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Staff Numbers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff were employed by her Department on (a) 2 May 1997 and (b) 31 May 2002. [60921]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 13 June 2002, Official Report, column 1402W.

Warm Front Scheme

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in reducing fuel poverty through the Warm Front Scheme; how many households have been assisted in (a) 1999–2000 and (b) 2000–01; how much the average cost was in (i) 1999–2000 and (ii) 2000–01 of assisting each household via the Warm Front Scheme in terms of (A) actual cost of the measures carried out and (B) the average cost of the administration which enabled households to receive the measures; what the measures, the planned expenditure is on warm front in (1) 2002–03 and (2) 2003–04; and what the percentage change has been in expenditure in each region of the UK since 1999–2000. [60668]

Mr. Meacher: The new Home Energy Efficiency Scheme, launched in June 2000 is marketed as Warm Front.

The table provides details for the previous HEES, which provided insulation measures only (column two), Warm Front from launch of the scheme in June 2000 to March 2001 (column three) and April 2001 to March 2002 (column four).

April 1999 to March 2000June 2000 to March 2001April 2001 to March 2002
Number of households assisted who receive either insulation, heating or both339,000106,800254,600
Average value per household (£)176322464
Value of measures (£)59,670,00034,360,000140,600,000

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The reduction in the number of households assisted by Warm Front reflects the introduction of the package approach of measures combining insulation and heating under the scheme. There was also a slow start for gas heating due to the national shortage of trained heating engineers. Measures installed may include cavity wall, loft insulation, draught proofing, individual gas wall heaters or electric storage heaters and either gas or electric central heating systems.

These figures do not identify the scheme managers' administration costs. Information regarding administration costs is commercially sensitive and could be used in future tender rounds to unfairly distort the competition process.

The budget for Warm Front, an England only scheme, for the financial years 2000 to 2004 is over £600 million. The information on the percentage change of expenditure for each region in the UK is not held in the format requested for individual households and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information on the measures installed at individual property in 2000–01 has previously been provided on 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 261W. A copy of the data referred to in that answer is available on CD-Rom in the Library.

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We will carry out a review of Warm Front during this financial year to look at how effective its delivery has been, the issues faced, solutions found, examples of best practice and future priorities. This will include consideration of the impact of the scheme on reducing the number of vulnerable fuel poor households.


Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) notifications and (b) confirmations of specified diseases under the Bee Diseases Control Order 1982 there were in each region in each of the last 10 years. [63521]

Mr. Morley: There are three notifiable diseases specified under the Bee Diseases Control Order 1982—American foulbrood; European foulbrood; and Varroosis (varroa). All new suspected cases have to be reported, and in England investigations are carried out by the National Bee Unit (NBU). The numbers of notifications and confirmations of these diseases are set out in the table below by NBU region. Data for American and European foulbrood before 1994 is not available.

Numbers of varroa samples received

Varroa positive samples
North East110301031241621324725
South West124166114875725734
South East128165142179116351196
Varroa negatives
North East5887348374156112373251
South West593279158866617310
South East604508286120358621
Total no samples received469749263904345931611567725442370

(33) 2002 data to 20 June

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent (a) representations she has received from and (b) discussions she has had with the beekeeping industry; and if she will make a statement. [63522]

Mr. Morley: My officials meet annually with representatives of the UK beekeeping sector. The most recent meeting was held on 8 November 2001, when a range of issues affecting the sector were discussed, including measures to control bee diseases. The Central Science Laboratory's National Bee Unit (NBU) also meets beekeepers regularly.

Most recently, the Department has received a number of written representations from beekeepers about financial burdens placed on Bee Diseases Insurance (BDI) Ltd. We welcome BDI's role in encouraging beekeepers in

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England to play their part in the identification of notifiable diseases. However, the issue of payments by insurance companies is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and affiliated bodies. My officials have passed these representations to these organisations as appropriate.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent by her Department on bee (a) husbandry and (b) disease prevention by category in each of the last 10 years. [63524]

Mr. Morley: The Department assists the beekeeping sector in England by funding a range of measures to protect bee health. Under these measures, the national bee unit provides a free diagnostic and inspection service to the beekeeping sector as well as training and education to help beekeepers become more self reliant through improved bee husbandry. The Department also supports the beekeeping sector through strategic research into bee pests and diseases.

It is not possible to differentiate expenditure between bee husbandry and disease control. All fieldwork undertaken by the national bee unit is for the purpose of disease prevention and control. Departmental expenditure on R&D for the period 1992–93 to 2001–02 is set out in the table. Prior to 1994 the regional offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food were responsible for bee disease control. In 1994 this work was centralised within the national bee unit and aggregated figures are not available for earlier years.


Expenditure under memorandum of understanding with Central Science Laboratory National Bee UnitR&D ExpenditureTotal Expenditure

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many registered beekeepers there were in each region in each of the last 10 years. [63578]

Mr. Morley: There is no compulsory registration of beekeepers in England. The database held by the Central Science Laboratory's National Bee Unit, which is used to maintain records of statutory inspections, holds details of some 25,000 beekeepers.

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