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Written Answers

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 31 March 2008

Electoral Commission Committee

Electronic Voting

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what guidance or advice the Electoral Commission has provided on the use of electronic counting machines following faults with equipment supplied by Data Research Services in Scotland. (195296)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it has not issued guidance on the use of electronic counting machines. However, after the publication of the Gould report on the May 2007 elections in Scotland, the Electoral Commission published its views on steps that it believes the Government should take before e-counting is used in any further statutory elections.

Scotland

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 452W, on departmental advertising, how much is represented by each of the percentages given. (197456)

The figures are:

£

SO/OAG

1999-2000

26,861

2000-01

270,494

2001-02

186,564

2002-03

10,390

SO (only)

2003-04

Nil

2004-05

Nil

2005-06

Nil

2006-07

17,510

Leader of the House

Departmental Domestic Visits

To ask the Leader of the House what visits she made to (a) Harrogate International Centre, (b) International Conference Centre, Birmingham, (c) Manchester Central, (d) Scottish Exhibitional and Conference Centre, Glasgow, (e) Edinburgh International Conference Centre, (f) Bournemouth International Conference Centre, (g) the Brighton Centre, Brighton, (h) the Riviera Centre, Torquay, (i) Queen Elizabeth Centre, London, (j) Excel Conference Centre, Docklands, London and (k) Business Design Centre, Islington, London, in the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007; and what events she attended at each. (197157)

Neither my right hon. and learned Friend, the Leader of the House, nor any of her predecessors visited any of the listed venues in a ministerial capacity as Leader of the House between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2007.

Members: Expenses

To ask the Leader of the House how many hon. Members make direct contributions to the Parliamentary Resources Unit from their Incidental Expenses Provision. (197724)

In financial year 2007-08, 93 Members have made payments to the Parliamentary Resources Unit from their incidental expenses provision. In addition, 34 Members have made such payments from other allowances.

Olympics

London 2012: Pay

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many staff in each salary band are employed in the management of the London 2012 Olympics. (190239)

In relation to the Government Olympic Executive (GOE):

There are currently 63 members of staff working in the GOE, on the management of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

GOE is the client for the Games on behalf of central Government. Senior staff members of GOE bring significant high-level commercial and financial experience in major, complex construction and infrastructure programmes, and policy delivery, in order to provide effective oversight of this process. Their rates of pay reflect this.

GOE's Director General has a salary of £220,000 per annum and the salary of the Director of Build and Finance is £180,000 per annum.

Four senior staff are in the senior civil service pay band 1 (£56,100 to £116,000); and three are in the senior civil service pay band 2 (£81,60.0 to £160,000).

40 members of GOE staff are in the DCMS pay bands shown in the following table:

£

Number

Minimum

Maximum

A (Upper)

3

49,918

64,065

A

14

42,770

52,985

B

19

27,560

35,335

C

2

21,242

25,178

D

2

16,796

20,395

Note:

Grades A(Upper) to D pay Scales based on August 2007 settlement.

A further 14 people working in GOE are employed through agencies on an interim basis.

In relation to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA):

ODA employees are paid individual salaries (often known as “spot rate pay”) within a broad pay band structure, which allows for a wide range of jobs to be accommodated within a relatively small number of pay bands. This allows pay to be managed more flexibly in response to rapid organisational change or market-pressure. The basic salary bands of permanent ODA staff, excluding ODA's Chief Executive Officer (up to February 2008) are as follows:

£

Band

Number of staff

Minimum

Maximum

CEO

1

n/a

n/a

5

7

129,375

331,200

4

26

62,100

129,375

3

69

41,400

93,150

2

29

31,050

51,750

1

45

20,700

41,400

The ODA's Chief Executive has a salary of £372,600.

The ODA salary bands reflect the need to recruit and retain the expertise needed to deliver this unique, complex, and time limited challenge. The challenge of the ODA is without precedent and is one of the biggest jobs in the construction industry. Given the fixed deadline and the need for specialist skills in engineering, design, planning, construction, project management and other specialist areas, the ODA has had to recruit expertise most often found in the commercial sector. Rates of pay are therefore reflective of this and comparable with industry levels.

In relation to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG):

LOCOG is a private company. It therefore publishes summary information about expenditure on staff salaries in its annual report, which is publicly available from Companies House.

In relation to the wider Olympic family:

Within the wider Olympic Family, staff involved in the management of the Games are employed by many other organisations, for example, by other parts of Government, the Greater London Authority (GLA), the London Development Agency (LDA), the British Olympic Association (BOA), and the British Paralympic Association (BPA). Salary information for each organisation can be found in their respective annual reports.

Olympic Games 2012: Expenditure

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2008, Official Report, column 1298W, on Olympic Games 2012: expenditure, (1) how much each of the approved projects will cost; (189365)

(2) what the 19 approved projects with expenditure over £20 million are.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 27 March 2008, Official Report, column 371W.

Olympic Games 2012: Finance

To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she plans to publish estimated costs for (a) the aquatic centre, (b) the velodrome, (c) the international broadcast centre/media and press centre and (d) the athletes village. (197581)

We will make an announcement shortly that will include an update on the Aquatics Centre and the Velopark, of which the Velodrome is the main component. The combined public sector budget for the IBC/MPC and athletes village is £492 million (inc. VAT) as announced in December 2007. However, as the negotiations on both projects are continuing and commercially sensitive, it is not yet possible to announce information on costs.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) what assessment she has made of the impact of instability in the financial markets on provision in the Olympics 2012 budget for (a) the athletes village and (b) the international broadcast centre/media and press centre; and what the current estimated budget for each venue is; (197582)

(2) whether she has had recent discussions with Bovis/Lend Lease on the size of the public sector contribution to the athletes village.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and officials from the Government Olympic Executive are meeting regularly with Bovis Lend Lease, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Children Schools and Families as commercial discussions continue.

The combined public sector budget for the IBC/MPC and the Olympic Village is £492 million (inc. VAT). However, the exact value of the overall public sector contribution will be finalised as these negotiations are closed out over the coming weeks. Negotiations are also still under way with potential developers of the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre. In both cases, as sensitive commercial dialogue continues, the details of any potential impact of the current economic situation, or the project costs cannot yet be announced.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she plans to start publishing (a) monthly cashflow and (b) quarterly financial updates for the 2012 Olympic Games. (197585)

Cross-party support and proper scrutiny on the progress we are making on the Olympics is critical to the success of the games. To maintain this and to provide transparency on the games, we will publish a progress and financial report every six months—the first was published on 23 January 2008 and the next is due in June 2008. In addition I have put in place arrangements so that the hon. Member and other Opposition spokesmen may receive regular briefings on Olympic progress, including costs and cash flows. These will continue.

The Olympic Board receives monthly reports including cashflows and publication of these would not be appropriate as this could give rise to commercial disadvantages.

The Government have already made much information available, for example, Chapter 20 of the CSR White Paper published on 9 October 2007 sets out the Government’s contribution for the next three years (2008-09 to 2010-11). The balance of the funding requirement will be met, as planned in March 2007, from contributions from the Mayor of London (GLA and IDA); from funding already coming in from Olympic lottery games; from the funds to be transferred from the National Lottery Distribution Fund; and from funds from the Sports Lottery Distributor.

Further details of ODA’s annual cash flows will be set out in future business plan summaries, which will be published in the coming weeks.

Olympic Games 2012: Ministerial Responsibility

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what Ministerial responsibility she has to ensure the continuation of the informal cross-party agreement for co-operation over the Olympic Games. (197584)

Cross-party support for the Olympics is critical to the success of the games. So I have put in place arrangements for quarterly briefings on our progress and finances for opposition spokesmen (both in this House and in the other place) and for the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. I have also committed to provide an Olympics Annual Report to Parliament (the first of which was published in January), supplemented by a six-monthly update.

House of Commons Commission

Cars: Hire Services

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much was spent on (a) car hire and (b) taxis in each year since 1997; and whether specifications have been set out in respect of the type of cars to be hired. (195942)

The main uses of car hire and taxis are for late night staff transport and use of the government car service. Figures are only readily available from 2003.

Late night transport (£)

Government car service (£)

2003-04

215,204

40,143

2004-05

272,377

31,331

2005-06

293,847

31,946

2006-07

390,027

27,841

(to date)

404,399

31,195

Both black cabs and contracted car hire services are used for these services. The type of vehicle provided will depend on the number of passengers to be carried.

Departmental Expenses

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the 24-hour overnight allowance is for staff employed by the House of Commons Commission when working outside London but in the UK. (197344)

Staff away from home on official business may claim for the cost of meals and accommodation. For overnight stays the cost of bed and breakfast is reimbursed directly. In addition an allowance is paid to cover main meals; for areas outside inner London this is £18.65 in any 24 hour period. A personal or incidental expenses allowance of £5 per night is also payable.

Drinking Water

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 1311-2W, on drinking water, if the Commission will make it its policy to provide tap water in addition to bottled water in committee and meeting rooms while the re-examination of policy on the provision of drinking water is underway. (197525)

The standing recommendation from the Administration Committee is for the provision of bottled water in committee rooms. The Department of Facilities is re-examining the issue and no further action will be taken until the Administration Committee has had the opportunity to consider the matter.

Internet: Biofuels

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many people accessed the parliamentary podcast pilot on biofuels in the 24 hours following its launch. (196649)

In the first 24 hours after the parliamentary podcast pilot launch the biofuels recording was accessed by four users who subscribed to the podcast Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. In the first week of launch 452 visitors viewed the biofuels pages on the parliamentary website.

Mineral Waters

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what proportion of glass from bottles containing drinking water on sale in parliamentary canteens or provided by House departments for hon. Members’ use was (a) recycled and (b) sent for disposal in landfill sites in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what the estimated cost was to departments of the House of providing bottles of water in each year since 1997. (194558)

All glass from bottles containing drinking water on sale in parliamentary canteens or provided by House departments for hon. Members’ use is recycled.

