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21 Feb 2005 : Column 62W—continued

Social Enterprises

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make explicit reference in departmental plans and publications to enabling a wider role to be played by social enterprises in delivering her Department's environmental agenda. [212001]

Mr. Morley: Defra's Five Year Strategy, Delivering the Essentials of Life", set out our commitment to supporting social enterprise in rural areas. Building on that, we will shortly publish a position statement, Defra and Social Enterprise", which will reflect the contribution of the sector to Defra's wider policy objectives, including sustainable development and environmental protection. The statement will reflect the contribution which social enterprises already make to delivering a range of environmental objectives, including those on waste management, renewable energy, and natural resource protection. It will also set out our plans to contribute to the continued growth of the sector. The position statement is the latest stage in a programme of work to embed support for social enterprise in the development of Defra's policies.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the contracts signed by her special advisers differ from the Model Contract for Special Advisers. [207279]

Margaret Beckett: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 17 January 2005, Official Report, column 753W.

Staff Identity Passes

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of producing a staff identity pass was in the Department on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many staff identity passes have been reported lost or stolen in each year since 1997. [215086]

Alun Michael: Since the creation of Defra in June 2001 the following figures are available for lost and stolen passes. These passes are programmed electronically and once a loss is reported the pass is cancelled immediately. This greatly reduces the possibility of anyone using it illegally to enter Defra premises. The cost to produce an electronic photographic pass is approximately 10 (staff time and material). The sharp increase in lost passes in the core Department is in part due to the larger numbers of passes issued to contractors' staff refurbishing buildings and losses by those staff.
DEFRA Core Department
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Central Science Laboratory
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Rural Payments Agency
Veterinary Medicines Directorate

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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Department and its predecessors spent on (a) stationery and (b) office supplies in each year since 1997. [213851]

Alun Michael: Defra came into being in June 2001. From information held centrally, the Department's expenditure on stationery and office supplies are as set out in the table: £2,769,505; £1,516,873; £1,201,899 and £362,828 respectively. The Department's financial system does not classify stationery and office supplies as separate budgetary categories.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a
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statement on the use of methyl bromide in the strawberry growing sector, with particular reference to its ozone-depleting properties. [216351]

Alun Michael: Methyl bromide is an ozone depleting substance (ODS) that is now banned in developed countries under the Montreal Protocol and EC Regulation 2037/2000. The ozone depleting potential (ODP) of methyl bromide is 0.6, which is a representation of its ability to deplete ozone in comparison to a reference ODS, chlorofluorocarbon 11 (CFC 11).

Following the ban on production, methyl bromide is only permitted to be produced for agreed critical uses, quarantine and pre-shipment and emergency purposes. The Government's policy on future use of methyl bromide is that its use should not be phased back in by excessive critical uses.

The Montreal Protocol makes provision for critical use exemptions where there are no technically and economically feasible alternatives to methyl bromide. The UK applied to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol for a critical use exemption for use on strawberries, to allow additional limited time to bring alternatives on line. Following technical scrutiny by the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) of the Montreal Protocol and the European Commission, the Commission have licensed some 30 tonnes of methyl bromide for critical uses for strawberries for 2005.

Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much money is available in each region under the Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy. [211078]

Alun Michael: The Government announced a sum of c£500 million to implement the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food as part of the 2002 Spending Review, in addition to existing spending by Defra and other Government Departments which is already being used to deliver aspects of the Strategy.

The following table shows the actual spending in 2003–04 and the broad breakdown over the remainder of the Spending Review period. The majority of this funding is being used for overall delivery of national programmes, for which there is no regional breakdown, or programmes that will ultimately be delivered on a regional basis, but until full implementation is underway, regional figures are unavailable:
£ million

Additional money to be made available via grant schemes9111131
Investment into research and new technology1.
Development and implementation of new agri-environment and rural development schemes,
including IT development costs
Development and implementation of new Whole Farm Approach to reduce bureaucracy and
burden on farmers
IT systems to support livestock identification and tracing204868136
Investment to reduce the likelihood and impact of an animal disease outbreak254545115

Existing support programmes, including the ERDP have been targeted to assist in the delivery of SSFF outcomes. Budgets for the three ERDP project-based schemes are managed on a regional basis, and the following table summarises expenditure on these schemes in 2004–05.
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£ million

RegionProcessing and marketing grantRural enterprise scheme(4)Vocational training scheme
East Midlands1.4383.9900.398
East of England1.7572.6990.545
North East0.2512.1590.075
North West1.0113.6860.921
South East0.8302.6700.498
South West1.3205.5120.689
West Midlands0.6883.8520.374
Yorks and Humberside0.8163.2330.293

(4)RES funds are also available to non-farming businesses.
(5)RES National marketing measure.
(6)All national projects (four regions +).

Regional delivery of the strategy, through regional action plans, will be facilitated by many public body and industry representatives and these organisations will work together with both resource and funding support to deliver the vision set out in the strategy. They are making use of Government grants, industry support and the resources of Government Offices and Regional Development Agencies, as well as other Government bodies participating in regional steering groups.

Given the number of public and industry bodies contributing to regional delivery, it is not possible to quantify precisely the level of support available to fund regional delivery. Implementation of SFFS is one of the core tasks of the Government Offices and Regional Development Agencies, and their funding from Defra reflects this. Funding for the Government Offices are provided directly by Defra. The current Defra contribution of £45.5 million to the RDA 'single pot', administered by DTI, is to enable RDAs to address rural productivity issues, which are a key factor in achieving the outcomes of the national Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy. In addition, Defra has made a further £1.5 million available to the RDAs in the current financial year to assist with the implementation of regional delivery plans.

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