Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 9 October 2006

Defence

“Preview”

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of publication of “Preview”, published by the Defence Procurement Agency; how it is funded; and to what individuals and groups it is distributed. (91154)

[holding answer 18 September 2006]: The cost of the printing and publication of “Preview,” and its associated organisational wall charts covering the Defence Procurement Agency and the Equipment Capability Customer, in the financial year 2005-06 was £106,575 including VAT. Publication costs were fully met through advertising revenue, which in the financial year 2005-06 totalled £238,917 including VAT, generating a surplus income of £132,342. Preview is distributed to individuals and groups through individual and bulk circulation to the following organisations, bodies and individuals: the Defence Procurement Agency, the Defence Logistics Organisation, MOD Ministers' private offices, MOD senior officials' private offices, MOD central staffs, other Government Departments, units of the armed forces, defence industry bodies, defence contractors, defence attaches in UK-based embassies and High Commissions, UK defence attaches, foreign Government defence procurement organisations, UK media organisations and Members of Parliament.

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the mission is of 16 Air Assault Brigade in Afghanistan. (92318)

Elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade were deployed to Afghanistan as part of the UK force package in support of the UN-authorized, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The ISAF is there to prevent Afghanistan from again harbouring terrorism, to build security and government institutions so that the progress of recent years becomes irreversible, and to combat Taliban insurgency and illegally armed groups, which remain threats to Afghan security and stability.

Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of each helicopter type in the (a) Army Air Corps, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force are deployed; and where they are deployed. (89639)

The number of helicopters deployed on enduring operations, as at 12 September 2006, are shown in the following table:

Total deployed

Army Air Corps

Apache Mk 1 AH

8

Gazelle AH 1

8

Lynx AH 7

16

Lynx AH 9

3

Royal Navy

Sea King HC 4

6

Lynx HAS Mk 3

1

Merlin HM Mk 1

3

Royal Air Force

Puma HC 1

7

Merlin HC 3

5

Chinook HC 2/2a

8

Total for each location

65

A breakdown by location of where these helicopters are deployed cannot be provided as to do so could compromise operational security.

Air-to-Air Refuelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to enlarge the Tristar fleet by (a) purchasing and (b) leasing second-hand aircraft to meet air-to-air refuelling capacity shortfall. (71918)

Armoured Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the annual running costs of (i) Warrior and (ii) RG-31 armoured vehicles with particular reference to the intervals between replacing track sets; and if he will make a statement. (90086)

The RG31 is not in service with the UK armed forces and no research has been undertaken recently to evaluate its annual running costs. The full capitation costs for the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle (all variants) based upon peace time usage is calculated for financial year 2006-07 as £154.04 per kilometre. There is no requirement to hold specific cost data for replacement track set intervals for the Warrior.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many operational Warrior armoured fighting vehicles are in use by the Army. (92323)

I can confirm that out of a fleet of 794 Warrior armoured fighting vehicles (all variants) 735 are in use by the Army. Of these 109 are used in training and 626 are deployed with units. The remainder of the fleet is undergoing programmed maintenance and repair, in storage or with the design authority.

Christmas Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure that servicemen and women stationed in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq scheduled for UK leave over the Christmas period will be able to travel to the UK as planned. (92154)

I fully appreciate the significance of ensuring that our people, who are on rest and recuperation, can return to the UK over the Christmas period and indeed throughout the year. We make exhaustive efforts to provide transport to enable personnel to travel to the UK and other destinations as planned and to accommodate each Theatre's requirements for personnel movements over the Christmas period.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which private companies hold contracts with his Department to develop weapons and technology. (89275)

It is not possible to provide specific details on private companies with which the MOD holds contracts to develop weapons and technology without incurring disproportionate cost. However, based on the Type of Work Code classification, in this case “Demonstration”, allocated to each contract recorded on the Defence Bills Agency database, which covers 95 per cent. of MOD’s business, it has been possible to identify a list of all companies currently engaged in these contracts which include “development”. The details are as follows:

List of companies holding “Demonstration” contracts with MOD

Company name

Aerospace and Airworthiness

Aerosystems international

Agustawestland international

Aircontrol Technologies Ltd.

Akers Krutbruk Protection AB

Alstom Power Conversion Ltd.

Ansys Europe Ltd.

B D L Systems Ltd.

Babcock Design and Technology

BAE Systems (Defence Systems)

BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd.

BAE Systems Defence Ltd.

BAE Systems Electronics Ltd.

BAE Systems Integrated System

BAE Systems Land Systems

BAE Systems Marine Ltd.

BAE Systems plc

Blakley Electrics Ltd/

Carl Zeiss Optronics GMBH

Changeforce (UK) Ltd.

Chelton (Electrostatics) Ltd.

Controls & Enclosure Technik Ltd.

Converteam Ltd.

CSC Computer Sciences Ltd.

CTA International

Cubic Defense Applications Inc.

Denel (PTY) Ltd.

Diagnosys Ltd.

DRS Tactical Systems Ltd.

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd.

Dytecna Ltd.

EADS Deutschland GMBH

Easy I Ltd.

Echelon Consulting Ltd.

EDM Ltd.

ERA Technology Ltd.

ESRI (UK) Ltd.

Fanfield Ltd.

FR Aviation Ltd.

G3 Systems Ltd.

GE Seaco Services Ltd.

General Dynamics Canada Ltd.

General Dynamics United Kingdom

GLS (Global Life Support)

Guartel Technologies Ltd.

High Integrity Solutions Ltd.

IABG

IBM United Kingdom Ltd.

Innovative Technology Projects

INSYS Ltd.

Intrinsyc Europe Ltd.

Kongsberg Maritime Ltd.

L-3 Communications Integrated

Lex Transfleet Ltd.

Lincad Ltd.

Lockheed Martin Canada Inc.

Lockheed Martin Systems

LogicaCMG UK Ltd.

Lucidus Ltd.

Luminova (UK) Ltd.

M J A Dynamics Ltd.

Marigold Industrial Ltd.

MAS Zengrange Ltd.

MBDA UK Ltd.

Meighs Ltd.

MMIC EOD Ltd.

N & M A Saville Associates

Northrop Grumman ISS

Pall Europe Ltd.

Panorama Antennas Ltd.

Pearson Engineering Ltd.

QinetiQ Ltd.

Rabintex Industries Ltd.

Rapco Electronics Ltd.

Raytheon Company

Raytheon Systems Ltd.

Reynolds Boughton Ltd.

RFD Beaufort Ltd.

Rheinmetall W&M GMBH

Rockwell-Collins (U.K.)

Roke Manor Research Ltd.

Rolls-Royce plc

Rolls-Royce Power Engineering

RRK Technologies Ltd.

Savil Ltd.

Selex Communications Ltd.

Serco Ltd.

Smith Myers Communications Ltd.

Stew Art Hughes Ltd.

Systems Consultants Services

Systems Engineering

Telemetry Consultants Ltd.

Thales Air Defence Ltd.

Thales Missile Electronics

Thales Optronics

Thales UK Ltd.

Thales Underwater Systems

The Boeing Company

TRL Technology Ltd.

Turbomeca Ltd.

TUV Product Service Ltd.

Ultra Electronics Ltd.

Vector Fields Ltd.

Vega Group plc

W.L. Gore and Associates (U.K.)

X P plc

Source:

Defence Bills Agency Database (Type of Work Code 03 (Demonstration))—30 August 2006

Departmental Lawyers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the job descriptions are of lawyers employed in his Department; what those descriptions were in 1997; what the cost was of lawyers employed in his Department in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (90948)

[holding answer 13 September 2006]: The work of civilian lawyers employed in the Ministry of Defence is to provide legal support and services to the Department across the range of its activities and business. The particular requirements of the Department for legal advice are necessarily dependent on the circumstances prevailing at any one time. The summary description of the current work of the various teams of lawyers based in the UK reflects the main areas of law on which advice is required, and is as follows:

Legislation

This team's primary responsibility is the production of, and advice on, the primary and secondary legislation governing the armed forces, apart from legislation on pay, pensions and other terms of service.

Operational and International Humanitarian Law

Provides advice within the Department on operational law issues including advice in relation to the legal basis for use of force, international humanitarian law, and associated domestic and international legal issues.

Personnel and Pensions Law

Advises on personnel employment questions (including personnel vetting), terms and conditions of service, redundancy questions, discrimination law and human rights issues affecting the Services and MOD civilian staff respectively. The team also advises on War Pensions, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and Service and civilian pension issues.

General Law

Advises on information rights (including data protection, freedom of information, environmental information and matters relating to the law of privacy and confidence), Defence Estates, and other areas of law not covered by the other teams.

Commercial Law

Advises on a range of commercial matters including private finance initiative and public private partnership projects, the application of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, EU law questions, international contracting issues, commercial information rights, and general commercial law questions.

In addition to the UK lawyers there are two teams based overseas in Germany and Cyprus.

The team based in Germany provides legal advice to UK forces and their civilian component on all aspects of living in and operating in and from Germany. This includes advice on the application of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, its Supplementary Agreement relating to Germany, and other international and bilateral arrangements.

The Attorney General and Legal Adviser team based in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA), Cyprus, provides legal advice to the SBA Administration. He has independent control of prosecutions before the SBA Court. He and his team draft legislation and provide advice to meet the needs of the SBA Administration, including the provision of advice on the Treaty of Establishment, on legal aspects of policy development.

The salary costs of civilian lawyers employed in the Department in each of the last 10 years is as follows:

£ million

1997-98

1.27

1998-99

1.31

1999-00

1.48

2000-01

1.53

2001-02

1.92

2002-03

2.52

2003-04

2.94

2004-05

1

2005-06

3.29

2006-07

21.52

1 As a result of changes in accounting procedures and the transfer of the Department's lawyers from the Treasury Solicitor into the MOD during the course of 2004-05 an accurate figure for this year is not available.

2 Figures cover the period 1 April 2006 to 31 August 2006.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flights were taken by Ministers and officials in his Department on departmental business in each of the past 12 months. (90326)

Environmental Policies

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements have been made for the recycling of waste by each of the services. (90315)

Recycling provision varies from site to site depending on the location and availability of local recycling facilities. Waste management activities, including recycling, are organised and managed through multi-activity contracts or through facility management companies. Usually facilities for the recycling of varying waste streams are provided. Site environmental advisors provide local guidance and instructions on waste management.