The cost of bottled water provided by the House of Commons in each of the last five financial years is estimated in the table. Costs are not available prior to 2002. Catering and Retail Services sells water to its customers at a profit, and so the cost of water purchased for sale in the catering outlets (item (a) in the following table) is not a cost to the House.

Cost of bottled water purchases

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

(a) Catering and Retail Services

158,832

155,895

47,820

53,188

49,271

(b) Committee Rooms

n/a

n/a

8,357

6,656

8,340

(c) Office supplies1

n/a

5,165

7,449

6,095

6,988

Estimated total cost of purchases

58,832

61,060

63,626

65,939

64,599

1 incl. committee rooms

2 estimated

Palace of Westminster: Screening

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what representations the Commission has received on the provision of a mobile screening unit for bowel cancer in the Palace of Westminster. (197673)

There have been no representations to the Commission about the provision of a mobile screening unit for bowel cancer in the Palace of Westminster. However, a bowel cancer awareness day was held in the Attlee suite, Portcullis House on 20 April 2006. The joint parliamentary medical panel has taken the view that it is impractical for mobile screening to be carried out on the parliamentary estate.

Palace of Westminster: Waste Management

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much waste was sent to landfill by the House in each year since 1997. (197405)

No waste from the parliamentary estate has been sent to landfill since 1998. A proportion of the waste is reused and recycled and what cannot be reused or recycled is sent to a power plant where it is burnt to generate electricity. Of the waste from the power plant; the larger clinker waste is used in road base construction and the finer dust waste is sent to landfill. During 2006-07, the parliamentary estate sent 1,173 tonnes of waste to the power plant. This waste is mixed with waste from other buildings and it is not possible to determine how much dust waste results from the burning of the parliamentary waste and consequently, how much dust waste is sent to landfill.

Rackspace

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the value was of each contract awarded to Rackspace by the House of Commons Commission in each of the last nine years. (197521)

Wales

Brofiscin Quarry: Hazardous Substances

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to his Answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 819W, on Brofiscin Quarry: hazardous substances, what the timetable was of action taken by the Environment Agency since 2001 when they have been involved in site investigations at Brofiscin Quarry; and if he will make a statement. (196354)

I am informed by the Environment Agency Wales that under part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Brofiscin Quarry was designated as a ‘special site’ by Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough council in March 2005. At that time the Environment Agency began its investigations of Brofiscin Quarry pursuant to the provisions of the Act. Those investigations are currently ongoing.

The Environment Agency is currently concluding a remedial options appraisal in accordance with the relevant legislation and statutory guidance. The Environment Agency has liaised with local residents and other interested parties throughout its investigations.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales at how many events held by his Department (a) wine and (b) Fairtrade wine were served in the last three years; and what assessment his Department has made of the merits of serving Fairtrade wine at future events. (196936)

In the last three years my Department has held 15 events where wine has been served, none of the wine was fairtrade.

When catering for future functions in London and Cardiff, where possible and consistent with value for money, the purchase of fairtrade wine and locally sourced wine will be considered.

Suicide: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will discuss the co-ordination of support services for suicide prevention amongst young people with the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government; and if he will make a statement. (196782)

I regularly discuss a range of issues with the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government including the co-ordination of support services for suicide prevention among young people in Wales.

The Welsh Assembly Government and local services in Bridgend are working in full collaboration with the police service to analyse the recent tragic deaths within the Bridgend county borough. This analysis is being used to inform the development of an all Wales Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

It is of enormous encouragement that the many voluntary and support organisations, the health and social care agencies and the police, which all do tremendous work in the management of vulnerable children, young people and adults, continue to work in close collaboration.

By continuing this work, and through improvements to interagency joint arrangements, training and awareness raising across agencies, we hope to reduce occurrence of these tragic incidences.

Solicitor-General

Genetics: Databases

To ask the Solicitor-General how many individuals matched to UK records from the Dutch disk of DNA profiles sent to the Crown Prosecution Service are (a) the subject of extradition requests by the Dutch authorities and (b) subject to a UK arrest warrant. (197055)

As part of an initiative to exchange data between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, 2,159 DNA profiles from crime scenes in the Netherlands have been searched against the UK National DNA Database. The DNA matches identified as a result are now the subject of ongoing police investigations, both here and in the Netherlands.

Data arising as a result of this continuing police operation are liable to change subject to developments both here and in the Netherlands, and no information can be released which might in any way jeopardise ongoing investigations.

Racially Aggravated Offences: Prosecutions

To ask the Solicitor-General how many prosecutions for racial hatred offences there were in each of the last 10 years. (197323)

The Attorney-General's consent is required for prosecutions under Part III of the Public Order Act 1986 (relating to offences concerning conduct intended to, or likely to, stir up racial hatred). The Attorney- General's Office (AGO) keeps statistics in relation to prosecutions where such consent has been granted. The following table captures the relevant data for 1998 to 2008 inclusive. The statistics are recorded by reference to the year in which each case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police, rather than the year in which an offender was charged or convicted.

Prosecutions

1998

0

1999

5

2000

8

2001

2

2002

1

2003

8

2004

8

2005

2

2006

3

2007

0

2008

0

Total

44

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Culture: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what share of the UK's media exports were provided by the (a) video games, (b) television and (c) film industries in each year since 1997. (196877)

have been asked to reply.

The following table shows the value of UK exports of services for the creative industries provided by the (a) ‘software, computer games and electronic publishing' (b) ‘radio and TV’ and (c) ‘Video, film and photography’ sectors. The share of UK ‘media’ exports is not available, so the share of all ‘creative industries' exports has been provided instead. This share is only shown from 2000 onwards since data for total creative industries exports are not available in earlier years.

Exports of services for selected Creative Industries sectors (value, £ million)

Software, games and electronic publishing

Radio and TV

Video, film and photography

Total

Value

Share (%)

Value

Share (%)

Value

Share (%)

Value

Share (%)

1997

1,400

500

710

n/a

1998

1,700

640

680

n/a

1999

2,300

730

730

n/a

2000

2,500

26

690

7

940

10

9,500

100

2001

3,900

35

910

8

910

8

11,000

100

2002

3,500

31

1,000

9

840

7

11,300

100

2003

3,900

34

1,000

9

810

7

11,600

100

2004

4,700

36

1,300

10

940

7

13,000

100

2005

4,800

33

1,300

9

1,200

8

14,600

100

n/a = not available. Source: DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates statistical bulletin (Oct 2007) - based primarily on data from International Trade in Services, Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Total creative industries exports include exports of services in the following sectors: ‘advertising’, ‘architecture’, ‘art and antiques’, ‘design’, ‘video, film and photography’, ‘music and the visual and performing arts’, ‘publishing’, ‘software, computer games and electronic publishing’ and ‘radio and TV’. Exports for the ‘crafts’ and ‘designer fashion’ sectors are excluded as consistent data are not available.

The ‘software, computer games and electronic publishing’ sector comprises all firms classified in official business data under ‘publishing of software’, ‘other software consultancy and supply’ or ‘reproduction of computer media’ (only 25 per cent. of this class is included). Games development firms likely represent only a small proportion of this sector.

The ‘radio and TV’ sector comprises firms classified in official business data under ‘radio and television activities’.

The ‘video, film and photography’ sector comprises firms classified in official business data under ’reproduction of video recording’ (25 per cent. only), ‘photographic activities’ (25 per cent. only), ‘motion picture and video production’, ‘motion picture and video distribution’ or ‘motion picture projection’.

The UK Film Council also produces figures for the value of exports of services specifically by the film industry—as opposed to the wider ‘video, film and photography’ sector. Also based on ONS data, they estimate that these exports totalled £967million in 2005.

Post Offices: Closures

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for how long the outreach provision provided by his Department to the eight post offices in the Cotswolds will be maintained. (196994)

This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how postmasters whose post offices have been closed are reimbursed for the length of their leases; and if he will make a statement. (197112)

This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which post office branches have (a) closed and (b) opened in the City of Edinburgh local authority area since 1997. (197360)

This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director, of POL to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Post Offices: York

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many transactions per week, on average, there were across post office counters in York in each of the last three years. (197136)

This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Video Games

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value was of exports by the UK games development sector in each year since 1997. (196976)

I have been asked to reply.

Information on the value of exports specifically by the UK games development sector is not available.

The value of UK exports of services in the ‘software, computer games and electronic publishing’ sector is published in the annual DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates statistical bulletin. Games development firms likely represent only a small proportion of this sector.

Exports of services for the software, computer games and electronic publishing sector

(£ million)

1997

1,400

1998

1,700

1999

2,300

2000

2,500

2001

3,900

2002

3,500

2003

3,900

2004

4,700

2005

4,800

Source: DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates statistical bulletin (October 2007)—based on data from ‘International Trade in Services', Office for National Statistics.

The software, computer games and electronic publishing sector comprises all firms classified in official business data under ‘publishing of software’, ‘other software consultancy and supply’ or ‘reproduction of computer media’ (only 25 per cent. of this class is included).

Winter Fuel Payments: South Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people received the winter fuel payment in (a) Barnsley, East and Mexborough constituency, (b) Barnsley Metropolitan Borough and (c) Doncaster Metropolitan Borough in the most recent period for which figures are available. (195759)

I have been asked to reply.

The information is in the following table. We expect the numbers to be similar for winter 2007-08.

Winter fuel payments made in winter 2006-07

Number

Barnsley, East and Mexborough constituency

17,870

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough

46,010

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough

59,520

Notes: 1. Figures rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Parliamentary constituencies and local authorities are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory. Source: Information directorate 100 per cent. data.

Transport

A14: Kettering

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the Highway Agency intends to restrict local vehicular access to the A14 around Kettering. (196701)

The Highways Agency is working with Northamptonshire county council to identify a package of transport measures to minimise and manage traffic generated by the proposed growth in North Northamptonshire and ensure the smooth running of the existing A14 around Kettering.

