|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
19. Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what resources his Department has allocated to local authorities selected to participate in the campaign to reduce gum litter. 
20. Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking towards preventing Japan and other whaling nations from overturning the moratorium on commercial whaling at the forthcoming International Whaling Convention meeting. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Although Japan and her allies may command a simple majority at the next annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission this is insufficient to overturn the moratorium on commercial whaling. Such matters can be agreed only if 75 per cent. of those present and voting vote in favour of the motion.
Barry Gardiner: Although our research shows that overall supply meets demand, there is some unmet demand for white water and canoe touring. The Environment Agency is currently working to identify what is needed and where, and to develop best-practice access agreements for canoeists on key stretches of English water.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much EU funding the Government have received but not distributed to farmers in the last two full financial years. 
Barry Gardiner: The funding of payments to farmers is provided by HM Treasury in the first instance and then a claim is submitted to the European Commission for the expenditure occurred after the event. Therefore the reimbursement from the European Commission is received after payments have been made to the farmers.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many nursery and crèche places are provided for people working in his Department; what charges are made for the provision of such services; and what other facilities are provided for the children of employees of his Department. 
Barry Gardiner: Defra is committed to childcare support both for the benefit of its staff but also as an essential element of addressing the Departmental business need Defra's childcare provision set out in the attached table.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the consultations undertaken by his Department in the last 12 months; how many people were directly consulted in each case; how many responses were received to each consultation; what his estimate is of the cost to business of responding to those consultations; and on what assumptions his estimate is based. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 16 May 2006]: In the calendar year 2005 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs undertook 100 formal consultations. Details of the consultations are available on the Department's website:
Information on the total cost of all consultations, number of people directly consulted, number of responses received, and cost to the business in responding to consultations, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many public consultations his Department undertook in the last year; and what the cost was (a) in total and (b) of each consultation. 
Barry Gardiner: In the calendar year 2005 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs undertook 100 formal consultations. Details of the consultations are available on the Department's website:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much champagne was bought for official use by his predecessor and Ministers in his Department in (a) 2003-04 and (b) 2004-05; and at what cost. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints of racial abuse have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in his Department in each of the last five years. 
Under Defra's formal equal opportunities complaints procedures, records indicate that between April 2001 and March 2002 there was one case of bullying and racial discrimination, which was investigated, but not upheld.
Full census surveys, whereby all staff in the core-Department are invited to complete the questionnaire, are conducted at 18-month intervals. The last two were carried out in January 2004 and July 2005. The next full census survey is due in January 2007.
At quarterly intervals between the full surveys, Defra conducts "Pulse" surveys, where a random sample of staff are invited to complete the survey. This is done to enable senior Defra management to keep a closer eye on results of questions and to track trends.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many air miles have been accrued by senior civil servants in his Department on official business in each of the last three years; and how they were used. 
Barry Gardiner: Central rules laid down by the Cabinet Office state that civil servants are not able to use any air miles that accrue to them through official travel on a personal basis. Any air miles must therefore be recycled for further official use or forgone. These rules are laid down on the staff Intranet.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are undertaken within his Department to ensure that women are obtaining equal pay to men doing work of equal value. 
Defra conducted and completed its first review back in 2003 and submitted this together with an action plan to Cabinet Office in April 2003. The review covered core-Defra and two of its agenciesPesticides Safety Directorate and Veterinary Medicines Directoratefor which the core-department has pay remit responsibility.
The review found that there were no significant pay gaps within the department, provided that Defra's multi-year pay settlement was fully rolled out for future years up to and including 2005-06. The final year of the settlement was rolled out last year and runs until the end of June 2006.
Defra is now in the process of conducting a second Equal Pay Review. This will cover core-Defra and six of its agencies: Pesticides Safety Directorate, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, State Veterinary Service, Rural Development Service, Marine Fisheries Agency and Government Decontamination Service. It will examine whether the objectives of the multi-year pay settlement and the implications of the of Action Plan from the previous review have been have been met in full.
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) submitted an Equal Pay Review and action plan to Cabinet Office in 2003 in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines. This Review was completed in March 2004 and found that there were no significant pay gaps as a result of gender difference. The results were subsequently discussed with RPA's Trade Union Side and a summary of proposed actions was agreed, which included reviewing Allowances paid to specialist staff to ensure no differences relating to gender existed in these additions to pay; improving levels of ethic and disability recording; and carrying out a further comprehensive Equal Pay Review in 2006, once RPA had completed its restructuring. These actions are ongoing and the full Review is now scheduled for 2007, when RPA is projected to reach its organisational steady state.
The Central Science Laboratory completed its Equal Pay Review in April 2003 and the resultant action plan was submitted to the Cabinet Office in May 2003. No significant pay gaps were identified as a result of gender difference and subsequent pay settlements have been subject to equality-proofing. In 2005 CSL concluded a three year pay deal that invests in both the shortening of pay ranges and the delivery of an effective pay progression system to further ensure that gender related pay gaps do not emerge in the future.
In line with Cabinet office guidance, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) completed an Equal Pay Review and submitted this together with an action plan to Cabinet Office in April 2003.
The review found that there were no significant pay gaps as a result of gender difference. There were individual problems as a legacy from earlier pay arrangements; these were addressed in the action plan.
The Veterinary Laboratories Agency completed its Equal Pay review in April 2003 and the resultant action plan was submitted to cabinet office in May 2003. The review found that there were no significant pay gaps as a result of gender difference, but the issues continue to be the subject of consultation with the Trade unions. Subsequent pay awards have been subject to equality checks and a further review will be undertaken in 2006.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of farmers who have left the agricultural sector in Suffolk in each of the past five years. 
Barry Gardiner: Figures from the Agricultural and Horticultural Survey indicate labour on agricultural holdings in June each year. These figures therefore show net change only in the number of farmers.
|Labour on agricultural holdings in June each year|
|Number of full and part time farmers in Suffolk||Net change|
1. Number of farmers includes partners, directors and spouses (if working on the holding).
2. Includes estimates for minor holdings.
3. Estimates have been made to non-respondents.
June Agricultural Survey
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total projected cost is of the Farming Connect Cumbria scheme over the scheme's lifetime; how much has been allocated to the scheme by his Department; how much has been provided by other sources, broken down by source; how much has been spent by the scheme; how much has been (a) allocated for and (b) spent on grants to improve agricultural performance; how many grants have been allocated under the scheme; how much was allocated for each grant; what the projected costs are of administration over the lifetime of the scheme; how much has been spent on administration; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 15 May 2006]: I understand that Farming Connect is administered by Cumbria rural enterprise agency on behalf of Rural Regeneration Cumbria (RRC), using funding provided
by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). There is no Defra funding involved and no involvement by Defra or its agencies in running the scheme. Defra does not therefore hold the information requested, which the hon. Member should seek directly from Rural Regeneration Cumbria and/or the Northwest Regional Development Agency.
RPA does not hold details of constituency boundaries within its customer register but has commissioned a report which will show the number of customers in Somerset as a whole. At present all available IT resources are dedicated to getting SPS payments to customers, so this report may take some months to obtain while higher priority work is carried out.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|