Written Answers to Questions
Monday 20 February 2012
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of the total value of contracts issued or to be issued by his Department in 2011-12 have required successful organisations to put up a capital bond; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which contracts his Department has tendered or will tender in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million; which contracts have not required such a bond; and if he will make a statement. 
David Mundell: The Scotland Office has not let any contracts and does not plan to put out to tender any contracts in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million.
Disclosure of Information
Iron and Steel: Investment
David Mundell: The Government recognise the contribution that the Scottish steel industry makes to the Scottish and UK economies. The Plan for Growth includes a wide range of measures to support the industry across the UK. We have regular discussions with Scottish Ministers on these and other matters of importance to the Scottish economy.
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Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much (a) his Department and (b) its public bodies have spent on (i) wine, (ii) other alcoholic refreshments and (iii) bottled water since May 2010. 
|(b) Public bodies|
Ministerial Travel Costs
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 31WS, on cost of ministerial cars, whether his Department has any other arrangements for ministerial travel; and how much his Department has spent on (a) private hire vehicles and (b) taxis for each Minister since May 2010. 
(a) Private hire cars: Nil;
(b) Taxis: £1,200.94.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) representations he has received on and (b) meetings he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discuss the Northern Ireland economy in the last three months. 
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Mr Paterson: I have regular meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne) and Treasury Ministers on a range of economic issues affecting Northern Ireland. The Chancellor takes a close interest in the Northern Ireland economy and was directly involved in the decision to reduce air passenger duty for long haul flights from Northern Ireland airports. The Ministerial Working Group on Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy, which is chaired by the Economic Secretary, is undertaking an intensive work programme in advance of the next ministerial meeting on 7 March. The Chancellor is being kept updated with its progress.
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Committee
Adam Afriyie: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the cost to the public purse has been of replacing and exchanging the RSA tokens used to access the online expenses scheme. 
As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking about the cost of replacing and exchanging RSA tokens issued to Members of Parliament and their staff.
The information has already been published in the answer to PQ 94396, issued on 9 February 2012 (Official Report, 9 February 2012, column 338W).
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what proportion of the total value of contracts issued or to be issued by her Department in 2011-12 have required successful organisations to put up a capital bond; and if she will make a statement, 
(2) which contracts her Department has tendered or will tender in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million; which contracts have not required such a bond; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mrs Gillan: I have committed to answering all correspondence within 15 working days of receipt. My office has conducted a review of its correspondence files and can find no record that MM/JH/14/11/2011 was received by the Department. If the correspondence is re-sent my officials will acknowledge receipt and I will endeavour to answer it as soon as is practicable.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church Commissioners are taking to seek amendments to planning laws applying to church buildings to permit a substitute for lead following theft. 
Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners are not taking such steps at the present time. Guidance issued by the Cathedral and Church Buildings Council strongly advises the use of traditional materials where it is reasonable, although it recognises situations where the use of alternatives is acceptable, especially for roofs that are not visible or where there have been multiple thefts.
Air Training Corps
(2) what the policy is of the Air Training Corps on replacing serving officers with younger staff in the case of (a) volunteer officers aged 55 to 60 and (b) full-time salaried officers aged 65 to 70; 
(3) what the (a) salary, (b) overtime, (c) military pensions, (d) service accommodation and (e) staff car and drivers cost was of each of the Air Training Corps Group Captain posts in each of the last three years; and what proportion of the total budget of the Air Training Corps these costs represented in each such year; 
Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence regularly reviews the cost effectiveness of the senior management structure of the Air Training Corps (ATC) along with other Defence programmes during the annual Planning Round process. Additionally the ATC conducted an internal review of the senior management structure in January 2011; a further review will be undertaken in the summer of 2012.
The Air Training Corps currently has one full-time salaried Group Captain and six B2 grade civil servants, who hold the rank of Group Captain as either RAF Reserve civilian component or as a RAF (Volunteer Reserve Training) officer. These are full time posts and not considered suitable for volunteers.
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The Air Training Corps has no full-time salaried RAF officers aged 65 to 70 and has no policy on replacing volunteer officers aged 55 or over with younger officers. All full-time salaried posts at this level are currently filled by personnel employed under civil service terms and conditions, for which there is no compulsory retirement age. The normal retirement age for RAF Volunteer Reserve Training officers is 55. However, the Commandant Air Cadets has the authority to extend beyond this for periods of up to two years if it is considered to be in the best interests of the Corps.
The current salary range for an RAF regular officer at Group Captain level is £81,310 to £89,408. The national salary range for civilian grade B2 is £47,942 to £57,245. The level of any pensions (including service military pension) received as retired RAF officers are matters for the individual and personal information, which is protected under the Data Protection Act. Information regarding overtime, service accommodation and driver support costs is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Armed Forces: Deployment
The detailed work on the future design of the Army is expected to be completed in spring 2012. Until then, it is too early to say precisely when and how many Army personnel will relocate from Germany to RAF Leuchars.
Armed Forces: Health Professions
Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilian medical personnel have been deployed in operational roles in each of the last 10 years; and what the (a) grades and (b) specialities were of those personnel. 
|Ser (a)||Year (b)||Summary of civilian medical personnel deployed (c)||Number by trade (d)|
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|(1) Around 44 civilian medical personnel were deployed on operations between 2002 and 2007. An exact breakdown by year and trade is not available. (2) As at February.|
The grades of nurses deployed on operations vary, but all are required to be above “E” Grade. The terms of reference require this as a minimum but do not stipulate a maximum. All contractors’ CVs are vetted by Defence Nursing Advisers.
