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Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the beef consumed by the armed forces since May 1997 has originated from UK sources; and if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the sourcing of all beef for the armed forces. 
Since October 1997 the task of buying food for the armed forces has been contracted to 3663 (formerly known as Booker Foodservice) and it is the Ministry of Defence's policy to require them to seek the best price in the open market. Our contractor is required specifically to give full consideration to British products, which we look to them to buy wherever they are competitive. We have
3 May 2001 : Column: 720W
given particular attention to meat procurement and over the last two years have worked closely with our contractor; the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; the Meat and Livestock Commission; and farmers' representatives to explore ways to increase the proportion of British meat we can buy competitively.
This has been a successful co-operation. In the case of beef we had, since the autumn of 1998, been supplying 100 per cent. British beef to our UK based service personnel, following the agreement we secured from the EC to release British intervention beef at competitive prices. However as was announced to the House on 24 July 2000, Official Report, column 555W, these stocks have now run out and market prices have dictated that a mix of British and imported beef will be required for future supplies. We are, however, working closely with those concerned to ensure that we can maximise the amount of British product that can be supplied competitively. In the case of beef they have identified opportunities to sources some 150 tonnes of prime British cuts which, when added to the 800 tonnes of British beef already secured, would mean that over 50 per cent. of the Ministry of Defence's requirement in the UK would be British.
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement authorises the transfer of fissile material between the UK and the US. Over the period in question there have been no formal exchanges of plutonium for highly enriched uranium between the UK and the United States of America.
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 1 May 2001]: I am able to confirm that military vehicles containing radioactive material did travel through the district of Lancaster on 16 November 2000 and 13 December 2000 via Halton Army camp.
Mr. Spellar: No foreign navies have been approached to provide tanker support for Royal Navy exercises in the next 12 months. However, some participating nations may provide tanker support for their own deploying groups in a given exercise.
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Mr. Spellar: Since early 1998, numerous have been removed from HMS Intrepid and used to replace equipment on HMS Fearless. I will write to the hon. Member with a list of those items and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
HMS Intrepid is held at a low readiness state commensurate with force levels endorsed within the Strategic Defence Review. All the items that have been removed could be refurbished or replaced and she could, if necessary, be returned to operational service within the readiness profile agreed in the Strategic Defence Review process.
Mr. Spellar: HMS Invincible last put to sea on 26 February 2001, to take part in the winter deployment exercise off Norway. She returned to Portsmouth on 30 March 2001. She is due to sail for Rosyth at the end of July in preparation for her forthcoming refit.
Mr. Spellar: HMS Ocean is currently undergoing routine maintenance and repair work. Subject to completion of this work, successful sea trials, and allowing for the summer leave period, the vessel will be available for full operational tasking in late summer.
Dr. Moonie: No standard assessment is made to determine whether potential recruits to the armed forces have Factor V Leiden mutation. Potential recruits are required to provide information about their medical history and anyone with a chronic blood disorder, such as Factor V Leiden mutation, would be rejected for service.
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Dr. Moonie: According to records held centrally by the Ministry of Defence, there have been five cases of Service personnel with blood coagulant disorders since 1997. This figure would include any cases of Service personnel with Factor V Leiden mutation, as this disorder is not identified separately in the Ministry of Defence's central records.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list (a) each category of grant and (b) the amount of each grant paid by his Department to each London borough in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-1999, (iii) 1999-2000 and (iv) 2000-01; and what the projected figure is for 2001-02. 
Ms Estelle Morris: I refer my hon. Friend to the letter sent on 16 February from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, setting out total funding for Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster local education authorities for the years 1996-97 to 2001-02.
A list of the Department's school education grants and funding allocations paid to each London borough for the last four years and projected grant figures for the current year have been placed in the House of Commons Library.
In the Budget on 7 March, national increases of £100 million for School Standards Grant and devolved New Deal for Schools Capital were announced. London boroughs will benefit from these increases, which are included in the figures placed in the House of Commons Library.
Real terms national recurrent funding per pupil will rise year on year by £200 in 2001-02 and will have risen by around £540 since 1997-98. There will be an average real terms increase in per-pupil funding of around £750 between 1997-98 and 2003-04.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will publish the membership of the education strategy group, together with their qualifications, grade and geographical area of employment (separately indicating the technical group); if he will list (a) the terms of reference of the group and (b) the schedules of meetings of the strategy and technical groups; if he will publish a verbatim account of those meetings; and if he will indicate when the conclusions and the Government's response will be published. 
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Ms Estelle Morris: The Education Funding Strategy Group has been set up to take forward work on the proposals for education funding set out in "Modernising Local Government Finance: A Green Paper" and is supported in that work by a technical sub-group. The groups include key stakeholders with an interest in local education authority and school funding and details of the membership of both groups are outlined in the tables. Members of both groups are not appointed on the basis of their grade or qualifications but have been nominated by the organisations they represent. Representatives have been selected for their knowledge of the wide range of circumstances local education authorities and schools face and local government members represent a balance of different authority types, regions and expertise. The Education Funding Strategy Group's papers are available on the DfEE's website (www.dfee.gov.uk/efsg/). Separate papers are not prepared for the sub-group, as its role is to consider papers before they are submitted to the Education Funding Strategy Group. The Government expect to publish their proposals on the future arrangements for education funding later this year.
|Central Government representatives|
|Helen Williams (chair)||DfEE|
|Peter Kane||HM Treasury|
|Nicholas Holgate||HM Treasury|
|Nick Ville||Audit Commission|
|Local Government representatives|
|Neil Kinghan||Local Government Association|
|Neil Fletcher||Local Government Association|
|Mike Grealy||Local Government Association|
|Stephen Lord||Local Government Association|
|Mike Heiser||Local Government Association|
|Gale Waller||Local Government Association|
|Bob Kerslake||Local Government Association|
|Jon Pittam||Local Government Association|
|David Smith||Local Government Association|
|Alan Parker||Local Government Association|
|Liz Nicholson||Local Government Association|
|Stephen Fitzgerald||Association of London Government|
|Hilary McCollum||Association of London Government|
|Trade union representatives|
||Representatives from schools' bodies
||Mrs. Joan Binder||FAVASA
||David Lankshear||CofE Board of Education
||Michael Power||Catholic Education Service
||Peter Rickard||National Bursars Association
||Terry Pearson||National Governors Council
3 May 2001 : Column: 724W
|Anthony Hammil||HM Treasury|
|Stuart Taylor||HM Treasury|
|Nick Ville||Audit Commission|
|Peter Rickard||National Bursars Association|
|Terry Pearson||National Governors Council|
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