|Table B: Flood and coastal erosion schemes awaiting business case approval or modelling outputs, or identified as regional priorities|
|Scheme name||Environment Agency Region||Risk Management Authority|
|Table C: Flood and coastal erosion schemes that will either be deferred, or are no longer needed|
|Scheme Name||Environment Agency Region||Risk Management Authority|
11 Jun 2012 : Column 324W
|Reclassified as delivering primarily navigation benefits|
|Scheme Name||Environment Agency Region||Risk Management Authority|
No schemes have been cancelled as they never had approval for funding. Prioritisation is needed every year, as there are always more schemes applying than funding available. The decision to award Government funding is made based on schemes that offer the greatest outcomes.
Over the period 2002-03 to 2005-06 capital grants were administered by DEFRA on a project-by-project basis to the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards. Grant rates were applied, with the remaining funding coming from levies raised by the regional flood defence committees, local authorities or internal drainage boards. No central record was kept of the regional breakdown.
11 Jun 2012 : Column 325W
In April 2006 the Environment Agency was delegated responsibility for administering grant to all schemes promoted under the Land Drainage Act. Schemes under the Coast Protection Act continued to receive funding administered by DEFRA until April 2008, when this responsibility passed to the Environment Agency. Funding totals for Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (previously Regional Flood Defence Committees) are available from 2008-09 to 2011-12. The total amount in capital grant to local authorities and internal drainage boards is also given.
|Table 1: 2002-03 to 2007-08|
|Grant in Aid funding (£ million)|
|Table 2: 2008-09 to 2011-12|
|Regional Flood and Coastal Committee||2008-09||2009-10||2010-11||2011-12|
Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency is working in partnership with Derby city council to develop a sustainable approach to flood risk management in and around Derby. The “Our City, Our River” Master Plan is the first step in achieving this objective, and this covers the area from Darley Abbey Mills in the north, to Derby Junction Railway Bridge in the south. The Master Plan is just one strand of the Environment Agency's Lower Derwent Flood Risk Management Strategy, which covers an area from Milford to the River Trent confluence.
The strategy identified that to provide sustainable flood risk management through Derby, the defences through the city should be realigned away from the river and the Master Plan presents a preferred realignment route for the flood defences. If approved, funding would be from a mix of Flood Defence grant in aid and partnership funding contributions.
11 Jun 2012 : Column 326W
Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress her Department has made on discussions with the insurance industry on the future of flood insurance; and if she will make it her policy to negotiate a solution in advance of the expiry of the existing Statement of Principles. 
Richard Benyon: The existing Statement of Principles is due to expire on 30 June. We are at an advanced stage in intensive negotiations with the insurance industry on alternative arrangements for when the Statement of Principles expires. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs met with insurers to discuss the issues at a recent conference.
The Government's core focus is to continue to invest in new and improved defences. In the current spending period, the Government are spending over £2.17 billion on flood and coastal erosion risk management, offering better protection to over 145,000 homes.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether her Department has undertaken any recent research on developing new food production techniques in the agricultural sector; 
Mr Paice: The Government welcomed the Foresight report on the Future of Food and Farming, which explores the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050. We recognise that in order to feed the predicted increase in population in the UK and the world by 2050, we will need to increase food production sustainably in the UK, EU and beyond.
DEFRA spends £28 million (2011-12 figures) annually on research to encourage sustainable food production; enhance the environment and biodiversity and support a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply. DEFRA also supports a substantial programme of research to improve animal health and welfare within the agricultural sector; approximately £30 million was spent during 2011/12 in support of it.
DEFRA is contributing £30 million over five years to the £90 million Technology Strategy Board Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform, which is funding collaborative research with industry to stimulate innovation in farming and food production systems.
DEFRA is providing funding for the current call of the Information and Communication Technology and Robotics ERAnet (ICT-AGRI) to support research and development and innovation projects on sustainable crop and animal production with other EU members.