A number of civilian medical welfare officers were also deployed, but they are not included as although they are a vital part of the UK Med Gp, they are not part of the deployed clinical capability. This information is available if required for the period 2008 to 2012.
Armed Forces: Housing Benefit
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of an under-occupancy provision for housing benefit on single members of the armed forces with a parent receiving that benefit. 
Mr Robathan: I have had no such discussions. However, my officials continue to work closely with other Government Departments on matters that affect members of the armed forces, their families, and veterans within the auspices of the armed forces covenant.
Armed Forces: Lancashire
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Armed Forces: Manpower
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many (a) Royal Navy, (b) Army and (c) RAF (ii) full-time personnel and (ii) reservists were based in each (A) region, (B) local authority and (C) constituency in 2011; and how many such personnel he expects to be based in each such area at the conclusion of tranches 1 and 2 of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme; 
(2) how many (a) Gurkhas, (b) full-time soldiers and (c) reservists were based in each (i) region, (ii) local authority and (iii) constituency in 2011; and how many such service personnel he expects to be based in each such area at the conclusion of tranches 1 and 2 of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme. 
Tranche 2 of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme was launched on 17 January 2012 and the outcome will not be known until June of this year. It is therefore too early to say at this stage how many people in each of these regions will be affected.
Armed Forces: Schools
Each year, the service pupil premium is allocated to local authorities based on the spring schools census. It is currently £200 per child in academic year 2011-12 rising to £250 in 2012-13 for the children of parents who have declared themselves to be a service family. We encourage service families to identify themselves in this process, to maximise the benefit of the service pupil premium, but this is not mandatory. Census data that are collected are not routinely shared with the Ministry of Defence and as a result, we do not hold the requested information.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) NATO officials on alerting civil authorities to an incoming missile threat. 
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with either the European Commission or NATO officials on the subject of alerting civil authorities to an incoming missile threat.
Peter Luff: The Government, recently published a White Paper “National Security Through Technology” (Cm 8278), which sets out how we will procure technology, equipment, and support to meet the UK's defence and security needs.
The White Paper places a strong emphasis on the role that innovation and technology plays in underpinning most of our equipment and support requirements. That is why we intend to sustain investment in science and technology at a minimum of 1.2% of the defence budget—after years of decline under the previous administration.
We believe that open procurement offers the best catalyst for UK-based industry to be efficient, competitive, and innovative. That is why this Government will continue to support responsible defence and security exports and ensure small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are an important source of innovation, are able to fulfil their potential. We are also enhancing the role of Centre for Defence Enterprise so that it works more closely with the SMEs it funds; deliberately not specifying technology solutions so suppliers can propose innovative solutions, and encouraging investment in innovation through our proposed Patent Box regime that offers a reduction in corporation tax on profits attributable to patents.
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from BAE Systems on the White Paper, “National Security Through Technology: Technology, Equipment, and Support for UK Defence and Security”; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: As of 16 February 2012, BAE Systems have made no formal representations to the Ministry of Defence on the White Paper “National Security Through Technology” (CM 8278) since its publication on 1 February 2012. BAE Systems were among the 180 respondents to the corresponding Green Paper published on 20 December 2010.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of his Department’s invoices from its private sector suppliers were paid (a) within 14 days, (b) between 15 and 30 days, (c) between 31 and 60 days, (d) between 61 and 90 days and (e) more than 90 days after receipt in the last 12 months. 
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number of invoices paid by the Department within five working days to UK suppliers and 30 calendar days to all suppliers. These statistics can be found at:
Peter Luff: The majority of UK-based Ministry of Defence personnel are catered for under regional or multi-activity contracts, including catering, retail and leisure. Information on the proportion of food procured from UK suppliers under these arrangements is not held. However, contractors are obliged to source on the open market consistent with meeting EU competition rules and quality standards.
Personnel not covered by these arrangements, for instance, those serving on operations overseas, are fed through a single food supply contract with Purple Foodservice Solutions Ltd. Approximately 1,150 different food-related items are provided in their core range price list. The proportion of UK sourced food (excluding fresh produce) for the last five full financial years are shown in the following table.
|Financial year||Percentage of UK sourced food (1)|
|(1) Excluding fresh produce.|
Third Sector: Procurement
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many contracts his Department has awarded directly to third sector organisations in each month since May 2010; what the value was of such contracts; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has not awarded any contracts to organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors in the period since May 2010. However, the Department continues to make payments to such organisations, with whom it does not have a contractual relationship, by grants in aid. I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire (Mr Robathan) gave on 9 May 2011, Official Report, column 974W, followed by a full reply to the hon. Member for Vale of Clwyd (Chris Ruane) on 7 June 2011, Official Report, column 26W.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2011, Official Report, column 1347W, on departmental procurement, for what reasons a copy of the Defence Internal Audit was not in the Library on 6 December 2011; and if he will take steps to ensure that it is placed in the Library. 
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Peter Luff [holding answer 12 December 2011]: The Defence Internal Audit report on Framework Agreement for Technical Support Services needed to be redacted. It was placed in the Library of the House on 13 December 2011.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what proportion of the total value of contracts issued or to be issued by his Department in 2011-12 have required successful organisations to put up a capital bond; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) which contracts his Department has tendered or will tender in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million; which contracts have not required such a bond; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: Surety bonds, such as performance bonds, are forms of security used by employers to provide protection in the event of a contractor defaulting on its contractual obligations. In line with Cabinet Office guidance, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) assesses the need for a bond on a case by case basis, taking into account factors including the financial standing of the potential contractor, the value of the potential contract and the risks to the MOD of proceeding with the potential contractor.
