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19 Jul 2005 : Column 1527W—continued

Special Advisers

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list (a) the special advisers in his Department, (b) their specific areas of expertise and (c) the total cost of employing them in the latest year for which figures are available. [8825]

David Cairns: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on Monday 4 July 2005, Official Report, column 36W.


Computer crime

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many cases of computer (a) hacking, (b) fraud and (c) theft his Department recorded in each year since 2001–02; and for each year, on how many
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occasions computer systems have been illegally accessed by computer hackers (i) within and (ii) outside his Department. [7181]

Mr. Hutton: The number of cases of computer hacking recorded in the Department was one in 2003–04 and three in 2004–05. All four were perpetrated by persons outside the Department.

There were no cases of computer fraud recorded in the Department in 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05.

The number of cases of computer theft (including laptops) recorded in the Department was five in 2002–03, 10 in 2003–04 and four in 2004–05.

Food Supplements Directive

Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what role is played by the European Legislation Unit in his Department in formulating and implementing strategies for the achievement of Government objectives in relation to the food supplements directive; what action has been taken by his officials to influence the intentions of the European Commission in relation to legislation on food supplements following the initial ruling of the European Court of Justice on the directive; and if he will make a statement. [11765]

Mr. Hutton: Responsibility for the food supplements directive rests with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health. However, the Cabinet Office European Secretariat, is responsible for supporting the Prime Minister by co-ordinating European Union policy across all Departments at both ministerial and official level. As part of this remit officials have worked closely with the Food Standards Agency, Department of Health and the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union to formulate and implement strategies—including lobbying of the European Commission—for the achievement of Government objectives in relation to the food supplements directive.



Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will take steps to amend the light settings in the toilets, bathrooms and public areas in Portcullis House so that they are activated by motion rather than remaining permanently on. [12645]

Nick Harvey: Energy saving measures of this nature for the parliamentary estate are implemented from an annual budget in order of pay-back period. The light fittings in toilets, bathrooms and public areas of Portcullis House will be equipped with motion detectors when their investment priority is reached. The office corridors in Portcullis House are not lit when adjacent office lighting is off.
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Members' Salaries

Mr. Love: To ask the Leader of the House what an hon. Member's salary will be in each year from 2005–06 to the next expected Senior Salaries Review Body report; and if he will estimate what it would be if it were raised each year in line with the public and private sector comparators. [11277]

Mr. Hoon: It is not possible to provide the information requested.

As the hon. Member will be aware, between reviews of parliamentary pay and allowances, Members' salaries are increased by the rate of revalorisation of the senior civil service pay bands and target rates. The next report from the Senior Salaries Review Body on senior civil service pay is expected in February 2006.



Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the security situation in Afghanistan. [2695]

Mr. Ingram: The security situation in Afghanistan is stable. The UK and our international partners, in both the coalition and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), continue to support the Government of Afghanistan build a safe and prosperous country.

Army Uniform

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the proposed (a) service uniform and (b) mess dress for the King's Lancashire and Border Regiment are; and where its (i) headquarters and (ii) museum will be based. [12157]

Mr. Touhig: Each of the new regiments to be created under the Future Infantry Structure has a committee made up of representatives from its antecedent regiments to consider a range of issues arising from the mergers. When the King's, Lancashire and Border Regiment Committee has agreed its recommendations on dress and accoutrement regulations these will be put to the Army Dress Committee for approval. We expect to be able to announce a decision later this year or early next.

A separate review is under way to determine the most effective and efficient method of delivering Regimental Headquarters (RHQs) functions in the light of the Future Infantry Structure announcement. This review will consider the number and location of RHQs required across the restructured infantry. It is too early to speculate on what the outcomes of this review will be, but it is anticipated that a final decision will be announced in early 2006.

At this stage no discussions have taken place regarding any changes to the location or structure of extant regimental museums. Any such discussions would be as much a matter for each individual
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museum's trustees as for the MOD. While the RHQ review will not look into the future of museums specifically, where museums are co-located with RHQs implications for the museums will be taken in to account in the consideration of options.

Body Armour

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many items of body armour issued to British troops since 2000 are unaccounted for. [8066]

Mr. Ingram: No body armour has been unaccounted for since 2000. An audit of stockholdings of body armour undertaken last year by the Defence Logistics Organisation showed that stock holdings accounted for 66 per cent. of the total number of Enhanced Combat Body Armour components procured between 1992 and 2003. The remainder will have been consumed over this period as a result of wear and tear, and operational loss. I refer the hon. Member to the data for this period that was published by the House of Commons Defence Committee on 8 June 2004 (HC 635), as part of the Government's response to its Lessons of Iraq" inquiry.

Combat body armour has now been designated as an item of personal issue to regular service personnel (excluding the Royal Navy but including the Royal Marines). Individuals are held accountable for the care of their body armour. If damaged or lost, it will be replaced in line with existing procedures.

Brigade Strength

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence of how many battalions each of the three medium-weight brigades will comprise. [12685]

Mr. Ingram: Under future army structures, the three medium-weight brigades will each comprise of three Infantry Battalions.

Dean Hill Arms Depot

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the sale of the former arms depot at Dean Hill. [11555]

Mr. Touhig: The Dean Hill site comprises 24 underground bunkers, ancillary offices, workshops and stores and 35 residential properties all set in 235 ha of land including a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Where the land is still agricultural and has not been changed in character, former owners have been given the opportunity to buy back their former land at the current market value. This land is all outside the boundary fence and four former owners have expressed an interest in buying back their former land.

Some of the agricultural land outside the boundary fence, which has no development potential, is being offered for sale by private treaty to the tenant farmers.

34 of the 35 residential properties have already been sold and the remaining house is likely to be acquired by a housing association.

The area within the boundary fence and the remaining adjoining land, part of which may have some development potential (a total of some 156 ha), is being
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offered for sale by tender in one lot on the open market. Marketing commenced the week beginning 27 June and a large number of inquiries have been received.

Defence Estates, the Ministry of Defence Agency responsible for the defence estate, has had extensive discussions about the sale with the two planning authorities Test Valley borough council and Salisbury district council and the local community. Test Valley borough council produced a Planning Position Statement for that part of the depot which falls within their district and Salisbury district council are currently working on one for that part of the depot which falls within their area. The intention is that these statements will be adopted as supplementary planning policy.

Defence Estates has also had discussions with English Nature about the Site of Special Scientific Interest, which has statutory protection and is an important site for chalk down-land, juniper bushes, yew trees and flora and fauna. Defence Estates has an agreement with English Nature (The Joint Declaration of Intent) whereby Defence Estates will offer surplus land of high conservation value to a conservation body nominated by English Nature at market value. English nature nominated Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and extensive negotiations have been held between the Trust and Defence Estates but at the present time it seems unlikely that the Trust will be acquiring any part of the depot..

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