From the period 2007 to 2015 DEFRA has supported several research projects addressing increasing crop yields while maintaining sustainability and ecosystem services. Two key projects are: 1. WC1034 ‘FARMLAND’ which is examining interdependences between biodiversity and
11 Jun 2012 : Column 327W
cropping. 2. DEFRA project IF01116, which is investigating contributory causes of the current yield plateau in wheat and oilseed rape.
Mr Paice: DEFRA is currently funding a number of collaborative R and D projects which involve application and translation of biotechnological research into practice, and uptake by the private sector. These include genetic improvement networks, which underpin UK crop breeding programmes and research to improve crop husbandry.
Mr Paice: The first objective in DEFRA’s business plan is to “support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production” and this commitment influences all of the policy work DEFRA undertakes. The plan outlines a number of areas in which we are taking action to promote increased domestic food production.
DEFRA is working on the “Green Food Project” which is a joint initiative between Government, industry, consumer and environmental organisations, because we recognise that neither increasing food production nor improving the environment are challenges for Government alone.
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to encourage food manufacturers and retailers to donate their in-date waste to homelessness and food bank organisations. 
Mr Paice: The Government strongly support redistribution of surplus food to charities such as FareShare and FoodCycle and hopes that more firms will choose to donate suitable surplus food rather than send it for disposal. Many do so already, though only a fraction of the available food is currently donated.
We are considering all barriers to redistribution, including legal concerns. This work will determine the way forward and we will need to work with these charities and food manufacturers to lower any barriers identified.
The Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my noble Friend, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, also recently wrote to my right hon. and noble Friend, Lord Young of Graffham, to consider how health and safety can be reviewed to help facilitate this.
Food: Sustainable Development
11 Jun 2012 : Column 328W
“Simultaneously raising yields, while increasing the efficiency with which inputs are used and reducing the negative environmental effects of food production. It requires economic and social changes to recognise the multiple outputs required of land managers, farmers and other food producers, and a redirection of research to address a more complex set of goals than just increasing yield.”
These ideas are reflected in DEFRA’s business plan, where the Government have committed to increasing growth, productivity and competiveness in the farming sector, combined with improvements to the environment. We have taken this approach forward through the Natural Environment White Paper, where we committed to work jointly with the food and farming industry and environmental and consumer organisations to look at how we might reconcile some of the tensions that arise in trying to achieve all of these objectives. The “Green Food project” that is undertaking this work will report its initial findings in July 2012.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many items of equipment valued at £10,000 or more her Department lost in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what target she has set to reduce headcount across her Department, its non-departmental public bodies and Executive agencies in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if she will make a statement. 
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration she has given to introducing (a) a fixed price, (b) a price formula, (c) break clauses and (d) certainty of other basic terms in milk supply contracts. 
Mr Paice: The Government are clear that they cannot influence dairy prices directly as it must be for the market to drive both production and price levels. The EU Dairy Package sets out what contracts must cover if they are made compulsory but does not permit us to introduce any additional regulations.
I have, therefore, strongly encouraged the industry to develop a robust voluntary code of contractual good practice that could be in place more quickly and would keep the industry in control of how contracts deal with all the issues which are critical to farmers and processors.
11 Jun 2012 : Column 329W
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which priority species had achieved their Species Action Plan recovery targets in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland by 2010; and which was her Department's lead partner or co-lead partner organisation for each species. 
Richard Benyon: The last formal assessment of progress against Species Action Plan recovery targets was in 2008. The results of the 2008 assessment for the UK and each constituent country have been published online through the Biodiversity Action Reporting System. The highlights of the 2008 reporting round are also published on the website of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. In England, 143 species were assessed as meeting their recovery targets. A list of these species, along with the relevant lead statutory or voluntary sector partners has been placed in the House Library.
We published our new biodiversity strategy for England, “Biodiversity 2020”, in August 2011, and have established a working group involving the Government, statutory agencies and civil society groups to develop indicators for species that reflect the new strategy.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what Species Action Plans (SAP) are in operation in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland; which partner organisations are engaged with each SAP; and what her most recent assessment is of the status of each priority species. 
