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5 Oct 2005 : Column 2830W—continued


Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department's procurement policy includes timber used on and in the construction of departmental building projects; and if he will make a statement. [14481]

Mr. Plaskitt: Timber specification is included in the Department for Work and Pension's procurement policy. In September 2003 the Department issued a procurement policy guidance note, which specifically refers to the purchase of sustainably produced timber.

In addition the Department is working with its Estates partner—Land Securities Trillium—to ensure timber used in the construction of departmental building projects comes from sustainably managed sources.

All timber supplies being used within the Department are independently audited.

Sickness Absence

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many absence days in his Department related to employees suffering (a) stress and (b) other mental health problems in the year to April 2005; and what the cost was to his Department. [12212]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions does not collect information in the format requested. Our sick absence statistics contain figures for absences due to mental and behavioural disorders, which is the category that includes stress-related absences, both those which are work-related and those which are not.

For the 12 month period 1 June 2004 to 31 May 2005 the total number of working days available was 31,849,121. The average number of working days lost due to mental and behavioural disorders was 362,907. The salary cost to the Department was £22 million.


Animal Diseases (Africa)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will support the request made to the G8 for the establishment of a panel of international experts to deal with the control of animal disease, with particular reference to Africa. [14043]

Mr. Bradshaw: The issue of animal diseases, particularly relating to Africa, was not raised at the G8 summit.

However, Defra, along with other Government Departments (DoH, MoD, Home Office, DfiD) and international organisations (WHO, FAO, OIE, World Bank), is currently involved in an Office of Science and Technology (OST) managed Foresight project entitled 'Detection and Identification of Infectious Disease'. This project seeks to identify potential threats from infectious diseases of animals, plants and humans, across sub-Saharan Africa, China and the UK, and report on ways to help mitigate these threats. As part of
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this project, the OST is currently seeking views from leading experts from the UK and overseas, particularly Africa.

Climate Change

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will introduce a public education programme on the effects of climate change and steps which can be taken by individuals to limit these effects. [14167]

Mr. Morley: On 16 February this year my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced a Climate Change Communications Initiative worth £12 million, to be spilt over three years (£4 million per 2005, 2006 and 2007). The initiative aims to change attitudes within the general public at local and regional levels through communication projects. Research shows that getting attitude change is the best first step to behaviour change. Defra, working with partners (EST, CT, DTI, EA, DFT, UKCIP), NGOs and others, will begin implementing this communication initiative in 2005. A main component of the initiative is a Fund and grants from this to community and other groups will enable the establishment of local projects. This will be supported with a website, a communicators guide and local activities. The website will link with Defra's children's section which addresses climate change consistent with the main initiative.


Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's policy is for dealing with and responding to correspondence received in (a) Welsh, (b) Scots Gaelic and (c) Irish Gaelic. [14695]

Jim Knight: Correspondence received by the Department in Welsh is dealt with in accordance with Defra's Welsh Language Scheme which came into force in October 2002. This requires my Department to reply in Welsh within 15 days, the same period of time for correspondence in English. Any correspondence received in Scots or Irish Gaelic is dealt with at a local level on a case-by-case basis. This policy is under review and would be looked at again if a number of communications were received in either language.

Departmental Expenditure

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the
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total spending by her Department on (a) staff, (b) accommodation and (c) procurement in (i) Dundee East constituency, (ii) Tayside and (iii) the City of Dundee was for the most recent year for which figures are available. [14871]

Jim Knight: The Department does not employ any staff in the Dundee, East constituency or the City of Dundee. The staff employed in Tayside are not based in a Defra building. The costs of these staff, estimated on a standard cost basis, are shown in the following table, together with an estimate of accommodation overheads are based on a Regional specific percentage of the staff costs. It is not possible to isolate procurement costs by constituency.

Information on regional distribution of staff at 1 April 2004 is available in the Libraries of both Houses, and also at:

Table D shows the numbers of staff by regional distribution. Figures relating to 1 April 2005 will be published next year.

(i) Dundee East(ii) Tayside(iii) City of Dundee
(a) Staff05170
(b) Accommodation050
(c) Procurement0n/k0


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the level was of UK emissions in each of the six Kyoto greenhouse gases in terms of tonnes of carbon equivalent in each year since 1990; and what the main reasons were for (a) sudden increases and (b) reductions between years for each gas. [14485]

Mr. Morley: The following table shows UK emissions for gases, carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O), the hydrofluorocarbons (MFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF 6 ) in million tonnes of carbon equivalent for each year since 1990. The data are from the most recent UK greenhouse gas inventory.
CO 2 CH 4 N 2 OHFCsPFCsSF 6 Total (emissions)

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For carbon dioxide the main increase and decreases superimposed on the background trend are associated with the temporary peaks on 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2002, and the increase between 2002 and 2003. These were associated mainly with temperature fluctuations relative to the trend in temperatures. The underlying trend in emissions is determined by the interaction between economic growth, the mix of fuels in the economy and the energy needed per unit of economic output.

The rapid decline in CH 4 emissions between 1993 and 1994 was mainly due to a large decrease in emissions from coal mining. Ch 4 emissions follow a gradual downward trend that can be attributed to the sum of reductions in emissions from energy, waste and agriculture. The underlying decrease is a result of changing waste disposal practices and a reduction in fugitive emissions from fuels. Agriculture emissions were reasonably steady until the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 led to reduced livestock numbers and a subsequent reduction in enteric fermentation.

The large decrease in N 2 O emissions between 1998 and 1999 was due to the introduction of abatement technology at a plant producing adipic acid for nylon manufacture. The more gradual rise from 1993 to 1997 can be attributed to an increase in the number of cars fitted with catalytic converters and to a slight rise in emissions from agriculture. The overall downward trend in N+O emissions is due to the gradual rise in emissions from energy being offset by a larger decrease in the industrial sector and general downward trend in agricultural emissions.

HFCs slow rise was dramatically cut between 1997 and 1999 with the installation of abatement technology.

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