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16 May 2006 : Column 840W—continued


1 April 2005
Full-time staff Part-time staff (headcount) All staff (full-time equivalent)
Grade equivalent Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total

SCS

155

45

200

3

7

10

157.0

49.5

206.5

Grade 6

186

61

247

4

17

21

188.8

74.0

262.8

Grade 7

564

234

798

10

50

60

571.4

270.9

842.3

SEO

869

380

1,249

31

105

136

891.7

453.3

1,345.0

HEO

1,257

893

2,150

30

188

218

1,279.1

1,018.2

2,297.3

EO

1,279

1,279

2,558

25

287

312

1,296.4

1,468.1

2,764.5

AO

1,363

1,831

3,194

50

531

581

1,399.3

2,169.4

3,568.7

AA

373

368

741

22

195

217

387.5

484.5

872.0

Unreported

41

17

58

0

0

0

41.0

17.0

58.0

Total

6,087

5,108

11,195

175

1,380

1,555

6,212.2

6,004.9

12,217.1


Departmental Televisions

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many television sets are in operation in the Department (a) in total, (b) in Minister's private offices and (c) in each office building in the Department; and how many television licences are held by the Department. [62795]

Barry Gardiner: To identify all of the television sets in use across my Department would be very difficult to achieve with such a diverse estate of buildings and
16 May 2006 : Column 841W
locations. I have therefore limited my reply to the major Headquarters sites of London, Guildford and York. The following table summarises the current position.

Location Quantity

Eastbury House

10

Page Street

13

Nobel complex

55

Whitehall Place

11

Guildford

9

York

4

Total

102

Those in use by Minister's Private Offices

14

TV Licenses held

6


Energy Efficiency

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what temperature (a) the heating thermostat is set to in winter and (b) the air conditioning is set to in summer in his Department's main London office. [67447]

Barry Gardiner: The temperature of the heating in the main London office is set at 21 degrees C in the winter.

There is no air-conditioning in the Department’s main London office, it is cooled by natural ventilation.

Entry Level Scheme

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers qualified for the Entry Level Scheme; how many of those have (a) applied and (b) qualified for the Higher Level Scheme; how much has been paid out for that scheme; how much is allocated in total; what the timetable is for making such payments; and whether he expects payments to be made on time. [70102]

Barry Gardiner: Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) is open to all farmers and land managers; it is not competitive and acceptance is guaranteed providing scheme requirements can be met. As of 11 May, almost 19,500 agreements have been entered into under Entry Level or the Organic Entry Level strands of Environmental Stewardship.

Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) is a competitive scheme and applicants are required to deliver specific environmental benefits in high priority situations. Entry into ELS or Organic ELS is generally a pre-requisite for a HLS agreement. As at 11 May, there have been 1,172 HLS applications, and there are now 575 HLS agreements up and running.

The first annual payments for HLS agreement holders will not become due until February 2007, though mid-year HLS payments for those agreements that started in February 2006, become due in August 2006. HLS capital claims are due for payment once work has been completed; as at 11 May 2006, six
16 May 2006 : Column 842W
capital claims have been paid with a total value of just over £37,000. Over £3 million has been allocated in 2006-07 to cover the cost of signed agreements. Payments under HLS are expected to be made on time.

Foot and Mouth Disease

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will name the premises designated ‘Dangerous Contact 1’ during the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak; why they were subsequently removed from the list of dangerous contacts; and if he will make a statement. [70803]

Mr. Bradshaw: Premises with animals originally classified as dangerous contacts (DCs) may have been subsequently confirmed as having the disease, either on clinical grounds or from laboratory tests. On confirmation of disease they will have been placed on the published list of Infected Premises.

As a definitive list of DCs was not published, it is unclear which premises the hon. Gentleman is referring to. If he will write to me with further details I will provide him with a fuller response.

Foul Odours

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which (a) registration and (b) regulations govern prosecutions for creating a nuisance involving foul odours; and which body is responsible for pursuing such a prosecution. [67613]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 8 May 2006]: Under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local authorities have a duty to check their areas periodically for existing and potential statutory nuisances, and to take reasonably practicable steps to investigate complaints of statutory nuisances, including any dust, steam, smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance. A “premises” may be a dwelling, place of business, land, beach, vesselor sea.