The new strategy entails a major shift in emphasis away from having large numbers of individual Species Action Plans towards a much more integrated large-scale approach to biodiversity conservation, exemplified by our Nature Improvement Areas initiative. This approach will meet the conservation needs of many species. The Species Action Plans prepared under the previous strategy therefore have no formal status under the new strategy.
Our strategy sets out that there will still be a need to take targeted action for the recovery of those priority species whose conservation is not delivered through wider habitat-based measures. To address this, Natural England is working up a new prioritised species recovery programme with our partners.
11 Jun 2012 : Column 330W
England's wildlife”, when her Department plans to publish details of its proposed new monitoring and reporting system. 
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to support partner organisations achieve the recovery of priority species by 2020. 
The new strategy entails a major shift in emphasis towards a much more integrated large-scale approach to biodiversity conservation, exemplified by our Nature Improvement Areas initiative. We have already announced funding of £7.5 million over a three-year period for 12 Nature Improvement Areas across England. Many priority species will benefit from this approach.
Non-departmental Public Bodies
Richard Benyon: While there is no definition of a quango, the Cabinet Office Public Bodies Reform team conducted a review of 904 public bodies in 2010 and concluded that around 200 bodies would be abolished, 120 bodies would be merged into 56 bodies and a further 177 bodies would be retained but substantially reformed.
In October 2010 it was concluded that the number of DEFRA public bodies would reduce from 92 to 39. Following a public bodies review update announcement on 16 March 2011, it was confirmed that a further three non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) would be abolished. Once all reforms are complete DEFRA will have 36 NDPBs.
Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the largest amount paid to an individual member of staff employed by Ofwat as a bonus was in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011; 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 331W
Richard Benyon: Ofwat makes non-consolidated, variable bonus payments to its staff to help drive performance. The annual appraisal process measures performance, helps staff to develop their potential and to make a full contribution towards realising Ofwat's objectives. All Ofwat staff have the opportunity to earn a bonus on an annual basis, although bonuses are only awarded for exceptional performance.
Richard Benyon: The Government recognise the need to encourage sustainable sourcing of palm oil and are considering the case for amendment of the current Government Buying Standards to include a sustainable palm oil sourcing requirement.
Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on how many occasions the Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit has found neonicotinoid pesticides to be responsible for bee mortality in its assessments since it was established; 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 332W
There are no recorded cases of hive loss directly attributable to neonicotinoid pesticides. The National Bee Unit has been investigating the causes of abnormal colony losses in England and Wales since 2007. The results have shown that the most important risk factor in the mortality or weakening of colonies is deformed wing virus, a virus transmitted by the varroa mite, clearly indicating failed or unsuccessful treatments of mite infestations. This investigation included screening a sample for 90 target pesticides, including neonicotinoid pesticides, and no residues were detected. The key results from these investigations have been published on the National Bee Unit's BeeBase website.
In addition, the Government's Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme looks at reported incidents involving bee deaths. Since routine screening for neonicotinoids started in 2009, 44 bee death incidents have been investigated and in 10 of these neonicotinoid residues were found. The outcome of these investigations was inconclusive and in eight of the 10 cases where residues of neonicotinoids were detected, residues of other pesticides were also found. In eight of the 10 cases involving neonicotinoid pesticides it was not clear that they had any role in the death of the bees. To aid interpretation of such findings in the future a research project is under way testing for pesticide residues in healthy bee colonies.
Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will ensure that any decision on policy on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides will be based solely on technical assessments by relevant Government scientific advisory bodies. 
Richard Benyon: Decisions on whether to approve the use of pesticides, and on the conditions attached to any approval, are based on the objective assessment of scientific information. This follows longstanding practice and the requirements of UK and EU law, which allow approval to be withdrawn or amended if new information shows that to be appropriate.
