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21 Oct 2009 : Column 1446W—continued


Departmental Information and Communications Technology

Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what IT systems have been in development for use within his Department in the last five years; what the reason for the development of each system was; how much has been spent on the development of each system; and which systems have been subsequently (a) implemented, (b) terminated prior to implementation and (c) terminated following implementation. [290587]

Chris Mole: No central records are kept showing all ICT systems, and such a list could only be provided at disproportionate cost. However, tables showing the main systems for the Department for Transport (Central) and its Agencies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Departmental Internet

Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the annual cost of maintaining and updating its Twitter account; and how many staff are responsible for updating the account. [292051]

Chris Mole: There have been no additional costs to date for the creation and maintenance of the Department for Transport corporate Twitter channel:

No additional staff have been recruited and maintenance of the Twitter channel is being managed within the existing communications budget. The task is the responsibility of the departmental communications team as a whole as part of their overall range of duties; no staff are assigned to Twitter work specifically.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority: Advertising

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will review the extent of the need for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to advertise its services on the radio. [294144]

Paul Clark: Radio commercials allow for detailed targeted messages at an affordable cost and the Department of Transport has had a good deal of success with radio campaigns. For example, since the start of the recent promotion of the Driver Licence online service campaign, there has been an approximate increase of 25 per cent. on licences issued online.

Radio can reach more people at a lower price than television advertising, with, therefore an increased return on investment.

A review of the extent of this advertising is not considered necessary at this time.

East Cost Railway Line

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many new diesel trains the Secretary of State intends to procure for the new company issuing services on the East Coast Main Line; and when the (a) first and (b) last of these orders are likely to be (i) placed and (ii) delivered. [294049]

Chris Mole [holding answer 19 October 2009]: The Department for Transport does not intend to procure any diesel trains for services on the East Coast Main Line.

However, as part of the Intercity Express Programme, the Department is procuring new electric and bi-mode (electric and diesel) Super Express Trains to operate services on the East Coast and the Great Western Main Line from 2014.

This follows the electrification announcement by the Secretary of State in July 2009. Bi-mode trains utilise the electric wires where available and continue beyond the wires using the diesel engine. An announcement on the placing of orders for Super Express Trains will be made in due course.

Party Conferences

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether any of his Department’s non-departmental public bodies sent representatives to attend one or more political party conferences in 2009. [293478]

Chris Mole: One of the Department for Transport’s non-departmental public bodies, Passenger Focus, sent representatives to the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative party conferences in 2009.

Railways: Birmingham

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent representations his Department has received on proposals for a high-speed rail hub at Birmingham International Airport. [293638]

Chris Mole [holding answer 20 October 2009]: Since the creation of High Speed Two, the Department for Transport has received two specific written representations with “High speed rail hub at Birmingham International Airport” as a subject heading. The Department receives general correspondence covering many policy areas, including high speed rail and the cities it may serve, from a number of individuals, organisations and companies.

High Speed Two’s work will include consideration of a range of route options between London and the West Midlands, as well as the access to central London and the other cities served.


21 Oct 2009 : Column 1447W

Road Signs and Markings

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when blue driver location signs were introduced by his Department; how many have been installed on the road network to date; and at what cost to the public purse. [294145]

Chris Mole: For more than 30 years, distance marker posts have been provided at 100 metre intervals along each hard shoulder of motorways. Marker posts enable maintenance contractors to identify exactly where repair works are needed. They also show the direction to the nearest motorway emergency phone.

Driver Location Signs were introduced in 2003 and approximately 16,000 signs have been installed on 80 per cent. of the motorway network at a cost of £5.9 million. During 2009-10 signs are being installed on the remaining parts of the Motorway Network at an additional cost of £1.6 million.

Driver Location Signs are more visible to the travelling public and this enables:

Research carried out on trial sections showed that response times of emergency service organisations were 10 per cent. quicker than previous responses to similar incidents. Getting the emergency services to the scene of an incident more efficiently ultimately leads to incidents being cleared more quickly.

Waterloo Station

Susan Kramer: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what progress has been made on negotiations for franchise commuter train services arriving at and departing from at platform 20 at London Waterloo station; and when he expects those negotiations to be concluded. [289499]

Chris Mole: We are working with Network Rail to extend platforms at Waterloo station and across the whole south western network to increase capacity on some suburban routes from eight to ten carriage trains by 2014.

As part of this, we are investigating how Waterloo and Waterloo International Terminal platforms 20 to 24 can be used to help increase capacity on the network. Work has been carried out on platform 20 and option development work is now progressing on other platforms and enhancing the tracks outside the station to support the increase in capacity.