Military Aircraft: Procurement
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 8 February 2012, Official Report, columns 300-01, on Libya, from which source the savings to fund the purchase of the new C-17 aircraft have been made. 
Peter Luff: There is no single source for the savings which were used to fund the purchase of the new C-17 aircraft. The funds were generated by a range of savings measures we have been undertaking since the strategic defence and security review.
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 8 February 2012, Official Report, columns 300-01, on Libya, whether the National Security Council was consulted on the decision to purchase a new C-17 aircraft. 
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Security Council. As this procurement required expenditure in excess of departmental delegations, approval was sought from HM Treasury.
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer of 8 February 2012, Official Report, columns 300-01, on Libya, what the cost of the new C-17 aircraft will be.  [Official Report, 23 February 2012, Vol. 540, c. 4MC.]
Peter Luff: The cost of the new C-17 aircraft is subject to final commercial negotiations but, as announced by the Prime Minister on 8 February 2012, Official Report, columns 300-01, it is expected to be in the region of £300 million.
Military Bases: Kirknewton
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2012, Official Report, column 830W, on military bases, when the former Secretary of State for Defence discussed the creation of an Army base at Kirknewton with the Scottish Government and the First Minister of Scotland; and whether a written note was taken of the discussions.  [Official Report, 18 September 2012, Vol. 550, c. 7MC.]
Nick Harvey: The previous Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), and the First Minister of Scotland (Alex Salmond MSP) held two face to face meetings. These were on 11 January and 26 May 2011 and took place when they were both in London and Glasgow respectively. The meetings were not minuted.
Military Bases: Northern Ireland
Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the future of the Thiepval Army Base in Lisburn; 
(2) on how many occasions he has met (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (b) the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and (c) other ministerial colleagues to discuss his Department’s basing arrangements in Northern Ireland; and what was discussed on each such occasion. 
Nick Harvey [holding answer 9 February 2012]: The current Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), has had no meetings to discuss the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) basing arrangements in Northern Ireland, or specifically in Thiepval Army Base. MOD officials are, however, frequently in touch with their counterparts in other Departments to ensure that such issues are fully discussed and communicated.
Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) military and (b) civilian staff have been employed at the Thiepval Army Base in Lisburn in each of the last five years. 
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|As at 1 April each year||Military||Civilian|
Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to consult (a) local authorities, (b) hon. Members and (c) the Northern Ireland Executive on the future of the Thiepval Army Base in Lisburn. 
Nick Harvey [holding answer 9 February 2012]: The Defence Infrastructure Organisation is currently undertaking a review into the Ministry of Defence estate which is expected to be completed later this year. This review, along with the outcome of the Army’s work into its future size and structure will allow planning to take place to make the optimum use of the existing defence estate. Once these plans begin to take shape, local authorities, hon. Members and, where relevant, the devolved Administrations will be consulted.
Nick Harvey: At the recent NATO Defence Ministers' meeting, the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), announced that the UK would offer to lead projects on Immersive Training Environments and on Theatre Opening Capability.
Nick Harvey: The Royal Navy maintains a constant presence, including at least one frigate or destroyer, east of Suez. These vessels are able to carry out a number of duties including specific deliberate counter piracy operations as the need arises, while their general-presence in the region, together with ships from a variety of other nations' navies, provides a deterrent to piracy. In addition, additional forces are periodically deployed for dedicated counter-piracy operations.
Since 2008, the Royal Navy has contributed to EU, NATO and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter piracy operations in several capacities—from the contribution of assets, to the provision of the Operational Headquarters and Operational Commander for the EU's Operation Atalanta.
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Mr Robathan: The previous Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), announced the results of the Ministry of Defence's Basing Review on 18 July 2011. He made it clear that the Basing Review provided the strategic direction for the return of our armed forces from Germany and the rationalisation of the Defence Estate. He also made it clear that detailed implementation work would continue over the next 10 years.
Reserve Forces: Finance
Jim McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate his Department has made of the budget for the (a) Territorial Army, (b) Royal Auxiliary Air Force, (c) Royal Marine Reserve and (d) Royal Navy Reserve in (i) the UK and (ii) Scotland up to 2015; 
The following table provides information on the provisional budget allocation for the reserve forces until 31 March 2015. As we continue to address the budget deficit and implement the planned force structures for Future Reserves 2020 in accordance with the announcement made on 18 July 2012, these figures may be subject to revision.
|Note: These figures are rounded to the nearest £ million.|
Olympic Games 2012: Reserve Forces
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Nick Harvey: The military contribution to the security of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is expected to include volunteer reservists from all three armed forces. Reservists will be involved in a range of roles in both protecting and facilitating the games by contributing to the venue security force and through specialist roles in support of the wider security operation.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on the (a) design schedule and (b) building programme of the successor to the Trident submarine of the announcement by his US counterpart that the next generation of US ballistic missile submarine will be delayed for two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 9 February 2012]: The UK and the US are working collaboratively to develop a common missile compartment that will meet the requirements of the UK programme to replace our Vanguard class submarines, and of the US programme to replace its Ohio class submarines. The US Department of Defence announced on 26 January 2012 its intention to delay the Ohio replacement programme by two years, but has confirmed that this will not undermine the partnership with the UK.
UK and US officials are working on developing a revised schedule. Our current assessment is that the US programme delay will not affect our ability to meet the planned date of entry into service of 2028, as stated in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (Cm7948). The US explicitly stated in January 2012 that their delay will not impact upon our partnership.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the financial effect of (a) retaining, (b) replacing and (c) disposing of (i) the Vanguard-clan fleet of submarines and (ii) Britain's nuclear deterrent. 