This includes investigating a number of new and proven techniques which could be introduced in the short to medium term and which are designed to make the most of the existing A14 around Kettering. One such technique, involving installing traffic signals on slip roads, is designed to regulate and improve flow on the A14. A decision on its implementation would follow the results of the current feasibility study.

Aviation: Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information she has obtained as part of her assessment of the potential for high-speed rail on the number and percentage of passengers switching from air to rail services where high-speed rail lines have been opened in France. (197542)

The Department for Transport has made no specific assessment of the shift from air to rail services where high-speed rail lines have been opened in France.

Bus Services: Concessions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which (a) local authorities, (b) local transport authorities and (c) passenger transport executives have made representations to her Department on the national concessionary bus fares scheme in the last 12 months. (195643)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Department for Transport has received representations on the new England-wide statutory minimum concession to be introduced on 1 April from all tiers of local government, including the Local Government Association, London Councils, Transport for London and the Passenger Transport Executive Group, as well as individual authorities.

Over 200 responses were received to the Department's consultation last autumn on the formula distribution for the special grant for the new England-wide concession from 1 April. A list of those who responded was included in the Department's Consultation Response Document: Local Authority special grant funding for the 2008 national bus concession in England, available on its website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether local authorities will receive changes to their special grant for concessionary bus fares following representations made since the publication of the draft funding settlement; and if she will make a statement. (196273)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Local Government Finance Special Grant Report (No. 129) was laid before the House on 19 February 2008 and approved following a parliamentary debate on 25 March. The grant distribution reflects the likely burden of cost and is designed to direct funding towards visitor "hotspots" such as coastal towns, urban areas and others likely to experience an increase in concessionary bus journeys as a result of the new England-wide concession from 1 April.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of her Department’s recent advertising campaign on the change in rules for the national concessionary bus fare scheme. (196826)

The total communications budget for our concessionary fares publicity campaign is £1.3 million, of which media spend on advertising is £809,600 covering press, magazine and outdoor poster advertising.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons were for giving the responsibility for and finance of national concessionary bus fare schemes to district councils; and whether she plans to alter this arrangement. (196996)

[holding answer 27 March 2008]: District councils have been responsible for the statutory concessionary travel scheme since its introduction in 2000. This is consistent with their historic role in licensing bus services prior to deregulation, and their work in other areas such as taxi licensing.

The Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 contains powers allowing Ministers, subject to future consultation and parliamentary scrutiny, to make secondary legislation which would transfer concessionary travel responsibilities from lower tier (district councils) to higher tier authorities (county councils). It would not have been prudent to make such a radical change less than a year before the introduction of the new England-wide statutory minimum concession from 1 April, particularly when those with existing responsibility for concessionary travel were in the process of issuing over six million new passes to a tight timetable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make an estimate of the annual cost of providing a free bus pass for pensioners which could be used for travel across local authority boundaries on a national basis. (197531)

Our assessment of the likely cost impact of the new England-wide concession is based on generous assumptions about pass take-up, fares and increased patronage. On this basis, for 2008-09 we have allocated an additional £212 million (rising to £217 million and £223 million in the following years) to travel concession authorities in England from 1 April, enough to fund around an extra 200 million bus journeys in local authorities across England.

Our current focus remains on ensuring the successful introduction of the new England-wide concession on 1 April and at this stage we have made no detailed assessment of the cost of introducing mutual recognition of concessionary bus passes between Scotland, Wales and England.

Bus Services: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Government contributed to the cost of running bus services in York from (a) 1987 to 1997 and (b) 1997 to 2007. (197182)

Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) was introduced in 1998 to help local authorities provide support for bus services. The City of York has to date received a total of £1,046,716 in RBSG from the Department.

York has also received a total of £415,000 in support under the Rural Bus Challenge competition, also introduced in 1998.

Local authorities may also use funding from the Government’s unhypothecated Revenue Support Grant to support local bus services.

Bus companies operating in and around York also receive Bus Service Operators Grant from the Department. This is a payment equivalent to about 80 per cent. of the fuel duty operators incur in providing local bus services. However, as BSOG is a payment direct to operators, statistics are not kept of payments by local authority or geographical area.

Bus Services: York

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of passengers carried by buses in York in each year since 1987. (197184)

The information requested is not available from the DFT annual survey of bus operators. Local authority estimates of bus passenger journeys are published by the Audit Commission.

Cycleways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new cycle lanes and tracks have been created in each year since 1997, broken down by local authority area. (191692)

Data are available only from 2001-02. We do not have comprehensive audited returns which give reliable figures at local authority level. In addition, some authorities are no longer required to submit returns.

Cycling: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what sources of funding are made available by (a) her Department and (b) organisations which report to her Department for the development of national cycle routes. (197737)

The Department announced in January a £140 million investment for its cycling delivery body, Cycling England, over the next three years to complement local authority spend. This has a number of programmes including new routes to around 500 schools, building on the successful Links to Schools programme. In addition, £18.4 million of Government funding since 2005 has provided 295 Links to Schools which link over 600 schools and form part of the National Cycle Network (NCN).

£47 million has also been allocated on extending the Cycling Demonstration Towns (CDT) programme to up to 17 towns including a large city. The outcome of the bidding process for new CDTs is due to be announced later this year. Until the new CDTs and six existing ones develop their future programmes, it is not possible to say what the precise funding will be for increasing the cycle network in the CDTs.

Local authorities provide on and off road cycle facilities such as cycle tracks and cycle lanes, using their Local Transport Plan (LTP) Integrated Transport Block grant from the DfT (which covers schemes costing less than £5 million and includes such cycle schemes) plus their own funding, the DfT Integrated Transport Block grant to local authorities is £372 million for 2008-09. The Department has encouraged local authorities to develop a cycling strategy as part of the LTP process from 2006 to 2011. It is for local authorities to determine the development of the local cycle networks as part of that strategy. Sustrans, who have developed the NGN, then work with local authorities to link the local networks to it. The Department is also providing £2.5 billion in 2008-09 to the Mayor of London through a Total Transport grant. The Mayor is responsible for determining how much is spent on cycling and the development of cycle networks in London.

The above covers England only as that is the Department's responsibility. Responsibility for cycling in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter for the administrations there.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on speech coaching and related consultancy for Ministers in her Department in each of the last 12 months. (197498)

Departmental Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many hours (a) in total and (b) on average per employee were worked by civil servants in her Department in the last year for which records are available. (195817)

Contracted hours are managed locally in the Department with no single system used to centrally monitor hours worked. As such, the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

East Coast Railway Line: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the level of punctuality of trains on the East Coast Main Line (a) has been since National Express started running the service and (b) was in the last year of the Great North Eastern Railway’s operation of the franchise. (197181)

National Express East Coast (NXEC) started its services on 9 December 2007. NXEC’s current Moving Annual Average Public Performance Measure for punctuality is 82.5 per cent. and the target is 84.7 per cent. (as of 1 March 2008).

As at 8 December 2007 (which was GNER’s last day of operation on the East Coast Main Line) the Moving Annual Average Public Performance Measure for punctuality was 81.7 per cent. The target was 83.5 per cent.

Government Offices for the Regions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which of her Department’s programme budgets were administered by the Government Offices for the Regions in each of the last five years. (195171)

[holding answer 18 March 2008]: The Government offices do not currently, nor have in the last five years, directly administered any programmes on behalf of the Department for Transport.

Great Western Trains

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates (a) she and (b) the Minister with responsibility for railways the hon. Member for Glasgow, South (Mr. Harris) met representatives of First Great Western in the last 12 months. (191711)

The Secretary of State for Transport and the Under-Secretary, have met representatives of First Great Western on the following dates in the last 12 months:

Secretary of State

19 July 2007

25 February 2008

Parliamentary Under-Secretary

24 May 2007

26 June 2007

19 July 2007

23 October 2007

30 January 2008

Local Transport Bill: Welsh Assembly Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether clauses 115 and 116 in the Local Transport Bill were included at the request of the Welsh Assembly Government. (197494)

The Government are committed to enhancing the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales where appropriate. Clauses 115 and 116 were included in the Local Transport Bill at the specific request of Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government.

Motorcycles: Bus Lanes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will amend her Department's guidance to local authorities to support a policy of allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes; and if she will make a statement. (197589)

In line with actions set out in the Government's Motorcycling Strategy, my Department has already amended guidance to local authorities on the use of bus lanes by motorcycles.

In February 2007 the Department for Transport published Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07: The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles. This makes clear to local highway authorities that it is for them to decide whether or not to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and encourages them to make an objective assessment of the issue.

The new guidance revises previous advice in Local Transport Note 1/97: Keeping Buses Moving, which recommended that motorcycles should not normally be permitted to use bus lanes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the evidential basis is for the recommendations in her Department's Local Transport Note 1/97 against allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes. (197590)

The recommendation in Local Transport Note 1/97 includes an explanation that there was insufficient evidence at the time of publishing about the risk to pedestrians if motorcycles were allowed to use bus lanes as a default position.

However based on evidence from more recent studies, in February 2007 we issued new guidance in Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07, “The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles”. This makes clear to local highway authorities that it is for them to decide whether or not to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and encourages them to make an objective assessment of the situation based on local factors. The new guidance revises our previous advice concerning this issue in LTN 1/97.

Motorcycles: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the suitability of the provisions of the second European driving licence directive for motorcycles, with particular reference to the (a) adequacy and (b) safety of the swerve and brake test; and if she will make a statement. (196710)

The 50 kph avoidance manoeuvre, the controlled stop and an emergency stop at a minimum speed of 50 kph are three separate elements of the off-road manoeuvres element of the practical motorcycle riding test.

(a) The avoidance manoeuvre has been developed to simulate another road user pulling out into the path of the rider and therefore better prepare them for dealing with real life hazards. Both braking exercises allow competence to be assessed in handling of the front and rear brake, vision, direction and the position on the motorcycle.