This is the approach being taken for neonicotinoid pesticides. In the UK the latest evidence is being examined by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive, DEFRA’s Food and Environment Research Agency and the independent scientific Advisory Committee on Pesticides. The work is being overseen by DEFRA’s chief scientific adviser. The EU authorities are also looking at the evidence and this is being taken forward by the European Food Safety Authority.
Plants: Disease Control
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the likely cost of (a) control and (b) prevention of invasive non-native plant species in each of the next three years. 
DEFRA does not collate information on the cost of control of invasive non-native plants. However, research commissioned jointly by the GB Administrations reported in 2010 that invasive non-native species cost the GB economy in excess of £1.7 billion
11 Jun 2012 : Column 333W
per annum. The types of impact costs taken into account are detailed in the report and include, where possible, control costs. The report is available on the website of the GB Non-native Species Secretariat at:
Measures to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive non-native plant species take many forms and involve the actions of Government, their agencies, external stakeholders, and through our partnership awareness campaigns, also the general public. The total expenditure or value of this effort cannot therefore be comprehensively costed.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of payments made by her Department to small and medium-sized enterprises have been paid late since May 2010. 
Richard Benyon: Core DEFRA's Financial Reporting systems are not able to identify small and medium-sized enterprises separately but overall, since May 2010, 1,275 (3.41%) out of a total of 37,348 supplier invoices received have been paid late. A late payment is classified as those not paid within the Government's target for undisputed invoices. For 2010 the target was 10 working days, and since 2011 the target reduced to five working days.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of her Department's expenditure on procurement has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises since May 2010. 
Richard Benyon: The expenditure of core DEFRA and its arm’s length bodies with small and medium-sized enterprises has been reported in the Cabinet Office report, “Making Government business more accessible to SMEs—One Year On”:
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department next expects to undertake a spend recovery audit to identify overpayments to suppliers caused by fraud or error. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA Internal Audit does not expect to undertake a spend recovery audit to identify overpayments to suppliers caused by fraud or error. Internal Audit's programme of work for the current year includes an audit of procurement processes and procedures, which will include an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal controls designed to prevent error and fraud.
Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) circulars and (b) consultation documents were issued by her Department in each of the last two years. 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 334W
Richard Benyon: The Department has to make cost savings to live within budgetary control totals over the course of the spending review, and reducing staffing levels is only one element of achieving this. Consistent with the Government's focus on reducing back office costs, DEFRA's approach has been first to identify savings from non-staff areas (such as estates), before then considering the need for staff reductions. Core DEFRA has released some 300 people, either on voluntary exit or on voluntary redundancy in the last two years, following redesign work to show where reductions were needed. There were two compulsory redundancies in core DEFRA in the last two financial years (2010-11 and 2011-12).
Richard Benyon: A comprehensive assessment of the potential impacts of a barrage on the nature conservation interests of the protected areas in the Severn Estuary was undertaken as part of the Government's Severn Tidal Feasibility Study, which was published in October 2010. Consultation with the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales and RSPB informed this exercise. A link to the summary report of the study can be found on the Department of Energy and Climate Change's website.
Any future independent proposal to construct a Severn barrage would almost certainly involve an environmental impact assessment and an appropriate assessment under the EU Habitats Directive. Natural England would be consulted in both these processes. Any such proposal would also be likely to involve consultation with third parties, probably via a public inquiry. Responsibility for determining any application and assessing environmental impacts would rest with the relevant competent authority(ies) and the appropriate Secretary of State, which is most likely to be the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey).
Rural Areas: Broadband
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Rural Community Broadband Fund in providing communities with broadband in the 10% hardest to reach areas in England. 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 335W
Richard Benyon: It is too early to assess the effectiveness of the Rural Community Broadband Fund, which was launched at the end of November. We will be commissioning an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the fund over the summer with an initial report expected in the first half of next year.
A positive response was received to Round One which closed on 31 January—of the 39 expressions of interest received, 16 have been endorsed with conditions and have been invited to develop full applications.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential effects on rural businesses of a lack of broadband access. 
