Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what recent representations he has received on the potential effects of the provisions of the Daylight Saving Bill on Northern Ireland; 
Mr Paterson: I have not received any representations on this matter, nor have I made any assessment on its potential effect as the text of this private Member's Bill has not yet been published. The summary of the Bill as presented at First Reading suggests that its subject matter is devolved to Northern Ireland Ministers.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the monetary value was of contracts between his Department and (a) Post Office Ltd and (b) Royal Mail in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) each year since 2004-05. 
1. A ministerial bag delivery service. Since 12 April, this service has cost £363.27.
2. A freepost facility on a pay-per-use basis. There has been no expenditure on this facility since devolution.
3. A contract existed with Royal Mail specifically for the delivery of candidates' mailings in Northern Ireland during the recent parliamentary election. The total cost of the service was £682,948.33. The costs were met from the Consolidated Fund and were within the limits approved by HM Treasury.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the effects of the proposed rise in the cap on university tuition fees on students from Northern Ireland wishing to study in England. 
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his Department's policy is on retaining local public inquiries as part of the Boundary Commission for Scotland's process of determining Scottish parliamentary constituency and regional list boundaries. 
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the monetary value was of contracts between his Department and (a) Post Office Ltd and (b) Royal Mail in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) each year since 2004-05. 
Michael Moore: I have regular exchanges with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues. The Government are committed to a stable and sustainable post office network and through the Post Office Bill we will be putting the Post Office on a more secure financial footing.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the likely reduction in the number of jobs in the public sector in each constituency in Scotland in each of the next five years. 
Michael Moore: The independent Office for Budget Responsibility published their employment forecasts for the whole of the UK on 30 June 2010. Based on the June 2010 Budget, in three years time public sector employment will be 150,000 higher compared to the forecast based on the March 2010 Budget, and total employment is forecast to rise each year over the next five years. Latest figures for Scotland show that employment is rising but the Government cannot be complacent. This is why the Government will continue to take decisive action to support the rebalancing of the economy, so the private sector will carry on to drive the recovery as the necessary spending reductions take effect.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 16 November 2010, Official Report, column 658W, on visits abroad, whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials of his Department have visited Malawi in the last 12 months. 
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has (a) evaluated and (b) commissioned on the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the agricultural sector. 
Mr Paice: Over the past 10 years DEFRA has commissioned and evaluated research on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria in farmed livestock, spending more than £4.5 million over the last five years. A further £1 million has been used to commission research on AMR in companion animals and horses.
Developing appropriate tools for AMR detection and characterisation;
Investigation of how mutations/acquired resistance develop and are transferred;
Qualitative risk assessments (including the potential risks to both humans and animals of AMR in agriculture);
Spread/transmission of AMR genes and/or host bacteria, and;
Options for prevention and control of AMR.
In addition to the research commissioned directly by DEFRA, the Department also evaluates the impact on policy of research commissioned by other funders in the UK and further afield. The evaluation of such research is primarily performed by the DEFRA Antimicrobial Resistance Co-ordination Group.
Those growth promoters containing antimicrobials used in human medicines were banned following a decision in 1999. The ban of the remaining antimicrobial growth promoters was done on a precautionary basis and was phased in over a number of years with the final compounds being withdrawn on 1 January 2006.
Mr Paice: In the United Kingdom, antimicrobials are available to farmers only following their prescription by a veterinary surgeon. This provision is in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (2009) (SI 2009 No. 2297).
Further regulation of antimicrobials used in farmed animal production may be considered if new evidence emerges to demonstrate that either human or animal health was likely to be compromised by their use. At the present time this is not the case in the United Kingdom.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost to (a) her Department and (b) farmers of resolving mapping issues in relation to claims for Single Farm Payments in each of the last three years. 
Mr Paice: The rural land register (RLR) is our spatial database maintained by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and used to validate farm subsidy payments, primarily the single payment scheme (SPS) but also schemes under the Rural Development Programme for England. It is not possible to split the costs associated with maintaining the RLR for each scheme. The operational cost of maintaining the RLR in relation to the last three SPS scheme years is as follows:
|Financial year||Cost (£ million)|
1. The financial years broadly correspond to SPS years 2007, 2008 and 2009.
2. Costs for SPS year 2010 are not shown as this year's work is unfinished.
The costs were unusually high in 2009-10 owing to RPA undertaking a major exercise with the RLR where some 2.4 million land parcels were updated. Additional project costs associated with the update, including some significant remapping, amounted to a further £11.649 million.
