA. You ask what plans there are to sell part of this land before the privatisation of the agency. As you know, the future of DERA is currently the subject of a consultation document. MOD's proposals envisage that around three quarters of DERA would be turned into a company (for planning purposes this is referred to as NewDERA) which would be floated on the stockmarket as soon as its potential is judged to be suitably developed. This could be during 2001, though the precise timing has yet to be determined and will be influenced by the results of the consultation process.
In parallel to this process, as part of our normal strategic planning, the estate, as you would expect, is kept under continuous review. This process is expected to continue regardless of any privatisation considerations. As the precise transaction point for NewDERA has yet to be decided, I cannot say whether any currently planned land sales would take place before or after any flotation. We have, however, been planning to sell off the Chertsey and Bromley
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(Aquila) sites since 1997; these announcements were first made public in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. The timing of these disposals will depend on progress with respect to the relocation of our staff and our negotiations with the local authorities. In addition, two smaller sites (West Drayton and Farnborough Queen's site) are to be closed in May and September, respectively, of this year. Whilst they are likely to be sold, no firm dates have been fixed for this disposal. Thus, the total number of sites that potentially could be sold prior to any proposed flotation of DERA is four.
I hope the above explains the situation.
|Cody Site||150||Farnborough, Hants|
|Queen's Gate Site||2||Farnborough, Hants|
|Engine Test Facilities||230||Pyestock, Hants|
|Communication Station||75||Cobbet Hill, Guildford, Surrey|
|Boscombe Down Airfield||585||Boscombe Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire|
|Chemical and Biological Defence (CBD)||2,620||Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire|
|DERA Fort Halstead||135||Sevenoaks, Kent|
|DERA Chertsey||120||Chertsey, Surrey|
|The Maultway||100||Bagshot, Surrey|
|DERA Bedford||70||Clapham, Bedford|
|DERA Portsdown||13||Portsdown, Hants|
|DERA Bincleaves||3||Weymouth, Dorset|
|DERA Fraser||1||Eastney, Portsmouth, Hants|
|DERA Funtington||16||Chichester, West Sussex|
|DERA Haslar(2)||30||Gosport, Hants|
|DERA West Drayton||2||West Drayton, Middx|
|DERA Malvern||30||Malvern, Worcs|
|Hutton Moor||6||North Somerset|
|DERA Aberporth||170||Aberport Ceredigion|
|DERA Pershore||130||Pershore, Worcs|
|Kyle of Lochalsh||2||Highland|
|Loch Fyne||1||Argyll and Bute|
|Clyde Barons Point||1||Argyll and Bute|
|Drunmore Harbour pier||0.3||Dumfries and Galloway|
|Portpatrick||0.1||Dumfries and Galloway|
|Portland Grove Point||0.1||Weymouth|
|Rona Ranges||60||Kyle of Lochalsh, Ross-shire|
|DERA Shoeburyness||17,270||Southend-on-Sea, Essex|
|West Freugh||1,850||Dumfries and Galloway|
|DERA Hurn||260||East Dorset|
(1) Approximate hectares
(2) These sites are a mixture of freehold and leased land
Sizes are approximate and have been rounded
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the extent to which the part-privatisation of DERA will lead to (a) compulsory and (b) voluntary redundancies; and if he will make a statement; 
22 May 2000 : Column: 321W
Mr. Hoon: It has never been an objective of the Public Private Partnership for DERA to reduce staff numbers and indeed the opportunities provided by this process to develop new markets for DERA's products should have a positive effect on job prospects.
Staff numbers within DERA have varied in response to customer requirements and changes in the funding available for defence research. There has been such rebalancing in DERA over the last seven to eight years. This process is independent of PPP and would be expected to continue. As a general rule we would seek to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible. However, this would be subject to the need to ensure that the organisation can continue to meet the requirements placed by the Ministry of Defence and other customers.
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