Richard Benyon: There is growing evidence that broadband connectivity and higher broadband speeds improve economic growth and productivity. We recognise that lack of broadband availability hampers the potential of rural businesses and that is why the Government are investing £530 million to bring superfast broadband to at least 90% of premises and standard broadband (a minimum of 2Mbps) to the remaining premises by 2015.
Mr Paice: The Government want to encourage more applications under the EU's Protected Food Name scheme. However, in order to be registered under the scheme applications must meet the required criteria for registration.
Our recent decision to reject the application from the Lincolnshire Sausage Association (LSA) to protect the name, “Lincolnshire Sausage” under the EU Protected Food Name scheme was made after careful consideration of all the evidence provided by the applicants and the objecting parties. The reasons for that decision were set out in some detail in the letter we sent to the LSA on 16 May. A copy of that letter can be found at the following link:
That letter also makes provision for an appeal to be made to the decision. Any reconsideration of our decision would be dependent on new arguments and information being put forward. At the request of the LSA, we have agreed to extend the deadline for the submission of appeals from 31 May 2012 to 15 June 2012.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest: East Midlands
11 Jun 2012 : Column 336W
Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many call centres provide services for her Department and the bodies for which she is responsible; and how many such call centres are based abroad. 
The General DEFRA Helpline provides a single point of contact for all general queries from the public.
The DEFRA Farming Advice Service provides advice on cross compliance, nutrient management, climate change mitigation and adaptation and competitiveness.
The PETS Helpline provides advice and guidance on pet passports and travelling with pets.
The TSE Helpline provides general and technical advice to the disposal industry and farmers relating to BSE and scrapie testing requirements.
The Rural Payments Agency Helpline provides information and guidance on the rules, regulations and requirements in respect of the Rural Land Register, Customer Registration and the Single Payment scheme (SPS).
The British Cattle Movement Service Helpline provides information and guidance on the rules, regulations and requirements in respect of cattle passports and the reporting of birth, death and movement of cattle to cattle keepers of Great Britain.
The Environment Agency Floodline provides information on flood warnings and advice on what to do before, during and after flooding in England, Wales and Scotland.
The Environment Agency's National Customer Contact Centre (NCCC) has three helplines: General Enquiries, Hazardous Waste and Agricultural Waste.
Thames Estuary Airport
Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she or her officials have had with the Department for Transport on the potential environmental effects of building an airport in the Thames estuary. 
Richard Benyon: Neither DEFRA Ministers nor officials have had discussions with Department for Transport counterparts on the potential environmental effects of building an airport in the Thames estuary. In common with any other proposal for major infrastructure development, any formal proposal for a new airport in the Thames estuary would need to be accompanied by an assessment of the environmental impacts. This would help inform the final decision in the event that approval was sought for such a scheme.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many trade union representatives in (a) her Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies had (i) part-time; and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12; 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 337W
(2) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) her Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse; 
(3) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) her Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies for trade union (i) duties and (ii) activities in 2011-12; 
(5) how many trade union representatives in (a) her Department and (b) each of its non-department public bodies have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years; 
(6) how many meetings have taken place between (a) her Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting; 
(7) on how many occasions trade union representatives from (a) her Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies have utilised paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter in each of the last five years. 
Richard Benyon: Facility time was under review in core DEFRA as part of an industrial relations review, and the number of full-time equivalent posts on facility time was reduced from 13.7 in 2010-11 to 12.25 in 2011-12. It had been intended that further reductions would follow in subsequent years in both core DEFRA and the Agencies, particularly AHVLA and RPA. However, the Government announced their intention in October 2011 to consult centrally with the civil service trade unions with regard to the current facility time practices in the civil service. This central consultation will commence shortly.