RPA is not able to estimate costs incurred by individual farmers as they vary with each business. It should be noted that participation in the SPS and any mapping needed to support scheme claims is voluntary.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will hold a conference on sustainable agriculture, food security and levels of food production in order to inform the development of her Department's policies on these matters. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 19 November 2010]: The Department has just published its Business Plan which sets out DEFRA's priorities, including helping to ensure a secure, environmentally sustainable and healthy supply of food. Our Business Plan sets out the actions the Department will take relating to sustainable agriculture, food security and food production. DEFRA Ministers and officials also regularly meet those with an interest in the sustainability of our food system.
In addition, I have assured the House of the willingness of either the Secretary of State or myself to participate in a stakeholder-convened conference to examine the current state of sustainability in our livestock industry, should a suitable event be organised in 2011.
Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration she has given to bringing forward proposals for mandatory reporting of carbon dioxide emissions by listed companies. 
Mr Paice: I believe that the time has come for the last remaining direct support to the EU cotton sector to be de-coupled and the UK will be pursuing this end as part of our negotiating position in the forthcoming CAP Reform round.
Mr Paice: I chair the Dairy Supply Chain Forum, which enables dairy farmers to discuss key issues with processors and their customers. I am reinvigorating the Forum, to enable the dairy supply chain as a whole to address the issues facing it and reverse the UK's dairy trade deficit.
More broadly, we are introducing the Grocery Code Adjudicator to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice to prevent large retailers from transferring excessive risks or unexpected costs onto their suppliers.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has guidelines on ensuring that food used for her Department's official functions is of domestic origin. 
Mr Paice: The Government are committed to ensuring that food procured by Government Departments, and eventually the whole public sector, meets British or equivalent standards of production wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall costs. DEFRA's Structural Reform Plan states that we will introduce guidance on this by January 2011.
To support this we are developing a series of Government Buying Standards for food that encourage the procurement of food that meets British or equivalent production
standards, reduce the environmental impacts of food and catering services, and support a healthy balanced diet.
However, as part of the pipeline review of legislation inherited from the previous Administration, much of which is well advanced, my Department has identified four proposed regulations to be removed. Those removed are: waste controls regulations; rabies order; sewage sludge regulations; and private water supplies regulations.
I have recently announced the appointment of a taskforce on farming regulation as well as a review of waste regulation. Among other things, these reviews will consider how the burden of regulation may be reduced. Such savings may be fed into the One-in, One-out process as "OUTs". Generally, my Department will continue to work to identify further potential "OUTs" for One-in, One-out.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to take steps to ensure that Food Northwest continues to receive support following the abolition of the North West Regional Development Agency. 
Mr Paice: The Government are committed to rebalancing the economy towards the private sector as well as renewing and strengthening local economies and has paved the way for the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The Government are working closely with all the regional development agencies to ensure an orderly transition to the new delivery structure.
The LEPs' main goal will be to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation, addressing local economic priorities. We also want these Partnerships to be locally driven, and we would encourage Food Northwest to engage proactively in the development of their local partnerships to ensure they understand how farming and the food industry contribute to the local economy.
Although there is no core funding from Government for LEPs, we have created a new £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund which will operate over the next three
years. This fund is open to bids from public-private partnerships, including, but not exclusively, the new LEPs and private bodies.
Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the proportion of (a) imported and (b) domestic (i) beef, (ii) sheep and lamb, (iii) goat and kid and (iv) chicken which is (A) labelled in respect of the method of slaughter and (B) not so labelled at the point of sale. 
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research her Department has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated on the effects on levels of food waste of supermarket special offers. 
Richard Benyon: To date neither DEFRA nor the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), our key delivery body on waste, have undertaken research on the effects on levels of food waste of supermarket special offers.
WRAP has just initiated research to understand which promotions are being used by retailers on a range of fresh products, and to determine the impact of such promotions on both supply chain and household food waste.