Recyclable material associated with domestic accommodation for service personnel is generally collected by the relevant local authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to inform armed forces personnel of the nearest recycling facilities to their accommodation. (90324)

Waste awareness initiatives, such as site introductory briefs and presentations, are carried out to inform armed forces personnel of the most appropriate collection scheme and/or the whereabouts of the nearest recycling facility to their accommodation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the merits of converting departmental vehicles to liquefied petroleum gas. (90327)

The Ministry of Defence’s non-operational vehicles are provided under the terms of two separate contracts, one for the UK and one for Germany. There are currently six liquefied petroleum gas vehicles available for use as part of the UK contract.

In line with the Government’s targets for sustainable development, the MOD is reviewing, with both contractors, a range of options, including increasing the availability of vehicles that use alternative fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas.

The MOD’s operational vehicle fleets are managed to comply with UK and EU legislation and the current NATO Single Fuel Policy. Since the acceptance and implementation of this policy in 1991, all operational vehicles procured will run on diesel or kerosene type fuels. For older vehicles, conversion programmes have been undertaken where this represents a cost-effective option for the remaining life of the fleet.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to promote Fair Trade products in departmental catering establishments. (90328)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George) on 15 February 2006, Official Report, column 2094W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to source local products for use in departmental catering establishments (a) in the UK and (b) overseas. (90329)

The Ministry of Defence currently has a single global food supply contract with Purple Foodservice Solutions under which the supplier is responsible for supplying food to the armed forces both in the UK and on operations worldwide. In accordance with the MOD's procurement policy contractors are encouraged to purchase British produce whenever it is competitive and consistent with meeting the quality standards. The MOD is working with DEFRA and industry to maximise the competitiveness of British produce.

Falkland Islands

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units are stationed in the Falkland Islands. (89670)

The units stationed in the Falkland Islands are as follows:

Joint Units

Falkland Islands Joint Logistic Unit

Falkland Islands Support Unit

Joint Communications Unit Falkland Islands

Joint Services Provost and Security Unit

Joint Services Signals Unit

Maritime Units

Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel: HMS Dumbarton Castle

Naval Engineering Falkland Islands: Supports HMS Dumbarton Castle and other Royal Navy assets that deploy to the Falkland Islands

Land Unit

Roulement Infantry Coy: Currently provided by 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (Royal Welch Fusiliers)

Air Units

905 Expeditionary Air Wing, comprising:

1435 Flight: 4 x Tornado F3 Air Defence fighters

1312 Flight: 1 x VC10, supporting 1435 Flight with air-to-air refuelling

1 x C130, providing airborne maritime patrol capability

78 Sqn: 2 x RAF Sea King Search and Rescue helicopters

2 x Sikorski S61 helicopters (operated by British International for routine movements of personnel and freight)

Resident Rapier Sqn: 3 x RAF Fire Units

Falkland Islands Air Defence Ground Environment: Remotely deployed Early Warning Radars

Support Elements: Air Traffic Control, Fire and Meteorological Services

In addition to the permanent units listed above, Atlantic Patrol Task (South) deploys either a frigate or destroyer, supported by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel, into the Falkland Islands Joint Operations Area for the majority of the year.

Files (Asbestos Contamination)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the letter of 29 March to the hon. Member for Sunderland South (Ref: D/US of S/DT 1572/06/C/is), when he expects to gain access to the files contaminated by asbestos; and if he will make a statement. (87045)

My right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, wrote on 26 September 2006 with a response to your request.

Foreign Language Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on foreign language training for military personnel in the last year for which figures are available. (89276)

Approximately £7.7 million was spent on foreign language training for military personnel in financial year 2005-06. This figure includes the running costs of the Defence School of Languages at Beaconsfield.

Former Under-Secretary of State

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the (a) diary commitments and (b) travel arrangements were for the Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans for the week beginning Sunday 3 September; (92668)

(2) what understanding his Department had with the Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans about how he would travel from his holiday in Scotland to his official engagements on 6 September.

The diary commitments for my predecessor the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the week commencing 3 September were:

Wednesday 6 September—Addressing the Veterans Scotland AGM in Glasgow followed by a visit to meet Veterans at the Forth Valley Sensory Centre, Camelon.

Thursday 7 September—Visits to the Earl Haig Poppy Factory and Whitefoord House in Edinburgh.

The Ministry of Defence did not arrange travel for his private engagements during the week commencing 3 September. The Department did organise official travel for the planned official engagements on the 6 and 7 September.

Hearing Loss

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South of 20 July 2005, Official Report, column 1753W, on health and safety, what estimate he has made of the number of servicemen and women who have experienced hearing loss as a result of their service in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. (89843)

As my predecessor said, there are currently no specific measures in place to monitor the prevalence of noise-related hearing loss among servicemen and women serving in Iraq. This is also the case in Afghanistan—personnel deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan do not undergo specific pre- or post-deployment hearing tests. No estimate has therefore been made of the number of personnel who have experienced hearing loss as a result of their service in those operational theatres.

However, hearing tests of all service personnel are carried out at periodic medical examinations, which will detect deployment-related hearing loss.

The MOD also has robust hearing conservation procedures in place across the services and I refer the hon. Member to my predecessor’s answer of 21 July 2005, Official Report, column 2114W to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) which gives information on these procedures.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what targets have been set for military reform in the Iraqi provinces of (a) Al Basrah, (b) Al Muthanna, (c) Dhi Qar and (d) Maysan; and what progress has been achieved. (85620)

We work in close partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces and civil authorities, to support the development of robust, self-reliant and credible Iraqi security forces.

The UK is responsible for training and sustaining the 10th Division of the Iraqi army based in Multi- National Division South East (MND(SE)). Significant progress in reforming the Iraqi army has been made, with nine out of 10 Battalions for the Southern Division already formed and basic trained. The formation and training of the remaining Battalion is due to be completed by the end of the year.

The coalition targets set for the Iraqi army and Iraqi Police Service (including the Department of Border Enforcement) in the four provinces command of MND(SE) are set against a range of key capability areas, including leadership, command and control, intelligence and logistics.

Preconditions are also set, and jointly assessed with the Iraqi Government, of the necessary security and governance preconditions for the hand-over of Provinces to full Iraqi control. These assessments include: the insurgents' threat level; the Iraqi Security Forces' ability to take on the security task; the capacity of provincial bodies to cope with the changed security environment; and the posture and support available from Coalition Forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Iranians have been arrested in and around Basra since the end of Saddam Hussein's regime. (89290)

Available records show that one Iranian national was detained by UK forces in Multi-National Division (South East). He was interned in the divisional temporary detention facility in Shaibah in 2003 and subsequently released. We do not hold records on individuals arrested by the Iraqi Police Service.

Iraq Medal

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2006, Official Report, column 1437W, on the Iraq medal, whether journalists and support staff serving in (a) Iraq and (b) other war zones are eligible for the relevant campaign medal; and what the average time taken to award the medal was. (90529)

Only Ministry of Defence accredited war correspondents who were deployed to Iraq during the period of fighting which took place from March to April 2003 are eligible to receive the MOD Iraq medal. The MOD currently have no other situations world-wide where accredited war correspondents are being deployed.

All applications for the MOD Iraq medal are processed, on an individual application basis, by the Ministry of Defence Medal Office which is part of the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency. Initially there were delays in issuing the Iraq medal, mainly due to the huge demand for it, but also because this coincided with the integration of the Department's individual service medal offices into one tri-service medal office. Currently, applications for the MOD Iraq medal are generally turned around within a period of six weeks.

ISAF

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British military personnel are serving at the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force. (92519)

As of 26 September there were 821 British military personnel at Headquarters ISAF in Afghanistan. This number will fluctuate subject to usual operational factors, such as leave and post rotations.

The number of British military personnel will decrease significantly when the UK relinquishes the leadership of ISAF Headquarters in February next year.

Mechanised Infantry Battalions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Mechanised Infantry (Warrior) battalions the Army presently has; and (a) where they are based and (b) what role they are currently undertaking. (92324)

The Army presently has four Mechanised Infantry Battalions: none of these operate Warrior armoured fighting vehicles and none are currently operating outside their Mechanised Infantry role. There are nine Armoured Infantry battalions which are Warrior-equipped. Their base and current locations are shown in the following tables:

Mechanised Infantry Battalions

Base Location

1 LANCS

Osnabruck, Germany

2RGJ

Bulford, UK

1R ANGLIAN

Pirbright, UK

1DDLI

Catterick, UK1

1Currently in Iraq

Armoured Infantry (Warrior) Battalions

Base Location

1 SCOTS GUARDS

Munster, Germany

1 RRF

Celle, Germany

4 SCOTS

Fallingbostel, Germany

1 LI

Paderborn, Germany1

1PWRR

Paderborn, Germany1

2 R WELSH

Tidworth, UK

1 STAFFORDS

Tidworth, UK

3 YORKS

Warminster, UK

2 LANCS

Catterick, UK

1 Currently in Iraq

Meteorological Office and Hydrographic Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the review into the structure of the Meteorological Office and the Hydrographic Office; and if he will make a statement. (89672)

Our examination of the future structure and ownership arrangements for the Meteorological Office has concluded that it should remain a trading fund for the present. In the longer term, we will keep open the option of possible conversion into a Government-owned company, but for now the priority for the Met Office is to build on its existing success, by delivering further improvements in its public sector services, and driving commercial growth.

I expect to reach a conclusion about possible changes to the future structure and ownership of the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) in the autumn.

It has, however, been decided that the two organisations should not be merged, although the possibility of co-location with the Met Office at Exeter is one of a number of options under examination for the future location of UKHO.

Middle East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his NATO counterparts regarding the involvement of European nations in an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon; and which countries have indicated that they will contribute to the force. (89633)

Following discussions with member states, the UN decided to reinforce and adapt the mandate of its existing peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). It is for the UN to say which countries will contribute to this force.

The UK provided HMS York to a UN Temporary Maritime Task Force. This taskforce is expected to be replaced by a follow-on naval taskforce, under UNIFIL command, around mid-October, when HMS York will revert to operations in support of NATO.

Military Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the use by Canadian forces of the RG-31 in Afghanistan. (84300)

We do not comment on the relative protection of our vehicles, or those used by our Allies, as to do so would prejudice the safety of our and our allies' personnel.

We do, though, make regular assessments of the threats facing UK forces and of the potential vehicles available from manufacturers around the world that might help us defeat those threats. We use these assessments to keep our force protection measures, including tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), and equipment, under constant review.

