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Lord Lucas: Full recovery of costs is one of a set of targets relating to the Pesticides Safety Directorate's financial performance, efficiency and delivery of pesticides approval services and policy advice in 1996-97. They are all equally important and the sequence simply follows the pattern of previous years.
Lord Lucas: There is no need for such a statutory requirement. The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment has published annual reports since 1994 and will continue to do so. These reports are available in the Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The information requested is published in the Fourth Annual Report of the National Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit (August 1995), copies of which are available in the Library. In 1995, 43 cases from probable and definite CJD have been reported, of which 36 were sporadic CJD. In 1996 to date, 14 cases have been reported, of which 13 were sporadic CJD.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): Menwith Hill operates as a field station of the US National Security Agency and is an integral part of the worldwide US Department of Defense communications network which supports UK, US and NATO interests. There is an RAF presence at the site, which has now been retitled RAF Menwith Hill to bring it into line with other RAF sites made available by the Ministry of Defence to the United States Government. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces is responsible for RAF Menwith Hill.
We are not aware of any proceedings taken against the peace protestors at RAF Menwith Hill on 4th April 1996. A number of cases were brought before Ripon Magistrates' Court on 3rd April 1996 for criminal damage and by-laws offences, but these were adjourned for trial at a later date.
The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): The Armed Forces Pay Review Body has made recommendations on the pay of medical and dental officers in the Armed Forces in a supplementary report being published today. Copies are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library of the House.
The review body recommends that the daily rate of basic pay should be increased by an average of 3.8 per cent. from 1st April. Further, they recommend that, along with the other military personnel, the x-factor which compensates for the balance of disadvantage of Service life, should be increased by 0.5 per cent. to 12 per cent. The review body has also recommended increases in consultant pay which are designed to improve retention in this area.
The Government have decided to accept the review body's recommendations but to stage their introduction in the same way as the earlier recommendations of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, and the recommendations of most of the other review bodies. The full award less 1 per cent. will be backdated to 1st April, and the remainder will be paid from 1st December.
This second report covers Further and Higher Education Bodies, Grant-maintained Schools, Training and Enterprise Councils, Local Enterprise Companies and Registered Housing Associations. We welcome the fact that the committee found these to be "organisations in which very many voluntary Board members and paid staff work hard, maintain high standards and achieve good results". We should like to join Lord Nolan and his colleagues in putting on record Her Majesty's Government's appreciation and admiration of the dedicated unpaid service of so many thousands of volunteers in these Local Public Spending Bodies. This inquiry confirms the continuing vitality of voluntary service as one of the great strengths of the British system. This voluntary local commitment, channelled through a clear policy framework set by central government, provides a successful formula for delivering high-quality services to meet local needs.
Naturally, the committee has identified some areas where it believes that improvements can be made and we shall now give the report the close study it deserves before making a considered response, particularly on those recommendations which are addressed directly to the Government.
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