WRAP has been working with retailers to encourage the use of alternative promotions for perishable foods, to enable consumers to continue to take advantage of promotions but avoid buying more food than they might need or be able to use.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent from the public purse in each forest district on biodiversity protection and enhancement on Forestry Commission-managed land in England in each year between 2005 and 2010 to date. 
|Financial year (April-March)|
|2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||( 1) 2010|
|(1) April to October|
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 62W, on genetically modified organisms: food, when she expects the European Commission report on the operation of the EU Legislation on the release of genetically modified (GM) organisms and the marketing of GM food and feed products to be published. 
Mr Paice: The Commission is expected to issue its reports on the reviews of the operation of the EU legislation on the release of genetically modified (GM) organisms and the marketing of GM food and feed products (Directive 2001/18/EC and Regulation (EC) 1829/2003) before the end of 2010.
Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to establish a low-level threshold for the presence of genetically-modified events in imported third country feed material. 
Mr Paice: The European Commission has recently tabled a proposal to harmonise the sampling and detection of unauthorised GM material in imported animal feed. The Commission proposes 0.1% as the lowest level at which genetically modified (GM) material can reliably be detected after allowing for technically unavoidable uncertainties in methods of sampling and analysis. Analytical results that did not exceed 0.1% would be treated as equivalent to zero for enforcement purposes.
a valid application has already been made for EU marketing approval, and for which there is a validated method of quantitative analysis; or
(after 25 April 2012) there was an EU marketing approval which had expired, and for which a method of quantitative analysis had been validated.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the lead Government Department on this matter but is working closely with DEFRA given our strong shared interest. The FSA has consulted on the proposal and the Government will now determine what the UK position should be. An EU vote on the proposal is not expected before January 2011.
Mr Paice: The Animal By-products (ABP) Regulation which was recently reviewed and revised by the EU will maintain the ban on burial of fallen stock on farm in most circumstances. There is therefore no realistic possibility in the short term of the ban being lifted. However, there are a number of things we can do both in the short and longer term to ease the regulatory burden for farmers when disposing of their fallen stock. Firstly, the revised ABP legislation continues to recognise that fallen stock can be buried in remote areas and extends that principle to derogate from the rules requiring disposal by incineration or rendering in circumstances where accessing fallen stock for disposal is practically impossible or dangerous or when natural disasters make it disproportionate to require collection. When the revised rules come into effect next year, we will make guidance available to farmers on when such circumstances apply.
Secondly, the revised legislation makes it more straightforward for on-farm containment systems such as bioreducers to be approved for use under EU rules and we will be pressing the Commission to bring forward the necessary proposals to make that happen as soon as possible.
In the longer term, as the BSE risks have declined markedly since the on-farm burial ban was first introduced in 2003 and as scrapie is not known to pose a risk to human health, we will be pressing the Commission for a review by the European Food Safety Authority of the current scientific rationale for the ban, so that it can inform future changes to ABP legislation.
Mr Andrew Turner:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the proportion of (a) cattle, (b) sheep and lambs, (c) goats and kids and (d) chickens slaughtered for meat which was (i) stunned and slaughtered using
halal methods, (ii) not stunned and slaughtered using halal methods and (iii) slaughtered by other methods in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 18 November 2010]: The most recent data on halal slaughter were published in March 2004 by the Meat Hygiene Service in its Animal Welfare Review. These reported data were collected through a survey of meat plants which took place between 1 and 7 September 2003. The following table shows the number of animals killed for the production of halal meat during that one week period.
|Species||Not stunned||Pre cut||Post cut|
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her most recent assessment is of the effects on the livestock industry of the six-day rule; and whether she plans to review the operation of that rule. 
Mr Paice: The advice I have received is that standstills confer significant protection against the spread of fast moving diseases such as foot and mouth. The biggest factor in the size of an outbreak is the length of time between the disease entering the country and its detection (the so called silent spread period-typically three weeks). Properly observed standstills limit the number of movements livestock can make during this period and hence reduce the number of potentially infected premises. I have asked the Task Force on Food and Farming headed by Richard Macdonald to review the six-day rule and make recommendations as to whether it should be retained in its current form, modified or abolished.
