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Mr. Allan: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many and what percentage of the (a) paid and (b) unpaid appointments which he has made to non-departmental public bodies since 1 May 1997 were women. 
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 12 July 2000]: The numbers and percentages of women appointed between 1 May 1997 and 31 December 1999 to paid and unpaid posts in Non-Departmental Public Bodies sponsored by my Department are given in the following table:
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|Year||Total women appointed||Number women appointed to paid posts||Percentage of women in paid posts||Number women appointed to unpaid posts||Percentage of women in unpaid posts|
(1) 1 May to 31 December
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The Government are committed to increasing the representation of women in public life. In support of this, the Department has drawn up an action plan for increasing the number of women and ethnic minorities holding public appointments. The latest plans, together with the Government's overall plan, were published on 24 May 2000 in "Quangos: Opening up Public Appointments 2000-2003", copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what costs have been incurred, in each of the most recent three years for which figures are available, by his Department in approving and supervising the use of
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organophosphate sheep dips; and what is his estimate of the cost of training, certification and protective clothing to sheep farmers during the same periods. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 13 July 2000]: No new organophosphorus sheep dip has been authorised in the period 1997 to 1999. There has been one variation of a marketing authorisation for an OP sheep dip during this period, at a cost to the marketing authorisation holder of £155. The use of veterinary medicines, including sheep dips, is not supervised by the Ministry.
From the inception of the Certificate of Competence Scheme in 1995 to 7 July 2000, 16,188 certificates have been issued. The cost of the test for the certificate is either £30 or £60 depending on whether an applicant wishes to
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be assessed for Part 1 only or Parts 1 and 2. Training for the certificate is not compulsory but is available from agricultural colleges or training establishments or instructors registered with Lantra National Training Organisation. Figures for the cost of training are not held centrally but training costs could be expected to average about £100 per day. The cost of personal protective equipment will vary depending on a number of factors, including supply and demand, and durability and suitability of a sheep farmer's existing equipment. At current prices, the cost of a full set of PPE for someone handling the concentrate would be likely to be in the region of £45.
Mr. Stuart Bell: I take it that the questioner is referring to Mrs. Rachel (not Ruth) Day, the Steward at Old Palace, Canterbury. She was appointed in 1991, on terms in line with those applicable to comparable posts. The Steward at Old Palace is provided with tied accommodation. Since then her remuneration has been increased in line with increases paid to other episcopal staff generally. The Steward is responsible for the general management of Old Palace.
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(3) what was the most recent date on which a new warship was ordered for the Royal Navy. 
On 19 June 2000, it was announced that the prime contract for the procurement of two new Multi-Role Hydrographic and Oceanographic Survey Vessels had been awarded to Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd. The contract includes the provision of 25 years' contractor support for the vessels and is worth some £130 million in total over the life of the ships. The ships will be built under sub-contract at Appledore Shipbuilders in North Devon and are due to enter service in 2002 and 2003.
As for the schedule for future warship orders, the Strategic Defence Review set out our plans for a forward RN shipbuilding programme which included plans for Type 45 Destroyers, two future Aircraft Carriers and up to 20 Future Surface Combatants, as well as a range of other vessels over the next 15 to 20 years.
We keep the position of UK warshipbuilding yards under careful review; our assessment is that they possess adequate capacity to build vessels in accordance with our forward RN shipbuilding programme and to win such orders through competition with each other. Under Smart Procurement, we continue to consult closely with the shipbuilding industry across a range of individual programmes to ensure effective communication and planning between us.
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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to (a) issue invitations to tender in respect of and (b) place the order for, the production of the first Type 45 destroyer; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: There are no plans to change the practices under which we procure naval vessels. It remains our policy that where possible orders are placed following competitive tendering (either direct by the Ministry of Defence or by the Prime Contractor), and that warships and major naval auxiliary ships are built in the United Kingdom. For other vessels, where we are bound by EC treaty obligations and World Trade Organisation rules which will not permit discrimination in favour of United Kingdom industry, every effort is made to ensure that United Kingdom yards have the opportunity to tender for the build of such vessels on an equal basis.
The Department has no policy to spread future shipbuilding work between specific shipyards. Such a policy would not deliver value for money or an efficient, effective industrial base. We seek, nevertheless, to ensure that our forward shipbuilding programme is capable of sustaining a competitive industrial base. For example we have required the T45 Prime Contractor to involve both Vosper Thornycroft and BAE Systems Marine in the design and construction of the initial contract for three T45 destroyers, announced on 11 July, to ensure a more effective competition for subsequent follow-on vessels.
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