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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2005, Official Report, column 651W, on the Cuckmere Valley, if she will break down the
26 Apr 2006 : Column 1097W
figure of £394,000 into (a) consultants costs, (b) internal staff costs and (c) other costs; and whether the allowance for internal staff costs reflects the total estimated costs applicable to the project internal staff. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 April 2006]: The Environment Agency confirms that the figure of £394,000 reported as spent to date on the Cuckmere Esturary Project in the parliamentary answer given on 1 December 2005, Official Report, column 651W, was split as follows:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2005, Official Report, column 651W, on the Cuckmere Valley, how much has been spent to date; and how much it is anticipated will be spent on the next stage following the completion of the preparatory stage of the project. 
|External consultants costs||375,000|
|Internal staff costs||65,000|
The principal outputs from this project, namely the flood risk management business case and the environmental report, are complete in draft and are undergoing internal review within the Agency. These reports have determined the preferred flood risk management and environmental policy options for the future management of the Cuckmere Estuary. When these options have been approved, it is intended that a scheme will be developed by a Partnership of English Nature, the National Trust, the South Downs Joint Committee and the Environment Agency. It is not possible to give an estimate of the costs of developing the scheme at this time.
|No active intervention with exit strategy||1.2|
|Hold the line||17.13|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people have been on sick leave suffering from stress in her Department in each of the last three years; and what percentage of the total staff number this represents. 
Jim Knight: During 2005 there were 180 members of staff in DEFRA (including State Veterinary Service, Government Decontamination Service and Marine Fisheries Agency) who were absent sick, giving stress" as the reason. This represents 2.4 per cent. of the 7,573 staff.
The Department takes the management of stress seriously and has recently changed the way in which employees and managers are supported, by introducing an employee assistance programme (EAR) to ensure employees have 24-hour access to professional support services as required.
In terms of education and prevention, the Department's Occupational Support and Advisory Team has been undertaking mini-audits of business units against the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Management Standards for Stress.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has undertaken to compare energy efficiency rates in the UK with other European Union countries. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 April 2006]: Only recently has work begun to develop proper" indicators of energy efficiency changes, rather than using energy intensity as a proxy. Existing information on whole economy energy intensity is published on a consistent basis across the 25 member states and is available at:
Defra has already developed an efficiency indicator for UK housing, as a contribution to the work of the interdepartmental Joint Working Group on Energy and the Environment. Information is available at:
In parallel, EU-wide work on energy efficiency across the EU-15 member states is being taken forward through the 'ODYSSEE' project. Defra and DTI jointly fund a consultancy to represent UK interests. Information on energy efficiency performance to 2003 for each member state is available at:
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to ensure European governments promote energy efficiency in domestic appliances. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 April 2006]: The Government are fully committed to raising product standards and encouraging consumers to use the most energy efficient domestic appliances. Progress is being made by a combination of policy measures including product information (energy labels), minimum standards, and the promotion of best practice. These are taken forward by the Market Transformation Programme (MTP).
The UK continues to work closely with the European Commission to influence and speed up the delivery of both mandatory and voluntary measures under the recently agreed Eco-Design for Energy Using Products (EUP) Framework Directive. We are encouraging the Commission to bring forward formal proposals for revising the EU Energy labelling Scheme, and we are supporting the work of the Energy Saving Trust in promoting efficient domestic appliances.
As President of both the EU and the G8 in 2005, the UK together with the European Commission hosted an International Energy Efficiency Conference (2 to 3 November 2005) to deliver a roadmap for global energy efficiency improvements. Details of the conference aims and outcomes can be viewed at:
We will also host the 2006 Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting Conference (EEDAL 06) to advance international co-operation and new initiatives on energy efficient domestic appliances. Further details can be found at:
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Government's policy on the reduction of energy consumption in its offices; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government estate is the main vehicle for systematically assessing, reporting and improving Government performance in managing its own land and buildings in a sustainable way. It sets cross-Government targets in all key operational areas, including energy consumption.
The Sustainable Development Commission's report, 'Leading by Example? Not Exactly ... ' was published in December 2005. This reported on departmental performance against a range of sustainable operational targets within the framework.
The Government accept that more needs to be done to improve its overall operational performance including its own energy consumption. The UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy (Securing the Future, March 2005) included a commitment to review the framework and make proposals for achieving a significant change in operational performance. We are currently taking forward work in this area, and challenging new departmental energy targets will be published this summer.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken to reduce energy consumption in its offices; and if she will make a statement. 
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