On 26 June my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence informed the House that the Ministry of Defence was urgently reviewing the options for protected patrol vehicles, with a view to identifying what else could be done as quickly as possible and in the longer term. The RG-31 was considered, alongside a number of alternatives. On 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 75WS, he announced the results of the review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Government will take urgent action to provide additional protection to Land Rovers being operated by the armed forces. (91015)

[pursuant to the reply, 18 September 2006, Official Report, c.2483W]: I stated that weight constraints mean it is not possible to provide additional armour to the Land Rover fleet. This was inaccurate, and I should say that weight constraints on the Snatch Land Rover chassis mean it is not possible for the vehicle to carry significant additional armour.

Personnel Emergency Locator System

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made towards the delivery of the 406 MHz Personnel Emergency Locator System; what trials are planned for this system; and if he will make a statement. (90242)

The Personnel Emergency Locator System programme is in its assessment phase. Work to define the user requirement is in the final stages and a broad supplier base has been identified. Initial trials will be undertaken with selected suppliers to assess the level of compliance of their product with the Ministry of Defence requirement. These are expected to take place during the latter part of next year. Further trials with a preferred bidder will aim to demonstrate satisfactory performance of the chosen equipment in realistic environments and full operation of the system, from emergency alert to recovery of the aircrew.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has (a) sought and (b) received from RAF aircrew on the incorporation of voice capability in the 406 MHz Personnel Emergency Locator System. (90243)

The 406MHz Personal Emergency Locator System will be used to assist in location of UK aircrew during peacetime (but not in hostile environments) in the event of a forced landing or evacuation from an aircraft. In specifying the new system, it was agreed by experts in the Equipment Capability Customer area and the Service front line Commands (including RAF aircrew) that a voice capability was not required. The decision was taken because it was assessed that a voice requirement would not enhance peacetime search capability, and could potentially (for example by reducing battery life) reduce the effectiveness of the system.

Pilot Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many training hours flying time per month fast jet pilots will have access to in 2006-07. (89668)

The 2006-07 planned average flying hours per month per fast jet pilot on operational squadrons is:

Hours per month

Harrier

17.5

Jaguar

16.5

Tornado F3

17.5

Tornado GR4

17.5

Typhoon

17.5

The figures do not include operational conversion unit (OCU) flying hours, which are calculated annually and are shown in the following table. As training needs vary considerably, these hours are allocated to the unit and not to individual pilots.

Hours per year

Harrier OCU

4,290

Tornado F3 OCU

13,968

Tornado GR4 OCU

6,600

Typhoon OCU

3,998

156(R) Squadron flies an additional 411 hours in support of the Falkland Islands and other operations such as Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).

Notes:

1. OCUs work on a ‘block’ number of hours allocated to them to accommodate course flying and provide Staff Continuation Training (SCT). SCT also includes teaching sorties.

2. With the continued drawdown of the fleet, there is no longer conversion training on the Jaguar.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make a statement on the readiness and capability of the Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids platform for training Typhoon pilots; (90382)

(2) how much has been spent on the Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids platform for training Typhoon pilots.

The in-service date for Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids (ASTA) was achieved in August 2005 with the handover of the emulated deployable cockpit trainer at RAF Coningsby. Typhoon aircrew synthetic training demand is being met by these systems and is expected to be supplemented by the first ASTA cockpit trainer and full mission simulator from December 2006.

Approximately £200 million has been spent on ASTA to date.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how long the maintenance SIM trainer for the Typhoon platform has been in development; (90383)

(2) what the timetable is for completion of the maintenance SIM trainer for the Typhoon platform;

(3) how much has been spent on the maintenance SIM trainer for the Typhoon platform.

Maintenance SIM trainer (MST) has been developed as part of the ground training aids contract that was signed in December 2000. MST achieved type acceptance at an interim standard in 2005 and is planned to be delivered to an upgraded standard by the end of 2006. The total value of the MST contract to the four Typhoon partner nations is €26.7 million, of which €22.2 million has been spent to date.

Reservists

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many army reservists have been deployed on active service overseas in each of the last five years. (89277)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my predecessor gave to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) on 4 September 2006, Official Report, column 1712W.

Salaries

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the salary was of an (a) SAS and (b) SBS (i) trooper and (ii) sergeant in each of the last five years. (91296)

Other rank members of the SAS and SBS are on a single bespoke incremental pay structure. Minimum and maximum annual basic pay rates for troopers and sergeants for 2002-06 are shown in the following table. In addition, SAS and SBS personnel are paid specialist pay for recruitment and retention purposes. Minimum and maximum annual rates of specialist pay for SAS and SBS other ranks for the years 2002-06 are also shown in the table. The precise level of specialist pay received by individuals depends on their length of service in the SAS or SBS.

Annual Basic Pay

Trooper

Sergeant

Annual Specialist Pay—All Other Ranks

2002

25,944 to 29,244

33,189 to 36,730

3,745 to 7,884

2003

26,846 to 30,261

34,345 to 38,009

3,876 to 8,158

2004

27,521 to 31,025

35,212 to 38,967

3,938 to 8,442

2005

28,346 to 31,956

36,266 to 40,135

4,055 to 8,694

2006

29,196 to 32,916

37,354 to 41,340

6,369 to13,534

Services Medical Personnel

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence why there has been a delay in considering the recommendations of the Armed Services Pay Review Body for doctors and nurses; and if he will make a statement. (90085)

I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made on 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 71WS.

Given the significant recruitment and retention difficulties experienced by service medical and dental officers, the Government wanted to carefully consider the Armed Forces Pay Review Body report in order to ensure that it delivered an appropriate package which recognises the vital contribution made by these officers.

Trident

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 20 July 2006, Official Report, column 597W, to the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Weir), on Trident, what the reasons are for the increase in the annual expenditure for capital and running costs of the Trident nuclear deterrent to between 5 and 5.5 per cent. of the defence budget in 2006-07. (89914)

The increase is due primarily to the programme of additional investment in sustaining key skills and facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Airdrie and Shotts (John Reid) on 19 July 2006, Official Report, column 59WS.

Unauthorised Flights

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of unauthorised helicopter flights by UK forces that have taken place in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last 12 months. (89892)

There have been no unauthorised helicopter flights by UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 12 months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the number of UK personnel (a) injured and (b) killed as a result of unauthorised flights in the armed forces in the last 12 months; (89894)

(2) what procedures are in place to minimise (a) equipment abuse and (b) unauthorised flights by UK forces.

The Ministry of Defence has procedures to ensure that all equipment is used and maintained correctly and appropriate training is provided in its use. The abuse of equipment can lead to disciplinary action being taken against individuals.

Procedures for authorising flights made by a UK military aircraft are laid down in joint service publications which require that all military flights are authorised by a suitably qualified authorising officer. All Boards of Inquiry into fatal aircraft accidents over the last 12 months have found that the flights were authorised. A Board of Inquiry is not held for every person hurt on a military flight.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agency Staff

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. (89597)

The Department came into being in July 2001. Information is not held centrally on the average hourly rate paid by the Department to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Animal Welfare

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to draft secondary legislation to control the use of electronic shock collars on canines. (90947)

[holding answer 13 September 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1482W.

Asbestos

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to establish regulatory criteria for the levels of asbestos that may exist in soil; what response he has made to the Atkins report on Spodden Valley asbestos contamination; and if he will make a statement. (89851)

Where land contamination is being considered under the Town and Country Planning regime, it is recommended that guidance from the former Interdepartmental Committee on the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land and from the Health and Safety Executive, should be taken into account. Appropriate health protection professionals in local authorities, the Health Protection Agency, the Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive may also be consulted regarding the assessment of potential risks to human health from asbestos exposure. I understand this has been the case at Spodden Valley.

The Environment Agency has made asbestos a priority substance for review as part of its work on developing technical guidance for assessing risks to human health from land contamination. It is working with the Health Protection Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Health and Safety Laboratory to further understand the toxicology and behaviour of asbestos in soils. This work will help in developing a toxicological report in the Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment series, and more detailed qualitative risk assessment guidance. This material will support decision-making under part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (“Contaminated Land”), and in connection with planning applications on land affected by asbestos contamination, both of which entail risk assessment.

Reports were commissioned from Atkins by the local authority in connection with their decision on the planning application. They were not intended for submission to my Department, but copies have been provided to the agencies working with the council on this issue.

Beaches (Sewage)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of pollution involving raw sewage being found on or near a beach around the English coast have occurred since 2001; if he will list the areas so affected; what action is being taken to eliminate such occurrences; and if he will make a statement. (91836)

The Environment Agency monitors water quality at bathing beaches, and in 2005, 99 per cent. of the 405 coastal bathing waters in England met minimum standards of the EC Bathing Water Directive and 85 per cent. met the stricter guideline standards. This compares to 2001 when 98 per cent. of the 397 bathing waters met minimum standards and 70 per cent. met stricter standards.

Data on the exact number of incidents of sewage pollution affecting beaches are not held by the Department. However, any reports of such pollution are investigated to identify the cause, and action is taken to control the sources of pollution.

The amount spent, or planned to be spent, by water companies for improvements directly to bathing waters in England and Wales, for the period 2000 to 2010, is £223 million. There have also been indirect benefits, mainly from Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive schemes, which have improved levels of sewage treatment. The Environment Agency continues to identify and tackle other problems such as unsatisfactory non-water company sewage discharges and misconnections to surface water drains.

Bovine Tuberculosis

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account he will take of the results from the Citizens Jury run as part of the recent consultation on a new strategy for bovine TB. (89696)

The Citizens’ Panels are an integral part of the wider public consultation on badger culling. A decision on badger culling will be based on a sound scientific and practical foundation and will take into account all available evidence including the results from the public consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the correlation between the number of incidents of bovine TB in cattle herds and the change in compensation payments to a tabular system. (91203)

[holding answer 18 September 2006]: At my request, the chief veterinary officer (CVO) carried out a review on the causes of the recent fall in the number of new TB incidents. Her report assessed a range of factors which may have reduced the risk of disease-spread or led to changes in behaviour among cattle farmers. It concluded that the new compensation arrangements were relatively recent and could not have had a significant effect on the reduction in TB we have experienced.

Additionally, it should be noted that while the table valuation system for determining TB compensation has not been adopted in Wales, the drop in new TB incidents has been experienced in both Wales and England.

The CVO’s report is available on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/tb/pdf/cvo-tbstatement.pdf

Butter

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on access rights to the UK market of New Zealand butter; what the legal basis is for preventing its importation; and what obligations in respect of such imports arise from (a) the UK accession talks and (b) associated ministerial guarantees. (90527)

Under Protocol 18 of the Treaty of Accession, the UK was authorised to import certain specified quantities of butter from New Zealand at a reduced duty. Following the Uruguay Round of negotiations, the quota was increased and became an EU current access quota. The rules for the administration of the quota are currently set out in Commission Regulation EC (No.) 2535/2001.