Ms Bagshawe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of local authorities provided data for annual returns to her Department's survey on Waste Data Flow in each of the last five years. 
In England, for the last five years (2005-06 to 2009-10), 100% of local authorities have provided data for all four quarters of each year. For 2005-06 to 2007-08, four authorities in England entered data required by the regulations, but not the full dataset requested on WasteDataFlow.
Ms Bagshawe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of local authorities provided data for annual returns for the Flycapture survey in each of the last five years. 
Richard Benyon: Local authorities enter data on fly-tipping onto the Flycapture database on a monthly basis. In England the proportion of local authorities which provided fly-tipping data for (a) at least one month and (b) for all 12 months, for the last five financial years is provided in the following table:
|Percentage of local authorities which submitted data to Flycapture|
|Financial year||(a) For at least 1 month||(b) For all 12 months|
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to respond to question 24527, tabled on 11 November 2010, on land owned by the Forestry Commission. 
Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has made a recent estimate of the quantity of soy imported from Paraguay (a) directly and (b) through a third country (i) raw and (ii) incorporated into a product in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Paice: Since my statement to the House on 12 November 2010, Official Report, columns 589-604, I have been made aware that, according to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, a shipment of 25,000 tonnes of soy beans arrived in the UK from Paraguay in April 2010. This should be seen in the context of total UK imports of 1.2 million tonnes of soy bean meal and 556,000 tonnes of soy beans in the latest period for which figures are available (January to September 2010). There are no recorded imports from Paraguay of food products containing soy extract in the latest period for which figures are available.
Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding will be disbursed from the Rural Development Programme for England in the period from 2010 to 2013. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA has not yet determined the details of its research spend over the next five years. However, we intend to maintain the core Department's spend on evidence as a proportion of total programme expenditure to 2014-15.
Evidence is defined as reliable and accurate information that DEFRA can use to support sound decisions in developing, shaping, and evaluating policy. It includes research, monitoring and surveillance, economic and statistical analysis and modelling, secondary analysis and synthesis, and analysis of stakeholder views.
These figures represent evidence commissioned by core DEFRA in each year from external providers and our three laboratory agencies (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science; the Food and Environment Research Agency and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency). They do not include evidence commissioned out of grant in aid funds by the Environment Agency, Natural England, Forestry Commission or the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
Core DEFRA's scientific research spend for the last five years is detailed in the following table. The data were taken from the Science Information System, which is used to monitor and record details of DEFRA's research and development projects.
|Spending (£ million)|
|(1) The Department's Evidence Investment Strategy published in January 2010 quoted a budget for research in 2009-10 of £125 million. The figure in the table reflects the actual spend as specified in the question. Note: These figures represent research commissioned by core DEFRA in each year from external providers and our three laboratory agencies (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science; the Food and Environment Research Agency and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency).|
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what impact assessment her Department has undertaken of the implementation of electronic identification tagging for sheep. 
Mr Paice: Detailed information about the cost of implementation in England is provided in a regulatory impact assessment on electronic identification (EID) of sheep and goats available on the DEFRA website at:
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's policy is on bringing forward legislative proposals to create an offence of possessing, importing and trading in illegallylogged timber in the UK. 
Mr Paice: We will put in place the necessary legislation to implement the provisions of the EU illegal timber (due diligence) regulation in the United Kingdom. This underlines our commitment to eliminating illegal timber from the UK market. The regulation prohibits the first-placing of illegal timber on the EU market, restricting its purchase and sale down the supply chain.
Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the assessment made by his Department from 2005 to 2010 on the effect of the building of the A6 bypass on road access to Manchester Airport. 
The Department for Transport has not undertaken a standalone assessment of the effect of the building of the proposed South East Manchester Multi Modal Study Relief Road (SEMMMS) nor of
the individual parts of that scheme, including the proposed A6 Stockport North-South Bypass, on road access to Manchester Airport.
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on (a) an aviation strategy for Northern Ireland and (b) the devolution of aviation matters to the Northern Ireland Assembly; 
The Secretary of State for Transport intends to develop a sustainable aviation framework for the UK which supports economic growth, as well as addressing aviation's environmental impacts. The Department for Transport will issue a scoping document in the new year, with a view to publishing a draft policy framework for formal consultation in March 2012.