Peter Luff: As stated in the White Paper, “The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994) published in December 2006, the in-service costs of the UK's nuclear deterrent are around 5% of the defence budget.
The White Paper also stated that the expected cost of replacing the submarine, warhead and infrastructure is £15 to £20 billion (at 2006 constant prices), of which £11 to £14 billion is for the replacement submarine. As noted in the Parliamentary Report “The United Kingdom's Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate”, published in May 2011, we assess that these estimates are still accurate.
The costs of disposing of the Vanguard class submarines fall within the costs of the Ministry of Defence's Submarine Dismantling Project. It is not possible at this stage of the project, however, to separate out the costs of disposing of the Vanguard class from the overall cost of the project. We do not hold estimates for the disposal costs of the UK's nuclear deterrent as a whole.
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Written Questions: Government Responses
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to answer question 75126 tabled on 17 October 2011; and if he will explain the reasons for the time taken in answering the question. 
Peter Luff: I have today replied to the hon. Member and apologise for the delay in responding to your parliamentary question (75126) of 17 October 2011, which resulted from the need to check the nature of MOD’s various payments to third sector organisations.
Energy and Climate Change
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the likely saving in carbon dioxide emissions of increasing home insulation in the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The Green Deal and energy company obligation (ECO) are intended to transform the delivery of energy efficiency measures across the economy. The Government's assessment of the impact of these policies was published in the November 2011 consultation draft impact assessment:
|Annual MtCO 2 saved||2013||2014||2015|
Traded carbon emissions are those covered by the EU emissions trading scheme, which cover electricity generation and some industrial processes. Energy savings in properties with electric heating lead to traded CO2 emissions savings, while energy savings in properties with non-electric heating systems lead to savings in non-traded CO2 emissions.
Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's forthcoming Energy Intensive Industries Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to develop industrial carbon capture and storage in the UK. 
The Carbon Plan, which was published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 1 December 2011, identified the important role that CCS could play in decarbonisation of the industrial sector. The Government announced in the autumn statement a
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package of measures to support the industrial sector in the transition to a low carbon economy and are working with industry to address the key issues. Further details on the package will be published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills later this year.
The Department is working on a CCS Roadmap, which will explore the long-term development of CCS for both power and energy intensive industries. We will be launching a streamlined process for selection of CCS projects as soon as possible after the second CCS Industry Day on 22 February. We are currently developing the details of the new process and are considering the potential inclusion of industrial CO2 emitters where they support the development of CCS clusters.
Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to develop carbon capture and storage infrastructure in (a) the North East and (b) other major emitting regions in the UK. 
Charles Hendry: The Department is in regular contact with developers and proponents of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects in the North East and elsewhere in the UK. These projects will be considered alongside those from other regions in our forthcoming CCS competition.
Charles Hendry: The Department is currently working on a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Roadmap and we expect this to be published when the new streamlined selection process for future CCS projects is launched. We aim to do this as soon as possible after the second CCS Industry Day on 22 February. The Industry Day will form part of our ongoing discussions with industry on the future CCS competition.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of global climate models in forecasting regional and short-term variations in climate. 
Global climate models are based on fundamental laws of physics and are rigorously tested against observations and other models to assess their reliability. The most recent generation of models include representations of many parts of the climate system including the atmosphere, the oceans, sea ice, land surface, biological and chemical processes. The Department's assessment is that that they are able to simulate many key features of present-day climate systems and given a range of assumptions about factors which affect the climate system, including greenhouse gas emissions, are used to project global climate up to centuries ahead. There are modelling uncertainties and these increase at smaller and smaller time and space scales. It is particularly challenging to predict short term (seasonal to multi-annual) variations in climate because of the chaotic nature of weather and climate systems on these timescales. Regional
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predictions are expected to improve with the introduction of models with a higher spatial resolution as computing capacity increases. These are areas of active research.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on (a) recruitment services and (b) executive search agencies in each month since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The Department spent £91,503 in financial year 2010-11 on external recruitment costs and has spent £161,691 so far in financial year 2011-12. This compares with spending of £809,819 in financial year 2009-10.
The Department's spending in financial year 2011-12 included recruitments of a NDPB chair, several senior posts in the Department including the Chief Engineer, Chief Economist and Chief Operating Officer.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what support his Department's plans to provide to people who rent their properties under its proposals to encourage customers to switch energy suppliers to reduce their electricity bill. 
Gregory Barker: People who are renting their property may switch to the supplier of their choice, in the same way as homeowners, if they are responsible for the energy supply under the terms of their tenancy agreement.
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Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the level of curtailment payments made to (a) offshore wind, (b) onshore wind, (c) hydro-power, (d) solar, (e) coal-fired power stations, (f) nuclear generators and (g) other generators in each of the last five years. 
Charles Hendry: In order to ensure the secure operation of the electricity system, National Grid takes over a thousand actions each day to balance supply and demand, including paying generators of all types to alter their output. This is a normal part of our market system.
Energy: Planning Permission
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on the transfer of powers to the National Assembly for Wales for granting planning permission for energy generation projects (a) on land and (b) at sea in Wales. 
Charles Hendry: The Government support decision making at the most appropriate level. For major energy infrastructure in England and Wales, we consider that the right decision maker is the DECC Secretary of State. A streamlined planning system for major energy infrastructure that minimises delay and unpredictability and ensures investor confidence is best delivered through a unified planning system for England and Wales.
The Government are clear that any requests for further devolution of powers to either the Welsh Ministers or the Assembly should be considered in light of any recommendations of the Silk Commission, which is currently reviewing the financial and constitutional arrangements in Wales.
