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Annual Reports

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of publishing her Department's annual report and those of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in each of the past five years; and if she will provide a breakdown of the cost incurred. [70105]

Mr. Morley: The DEFRA annual report for 2001–02 was produced with the assistance of the Central Office of Information at a cost of £17,887, exclusive of VAT.


Design, layout and cover13,400
Production of web version525
Total cost excluding printing£17,887

(4) ex-VAT

DEFRA did not incur any of the print production costs. The Stationery Office prints and distributes the annual report as a commercial venture.

The production costs and any print costs for the previous five annual departmental reports for MAFF could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Pesticides Safety Directorate

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the 2001–02 Annual report for the Pesticides Safety Directorate. [72776]

Mr. Morley: The 2001–02 Annual report and accounts for the Pesticides Safety Directorate were laid before Parliament today. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Banned Pesticides/Plant Treatments

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the five pesticides and plant treatments which are banned in the United Kingdom but most widely used elsewhere. [60836]

Mr. Morley: There are 25 agricultural pesticides which have had approvals revoked in the United Kingdom but are still available in the rest of the European Union or elsewhere. The majority of these are the organophosphate and carbamate compounds that were not supported in the UK anticholinesterase review, for example, carbofuran. There is a much larger number of substances which have never been approved for use as pesticides in the UK, but may be used in other countries. Differences in approvals between countries can arise because different approval conditions are applied or because commercial approvals are not sought in all countries.

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However, it is not possible to list the five pesticides which are banned in the UK but most widely used elsewhere. Accurate information on the quantities of pesticides used elsewhere could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what formal consultation has (a) taken place and (b) is planned relating to the EU Directive 2002/15/ED; and if she will make a statement. [70741]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

My Department is consulting informally with both sides of industry on the transposition of the Directive into domestic legislation and on how it might operate. We expect to launch a formal consultation exercise early next year.

Timber Procurement

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what impact the draft EU public procurement directive will have on the ability of the EU to ensure that all timber procured is from legal and sustainable sources; and if she will make a statement. [68034]

Ms Hewitt: I have been asked to reply.

The proposals for amending the public procurement directives include provisions which make clear the scope to take account of green production processes, eco-label criteria and environmental management systems at the appropriate stages of the procurement process. These provisions should, therefore, enable contracting authorities to be clear about their ability to specify, in a non-discriminatory way, that timber and timber-related products should be obtained from legal and sustainable sources. The Government are currently considering its approach to the procurement of sustainable and legal timber in the light of the proposed new directive and the Commission's interpretative communication on environmental issues which preceded it.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions there have been relating to proposed European Directive on public procurement, Article 53 so as to ensure that timber used on EU projects in future will come from legal and sustainable sources; and if she will make a statement. [68033]

Ms Hewitt: I have been asked to reply.

The Government have been heavily involved in discussions, both domestically and in Brussels, on the scope to take environmental considerations into account under the EC procurement directives. The proposals for clarifying, simplifying and updating these directives, on which political agreement was reached at the Internal Market Council on 21 May, make it clear that relevant green production processes and eco-label criteria can be used in specifications (Article 24). This clarification should enable a procurer to specify—in a non-discriminatory

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way—timber from legal and sustainable sources and to exclude offers which are non-compliant in this or other relevant respects. The award stage (article 53), which is concerned with the evaluation of compliant bids on the basis of various value for money criteria, is too late in the process to introduce such specification issues. However, environmental considerations which provide a benefit to the contracting authority, in terms of the most economically advantageous tender, can be taken into account at that stage.

Energy Shortfall

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to address the future shortfall in energy from traditional sources. [71931]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

The Government launched a consultation on energy policy on 14 May with a view to publishing a White Paper around the turn of the year.

The consultation document seeks views on the supply of energy from traditional and renewable sources as well as on issues relating to demand such as energy efficiency.



Dr. Cable: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee, pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2002, Official Report, column 1277W, on recycling, if she will publish the monthly data; if she will add the recycling of plastic bottles and plastic covering to the list; and if she will make a statement. [70217]

Mrs. Roe: The monthly data will be placed in the House of Commons Library. Plastic will not be added to the list at present because the quantities generated here are relatively small and priority is being given to maximising the recycling of the other materials on the list.

Computer Access

Bob Spink: To ask the Chairman of the Information Committee if he will enable hon. Members to log onto their systems via hon. Members' computers in the Library. [71454]

Michael Fabricant: It is already possible for Members to use the computers in "A" Room to gain access to their e-mail accounts. New instructions are being provided to explain the necessary log-in procedures more clearly. These computers are primarily intended, however, to provide access to on-line information systems available on the parliamentary intranet and the internet. For the convenience of Members, other applications, such as word-processing and spreadsheets, are also provided.

There are also connection points throughout the Members' Library to allow Members to gain access to the Parliamentary Data and Video Network using their own laptops.

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Press Office

Dr. Cable: To ask the President of the Council how many (a) full time equivalents were employed by his press office and (b) secondees were placed in his press office in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [70534]

Mr. Robin Cook: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 8 March 2002, Official Report, columns 605W, and both my replies to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) on 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 69W.

Parliamentary Pensions

Mr. Webb: To ask the President of the Council, pursuant to his answer of 15 July 2002, Official Report, column 83W, to the right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth), on parliamentary pensions, if he will estimate the additional cost to the Exchequer of that part of those improved pensions which are not covered by the increase in hon. Members' contributions over the period before the full cost of the accrued rate is borne by hon. Members. [71677]

Mr. Robin Cook: The Exchequer contribution to the parliamentary pension scheme is set by the Government Actuary, as part of his triennial valuation of the scheme. The Government Actuary is currently working on his valuation of the scheme as at 1 April 2002. He will take into account, in setting the Exchequer contribution to apply from April 2003, the number of hon. Members and office holders who choose to pay higher contributions to secure a higher pension accrual.

The Government Actuary has estimated the cost of the improved pension as 5.1 per cent. of pay. If all hon. Members and office holders were to decide to opt to pay increased contributions of 9 per cent. of pay rather than 6 per cent. with effect from 15 July 2002, the additional costs to the Exchequer over the period to 31 March 2003 may be estimated as being in the order of £600,000 in the year 2002–03 and £860,000 for a full year.

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