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Emergency Contraception

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what steps have been taken to ensure that parents are notified that supply of emergency contraception will be permitted under a school's sex and relationships education policy; [151128]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 26 February 2001]: Our sex and relationship education guidance, published last July, clearly states that governing bodies and head teachers should consult parents in developing their sex and relationship education policy to ensure that they develop policies which reflect the parents' wishes and the

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culture of the community they serve. All schools must have a policy which is made available for inspection and to parents.

In the few cases where school nurses are dispensing contraception, this should be made clear in a school's sex and relationship policy, which has to be agreed with parents. These arrangements should not proceed until parents have been consulted.

Ofsted is statutorily required to evaluate and comment on a school's sex and relationship policy. From January 2000, as part of its new inspection framework, Ofsted is required to evaluate and report on how well schools work in partnership with parents.

We have made no estimates of the number of schools dispensing emergency contraception. However, Ofsted is aware of a few instances where emergency contraception has been dispensed by school nurses.

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Improving teenagers' access to contraceptive advice, including emergency contraception, is a key strand of the Government's teenage pregnancy strategy.


Departmental Advertising

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99, (d) 1999-2000 and (e) 2000-01, (i) his Department's total spending on advertising campaigns, (ii) the cost of each individual advertising campaign and (iii) the criteria that were established to gauge the effectiveness of each campaign; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of each campaign based on these criteria. [142710]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member of Bath (Mr. Foster) on 15 February 2001, Official Report, columns 196-97. The information sought is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, what information is available was provided on that occasion.

Advertising is used by the Ministry of Defence when it is judged to be the most cost-effective way of delivering the publicity necessary to support a policy or proposal.

Departmental Surveys

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for (a) 1992-93, (b) 1993-94, (c) 1994-95, (d) 1995-96, (e) 1996-97, (f) 1997-98, (g) 1998-99, (h) 1999-2000 and (i) 2000-01, (I) his Department's total spending on quantitative and qualitative surveys of policy issues by focus groups, opinion polling, task forces or other means and (II) the cost of each individual project. [146583]

Dr. Moonie: As the modernising government White Paper set out, it is important to this Government that we listen to what people have to say about new proposals and policies. Quantitative and qualitative surveys of policy issues by focus groups, opinion polling, task forces and other means are now an integral and important part of departmental work. Public opinion research spending, however, is subject to the usual strict rules that spending must represent good value for money for the taxpayer and must not be used for party political purposes.

Information on quantitative and qualitative surveys of policy issues is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. These standard management tools are now employed across the Department and its many agencies.

Information on task forces, reviews and ad hoc advisory groups is updated and published every six months by the Cabinet Office.


Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what information regarding the decommissioning of Nancekuke is contained within the remaining documents held by the Government under the 30-year rule; and if he will place it in the Public Record Office; [148908]

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Dr. Moonie: It is not possible to identify the complete holding of records relating to defence activities at Nancekuke in the main MOD repository at Hayes without incurring disproportionate cost. All departmental records are reviewed under well-established procedures and those selected for public preservation are released in accordance with the provisions of the Public Records Act 1958 and 1967.

Following discussions between the Public Record Office (PRO) and the DERA site at Porton Down in the late 1990s, a collection of records that were over 30-years-old was identified and passed to the MOD's records authority for review in accordance with the procedures described above. The records from this collection that are selected for permanent preservation will be released to the PRO once the review process is complete. Some of these records make reference to the work at Nancekuke.

As part of the programme of environmental surveys of RAF Portreath, which have been conducted by the RAF and an independent expert consultant, a number of records have been identified relating to the decommissioning of Nancekuke. It is envisaged that these records will be made available when the conclusions of the current environmental survey have been considered and made public. No decisions have yet to be taken on the need for possible remedial work at the site and I expect this work to reach a conclusion later this year.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there were sufficient supplies of Mefloquine or equivalent anti-malarial drugs for members of the Parachute Regiment and other service personnel deployed to Sierra Leone in 2000; and if he will make a statement. [149885]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 12 February 2001]: My Department had sufficient supplies of Mefloquine and other anti-malarial drugs to support deployments to Sierra Leone in 2000. There were no known problems in obtaining supplies, either at the start of Operation Palliser or on subsequent deployments. Some 200 Army personnel nevertheless deployed initially without anti-malarial tablets. An Army board of inquiry subsequently concluded that this was due to an oversight in their preparation for an unexpectedly rapid deployment. Within 24 hours of these personnel arriving in theatre, the French drug, Savarine, was procured locally and distributed. Steps were immediately taken to provide Mefloquine, the preferred anti-malarial treatment, from the UK and all personnel taking Savarine transferred to Mefloquine within four days. One other individual is known to have deployed without anti-malarials as a result of being temporarily absent from his unit on duty just prior to deploying and therefore missing the issue of Mefloquine.

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He was issued with Mefloquine as soon as the problem came to light between two to five days after his arrival in theatre.

No anti-malarial drug is 100 per cent. effective and the degree of protection can be subject to a wide range of factors', for example, the geographical location, the season and the activities undertaken by the individuals concerned.

Ro-ro Ferries

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what efforts are being made in negotiations with the preferred bidder for ro-ros to ensure that strategic sealift service vessels are crewed by UK officers and ratings; [150908]

Dr. Moonie: This is a matter for the chief executive of the Defence Procurement Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Sir Robert Walmsley to Mr. Stephen Hepburn, dated 28 February 2000:

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