Fife Energy Park: Expenditure
Charles Hendry: DECC is not involved in the funding of the Fife Energy park. However one business currently based on the park, Burntisland Fabrications Ltd, was a recipient of a grant from DECC (together with the Department for Business) in the 2009 Offshore Wind Demonstration funding call, for a project to develop advanced manufacturing techniques for an offshore wind jacket foundation.
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Gregory Barker: The Green Deal and energy company obligation are projected to support and increase employment in the insulation sector up to 65,000 by 2015. As we near completion of the easy-to-treat cavities and lofts in the housing stock, the majority of the opportunities will be in insulating “hard to treat” properties: those with solid walls and more difficult to treat cavity walls.
Gregory Barker: The Department's estimate of the level of Green Deal private finance is set out in the draft impact assessment published on 23 November 2011. The final impact assessment will be published in the spring. These figures are national and DECC has not carried out an assessment of the private finance requirement on a regional basis.
Gregory Barker: It is not possible to provide figures for the number of jobs that will be created in London. It is estimated that by 2015 the number of jobs in Great Britain as a result of the Green Deal and energy company obligation could be up to 65,000.
Gregory Barker: We have announced a £200 million injection of Government funding to help boost early take-up of the Green Deal. This will provide a special time-limited ‘introductory’ offer to ensure the Green Deal hits the ground running. DECC is also working in partnership with our stakeholders to look at further ways of stimulating demand.
We have acted to address the worst private rented sector buildings. From 2016 all domestic tenants will not be unreasonably refused consent from their landlords to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes and from 2018 it will be unlawful to rent out domestic or non-domestic properties which fall below an ‘E’ energy efficiency rating.
In addition, the Department for Communities and Local Government is currently consulting on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations that could further drive take-up of energy efficiency measures from October 2012.
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Green Deal Scheme: Job Creation
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what methodology was used to calculate his Department's estimate of 65,000 jobs to be created by 2020 as a result of the Green Deal. 
Gregory Barker: The number of jobs supported by the Green Deal is calculated using the estimates of energy efficiency measures uptake presented in the Green Deal consultation impact assessment. The number of installers needed to meet demand in each year is estimated using annual measure sales and the assumed productivity of individual installers. The estimates of installer productivity are based on discussions with the industry. The supporting supply chain job estimates are based on a 2009 Innovas market report, which lists the current number of jobs in different business sectors. This was used to calculate the ratio between installer numbers and supply chain jobs (manufacturing, supply, distribution, development).
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what assessment he has made of the effect on jobs and business of recently announced changes to subsidies for loft insulation and cavity wall insulation; 
(2) what the impact on the Green Deal will be of recently announced reductions in subsidies for loft insulation and cavity wall insulation; and what consideration he has given to providing a transition period prior to the changes coming into effect. 
Gregory Barker: We currently estimate that Government programmes to promote energy efficiency will support around 65,000 insulation sector jobs in 2015, which represents an increase from the present total of 27,000 jobs. The existing Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and Community Energy Saving Programme schemes will transition to the new Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) at the end of 2012. The recent public consultation on Green Deal and ECO included discussion of issues relating to the transition between CERT/CESP and Green Deal/ECO. We are currently considering responses to the consultation, and consideration of the impacts of transition will be included in the final version of the impact assessment accompanying the Government's response.
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
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Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2012, Official Report, column 602W, on renewable energy: feed-in tariffs, what (a) factors were included in and (b) assumptions were made when calculating the £1.5 billion figure for additional lifetime cost. 
Gregory Barker: Our stated estimate that not appealing to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal's judgment on feed-in tariffs would lead to £1.5 billion additional lifetime costs to consumers was based on assumptions about the possible rate of PV deployment in February and March 2012, informed by the surge of installations seen in the run up to the proposed 12 December 2011 reference date.
We respectfully disagree with the decision of the Court of Appeal, and intend to seek to appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling. However, if we had chosen not to do so, there would have been much greater costs to consumers both due to installations between 12 December 2011 and 3 March 2012 receiving higher tariffs (of 43.3p/kWh for installations up to 4 kW of installed capacity) for 25 years, and because of a likely increase in installation rate due to continued availability of the higher tariffs.
It is very difficult to estimate by how much the installation rate might have increased, since this involves assumptions about demand for PV at the higher tariffs and the ability of the market to respond to that. We based our estimate on the observed increase in installation rate in the six weeks between the launch of the consultation on tariffs for solar PV on 31 October and the proposed reference date of 12 December, which saw 292 MW (over 74,000 installations) more PV installed than in the previous six week period.
Conservatively, we assumed that there might be an additional 200 MW installed in February and March if the higher tariffs had remained available. Assuming the deployment was split between tariff bands in a similar ratio as earlier deployment (with around 75% of <50 kW capacity being in the 0-4 kW band), this would have led to additional costs to consumers of approximately £100 million per annum, or £1.5 billion in real, discounted terms over the tariff lifetime.
Renewable Energy: Heating
Gregory Barker: None of the five installations accredited to date by Ofgem for support from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme are based in London. Payments under the scheme will be made on a quarterly basis following submission of eligible heat usage data. We expect to make the first payments in March.
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Warm Front Scheme: Doncaster
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people in (a) Don Valley constituency and (b) Doncaster borough received Warm Front grants in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10, (iii) 2010-11 and (iv) 2011-12. 
|Don Valley||Doncaster borough|
|(1) Up to 31 January 2012|
Warm Home Discount Scheme
Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many customers who were on social tariffs offered by energy companies prior to the introduction of the Warm Home Discount scheme will not qualify for the scheme. 