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of the economic effects of increases in the level of tolls on (a) the Severn Crossing, (b) the Dartford Crossing and (c) other major river crossings. 
Mike Penning: The Secretary of State has not made any assessment of the economic effects of the toll increases on the Severn Crossings and we have seen no evidence to suggest that the tolls have an economic impact on the Welsh economy. I am aware that the Welsh Assembly Government are undertaking an economic assessment on the impact of the tolls on the Welsh economy which is due to complete next year.
In respect of the Dartford Crossing, the details of the proposed revised charging regime, including an assessment of its impacts on usage and economic effects, will be set out for public consultation.
Mrs Villiers: BRB (Residuary) Ltd continues to pursue its agreed strategy of disposing of non-operational assets that have no potential future transport use in such a way and to a timescale to secure best possible value to the taxpayer. As such it is not appropriate to set a specific timetable for the disposal of these assets.
Many of the assets that BRB (Residuary) Ltd holds carry indefinite statutory responsibilities. On the winding up of BRB (Residuary) Ltd these and any other remaining assets will transfer to the direct control of the Department for Transport.
Mrs Villiers: Primary responsibility for setting objectives for the British Transport police rests with the British Transport police authority. Department for Transport officials maintain regular contact with both the force and the authority on a range of issues, but Ministers have not sought to use their statutory powers to intervene in the objective-setting process.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Chief Constable of British Transport Police on the operations of British Transport Police in Scotland; 
The BSOG rate is increased by 8% for operators with operational ITSO smartcard systems on buses;
The BSOG rate is increased by 2% for operators with automatic vehicle location (e.g. GPS) systems on buses;
An additional BSOG payment of 6p per kilometre is paid for operators of low carbon buses.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding from Bus Service Operators Grant was paid to operators in (a) London, (b) rural areas, (c) small towns, (d) non-metropolitan urban areas and (e) metropolitan areas with an integrated transport authority in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. 
Norman Baker: We do not keep details of Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) split between types of area. We estimate the distribution of BSOG payments to local bus operators in 2009-10 to be as follows:
Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made on ensuring that all new buses brought into service (a) are fully accessible and (b) include audio and visual information systems. 
Norman Baker: The Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR) require all buses and coaches both old and new to comply with the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (now the Equality Act 2010), from 2015 to 2017 for buses, and from 2020 for coaches. Buses used on local services have been steadily becoming more accessible. In 2009-10 (the latest statistics available), 61% of the bus fleet meets the PSVAR requirements.
Research has been commissioned to assess the costs and benefits of installing audio visual equipment on buses. The research project has brought together a cross section of stakeholders, including Guide Dogs, Royal National Institute of Blind People and Royal National Institute for Deaf People. We will take account of the results of this work in considering any changes to PSVAR. The project is scheduled to report shortly.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects of reductions in funding for local authorities on the provision of concessionary transport fares. 
Norman Baker: The Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed the Government's commitment to protect key benefits for older people, such as free bus travel, in the recent spending review. From April 2011 all funding for the scheme will be provided through Formula Grant which gives local authorities the freedom and flexibility they want in their use of funding. Formula Grant is allocated on the basis that the level provided overall is sufficient to enable local authorities to deliver effective local services, while ensuring that authorities do not set excessive council tax increases.
The overall amount of Formula Grant funding available for local government was set out in the spending review. The funding available within Formula Grant for concessionary travel takes account of savings that local authorities will be able to make following the recent change to the age of eligibility for the scheme and through reforms to the administrative and reimbursement arrangements of the scheme. These reforms are not designed to impact on the provision of concessionary travel for eligible people.
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department plans to publish a detailed timetable for the phased introduction of Crossrail services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: Following the decision to lengthen the delivery timetable for the central tunnel section of the Crossrail scheme, we expect that phased introduction of Crossrail services will commence from 2018.
The timing for the phased introduction of Crossrail services requires further work in a number of areas before it can be confirmed. This includes the procurement of rolling stock, work on the transfer of services from
existing franchises to the future Crossrail services and development of detailed plans on the commissioning of services.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what mechanism he intends to monitor the effect of his Department's local transport policy framework and funding allocations on (a) local authority delivery of walking and cycling initiatives and (b) levels of walking and cycling. 