(b) These exercises will take place in a secure environment off the public road. Candidates who display unsafe levels of control will not be allowed to continue with the on-road element of the test.

The manoeuvres exercise being introduced by the Driving Standards Agency is fully compliant with the European directive.

Parking: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to reduce fraudulent use of disabled parking. (195729)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: New regulations introduced on 15 October last year have changed the design of the Blue Badge to include a tamper proof hologram and a new gender specific number to aid parking enforcement. In addition, I recently announced the pilots of a tamper proof laminate to further prevent badge fraud.

In January 2008 I published new local authority guidance and launched a £0.5 million fund to promote improved enforcement at a local level. The Department for Transport is also consulting on proposals to improve enforcement of the Blue Badge scheme. This may include the creation of a secure machine readable badge and national data sharing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to encourage businesses to provide sufficient disabled parking. (195730)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Department has published advice on provision and design of parking for disabled car users in Traffic Advisory Leaflet 5/95 “Parking for Disabled People” and “Inclusive Mobility—A Guide to Best Practice on Access to Pedestrian and Transport Infrastructure”.

This includes specific advice on employment premises, shopping areas, leisure and recreational facilities.

Railway Services: Kettering

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains run from Kettering to Leicester per week day; and how many are planned do so from December 2008. (196703)

Currently there are 42 services per day between Kettering and Leicester. The draft timetable for December 2008 shows 24, though the operator may run more if there is a commercial case for doing so and if paths are available.

Railway Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what platforms of disused stations are still extant on railway lines in service. (197472)

This is an operational matter for Network Rail and the Association of Train Operating Companies. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.

Iain Coucher

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London NW1 2EE

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria are for deciding whether a train service should be non-stop between two specified stations. (197302)

Decisions on calling patterns are based on a number of considerations. These include existing and future demand at the stations concerned; the amount of on-train capacity available to accommodate boarding passengers; the effect of stopping on other passengers’ travel times; the impact of the call on resources such as line capacity and overall train fleet size; and the availability of alternative services.

Railways: Franchises

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons her Department does not allow train operating companies to acquire vehicles from rolling stock companies without her Department’s agreement in cases where such acquisitions take place within the terms of an existing franchise. (194539)

Railways: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department has taken to reduce overcrowding and improve punctuality for rail commuters in Enfield. (196796)

Improving rail performance is a key objective for the Department and joint action plans are in place between Network Rail and National Express East Anglia (NXEA) to address performance issues. The most recent published Public Performance Measure (PPM) figures are those for the period from 6 January to 2 February 2008 when NXEA’s PPM was 89.1 per cent. The NXEA moving annual average was 90.1 per cent. These compare to whole industry figures of 89.6 per cent and 89.6 per cent. respectively.

The Department’s rolling stock plan, published on 30 January, showed NXEA receiving an extra 188 (new and cascaded) carriages. The new carriages will be used on the London to Stansted airport route, in turn releasing carriages to enhance capacity on other services.

Rapid Transit Systems

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what weight she gives to the likely effect on (a) car journeys and congestion, (b) value added tax receipts, (c) fuel duty receipts, (d) carbon emissions, (e) air pollution and (f) reliability of journey times when assessing the costs and benefits of a light rail scheme. (196371)

The Department uses a framework called the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) to undertake cost-benefit analysis of schemes relating to all transport modes including light rail. The Department aims to consider all impacts of transport schemes, including those listed, when undertaking cost-benefit analysis. No definitive set of weights are applied within this framework, with the contribution of each of these factors varying according to the specific circumstances of the scheme. For example, the significance of congestion relief to the assessment of schemes in areas experiencing high delays will tend to be greater than schemes in areas experiencing few delays.

To ensure consistency across schemes, where possible, impacts are converted into monetary equivalents using a common set of values. This allows a variety of impacts to be aggregated and compared. In practise, the weight attached will depend on the size of impact that a scheme will have on each factor and the value attached to these impacts. Where available, standard values are used to value impacts, e.g. carbon emissions are valued at the standard cost of carbon issued by DEFRA.

Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will consider suspending the renewable transport fuel obligation until comprehensive certification and assessment schemes are put in place. (197290)

The Government have made clear that we will not support any increase in biofuel targets until we are satisfied that the biofuels can be delivered sustainably. That remains our position, and we are negotiating hard to ensure that future EU biofuel targets are underpinned by mandatory sustainability criteria which are as robust and wide-ranging as possible.

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 implements the RTFO scheme and the Government could not suspend the introduction of the RTFO without amending or repealing the order. The new amending or repealing order would require consultation in accordance with the Energy Act 2004 and would be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, with debates in both Houses of Parliament.

The Government believe that suspending the introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) until such time as mandatory, EU-wide sustainability criteria for biofuels are in place would be counter-productive. The reporting requirements under the RTFO will cause suppliers to develop systems for capturing environmental and sustainability information which will help prepare for the introduction of mandatory standards and inform the development of those standards. In addition, the UK is widely perceived as playing a leading role in developing a sustainability framework for biofuels through the reporting requirements under the RTFO. Abandoning this could marginalise us in EU negotiations, and give other member states greater influence over the direction of the EU’s future biofuel policies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration she has given to the merits of a moratorium on the implementation of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. (197763)

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations (RTFO) Order 2007 implements the RTFO scheme and the Government could not suspend the introduction of the RTFO without amending or repealing the order. The new amending or repealing order would require consultation in accordance with the Energy Act 2004 and would be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, with debates in both Houses of Parliament.

The Government believe that suspending the introduction of the RTFO until such time as mandatory, EU-wide sustainability criteria for biofuels are in place would be counter-productive. The reporting requirements under the RTFO will cause suppliers to develop systems for capturing environmental and sustainability information which will help prepare for the introduction of mandatory standards and inform the development of those standards. In addition, the UK is widely perceived as playing a leading role in developing a sustainability framework for biofuels through the reporting requirements under the RTFO. Abandoning this could marginalise the UK in EU negotiations, and give other member states greater influence over the direction of the EU’s future biofuel policies.

Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation: Crops

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation will not result in a conflict between the need to grow crops for both food and fuel. (197762)

The Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) will have a statutory duty to report annually to Ministers on the effects of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), including the indirect effects such as impacts on food and commodity prices. These reports will inform the development of the Government’s longer term biofuel policies.

The Government have also asked the Renewable Fuels Agency to lead an urgent review of the potential indirect impacts of biofuel production. This will, among other things, consider the risk that biofuel policies will affect international food commodity prices in the period to 2020. The terms of reference for this review are available via the Department for Transport's website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/rtfo/

Road Safety Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to table orders bringing into force sections 11 and 12 of the Road Safety Act 2006 on financial penalty deposits and the immobilisation of vehicles. (197771)

We are working hard to ensure that the provisions are brought into force as soon as practicable—and this is likely to be by spring 2009. Implementation is a key priority for the Department, but there is still quite a lot of operational detail to be sorted out and also a number of detailed statutory instruments have yet to be made.

Road Traffic Control: Birmingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 214W, on motorways: road traffic control, what the (a) critical path and (b) key milestones in the schedule are in relation to the scheme around Birmingham. (196773)

Tenders for construction of the Birmingham Box active traffic management scheme phases 1 and 2 were invited on 28 February 2008. We anticipate awarding the contract by September 2008. Works should commence in the autumn and complete by summer 2011. The detailed programme for delivery within this timeframe will be agreed with the successful contractor.

Roads: Lorries

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) she, (b) her Ministers and (c) her officials have had with (i) vehicle satellite navigation manufacturers and (ii) Ordnance Survey on identification of roads inappropriate for heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles. (197289)

There have been no recent ministerial level discussions with satellite navigation providers or Ordnance Survey. Officials have had informal discussions with providers on issues including mapping and routeing.

The Network Management Board, which is facilitated by the Department for Transport, has set up a sub-group to consider the issue of inappropriate routeing resulting from satellite navigation guidance. The sub-group comprises representatives from Ordnance Survey as well as local authorities, and the Highways Agency.

Any restriction imposed on the use of particular roads is a matter for decision by the relevant local highway authority.

Roads: Tolls

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what international benchmarks she has assessed in relation to road pricing schemes and their impact on congestion. (195623)

The Road Pricing Feasibility Study published in July 2004 considered a number of existing charging schemes, working in a range of environments and using various technologies. The Department for Transport continues to monitor progress in road pricing schemes around the world, and in particular in Europe, where new schemes—such as the congestion charge in Stockholm—have been implemented since 2004. The Stockholm scheme in particular has demonstrated that significant reductions in congestion can be achieved by an urban congestion charge.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made on road pricing projects; where the projects are located; and what companies are involved in the projects. (198102)

The Government are inviting the private sector to demonstrate how they might run a system of charging for road use according to time of day and route chosen. On 12 March we issued, to eight pre-qualified bidders, the first Invitation to Tender in this two-year Demonstrations Project, for the framework for Road User Service Providers. We expect that this Framework Agreement will be established during June 2008, at which point an announcement: will be made as to which companies have been appointed.

The location of the Demonstrations activity could be anywhere in England and Wales and will initially depend on where the successful bidders' volunteer road users are located.

Speed Limits

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will bring forward proposals to impose a 20 mph speed limit around schools and in residential areas; and if she will make a statement. (197872)

Local traffic authorities are responsible for setting local speed limits and have powers to introduce 20 mph speed limits and 20 mph zones if they believe it appropriate to do so. The Department encourages and supports any local authority wishing to introduce 20 mph speed limits in this way but does not favour a blanket reduction as there are circumstances where a 20 mph speed limit may not necessarily be appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many roads the speed limit has been reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph since the publication of her Department’s circular 01/2006. (197873)

This information is not held by the Department. Local traffic authorities are responsible for setting local speed limits and have powers to introduce 20 mph speed limits and 20 mph zones if they believe it appropriate to do so. They are not required to inform the Department whenever they change a speed limit.

The Department has recently commissioned a new research project on local road safety policy and practice, and some information about the implementation of 20 mph zones will be collected from local authorities as part of this study.