A judgment by the European Court of Justice on 11 July 2006, in case number 313/04 (Franz Egenberger GmbH Molkerei und Trockenwerk v. Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung), held some aspects of the administration of the quota discriminatory and therefore invalid. Following this judgment, the European Commission, under Commission Regulation EC (No.) 1118/2006, temporarily suspended the issuing of import licences for New Zealand butter imported under the current access quota. On 14 September, the Management Committee for Milk and Milk Products voted on a draft Regulation which will lift the temporary suspension and allow the remaining 14,294.6 tonnes of butter left under the 2006 quota to be imported before 31 December under a modified procedure. The Regulation is expected to be published shortly.

Discussions are ongoing between the European Commission and New Zealand on the changes necessary to Commission Regulation EC (No.) 2535/2001 for the 2007 quota year and beyond.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the carbon dioxide emissions were per capita for (a) all African countries, (b) all EU countries and (c) all G8 countries in each year since 1997. (90219)

DEFRA does not hold this information. However, emissions estimates are submitted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is the parent treaty for Kyoto protocol and the Montreal decisions. These emissions data are available on the UNFCCC website at: http://unfccc.int/2860.php

Annex I Parties to the UNFCCC (including all EU countries, and Russia, the US and Japan from the G8) submit emissions inventories annually; the most recent year for which data are available is 2003.

The most recent data that non-Annex I Parties (including China from the G8) to the UNFCCC have submitted is for 1994.

The UNFCCC emissions data are not collected on a per capita basis.

Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been paid in fees to external consultants working on the amalgamation of English Nature, the Rural Development Service and the Countryside Agency; and from which budget the payments are made. (90336)

The costs of external consultants in establishing Natural England have come from DEFRA's budget and are as follows:

(£)

2003-04

2004-05

47,383

2005-06

2,067,565

2006-07

326,951

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will reply to the letter dated 12 May from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms C. Greenaazeh. (89734)

My right hon. and noble Friend Lord Rooker responded to my right hon. Friend’s letter on 13 September.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will reply to the letter of 6 April from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire which was transferred to his Department from the Department of Trade and Industry. (90001)

I apologise for the delay in replying to the hon. Member’s letter. A response was issued on 18 September.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will reply to the letter of 21 July 2006 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. D. I. Ford. (92056)

I apologise for the delay. A reply was sent on 6 September 2006. I have arranged for a copy to be resent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will reply to the letter of 12 May 2006 from the right hon. Member for Manchester Gorton with regard to Mrs. C. Greenhalgh. (92061)

I apologise for the delay. A reply was sent on 13 September 2006. I have arranged for a copy to be resent.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 on the numbers of walkers in the countryside. (90221)

The right of access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 has been in place throughout England for nearly a year and implementation has been generally trouble free on the ground.

The results of the 2005 England Leisure Visits Survey, expected to be published later this year by Natural England, will provide information on the number of people using the right of access. The results will provide a baseline against which to measure any impact of the new access rights on walkers' use of open country and registered common land.

Crematorium Fees

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the effect of Process Guidance Note 5/2 (04) on local authority crematorium fees. (89793)

Process Guidance Note 5/2 (04) did not specify major pollution control improvements for existing crematoria, beyond those contained in previous versions of the guidance issued in 1995 and 1991. It did, however, specify that new crematoria should have equipment fitted to abate mercury emissions.

Following two written consultations (available on the DEFRA website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/closed.htm), an amendment to Process Guidance Note 5/2 (04) was issued in January 2005 which specified that 50 per cent. of all cremations at existing crematoria should be subject to mercury abatement by the end of 2012.

The consultation papers estimated that the cost of fitting mercury abating equipment to all crematoria would be likely to increase cremation fees by £55 per cremation. Since the decision was to apply this to only 50 per cent. of cremations, using an innovative ‘burden sharing’ approach to regulation, it is estimated that the increase should be in the region of £25 to £30. To put this into perspective; figures from the Office of Fair Trading in 2001 put the average cost of a cremation funeral at £1,215 and £2,048 for a burial.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the total carbon emissions from his Department’s buildings in each year since 1997. (89594)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was created on 8 June 2001.

Annual carbon emissions from those buildings on the DEFRA and Executive Agency estate for which we have contractual responsibility for energy use are shown as follows:

Tonnes carbon

2001-02

12,063.0

2002-03

12,032.7

2003-04

11,887.9

2004-05

11,732.3

2005-06

12,547.6

These figures should be viewed in the context of changes in the structure of the estate and a 27 per cent. increase in staff employed in DEFRA and its Executive Agencies over the period 2001-02—2005-06.

The rise in 2005-06 is largely due changes in the structure of our HQ office estate. Several large new laboratory buildings were added during the year, and extended office opening hours at one of DEFRA’s Executive Agencies also affected energy use and carbon emissions.

Departmental Child Care Facilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what child care (a) provision and (b) assistance is available to his Department’s staff. (89598)

DEFRA’s child care provision, and the assistance available to the Department’s staff is set out in the following table.

DEFRA child care provision

Child care type

Location

Places

Full-time costs/subsidies

Workplace nurseries

York

44

£325—£372 monthly

Guildford

40

£241—£398 monthly

Subsidised places in external nurseries

London

11

£60 subsidy—costs vary dependent on location

Bristol

3

£60 subsidy—costs vary dependent on location

Discounted fees in external nurseries

Newcastle London

1

7 per cent. discount in chain of nurseries

London

1

10 per cent. discount in chain of over 44 nurseries

Holiday play schemes

London

1

£16.33 daily

Guildford

1

£12.60 daily

York

1

£18.70 daily

1 Dependent on demand

DEFRA employees are also able to use a salary sacrifice scheme to reduce their child care costs by up to £243 per month.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of his Department's premises have child care facilities on-site. (89599)

There are currently on-site childcare facilities at the DEFRA offices in York and Guildford, and at the Central Science Laboratory, Sand Mutton.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether there are waiting lists for places at child care facilities which his Department provides for its employees. (89600)

There are waiting lists for nursery places at all childcare facilities which DEFRA provides for its employees except the nursery on its Guildford site.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts his Department has entered into with (a) Infoterra Ltd. and (b) BlueSky International Ltd. since 1997. (89794)

DEFRA came into being in July 2001. From information held centrally, the Department has spent £1,951,164.92 with Infoterra Ltd. from financial year 2001-02 through financial year 2005-06 with the payments related to work on IT elements of the English Rural Development programme. No records of payments exist for BlueSky International Ltd.

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) circulation, (b) cost and (c) title is of each publication his Department has issued since 1 July 2005. (89595)

A list of publications produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including those relevant publications from the Departments that formed DEFRA in June 2001) is detailed on the DEFRA website (“Publications” link on the main website ‘home’ page; http://www.defra. gov.uk/corporate/publications/default.htm).

The circulation and individual production cost of each of the publications could be collated only at a disproportionate cost.

Departmental Staff (Bicycles)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tax efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles his Department makes available to its employees; how many and what percentage of his Department's staff purchased bicycles through such schemes in 2005-06; whether the schemes are available through a range of suppliers; and whether arrangements are made to enable staff with disabilities to purchase adapted bicycles from a specialist supplier. (90066)

DEFRA does not operate any tax efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles by its employees.

Advances of salary are available at the Department's discretion, to assist staff with the purchase of a bicycle and essential equipment, for travelling between home and office. This arrangement is also available to staff with disabilities requiring specialist equipment. The advance–above 50 and up to a maximum of 600–is repayable over a maximum period of 12 months.

Travelling by bicycle is strongly encouraged as part of DEFRA's sustainable travel strategy, and is promoted via dedicated pages on the DEFRA staff intranet, and some offices have their own bicycle user groups.

A large number of DEFRA offices offer a range of facilities for cyclists including: secure cycle storage; lockers; drying facilities; and showers.

Departmental Targets

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether any of his Department's Public Service Agreement targets have been withdrawn in the last three years. (89943)

No.

The Department provides regular performance updates against its outstanding Public Service Agreement targets through its annual departmental report and its autumn performance report published in spring/summer and autumn respectively. The 2006 version, which is the most recently published, is available in the House Libraries and online at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/deprep/2006/index.htm.

DEFRA’s 2006 autumn performance report is due for publication in autumn 2006.

Emission Reductions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the Department of Trade and Industry on emission reduction scenarios. (92501)

DEFRA continues to liaise closely with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), both at official and ministerial level, as we work to meet the challenges of climate change.

The package of measures in the 2006 UK Climate Change Programme (UKCCP), are projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 16.2 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010.

Moreover, the measures contained in both the 2006 UKCCP, and the Energy Review published by the DTI in July 2006, will ensure that we can make real progress towards the long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by some 60 per cent. by about 2050, that we committed to in the 2003 Energy White Paper.

The UK Climate Change Programme is available on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/ukccp/index.html.

The Energy Review is available on the DTI website at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/energv/review/page31995.html.

Energy Rating of Dwellings

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the fuel prices per kWh in table 12 of the Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings 2005 are derived; and how the figures are kept updated to reflect variations in the relative prices of fuels. (91978)

The fuel prices in table 12 of the Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings 2005 are derived from information produced at six-monthly intervals by Salkent (now Sutherland's Tables). The data given for different regions of the UK are weighted according to the population of the region, and the price of each fuel is averaged over a three-year period (to smooth the effect of short-term variations).

The prices in table 12 are updated when a new edition of Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is prepared. The calculation of the SAP rating includes a deflator term to adjust for general inflation in fuel prices, thus an increase in price of say 10 per cent. in all fuels would have no effect on the SAP ratings following recalculation of the prices and the deflator term.

Environment Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding his Department has provided to the Environment Agency for flood protection in each of the past five years; and what funding will be provided in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. (90181)

DEFRA funding to the Environment Agency for flood risk management is as follows:

£ million

2002-03

66.7

2003-04

76.1

2004-05

358.6

2005-06

426.9

2006-07

413.0

Prior to 2004-05 the flood risk management function of the Agency was funded primarily through a combination of grants from DEFRA for specific projects and levies on local authorities. The latter, which were largely supported by Revenue Support Grant from the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, are not included in the table. Both forms of funding were largely replaced by grant in aid from DEFRA from 2004/05 onwards.