Norman Baker: The National Travel Survey provides an ongoing measurement of walking and cycling levels in England. Specific initiatives within the Cycling England programme which provide direct funding to local authorities are monitored by collection of relevant data to demonstrate delivery and provide a basis for evaluation.
The Department for Transport is considering arrangements for measuring the impact of the different types of measures, including walking and cycling, that will be supported by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund over the four years from 2011-12. Details of the evaluation arrangements will be published later in the year as part of guidance on the operation of the new fund.
Norman Baker: Cycling England was reviewed as part of the coalition Government's commitment to radically increase the transparency and accountability of public services and reinvigorating the public's trust in democracy. The Government's approach was based on the presumption that state activity, if needed at all, should be undertaken by bodies that are democratically accountable at either national or local level.
Does it perform a technical function?
Does it require political impartiality?
Does it need to act independently to establish facts?
We are grateful for the support of Cycling England in the delivery of cycling policy and recognise its achievements since its creation in 2005. However, with the announcement of a broad fund of £560 million for Local Sustainable Travel, rather than a dedicated cycling budget, we feel that Cycling England is not the right way to continue to encourage local authorities and others to stimulate cycling.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Cycling England in promoting sustainable travel initiatives; and if he will make a statement; 
Norman Baker: Cycling England was established in 2005 with a remit to "Get More People Cycling, More Safely, More Often". Over the period 2008-09 to 2010-11, the Department for Transport (DfT) invested around £140 million in programmes to deliver this objective. Cycling England's role was to advise on how best to spend these funds and to oversee the delivery of the projects.
Analysis of results of the first three years of funding, of which DfT contributed £7.5 million, for the initial six Cycling Demonstration Towns has provided a Benefit Cost Ratio in the range 2.6 to 3.5, and a 27% increase, in cycle trips as shown by automatic cycle counters.
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency does not apply the profit from charge receipts to specific projects. However, the following amounts have been spent directly on Safety Improvement Projects, including fire suppression measures, at Dartford Crossing:
|Expenditure (£ million)|
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to publish equality impact assessments undertaken by his Department as part of the comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Philip Hammond: In line with the Government's commitment to fairness, the spending review announced on 20 October has been conducted in a way that protects the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. My Department has undertaken a robust analysis of its spending proposals and the foreseeable effects of these on all protected groups.
As part of my Department's work in relation to the spending review, I have carefully considered the equalities impacts of particular proposals, as part of fulfilling the Government's commitment to promoting equality for all legally protected groups. I intend to publish the equality impact assessments arising out of the spending review in due course.
|Department for Transport Business Unit||Fixed-term contracts appointed (FTC's)||Total full-time equivalent headcount for each dept /agency as at 30 September 2010|
|(1)DFT(c)-These appointments were all either exempt from the recruitment freeze or were agreed appointments prior to 19 May 2010.|
(2)DVLA recruited these FTCs before the recruitment freeze on 19 May, with some starting in June, (honouring job offers made before the freeze) and have recruited no further FTCs since June. The majority of the 86 FTCs were clerical grades working in operational areas such as the contact centre; nine of these have since left.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the proportion is of (a) men and (b) women full-time equivalent staff in each grade or pay band in each bargaining unit in his Department. 
|Percentage of (a) men and (b) women in each grade/pay band in the Department for Transport|
|Grade equiv||Pay band||Female||Male||Female||Male||Female||Male||Female||Male|
|Grade equiv||Pay band||Female||Male||Female||Male||Female||Male||Female||Male|
DfTc-The Department for Transport (Central)
MCA-Maritime and Coastguard Agency
VOSA-Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
DVLA-Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency
DSA-Driving Standards Agency
VCA-Vehicle Certification Agency
GCDA-Government Car and Despatch Agency
Awards were based on a budget limited, by a collective decision of permanent secretaries, to 5% of SCS base
pay; a reduction from the 8.6% of pay recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body and accepted by the previous Government in March 2010.
Norman Baker: The highest level of non-consolidated performance pay awarded to a member of the senior civil service in the Department for Transport and its seven Executive agencies in the last 12 months was £23,680.