Speed Limits: Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue was raised in fines imposed as a result of offences detected by speed cameras in each borough in Greater London in each year since 2001. (197282)

The Department only holds information about speed cameras operating under the national safety camera programme and does not hold separate information for each London borough. London joined the programme on 1 April 2002. The audit certificates for the London Safety Camera Partnership for the last five financial years outlined in the table show the fine revenue from fixed penalty tickets for offences detected by speed and red light cameras operating under the then national safety camera programme. The Department does not hold a breakdown of fine revenue split between red light and speed cameras.

£

2002-03

5,121,060

2003-04

6,497,460

2004-05

8,902,740

2005-06

9,445,820

2006-07

7,567,780

Speed Limits: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many 20 mile per hour speed limit zones each London borough has introduced. (196797)

Responsibility for introducing 20 mph speed limit zones in London rests with the relevant highway authority, Transport for London (TfL) and the London boroughs respectively. No information on these zones is held centrally.

Taxis: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on the training required of taxi drivers. (197644)

We recognise the benefits that improved training for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers will bring in terms of better quality of service for passengers, and to the drivers themselves in terms of potentially acquiring new business.

We are providing financial support to GoSkills, the sector skills council for passenger transport, to assist their work in raising awareness of the opportunities for, and benefits of, skills development in the taxi and PHV industry.

However, local licensing authorities are responsible for taxi and PHV licensing decisions in their respective areas, including whether drivers must undertake any particular training or qualification to meet their licensing requirements.

Our licensing Best Practice Guidance for authorities suggests they should consider, in consultation with the local taxi and PHV trades, what training initiatives and requirements are appropriate for their area.

Train Operating Companies: Rolling Stock

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons train operating companies are not allowed to acquire new rolling stock within their existing franchise without her Department's approval. (190552)

Proposals from train operators are welcome if they are going to fund new rolling stock. The Department needs to ensure contractual arrangements are in place in case of franchise termination so they can continue to operate the service; hence, there is a process in place to give these approvals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates her Department was first made aware by (a) a rolling stock company and (b) a train operating company of a request for an increased amount of rolling stock on (i) the west coast mainline, (ii) the northern train's franchise and (iii) the southern franchise. (190560)

Since the Department for Transport has regular and ongoing discussions with train operators regarding current and projected passenger demand and the efficient utilisation of existing capacity, it is not practically possible to identify dates when specific propositions were first raised. While train operators may seek central Government funding for additional rolling stock, it may also be procured with third party funding or at the commercial initiative of the train operator itself.

Transport: Capital Investment

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much Government capital funding for transport was provided to the City of York from (a) 1987 to 1997 and (b) 1997 to 2007. (197183)

The information is as follows:

(a) Prior to 1996-97 North Yorkshire county council was the local highway and transport authority covering York. Figures for Government transport capital funding specifically for the York area are not available. The City of York council was created as a unitary authority in 1996. For 1996-97 it was allocated £3.340 million.

(b) York city council has been allocated a total of £52.830 million of local transport capital funding for the financial years 1997-98 to 2007-08 (inclusive).

Transport: Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the real terms cost of travelling by (a) bus, (b) rail and (c) private car has been in each region in England in each year since 1997, taking 1997 as the baseline. (195926)

Transport: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the funding allocated to the Yorkshire and Humber region for major transport projects up to 2015-16 has been (a) allocated to and (b) spent on individual schemes; and if she will make a statement. (197438)

The funding allocated for major transport projects in Yorkshire and the Humber from 2006-07 to 2015-16 is £927 million. The funding so far provisionally allocated to individual schemes is £877.6 million, though some of the schemes concerned have not yet completed formal approval processes. The estimated outturn expenditure on these schemes, from April 2006 to December 2007, is £131.175 million.

Yorkshire and Humberside

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what official visits she has made to Yorkshire and the Humber since her appointment; and if she will make a statement. (192431)

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Transport, visited Yorkshire and the Humber recently to open the M606/62 car pool lane. Since my appointment as Regional Minister I have made regular official visits to the region to discuss transport issues with a range of stakeholders.

Northern Ireland

Driving Under Influence: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) males and (b) females under the age of 19 years were (i) arrested for (ii) charged with and (iii) convicted of driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol in each district command unit in each of the last five years. (194754)

This information is not available in the requested format.

The following tables provide the numbers arrested and prosecuted for alcohol/drug related driving offences.

Table 1: Males under the age of 19 years prosecuted and convicted of alcohol/drug related driving offences by DCU address of offender 2002-06

2002

2003

2004

Prosecuted

Convicted

Prosecuted

Convicted

Prosecuted

Convicted

Antrim

0

0

3

3

0

0

Ards

2

2

2

2

3

3

Armagh

0

0

4

4

1

0

Banbridge

4

4

2

2

1

1

Belfast East

2

2

1

1

2

2

Belfast North

0

0

1

1

5

5

Belfast South

1

1

0

0

4

4

Belfast West

4

4

6

6

4

4

Ballymena

1

1

1

1

3

3

Ballymoney

0

0

3

3

0

0

Carrickfergus

2

2

0

0

0

0

Coleraine

2

2

4

4

4

4

Cookstown

1

1

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

2

2

4

3

5

5

Castlereagh

2

1

2

2

1

1

Dungannon and South Tyrone

3

2

1

1

2

2

Down

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fermanagh

5

5

4

4

1

1

Foyle

3

3

4

4

4

4

Larne

1

1

1

1

2

2

Limavady

3

3

2

2

0

0

Lisburn

8

7

1

1

5

5

Magherafelt

2

2

2

2

0

0

Moyle

0

0

1

1

0

0

Newtownabbey

2

2

2

2

1

1

North Down

4

4

2

2

5

5

Newry and Mourne

2

2

2

1

5

4

Omagh

3

3

0

0

1

1

Strabane

1

1

1

1

3

3

Missing1

1

1

3

3

2

2

Total

61

58

59

57

64

62

20052006

Prosecuted

Convicted

Prosecuted

Convicted

Antrim

3

3

3

3

Ards

1

1

3

3

Armagh

3

2

3

2

Banbridge

2

1

1

1

Belfast East

2

2

2

2

Belfast North

7

7

6

4

Belfast South

0

0

1

1

Belfast West

2

2

2

2

Ballymena

3

3

0

0

Ballymoney

2

2

3

3

Carrickfergus

2

2

2

2

Coleraine

4

4

0

0

Cookstown

0

0

1

1

Craigavon

4

4

4

4

Castlereagh

2

2

3

3

Dungannon and South Tyrone

0

0

2

2

Down

4

4

2

1

Fermanagh

1

1

5

5

Foyle

3

3

5

5

Larne

1

0

1

1

Limavady

1

1

1

1

Lisburn

2

2

1

1

Magherafelt

2

2

0

0

Moyle

0

0

0

0

Newtownabbey

1

1

5

4

North Down

2

2

2

1

Newry and Mourne

4

3

1

1

Omagh

0

0

2

2

Strabane

1

1

2

2

Missing1

3

3

1

1

Total

62

58

64

58

1 Missing data relate to those offenders for whom DCU information is not available.

Table 2: Females under the age of 19 years prosecuted and convicted of alcohol/drug related driving offences by police District Command Unit 2002-2006

2002

2003

2004

Prosecuted

Convicted

Prosecuted

Convicted

Prosecuted

Convicted

Ards

0

0

1

1

1

1

Armagh

0

0

0

0

0

0

Belfast North

0

0

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dungannon and South Tyrone

0

0

0

0

0

0

Down

0

0

0

0

0

0

Larne

0

0

1

1

0

0

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

0

Missing2

0

0

1

1

0

0

Total

0

0

3

3

1

1

20052006

Prosecuted

Convicted

Prosecuted

Convicted

Ards

0

0

0

0

Armagh

1

1

1

1

Belfast North

0

0

1

1

Cookstown

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

1

1

1

1

Dungannon and South Tyrone

1

1

0

0

Down

1

0

0

0

Larne

0

0

0

0

Omagh

0

0

1

1

Missing2

1

1

1

1

Total

5

4

5

5

1 Only those DCUs where there were court outcomes are included for females (i.e. the DCUs in which females have been prosecuted or convicted in the previous five years have been included in the table).

2 Missing data relate to those offenders for whom DCU information is not available.

Drugs: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children under the age of 16 years have been (a) charged with and (b) convicted of drug-related offences in each district command unit in each of the last five years. (194751)

The information requested is set out in the following tables. Prior to 2006-07, the PSNI did not provide separate figures for the number charged and prosecuted.

