|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what problems have been identified in the (a) installation and (b) management of her Department's IT programmes. 
Mr. Morley: IT programmes in DEFRA are managed using the Government's methodology for project management known as "Prince 2", and have a single individual with overall responsibility for their delivery. In addition, the Department submits IT programmes to independent review under procedures introduced by the Office of Government Commerce earlier this year. The Department's experience is that these approaches are powerful tools for ensuring that problems in individual programmes are addressed at an early stage and successfully.
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 978W
Mr. Morley: The number of civil servants employed by DEFRA as at 1 October 2001 is given in the table. The figures relate to people in post; they include staff employed to deal with foot and mouth disease and those who were in the process of transferring to the Rural Payments Agency. All other executive agencies are excluded.
|Division of DEFRA||Number of employees|
|Agriculture and Food||577|
|Environment, rural and regional services||4,075|
|Animal health (including state veterinary services)||2,914|
|European Union and international policy||57|
|Economics and statistics||175|
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many civil servants (a) are employed in her Department and (b) were employed by its predecessor department at the latest date for which figures are available. 
The figures given include staff employed to deal with foot and mouth disease and those who were in the process of transferring to the Rural Payments Agency, but exclude all other executive agencies of the Department.
Mr. Morley: There are four existing PFI contracts: the Countryside Agency's SPIRIT contract for IT services, Pevensey Bay Sea Defences, Broadlands Flood Alleviation Scheme, and the Broadlands Avenue Office
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 979W
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many vets were employed by (a) the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in May 1997 and (b) her Department in October 2001. 
Mr. Morley: The number of veterinary surgeons (full-time equivalents) employed by the State Veterinary Service (SVS) for 1997 and 2001 are shown in the table. Of the 286 full-time equivalent veterinarians employed by the State Veterinary Service in 2001 as a whole, 220 veterinarians are employed as field veterinary officers. The work of these officers is supplemented by about 100 Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) from the private sector in normal times.
|Year as at 1 January||Number|
(14) As at October
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what communications have been received from local authorities in respect of the availability of resources to implement flood defence plans. 
Mr. Morley: This Department provides funding to local authorities in England for flood and coastal defence capital works. Other central Government funding for flood and coastal defence is provided through revenue support grant. Local authorities submit forecasts of their plans for capital works on a regular basis and the local government association has provided high level justification of their flood defence spending in future years as part of the Spending Review 2002 process.
Mr. Morley: Operational management of flood and coastal erosion risk in England is a matter for local operating authoritiesthe Environment Agency (EA), local authorities and internal drainage boards. The Government require them to consider a range of options when considering their response to the risk, including managed realignment where appropriate (sometimes called managed retreat). I understand the EA is actively progressing two schemes involving realignment in Essex at present, namely Abbot's Hall in the Blackwater estuary and Brandy Hole on the river Crouch.
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 980W
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at what dates and times the autumn movement of livestock scheme helpline has been unavailable; and if she will make a statement on the impact on applicants of the unavailability of that helpline. 
Mr. Morley: The Movement Licence Helpline (01392 314941) is open 08.30 to 17.30 Monday to Friday and 09.00 to 13.00 on Saturday. The helpline has never been unavailable. Some calls may be answered by an automatic message, when all the lines are busy, but the number of unanswered calls has not exceeded 5 per cent. of calls made to the helpline.
The Department also provides a helpline for the use of local authorities and local veterinary inspectors. This helpline is not intended to be used by farmers. However, some farmers have obtained the number and will have been asked to call the Movement Licence Helpline.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the autumn movement of livestock scheme applies to movements between different parcels of land held by the same person. 
Mr. Morley: Since 8 October, sole occupancy licences have been available to permit the movement of foot and mouth disease susceptible stock between premises which are in the same control, management and occupation in respect of FMD susceptible animals. All premises listed on the licence must be within a circle of a maximum diameter of 20.0 kms (12.4 miles). Movement of stock between premises covered by the same sole occupancy licence may take place without prior veterinary inspection and without triggering a 21 day standstill of destination. Full details are available from local offices of the DEFRA website.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the help available from her Department to local authorities to deal with the backlog of applications in respect of the autumn movement of livestock scheme. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is working extremely closely with the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS) on the administration of the livestock movement scheme. The initial backlog of applications which built up after the introduction of the livestock movement scheme has been cleared.
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 981W
16 Nov 2001 : Column: 982W
|Potatoes in the United Kingdom:|
|Volume of harvested production(16)||6,393||7,841||7,097||6,568||6,435||7,251||7,153||6,439||7,156||6,611|
|Value of production(17)||527||533||390||710||1,095||636||390||630||750||501|
|Percentage of UK total crop area||3.6||3.6||3.8||3.7||3.8||3.8||3.3||3.3||3.8||3.5|
|Potatoes in England:|
|Area used for potato production(18)||135||137||131||125||130||135||127||124||137||127|
|England total crop area(18)||4,222||4,244||3,839||3,804||3,865||4,016||4,244||4,229||4,005||3,982|
|Percentage of England total crop area||3.2||3.2||3.4||3.3||3.4||3.4||3.0||2.9||3.4||3.2|
(16) Thousand tonnes
(17) £ million
(18) Thousand hectares
Agriculture in the UK
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|