The vast majority of senior civil servants in the Department are permanent civil servants with performance pay arrangements determined centrally and not by the Department. For these staff the highest non-consolidated performance payment in the last 12 months was £9,500.
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent representations he has received from the sustainable biodiesel industry on the likely effects of removal of the 20 pence fuel duty differential for biodiesel produced from used cooking oil; 
Norman Baker: Under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), suppliers of fossil fuel for transport are required to ensure that a proportion of the fuel they supply is obtained from renewable sources. In both 2008-09 and 2009-10, the first two years of the scheme, approximately 3% of the biofuel supplied was from recycled waste cooking oil. The supply of UCO is currently encouraged by a 20p duty differential.
We are currently working to amend the RTFO to fulfil the requirements of the European Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The RED provides additional support for biofuels from waste, including UCO, by double counting the contribution they make towards national targets.
It is difficult to assess the future supply of UCO biodiesel. WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) estimate that approximately 250,000 tonnes of cooking oil are produced every year in the UK and the Renewable Fuels Agency collect data on the volume of UCO biodiesel supplied under the RTFO. The supply of UCO biodiesel in the future will depend on the competitiveness of UCO suppliers within the market compared to diesel and other sectors, including the animal feed industry and power generation.
Ministers have had no recent representations from UCO suppliers. However, Department for Transport officials recently met with the UK Sustainable Biodiesel Association who represent many small UCO suppliers.
Mike Penning: Research into the damage stability of roll-on roll-off ferries has been commissioned by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who are also collaborating on research commissioned by the European Commission and leading a group of the International Maritime Organization to review damage stability regulations for roll-on roll-off passenger ships.
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency delivers a national road service through a network of eight offices, eight control centres and 31 smaller outstations at motorway locations. Co-ordination between the different offices is delivered through a directorate structure which manages the agency business on a national basis.
Norman Baker: The forthcoming Euro VI emissions standard, which will be mandatory for the engines of all lorries, buses and coaches, registered from 1 January 2014, will virtually eliminate emissions of solid particles, which is the air pollutant most closely linked to health problems, from vehicles of these types. This is because we confidently expect the standard to lead to the universal adoption of wall-flow diesel particulate filters on these vehicles in order to meet the very strict limits that the standard sets for emissions of particulate matter. It will also result in a significant reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen.
In addition to setting demanding standards for emissions of air quality pollutants from the engines of heavy vehicles, the Euro VI standard requires, for the first time, the measurement of carbon dioxide emissions during the tests on these engines.
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the annual (a) cost and (b) revenue arising from the operation of a heavy goods vehicle road user charging scheme. 
Mike Penning: Post Office or Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency Local Office staff check the details entered on the V112 Declaration prior to issuing a tax disc. A V112 is a declaration form completed by the customer at the point of re-licensing confirming that their vehicle is exempt from requiring an MOT certificate. The form gives the specific circumstances in which a vehicle is deemed to be exempt.
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the revenue likely to accrue to the Exchequer from the sale to the private sector of (a) the motorway network and (b) the trunk road network. 
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the spending review that electrification between Liverpool, Manchester and Preston will go
ahead. We are now in discussions with Network Rail about a delivery timetable and an announcement will be made in due course.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which stations operated by Southeastern Railway have received funding for the provision of step-free access from his Department in the last five years; and which stations are due to receive such funding in the next 12 months. 
Norman Baker: The Access for All main programme has so far provided step free routes at Herne Hill, Lewisham, Orpington and Staplehurst. Canterbury West is due to be completed in the next few weeks and Blackheath at around the end of this financial year.
In addition, since 2006 Southeastern Railways have received £885,040 from the Access for All Small Schemes Programme towards a total investment of £2,118,656 at 50 stations to provide a variety of access improvements. This has included schemes to make West Malling, Welling, Crofton Park, Tunbridge Wells, Chatham, Barnehurst and Faversham step free, although staff assistance may still be required to interchange between platforms.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the merits of encouraging the operators of international high speed rail services to include a stop at Stratford International station. 
Mr Philip Hammond: Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not to stop at Stratford is a commercial judgment for the operators concerned. However, the Government continue to encourage both Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn to talk to the agencies and businesses that are investing in the development of the area around Stratford International station. We expect the sale of a 30 year concession to operate HS1 to lead to greater competition and a greater diversity of services being offered on the line, to the benefit of passengers.
