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30 Oct 2006 : Column 58W—continued


30 Oct 2006 : Column 59W

Barry Gardiner: A detailed finance report is reviewed monthly by the Department's Management Board (including non-executive directors) and all Ministers. This report compares spend to budget for all major programmes and addresses the forecast out-turn for the year, comparing to parliamentary and Treasury control totals. Actions are taken as appropriate following this review process.

Further specific analysis is prepared from across the Department to support decision-making as required.

Departmental Funding

Jeremy Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for which of his Department's (a) agencies and (b) areas of work funding allocations have been revised downwards for 2006-07 from 2005-06. [95912]

Barry Gardiner: The Department publishes planned funding allocations by areas of work for future years in the “core tables” included in the annual Departmental Report. Information on allocations set for 2005-06 is shown on pages 277 to 280 of the Departmental Report 2005, and that for 2006-07 is shown on pages 255 to 259 of the Departmental Report 2006. Further detail on the Department's agencies is given in the body of both reports.


30 Oct 2006 : Column 60W

Departmental Mail

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the Department's mail is shipped using private companies; and what the cost was over the last 12 months. [95148]

Barry Gardiner: None of the Department’s mail is shipped using private companies. 100 per cent. is shipped using Royal Mail.

Departmental Redundancies

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many redundancies there were in his Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of such redundancies was in each year; how many temporary staff were employed in each year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to posts within the Department in each year. [95253]

Barry Gardiner: DEFRA was created in June 2001, and the following information relates to the period since then.

Number of redundancies Cost of redundancies Temporary staff (as at 1 April) Inward secondees (as at 1 April)

2001-02

2002-03

0

0

890

26

2003-04

0

0

380

28

2004-05

0

0

290

36

2005-06

0

0

332

40

Note:
Defra has only just announced that 30 wildlife officers in the wildlife units near Truro and Stroud will be issued with compulsory redundancy notices in late October.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of civil servants employed by his Department work for the majority of their time in the Department's London offices. [96327]

Barry Gardiner: As at 30 September 2006, 24 per cent. of the staff employed by DEFRA and its agencies worked in London offices.

Emissions (Steel Works)

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what emissions standards are applied to air emissions from steel works; and what the maximum levels are of regulated pollutants allowed. [97825]

Mr. Bradshaw: Installations for the production of steel with a production capacity of more than 2.5 tonnes per hour are subject to the integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) Directive (96/61/EC), which is transposed through the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000.

Under those Regulations, the regulator (the Environment Agency in most cases, the local authority in the remainder) has to set emission limits for any pollutant likely to be emitted in significant quantities. The regulator has to do so on the basis of the application at the installation of the best available techniques (BAT) and taking into account the installation’s technical characteristics, location and the local environmental conditions.

Emission limits therefore vary between installations. Each installation’s limits are set out in its permit issued under the Regulations. A copy of each permit is held on the public register maintained by the regulator.

Farm Gate Prices

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average farm gate price received by farmers for their milk was over the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [95649]


30 Oct 2006 : Column 61W

Barry Gardiner: The following table shows monthly average farm gate milk prices in pence per litre for the last 12 months for the United Kingdom. The average prices are calculated from monthly surveys of milk purchasers conducted in England and Wales by DEFRA, in Scotland by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and in Northern Ireland by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The farm gate price is the average price received by producers, net of delivery charges. No deduction has been made for super-levy.

United Kingdom milk prices, monthly farm gate milk prices
Units: pence per litre
Excluding bonus payments Including bonus payments

2005

September

19.46

19.47

October

19.71

19.71

November

19.76

19.77

December

19.27

19.27

2006

January

18.65

18.67

February

18.34

18.36

March

18.11

18.13

April

17.34

17.36

May

16.81

16.83

June

16.83

16.83

July

17.18

17.18

August

17.60

17.61


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with supermarkets on farmgate prices paid to farmers. [95650]

Barry Gardiner: Farm gate prices are primarily a matter for the buyers and sellers concerned. However, the implications for the dairy industry of downward pressure on producer prices was one of the items discussed at a recent meeting between the Secretary of State and supermarket chairmen.

Farm Subsidies

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what additional costs the Government (a) have incurred and (b) are
30 Oct 2006 : Column 62W
projected to incur as a result of missing the 30 June deadline for single farm payments. [92339]

Barry Gardiner: Additional costs, in the form of reduced EU funding, may arise in relation to payments under the 2005 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) which are made after the end of the regulatory payment window on 30 June 2006. However, it is not yet possible to say what if any costs may arise in practice, as that depends on the outcome of ongoing discussions with the European Commission and the amount and timing of outstanding payments across the UK.

As announced on 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 1478, the Rural Payments Agency is also paying interest payments to those claimants who had not received their full SPS payment by 30 June 2006 subject to a £50 de minimis. As at 11 October 2006, £318,201 in interest payments had been made.

Food Stocks

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the last Food Stocks Survey was carried out by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [96595]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 24 October 2006]: The Department works with the Institute of Grocery Distribution to carry out a Food Stocks Survey across all levels of the food industry every two years. The last survey was completed in 2005 and work on the 2007 survey is underway. The information gathered allows Defra to better represent the food industry in any discussions with other Government Departments during incidents which could impact the industry.

Government Social Research Service

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of the Government Social Research Service in his Department in each of the last five years; how many projects have been completed by the Service in that period; and how many people are employed in the Service in his Department. [95854]

Barry Gardiner: There were no Government Social Researchers in DEFRA prior to December 2003. Since that date, the requested figures are as follows:

£000 Number
Financial year Project cost Staff cost Total cost Completed projects( 1) GSR staff (min-max)

2003-04

175

23

198

0

0-1

2004-05

1,222

109

1,331

9

1-4

2005-06

1,803

263

2,066

22

5-5

2006-07

(2)1,034

(2)234

(2)1,268

10

4-5

(1) These figures do not include the considerable outputs of the Rural Evidence Research Centre, which take a variety of forms (including conference papers and workshops/seminars) and which are therefore more difficult to enumerate. (2) Forecast.

The expenditure recorded does not necessarily reflect the total expenditure on social research across the whole of DEFRA, as sometimes work is commissioned and funded directly from policy budgets without the knowledge or involvement of Government Social Research staff.

Local Authority Charges

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 20 October 2006, on
30 Oct 2006 : Column 63W
amendment to the local authority fees and charges scheme 2006-07: Local air pollution control, why the fee for certain dry cleaning applications has been increased; and what discussion he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on that matter. [96983]

Mr. Bradshaw: The basis for the increase to the application fees for existing dry cleaners was set out in the consultation paper which is available on the DEFRA website at the following website address:

Approval of the Treasury was secured.

Meat Imports

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the UK imports meat products from Tanzania. [97386]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 26 October 2006]: No. European Community legislation sets the criteria which must be met by meat imported from third countries:

Meat products from Tanzania cannot be imported into the EU because the country does not meet any of the above criteria.


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