Figures for 2004-05 and 2005-06 are outturn of DEFRA grant in aid and 2006-07 is a budget allocation. Funding for later years has yet to be decided.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the budget of the Environment Agency was in the last 10 financial years in real terms (a) in total and (b) broken down by (i) grant-in-aid from Government, (ii) funding for flood defences and (iii) grant-in-aid from Government excluding flood defences. (90463)

Table 1 shows actual spending and funding figures for the Environment Agency in England. Table 2 shows approximate real-terms equivalents calculated using the Public Works Non- Road Inflation (PWNRI) index published by the Department of Trade and Industry, with 1996-97 as the base year. These latter equivalents should be viewed as a rough guide only because the PWNRI is unlikely to be an exact measurement of cost changes for the goods and services procured by the Agency, especially for the non flood risk elements.

Table 1: Actual values

Funding

£ million

Total EA expenditure1

Total grant in aid (GIA)

Funding for flood risk management (GIA from 2004-05 onwards)

GIA for other purposes (Environment Protection, Conservation, Recreation, Navigation and Fisheries)

1996-97

519.2

119.8

45.9

119.8

1997-98

558.2

119.2

43.0

119.2

1998-99

546.9

109.8

33.8

109.8

1999-2000

568.8

105.4

33.0

105.4

2000-01

589.2

110.2

41.9

110.2

2001-02

650.7

105.0

61.5

105.0

2002-03

723.2

118.6

66.7

118.6

2003-04

760.2

126.8

76.1

126.8

2004-05

811.4

482.9

358.6

124.3

2005-063

943.0

577.6

426.9

150.7

Table 2: Rough estimates of real-terms equivalents of table 1 (£million)

Funding

£ million

Total EA expenditure1

Total Grant in Aid (GIA)

Funding for flood risk management (GIA from 2004-05 onwards)

GIA for other purposes (Environment Protection, Conservation, Recreation, Navigation and Fisheries)

1996-972

519.2

119.8

45.9

119.8

1997-98

541.1

115.6

41.7

115.6

1998-99

509.4

102.3

31.5

102.3

1999-2000

519.1

96.2

30.1

96.2

2000-01

517.4

96.8

36.8

96.8

2001-02

555.1

89.6

52.5

89.6

2002-03

598.4

98.1

55.2

98.1

2003-04

611.1

101.9

61.2

101.9

2004-05

605.7

360.5

267.7

92.8

2005-063

689.1

422.1

312.0

110.1

1Includes funding from other sources.

2As the base year, 1996-97 values are actual.

3Total EA budget for 2005-06 is forecast pending finalisation of outturn spend figures.

Prior to 2004-05 the flood risk management function of the Agency was funded primarily through a combination of grant from DEFRA for specific projects and levies on local authorities. The latter, which were largely supported by Revenue Support Grant from the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, are not included in the table. Both forms of funding were largely replaced by grant in aid from DEFRA from 2004-05 onwards.

Environmental Directives

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 713W, on environmental directives, which environmental directives were agreed and published between May 1997 and the formation of his Department; what the transposition date is of each; whether they have been transposed; and which Government Department is responsible for monitoring UK compliance. (90207)

Defra does not hold central records of environmental directives agreed and published between May 1997 and the formation of the Department in June 2001. The information requested could only be assembled at disproportionate cost.

However, details of all directives in force can be found on the Eur-Lex database available on the European Union's website at: http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex.

EU Food Designations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications he has received for the European Union’s (a) Protected Designation of Origin status, (b) Protected Geographical Indication designation and (c) Traditional Speciality Guaranteed designation for UK products in 2006; and how many he received in each of the last five years in each case. (88780)

The number of applications made for protection under the European Union’s Protected Food Names Scheme, under each designation, for 2006 and the last five years, is set out in the following table. Of these 30 applications, six have been forwarded to the European Commission to consider and 24 are at various stages of the UK assessment process.

(a) PDO

(b) PGI

(c) TSG

2006 (to date)

1

2

2005

1

8

2004

2

5

1

2003

3

2002

3

1

1

2001

1

1

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many UK applications for the European Union’s (a) Protected Designation of Origin, (b) Protected Geographical Indication and (c) Traditional Speciality Guaranteed designation have been successful in each of the last five years. (89059)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 4 September 2006, Official Report, column 2017W.

Farm Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2006, Official Report, column 1857W, on single farm payments, when Single Payment Scheme details of (a) the number of payments made, (b) the number of outstanding payments, (c) the value of payments made and (d) the value of outstanding payments in England up to 30 June 2006 are expected to be published. (89386)

The figures were published on 5 July and showed that up to 30 June, the close of the regulatory Single Payment Scheme payment window, (a) a total of 107,888 full or partial payments had been made, (b) 8,500 customers had yet to receive a payment of which 460 had claims valued at more than €1,000 (£682), (c) the value of payments made was £1,438,233,836 and the value of outstanding payments was approximately £77 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2006, Official Report, column 1857W, on single farm payments, what the total value is of single farm payments which (a) have been made and (b) are outstanding, broken down by English region. (89387)

The latest figures published on 27 September showed Single Payment Scheme payments totalling £1,497,691,761 had been made. It is not possible to give a regional breakdown of the remainder at this stage, but the intention is to publish full details of payments to farmers by region shortly after the conclusion of the payment cycle. These latest figures indicated that approximately £18 million of the £1.515 billion estimated total fund remained to be paid to farmers across England who are eligible for payment.

Farmers' Ages

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average age of farmers in England in each of the last 20 years. (88927)

The average age of agricultural holders is included in the Farm Structure Surveys. These surveys are held across all member states of the European Union four times every decade and are part funded by the European Commission. The latest Farm Structure Survey for holders in the UK is published on the DEFRA website http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/publications/FFS1/default.asp.

Data from the Farm Structure Surveys show that the average age of holders in England was 53 years in 1990, 53 years in 1993, 54 years in 1995, 53 years in 1997, 54 years in 2000 and 55 years in 2003. These figures exclude ‘minor’1 holdings.

1 ‘Minor’ holdings are holdings that fulfil ALL of the following criteria: less than six ha total area; fewer than 100 standard man days per year; no regular full time worker employed; less than 100 square metres of glasshouse area; and the occupier does not farm any other holding.

Flooding (Gloucestershire)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his assessment is of the changes in future risk of flooding in Gloucestershire from (a) the Severn and (b) the Wye as a result of (i) human impact on the physical environment and (ii) climate change. (90179)

The UK faces rising sea levels and more frequent floods and storms as a result of climate change, although there is still considerable uncertainty about the extent and timing of these changes.

In 2004, the then Office of Science and Technology’s Foresight report “Future Flooding” examined future flood and coastal defence in the UK. It found that annual economic losses to flooding would increase by the 2080s, although there is considerable uncertainty about the extent of that increase.

The Environment Agency integrates climate risk into its decision-making on flooding. For example, the Agency allows for an increase of 20 per cent. in peak flood flows in its assessment of future flood risk along the rivers Severn and Wye. It also assumes an annual 5 mm increase in predicted water levels in the Severn estuary as part of its planning for the possibility of future sea level rise.

Gangmasters

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many gangmasters are licensed in Kent to provide employees for supermarkets. (92657)

The gangmasters licensing scheme applies to labour providers who supply workers to work in agriculture, horticulture and the food processing and packaging sectors. It also applies to the supply and use of workers to gather shellfish. The scheme does not apply to the supply of labour to work in retail establishments, such as supermarkets.

As at 3 October 2006, 36 licence holders or applicants with headquarters located in Kent were recorded by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

GM Crops

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what evidence the new guidelines on the safe distances between GM crops and to non-GM crops were based. (89189)

The separation distances we have proposed in our consultation paper on the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops are based on a report by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). Both the consultation paper and the NIAB report can be found on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate /consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm and http://www 2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/More.asp?l=CB0 2039&M=KWS&V=CB02039&SCOPE=0 respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the study of technologies for biological containment of GM and non-GM crops funded by his Department. (89939)

DEFRA commissioned a desk study from the University of Reading into technologies for Biological containment, which was published in June 2006. On receipt of the study DEFRA referred it to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE). ACRE's advice on this report can be found on the ACRE website at the following link:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/acre/advice/pdf/acre_advice73.pdf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the study evaluating the environmental impact of crop production practice conducted by Rothamsted Research on behalf of his Department. (89940)

DEFRA has conducted a significant number of studies around the environmental impact of agricultural production practice, including several at Rothamsted Research. Rothamsted Research is currently leading a research project to provide an evidence-based specification for the assessment of indirect effects of novel crops or production practices on farmland ecology and wildlife. The project title is ‘Assessing the environmental impact of crop production practice: beyond the GM farm-scale evaluation (AR0317)’.

This research is about the development of assessment methodology. Further details are available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data/More.asp?I=AR0317&M=KWS&V=ICE.

The research is ongoing and due for completion in early 2007. Thus, we have not yet made any assessment of conclusions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) consultations and (b) Government funded studies related to GM crops are under way. (89941)

DEFRA is currently consulting on proposed measures to ensure that GM, conventional and organic crops can coexist, should approved GM crops be grown here commercially in due course. Further details can be found on our website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm

DEFRA is also currently inviting comments on an application to conduct a research and development trial in England next year of a GM blight-resistant potato. Further background on this is available at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/regulation/applications/06-r42-01.htm

Detailed information on GM-related research projects funded by DEFRA is being placed in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on research into genetically modified crops in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) project and (b) funding stream; and how much it plans to spend over the next three years in each case. (89961)

The following table contains information on research into genetically modified crops commissioned by DEFRA since its creation in 2001, and projects taken over by the Department from its predecessors, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions. Information on future years’ spend is included where commitments extend into future years. The funding for each of these research projects came from DEFRA’s central research and development budget.