The Department for Transport is in discussion with Stagecoach South West Trains with regard to additional rolling stock and service enhancements for operating longer trains into Waterloo that are value for money and affordable for the taxpayer.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many single farm payment cheques were issued by the Rural
21 Oct 2009 : Column 1448W
Payments Agency for amounts less than (a) £60, (b) £40, (c) £20, (d) £10 and (e) £1 in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007 and (iii) 2009. [291921]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of single payment scheme (SPS) cheque payments issued by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for the bands and scheme years specified in the question are as follows:

Number of payments
Band SPS 2006 SPS 2007 SPS 2008( 1)

£40.01-£60.00

2,417

807

299

£20.01-£40.00

1,861

492

122

£10.01-£20.00

546

69

14

£1.01-£10.00

80

14

3

£0.01-£1.00

2

6

3

(1)( )A change in EU Regulations meant that RPA stopped making payments by cheque on 15 October 2008. All payments are now made via BACS.

Payment for the 2009 SPS scheme year commences on 1 December.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at how many premises registered to house (a) cattle and (b) camelids his officials have been refused entry for the purpose of bovine tuberculosis (i) testing, (ii) tracing and (iii) following up of confirmed disease in each of the last 10 years. [293639]

Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA does not hold figures on the number of people who have refused entry to officials for the purpose of TB testing (including tracing tests).

Movement Restrictions are placed on any farms which refuse to comply when cattle testing is overdue.

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department and its predecessor of (a) research into bovine tuberculosis, (b) support from (i) local authority health officers and (ii) the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in respect of bovine tuberculosis and (c) any other support provided in respect of bovine tuberculosis (A) between 1986 and 1996 and (B) since 1997. [293640]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information is as follows.

Research

The table provides a summary of TB research cost to the Department from 1998 to 2008-09 and the amount spent on the surveillance contract with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) and on the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT).


21 Oct 2009 : Column 1449W
TB expenditure on research between 1998 and 2009 (GB)
£ million

RBCT( 1) VLA( 2) Other research

1998-99

2.9

1.9

2.5

1999-2000

4.6

2.4

3.8

2000-01

6.6

3.5

5.3

2001-02

6

3.7

6.1

2002-03

6.6

4.1

6.5

2003-04

7.3

5.3

7

2004-05

7.2

4.9

5.7

2005-06

6.2

7.5

6.5

2006-07

1.6

7.5

7.8

2007-08

0.03

7

8.5

2008-09

0

5.9

7.7

(1) Figure does not include research into culling methods or the badger population survey (£709,400 in 2005-06 and £834,700 in 2006-07).
(2 )Surveillance activity undertaken by the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) includes all DEFRA funded work carried out by the VLA relating to TB in cattle and badgers including the supply of Tuberculin.
Note:
All financial data are actual expenditure only which have been incurred in the specified financial year.

A finance review of all bTB expenditure and income in the last 10 years has recently been undertaken. The review has validated all data associated with bovine Tuberculosis expenditure to improve the quality of data provided. As such the table above has been amended to reflect the outcome of the review. This is also available on the DEFRA website.

We are unable to provide figures prior to 1998.

Council health officers and VLA

DEFRA does not receive financial support from local council health officers or the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in respect of bovine tuberculosis, however we are committed to tackling this disease in partnership with all DEFRA’s delivery bodies and the local authorities.

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration he has given to bringing (a) camelids, (b) sheep, (c) goats and (d) pigs within the scope of the regulatory regime for control of tuberculosis in England. [293677]

Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA takes TB in all species, not just cattle, seriously and is committed to dealing with it. Existing legal provisions do allow DEFRA to restrict movements to and from any herd/flock of farmed (mammalian) species suspected of being infected by bovine tuberculosis—so as to reduce the risk of disease spread. In resolving TB problems in such species, DEFRA relies on the cooperation of animal owners to agree testing, slaughter and compensation arrangements.

A review to identify possible new controls that might help better control TB risks to/from non-bovine species is in hand. Any new policy would need to be effective, affordable and proportionate to the animal and public health risks.

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of average payment per head to abattoirs for the dispatch of bovine tuberculosis reactor, inconclusive or dangerous contact cattle (a) between 1986 and 1996 and (b) since 1997. [293799]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No such estimate has been made. For most cattle compulsorily slaughtered on TB control grounds, DEFRA has received a net payment from abattoirs rather than incurred a cost.


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