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British Uplands (Tourism)

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate her Department has made of how much money the British uplands generate for the tourist industry in each of the last five years. [39232]

Jim Knight [holding answer 20 December 2005]: The Department has not made a specific assessment of the contribution of the British uplands to the tourist industry.

In England responsibility for the strategic development of the tourist industry has been devolved to the Regional Development Agencies. Working closely with partners in the region they gather the necessary evidence to fulfil this role. This may include the contribution of geographic areas or sectors within the region.

Correspondence

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) letters from hon. Members, (b) letters from members of the public and (c) parliamentary questions from (i)hon. Members and (ii) Members of the House of Lords were dealt with by her Department in each year since 1995; what percentage took (A) more than one month and (B)more than three months to provide a substantive answer; and if she will make a statement. [34753]

Jim Knight: The information required is as follows:

(a) The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members'/Peers' correspondence. The Report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, column 137–40WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

(b) The data are not held in the format requested. Therefore data provided in table A are given using Defra's 15-day working target.
Table A: General correspondence 2000–01 to 2005–06

Period(1)General correspondence receivedGeneral correspondence responded to within 15-days targetPercentage responded to within 15-days target
April to March
2000–01106,00796,89991
2001–0299,54585,57386
2002–03114,22998,54686
2003–04119,446116,62698
2004–05106,45196,67991
April to September (half financial year)
2005–0655,67354,62498


(1)Data before 2001, when Defra was created, are less reliable and has not been provided.



 
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(c) The data are not held in the format requested. Data provided in table B are based on the number of PQs answered more than 11 days late. Figures are collated on the basis of parliamentary sessions rather than calendar years.
Table B: Parliamentary questions 1996 to 2005

Period(2)Number of PQsReply after 11+ daysPercentage 11+ daysDepartment
1995–962,210MAFF
1996–971,297MAFF
1997–984,081MAFF
1998–992,704MAFF
1999–20002,721MAFF
2000–011,909MAFF
2001–028,619DEFRA
2002–035,444DEFRA
2003–045,31184816DEFRA
2004–051,87126514.2DEFRA


(2)Data before 2001, when Defra was created, are less reliable and has not been provided.


In November 2003 a new database was introduced, which is not compatible with the earlier system. The new database produces stats on whether PQs have been answered on time, 1 day late, 2–5 days late, 6–10 days late and 11+ days late.

Departmental Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the value is of (a) pay supplements, (b) bonuses and (c) other incentive packages that are payable in her Department on the basis of geographic location; how many people are in receipt of each payment; and what the total cost to her Department of each payment was in 2004–05. [35919]

Jim Knight: The only pay/pay related payments that are operated in the core-Department, on the basis of geographical location are the National/London pay ranges and some Local Pay Additions (LPAs) retained on a reserved rights basis by some staff. The details are given as follows and are based on the 2004–05 pay outturn data:

National/London Pay Range Differentials

London/Local Pay Additions (LPAs)


 
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The payments are split geographically as follows:

Location

Number of staff
Total cost by location (£)
London10544,905
Cambridge156,000
Chelmsford1700
Guildford167,700
Kings Lynn1400
Reading127,000
York51,556

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are taken by the Department to support staff with mental ill health. [36275]

Jim Knight: Defra have taken a number of initiatives and offer various levels of support and a variety of resources to support staff with mental ill health.

The primary resource for line managers is the booklet published by 'Mindout', which offers practical advice on managing and supporting people who are experiencing stress, distress and mental health problems. Every manager has been passed a copy of this booklet and alongside this there are other resources including the Department's 'Stress-Web' intranet site which is a comprehensive central source of information on awareness, prevention and management of stress in the workplace and at home.

'Stress-Web's' primary objectives to raise awareness of stress policy, suggest ways to prevent stress in the workplace and at home, help staff identify symptoms of stress in themselves and others, assist with the management of stress and identifies others who can help such as the Departmental Health and Safety Advisers and Employee Support Services. It also provides other internal and external resources such as videos, literature and information about events and websites of interest.

As part of its new occupational health service provision and restructuring of its health and safety and welfare functions, Defra has refocused its resources to better tackle stress at work by targeting the 'root causes' at an organisational level, with its Health and Safety and Employee Support Advisers working more closely with business managers proactively to seek to ensure that better controls are in place to manage the risks from stress correctly.

Devolved Legislatures (Documents)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department giving evidence to (i) Scottish Parliament, (ii) Welsh Assembly and (iii) Northern Ireland Assembly Committees; and to what categories of document she gives (A) full access, (B) restricted access and (C) no access to (1) Scottish Parliament, (2) Welsh Assembly, (3) Northern Ireland Assembly and (4) House of Commons Select Committees. [34751]

Jim Knight: Requests for the attendance of Ministers or officials to give evidence to the devolved legislatures, and for the provision of information to the assemblies,
 
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will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This consideration will reflect: the principles set out in the Cabinet Office guidance 'Departmental Evidence and Response to Select Committees' (July 2005); the policy outlined in the Department for Constitutional Affairs' Devolution Guidance Note #12 'Attendance of UK Ministers and Officials at Committees of the devolved legislatures'; and the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. The principles underlying the provision of information to House of Commons Select Committees are set out in 'Departmental Evidence and Response to Select Committees', particularly sections 4B and 4C.


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