DEFRA research projects on genetically modified organisms

Cost (£)

Project code

Project title

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

AR0317

Assessing the environmental impact of crop production practice: beyond the GM farm-scale evaluation

0

0

0

0

AR1001

Scale-up of Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats to detect low frequency stable integrations

11,966

0

0

0

AR1002

Genetic transformation of wheat using Agrobacterium tumifaciens

14,093

0

0

0

AR1003

Reproducible Agrobacterium-mediated transformation systems for wheat and barley

15,068

0

0

0

AR1005

BRACT—Biotechnology Resources for Arable Crop Transformation

0

0

228,106

313,281

CB02001

Farm-scale evaluations of GM beet and farmland wildlife

485,517

501,052

0

0

CB02002

Farm-scale evaluations of GM maize and farmland wildlife

381,515

680,142

222,704

15,405

CB02003

Farm-scale evaluations of GM spring oilseed rape and wildlife

431,515

430,727

0

0

CB02004

Farm-scale evaluations of GM winter oilseed rape and wildlife

354,811

440,316

255,896

0

RG0116

Farm-scale evaluations—contribution from MAFF

50,000

50,000

0

0

CB02005

Monitoring gene flow from the GM crop to non-GM equivalent crops in the vicinity

76,406

90,340

12,772

25,544

CB02006

Gene flow monitoring: herbicide resistance genes to wild crop relatives

128,954

117,328

34,266

10,342

CB02007

Impact of Bt exudates from roots of GM plants

18,835

18,834

0

0

CB02008

Impact of transgenes for herbivore and virus resistance

104,830

0

50,142

0

CB02010

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management I

0

150,564

0

0

CB02011

Compositional traits—effect on GM survivability and persistence

0

14,981

34,964

0

CB02012

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management II

0

114,781

23,731

0

CB02013

Biodiversity effects of management associated with GM cropping systems

0

0

0

0

CB02014

Impacts of contemporary and alternative arable cropping systems

0

44,654

0

0

CB02016

Assessment of the distribution of GM material in kernel lots

0

0

14,000

21,020

CB02017

Non-target effects of transgenic crop plants resistant to virus diseases

68,756

72,383

0

0

CB02018

Determining risks to soil organisms associated with a genetically modified crop expressing a biopesticide in its roots

67,310

71,792

0

36,882

CB02019

Factors affecting rates of cross-pollination in maize growing under typical UK conditions

0

0

118,834

173,984

CB02020

Factors affecting cross-pollination in OSR growing under typical UK conditions

0

86,815

198,343

152,065

CB02021

Strategies for risk assessment, minimising the environmental impact of fungal disease-suppressing GM bacteria and plants

0

85,152

128,950

37,021

CB02022

Supply chain impacts of further regulation of products consisting of, containing or derived from GMOs

0

0

72,944

0

CB02023

Estimate consumer willingness to pay for reducing or eliminating GM products or derivatives in food and increasing robustness of the labelling regime

0

0

90,000

4,550

CB02024

Mechanisms for investigating changes in soil ecology due to GMO releases

0

0

24,892

24,892

CB02025

Insertion of cauliflower mosaic virus DNA into host genomes during natural viral infections

0

0

0

88,640

CB02026

Curation of the data collected in the farm-scale evaluations

0

0

0

82,731

CB02027

GM crop farm-scale evaluation results presentations and open meetings

0

0

60,105

0

CB02029

The statistical theory and analysis of GMO enforcement

0

0

0

24,779

CB02030

Support for the British Ornithologists’ Union conference on GM crops and birds

0

0

10,000

0

CB02031

Evaluation of the organisation and management of the GM farm-scale evaluations

0

0

16,000

0

CB02032

The potential for horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to fungi

0

0

0

86,273

CB02033

Monitoring occurrence of GM oilseed rape volunteers in subsequent oilseed rape crops at FSE sites

0

0

0

114,737

CB02034

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence

0

0

0

229,117

CB02035

Sustainable introduction of GMOs into European agriculture (SIGMEA)

0

0

0

28,083

CB02036

Desk study on technologies for biological containment of GM and non-GM crops

0

0

0

0

CB02037

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence—contract 2

0

0

0

0

CB02038

GM co-existence consultation—support for workshops

0

0

0

10,431

CB02039

Review of separation distances and buffer crops for co-existence between GM and non-GM crops

0

0

0

43,295

CB02040

Quantitative approaches to the risk assessment of GM crops

0

0

0

0

CB02041

RNA-mediated gene silencing mechanisms and their implications in plants

0

0

0

0

CB02042

Availability and use of general surveillance information for potential changes resulting from GM crop cultivation

0

0

0

0

CB02043

Agronomic and environmental implications of the establishment of GM herbicide tolerant problem weeds

0

0

0

0

CB02044

COEXTRA (GM and non-GM supply chains: their CO-EXistence and TRAceability

0

0

0

0

CB02045

Detection and traceability technologies to underpin GM inspection and enforcement

0

0

40,193

19,278

CB02046

Plasmid standards for real time PCR and UKAS accreditation of GM enforcement testing

0

0

33,056

11,645

CE0158

Transformation of wheat by Agrobacterium co-cultivation

0

0

0

0

CE0159

Development of a routine system for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of barley

17,334

0

0

0

CE0161

Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats

0

0

0

0

CE0171

Gene regulation in transgenic wheat including methods to increase expression and/or reduce variation in expression

78,054

0

0

0

CE0172

Use of maize and rice MAR sequences to stabilise the expression of transgenes in wheat

87,865

80,610

45,000

0

CE0173

Nuclear and plastid transformation of wheat and tritordeum using the streptomycin—selectable aadA marker gene

26,083

0

0

0

H0909SFV

Genetics of transformation and regeneration in horticultural brassicas.

90,155

37,634

0

0

H0915SMU

Molecular analysis of integrative transformants of the mushroom

114,380

117,239

0

0

H1020THN

Genetic modification of rootstocks for disease resistance in rose.

152,056

0

0

0

H1026SHN

Conventional and biotechnological genetic improvement of hardy nursery stock

126,734

129,902

0

0

H1031SSF

Tissue and plastid targeted transgene expression in a perennial plant, strawberry

82,068

94,777

183,528

0

H1616SPC

Modification of chrysanthemum growth habit thorough genetic manipulation.

54,600

0

0

0

H2119SSF

Control of transgene expression in strawberry.

36,846

0

0

0

H3706STF

Examination of gusA transgene expression in the fruit of transgenic apple plants driven by plant promotors

29,398

0

0

0

L0110LFV

Genetic modification of Brassica oleracea for resistance to turnip and cauliflower mosiac viruses.

38,454

21,556

0

0

HP0212

Suppression of sprouting in stored potato tubers by molecular manipulation of abscisic acid levels.

133,933

25,362

0

0

HP0218

Dormancy and water use effeciency in potato tubers

0

126,098

175,337

183,668

NF0507

Functional genomics in marine algae to discover genes that can be used to produce docosahexaenoic acid in oilseed crops

98,496

104,862

91,580

47,287

NF0511

Isolation, and expression in plants, of novel spider silk genes

69,061

63,300

32,518

0

NT2305

Developing wheat genotypes with reduced nitrogen requirement by manipulation to decrease Rubisco content

26,902

0

0

0

PH0301

Containment of GM plant viruses

0

0

0

10,038

RG0113

Risk assessment and hazard evaluation for GM bacteria used in the biological control of fungal disease of crops

64,696

0

0

0

RG0114

Consequences for agriculture of the introduction of GM crops

32,574

27,264

0

0

RG0115

A generic mathematical model for the integrated management of a crop containing antifeedant genes

59,050

14,912

0

0

RG0123

A desk study on the pollination distances of genetically modified crops

1,280

0

0

0

VS0123

Methods for the detection of adventitious GM material in non-GM seed

33,333

6,667

0

0

VS0126

Prediction, sampling and management of GM impurities in fields and harvested yields of oilseed rape

0

0

49,837

98,962

VS0130

Desk study to review methods for sampling seed lots to determine the presence of GM material

16,658

7,332

0

0

Cost (£)

Project code

Project title

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

AR0317

Assessing the environmental impact of crop production practice: beyond the GM farm-scale evaluation

409,703

380,972

0

0

AR1001

Scale-up of Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats to detect low frequency stable integrations

0

0

0

0

AR1002

Genetic transformation of wheat using Agrobacterium tumifaciens

0

0

0

0

AR1003

Reproducible Agrobacterium-mediated transformation systems for wheat and barley

0

0

0

0

AR1005

BRACT—Biotechnology Resources for Arable Crop Transformation

287,581

69,500

0

0

CB02001

Farm-scale evaluations of GM beet and farmland wildlife

0

0

0

0

CB02002

Farm-scale evaluations of GM maize and farmland wildlife

0

0

0

0

CB02003

Farm-scale evaluations of GM spring oilseed rape and wildlife

0

0

0

0

CB02004

Farm-scale evaluations of GM winter oilseed rape and wildlife

0

0

0

0

RG0116

Farm-scale evaluations—contribution from MAFF

0

0

0

0

CB02005

Monitoring gene flow from the GM crop to non-GM equivalent crops in the vicinity

0

0

0

0

CB02006

Gene flow monitoring: herbicide resistance genes to wild crop relatives

0

0

0

0

CB02007

Impact of Bt exudates from roots of GM plants

0

0

0

0

CB02008

Impact of transgenes for herbivore and virus resistance

0

0

0

0

CB02010

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management I

0

0

0

0

CB02011

Compositional traits—effect on GM survivability and persistence

0

0

0

0

CB02012

Modelling effects on farmland food webs of herbicide and insecticide management II

0

0

0

0

CB02013

Biodiversity effects of management associated with GM cropping systems

37,064

0

0

0

CB02014

Impacts of contemporary and alternative arable cropping systems

0

0

0

0

CB02016

Assessment of the distribution of GM material in kernel lots

0

0

0

0

CB02017

Non-target effects of transgenic crop plants resistant to virus diseases

18,327

0

0

0

CB02018

Determining risks to soil organisms associated with a genetically modified crop expressing a biopesticide in its roots

0

0

0

0

CB02019

Factors affecting rates of cross-pollination in maize growing under typical UK conditions

174,722

179,880

183,995

0

CB02020

Factors affecting cross-pollination in OSR growing under typical UK conditions

324,116

238,239

0

0

CB02021

Strategies for risk assessment, minimising the environmental impact of fungal disease-suppressing GM bacteria and plants

104,277

0

0

0

CB02022

Supply chain impacts of further regulation of products consisting of, containing or derived from GMOs

0

0

0

0

CB02023

Estimate consumer willingness to pay for reducing or eliminating GM products or derivatives in food and increasing robustness of the labelling regime

0

0

0

0

CB02024

Mechanisms for investigating changes in soil ecology due to GMO releases

0

0

0

0

CB02025

Insertion of cauliflower mosaic virus DNA into host genomes during natural viral infections

87,451

27,446

0

0

CB02026

Curation of the data collected in the farm-scale evaluations

82,731

13,366

13,683

1,810

CB02027

GM crop farm-scale evaluation results presentations and open meetings

0

0

0

0

CB02029

The statistical theory and analysis of GMO enforcement

0

0

0

0

CB02030

Support for the British Ornithologists’ Union conference on GM crops and birds

0

0

0

0

CB02031

Evaluation of the organisation and management of the GM farm-scale evaluations

0

0

0

0

CB02032

The potential for horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to fungi

196,255

39,251

0

0

CB02033

Monitoring occurrence of GM oilseed rape volunteers in subsequent oilseed rape crops at FSE sites