At present the numbers of trade union representatives in (a) the Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies that had (i) part-time; and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12 are as follows:
|(1) This includes trade unions representatives who have responsibilities across the Department, not just within core DEFRA.|
11 Jun 2012 : Column 338W
The numbers of days utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) the Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies in 2011-12, and the cost to the public purse, are as follows.
|Organisation||Days||Total costs (£)|
|(1) This includes trade unions representatives who have responsibilities across the Department, not just within core DEFRA.|
|NDPB||Days||Total costs (£)|
|(1) AHDB is a levy funded body, and as such there is no cost to the public purse from this activity.|
We are unable to provide this information on how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in the Department and each of its non-departmental public bodies for trade union (i) duties and (ii) activities in 2011-12 without incurring a disproportionate cost. DEFRA (including Agencies and NDPBs) does not keep separate electronic records of how the facility time afforded to trade union representatives is used for duties or activities.
The Department intends to place a copy of DEFRA's current facilities agreement in the House of Commons Library. We will also arrange for facility times agreements negotiated by any of the Department's NDPBs to be published.
No trade union representative has faced disciplinary action in DEFRA or its Agencies for misusing paid facility time or public resources in any of the last five years. Disciplinary action was taken in one case in an NDBP.
11 Jun 2012 : Column 339W
trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting is not readily available and can be provided only at a disproportionate cost. There are numerous national and local meetings with the unions, covering a wide range of issues affecting staff including the topics noted in the question. It is not departmental policy to record centrally or locally the dates and times of all these meetings.
The Department (including the Agencies and NDBPs) also does not keep central records of when trade union officials have used paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting, nor other industrial relations matter, in each of the last five years. We are therefore unable to provide this information without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Trees: Disease Control
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has to increase biosecurity measures to protect trees from the importation of non-native tree pests and diseases. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA and the Forestry Commission launched the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Action plan on 18 October 2011, which set out an integrated approach to dealing with the increasing biosecurity threats to Britain’s trees and forests. The action plan details steps to be taken now and in the future regarding import controls, practical actions, communications and engagement, and research. One theme of the action plan is to minimise the risk of new threats to trees from entering the UK, including through improvements in the EU plant health import rules and gathering evidence for a consultation on the current concession that allows imports of some plant material in passengers’ baggage.
The action plan was developed by DEFRA and the Forestry Commission, with vital help from a wide range of stakeholders from across the forestry and research sectors, including the devolved Administrations, which participated in a series of workshops to identify priorities and areas for action.
The Forestry Commission has also proposed to implement a UK protected zone for oak processionary moth (OPM) with a general requirement to prevent the introduction of the pest into parts of the UK where it is not present. The European Commission has responded positively to this proposal and we have provided the Commission with the exact delimitations of the protected zone. For the protected zone to be implemented, OPM must first be listed as a “harmful organism” under the EU directive. This process is ongoing.
UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking in support of the proposal in the EU's Zero Draft Submission to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development for the establishment of an ombudsperson for future generations; and if she will make a statement. 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 340W
Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) is working closely with her EU colleagues to determine what the EU's response should be to the proposal for an ombudsperson for future generations.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress she has made on her proposals to withdraw abstraction licences without paying compensation. 
Richard Benyon: In the immediate future, compensation will still be paid when abstraction licences are modified except in cases where serious damage is caused to the environment. In the longer term, the Water White Paper set out the UK Government's intention not to compensate for any losses due to the transition from the current abstraction regime to a new regime. The treatment of compensation within a new regime will be the subject of consultation.
From 15 July 2012, section 27 of the Water Act 2003 provides for the right to compensation to be withdrawn in certain circumstances when abstraction licences are revoked or varied. DEFRA and the Welsh Government consulted recently on the principles to be used in determining whether the revocation or variation of a licence was required to protect the environment from serious damage. The consultation closed on 3 May 2012 and the responses are now being analysed.