Gregory Barker: The Warm Home Discount scheme was specifically designed to allow suppliers to provide a smooth transition for consumers from the previous voluntary agreement under which they provide social and discounted tariffs. Suppliers were provided with sufficient flexibility in year one of the scheme to assist all those who had been helped in the final year of voluntary agreement and could use the same eligibility criteria for providing this assistance to low income and vulnerable households.
Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will consider extending the Warm Home Discount scheme to people with medical conditions affecting body temperature. 
Gregory Barker: The Warm Home Discount scheme is designed to provide support to those who are both low income and vulnerable, to ensure that the available resources are targeted at those most in need. Targeting assistance on the basis of medical condition alone would not take account of income and therefore would not provide the same level of assurance that support would be provided to those most in need of assistance with energy costs.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Circuses
Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the joint letter dated 22 December 2011 from the Born Free Foundation and the Captive Animals Protection Society on the resolution of this House on the use of wild animals in circuses. 
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Mr Paice: My colleague, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, who is the Minister responsible for this policy area, responded to the joint letter from the Born Free Foundation and the Captive Animals Protection Society on 2 February.
Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates planned meetings scheduled between a Minister in her Department with (a) the Born Free Foundation, (b) the Captive Animals Protection Society, (c) the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and (d) other animal welfare charities or organisations to discuss this House's Resolution on the use of wild animals in circuses have been cancelled by the Minister; for what reasons in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: Lord Taylor of Holbeach was due to meet with animal welfare groups on 14 December to discuss DEFRA's policy on the use of wild animal acts in travelling circuses. Due to other departmental business those meetings had to be postponed. New dates for those meetings have been, or are being, arranged.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when (a) she and (b) other Ministers in her Department will next meet animal welfare organisations to discuss the use of wild animals in circuses. 
Mr Paice: Lord Taylor of Holbeach has a long-standing agreement to meet with animal welfare groups to discuss DEFRA's policy on the use of wild animals in circuses. Dates for those meetings have been, or are being, arranged.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in Greece on progress towards a ban in the UK. 
Mr Paice: We are aware of the ban introduced by the Greek Government, which was only passed on 31 January, on all animals in circuses as well as all animals in other performance and entertainment exhibitions. We will keep the Greek ban, as well as other restrictions and bans introduced by other countries, under consideration when taking forward our policy on wild animal acts in travelling circuses in England.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has had discussions with the British Antarctic Survey on the protection of sea birds in the Antarctic region. 
Richard Benyon: The UK and its South Atlantic Overseas Territories are signatories to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. This agreement works to protect and conserve albatrosses throughout their global range, including the Antarctic. Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey advise DEFRA officials in relation to this agreement, particularly through participation in the work of its advisory committee.
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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control
Mr Paice: The nature and scale of the policing response will depend on specific intelligence available at the time. However, an estimate of police costs has been developed through discussion with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Home Office. This initial estimate suggests a cost in the region of £0.5 million per area per year for the four years when culling would take place in the two pilot areas based on a standard policing operation to maintain public order and safety. DEFRA has confirmed that it will cover the reasonable additional costs of policing this policy, which would not be part of the duties normally expected of the police.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what comparative assessment she has made of the benefits of a pilot badger cull and investing in further research and development. 
DEFRA continues to spend a significant amount on a wide-ranging bovine TB research programme (around £6.9 million was spent in 2010-11). This programme is aimed at improving our understanding of the disease, developing novel control tools, refining existing control tools and understanding how to apply them to tackle the disease. As part of this, in July 2011 we announced the investment of a further £20 million over five years in research towards the development of a vaccine against TB in cattle and an oral vaccine for badgers.
Evidence suggests that without addressing the presence of TB in the badger population, it will not be possible to eradicate TB in cattle, so we need to take action now. Scientific evidence suggests that proactive badger culling, done on a sufficient scale, in a widespread, coordinated and efficient way, and over a sustained period of time, will reduce the incidence of bovine TB in cattle in high incidence areas. The pilots will allow the careful examination of the safety, humaneness and effectiveness of controlled shooting and will inform the Government's decision on whether to roll the policy out more widely.
British Waterways: Canal and River Trust
Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the proposed transfer of assets and responsibilities of British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust and the reduced level of funding on regeneration around the Grand Union Canal Leicester Section. 
British Waterways (BW) will move from being a public corporation to a charitable body, the Canal and River Trust (CRT), in June 2012, subject to parliamentary consent. The Government have reached agreement with the CRT trustees on the long-term
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funding of the new charity until 2027, amounting to around £800 million. This historic and very substantial settlement demonstrates the Government's commitment to the big society and a sustainable and prosperous future for the inland waterways.
Maintenance of the canal network is an operational matter for BW, who prioritise their maintenance spend where it is most needed. Any future decisions on funding for regeneration around the Grand Union Canal Leicester Section will be a matter for CRT.
Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking in respect of the transition of the assets and responsibilities of British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust. 
Richard Benyon: The statutory functions of British Waterways in England and Wales will be transferred to the Canal and River Trust (CRT) by means of an order made under the Public Bodies Act 2011, subject to parliamentary consent. A separate transfer scheme made under section 23 of the Public Bodies Act will transfer property, assets and liabilities of British Waterways in England and Wales to the CRT. The transfer scheme will be laid before Parliament once the transfer order is made.
Chinese Mitten Crabs
Richard Benyon: The Chinese mitten crab is established in our waters. It migrates to sea to spawn, where its progeny may spread through natural means or through human action in the ballast water of ships and boats.
