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Gulf War 1990–91: Vaccines

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Our approach continues to be guided by the balance of scientific evidence available. No case of acute organophosphate poisoning was recorded in UK troops in the Gulf in 1990–91. The current balance of evidence does not support the existence of adverse health effects arising from long-term low dose organophosphate exposure.

The published peer-reviewed scientific evidence confirms that there can be short-term effects associated with pyridostigmine, and these were identified in personnel in the 1990–91 Gulf conflict. However, the adverse effects reduce and disappear when the use of pyridostigmine bromide is discontinued. Pyridostigmine bromide in the form of nerve agent pre-treatment set (NAPS) tablets was last issued to Service personnel deployed during OP TELIC in 2003.

Royal Navy: Visits to Chile

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: There were no visits by Royal Navy vessels to Chilean ports during July and August this year. A visit from HMS "Leeds Castle" was planned, but in the event, the port visit offered by the Chilean authorities proved impractical due to time and distance constraints.

Royal Navy: Disposals

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: On current plans, the fleet ships and submarines listed will reach the end of their service lives on the following dates and will then be disposed of:
Attack Submarines:HMS "Spartan"2006
HMS "Sovereign"2006
Type 42 Batch 1 HMS "Cardiff"2005
Destoyers:HMS "Glasgow"2005
HMS "Newcastle"2005
Type 23 Frigates:HMS "Norfolk"2005
HMS "Marlborough"2005
HMS "Grafton"2006
Mine Counter Measure HMS "Sandown"2005
Vessels:HMS "Inverness"2005
Northern Ireland HMS "Cottesmore"2006
Patrol Vessels: HMS "Brecon"2007
HMS "Dulverton"2007
Auxiliary Oiler:RFA "Grey Rover"2007
Landing Ship Logistics:RFA "Sir Percivale"2005
RFA "Sir Tristram"2006
RFA "Sir Galahad"2006
Inshore SurveyHMS "Gleaner"2007

1 Nov 2004 : Column WA9

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: There are no plans to dispose of Royal Navy fixed-wing aircraft in the period up to the end of 2007. The Sea Harrier FA2 aircraft, which form part of joint force Harrier and come under the command and control of RAF strike command, will be withdrawn from service by 31 March 2006 and will be available subsequently for disposal.

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: The only planned disposal of Royal Navy helicopters between now and the end of 2007 are the withdrawal from service of the remaining two Sea King Mk6 aircraft. This will take place by March 2006.

Gulf Veterans Medical Assessment Programme

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Colonel Bhatt worked as a service consultant physician in the Gulf Veterans' Medical Assessment Programme from November 1996 to June 1997. As was made clear in paragraph 14 of the Gulf Veterans' Illnesses: A New Beginning document, published on 14 July 1997, he left at his own request to go to another post.

HMCS "Chicoutimi"

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

1 Nov 2004 : Column WA10

Lord Bach: Following refurbishment and reactivation, HMCS "Chicoutimi" (formerly HMS "Upholder") met all appropriate Royal Navy standards for acceptance and operational service, by the handover to the Canadians on 2 October 2004. The Royal Navy endorsed the submarine's clearance for sea using the Royal Navy's acceptance procedures.

Council Tax

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): The revaluation of the English domestic property stock will start after the antecedent valuation date (AVD) that being 1 April 2005. Thereafter a new property list based on the values as at the AVD will be published in draft on 1 September 2006, six months before the list comes into force for council tax billing purposes on 1 April 2007.

Local Government Finance

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The White Paper Strong Local Leadership—Quality Public Services announced our intention of having floors and ceilings within the local government finance settlement. The floors ensure that all authorities receive a reasonable increase in grant each year on a like-for-like basis. These must be paid for within the total amount of grant that goes to authorities each year. If there had been no ceilings then the full cost of the floor would have to have been met by the scaling factor.

The total cost of floors for each floor and ceiling group for 2004–05 is tabled below:
Floor and ceiling groupCost of the floor
(£ million)
Authorities with education and PSS responsibilities96.876474
Police Authorities (including GLA police services)106.181443
Fire Authorities (including GLA fire services)11.554286
Shire Districts38.032617
All Authorities252.644820


Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

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