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10 May 2002 : Column 380W
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has made and to whom against proposals for offshore wind farms off (a) Cromer and (b) the coast of Lancashire; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence has made known its objections to these offshore windfarm proposals to both the Department of Trade and Industry and to the developers concerned. Discussions continue with the developers.
London Power's proposed site off Cromer is close to the Cromer Air Defence Radar and therefore the MOD has objected because the siting of wind turbines close to such installations can produce false returns on radar screens.
The proposed sites off Lancashire by Shell and Energie Kontor lie within 15 miles of the airfield at British Aerospace Systems Ltd Warton and give rise to similar issues of potential radar interference.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) drug tests, (b) positive results of drug tests and (c) subsequent dismissals there have been in the British Army, broken down by (i) regiment and (ii) division in the last five years. 
10 May 2002 : Column 381W
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 9 May 2002]: 103 surplus former Naval vessels have been sold in the last five years via the Ministry of Defence's Disposal Services Agency (DSA). This figure includes named capital ships, minor vessels and marine support vessels. Detailed records for the last five years of all surplus transactions are retained by the DSA. There was also one Upholder Submarine sold during this period. This was the responsibility of the MOD's Upholder Programme and records would be retained by that MOD branch.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 19 October 2001, Official Report, column 1394W, on asylum seekers, when he will place the letters from Merseyside Police concerning asylum seekers in Everton, Liverpool in the Library. 
Angela Eagle: Further to my Answer of 27 February 2002, Official Report, column 1397W. The letters were placed in the Library on 18 March 2002. I apologise to my hon Friend for the administrative delay that occurred.
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what performance indicators and output targets are used by the National Asylum Support Service to measure the efficiency of its service to asylum seekers and other stakeholders; and how the NASS is performing against these performance indicators and output targets. 
Angela Eagle: The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) measures its performance against challenging targets. Targets are set for individual areas of work. Details of targets for the main areas of work are as follows:
|Area of work||Target||Current performance|
|Response to enquiries about vouchers||24 hours||Met in 100 per|
|cent of cases|
|Single additional payment and replacement of HC2 certificates||5 days in 90 per cent|
|of cases||Target met|
|Post allocation work (including requests for payment of maternity grant and inclusion of additional dependants)||10 days in 90 per cent|
|of cases||Target is met in 11 of 13|
|Change of circumstances i.e. request to change from subsistence only to subsistence and accommodation||10 days in 90 per cent|
|of cases||Target met|
|Assessment of non complex applications for support||3 days in 90 per cent of cases||Target met|
|Turnaround time for subsistence only applications||5 days in 90 per cent of cases||Target met|
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Kidney) of 4 December 2001, Official Report, column 231W, when the report on progress towards the recommendations in the Supporting Families document will be placed in the Library. 
10 May 2002 : Column 382W
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to bring forward regulations on (a) mandatory investment by commercial companies into the development of non-animal alternatives to animal testing and (b) over-breeding of animals for experiments. 
Angela Eagle: The Government does not believe that setting mandatory requirements for investment into research into alternatives to the use of animals in scientific procedures is either desirable or necessary.
Nonetheless, every year the Home Office makes available to the Animal Procedures Committee (APC) a budget for research aimed at developing or promoting the use of alternatives which replace animal use, reduce the number of animals used, or refine the procedures involved to minimise suffering (the three Rs). Details of completed research projects are published in the annual Report of the Animal Procedures Committee, which is available from The Stationery Office.
The amount made available to the Committee for 200102 for this specific purpose has increased to £280,000. However, this is not the only money spent by the Government on seeking to develop alternatives, as other Departments also fund such work. It is estimated that the total spent on this by the United Kingdom Government is in the region of £2 million each year. Industry also spends many millions of pounds each year on the search for and development of alternatives. To take this further on an international level, the United Kingdom Government will continue to support the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) through contributions to the European Union.
The Animal Procedures Committee looked at the issue of the over-breeding of animals for use in scientific procedures as part of its 10-year review of the 1986 Act. The Committee defined "overbreeding" as "the production in breeding programmes of animals intended for use in scientific procedures but which prove to be unsuitable for such use or surplus to requirements". With the exception of genetically modified animals, the production of which is a regulated procedure, these animals are not recorded in the annual statistics on animal use under the 1986 Act since they are not used in regulated procedures. Estimates vary significantly as to the number of animals that may be involved. The Animal Procedures Committee concluded that although some overbreeding was unavoidable, it can and should be minimised and it recommended principles of best practice to help to achieve this. The Committee also undertook to liaise with the Laboratory Animal Science Association, which has also been considering the issue of overbreeding and how it can be minimised, to refine these principles before finalising its advice. I expect to receive the Committee's report by the summer and will carefully consider the further advice it provides.
10 May 2002 : Column 383W
allocation of the power to detain and use force to non-police personnel; what the projected cost is of providing this information; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: Clause 35 (4) of the Police Reform Bill proposes that a police authority must include in their annual policing plan any proposals they have to employ, accredit or give powers to police support staff or members of Community Safety Accreditation Schemes. These plans are published.
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