George Freeman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the likely growth in (a) water demand, (b) water supply and (c) reservoir capacity in Norfolk in the next (i) 10, (ii) 20 and (iii) 30 years; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency recently assessed current and future demands and water availability as evidence for the case for change in DEFRA's White Paper—“Water for Life”. The assessment was conducted at a local level across England and Wales, including Norfolk, to the 2050s. The assessment considered four different demand projections and four different water supply projections. It concluded that water resources will become more stressed in future as a result of climate change, increasing population and changes in lifestyle. Careful planning will be critical to ensure sustainable water supplies for people, businesses, agriculture and the environment. The results are summarised as follows:
10% less demand than today
5% more demand than today
20% more demand than today
55% more demand than today
11 Jun 2012 : Column 341W
Up to a 5% increase in summer water availability than today
Up to a 15% reduction in summer water availability than today
Up to a 25% reduction in summer water availability than today
Up to a 50% reduction in summer water availability than today
Ranges for Norfolk across the scenario combinations from a surplus of water in the coastal catchment of north-west Norfolk (50% of available water needed to meet demands) to the Cam and Ely Ouse catchment projecting a shortfall (over 200% of available water needed to meet demands).
Scale of water that may need to be saved (e.g. water efficiency) or developed (e.g. increase reservoir capacity, or better sharing of resources) to manage sustainable supplies across East Anglia in the 2050s:
The study concluded that water demand management will have an important role to play in improving water availability in the 2050s, but climate change could mean that significant new resources will be necessary. In East Anglia, 35% of a future water resource shortfall could be met by resource improvements, while the remaining shortfall could be reduced by demand management measures such as leakage control and more efficient use by customers.
11 Jun 2012 : Column 342W
Water companies are required to prepare Water Resources Management Plans that assess their customers’ future demands for water and water availability, including reservoir capacity. These plans are produced every five years and look 25 years ahead. Anglian Water's plan covers Norfolk. The current plan shows how the company will manage supply and demand and it will consult on a revised plan in spring 2013. Anglian Water is not planning to build any new reservoirs, or significant expansion to existing reservoirs, with the exception of a small expansion to Ardleigh reservoir.
Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average disposal was for convictions for offences under section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr Blunt: The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced at all courts under section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, in England and Wales, from 2001-11, can be viewed in the following table.
|Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced at all courts for ‘cruelty to and neglect of children’(1), England and Wales, 2001-11(2, 3)|
|(1) An offence under S.1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. (2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (4) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. (5) The number of offenders sentenced can differ from those found guilty as it may be the case that a defendant found guilty in a particular year, and committed for sentence at the Crown court, may be sentenced in the following year. (6) Other sentences include: absolute and conditional discharge and otherwise dealt with Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services: Ministry of Justice.|
Civil Proceedings: Legal Costs
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress he has made on (1) the design and implementation of qualified one-way costs shifting; when he expects the draft rules to be published; whether he plans to consult on draft rules; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) on the design and implementation of reform to part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules; when he expects draft rules to be published; whether he plans to consult on the draft rules; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) on the implementation of the planned increase in general damages for personal injury claims; what discussions he has had with the judiciary on this issue; whether the uplift will be reflected in the next edition of the Guidelines for General Damages Personal Injury; when he expects the next edition will be published; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: I refer the hon. Member to the written statement issued on 24 May 2012, Official Report, column 94WS, regarding the implementation of Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
As set out, the Government have asked the Civil Justice Council for further advice in relation to the implementation of qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) by the end of June 2012. Updates are provided on the judiciary website at
11 Jun 2012 : Column 343W
Claims Management Services
Mr Djanogly: An internal review of the Claims Management Regulation Unit in MOJ conducted in 2011 fully considered the current arrangements and options for the future of regulation. The review concluded that forthcoming changes to the claims market, such as the banning of referral fees for personal injury claims, meant that no fundamental changes should be made at this stage.
In addition, the Post-Legislative Assessment of the Compensation Act 2006, published in January 2012 provided evidence that the regulatory framework introduced by the 2006 Act is not only necessary but has achieved the legislative intention. A copy of the Assessment (Command Paper 8267) is available in the House Library.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints about the work of his Department and each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
HMCTS was created on 1 April 2011 and separate legacy complaints handling continued until September 2011. A unified administrative complaints procedure for HMCTS was launched in October 2011. The following figures (complaints from the public) reflect this position;
11 Jun 2012 : Column 344W
|(1) First Tier complaints only.|
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many letters to Ministers in his Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. 
