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Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the (a) cost of and (b) number of visitors to each website operated by her Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible in each year since its establishment. [107631]

The cost of and number of visitors to the main Defra website (www.defra.gov.uk) for each financial year since the formation of the Department in June 2001 are as follows.

Year

Cost (£)

Number of visitors

2001–021525,0001,607,966
2002–032623,0001,418,515

1 From June 2001.

2 To end February 2003.

The Sustainable Development web site www. sustainable-development.gov.uk has running costs of approximately £20–25,000 per annum in the period since June 2001, including start-up costs for subsidiary sites. Numbers of visitors are not readily available for the full period since June 2001 but currently average approximately 12,000 visitors per month.

A number of other smaller websites are operated by the Department, for which costs are incorporated within the budgets for specific programmes and not separately identified. Corresponding information is not held centrally for other websites managed by the Department's agencies and non-Departmental public bodies, and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.