The UK, along with our international partners, aims to minimise the spread of marine invasive species, including Chinese mitten crabs, through the International Maritime Organisation's Ballast Water Convention. The UK will begin the ratification process once it has been proved that technology is available to meet the required water quality standards. The UK is participating in continuing discussions at the International Maritime Organisation's Marine Environment Protection Committee with regards to producing a set of ballast water guidelines on sampling and analysis. These guidelines are nearing completion.
Coastal Areas: Access
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Weymouth between Portland and Lulworth Bay, Dorset. The right of access will be introduced there in time for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.
Natural England is also currently working on proposals to implement coastal access in a further five areas around the coast. When proposals for the coastal route have been prepared in each of the five areas, Natural England will start a period of local consultation.
Richard Benyon: Currently there are no effective methods available for reducing the scale of the signal crayfish population in England, and DEFRA has commissioned research to identify any feasible techniques. Until effective management tools become available, efforts are mainly focussed on limiting the spread of the species to new habitats and on the conservation of native species, such as by the establishment of refuge sites for white clawed crayfish. DEFRA is also working with the Scottish and Welsh Governments to develop an action plan to better coordinate efforts to manage non-native crayfish and their impacts.
Furthermore, DEFRA has launched a campaign called "Check, clean, dry" to raise awareness of the risks from aquatic invasive non-native species, such as non-native crayfish, and to promote simple steps that water-users can take to reduce the accidental spread of invasive species through their activities.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to repeal the dog control measures of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847; 
Mr Paice: I can confirm that, following consultation with the police, these two provisions in early Victorian Acts of Parliament, which between them apply across the country and make it an offence to allow a dog to attack, or put in fear of attack, any person or other animal, will be repealed at the next appropriate legislative opportunity, as more up-to-date legislation exists.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to update her Department's website to include information on responsible dog ownership. 
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Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on training of magistrates on handling of dog control cases. 
Mr Paice: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has not had any recent discussions with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), on training of magistrates on handling dog control cases.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on antisocial behaviour with dogs. 
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Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many apprentices were employed by each public body for which her Department is responsible between (a) April 2010 and March 2011 and (b) April and December 2011; and how many apprenticeships she expects each public body to sponsor between (i) January and March 2012 and (ii) April 2012 and March 2013; 
(2) how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to sponsor apprenticeships in each of the public bodies for which her Department is responsible between (a) April 2010 and March 2011, (b) April 2011 and March 2012 and (c) April 2012 and March 2013. 
|The executive agencies|
|Name||April 2010 to March 2011||April 2011 to December 2011||January to March 2012||April to March 2013|
|(1) Minimum of 6|
|Non-departmental public bodies|
|Name||April 2010 to March 2011||April 2011 to December 2011||January to March 2012||April to March 2013|
|(1) The Environment Agency will be reviewing its approach to apprenticeship provision in early 2012 in order to increase the opportunities it provides in future years. (2) Natural England is seeking external funding for an apprenticeship on one of their National Nature Reserves in 2012-13. There are no previous commitments or other current plans. (3) Royal Botanic Gardens Kew runs 67 apprenticeships per annum as a constant.|
Funding from the public purse (including salary costs for externally recruited apprentices) that has been allocated to sponsor apprenticeships in each of the public bodies for which DEFRA is responsible for is outlined in the following tables:
|The executive agencies|
|Name||April 2010 to March 2011||April 2011 to March 2012||April 2012 to March 2013|
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20 Feb 2012 : Column 488W
|Non-departmental public bodies|
|Name||April 2010 to March 2011||April 2011 to March 2012||April 2012 to March 2013|
|(1) The Environment Agency will be reviewing its. approach to apprenticeship provision in early 2012 in order to increase the opportunities it provides in future years. (2) Natural England is seeking external funding for an apprenticeship on one of their National Nature Reserves in 2012-13. There are no previous commitments or other current plans. No other NDPB uses money from the public purse for apprenticeships. (3) Royal Botanic Gardens Kew receives funding from a mixture of public and private sources and it hasn't been possible to calculate funding for apprenticeships solely from the public purse.|
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much funding her Department allocated to sponsor apprenticeships in her Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and how much such funding she plans to allocate in 2012-13; 
(2) how many apprentices were employed by her Department between (a) April 2010 and March 2011 and (b) April and December 2011; and how many apprenticeships she plans that her Department will sponsor between (i) January and March 2012 and (ii) April and March 2013. 
Richard Benyon: Between April 2010 and March 2011 core DEFRA employed 29 apprentices, all of whom were current employees undertaking an apprenticeship training programme. Core DEFRA allocated £16,146.50 of funding.
Procurement: Capital Bonds
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the total value of contracts issued or to be issued by her Department in 2011-12 have required successful organisations to put up a capital bond; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which contracts her Department has tendered or will tender in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million; which contracts have not required such a bond; and if she will make a statement. 
Departmental Travel Costs
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has agreed any contracts with (a) private hire vehicle and (b) taxi companies since May 2010. 
Richard Benyon: From 1 June 2011 core DEFRA has had a contract for private hire vehicles with Enterprise Rent-a-car UK Limited. That superseded a contract with Arval PHH Business Solutions which had been running since 1 June 2006.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the number of dogs bred in domestic properties and sold on the internet in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to review the operation of the (a) Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, (b) Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and (c) Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has she made of the number of dogs imported to the UK in the last three years; and from which country each such dog came. 
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|Live dogs imported into the UK|
Eggs: Origin Marking
Mr Paice: On inspection, enforcement authorities look for evidence that food business operators are keeping appropriate traceability records as required by European food law. Major retailers, processors, food manufacturers and food service companies have put into place stringent traceability tests to ensure that they do not source eggs or egg products from laying hens kept in conventional cages. We encourage others to join them.