11 Jun 2012 : Column 345W
of Departments in replying to Members’ correspondence. The report for 2011 was published on 15 March 2012,
columns 30-33WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.
Crimes of Violence
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department holds on the information collected by HM Courts and Tribunals Service on the number of cases in which violence was a factor and where either the prosecution or defence has mentioned the viewing of violent videos or films by the defendant; and if he will publish any such information. 
Mr Djanogly: Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service does not collect information on whether the prosecution or defence mentioned the viewing of violent films or videos by defendants in criminal cases. Such information may be held on individual case files but the only way we could verify this would be to manually inspect every magistrates court and Crown court which would incur disproportionate costs.
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess the effect of the funding changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme on litigants based in or visiting Scotland. 
Mr Blunt: The Government's proposals for reform contained in the consultation document “Getting it right for victims and witnesses” would, if implemented, apply to eligible applicants in England, Wales and Scotland. The geographical location of the incident giving rise to the claim would not affect the outcome of the application.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess the effect of the changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme on access to legal services for asylum seekers in Scotland. 
Mr Blunt: The proposed changes to the scheme would not affect access to legal services for asylum seekers. Our proposals would, however, affect whether or not an asylum seeker is eligible to receive compensation.
Applicants to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme do not need legal representation to apply. They can apply by telephone, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority's helpline staff will take them through the whole application process. For face-to-face guidance the authority recommends that applicants contact their local Victim Support office.
Criminal Proceedings: EU Law
11 Jun 2012 : Column 346W
Mr Kenneth Clarke: The EU Council Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA of 24 July 2008 on taking account of convictions in the member states of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings has been implemented. The Decision was implemented in England and Wales by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
Custodial Treatment: Wales
Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) men and (b) women were sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence of less than six months for each type of offence by courts in North Wales in 2011. 
Mr Blunt: Persons sentenced to immediate custody at all courts by sex, offence type and length of sentence, for those cases commencing in the North Wales police force area in 2011, can be viewed in the following table:
|Persons sentenced to immediate custody at all courts by sex, offence type and sentence length, for those cases commencing in the North Wales police force area, 2011(1, 2)|
|Offence type and sentence length||Male||Female||Persons(3)|
11 Jun 2012 : Column 347W
|(1) The figures given relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) The gender of a defendant proceeded against may not have been reported. These data have been included in the persons only totals. Therefore, males and females age group totals and sub-totals may not agree with the totals given under persons. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.|
11 Jun 2012 : Column 348W
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many men commenced the domestic abuse programme as part of a community order administered by the Probation Service in England and Wales in each year since 2005; 
Mr Blunt: Details of the number of starts and completions for the domestic abuse programme since 2005 are set out as follows. Please note that the figures for starts will slightly under-represent the true total, since historical data for each year for Manchester and Cheshire Probation Trusts are not held.
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many men were reconvicted of domestic violence-related offences on (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) four or more occasions in each of the last five years. 
Driving Offences: Insurance
Mr Blunt: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts, the number found guilty at all courts and the conviction ratio for the offence of using a motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks in England and Wales during 1997, 2002 and 2011 can be viewed in the following table.
|Defendants(1) proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for the offence of using a motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks(2) in 1997, 2002 and 2011(3)|
11 Jun 2012 : Column 349W
|(1) The figures given relate to defendants for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Using a motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks includes the following offences under section 143(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988: Using a motor vehicle without insurance, aiding/abetting use of vehicle without insurance, causing use of vehicle without insurance and permitting the use of vehicle without insurance. (3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (4) Offenders convicted as a percentage of defendants proceeded against. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services within the Ministry of Justice.|