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Whaling

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures the United Kingdom will table at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission in respect of the preservation of whale species. [53617]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 July 1998]: At the meeting of the Consultative Forum on Whaling on 15 July, which I chaired, possible issues that the United Kingdom might raise at the next annual meeting of the IWC in June 1999, were discussed. The Forum agreed to give further consideration to the matter at its next meeting in December, and I look forward to receiving its advice.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the (a) promotion and (b) the implementation to date of a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic. [53618]

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Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 July 1998]: At the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, which took place in Oman from 16 to 21 June, Brazil indicated that it was considering proposing a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic. The United Kingdom made clear its support in principle for this idea. However, Brazil did not put forward a formal proposal for such a sanctuary; I understand that the Brazilian delegation felt that more discussion with the range states was needed.

Non-Departmental Public Bodies

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the non-departmental public bodies in existence on 1 May 1997 that (a) have been disbanded, (b) will be disbanded in the next 12 months, (c) have had their functions transferred to (i) another non-departmental public body and (ii) a democratically elected body, (d) have been renamed but continue to perform a similar role and (e) have been unchanged; if he will indicate in (c) (ii) the relevant successor body; what new non-departmental public bodies have been established since 1 May 1997; and how many non-departmental public bodies his Department currently is responsible for. [53853]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 July 1998]: (a) In a News Release on 28 May 1997 my right hon. Friend, the previous Minister, announced the disbanding of the Ministry's nine advisory Regional Panels;

(b) None.

(c) None of the MAFF non-departmental public bodies have had their functions transferred to:

(i) another non-departmental public body;

(ii) a democratically elected body.

(d) None of the MAFF non-departmental public bodies have been renamed but continue to perform a similar role.

(e) Details of all other non-departmental public bodies in existence on 1 May 1997 sponsored by this department are listed in "Public Bodies 1997".

The Potato Industry Development Council (known as the British Potato Council) was established on 1 July 1997. The council is funded by a levy on the industry.

My right hon. Friend is currently responsible for 33, including multiple bodies.

The Government are committed to keeping the number of non-departmental public bodies to a minimum and to ensuring that those which remain are open, accountable and effective. Many of the new non-departmental public bodies established since 1 May 1997 will be essential in helping the Government deliver their Manifesto commitments.

Employees Over 60

Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) men and (b) women aged over 60 years were employed by (i) his Department and (ii) his Department's agencies on 1 January. [53073]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 31 July 1998]: In the core Department, there were 89 men and 72 women aged over

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60 years employed on 1 January. Chief Executives of the Department's Agencies will be replying direct to the hon. Member with information on their staff.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) men and (b) women employed by (1) his Department and (2) his Department's agencies have contracts of employment which permit them to retire after their 60 birthday. [53050]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 July 1998]: In the core Department, the normal retirement age for staff is 60 years. However, staff in non-mobile grades (i.e. administrative assistant, administrative officer level), secretarial and office support grades, industrial grades and farm workers are permitted to remain in service until the age of 65. Staff in mobile grades (i.e. executive officer level and above) with less than 20 years pensionable service may also remain in service beyond the age of 60. Service beyond the age of 60 has to be authorised and is subject to efficiency, fitness and the Ministry's needs.

In the core Department, there are currently 1,485 men and 2,216 women in non-mobile grades where retirement after 60 years of age is permissible.

Chief Executives of the Department's Agencies will be replying direct to the hon. Member with information on their staff.

Letter from Sarah Nason to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    In FRCA there were 3 men and 1 woman employed on 1 January.


Letter from Sarah Nason. to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    In FRCA, which has the same retirement arrangements as core MAFF, there are currently 40 men and 99 women in grades where retirement after 60 years of age is permissible.


Letter from G. K. Bruce to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    The rules which apply in PSD are the same as those applied in the parent Department. The normal retirement age for staff is 60 years. However, staff in non-mobile grades, ie Administrative Assistants, Administrative Officers and their scientific equivalents and secretarial grades are permitted to remain in service until the age of 65. Staff in more senior grades, ie Executive Officers and above and their scientific equivalents, with less than 20 years pensionable service may also remain in service beyond the age of 60. Service beyond the age of 60 has to be authorised and is subject to efficiency, fitness and the needs of the Agency.

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    In the Pesticides Safety Directorate, there are currently 16 men and 34 women in grades where retirement after 60 years of age is permissible.


Letter from G. K. Bruce to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    In the Pesticides Safety Directorate, there were no men or women aged over 60 years employed on 1 January.


Letter from J. M. Rutter to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    The normal retirement age for staff in the VMD is 60 years. However, staff in administrative, secretarial and office support grades are permitted to remain in service until the age of 65. Staff in more senior grades with less than 20 years pensionable service may also remain in service beyond the age of 60. Service beyond the age of 60 for all staff has to be authorised and is subject to efficiency, fitness and the VMD's needs.


    In VMD there are currently 7 men and 32 women in grades where retirement after 60 years of age is permissible.


Letter from J. M. Rutter to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    On 1 January 1998 there were 3 men and no women aged over 60 employed in the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.


Letter from P. I. Stanley to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    On 1 January 1998, CSL employed 5 staff who were over the age of 60. All of these were men.


    The normal retirement age for the majority of staff employed by CSL is 60. However, there are 71 staff working in administrative, secretarial and support posts who, by virtue of their grade, are permitted to continue in post beyond the age of 60. 14 of these are men and 57 are women.


    In addition, staff in more senior grades with less than 20 years pensionable service may also remain in post beyond the age of 60, subject to work, efficiency and fitness requirements.

Letter from P. W. Greig-Smith to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    In the CEFAS Agency, there were 10 men and 3 women aged over 60 years employed on 1 January 1998.


    The normal retirement age for staff employed by CEFAS is 60 years. However, staff in administrative, secretarial, office support and industrial grades and Assistant Scientific Officers are permitted to remain in service until the age of 65. Staff in more senior grades with less than 20 years service may also remain in service beyond the age of 60. Service beyond the age of 60 is subject to efficiency, fitness and the Ministry's needs.

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    At CEFAS, there are currently 101 men and 101 women in grades where retirement after 60 years of age is permissible.


Letter from T. W. A. Little to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    In the Veterinary Laboratories Agency there were 19 men and 19 women aged over 60 years employed on 1 January 1998.


Letter from T. W. A. Little to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    In the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) the normal retirement age for staff is 60 years. However, staff in VLA Pay Bands F, F(1) and G, including administrative, secretarial and scientific support staff and animal technicians are permitted to remain in service until the age of 65. Staff in higher Pay Bands with less than 20 years pensionable service may also remain in service beyond the age of 60. Service beyond the age of 60 has to be authorised and is subject to efficiency, fitness and Agency's needs. In the VLA there are currently 210 men and 453 women in Pay Bands F, F(1) and G where retirement after 60 years of age is permissible.


Letter from Johnston McNeil to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    The Meat Hygiene Service was established on 1 April 1995 as an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). It took over from local authorities the responsibility for enforcing meat hygiene, inspection and animal welfare at slaughter legislation in licensed fresh meat premises in Great Britain. The majority of MHS staff transferred from local authorities with their existing contractual benefits under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Act 1981. As a consequence the majority of MHS employees are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme which has a retirement age of 65.


    In the MHS, 1308 men and 164 women have contracts of employment with a retirement age of 65.


Letter from Johnston McNeil to Mr. Christopher Chope, dated 31 July 1998:



    The MHS employs 84 men and 1 woman who are aged over 60.


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