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Departmental Public Relations

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the National Forest has made to Cavendish Communications and Cavendish Public Affairs in the last 12 months; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments were made. (305426)

In the last 12 months the National Forest Company has made payments amounting to £16,997.80 to Cavendish Place Communications for advice on communication with cross-parliamentary audiences, necessary for the delivery of the National Forest Delivery Plan 2009-14. There is no contract in place with Cavendish Public Affairs.

Due to commercial sensitivity and constraints, the National Forest Company will not be placing copies of contracts in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the Waste and Resources Action Programme has made to Fishburn Hedges in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments were made. (305427)

Following a competitive tender, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) contracted Fishburn Hedges to develop and deliver communications support across five separate areas of work. This has included three highly successful nationwide consumer campaigns:

Recycle Now, which has delivered a step change in recycling by UK households resulting in more than two thirds of households recycling as a way of life.

Love Food Hate Waste, which has highlighted the problem of food waste and helped cut around 160,000 tonnes of food waste, and saved consumers more than £400 million a year, preventing 725,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted.

Home Composting Campaign, which has contributed to selling over two million compost bins in England and Scotland which are estimated to divert over 260,000 tonnes of organic waste each year.

In addition, Fishburn Hedges provided support to pilot campaigns in 12 local authority areas to encourage the recycling of small waste electrical products, funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, as well as helping a WRAP programme promoting recycling to schools and their pupils.

All the communications material generated for these campaigns is made freely available to local authorities, allowing them to reduce their costs.

WRAP also used Fishburn Hedges to advise on how to raise awareness among senior local authority officers and elected members of the support on waste prevention and recycling services it offers.

In the last 12 months (from 9 December 2008 to 8 December 2009) Fishburn Hedges was paid a total of £959,000 for this work.

Fishburn Hedges was contracted by WRAP. The terms of the contract are subject to commercial confidentiality.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments British Waterways has made to (a) Four Communications, (b) Cavendish Communications and (c) Atherton Associates in the last 12 months; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each contract under which such payments were made. (305436)

British Waterways has advised that payments made in the 12 months since 1 November 2008 (excluding VAT) to Four Communications, Cavendish Place Communications and Atherton Associates are as follows:

(a) Four Communications—£39,805.53 for public affairs support for British Waterways London. The contract was not renewed.

(b) Cavendish Place Communication—£61,627.57 for public affairs support. This is a rolling contract.

(c) Atherton Associates—None.

Due to commercial sensitivity and constraints, British Waterways will not be placing copies of contracts in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the Commission for Rural Communities has made to Connect Public Affairs in the last 12 months; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments were made. (305437)

DEFRA sponsors the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC)—a non-departmental public body which acts as an independent rural adviser, advocate and watchdog, with a particular focus on social disadvantage and economic underperformance. The CRC is tasked to advise and challenge the Government and delivery bodies at all levels to improve performance and embed best practice. The functions of the CRC are specified in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006.

During the last 12 months, the CRC has paid Connect Public Affairs £25,329.83 for events management and communications support relating to the CRC’s activities in raising awareness of the needs of rural people, in line with the NERC Act, at all three major 2008 party conferences. The CRC adhered to Cabinet Office “NDPBs: Attendance at Party Conferences” guidance in relation to these events. No contracts have been entered into and no payments made during the current financial year.

Due to commercial sensitivity and constraints, I am unable to place a copy of the contract between the CRC and Connect Public Affairs in the Library.