HC Deb 27 November 2002 vol 395 cc326-7W
Mr. Allan

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the archaeological, historic and cultural heritage assets being disposed of by the Defence Disposal Agency; and what the(a) means and (b) mode of disposal are in each case. [82983]

Dr. Moonie

Items of historical interest declared surplus to the Disposal Services Agency (DSA) include ships' bells, musical instruments with insignia and official gifts. These are sold by public auction through Bonhams Auctioneers & Valuers who have conducted 17 sales since 2000 and following is a table detailing the dates of these auctions and the type of items sold. These sales were promoted by Bonhams Auctioneers & Valuers and the DSA to ensure maximum awareness.

In 1999, the DSA conducted the disposal of wood and copper, recovered from HMS Victory during refurbishment, by competitive tender.

Mr. Ingram

A major review of the Defence Fire Services, known as the Ministry of Defence Fire Study 2000, has been under way for the past two years. This study, tasked to make recommendations on the most effective fire service for the future has recently been completed and the final report is imminent. It is expected to identify a number of modernisation initiatives for the organization of the Defence Fire Services. In parallel to this study, the Airfield Support Services Project (ASSP), encompassing the Defence Fire Services, is seeking to achieve the most viable and cost-effective solution for the provision of airfield support, with options that include both public-private partnership and in-house solutions. The result of Fire Study 2000 efficiencies will be used to inform the Public Sector Comparator for the ASSP.

The Defence Fire Services, including the civilian and military components, are fully capable of meeting their defence role and are equipped with the latest state of the art technology. There are 71 establishments in the United Kingdom with 169 fire engines and there are no plans at present to increase these numbers. There are no specialist teams within the Defence Fire Services, with all personnel being trained to the same standard.

Executive Agencies1 Civil Servants2 Non departmental public bodies3
April 1997 October 2002 April 1997 October 2002 April 1998 October 2002
Scotland 6,401 5,296 3,223 3,148 0 0
Not Scotland 54,649 43,436 42,611 35,038 344 387
Total 61,050 48,732 45,834 38,186 344 387
Percentage Scotland 10.5 10.9 7.0 8.2 0.0 0.0
1 The Ministry of Defence does not centrally hold information on the number of jobs or posts within its organisation and the equivalent number of people is shown as the nearest comparator.
2 Figures include foil time equivalent numbers for individuals working part time.
3 Figures are individually rounded and may not sum precisely to the totals shown.