Mrs Villiers: Sir Roy McNulty shared his emerging findings with the Secretary of State in advance of some of the announcement of the Government's spending review. Sir Roy McNulty will formally publish his interim findings shortly.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to review performance of the Kent Integrated Franchise in relation to the objectives set out during the bidding process. 
Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport officials monitor Southeastern's performance against the contract on a four-weekly basis. This review includes operational performance and the delivery of committed obligations.
The Southeastern Franchise Agreement is currently due to end on 31 March 2012. However, if the operator passes a performance-based continuation review, they have the right to extend the franchise for a further two years, to allow the franchise to end on 31 March 2014.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the number of hours by which rail services have been delayed as a result of cable thefts in the latest period for which figures are available; and whether he has made an estimate of the change in that number in respect of the last five years. 
Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport does not hold train delay data at this level of detail, although ministers are in regular dialogue with Network Rail on issues affecting reliability including cable theft.
Acting Chief Executive
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG.
Norman Baker: The UK's renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) requires fossil fuel suppliers to produce evidence that a specified percentage of their road transport fuels comes from renewable sources. The obligation level increases annually to 2013-14 when it reaches 5% by volume.
The EU's renewable energy directive (RED) requires member states to source 10% of transport energy from renewable sources by 2020. We are currently considering options for achieving this target in the UK, and will consult shortly on proposals to amend the RTFO to meet the requirements of the RED.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport where the rescue co-ordination centres required to be designated under section 126.96.36.199 of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue are located. 
Forth (Crail, Fife)
Solent (Lee on the Solent)
Thames (Walton on the Naze)
Great Yarmouth and
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the map of the agreed search and rescue regions required by section 2.1.6 of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue. 
Mike Penning: The UK Search and Rescue Region map can be found on pages 17 to 19 of the 'Search and Rescue Framework for the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland'. This can be found on the Maritime and Coastguard's Agency website at:
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what principal types of available search and rescue units were required to be designated under section 188.8.131.52 of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue in 2008. 
Boats/vessels-short-range coastal, long-range sea going;
Aircraft-Islander and Cessna 402, Nimrod, Sea King and S61 helicopters;
Ground units-coastguard shore search teams controlled by Maritime Rescue co-ordination centres;
Supplementary units-offshore fire-fighting teams. Medical teams may be available.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what principal types of available search and rescue units are required to be designated under section 184.108.40.206 of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue. 
Boats/vessels-short-range coastal, long-range sea going;
Aircraft-Cessna 402, Sea King, AW139 and S92 helicopters;
Ground units-coastguard shore search teams controlled by Maritime Rescue co-ordination centres;
Supplementary units-offshore fire-fighting teams. Medical teams may be available.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions the Government has requested assistance from a neighbouring state in accordance with section 3.1 of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue in each of the last five years; and from what search and rescue assets it received assistance. 
In practical terms, however, the intent of the International Maritime Organization's search and rescue convention is to encourage and support mutual cooperation between the UK and its neighbours. Joint working and co-ordination can be considered to be part of the normal business of search and rescue activity.
Mike Penning: On 17 June the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced a review of the approval of the search and rescue helicopter project in the context of the wider pressures on public spending. The review is continuing and once it is complete an announcement will be made.
Mike Penning: Road casualties are a crucial concern throughout the year, but there may be advantage in having an annual road safety day in providing a focus for attention and joint communications activities across groups. Therefore the possibility of an annual road safety day will be considered as part of the work on a future road safety strategy.
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential effects on plans for the delivery of new rolling stock of the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review. 
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals for additional measures to ensure that shipping companies enforce passenger manifest requirements. 
Mike Penning: The Merchant Shipping (Counting and Registration of Persons on Board Passenger Ships) Regulations 1999, as amended, lay down requirements for owners of UK ships and ships operating from UK ports to have a system for counting everyone on a ship. Ships on longer voyages are required by the same regulations to collect and register information on each person on board, including name, gender and age. The requirements of the regulations are enforced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as part of its inspection regime. The Government have no plans to bring forward additional measures at this time.
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