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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 28 April 1998

DEFENCE

Clothing

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the change in the degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction among service personnel relating to the clothing they are issued with over the last five years; and on what evidence this assessment is based. [36817]

Mr. Spellar: The bulk of the procurement of clothing for service personnel is carried out through the Defence Clothing & Textiles Agency and I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Michael Roycroft to Mr. Andrew George, dated 28 April 1998:



    The degree of satisfaction amongst service personnel related to clothing can be assessed by various methods including Continuous Attitude Survey, Availability, Defect Reports and other evidence from Service representatives or their personnel. In addition DCTA produces a Monthly Bulletin, a Quarterly Situation Report to all customers and holds 6 monthly Customer Days, to which all Top Level Budgets are invited to be represented, to discuss individual item problems and forecasts of future supply shortages.


    Continuous Attitude Surveys are carried out on behalf of the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. A small number of questions which relate to clothing issues are included in all three Service surveys, however, only the Army are asked questions relevant to clothing satisfaction. I attach a graphical representation of the answers received to two questions asked over the last five years in the Army Attitude Survey. These graphs show that satisfaction with combat clothing and working dress has improved with time; overall availability of working dress has improved by 27% in the last three months to February 1998. A DCTA survey into clothing issues had been prepared, but it was agreed that for the time being we should rely on the Continuous Attitude Survey.


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'Soldiers: How do you feel about the Quality of combat clothing and personal equipment'
percentage

June 1993June 1994June 1995June 1996March 1997
Very poor151212.5108.5
Poor29.52621.52215.5
OK3536.5373537.5
Good1821232828.5
Very good3.556610

Source:

DERA CHS/HS3/5/303/1Mar98


'Soldiers: How do you feel about the Quality of normal working dress'
percentage

June 1993June 1994June 1995June 1996March 1997
Very poor756 76.5
Poor16.518.516.51916.5
OK5047.5464744.5
Good22.524.524.52325.5
Very good 458.54 7

Source:

DERA CHS/HS3/6/303/1Mar98


Landmines (Falkland Islands)

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what new technology his Department is developing to assist in the clearance of landmines from the Falkland Islands. [39358]

Mr. Spellar: The Ministry of Defence is not developing any technology aimed specifically at clearance of landmines from the Falkland Islands. Various systems which could potentially be used for such a purpose in the future are, however, under development.

MOD sponsors a considerable amount of research into sensors and countermine technologies in support of the military requirement to breach minefields under operational conditions, as well as to open up and clear routes in support of military operations. Some of these, such as Ground Penetrating Radar, are not yet mature enough for military use.

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of landmines remaining on the Falkland Islands. [39421]

Dr. Reid: Landmines were used in the Falklands by our forces during the 1982 conflict, and in its aftermath. One British anti-personnel landmine remains unaccounted for although every effort has been made to clear our devices.

We have no reliable figure for the number of Argentine mines in the Falklands. Our best current estimate is that some 18,000 Argentine mines and similar devices of various types were laid, including some 14,000 anti-personnel landmines. About 1,400 Argentine mines were cleared following the conflict, before work was suspended after a number of serious injuries to clearance personnel.

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Remaining minefields, or areas where it is suspected that mines might be, have been marked and fenced. These areas are monitored regularly to ensure that remaining mines present no danger to civilian or military personnel on the Islands.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Legal Aid

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the (a) 20 solicitors' firms and (b) 20 barristers who have received the largest sums of money from legal aid in the most recent year for which information is available. [38635]

Mr. Hoon: Payments to the 20 solicitors' firms and 20 barristers who received the largest sums of money from the legal aid fund in 1996-97 were as follows:

£
Barristers(1)
H. David, R. HoodOver 320,000
John B. W. McDonnell Q.C.
Daniel J. Brennan Q.C.
C. David Allan Q.C.270,000-319,999
Richard Maxwell Q.C.
Judith M. F. Parker Q.C.(2)
Michael G. Bloch
Philip J. Hoser
Andrew D. H. Trollope Q.C.
Ian G. F. Karsten Q.C.230,000-269,999
Joanna Dodson Q.C.
Allan E. Levy Q.C.190,000-229,000
Alastair J. D. Wilson Q.C.
Deborah A. Eaton(2)
Stephen J. Irwin Q.C.
Henry J. Setright
Alison Ball Q.C.
Charles J. Lewis
Paul M. McCormick
Charles A. F. Howard

(1) Includes payments for civil legal aid, criminal magistrates legal aid and Advice By Way Of Representation

(2) The Department was unable to confirm the figures with the individual concerned


The figures quoted are for cash payments made by the Legal Aid Board in 1996-97. They include fees, VAT and other expenses necessarily incurred together with new payments on account less old payments on account recouped. They do not take account of the amounts received or recovered by way of contributions, costs or damages awarded. It should be clearly understood that any payment to a barrister in the year 1996-97 could well reflect payments for several years' work and should not be seen as a measurement of annual income.

