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10 Oct 2005 : Column 133W—continued


Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 5 July about the trawler SuccessIII. [15101]

Mr. Bradshaw: I responded to the hon. Member on 2 August.

Countryside Agency

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost wasof the Countryside Agency's (a) Land Access and Recreation Project, (b) Commission for Rural Communities Project and (c) Making a Difference Project in 2004–05. [15743]

Jim Knight: The Countryside Agency did not have a landscape, access and recreation project in 2004–05. There was activity in this area consisting of a limited restructuring of the former 'B' directorate into a new landscape, access and recreation division (LAR). Financial information on this aspect of the Agency's work could only be made available at disproportionate cost.
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Steps were taken to launch a new Commission for Rural Communities division as a distinct body within the Countryside Agency's legal framework on 9 March 2005, pending the passage of legislation to establish the Commission as a statutory body in its own right. The Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill contained an estimate of around £458,000 for the cost incurred in 2004–05 for the establishment and launch of the Commission. We will be updating the Assessment when the Bill begins its passage through the House of Lords.

Some £166,000 was spent on the Making a Difference project which related to sharing learning from the Countryside Agency's socio-economic work, including through events and publications, from its six years of operation.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the projected costs are of implementing the Countryside Agency's 2004 Diversity Review recommendations. [15746]

Jim Knight: I expect to receive a draft action plan from the Countryside Agency at the end of December, drawing on the findings of the diversity review. Consultation will follow and we will look at the costs of implementation in the light of the options which we decide to pursue.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of the Countryside Agency's 2004 Diversity Review. [15750]

Jim Knight: The programme budget for the Diversity Review is £1.5 million over the three years 2004–07.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of the Countryside Agency's (a) staff, (b) publications, (c) research, (d) incidentals and (e) total budget in 2004–05. [15751]

Jim Knight: The Countryside Agency's Annual Report and Accounts for 2004–05 were signed off by the Comptroller and Auditor General on 14 July 2005. They were laid before Parliament on 19 July 2005 and disclose the following costs incurred during 2004–05:

(a) Staff costs—£22.8 million, including a one-off provision of £3.2 million of redundancy costs arising from the devolution of socio-economic and social and community funding to regional development agencies and government offices in the regions respectively.

(b) The cost of publications was £1.3 million.

(c) The amount defined by the Agency as 'investigations, inquiries, research and experiments' is £13.1 million. Research as such would have comprised a small proportion of this sum.

(d) 'Incidentals' are not separately defined, and would have formed a small proportion of 'other operating costs' (£20.6 million).

(e) Total budget for the year (excluding the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund at £2.3 million which is funded separately) was £92.5 million.
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Departmental Websites

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the websites that come under her Department's responsibility; what the cost was of each in the last year for which figures are available; and how many visitors there were to each site in that year. [15905]

Jim Knight: Defra directly operates a number of websites, including the main Defra website ( and the Government's sustainable development website (

Direct operating costs—the staff costs for the central team with lead responsibility for updating and maintaining websites—are estimated to be around £352,000 for the current financial year. Additional costs arise from the activities of a large number of staff in business units across the Department, contributing to the content of websites as part of their communications activities, but an overall cost for this could not be readily estimated. Website hosting services—as well as a range of IT applications—are provided as part of Defra's overall IT service provision and the costs could not be readily disaggregated.

A number of other websites are operated by or on behalf of the Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, for which costs are either covered by the budgets for specific programmes (and not separately identified), or included within the above figures. Detailed information is not held centrally for such websites, and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

The average number of visitors per month during the year 2004–05 was as follows:—204,000;—20,000.


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the likely impact on carbon dioxide emissions in the next decades of the expansion of energy generating capacity in (a) China, (b) India, (c) Brazil, (d) Mexcio and (e) South Africa. [14484]

Mr. Morley: As the 2004 International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook" indicates, economic growth is the most important driver of energy demand. As Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa continue to experience rapid economic growth, the energy needs of these countries will also continue to grow rapidly.

Meeting energy security needs and ensuring access to energy is a major priority for all countries. Economic expansion with the use of existing technologies will have significant implications on carbon dioxide emissions in the forthcoming decades.

The World Energy Outlook" points out that is possible to promote economic expansion and meet the challenges of energy security and climate change, through the use of alternative, cleaner technologies. The Government firmly believes that technological co-operation with emerging economies such as China,
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India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa is vital in developing and deploying low carbon technology globally.

At the Gleneagles summit, the UK and our G8 partners demonstrated this commitment to technological co-operation, agreeing a package of measures to work with emerging economies to accelerate progress in clean coal technology, including joint work on a radical solution—stripping out and burying greenhouse gases—which could save one-third of all energy related emissions by 2050.

Energy Efficiency

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets she has set on improving energy efficiency; and how she intends to achieve these targets. [15847]

Mr. Morley: The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate is the main vehicle for systematically assessing, managing, reporting and improving Government performance of its land and buildings. Targets for energy were published in February 2004 and cover absolute carbon reduction, energy efficiency, renewable energy, good quality Combined Heat and Power (CHP), a long term strategy for renewables and the inclusion of energy clauses in estate management contracts.

Information on the specific targets and Defra's response can be found on its website at:

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