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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what proportion of the staff of her Department are (a) job sharing, (b) term working and (c) engaged in another form of flexible working. 
Mr. Morley: Of those employed in my Department, 83 are job sharing (1.03 per cent.) and 14 are block ("term") working (0.17 per cent.). A total of 724 work part-time (8.96 per cent.) and 80 are on unpaid leave (0.99 per cent.).
The Department also operates a flexible working hours scheme. This allows an individual to play a full part at work while enabling them to arrange their working hours to fit in with social and domestic arrangements. It also allows line managers to deal sympathetically with any requests for time off if the individual has particular needs.
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It is departmental policy, as an equal opportunity employer, to meet requests for all types of flexible working wherever the nature of the work allows. This includes: maternity, paternity and parental leave (over and above legal requirements); flexible working hours; part-time work and job sharing; leave to care for sick children/carer's leave; home-working; term-time contracts; annual hours contracts; child care allowances; career break schemes; paid/unpaid leave. The flexibility of the working pattern is decided in conjunction with local management to suit an individual's need and the needs of their work. Managers are encouraged to welcome applications from people working different patterns, where the nature of work allows.
The Department sees flexible working arrangements as important in the promotion of diversity and equal opportunities policies, in the recruitment and retention of staff and for the creation of a better work/life balance.
Alun Michael: Information for the each of the last 10 years is not readily available, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In addition, the Machinery of Government changes do not allow for easy comparison. However, information on energy costs for DEFRA's predecessor and other Government Departments for the years 199697 to 19992000 is available in the Green Ministers reports which can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/ environment/greening/minister/grmin.htm. Copies are available in the Library of the House.
|HM Customs and Excise||3,476,954||2,414,356||2,370,071||2,431,032|
|Health and Safety Executive||667,458||668,883||582,679||570,336|
|QE2 Conference Centre||291,715||347,200||324,614||305,739|
|HM Prison Service||24,257,826||23,868,557||20,016,907||22,310,050|
|Lord Chancellors Department||5,301,610||5,258,187||5,282,774||5,021,175|
In a few cases figures were revised from one report to another. The figures here are the latest published.
19 Mar 2002 : Column 267W
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken by the Government since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to (a) set goals on environmental protection and (b) improve eco-efficiency and resource productivity relating to coastal zone issues; and what these (i) goals and (ii) improvements have been. 
Mr. Meacher: Among the actions contributing to sustainable development and relating to coastal zone management are work on species and habitat action plans under the Biodiversity Convention, and work within OSPAR on the strategies on hazardous substances and biodiversity.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out for each Civil Service grade within her (a) Department and (b) Department's executive agencies the (i) total number of staff employed, (ii) number aged (A) 16 to 25, (B) 26 to 35, (C) 36 to 45, (D) 46 to 60 and (E) over the age of 60 years, (iii) number of registered disabled and (iv) number of ethnic minorities. 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff left the service of her Department and its agencies in the year ended 31 March 2001; how many left before attaining the formal retirement age of 60 years; and in respect of how many her Department and its agencies assumed responsibilities for making payments until retirement age. 
For part (c), in the year ended 31 March 2001 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies assumed responsibility for making payments until retirement age (60) for 11 of these staff.
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Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will start work on the development of the Government action plan for the organic sector announced in October. 
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 29 January, if she will ensure that the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly objective 1 funds will be fully restored. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funds have been allocated to coastal communities for flood defence work per capita in each of the past 10 years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The table details DEFRA grant to the Environment Agency (EA) and local authorities (LAs) for capital works to provide tidal river and sea defences and protection against coastal erosion in each of the last 10 financial years.
|EA Sea/ Tidal River||LA Sea/ Tidal River||LA Coast Protection|
(19) In 200001 LAs under-achieved on coast protection works compared to their plans. They have recognised the need to improve project planning and the reliability of their forecasts.
Further funds are spent by the EA and LAs to cover non grant aided works, such as maintenance and flood warning. I regret I am unable to provide the above figures on a per capita basis without incurring disproportionate cost.
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