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Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has had discussions with Office of Fair Trading officials on the number of creameries available for dairy farmers to sell their products to. 
Barry Gardiner: The Government supported the conclusion of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee in 2004, that there was no compelling evidence in favour of setting up a regulatory body to oversee the dairy industry. It is difficult to see how a regulator could determine a fair price other than by reference to a market price. A price regulator would almost certainly be incompatible with EU competition law and with the common organisation of the market in milk and milk products.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) his Department and (b) its (i) executive agencies and (ii) non-departmental public bodies use the services of private debt collectors. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of food served in his Departments catering establishments was of British origin in 2005; and what instructions he has issued to the provider of food services regarding the sourcing of food. 
[holding answer 16 June 2006]: From information held centrally, the proportion of food served in the Departments catering establishments that is of British origin is 100 per cent. for eggs and milk products; 90 per cent. for cheeses; 80 per cent. to 100 per cent. for root vegetables; 50 per cent. to 80 per cent. for salad vegetables; 25 per cent. to 40 per cent.
for fruit; 85 per cent. for fish; 100 per cent. for bakery products; 80 per cent. for chicken; 70 per cent. for beef; 15 per cent. for lamb; 25 per cent. for bacon and 90 per cent. for pork.
DEFRAs catering services providers are required to use food produce which is fresh and seasonal including organic produce. They are also required to develop the use of small and medium sized enterprises in their food supply chains. The catering services providers are required to have full regard to the objectives of the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI). The service performance of the catering services providers is the subject of continuous assessment and review.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the chief accounting officer of his Department. 
Barry Gardiner: I refer to my answer of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 506W, which gave details of the Departments Finance Director. The Departments Principal Accounting Officer is Helen Ghosh, Permanent Secretary.
Accounting Officer is a role that the Permanent Secretary combines with her personal responsibility for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the department and for department-wide procedures in financial and other matters. The Accounting Officer is assisted in the discharge of these duties by suitably qualified and experienced senior managers, such as the Finance Director.
Barry Gardiner: A technical note by HM Treasury which was placed in the Library of the House on 2 March 2006 following an oral statement in Parliament by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, 2 March 2006, Official Report, columns 388-390.
Pension liabilities are not estimated for individual Departments, they are estimated for individual pension schemes, as shown in the breakdown of liabilities per pension scheme given in table 1 of the technical note. The technical note covers all the major schemes.
The technical note provides detailed information about the size and nature of the liabilities and how they are calculated. Pension liabilities represent obligations already incurred which will fall due to be met over many decades, up to 80 years or more. Neither Government nor private sector pension providers engage in speculation about additional liabilities that might be incurred in future years.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to ensure that no illegal immigrants are employed in the manned guarding of his Departments premises. 
Barry Gardiner: For our main headquarters buildings we employ a mix of in-house and contract guards. For the former we carry out a robust basic check on all successful applicants which includes confirmation of identity, nationality (including right to work), criminal record declaration and references. Following a successful outcome of the basic check all guards undergo formal security vetting.
All contract guards throughout the DEFRA estate must be licensed under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. This provides us with assurance that identities and criminal records have been checked. For headquarters-based contract guards we also subject them to formal security vetting as a matter of routine.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has (a) directly and (b) indirectly employed illegal immigrants as security guards. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people over the age of 55 years have been recruited into his Department in each of the last three years. 
Barry Gardiner: The number of people over the age of 55 recruited into DEFRA, the Government Decontamination Service, the Marine Fisheries Agency, the Pesticides Safety Directorate, the State Veterinary Service, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in the each of the last three calendar years was as follows:
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many websites there are within his responsibilities; and what the total cost of maintaining such websites was in the last year for which figures are available. 
DEFRA directly operates a number of websites, including the main DEFRA website
(www.defra.gov.uk) and the Governments sustainable development website (www.sustainable-development. gov.uk).
Direct operating coststhe staff costs for the central team with lead responsibility for updating and maintaining websites and for website policyare estimated to be around £352,000 for the last financial year. Additional costs arise from the activities of a large number of staff in business units across the Department, contributing to the content of websites as part of their communications activities, but an overall cost for this could not be readily estimated. Website hosting servicesas well as a range of IT applicationsare provided as part of DEFRAs overall IT service provision and the costs could not be readily disaggregated.
A number of other websites are operated by or on behalf of the Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, for which costs are either covered by the budgets for specific programmes (and not separately identified), or included within the above figures. Detailed information is not currently held centrally for such websites, and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were employed in (a) dairy farming, (b) beef farming, (c) sheep farming, (d) arable farming, (e) mixed farming and (f) other forms of farming in Yeovil constituency in (i) 1990, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2005. 
Barry Gardiner: The number of people working on agricultural and horticultural holdings in Yeovil constituency by predominant farm type are as follows. constituency level data are not available before 1998. Changes in farm type classifications mean figures for the cattle and sheep and grazing livestock categories are not directly comparable across the years.
| Source: June Agricultural Survey|
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to pay interest on outstanding payments due on (a) hill farm allowance, (b) protein supplements and (c) energy crop supplements. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 4 July 2006]: The protein supplements and aid for energy crops are made under Pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy and have a legal payment deadline of 30 June 2006. As such, the Rural Payments Agency will be making interest payments at the London Interbank Offered Rate +1 per cent., calculated from 1 July 2006, in respect of any such payments which are paid after this deadline and where responsibility for the delay rests with the Rural Payments Agency. This will be subject to a minimum interest payment level of £50.
The hill farm allowance payments are made under Pillar 2 (Rural Development) of the Common Agricultural Policy and have no legal deadline. At present we do not consider that there is a case for the payment of interest in respect of hill farm allowance.
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