HC Deb 28 February 2001 vol 363 cc663-4W
Ms Atherton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what information regarding the decommissioning of Nancekuke is contained within the remaining documents held by the Government under the 30-year rule; and if he will place it in the Public Record Office; [148908]

(2) what documents exist regarding Nancekuke that are more than 30-years-old but are not placed in the Public Record Office; and if he will place all remaining documents regarding Nancekuke in the Public Record Office; [148905]

(3) what type of information is contained within the remaining documents regarding Nancekuke held by the Government under the 30-year rule. [149286]

Dr. Moonie

It is not possible to identify the complete holding of records relating to defence activities at Nancekuke in the main MOD repository at Hayes without incurring disproportionate cost. All departmental records are reviewed under well-established procedures and those selected for public preservation are released in accordance with the provisions of the Public Records Act 1958 and 1967.

Following discussions between the Public Record Office (PRO) and the DERA site at Porton Down in the late 1990s, a collection of records that were over 30-years-old was identified and passed to the MOD's records authority for review in accordance with the procedures described above. The records from this collection that are selected for permanent preservation will be released to the PRO once the review process is complete. Some of these records make reference to the work at Nancekuke.

As part of the programme of environmental surveys of RAF Portreath, which have been conducted by the RAF and an independent expert consultant, a number of records have been identified relating to the decommissioning of Nancekuke. It is envisaged that these records will be made available when the conclusions of the current environmental survey have been considered and made public. No decisions have yet to be taken on the need for possible remedial work at the site and I expect this work to reach a conclusion later this year.