Written Answers to Questions

Monday 4 June 2007

Leader of the House

Sitting Hours

22. Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Leader of the House, if he will give further consideration to the sitting hours of the House on Wednesdays; and if he will make a statement. [140285]

Mr. Straw: The present sitting hours for Wednesdays were agreed by the House in October 2002 and were confirmed in January 2005. I have no plans to propose any changes to the current arrangements.

Bills: Programming

25. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Leader of the House, if he will take steps to reduce the number of Bills which are programmed. [140288]

Mr. Straw: I have no plans to do so.

Departments: Consultants

Mrs. May: To ask the Leader of the House if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Office; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. [138378]

Mr. Straw: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and the House authorities commissioned Domain Technologies to develop a database to allow for the electronic exchange of parliamentary questions between Government departments and the House of Commons (ePC). The current phase of development cost £34,369 (including VAT.), shared between my Office and the House authorities. Domain Technologies have also been engaged to make enhancements to my private office database which manages correspondence and briefing documents. This is at a cost of £14,558 (including VAT.).

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farming households there were in England in 2005-06. [138740]

Barry Gardiner: The June Agricultural Survey does not specifically collect data relating to farming households. The following figures show the number of registered holdings in England at June 2005 and 2006.


4 Jun 2007 : Column 2W
Number of holdings in England

2005

195,908

2006

200,381

Source:
June Agricultural Survey

Angling: Licensing

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was received from the purchase of fishing rod licences in each of the last five years; [138880]

(2) what the cost of collecting rod licence fees was in each of the last five years, broken down by type of cost. [138881]

Mr. Bradshaw: Details on how much money was received in each of the last five years is given in the table below:

Rod licence income (£ million )

2002-03

16.1

2003-04

17.7

2004-05

18.6

2005-06

19.7

2006-07

20.5


It is not appropriate to provide details relating to the cost of collecting rod licences at this point because this information is commercially in confidence. The Environment Agency are currently in the middle of procuring a contractor to sell rod licences from April 2009.

The Environment Agency can, however, say that the total costs for collecting licences (commission, printing, systems development, administration etc.) is less than 10 per cent. of the income brought in.

Bluetongue Disease

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals from northern France have been refused entry due to blue tongue exclusion rules since 17 April. [137655]

Mr. Bradshaw: Current EU law says that animals originating from, or transiting through, a bluetongue restricted area can be moved only if the member state of destination gives prior authorisation. Current UK policy is not to permit such animals to be moved to the UK. Therefore no animals have been granted entry into the UK from bluetongue affected areas.

Carbon Emissions: Publicity

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on advertising campaigns designed to encourage behavioural change to reduce carbon emissions in each year since 2000. [137582]

Barry Gardiner: Defra was created in 2001, and figures for 2000 from predecessor Departments are not available.


4 Jun 2007 : Column 3W

Since 2001, Defra has funded, through the core Department or key delivery partners, a number of campaigns designed to raise awareness, change attitudes and ultimately encourage behaviour change to reduce carbon emissions. Costs of the campaigns are as follows. Where available, a breakdown of the figures is provided.

Core Defra

1. Climate Change Communications Initiative (awareness raising and attitudinal campaign—commenced 2005)
Expenditure (£)

2005-06

(1)1,150,000

2006-07

(2)4,505,000

(1) Figure includes the following elements: Resource cost £477,000. Capital cost £643,000 for film, brochures, website etc. Staff cost £30,000. (2) Figure includes the following elements: Resource cost £3,645,000. Capital cost £607,000 for film, brochures, website etc. Staff cost 253,000.

2: Act on CO 2 climate change behaviour change campaign
Amount (£ million)

2006-07

1.1


Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust, an independent company funded by Defra, spent the following on its marketing campaign.

Carbon Trust
Expenditure (£)

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

(1)700,000

2003-04

3,300,000

2004-05

3,600,000

2005-06

3,800,000

(1) The Carbon Trust was formed in 2001-02 but did not begin marketing activity until 2002-03. Figure for 2002-03 is total marketing expenditure. Figures for 2003-04 and 2004-05 represent expenditure on awareness campaigns. Note: Figures for resource breakdown are not available as Carbon Trust do not distinguish between these categories in the funding information they provide to Defra.

Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust, an independent company funded by Defra, spent the following on its "Energy Efficiency" Consumer Marketing Campaign.


4 Jun 2007 : Column 4W
Energy Saving Trust
Expenditure (£)

2000-01

(1)4,208,000

2001-02

6,542,000

Staff

(488,000)

Resource

(6,054,000)

2002-03

5,742,000

Staff

(487,000)

Resource

(5,255,000)

2003-04

6,038,000

Staff

(560,000)

Resource

(5,478,000)

2004-05

(2)8,453,000

Staff

(547,000)

Resource

(7,906,000)

2005-06

5,946,000

Staff

(511,000)

Resource

5,435,000

(1) Figures for 2000-01 show advertising expenditure only and include a small amount of Scottish Executive support. (2) Figures for 2004-05 have been updated as the previous figures supplied for PQ 0622 (March 2005) were an estimated outturn including a separate campaign to promote energy efficiency in the run-up to the start of the Energy Efficiency Commitment for 2005-08.

Cattle: Exports

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many live young calves were exported from the UK in each of the last five years; and to which destinations. [138784]

Mr. Bradshaw: No cattle were exported before May 2006 due to the EU BSE related ban. This ban was lifted on 3 May 2006.

The number of cows exported in 2006, from the UK to the EU, is set out in the table. Romania was the only country outside the EU to which cattle were exported during 2006; they joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

Data are available only for cattle as the data source does not differentiate between calves and adult cattle.

Destination country Number of cows exported in 2006

Netherlands

82,612

Belgium

28,626

France

9,237

Italy

2,706

Spain

20,937

Ireland

7,542

Hungary

250

Estonia

94

Poland

85

Germany

79

Greece

63

Denmark

16

Romania

45


Coastal Areas: Access

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to fulfil his Department's pledge to improve access to the English coast. [139701]

Barry Gardiner: The Government received Natural England's report on coastal access on 28 February in which they recommended that new legislation should be introduced to enable it to align a "coastal access corridor" around the whole English coast that people could enjoy with confidence and certainty. We are currently considering Natural England's report and will shortly launch a public consultation document inviting views on ways of improving access.


4 Jun 2007 : Column 5W

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many grievance procedures have been initiated in his Department in the last 12 months. [135154]

Barry Gardiner: The Civil Service Management Code sets out the requirements for Departments to have procedures in place to deal with grievances. The Defra Grievance Procedures are laid down on the departmental intranet.

The number of formal grievances that were initiated in the core-Department in 2006 was 14.

Departments: Sovereign Strategy

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department and its predecessor held with Sovereign Strategy in each year between 1997 and 2006. [136867]

Barry Gardiner: From records held centrally, there have been no meetings between Ministers in Defra and Sovereign Strategy. It is not possible, on grounds of disproportionate cost, to answer the question in relation to meetings involving officials.


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