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15 Oct 2001 : Column: 1005W
Duchy policy is to look at each proposal on its own merits and if considered reasonable and viable for both the tenant and the Duchy the necessary consent would be granted. In assessing a proposal, due regard is given to the scale and nature of the improvements as well as the length of the tenancy, whether a farm business tenancy or Agricultural Holding Act tenancy.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures have been taken to assist Duchy of Lancaster tenants whose businesses have been affected by the economic impact of foot and mouth disease. 
There have been no cases of foot and mouth on any of the Duchy Estates although one farm in Whitewell was culled owing to a 'dangerous contact'. Form D Notices restricting animal movements have affected a number of Duchy tenants. The Duchy has maintained a close watch on tenants who are considered to be vulnerable throughout the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Duchy officials are always available to talk and discuss a tenant's concerns on a confidential basis.
The Duchy of Lancaster maintains a policy of sympathetic treatment of any tenant who is in genuine difficulty owing to external circumstances beyond their control and adversely affecting their business. Each individual case is looked at on its own merits and circumstances. Measures that have been taken include rental reduction, rebates and deferrals. The Duchy is also assisting some tenants financially who have chosen to take early retirement rather than continue within the agricultural industry.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what was, for each year since 1995, (1) the average response time for providing a substantive answer to (a) hon. Members' correspondence, (b) correspondence from members of the public and (c) written parliamentary questions in the (i) Commons and (ii) Lords; 
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General information on the volumes of correspondence received across Whitehall and on overall performance is published regularly. The most recent figures, for 2000, were published by the then Minister for the Cabinet Office, Marjorie Mowlam, in her answer to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Helens, North (Mr. Watts) on 6 April 2001, Official Report, columns 32428W and in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, Central (Geraint Davies) on 19 July 2001, Official Report, columns 45456W. On parliamentary questions, the information requested is not held in the form requested, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Leslie: Since 1996, Departments and agencies have had responsibility for setting the level of pay for their staff. The Cabinet Office, the Central Office of Information, the Government Car and Despatch Agency, the Equal Opportunities Commission, and the Government Offices all operate their own pay systems.
The Government Car and Despatch Agency pays non-industrial staff working in London an allowance of £1,776 p.a. Industrial staff working in London had the £1,776 allowance consolidated into basic pay in 2001.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) on how many occasions in each year since 1992 non-commercial flights were used by Ministers in his Department for official overseas visits; what the (a) destination, (b) Ministers involved, (c) cost and (d) reason for use of non-commercial flights were on each occasion; and if he will make a statement; 
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his Department is located in each region and nation of the UK; what the average salary is for each grade; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: The total numbers and proportions of staff respectively in each Civil Service grade and region in the Cabinet Office and its agencies at 1 April 2000 (the most recent statistics available) were as set out in the tables.
|Cabinet Office||Civil Service College||Parliamentary Counsel||Government Car and Despatch Agency||Security Facilities Division(61)||Total|
(61) Security Facilities Division figures and total include 69 non-industrial staff for whom statistics by grade are not available.
|Cabinet Office||Civil Service College||Parliamentary Counsel||Government Car and Despatch Agency||Security Facilities Division(62)||Total(62)|
|Yorkshire and Humberside|
(62) Total includes 149 Security Facilities Division staff for whom statistics by region are not available
Since 1996, Departments and agencies have had responsibility for setting the level of pay for their staff. The current constituent bodies of the Cabinet Office, including the Central Office of Information, the Government Car and Despatch Agency, the Equal Opportunities Commission, and the Government Offices all operate their own pay systems.
Up-to-date information is available from payroll records, taking account of negotiated pay increases for 2000. This information also reflects the machinery of government changes that took place after the June 2001 general election, which included the transfer to the Cabinet Office of responsibility for the Government Offices for the Regions. Current average salaries, by grade, for the Cabinet Office constituent bodies are:
|Cabinet Office||Central Office of Information||Government Car and Despatch Agency||Equal Opportunities Commission||Government Offices for the Regions(63)|
(63) Security Facilities Division figures and total include 69 non-industrial staff for whom statistics by grade are not available.
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of the UK at 1 April 2000 (the most recent statistics available) was 1,980. The breakdown by geographical area is as shown in the table. This shows analogous distributions for the whole of the Civil Service at that date and is drawn from the publication "Civil Service Statistics 2000", issued on 31 August 2001.
|All staff (full-time equivalent)|
|Government office region|
|London||South East||Total London and South East||South West||West Midlands||North West||North East||Merseyside|
|Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||3,030||770||3,800||1,210||440||880||110||0|
|Crown Prosecution Service||1,300||520||1,820||330||530||620||320||200|
|Customs and Excise||5,510||3,530||9,040||940||1,040||1,490||520||1,040|
|Culture, Media and Sport||620||0||620||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ministry of Defence||8,640||22,620||31,260||22,770||8,010||1,320||490||840|
|Education and Employment||6,850||2,340||9,190||2,360||2,830||3,480||2,500||960|
|Environment, Transport and the Regions||4,350||870||5,220||1,760||790||730||370||80|
|Health and Safety Executive/Commission||660||140||810||70||160||150||70||1,290|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office||4,600||40||4,640||0||0||0||0||0|
|HM Land Registry||780||510||1,300||1,500||630||470||660||500|
|HM Prison Service||4,720||6,930||11,650||3,050||3,830||4,270||3,040||780|
|Office for National Statistics||730||640||1,380||0||0||100||0||540|
|Registers of Scotland||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Trade and Industry||4,750||250||4,990||240||410||290||220||50|
|National Assembly for Wales||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|All permanent staff||86,190||56,630||142,820||49,250||32,080||39,504||26,780||15,440|
|All casual staff||1,790||1,090||2,990||610||615||815||800||330|
|Government office region|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||East Midlands||Eastern||Wales||Scotland||Northern Ireland||Unreported and Elsewhere||All areas|
|Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||1,540||400||860||200||110||0||30||9,590|
|Crown Prosecution Service||600||380||300||350||0||0||0||5,450|
|Customs and Excise||910||850||3,730||490||1,270||530||50||21,910|
|Culture, Media and Sport||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||620|
|Ministry of Defence||2,990||2,630||6,400||4,980||9,400||3,230||6,040||100,330|
|Education and Employment||5,630||1,920||1,940||1,890||3,360||0||0||36,060|
|Environment, Transport and the Regions||740||550||840||3,690||390||0||1,930||17,070|
|Health and Safety Executive/ Commission||450||270||180||110||280||0||0||3,820|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office||0||0||820||0||0||0||0||5,470|
|HM Land Registry||430||850||820||590||0||0||0||7,750|
|HM Prison Service||4,550||3,500||3,750||750||0||0||1,370||40,560|
|Office for National Statistics||0||0||0||850||0||0||0||2,870|
|Registers of Scotland||0||0||0||0||1,280||0||0||1,280|
|Trade and Industry||310||190||200||1,690||230||10||10||8,840|
|National Assembly for Wales||0||0||0||2,570||0||0||0||2,570|
|All permanent staff||33,060||19,650||28,220||28,080||44,390||5,400||10,740||475,410|
|All casual staff||680||340||550||950||1,090||40||1,600||11,300|
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