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Departmental Conferences

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost to his Department was of holding the Waste and Resources Action Programme exhibition in the Palace of Westminster in November 2009. (308353)

The exhibition space in the Upper Waiting Hall in Parliament is provided free of charge for one week to not-for-profit organisations that wish to inform parliamentarians of their work. Such organisations must be supported by their local Member of Parliament, who applies for the space on their behalf. Government-funded organisations such as the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) must also gain the approval of their sponsoring Department.

The cost of designing and constructing the exhibition stand and display materials used by WRAP in Parliament was £8,200. These will be used at future exhibitions and events, with almost all elements of the stand and its display materials being reusable. In line with WRAP’s remit to promote resource efficiency, the stand is made from cardboard containing 75 per cent. recycled content, and is fully recyclable at the end of its life, unlike traditional exhibition stands.

The exhibition, designed to demonstrate how resource efficiency could benefit businesses across the UK, generated considerable interest among hon. Members and their staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent by his Department and its agencies on conferences they organised which were subsequently cancelled in each of the last three years; and what the title was of each such conference. (308826)

The Department and its agencies run conferences on specific issues where will feel benefit will be had. Where appropriate we send delegates to other organisations' conferences whose work is relevant to our own.

Statistics on conferences are not collated centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.