385,263

0

0

0

CB02034

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence

122,642

0

0

0

CB02035

Sustainable introduction of GMOs into European agriculture (SIGMEA)

28,083

28,082

0

0

CB02036

Desk study on technologies for biological containment of GM and non-GM crops

52,506

0

0

0

CB02037

Farm-scale evaluations: further sampling of soil seed bank and seedling emergence—contract 2

117,434

0

0

0

CB02038

GM co-existence consultation—support for workshops

0

0

0

0

CB02039

Review of separation distances and buffer crops for co-existence between GM and non-GM crops

6,655

0

0

0

CB02040

Quantitative approaches to the risk assessment of GM crops

100,000

0

0

0

CB02041

RNA-mediated gene silencing mechanisms and their implications in plants

24,452

0

0

0

CB02042

Availability and use of general surveillance information for potential changes resulting from GM crop cultivation

48,168

0

0

0

CB02043

Agronomic and environmental implications of the establishment of GM herbicide tolerant problem weeds

40,123

0

0

0

CB02044

COEXTRA (GM and non-GM supply chains: their CO-EXistence and TRAceability

23,523

33,098

30,000

31,094

CB02045

Detection and traceability technologies to underpin GM inspection and enforcement

6,611

0

0

0

CB02046

Plasmid standards for real time PCR and UKAS accreditation of GM enforcement testing

23,384

0

0

0

CE0158

Transformation of wheat by Agrobacterium co-cultivation

0

0

0

0

CE0159

Development of a routine system for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of barley

0

0

0

0

CE0161

Agrobacterium mediated transformation of oats

0

0

0

0

CE0171

Gene regulation in transgenic wheat including methods to increase expression and/or reduce variation in expression

0

0

0

0

CE0172

Use of maize and rice MAR sequences to stabilise the expression of transgenes in wheat

0

0

0

0

CE0173

Nuclear and plastid transformation of wheat and tritordeum using the streptomycin—selectable aadA marker gene

0

0

0

0

H0909SFV

Genetics of transformation and regeneration in horticultural brassicas.

0

0

0

0

H0915SMU

Molecular analysis of integrative transformants of the mushroom

0

0

0

0

H1020THN

Genetic modification of rootstocks for disease resistance in rose.

0

0

0

0

H1026SHN

Conventional and biotechnological genetic improvement of hardy nursery stock

0

0

0

0

H1031SSF

Tissue and plastid targeted transgene expression in a perennial plant, strawberry

0

0

0

0

H1616SPC

Modification of chrysanthemum growth habit thorough genetic manipulation.

0

0

0

0

H2119SSF

Control of transgene expression in strawberry.

0

0

0

0

H3706STF

Examination of gusA transgene expression in the fruit of transgenic apple plants driven by plant promotors

0

0

0

0

L0110LFV

Genetic modification of Brassica oleracea for resistance to turnip and cauliflower mosiac viruses.

0

0

0

0

HP0212

Suppression of sprouting in stored potato tubers by molecular manipulation of abscisic acid levels.

0

0

0

0

HP0218

Dormancy and water use effeciency in potato tubers

191,205

198,673

51,083

0

NF0507

Functional genomics in marine algae to discover genes that can be used to produce docosahexaenoic acid in oilseed crops

0

0

0

0

NF0511

Isolation, and expression in plants, of novel spider silk genes

0

0

0

0

NT2305

Developing wheat genotypes with reduced nitrogen requirement by manipulation to decrease Rubisco content

0

0

0

0

PH0301

Containment of GM plant viruses

0

0

0

0

RG0113

Risk assessment and hazard evaluation for GM bacteria used in the biological control of fungal disease of crops

0

0

0

0

RG0114

Consequences for agriculture of the introduction of GM crops

0

0

0

0

RG0115

A generic mathematical model for the integrated management of a crop containing antifeedant genes

0

0

0

0

RG0123

A desk study on the pollination distances of genetically modified crops

0

0

0

0

VS0123

Methods for the detection of adventitious GM material in non-GM seed

0

0

0

0

VS0126

Prediction, sampling and management of GM impurities in fields and harvested yields of oilseed rape

132,006

51,710

0

0

VS0130

Desk study to review methods for sampling seed lots to determine the presence of GM material

0

0

0

0

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations his Department has received on the potential environmental impact of genetically modified crops in each of the last three years for which figures are available from (a) biotechnology companies, (b) environmental groups, (c) individual experts, (d) representatives of research institutes and universities and (e) members of the public. (89971)

The Department has received representations from various companies, environmental groups, research institutes and members of the public on the potential environmental impact of genetically modified crops in each of the last three years. These have taken the form of letters, facsimiles, emails, telephone calls, parliamentary questions and meetings. Precise figures are not available for the number of representations received from each sector mentioned in the hon. Member’s question.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with which (a) representative groups and (b) non-governmental organisations the Department has planned meetings during the consultation period on genetically modified coexistence measures. (89973)

DEFRA officials have had two meetings with stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the consultation on proposals for managing the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops in England. The first was with representatives and interest groups from the organic sector, and the second was with the farming and industry group, supply chain initiative on modified agricultural crops. At present, no other meetings are planned for the remainder of the consultation period.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used by his Department to compile the list of organisations and people to be consulted as part of its consultation on coexistence of genetically modified crops. (89974)

The DEFRA consultation paper was sent to all organisations considered to have an interest in the coexistence issue. The paper was also posted on the DEFRA website and publicised through a press notice and press briefing. We are happy to receive views on this issue from anyone:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the distance needed to separate GM and non-GM oilseed rape to avoid contamination. (90214)

The science indicates that most cross- pollination takes place at relatively short distances. However, it is known that cross-pollination may occur infrequently over very long distances, depending on insect movements and the prevailing weather conditions.

Under EU law, GM crops will only be approved for commercial use if they pass a detailed assessment of their potential impact on human health and the environment. In this context, therefore, it would not be necessary to apply a crop separation distance for safety reasons.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what role views submitted by members of the public to his Department’s consultation on GM crop co-existence will play in the decision-making process following the consultation period. (90215)

We will consider and weigh up all the consultation responses very carefully before deciding how to proceed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is for consultation on the co-existence of GM crops in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland. (90216)

Coexistence is a devolved issue and the authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for determining their own consultation timetables.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with colleagues in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland on a co-ordinated approach to creating a timetable for implementing measures for the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops. (90217)

The implementation of coexistence measures is a devolved matter. Therefore, while we are maintaining contact with the authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on this issue, each authority is responsible for reaching its own decisions on the way forward.

DEFRA has issued a consultation paper on proposed measures for England, and the other UK authorities are expected to issue their own papers in due course. So far there have not been any discussions on a coordinated implementation timetable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's definition is of adventitious and technically unavoidable in the context of the legal threshold for contamination for GM co-existence measures. (90218)

Under EU law, products or individual ingredients are exempted from carrying a genetically modified (GM) label if they have an adventitious or technically unavoidable GM presence below 0.9 per cent. This provision must be interpreted in the wider context of the EU legislation on the authorisation of GM products, which clearly foresees farmers being able to choose whether to cultivate conventional, organic or approved GM crops. In the coexistence context, measures can therefore be imposed to minimise unwanted GM presence in non-GM crops, but they must not make it disproportionately difficult to grow authorised GM varieties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice his Department has received regarding the potential costs and burdens to farmers if a detailed GM crop register was established in the United Kingdom. (90519)

The cost and burden to farmers of a detailed genetically modified (GM) crop register would depend on the form that it took and whether farmers had to bear the administration costs. The only advice we have received on the possible cost of a register was from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It has developed a proposal for a web-based register that it estimated might cost £150,000 to establish and £40,000 a year to maintain.

Among other things, the current DEFRA consultation on proposals for managing the coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops seeks views on the pros and cons of establishing a public GM crop register.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he is taking to strengthen the rules and regulations regarding the growing of genetically modified crops in the United Kingdom; (91656)

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that the results from last year’s genetically modified crop public consultation are incorporated into Government policy regarding the growing of genetically modified crops.

There is already strict European Union legislation controlling the release of genetically modified organisms, including genetically modified (GM) crops. This ensures that GM crops will only be approved for release if they pass a detailed case-by-case assessment of their potential impact on human health and the environment.

The Government sponsored a GM Dialogue which ended in 2003. This comprised a public debate, a science review, and a study on the costs and benefits of GM crops. Further information is available on the DEFRA website at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/crops/debate/index.htm. After considering the findings of the dialogue process, the Government confirmed their overall policy on GM crops in a parliamentary statement from my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) on 9 March 2004, Official Report, column 1379.

In addition, DEFRA is currently consulting on proposals for managing the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops in England, should approved GM varieties be grown here commercially in the future. We have set out proposed measures that aim to minimise any unwanted GM presence in non-GM crops as far as possible, so that people can make an informed choice between conventional, organic and GM products. The consultation paper is available on the DEFRA website at: www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/qmnongm-coexist/index.htm. Policy on coexistence is a devolved matter and the authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be issuing their own consultation papers in due course.

Hampton Review

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what input (a) his Department and (b) its (i) agencies and (ii) non-departmental public bodies had into the Hampton review and its report, Reducing administrative burdens: effective inspection and enforcement. (89601)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Stephen Timms) on 9 October.

Hazardous Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions have been brought against firms depositing treated hazardous waste in landfill sites licensed for the disposal of non-hazardous waste in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. (89889)

The Environment Agency has not yet completed prosecutions for any offence resulting from the deposit of hazardous waste at landfill sites licensed only for non-hazardous waste in 2005 or 2006. There are ongoing investigations under way which may result in prosecution.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the proportion of treated hazardous waste which has been misclassified as non-hazardous and sent to non-hazardous landfill sites since 1 July 2005. (89890)

The Environment Agency does not have this data. Landfill sites are permitted only to receive either hazardous, non-hazardous or inert wastes. The Environment Agency regulates compliance at these sites and would consider taking enforcement action if hazardous wastes were being disposed of at sites permitted to receive only non-hazardous waste.

Horse Chestnuts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the threat of disease to the horse chestnut tree species; and what steps are being taken to combat it. (92427)

There are several diseases that affect the horse chestnut, of which the most serious is known from its symptoms as “bleeding canker”. Bleeding canker can have a number of causes, but the recent upsurge in prevalence of the disease appears to be associated with a bacterium (Pseudomonas syringae) although this has yet to be fully confirmed by the scientists working on it. The increase in disease has been noted in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands as well as Britain. Research into it is being led by scientists in the Netherlands. Though not necessarily fatal to infected trees, this is a widespread and serious disease. In common with other European countries, we are studying it to learn more about its origins, its impacts, and whether there are methods by which owners of trees could prevent or control infection.