Table 1 (a): Persons charged or summonsed for drug-related offences under the age of 16, 2002-03 to 2006-07

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Antrim

2

0

3

1

1

Ards

0

1

2

0

2

East Belfast

3

10

3

2

1

North Belfast

3

1

3

2

1

South Belfast

2

2

8

5

5

West Belfast

3

0

3

2

5

Carrickfergus

0

0

1

0

2

Castlereagh

0

0

0

1

0

Larne

1

1

0

1

0

Lisburn

3

1

5

3

5

Newtownabbey

0

0

0

2

0

North Down

2

2

4

2

4

Urban

19

18

32

21

26

Armagh

1

2

5

0

0

Banbridge

0

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

2

3

4

1

1

Ballymoney

0

0

1

0

0

Coleraine

4

3

1

2

2

Cookstown

0

0

3

1

1

Craigavon

1

1

1

6

8

Dungannon and S Tyrone

2

0

1

1

0

Down

0

4

2

1

2

Fermanagh

0

0

0

5

1

Foyle

2

2

1

1

0

Limavady

0

2

3

0

5

Magherafelt

0

0

0

0

0

Moyle

0

0

0

0

0

Newry and Mourne

2

1

1

2

1

Omagh

0

0

1

1

0

Strabane

0

0

0

0

0

Rural

14

18

24

21

21

Northern Ireland total

33

36

56

42

47

Table 1 (b): Breakdown of persons charged or summonsed for drug-related offences under the age of 16, 2006-07

Charged

Summonsed

Total

Antrim

0

1

1

Ards

0

2

2

East Belfast

0

1

1

North Belfast

0

1

1

South Belfast

1

4

5

West Belfast

1

4

5

Carrickfergus

0

2

2

Castlereagh

0

0

0

Larne

0

0

0

Lisburn

0

5

5

Newtownabbey

0

0

0

North Down

0

4

4

Urban

2

24

26

Armagh

0

0

0

Banbridge

0

0

0

Ballymena

0

1

1

Ballymoney

0

0

0

Coleraine

0

2

2

Cookstown

0

1

1

Craigavon

2

6

8

Dungannon and S Tyrone

0

0

0

Down

0

2

2

Fermanagh

0

1

1

Foyle

0

0

0

Limavady

2

3

5

Magherafelt

0

0

0

Moyle

0

0

0

Newry and Mourne

0

1

1

Omagh

0

0

0

Strabane

0

0

0

Rural

4

17

21

Northern Ireland total

6

41

47

Source:

Central Statistics Unit, Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Table 2: Number of prosecutions and convictions for drug offences for persons aged 10 to 15 years old for the calendar years 2002 to 2006 by police district command unit

2002

2003

2004

Prosecutions

Convictions

Prosecutions

Convictions

Prosecutions

Convictions

Antrim

0

0

0

0

1

1

Ards

0

0

0

0

1

1

Armagh

0

0

0

0

1

1

Ballymena

0

0

0

0

1

0

Belfast East

0

0

1

1

0

0

Belfast North

0

0

1

1

1

1

Belfast South

1

0

0

0

1

1

Belfast West

1

1

0

0

1

1

Carrickfergus

0

0

0

0

0

0

Castlereagh

1

1

0

0

0

0

Colerame

0

0

1

1

1

1

Cookstown

0

0

1

1

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

0

1

1

Foyle

0

0

2

1

0

0

Limavady

0

0

2

1

0

0

Lisburn

0

0

1

1

1

1

Newry and Mourne

0

0

0

0

2

2

Newtownabbey

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Down

1

1

0

0

0

0

Omagh

0

0

0

0

0

0

Northern Ireland total

4

3

9

7

12

11

20052006

Prosecutions

Convictions

Prosecutions

Convictions

Antrim

0

0

0

0

Ards

2

2

1

1

Armagh

0

0

0

0

Ballymena

1

1

1

1

Belfast East

0

0

0

0

Belfast North

0

0

2

2

Belfast South

3

3

1

1

Belfast West

0

0

1

1

Carrickfergus

0

0

2

2

Castlereagh

0

0

0

0

Colerame

0

0

0

0

Cookstown

0

0

0

0

Craigavon

0

0

0

0

Foyle

1

1

0

0

Limavady

0

0

1

1

Lisburn

0

0

1

1

Newry and Mourne

1

1

0

0

Newtownabbey

0

0

1

1

North Down

1

1

0

0

Omagh

1

1

0

0

Northern Ireland total

10

10

11

11

These tables of statistics are not directly comparable as statistics on charges are compiled by the PSNI on a financial year basis, and statistics on convictions are compiled by the courts on a calendar year basis.

Missing Persons

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons registered as missing in Northern Ireland have been missing for (a) less than one year and (b) more than five years; and what percentage these figures represent of the total number of persons missing. (194749)

Missing persons are dealt with at district level. The information requested could not be provided without conducting a full examination of the records of each district, which could be carried out only at disproportionate cost.

However, an exercise conducted for the Northern Ireland Policing Board in November 2007 calculated the number of missing persons reported in each year since 2002 as follows:

Number

20071

581

2006

642

2005

689

2004

684

2003

668

2002

437

1 Up until November 2007.

There were 68 persons registered as missing in Northern Ireland as of early November 2007. Only a very small number of persons reported missing are not subsequently located.

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding has been secured for the construction of a new stadium in Belfast to host the football finals of the London 2012 Olympics Games. (197489)

This is a devolved matter and the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Sexual Offences: Convictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2008, Official Report, columns 389-90W, on sexual offences, of what offences sexual offenders residing in each police command area were convicted. (195593)

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agricultural Products

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the percentage of each major agricultural commodity consumed in the UK which was produced in the UK in the last period for which figures are available. (196384)

A suitable measure is UK production or UK home-fed production as a percentage of total new supply for use in the UK1, for which data are available for the calendar year 2007 for a range of agricultural commodities as detailed in the following table.

Commodity

Production as percentage of total new supply for use in the UK1

Wheat

106

Barley

108

Oats

103

Oilseed rape

111

Sugar beet

63

Potatoes

79

Vegetables

58

Fruit

11

Poultry and poultry meat

90

Beef and veal

82

Mutton and lamb

82

Pork

69

Bacon and ham

42

Hen eggs

81

Liquid milk

103

Butter

61

Cheese

55

Cream (fresh, frozen, sterilised)

114

Condensed milk

76

Milk powders

167

1 New supply for use in the UK is defined as UK production plus imports minus exports. For beef, veal, mutton and lamb the measure and term used is home-fed production and home-cured production for bacon and ham.

Bluetongue Disease: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contingency arrangements are in place for tackling a serotype of bluetongue, other than serotype 8, if it enters the UK. (196215)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The UK Bluetongue Control Strategy, which was developed in close collaboration with a core group of farming and veterinary stakeholders, the devolved Administrations and scientific experts on Bluetongue, sets out the contingency arrangements for dealing with an outbreak. The control strategy applies to all serotypes of Bluetongue, not just serotype 8.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate he has made of how many and what proportion of livestock farmers in protection zones will take up bluetongue vaccine; (196437)

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of (a) sheep and (b) cattle in protection zones which will be eligible to receive the bluetongue vaccine.

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: Data on livestock in England are only immediately available to cover the protection and surveillance zones as they stood on 25 February 2008:

PZ only

SZ only

All England

Cattle

Numbers

224,590

1,918,735

5,617,280

Holdings

2,912

19,889

52,729

Sheep

Numbers

893,574

6,045,955

15,586,191

Holdings

4,419

23,722

48,393

Deer (farmed)

Numbers

3,891

18,772

26,135

Holdings

42

184

301

Goats

Numbers

8,667

41,626

82,657

Holdings

1,089

4,120

7,002

Following further confirmation of infected premises, the Protection and surveillance zones have subsequently been enlarged.

Under European Community law, bluetongue vaccination can only be carried out in a protection zone. Once vaccination is progressing broadly across the protection zone, the intention is to extend or modify the zone in order to permit further vaccination, allowing a phased approach as vaccine comes on-stream. However, when vaccine first becomes available from May, it could initially be necessary to limit vaccine availability within the protection zone in accordance with the supply of vaccine and the epidemiological situation.

Although we have made no formal estimate of likely take-up of vaccine, the advice of industry stakeholders is that take-up will be high in a voluntary scheme, especially if an active approach is taken to promoting vaccination. As individual keepers will be responsible for the costs of vaccination, our aim, in close collaboration with a core group of industry stakeholders, has been to develop a vaccination programme which will reduce the cost of vaccination to a minimum by using existing delivery chains and reducing regulatory burdens in order to encourage maximum participation.

Bluetongue Disease: Vaccinations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what dosage will be necessary for vaccinating each (a) sheep and (b) cow against bluetongue; (195782)

(2) when he expects the bluetongue vaccine doses on order from Intervet to be available in (a) England and (b) Wales;

(3) what percentage of livestock susceptible to bluetongue in protection zones in (a) England and (b) Wales he expects the bluetongue vaccine to be available for.

[holding answer 20 March 2008]: The UK was the first member state affected by the current outbreak of bluetongue to place an order for vaccine; 22.5 million doses. 20 million doses are reserved for use in England and 2.5 million doses are reserved for use in Wales. The first batches of vaccine are expected to be available from May.

Vaccination is limited to the Protection Zone, and so vaccine will be available to all keepers of susceptible livestock in the Protection Zone, who will be able to purchase vaccine through their private vet. However, as vaccine begins to be delivered by Intervet, it may be necessary to prioritise vaccine availability to reflect supply and the epidemiological situation.

The vaccine being produced by Intervet will require one dose in sheep and two doses in cattle. The size of the dose is likely to be one millilitre but this is subject to ongoing discussions between Intervet and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate as part of the vaccine licensing process.

Bovine Tuberculosis

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cattle have died or been slaughtered in (a) England, (b) Cumbria and (c) Copeland constituency because of bovine tuberculosis over the last five years. (196206)

Our extensive bovine TB testing programme ensures that, generally, cattle showing signs of exposure to bovine TB are identified and slaughtered before the disease has become too advanced. Cattle with advanced bovine TB, or cattle dying from the disease, are very rarely found.

The number of cattle slaughtered under bovine TB control measures in England and Cumbria is shown in the following table. It is not possible to break the data down to a constituency level.

Number of cattle slaughtered1

England

Cumbria

2003

17,551

275

2004

17,306

510

20052

23,135

168

20062

16,007

114

20072

19,794

29

1 Includes cattle slaughtered as skin and gamma-interferon test reactors, skin test inconclusive reactors and direct contacts.

2 2005-07 figures are provisional, subject to change as more data become available.

Caravan Sites

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether his Department has held a consultation on proposed amendments to the time limit given in paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960; (195761)

(2) what organisations have exemption certificates under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960;

(3) what discussions his Department has had with the devolved administrations on proposed changes to Schedule 1 to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960;

(4) what representations his Department has received on the proposed changes to the time limit given in paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

Any proposal for amendments to the time limit given in paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 would require new primary legislation. DEFRA has no plans for any such legislation.

DEFRA and Natural England, who now deal with the issue of exemption certificates under the 1960 Act, are updating, and consolidating into a single document, the existing guidance on applications for exemption certificates for both caravans and camping. We have consulted the devolved administrations and the major camping and caravanning organisations, including the Association of Caravan and Camping Exempted Organisations, about the new document.