Environment Protection: Fisheries
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will take steps to increase consumer awareness of the potential environmental repercussions of purchasing Patagonian Toothfish, more commonly known in restaurants as Chilean Sea Bass; 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA continues to seek to raise awareness among consumers of the importance of purchasing fish from sustainably-managed sources. Fishing for krill and Patagonian toothfish in Antarctic waters is carefully overseen by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which applies stringent conservation measures to ensure that all harvesting is conducted in a precautionary and ecosystem-based manner. This means that fish stocks are subject to careful monitoring and stock assessment, with fishery quotas set according to scientific advice. The UK works closely with CCAMLR to uphold these principles and to promote and enhance the sustainable management of its fisheries, including through the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands toothfish fishery which has achieved the third highest scoring Marine Stewardship Council certification in the world.
The major threat to sustainability arises from fish caught through illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing operations, which we are tackling through measures such as implementation of the EU's IUU Regulation, which came into force in 2010. As required under this
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regulation, we now have a stringent system of checking the legality and provenance of all consignments of fish imported into the UK.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of farmers in Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency who have diversified into other business areas in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The EU defines farm diversification as all activities other than farm work that have an economic impact on the holding. These activities must make use of the farm’s resources (such as the land, buildings or machinery) or products. If only the farm’s labour force and no other resources are used for the activity, then this is not classed as being a diversified activity. Agricultural work for other holdings is included. Exclusions are: pure financial investments, commercial activity on the holding which is not linked to any agricultural or horticultural activity (e.g. a hairdresser or insurance company), renting out the land for diverse activities where there is no further involvement in these activities, and letting out of buildings.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she plans to have with her (a) French, (b) Dutch, (c) German, (d) Belgian and (e) Irish counterpart on measures for the conservation and management of fish stocks applying to all vessels fishing within the 12 nautical miles UK coastal zone. 
Richard Benyon: All commercial fish stocks subject to EU quota limits are jointly managed as a shared resource under the common fisheries policy (CFP). These management measures continue to apply under the mutual access arrangements within member states' 6-12 nautical mile coastal zones, and are based on historical fishing patterns. I will continue to support the Commission's proposal to extend the current restrictions on access within the 6-12 nm limits from 2013, without which these restrictions will automatically lapse.
Through reform of the CFP, the UK will seek to enable individual member states to manage marine resources more effectively through better integration of fisheries management with other marine policies. As part of the ongoing reform debate I will be discussing this issue with fellow Fisheries Ministers, and similarly my officials are having discussions about a more regional approach to fisheries management with other member states, including with France, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland.
Improved integration of fisheries management with wider marine environment policies will also be supported through our implementation of the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in Europe's seas by 2020.
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The directive puts in place a strong framework for co-ordination between EU member states in taking the necessary measures to achieve GES.
Our work to identify and develop the UK's Marine Conservation Zones will make a contribution. Where these zones include areas within the 6-12 nm limits, non-discriminatory conservation measures affecting the vessels of other member states can be introduced after consultation with the affected member states and the Commission.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with her counterpart in Northern Ireland to ensure a co-ordinated UK approach to the European calls for Swedish grid gear to be fitted to prawn trawlers. 
Richard Benyon: As the UK Fisheries Minister I discussed the approach to gear selectivity for the prawn (nephrops) fleet with the Northern Irish Fisheries Minister, as part of the UK's negotiations at the December Fisheries Council and more recently at a meeting in Belfast on 6 February. Fisheries policy is a devolved matter and as such devolved Administrations are able to develop and apply their own approach to fisheries management, including the type of gear used. I am, however, keen that our respective fisheries administrations share views and ideas. My officials are in regular contact with their counterparts as gear selectivity and other measures are developed for different fleets to learn from each other's experiences and to ensure the UK's approach is coherent.
Flood Control: Lytham St Annes
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her latest flood risk assessment is for (a) Lytham and (b) St Annes; and whether she plans to improve flood defences in those areas. 
Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency's national assessment of flood risk (NaFRA) data show the likelihood of flooding across England and Wales. The following table outlines the number of properties at risk from flooding in Lytham and St Annes.
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The Joint Blackpool and Fylde Shoreline Strategy, which receives £183,000 of DEFRA funding, is currently nearing completion. This strategy is being jointly led by Fylde borough council and Blackpool borough council, and will provide a comprehensive assessment of the coastal flood risk to the Fylde and Blackpool coastline, including Lytham and St Annes. The strategy will identify any improvements needed to the coastal defences for Lytham and St Annes. The strategy is due to be completed by summer 2012 and will be sent to the Environment Agency for final sign off.
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has to improve the drainage channels and pumping facilities to farmland outside Lytham. 
Richard Benyon: In July 2011, the Environment Agency replaced the 65-year-old wooden tidal gates at Dock Bridge with new plastic flaps and a new lifting mechanism. It dredged the channel downstream of Dock Bridge and carried out a detailed land survey. The survey results will determine the extent of one-off de-silting activity, planned for 2012-13. This will increase the level of flood protection to the eastern side of Lytham, as well as farmland adjacent to the town. The Environment Agency has identified the optimum water levels for the operation of the pumps in order to maintain the current standard of flood protection to this area.
The Environment Agency will replace and automate the valve on the upstream side of Dock Bridge in late 2012. The operation of the valves holds back the river flow and enables essential maintenance work to be carried out on the downstream side of the bridge to include repairs to the tidal gate valves and works in the channel.
The Environment Agency will also review its flood risk management activities in the Main Drain catchment of Lytham. In 2012-13 it will work with the local community to look at the full range of long-term options for maintenance in this area.