We are also monitoring an insect pest, the horse chestnut leaf miner, which is present in southern Britain. This moth has spread across Europe since the late 1970s and appeared in Britain in 2002. Its larvae feed inside leaves with heavy infestations causing shrivelling and falling of leaves. We have no reports from Britain, or elsewhere, that it causes fatal damage on its own. As with bleeding canker, our scientists are in close touch with colleagues across Europe who are investigating this pest.

Advice to tree and woodland owners and managers on these and other pests and diseases is available on the Forestry Commission's Forest Research website http://www.forestresearch.gov.uk.

Household Rubbish

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under what legislation local authorities can require householders to separate household rubbish into different categories for collection; and if he will make a statement. (89682)

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 both empowers local authorities to specify the conditions of the waste collection service they provide and requires them to inform the recipients of those conditions by way of a section 46 notice. Section 46(4)(d) is the section which allows the local authority to require householders to place specific materials in particular receptacles (or compartments of receptacles) for collection.

The degree of contamination has a big impact on the value of recyclates, even if the contamination is with other recyclates. It is for this reason that householders are often required to wash and separate their waste prior to collection.

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, local authorities now also have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to those who fail to comply with section 46 notices.

Kyoto Protocol

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had on the UK's commitment to the next stage of the Kyoto protocol. (92518)

At the December 2005 meeting of the United Nations Conference of parties of the Kyoto Protocol, in Montreal, parties established a process to negotiate further commitments for Annex I countries (industrialised countries that have ratified the Protocol) after 2012. At the next session of this process in Nairobi, in November 2006, parties aim to make progress on these negotiations. However, individual commitments of countries will not be discussed until after the November session.

The European Commission is currently working on a process to determine medium and long-term climate change goals, and will publish a Green Paper by the end of the year describing various scenarios for European Union (EU) action. Based on this, EU Member States will start the discussions on their individual commitments and the UK will be at the forefront of these.

Commitments for the next stage of the Kyoto Protocol must be negotiated through the formal United Nations process.

Marine Environment

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many enforcement actions, including prosecutions and convictions, were taken in respect of the Department’s powers over the marine environment. (91090)

[holding answer 13 September 2006]: Data routinely collected by both the Environment Agency and the Home Office are categorised by statute offence and those involving the marine environment cannot be separately identified.

Modulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the EU Farm Commissioner in extending voluntary modulation. (89640)

The Secretary of State has discussed voluntary modulation with the EU Farm Commissioner on a number of occasions, including the July Agriculture Council meeting.

Motoring Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fixed penalty notices and court proceedings for aiding, abetting, causing or permitting noise offences under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regulations 54-58 and 97-99, have been issued in each of the last five years in each local authority in England and Wales. (90476)

I have been asked to reply.

Information on fixed penalty notices issued by the police and prosecution data taken from the Court Proceedings Database held by the office for Criminal Justice Reform from 2000 to 2004 (latest available) is given in the table. These data are available at police force area level only.

2005 data will be available early in 2007.

Number of police action Fixed Penalty Notices issued and total prosecutions for Noise Offences1 under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regulations 54-58 and 97-99 by police force area, England and Wales, 2000-04

Number of notices and offences

2000

2001

2002

Police force area

Fixed penalty notices issued

Total prosecutions

Fixed penalty notices issued

Total prosecutions

Fixed penalty notices issued

Total prosecutions

Avon and Somerset

36

195

44

149

27

115

Bedfordshire

5

17

9

9

6

19

Cambridgeshire

10

26

9

12

10

19

Cheshire

5

21

10

24

16

7

Cleveland

4

76

11

80

5

75

Cumbria

4

41

6

50

7

15

Derbyshire

18

128

13

129

9

130

Devon and Cornwall

26

152

28

105

47

106

Dorset

24

51

18

33

14

37

Durham

20

172

25

118

24

155

Essex

52

77

40

62

61

67

Gloucestershire

13

84

24

73

14

49

Greater Manchester

50

195

51

227

44

195

Hampshire

14

272

21

251

22

200

Hertfordshire

7

19

11

47

10

49

Humberside

10

66

11

42

8

53

Kent

34

249

24

180

36

152

Lancashire

93

175

51

119

49

108

Leicestershire

2

77

5

66

10

49

Lincolnshire

9

240

14

158

5

77

London, City of

1

8

4

7

1

10

Merseyside

13

36

22

17

31

22

Metropolitan Police

77

269

57

186

33

154

Norfolk

25

115

23

119

29

101

Northamptonshire

0

67

0

29

3

9

Northumbria

48

193

93

112

72

137

North Yorkshire

89

39

59

30

35

14

Nottinghamshire

3

141

2

78

1

64

South Yorkshire

9

150

21

137

11

95

Staffordshire

10

2n/a

12

42

10

45

Suffolk

24

107

20

86

22

75

Surrey

0

96

9

91

49

86

Sussex

13

68

17

76

32

81

Thames Valley

42

87

58

58

28

33

Warwickshire

4

65

5

72

3

26

West Mercia

26

89

45

68

51

96

West Midlands

19

146

23

102

7

99

West Yorkshire

13

125

16

120

17

104

Wiltshire

22

119

26

115

18

78

Dyfed Powys

5

58

10

51

8

78

Gwent

20

58

31

49

29

38

North Wales

0

62

0

59

0

60

South Wales

21

88

19

50

17

39

England and Wales

920

4,616

997

3,688

931

3,221

Number of notices and offences

2003

2004

Police force area

Fixed penalty notices issued

Total prosecutions

Fixed penalty notices issued

Total prosecutions

Avon and Somerset

31

122

26

97

Bedfordshire

4

16

6

3

Cambridgeshire

10

14

22

10

Cheshire

12

14

14

11

Cleveland

11

27

23

9

Cumbria

14

27

13

31

Derbyshire

16

101

16

78

Devon and Cornwall

35

83

56

78

Dorset

15

18

10

12

Durham

18

101

13

61

Essex

20

38

35

28

Gloucestershire

10

53

4

38

Greater Manchester

34

238

52

98

Hampshire

25

135

32

102

Hertfordshire

7

55

14

45

Humberside

12

50

5

25

Kent

38

97

34

116

Lancashire

85

100

81

37

Leicestershire

11

63

3

50

Lincolnshire

182

89

251

101

London, City of

86

15

32

12

Merseyside

8

20

17

15

Metropolitan Police

65

140

83

142

Norfolk

17

89

29

65

Northamptonshire

4

49

0

34

Northumbria

90

103

111

75

North Yorkshire

91

19

252

18

Nottinghamshire

5

35

7

21

South Yorkshire

11

53

23

28

Staffordshire

12

21

12

22

Suffolk

10

83

18

121

Surrey

35

37

33

40

Sussex

14

22

15

12

Thames Valley

39

47

90

27

Warwickshire

12

14

9

15

West Mercia

35

40

30

42

West Midlands

21

91

23

67

West Yorkshire

25

121

22

65

Wiltshire

38

56

25

50

Dyfed Powys

42

48

8

31

Gwent

31

20

34

19

North Wales

0

53

0

62

South Wales

10

36

27

35

England and Wales

1,291

2,653

1,610

2,048

n/a = Not available.

1 Aiding, abetting, causing or permitting a crime is shown under the heading of the crime itself.

2 Estimates made for Staffordshire Police Force who were only able to submit data for a sample of weeks in 2000, have been included in totals only.

Note:

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Natural England

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 13 September 2006, Official Report, column 2259W, on Natural England, what the (a) original and (b) revised 2006-07 budget agreed for Natural England was; and what plans he has for the 2007-08 budget. (91786)

Natural England inherited its budget for 2006-07 from English Nature, the Rural Development Service and parts of the Countryside Agency, which came together to create the new organisation. It is therefore not strictly possible to make the comparison the hon. Member is looking for.

I cannot confirm Natural England's 2007-08 budget yet. In common with other non-departmental public bodies, they are preparing their corporate plan for discussion through the autumn.

Nuclear Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent on research into means of nuclear waste disposal in the last 12 months. (90209)

The Department spent £91,097 on direct research projects into radioactive waste disposal in the last financial year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to respond to the recommendations of the Committee on Radioactive Waste; and which bodies he is consulting in preparing his response. (92423)

The UK Government and the devolved administrations are continuing to work together to develop policy in light of the recommendations from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). A full response will be made to the respective parliaments and the National Assembly for Wales when they are sitting after recess. CoRWM themselves undertook an extensive programme of engagement with the public and stakeholders in preparing their recommendations. Further information is available on their website at: http://www.corwm.org.uk

Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many local authorities in England do not provide doorstep recycling programmes. (89195)

Every English local authority with a standard waste collection authority responsibility operates a kerbside recycling scheme.

Under the Household Waste Recycling Act 2003, all local authorities in England will be required to collect at least two types of recyclable waste from all households in their area by the end of 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made towards achieving the 45 per cent. recycling target set for 2015. (89259)

Recycling continues to play an important role in diverting waste from landfill and recovering value from waste, in line with the Government's waste strategy objectives.

Household waste recycling and composting has doubled in the last four years since the publication of Waste Strategy 2000 (and tripled in the last eight years). In 1999, less than 11 per cent. of household waste was recycled; this now stands at 23 per cent. (2004-5), putting us well on course to meet the waste strategy targets of 25 per cent. by 2005-06 and 33 per cent. by 2015.

The recent consultation on the review of the waste strategy included proposals to raise the national targets for household waste recycling and composting to even more ambitious levels, to reach 45 per cent. by 2015 and 50 per cent. by 2020. The revised waste strategy is due to be published this winter.

Right to Roam

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department is undertaking into the environmental impact of a general right to roam on coastal areas, with particular reference to wetlands. (90224)

English Nature has carried out a strategic review of the environmental impacts of pedestrian access on nature conservation interests, including wetlands, to ensure that each of the options under consideration for improving public access to the coast meets the tests set out in the Habitat Regulations 1994. Its advice will be included as part of Natural England’s report to DEFRA.

Rural Payments Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration his Department is giving to issuing a set of maps containing all the land farmed as of 15 May 2006 to all farmers to enable them to cross reference their own records with those of the Rural Payments Agency. (92259)

All farmers receive a set of maps when their land is registered with the Rural Payments Agency. In addition, when a boundary change is notified, a revised map for the land parcel in question is issued. If land transfers are notified to the Rural Payments Agency on a RLE1 form a revised set of maps showing the additional land is also supplied.

There are currently no plans to issue a new set of maps to all farmers for land farmed as of 15 May 2006.