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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what criteria his Department used to decide to change its requirement for using Southampton Docks from recreational to operational use for nuclear powered Royal Navy ships; 
Mr. Ingram: There has been no decision to change the requirement for Royal Navy nuclear powered vessels to occasionally berth at Southampton. The Z Berth in Southampton docks will, in common with others around the UK, enable our nuclear submarines to visit. Although Z Berths have, in some documentation, been described as 'recreational' berths, there is no change of use or requirement as Z Berths have always been used for operational reasons, such as crew recuperation, replenishment and representational duties.
On 22 February 2006, Southampton City Council will test the Council's 'off-site' emergency plans to deal with the extremely unlikely event of a 'nuclear emergency' from a nuclear powered submarine. The Royal Navy will support the Council and facilitate the opportunity to demonstrate that the Council's plans will dovetail with the Navy's own 'operator's emergency plan'. Responsibility for the production and test of the 'off-site' plan rests with the Southampton City Council. It is not appropriate for me to invite observers from the Solent Coalition Against Nuclear Ships to the exercise.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what restrictions have been placed on the resale of surplus military aircraft disposed of by his Department to private individuals during the past five years; 
There are currently no restrictions placed on the resale of surplus military aircraft to private individuals. The Ministry of Defence ensures that the aircraft is prepared for disposal by reducing its security status to unclassified. There are, however, a number of
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terms and conditions, which limit the use of any aircraft sold. These include, for example, the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness, if the intention is to fly the aircraft and to apply for an export licence if it is transferred outside the UK.
Drop tanks, fitted to a military aircraft, are considered to be an integral part of the whole aircraft and are subject to the normal terms and conditions that ensure that the MOD takes all reasonable steps to inform purchasers of hazards. Used drop tanks are hazardous because they have contained fuel. As individual items they are disposed of in accordance with current environmental legislation.
Mr. Ingram: It is the policy of the Ministry of Defence, subject to certain exclusions, to allow the advertising for sale of its surplus equipment on the internet. Records of the equipment advertised on the internet are not held.
|Ship name||Helicopter type||Number|
|HMS Argyll||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Sutherland||Lynx Mk3||1|
|HMS Montrose||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Saint Albans||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Iron Duke||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Kent||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Portland||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Somerset||Lynx Mk8||1|
|HMS Grafton (non-operational from|
31 March 2006)
|HMS Lancaster||Merlin Mk1||1|
|HMS Monmouth||Merlin Mk1||1|
|HMS Westminster||Merlin Mk1||1|
|HMS Northumberland||Merlin Mk1||1|
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact on the UK agricultural sector of the proposed EU harmonisation of duty rates on hydrocarbon oils; and if he will make a statement. 
The European Commission has not adopted any new proposals to harmonise the rates of duty for commercial diesel. The Government see no reason for harmonised excise duty rates on hydrocarbon oils and believe that tax policy is the responsibility of individual member states. It is for member states to decide what policies
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they should pursue through the use of fiscal instruments and, subject to minimum rates in some areas, what rates of duty they should apply.
The UK has a number of exemptions from the Energy Products Directive which enable duty to be charged at a reduced rate on oils that are put to certain uses, including use in leisure boats for private use. The Government are minded to apply for an extension these derogations and will issue an initial regulatory impact assessment on the effects of ending the derogation. This document will analyse the costs and benefits of the derogation, and be used as the basis for further information gathering and discussions.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Leader of the House how many(a) personal computers, (b) laptops, (c) servers, (d) printers, (e) scanners, (f) photocopiers and (g) faxmachine his office owned in (i) 200304 and (ii) 200405. 
Mr. Hoon: In 200304 and 200405, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons owned three fax machines. All other IT equipment was leased through a service level agreement with the Cabinet Office.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Leader of the House what the annual expenditure on (a) fixture and fittings, (b) general office expenses and (c) office equipment was of his Office in each of the last three financial years; and what the planned expenditure is for 200506 in each case. 
Annual expenditure on fixtures and fittings is not disaggregated by business unit. Information on expenditure on general office expenses and staff is published in the Privy Council Office Resource Accounts for each of the last three years, and these are available in the House of Commons Library and at www.pco.gov.uk.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Leader of the House what the expenditure on (a) buildings and (b) insurance of buildings and staff was of his Office in each of the last three financial years; and what the planned expenditure is for 200506 in each case. 
The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons comes within the administrative responsibility of the Privy Council Office (PCO). Information on expenditure on buildings is published in the Privy Council Office Resource Accounts for each of the last three years, and is available in the House of Commons Library and at www.pco.gov.uk.
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It does not purchase commercial insurance for the risks it faces as, in general, it is cheaper for Government to cover their own risks. The only exception was the purchase of annual travel insurance, at a cost of £75 in 200506.
The PCO's planned expenditure on buildings occupied by the Office for 200506 is £342,000, which includes £90,000 for external decorationa lease obligation. The rental element of this figure is subject to the outcome of ongoing lease negotiations.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Leader of the House what the total administrative costs were for his office in the last year; and whether these are regarded as identifiable or non-identifiable for the purposes of public expenditure statistical analyses. 
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