It should also be noted that these figures have been calculated on a different basis from previous years where the total amounts paid from the Legal Aid Fund in respect

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of cases closed in the year in question were given. These did not include payments on account for cases still current.

£ million
Solicitor Firms(3)
Freeth Cartwright Hunt and Dickens(4)Over 8.50
Irwin Mitchell2.60-3.49
Alexander Harris & Co.(5)2.00-2.59
Fisher Meredith
Nelsons
Leigh Day & Co.
McGrath & Co.
Owen White1.80-1.99
Joseph Hill & Co.
Henry Hyams & Co.
Hodge Jones & Allen
Evill & Coleman
T. V. Edwards
The Johnson Partnership1.60-1.79
Brendan Flemming
Powell Spencer & Partners
Jones Maidment Wilson
Bindman & Partners
The Smith Partnership
Young & Lee

(3) Includes payments for civil legal aid, criminal magistrates legal aid, and for advice and assistance

(4) Includes payments for work done by other solicitor firms and counsel in multi-party actions which were administered by Freeth Cartwright Hunt and Dickens and which consequently do not appear in other firms' figures

(5) The Department was unable to confirm the figures with the firm concerned


The figures quoted are for cash payments made by the Legal Aid Board in 1996-97. They include profit costs, disbursement and other expenses necessarily incurred, VAT and new payments on account less old payments on account recouped. They do not take account of the amounts received or recovered by way of contributions, costs or damages awarded. It should be clearly understood that any payment to a solicitor in the year 1996-97 could well reflect payments for several years' work and should not be seen as a measurement of annual income.

It should also be noted that these figures have been calculated on a different basis from previous years where the total amounts paid from the Legal Aid Fund in respect of cases closed in the year in question were given. These did not include payments on account for cases still current.

For criminal legal aid in the higher courts it is not possible to provide information in the form requested. This is because the Department's central database records payments made to individual barristers and solicitor firms in respect of closed cases only; that is where the case has been disposed of and all bills, including those of other defence lawyers, have been determined. Set out below are the 20 barristers and solicitor firms recorded as having received the highest total payments in respect of criminal legal aid in the higher courts in cases recorded as closed in the financial year 1996-97. It should be clearly understood that any payment to an individual barrister or solicitor firm in the year 1996-97 could well reflect

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payments received in other years but aggregated in the year 1996-97, because final payment was received. Therefore it is not a measurement of annual income.

£000
Barristers
A. Jones Q.C.Over 500
M. Swift Q.C.(6)(7)
P. Rook Q.C.450-499
E. Lawson Q.C.
S. Batten Q.C.
A. Arlidge Q.C.
M. Hill Q.C.
R. Thwaithes Q.C.400-449
A. Trollope Q.C.
S. Stevens(7)
O. Blunt Q.C.350-399
S. Leslie Q.C.
W. Roddick Q.C.
P. Feinberg Q.C.
T. Raggatt Q.C.
A. Berry Q.C.
Miss C. Montgomery
P. Doyle329-349
P. Harrington Q.C.
J. Richardson

(6) This will include some payments previously published for 1995-96

(7) The Department was unable to confirm the figures with the individual concerned


£ million
Solicitors
HarkavysOver 2.00
Burton Copeland
Garstangs1.00-1.99
Offenbach & Co.0.50-0.99
Irwin Mitchell
Derek Attridge & Co. (Tottenham)
Russell Cooke Potter & Chapman
Jones Maidment Wilson
Joseph Hill & Co.0.40-0.49
Foinette Quin
Trevor Cox
Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson
Derek Attridge & Co. (Bermondsey)
Mackesys
Maidments
Fanshaw Porter & Hazlehurst0.35-0.39
Powell Spencer & Partners
J. Keith Park & Co.
Stephenson Harwood
R. M. Broudie & Co.

The figures quoted above are the total amounts paid from legal aid in respect of cases closed in 1996-97. As such they may include payments relating to work done in earlier years, but do not include payments on account for cases still current. The figures are inclusive of VAT and disbursements and other expenses necessarily incurred. They do not take account of amounts received or recovered by way of contribution from assisted persons.


28 Apr 1998 : Column: 68


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