The document reiterates previous guidance on the time limit for paragraph 6 exemptions—consisting of a maximum of five periods of 24 hours commencing when the first caravan is stationed on the rally site.

Exempted organisations which, prior to any exempted rally, wish to have a single caravan on the rally site to assist with the setting up of an event may rely on the additional exemption under paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 of the 1960 Act. This provides that a site licence is not required for the use of land by a person travelling with a caravan for not more than two nights. The exemption is subject to the condition that only one caravan is allowed and the total number of days in any twelve month period on which a caravan was stationed anywhere on the site, or any adjoining land in the same ownership, cannot exceed 28 days.

DEFRA and Natural England are considering representations from the major camping and caravan organisations. We expect to finalise the single guidance document by the summer of 2008.

There are over 300 organisations who hold exemption certificates under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 of the 1960 Act, so it is not practical to list them. A list of the organisations is publicly available on the Natural England website.

Carbon Emissions: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of progress in meeting targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the housing sector; and if he will make a statement. (196885)

DEFRA is monitoring annual changes in household energy consumption, by fuel, and hence the corresponding CO2 emissions.

Against a long-term trend of rising gas consumption, over the period 2004-06, consumption of gas by household consumers fell by over 8 per cent. Of this, possibly up to half could be attributed to higher prices; weather changes had little effect. Improved energy efficiency for heating, particularly higher levels of insulation (installed via the Energy Efficiency Commitment) and more efficient boilers (required by Building Regulations), is likely to have contributed to the remaining reduction of gas, the principal heating fuel. However, more detailed analysis is required to quantify this effect.

Carbon Offsetting Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy for payments from the Department for Communities and Local Government towards the Carbon Offsetting Fund to be used to support offsetting or renewable energy projects in local communities in the UK. (194769)

There are currently no viable energy efficiency or renewable energy UK offsetting projects due to our membership of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS).

This is because the UK prefers to meet its targets through direct emission reductions, rather than offsets.

Chemicals: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which municipal waste disposal sites received chemical waste generated by Monsanto in the latest period for which data are available. (195192)

Wastes are categorised as hazardous, non-hazardous or inert. Specific waste streams are then sub-categorised using the European Waste Catalogue. The term “chemical waste” is not a category that is currently in use.

The Environment Agency authorises waste types that are appropriate for landfilling but does not normally authorise individual and specific waste sources. The Environment Agency is therefore not able to state categorically which of 1,500-plus operational and closed landfill sites in England and Wales have received chemical waste from Monsanto.

Consignment notes held by waste management facilities would record the source of the waste. Prior to 2005, the Environment Agency was sent copies of these consignment notes, but the cost of extracting the required information from these records would be disproportionate. The Environment Agency retains these records for four years so would not be able to provide a full account of wastes deposited by Monsanto even if data were readily available.

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research he has evaluated to develop his policy on anthropogenic climate change; (196405)

(2) what assessment he has made of the reliability of the scientific evidence on which each of the four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports has been based; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what assessment he has made of the reliability of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports in developing his policies on climate change.

The scientific basis for understanding anthropogenic climate change is extremely strong. DEFRA evaluates the evidence provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its comprehensive reports, as well as through DEFRA and Ministry of Defence funded climate research undertaken by the UK's world-leading Met Office in Hadley Centre, in Exeter; and through ongoing contact with other climate researchers in the UK and elsewhere.

Four assessment reports have been completed in 1990, 1995, 2001 and the latest in 2007. The UK fully supports the work of the IPCC and regards its assessments as providing the most authoritative view of climate change. The IPCC assessments have fully informed the development of domestic climate policy and the UK position in international climate negotiations.

Hundreds of UK scientists were involved in the preparation of the fourth assessment report and DEFRA supports lead authors and review editors to participate in IPCC writing groups.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change; and if he will make a statement. (196406)

Departmental Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what percentage of staff in his Department were making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions in each of the last two years. (193566)

599 members of staff in core-DEFRA and those Executive agencies covered by the core-Department's terms and conditions: Animal Health, Marine and Fisheries Agency, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Government Decontamination Service and Pesticides Safety Directorate (9.75 per cent. of total number of staff employed in core-DEFRA and the named Executive agencies) were making additional voluntary pension contributions through deductions from their pay in February 2007. This has decreased to 544 members of staff (9.74 per cent. of total number of staff employed in core-DEFRA and the named Executive agencies) who were making additional voluntary pension contributions through deductions from their pay in February 2008.

Domestic Wastes: Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) subject and (b) cost was of each research contract (i) his Department and (ii) WRAP have commissioned on household waste since 2001. (192176)

Joan Ruddock: The Waste and Resources Research Programme (now renamed the Waste and Resources Evidence Programme since the publication of DEFRA’s Waste and Resources Evidence Strategy 2007-11 in September 2007) only started commissioning research projects from the summer of 2005. The following table lists those projects that have some association with household waste issues.

Details of the research contracts on household waste that were commissioned by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) can be found on its website at:

http://www.wrap.org.uk/.

Contracted project title

Lead contractor

WRT code

SIS code

Total project value (£)

Household Waste Prevention Policy Side Research Programme

The Environment Council

251

WR0103

160,695

Lifestyle Scenarios: Futures for Waste Composition

Brook Lyndhurst

202

WR0104

139,100

Project REDUCE M and E: Developing Waste Prevention Measurement Tools

Waste Watch

192

WR0105

118,378

Achieving Household Waste Prevention and Promoting Sustainable Resource Use though Product Service Systems

Cranfield University

129

WR0106

190,971

Modelling Impacts of Lifestyle Changes on Household Waste Arisings

AEAT

218

WR0107

177,864

Understanding Household Waste Prevention Behaviour

University of Paisley

109

WR0112

62,863

Refillable Packaging Systems

Loughborough University

151

WR0113

140,183

Building Understanding of Techniques and Processes to Promote SWM through Behaviour Change Programmes

Global Action Plan

113

WR0114

186,868

Household Waste Prevention Activity in Dorset

Dorset County Council

264

WR0116

227,413

Towards a Materials Resource Authority: Promoting Practical Waste Prevention and Exploring Options for Resource Management

Hampshire County Council

195

WR0117

225,000

Recycling of Low Grade Clothing Waste

Oakdene Hollins

152

WR0201

154,500

Enhancing Participation in Kitchen Waste Collection

Brook Lyndhurst

372

WR0209

224,200

Biowaste Management: Policy Options for Climate Change Benefits

ERM

370

WR0210

85,675

Unlocking the Potential of Community Composting

Open University

400

WR0211

209,647

Optimising Inputs and Outputs from Anaerobic Digestion Processes

Southampton University

404

WR0212

203,090

Factors Influencing the Performance of CA Sites' Recycling

Resource Futures

457

WR0215

32,694

Delivery of Waste Management Facilities in EU Member States: Comparative Review and Lessons Learned (co-funding contribution)

CIWM/SLR

288

WR0216

85,643

Assessment of Occupational Health and Safety Risks of Waste Collection and Handling Systems

Health and Safety Executive

309

WR0217

67,500

Biowaste Scoping Study

Composting Association

278

WR0218

18,000

Landfill Settlement: Controlling the Time to Completion

Golder Associates

381

WR0301

76,450

Forced Air Flow and Distribution in Landfill Wastes

Southampton University

350

WR0302

129,800

Science and Strategies for the Sustainable Management of Residual Wastes and Landfills (Third party contribution)

Veolia Environmental Body

329

WR0303

11,020

Towards Sustainable Landfill: Passive Fail-safe Design and Engineering

Golder Associates

279

WR0304

71,000

Science and Strategies for the Long Term Management of Landfills (co-funding contribution)

EPSRC/ Southampton University

424

WR0305

200,000

New Approach to Fly Ash Processing and Applications to Minimise Wastage to Landfill

Dundee University

395

WR0401

254,647

Replicating Success: Social Enterprises and the Waste Sector in London (co-funded by LDA)

Brook Lyndhurst

250

WR0501

230,888

Social Enterprises and SWM: Evaluating Impacts, Capacities and Opportunities

Cardiff University

162

WR0502

153,736

Fly-Tipping: Incentives, Causes and Solutions

University College London

274

WR0503

193,000

Establishing the Evidence-base for Delivering Community-based Pro-environmental Behavioural Change

Brook Lyndhurst

296

WR0504

102,652

Post Evaluation of Household Incentive Pilot Schemes

University of Brighton

452

WR0505

4,500

Benefits of Third Sector Involvement in WM

Resources for Change

318

WR0506

100,490

Behaviour Change: Scoping the Way Forward

AEAT

087

WR0508

9,775

Attitudes towards the Use of Organic Resources on Land

Open University

049

WR0510

203,666

Evaluation of the Household Waste Incentives Pilot Scheme

AEAT

330

WR0512

19,744

Health and Environmental Impacts of Vermin/Insects in the Context of WM Operations

CSL

100

WR0601

26,724

Carbon Balances and Energy Impacts in Managing UK Waste Streams

ERM

237

WR0602

108,320

Review of Landfill Surface Emissions

Colder Associates

369

WR0604

40,000

Rapid Response Monitoring Network for Bioaerosol Emissions

National Physical Laboratory

281

WR0605

293,000

Dose-response Relationships and Bio-aerosol Data

IOM Consulting

282

WR0606

45,750

Scoping the Development of an Industry-wide Health and Safety Initiative

CIWM/Entec

454

WR0607

47,000

Emissions from WM: Frameworks for Assessment of Data Quality and Research Needs

ERM

083

WR0608

115,000

Impact of EfW and Recycling Policy on UK GHG Emissions

ERM

327

WR0609

39,750

Evaluating the Costs of 'Waste to Value' Management

Ceres Logistics

142

WR0702

99,700

Infrastructure Needs for a Resource Efficient Economy

Institute of Civil Engineers

292

WR0703

7,000

Updated Life Cycle Study on Reusable and Disposable Nappies (Co-funding contribution)

EA/ERM

333

WR0705

17,552

Impacts of Household Charging in England

Eunomia

450

WR0708

35,160

Data Deficiencies in WM Policy and Practice

AEAT

215

WR0801

119,710

Impact of Promotion and Education Programmes on Recycling Participation

Enviros

455

WR0802

40,000

Municipal Waste Composition: Garden Waste Data Composition

WRAP

495

WR1502

2,932

Total

5,509,250

Farms: Inspections

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farm inspections were conducted in each of the last five years, broken down by inspection body. (191145)

Farm inspections are conducted by different bodies for different reasons. Regarding DEFRA bodies, the chief executives of the Rural Payment Agency, Animal Health, Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Veterinary Medicine Directorate, Natural England, and the Environment Agency have been asked to supply the information for their agencies.

