|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many herds are under movement restrictions imposed by her Department owing to overdue bovine tuberculosis tests; and if she will make a statement. 
14 Feb 2002 : Column 653W
annual testing parishes. These herds had an overdue six or 12 month test after the lifting of movement restrictions following a previous TB incident.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effects of the suspension of the bovine tuberculosis testing programme during the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease on the incubation and spread of TB; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We will not be able to assess accurately the impact of the diversion of resources to deal with the foot and mouth disease emergency on the spread of TB until the backlog of tests has been cleared. As clearance of the backlog and routine testing is being prioritised according to veterinary risk assessment, the early results are from those premises considered most likely to be affected.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press releases were issued about bovine TB by her Department and MAFF in each of the past 36 months. 
14 Feb 2002 : Column 654W
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she has taken to speed up the bovine tuberculosis testing programme since the lifting of foot and mouth disease control restrictions; and if she will calculate the number of personnel employed by her Department in executing the bovine TB testing programme. 
Mr. Morley: Following the foot and mouth emergency we are re-directing resources to the research and control strategy to tackle TB in cattle including the testing programme. To date over 5,800 working hours have been recorded on the testing programme in December 2001. Some 90 per cent. of this comprised work by administrative staff and the remainder by veterinary professionals.
As at 1 January 2002 the complement of permanent veterinary staff of the State Veterinary Service tasked with undertaking, among other matters, the bovine TB testing programme was 218 veterinary officers and 24 divisional veterinary managers. In addition to permanent veterinary staff we are also employing temporary veterinary inspectors. Currently there are 340 in post carrying out similar functions to veterinary officers including work on testing as part of the TB control strategy. Primarily local veterinary inspectors from private practice undertake the actual testing on farms. There are nearly 4,000 approved who will spend a varying proportion of their time carrying out testing on our behalf.
Mr. Morley: The NURAD budget presented in the Business Case approved by Treasury showed total costs of £41.9 million over the full seven years, with IT development costs of £29.3 million over the CSR period 19992000.
Total expenditure from April 1999 until programme suspension was £13.2 million of which £6.8 million is reusable assets and £6.4 million nugatory construction in progress expenditure that has been formally written off.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall (Mr. Breed) of 28 November 2001, Official Report, column 1018W, what use her Department will make of the list of parishes and sleeping parishes deposited in the Library; and what her estimate is of the cost to the Countryside Agency of preparing this list. 
Alun Michael: The data in the list were collected as part of the Countryside Agency's regular Rural Services Survey and used to prepare the Rural White Paper headline indicator of community vibrancy. The list arose from the need to answer a parliamentary question from the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall (Mr. Breed) on 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 320W on rural parishes. No other use of the list is intended. Preparation of the list in the format requested is estimated to have cost two days of staff time.
14 Feb 2002 : Column 655W
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the parish councils of (a) Broad Town, (b) Chippenham Without, (c) Great Somerford, (d) Grittleton, (e) Kington St. Michael, (f) Lea and Cleverton, (g) Luckington, (h) Lydiard Millicent, (i) Minety, (j) Nettleton, (k) North Wraxall, (l) Norton and Foxley, (m) Oaksey, (n) Seagry, (o) Stanton St. Quintin, (p) Tockenham, and (q) Yatton Keynell in North Wiltshire were omitted from the list of parishes deposited in the Library. 
Alun Michael: I understand that all of the above mentioned parish councils were sent questionnaires by the Countryside Agency as part of the Rural Services Survey. However, the completed questionnaire was not returned to the agency so it was not possible to complete an indicator score for them.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if, pursuant to her answer of 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 320W, on rural parishes, she will define what parameters were used in defining parishes according to the four categories; and what factors led to the choice of these categories for parish activity; 
(3) which criteria were used by her Department and the Countryside Agency to determine that (a) St. Paul Malmesbury Without, (b) Kington Langley, (c) Brokenborough, (d) Bremhill and (e) Lydiard Tregoze parish councils are barely active. 
Alun Michael: The former DETR asked the Countryside Agency to develop an indicator of community vibrancy for inclusion in the Rural White Paper with a view to measuring agreed change over time. It was decided to use measurable factors that could be collected as part of the Countryside Agency's Rural Services Survey but with the expectation that the indicator would develop over time. The information collected and used comprised of contested parish council elections, the presence of a village hall or similar local meeting place, the presence of a public house, and incidence of local traditions and events. Full details are set out in the Countryside Agency's State of the Countryside report 2001 where it was noted that there is a marked relationship between the indicator score and population size. The indicator was reported at the national level.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of work-related stress have been reported in her Department; how much compensation has been paid to employees; how many work days have been lost due to work-related stress, and at what cost; what procedures have been put in place to reduce work-related stress, and at what cost, in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. 
14 Feb 2002 : Column 656W
Mr. Morley: DEFRA has received a total of three centrally reported cases of work-related stress among staff over the past three years. No compensation has been paid in any of these cases. Time of work totalled 245 days at a cost of £6,225.
The Department has set a target to reduce the number of working days lost from work-related injury and ill-health by 30 per cent. by 2010. This mirrors the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy target.
DEFRA was established in June 2001. Since then, the Management Board has established a sub-committee on stress which recommended a number of actions currently under way. A stress policy statement for the new Department will be issued this year.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|