Once satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, or may occur or recur, a local authority must issue an abatement notice requiring that the nuisance be ceased or abated within a specified timescale. It is an offence to breach or fail to comply with an abatement notice. Upon summary conviction through the courts, fines of up to £5,000 for domestic premises and £20,000 for industrial, trade and industry premises may be issued.

Some plants and processes that have the potential for emissions of offensive odours are regulated under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations, which are enforced by either the Environment Agency or local authorities depending on the type of installation. Plants and processes that are covered by these regulations are not subject to the statutory nuisance regime, in order to remove double jeopardy.

Defra recently published the “Code of Practice on Odour Nuisance from Sewage Treatment Work”. This aims to provide a framework under the statutory
16 May 2006 : Column 843W
nuisance regime in England and Wales within which the appropriate regulators and sewerage undertakers can operate to minimise the likelihood and nuisance from odours. The code is available on the Defra website.

In addition, Regulation (EC) 1774/2002 (enforced by the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005) lays down the rules for the collection, transport, storage, handling, processing and use or disposal of animal by-products in order to prevent these products from posing a risk to animal and public health. Plants that process material of animal origin are required to be approved by the Secretary of State in accordance with the regulation. The regulation also requires that animal by-products be transported in sealed new packaging or covered leak-proof containers or vehicles and that they be processed without undue delay.

Vehicles on public highways are not “premises” within the statutory nuisance regime on odour. Emissions from new vehicles are regulated by means of the Motor Vehicles (EC Type Approval) Regulations 1998 or the Motor Vehicles (Type Approval for Goods Vehicles) (Great Britain) Regulations 1982. Emissions from in service vehicles are regulated by means of Regulation 61 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 as amended.

In addition, vehicles driven in a careless or anti-social manner (that is causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress) may be seized by the police under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002.

Hunting Act

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to introduce an Order to vary the exemptions within the Hunting Act 2004; and if he will make a statement. [70730]

Barry Gardiner: The Government have no plans to bring forward proposals to vary the exemptions within the Hunting Act 2004.

Icelandic Fishing

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was awarded as compensation for the loss of Icelandic fishing, broken down by port of origin of recipient; how many individuals received awards; how much was deducted from compensation payable for exgratia redundancy payments; and how many fishermen were subject to such deductions. [69137]

Mr. Bradshaw: A total of £42.4 million has been paid by DTI in compensation to date. Although the scheme has long since closed, some limited processing of claims remains. The IT system used does not record the port of origin and it is not practical or cost effective to produce this information manually. Some limited
16 May 2006 : Column 844W
information is however available on the basis of beneficiaries’ current locations. This gives the following totals:

£ million

Hull

18.6

Grimsby

6

Cleethorpes

1.7

Fleetwood

3.2


In all, 5,366 payments have been made thus far, with total deductions of £7.4 million in respect of exgratia redundancy payments to some 3,268 fishermen.

Insect Repellents

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the status of insect repellents is under the REACH regulations; and what assessment she has made of the impact ofthe regulations on manufacturers in the UK, with particular reference to animal testing. [67898]

Ian Pearson: If an active substance of an insect repellent has been assessed and approved for use in either plant protection products or in biocidal products in accordance with existing European Union legislation (Directive 91/414/EEC or Directive 98/8/EC), then the active substance is considered as registered and exempted from authorisation under REACH.

If not exempt, substances on their own or in preparations manufactured in quantities of over 1 tonne per manufacturer per year will have to be registered with the new European Chemicals Agency. Registration requires the submission of basic information on these substances, some of which may be generated through testing on animals if the information is not available elsewhere.

The text of the Political Agreement of December 2005 introduces a number of amendments aimed at minimising the amount of animal testing required and reducing the costs on industry, for example through the incorporation of “One Substance, One Regulation” (OSOR), a UK proposal with strong rules on the mandatory sharing of animal test data by companies.


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