Individual local authorities will hold information on the number of visits they have carried out. A fully comprehensive reply cannot be given as a significant proportion of the information is not collected centrally. Also, there is some uncertainty about whether non-regulatory visits would come within the scope of the hon. Member's question.

The number of farm inspections carried out by Animal Health and the Veterinary Laboratory Agency are shown in the following table:

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Animal Health1

122,000

131,000

126,000

136,000

110,000

Veterinary Medicines Directorate2

772

587

686

535

380

1 The source for the data is incomplete and it is not possible to differentiate between inspections and testing visits. 2 Includes routine and follow up/special visits but excludes inspections for residues as these are included in Animal Health's figures.

Visits are undertaken by Animal Health staff, by local veterinary inspectors acting on behalf of the organisation, or by the Egg Marketing and Dairy Hygiene Inspectorates.

In 2007, the overall number of visits declined due to a reduction in volume of sampling visits under the National Scrapie Plan and for brucellosis.

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency does not undertake any regulatory inspections.

The number of farm inspections carried out by the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) Inspectorate from 2003-04 to 2007-08 is set out in the following table:

Number

2003-04

113,805

2004-05

211,779

2005-06

311,951

2006-07

313,869

2007-08

414,457

1 All Integrated Administration Control System (IACS) and England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) scheme inspections. 2 All IACS and ERDP scheme inspections. 3 First year of Single Payment Scheme (SPS)—includes all SPS Land Eligibility, Cross-compliance, Remote sensing follow-up, Cattle Identification Inspection and ERDP Inspections. 4 As above, plus statutory sheep and goat inspections.

In 2006-07 and 2007-08, the Horticultural Marketing inspectors who merged with the RPA Inspectorate on 1 April 2006, carried out the following inspections at the premises of glasshouse growers, market gardeners, etc.:

Number

2006

1,452

2007

1,433

Information cannot be readily gathered from a single IT system for this timeframe without incurring disproportionate cost. Animal Health have been developing its management information and hence more detailed figures are available for 2007.

Using available data, Animal Health undertook in the region of 25,000 on farm inspections in Britain in 2007. This figure includes 4,227 visits to inspect farm animal welfare (including welfare cross-compliance inspections), 12,963 inspections undertaken by the Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate (DHI) and 2,905 on farm inspections made by the Egg Marketing Inspectorate (EMI)1.

Across these three programmes, some 22,000 on farm inspections were completed annually from 2003-07.

As well as inspection visits, Animal Health carries out various types of visit to sample stock for surveillance and for disease control. Within this category, agency staff or official veterinarians2 working on its behalf undertook more than 50,000 herd tests for bovine TB in 2007 and 8,000 visits under the National Scrapie Plan (NSP).

1 DHI and EMI merged with the State Veterinary Service in October 2006 and April 2007 respectively.

2 OVs—previously referred to as Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVIs).

The number of inspections of farm animal welfare and on farm inspections performed by DHI and EMI, in 2003-07 is shown in the following table. It also shows the number of bTB herd testing visits and NSP sampling visits completed in these years.

Type of visit

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Welfare inspection

2,879

3,201

3,419

3,849

14,227

DHI inspection

16,553

15,414

15,474

14,996

12,963

EMI inspection

2,722

3,098

2,865

3,241

2,905

TB herd test

45,120

44,794

43,627

50,327

51,221

NSP sampling

10,469

10,443

12,480

11,730

7,989

1 2007 welfare inspection visits include welfare cross-compliance inspections.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans his Department has to (a) simplify and (b) reduce the number of farm inspections. (196201)

The Whole Farm Approach includes a project looking at on-farm inspections. The aim is to “join-up” inspections, bringing together as many organisations as possible that visit farms to enforce regulatory requirements or undertake routine monitoring. The project is focusing on increased sharing of inspection resource and inspection data to better target inspection activity and reduce the burden on the better performing farms.

Flood Control: Cumbria

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that the flood defence pumps in the Lyth Valley, South Cumbria, continue to operate effectively. (197860)

The Environment Agency is producing a Catchment Flood Management Plan (CFMP) for the Kent and Leven catchments, which includes the Lyth Valley. The CFMP will consider a wide variety of interests and initiatives in the area. Public consultation will commence within the next month.

The CFMP will identify future flood risk management actions across the catchments for the next 50-100 years and will include long term decisions about river maintenance and the land drainage pumps in the Lyth Valley. However, in the short term, the Environment Agency will continue to operate and maintain the pumps in the Lyth Valley.

Floods: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the damage to furniture, furnishings and moveables that were damaged and sent to landfill following the floods in summer 2007; and what estimate he has made of the impact these losses will have on council tax for those councils most affected. (197941)

My Department has not specifically assessed the damage caused to furniture and furnishings destroyed as a result of last summer’s floods.

Evidence provided by local authorities indicates only a relatively small increase in municipal waste arisings as a result of last year’s flooding. This is within the normal range of variations in annual waste arisings and should not have a long-term or significant impact on waste management costs.

Government Offices for the Regions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of his Department’s programme budgets were administered by the Government Offices of the Regions in each of the last five years. (195125)

None of my Department’s programme budgets are directly administered by the Government Offices.

We have a number of programme budgets administered centrally by my Department which fund projects within the Government Office regions, and the Government Offices have an oversight role on these regional funds, in terms of how and where the money is spent. The following table sets out a number of programmes where the Government Office has had an oversight role in each of the last five years.

More generally, Government Offices have a key role to play on the DEFRA agenda by acting as environmental leaders and working in partnership with local stakeholders on cross-cutting issues such as climate change, sustainable development natural environment and waste.

DEFRA programmes indirectly administered by the Government Offices

2002-03

Sustainable Development Publicity

Leader +

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

Regional Rural Affairs Forums

Waste Regional Support Fund

Sustainable Food and Farming

Waste Implementation Programme

Leader +

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

Regional Rural Affairs Forums

2003-04

Sustainable Development Publicity

2004-05

Sustainable Development Publicity

Waste Regional Support Fund

Sustainable Food and Farming

Waste Implementation Programme

Leader +

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

Regional Rural Affairs Forums

2005-06

Sustainable Development Publicity

Waste Regional Support Fund

Sustainable Food and Farming

Waste Implementation Programme

Leader +

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

Regional Rural Affairs Forums

Rural Social and Community Programme

2006-07

Sustainable Development Partnership and Innovation Fund

Waste Regional Support Fund

Sustainable Food and Farming

Waste Implementation Programme

Leader +

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

Regional Rural Affairs Forums

Rural Social and Community Programme

Greyhounds: Animal Welfare

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2008, Official Report, column 1994W, on greyhounds: animal welfare, if he will take account of representations on (a) a single system of regulation and set of national standards for greyhound racing, (b) an independent oversight body, (c) a compulsory levy on bookmakers to fund welfare improvements, (d) a central database to record injuries to greyhounds, (e) a mandatory independent veterinarian at tracks, (f) requirements for greyhounds to be able to stand up and turn around while being transported, (g) rules on race frequency, (h) independent inspections of tracks and kennels and breeders' premises, (i) micro-chipping of dogs, (j) licensing of trainers and track staff and (k) a presumption against euthanasia in considering the response of the greyhound industry to Lord Donoughue's review; and if he will make a statement. (196781)

We are currently considering proposals for the regulation of greyhound racing. The Government will, of course, take into account the recommendations made by Lord Donoughue and also the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW). There will be a full public consultation on any proposals before scrutiny by Parliament.

Ground Water: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, columns 735-6W, on ground water: pollution, what plans he has to initiate research into the level of groundwater contamination in the UK and to publish a strategic plan detailing the level of (a) contamination and (b) clean water. (196360)

In 2006 the Environment Agency published a report which identified the main risks to and impacts on groundwater quality. The Environment Agency has also carried out a groundwater protection policy review, which provides information on the key issues surrounding the contamination of groundwater. I have arranged for a copy of both documents to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

As part of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the agencies must prepare assessments of the risks to, and the status of, groundwater bodies in the UK and prepare strategic plans to meet WFD objectives. Preliminary risk assessments were published in 2004. These will be revised and published, together with status maps and proposed actions, in the draft River Basin District Management Plans. We expect these to issue for public consultation in December 2008.

Hare Coursing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent of illegal hare-coursing in England since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004. (195758)

DEFRA has made no assessment of the extent of illegal hare-coursing in England since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004.

Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many households received at least one main measure under the Warm Front Scheme in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06, (d) 2006-07 and (e) 2007-08, broken down by local authority area. (195120)

Incinerators: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much air pollution control residue from incinerators was treated and disposed of in Gloucestershire in the latest period for which figures are available; what percentage of the UK's total this represents; and if he will make a statement. (196595)

During 2007, Gloucestershire treated and disposed of 22,170 tonnes of air pollution control residues; this represents 15 per cent. of the total in England and Wales.

Nature Conservation: Wildlife

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to give equal consideration to native and non-native species in exercising his powers on species to be added to and removed from the list of species in Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; and if he will make a statement. (197008)