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19 Dec 2005 : Column 2375W—continued

Departmental Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff are employed by her Department in each (a) region and (b) nation of the UK; and if she will make a statement. [35917]

Jim Knight: The figures requested are published in civil service statistics. Table D covers permanent staff numbers on a full-time equivalent basis in each Department and agency. Civil service statistics are available in the Library and at the following address on the Cabinet Office statistics website: of the civil service/statistics/civil service statistics/index.asp
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Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what initiatives are being taken in her Department to help civil servants with chronic back pain. [34977]

Jim Knight: The Department and its executive agencies have various mechanisms in place to assist staff with back disorders and put preventative measures into place.

Workstation assessments procedures are in place for all VDU users, and staff are encouraged to report all work-related back pain via accident/ill health reporting procedures.

These are followed up as appropriate, with use of specialist assessments for advice on adjustments and specialist accessories/new furniture, or by referral to occupational health service providers.

Guidance and Information is available on intranets—with links to Health and Safety Executive campaigns and brochures related to back disorders and other MSDs.

There are also online training packages which encompass advice and best practice in relation to ergonomics, posture etc. to reduce upper limb and back pain.

Manual handling courses are advised and/or arranged for any 'at risk' staff and many sites have onsite fitness centres. Many roadshows and promotional events are arranged throughout the year.

Departmental Transport

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answers of 29 November 2005, Official Report, column 507W and 29 November 2005, Official Report, column 301W, on departmental transport, why the departmental building in Merrow, Guildford does not yet have a Travel Plan; when the joint Travel Plan will be published; whether car parking by staff and contractors outside the departmental buildings in Merrow has been identified as a significant impact; and if her Department will issue instructions to its staff and contractors not to park in residential roads around the departmental building, with particular reference to Down road, Daryngton drive, Carroll avenue, Gateways, Broadwater rise and Pitt Farm road. [36954]

Jim Knight: The Department in Merrow did have a Travel Plan, which was made redundant by the increase in numbers of contractors over the last 12 months necessitating a full re-write of the plan.

The revised Travel Plan will be made available to site users by the end of December and will have been prepared by the Department and IBM.

Car parking by staff and contractors outside the departmental buildings in Merrow has been identified as a significant impact.

Staff and contractors who are unable to park on-site, are requested to avoid parking in Down road, Daryngton drive, Carroll avenue, Gateways, Broadwater rise and Pitt Farm road. A site wide notice to all staff and contractors to reiterate this request will be issued on 15 December 2005.
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Digital Mapping

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers in the South West submitted incorrect data for digital mapping in each year between 2002 and 2004. [36129]

Jim Knight: The Rural Payments Agency is responsible for the administration of digital mapping in England. The RPA developed the RLR between 2002 and 2004 predominantly using land parcels previously claimed for subsidy purposes, notably data received with Area Aid Applications. In some cases this included data from on the spot inspections and any information the applicant provided in the form of mapping requests. The following table shows the number of applicants in the South West where an overclaim was found as a result of an inspection.

Direct Mail

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will take steps to reduce the amount of paper used in direct mail by encouraging the use of cleared mailing lists; [36124]

(2) if she will assess the effects on the environment of a (a) 5 per cent. and (b) 10 per cent. reduction in direct mail; [36125]

(3) when she last met representatives of the direct mail industry to discuss waste paper. [37239]

Mr. Bradshaw: In July 2003 the Government signed a voluntary producer responsibility agreement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a trade body representing 890 corporate members of the direct mail industry, to increase the recycling of direct mail to 70 per cent. by 2013 (the level of direct mail recycling was about 13 per cent. in 2002). The first target of 30 per cent. is due to be met by the end of 2005.

As part of the agreement, the DMA have also agreed to reduce waste by improving the targeting of direct mail and by publicising the use of suppression files such as the Mailing Preference Service which allows people to opt out of receiving addressed direct mail.

The signing of the agreement in July 2003 was the last meeting between my officials and the DMA. However, we have had ongoing correspondence with the DMA who have produced an interim report on their progress in relation to the objectives set out in the agreement. We are currently awaiting the publication of the first formal report which will detail whether they have achieved the 2005 recycling target of 30 per cent. I would expect my officials to hold a progress meeting shortly after the publication of this report in the new year.

I do not intend to conduct a quantitative analysis of the environmental benefits of reducing direct mail at this time. However a 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. reduction
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in direct mail will equate to a saving of 271 million and 542 million items of direct mail per year respectively, (based on the current estimate of 5.4 billion items of direct mail being distributed annually). The Government take the view that direct mail is a legitimate method of marketing goods and services and have no plans to introduce legislation prohibiting or restricting the distribution of such mail, although they will continue to encourage and support the use of a voluntary opt-out service.

Entry Level Scheme

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons she decided to adopt the regional route in determining entry level scheme payments. [37912]

Jim Knight: I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the Entry Level Stewardship strand of Environmental Stewardship. The regional route and the historic route has not been part of the process in determining Entry Level Stewardship payments.

Entry Level Stewardship has a national payment rate of £30 per hectare, per year. However land parcels of 15hectares or more in the Less Favoured Area, are eligible for payments of £8 per hectare, per year.

The payment rate for Entry Level Stewardship was determined using a combination of agronomic assumptions based on various farming systems which covers income forgone and costs incurred calculations, along with an incentive element where it was deemed appropriate. A more detailed breakdown setting out the calculations behind each option can be found in the England Rural Development Programme Modification to the Commission.

Environmental Controls

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice she is offering to farmers on whether they will need to register with the Environment Agency for (a) a waste management licence and (b) a pollution prevention and control permit. [35779]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency has issued interim guidance to advise farmers of the regulatory requirements when waste management controls (waste management licensing or waste pollution prevention and control (PPC) permits) apply to agriculture. This guidance was published in Farmers Weekly on 2 December 2005 and will be published in British Farmer and Grower on 28 December 2005. The Environment Agency's National Customer Contact Centre (0845 6033113) has launched a dedicated enquiry line for agricultural waste.

The Defra funded Environment Sensitive Farming programme (ESF) holds events across all regions of England and Wales for farmers. ESF advises and informs farmers on the new controls. The website can be viewed at In addition, a Recycling Directory that provides recycling and disposal advice to farmers on agricultural waste is available at The Environment Agency has set up a Communications Group involving agricultural industry stakeholders.
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The Communications Group have drafted a plan for a range of activities starting in early 2006 using publications, posters, CDs, pig and poultry events and workshops for intensive livestock operators. These workshops will provide practical assistance to operators in submitting their PPC applications. The Environment Agency has established a website for intensive livestock operators concerning PPC at

The Environment Agency's Guide for applicants for pig and poultry rearing units" is already available and was updated in July 2005. The Environment Agency is currently holding a public consultation on new guidance entitled IPPC—How to comply—Guidance for intensive pig and poultry farmers". The consultation ends on 24 February 2006. It is expected that the final guidance will be published in Spring 2006.

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