Previous Section Index Home Page

Motor Accident Repairs

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the percentage of repairs to accident-damaged vehicles carried out by (a) insurance-owned companies and (b) independent body shops in the last 12 months. [52240]

30 Apr 2002 : Column 741W

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government do not collect this information.

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what Government policy is on competition in the motor accident repair market; and if she will make a statement. [52241]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government want to see a competitive and efficient motor accident repair market. Responsibility for monitoring the market and investigating allegations of anti-competitive behaviour lies with the Director General of Fair Trading.


Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many visits there have been to the website www. in each month since it was launched. [51516]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

The UK online website ( was launched in January 2001. The table shows the number of visits that the site has received for each month since its launch, with the latest full month of figures being for March 2002.

Month and yearUnique user sessions(24)Page impressions(25)Registered users
January 20015,588
February 2001991,0719,833
March 20011,635,72814,125
April 20011,743,97316,597
May 20012,038,98419,602
June 20013,043,11921,787
July 20014,120,77224,034
August 20014,806,76626,194
September 20014,036,50329,718
October 20012,995,67832,769
November 2001322,7213,696,22137,063
December 2001639,9154,789,02940,605
January 2002632,4504,912,70443,010
February 2002228,2732,318,57244,954
March 2002418,1142,605,31948,933 (9.03)

(24) This represents individual visitors to the site, and is tracked from a users IP address. For example, this means that if four people visit the site this week, we record that as four unique users. If each of these users visit twice, we still only have four unique users in that week. The complementary measure is number of visits (or sessions).

(25) Page impressions are literally 'pages seen, or loaded onto the user's PC'. The home page is one page impressions, the news page is another etc.

Digital Equipment

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many digital radios are owned by her Department for use in departmental buildings from which Ministers work; and what the (a) cost and (b) date of purchase of each radio was. [52849]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 April 2002]: This information is not held centrally by my Department and cannot be answered except at disproportionate cost.

30 Apr 2002 : Column 742W



Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what options were given to the bidders for the roll-on/roll-offs for the provision of crews; [50888]

Dr. Moonie: Bidders in the competition for a strategic sealift service were invited to tender on the basis of a crewing option that they considered would offer best value for money and to provide details that would facilitate an assessment of sponsored reserve crewing of all six ships. AWSR initially expected to be using sponsored reserve crews on the six ships when they were in Ministry of Defence use, with British officers and multinational crews when the ships were on commercial work. Negotiations with AWSR in 2001 were able to take account of the implications and benefits of the Government's "British Shipping Charting a New Course" which had been published the previous year. As a result, when working for MOD ships will be manned by British crews who will be eligible to be called out as sponsored reserves and, although not mandated by MOD, British crews will man the ships being used in commercial trade.

Service Personnel (Transport)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what provision is made for the transportation of service men and women returning from overseas tours of duty, from their point of arrival in the UK to their home base; and if he will make a statement; [51724]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 22 April 2002]: I assume the hon. Member is referring to operational tours of duty and exercises, not administrative moves of personnel returning from longer term postings overseas.

It is the Ministry of Defence's aim to ensure the efficient and safe redeployment of service personnel—and their equipment and kit—when returning from overseas tours to Britain, in accordance with UK Customs procedures and other relevant legislation. The infrastructure, facilities and resources at the point of arrival will play a major part in determining the dispersal plan, but in the majority of cases we provide coach transport which offers a secure, efficient and flexible means of moving formed bodies of service men and women and their equipment to their home base.

SPEAR Weapon

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussion has taken place with the US to ensure that the development of the SPEAR weapon for

30 Apr 2002 : Column 743W

the US version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is compatible with the UK version; and if he will make a statement; [52263]

Dr. Moonie: SPEAR (Selective Precision Effects At Range) is a term used to describe the capability to attack surface targets at intermediate range from legacy and planned UK strike aircraft. Studies into how best to meet this requirement are still on-going, and no decisions have yet been taken. The SPEAR capability could be provided by improvements to legacy or near-term weapons and/or by a new system or systems.

Whatever capability solution is chosen would need to take into account the capabilities offered by the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which as been selected as having the best potential to meet the UK's Future Joint Combat Aircraft requirement.

Our participation in the JSF programme ensures our close involvement with regard to potential weapons systems for the aircraft.

Continuous Attitude Survey

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the questions asked in the latest continuous attitude survey undertaken by the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) Army; how often the surveys have been compiled; to what use they are put; and if he will make a statement. [51810]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 25 April 2002]: The Army and the RAF latest continuous attitude surveys include over 200 questions each, while the Royal Navy survey has over a hundred. The questions are on a wide variety of subjects with the following broad categories: personal circumstances; quality of life; job satisfaction; career development; operational tours and postings; pay and allowances; accommodation; welfare; families; facilities; communication and equal opportunities. The questions are structured around the Armed Forces Overarching Personnel Strategy; however, they are not fixed and are varied to determine attitudes to particular conditions of service.

Each of the three services has conducted its own continuous attitude surveys of serving personnel since the 1980s. The Royal Navy conducts surveys three times per year, the Army twice yearly and the Royal Air Force conducts surveys quarterly.

Each survey is designed to ascertain the attitude of personnel towards a range of service conditions and to gather intentions with regard to their remaining in the service. Senior staff and policy makers use the information gathered to identify which policies are seen to be working and inform subsequent policy development work. The three services also periodically survey spouses of serving personnel to gather evidence on the effects of service life on families.

Missile Defence

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Government policy is on missile defence for the UK. [52477]

30 Apr 2002 : Column 744W

Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 April 2002, Official Report, columns 654–55, to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Prisk).

Next Section Index Home Page