|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
In-year high performance bonuses paid to individuals or teams in recognition of one-off achievements during the year; and
Annual high performance bonuses which are paid to the top 10 per cent. of performers in each DG for delivery of an outstanding outcome or performance sustained throughout the whole year.
Barry Gardiner: Gardening leave is used very infrequently in exceptional circumstances and as a last resort; redeployment options and project work are always considered first. Decisions are taken at a business level and depend on circumstances and business need. Details, including costs, of such leave for former employees are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent by his Department on (a) chartering aircraft and (b) non-scheduled air travel in each of the last five years. 
Barry Gardiner: This question can be answered only at disproportionate cost. However, in respect of overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers, since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Where non-scheduled aircraft are used this is shown in the list. Information for 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006. Copies of the lists are available in the Library for the reference of Members. All Ministers travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of Members. All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code, a copy of which is also available in the Library for the reference of Members.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of vacancies in his Department in the last 12 months required candidates to have at least a grade C in (a) English and (b) mathematics GCSE. 
Barry Gardiner: DEFRA operates a competence-based recruitment system. GCSE English and/or maths are not specifically required because relevant experience can be used to support an application rather than educational qualifications.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the state of the Desmoulins Whorl snail population in sites of special scientific interest in the UK; 
(4) what the Desmoulins Whorl snail population was in the sites of special scientific interest at (a) Rack Marsh, (b) Boxford, (c) Hunts Green and (d) Bagnor Island in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Since the public inquiry over the A34 Newbury bypass, knowledge of the Desmoulins Whorl snail distribution, ecology and conservation status has improved considerably. This has been achieved both through research and surveys (contracted by the former English Nature) and work undertaken by members of the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, including work undertaken in Europe.
The species is much more widespread in the UK than it was formerly thought to be and has been found in new areas of some other European countries. This is likely to be a result of under-recording in the past rather than an increase in its population. It is also less fastidious in its habitat requirements and less restricted to riparian areas than was previously thought.
Its populations fluctuate considerably at individual sites, depending on the wetness of the season and, consequently, its numbers on some parts of some sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) have been reduced in recent drought years.
Rack Marsh, Hunts Green and Bagnor Island all form part of the Kennet and Lambourn SSSI and Boxford Watermeadow is a separate SSSI. Both sites are assessed as being in favourable condition. Whilst there have been population fluctuations of the snail, including absence on some of the drier areas, healthy populations remain elsewhere in the Kennet and Lambourn confluence floodplain both inside and outside the SSSIs.
This variation is to be expected, given the species' response to the humidity of its environment. Precise numbers are not recorded each year as this would be highly resource-intensive and unlikely to give meaningful results. However the Environment Agency and the Department for Transport have undertaken monitoring in a number of areas in the Kennet and Lambourn confluence floodplain.
Mr. Bradshaw: We currently have no plans to re-introduce a dog licence. The Government support the approach taken by responsible dog owners who voluntarily have their pets permanently identified and registered on nationwide databases. The effectiveness of a dog licensing system is questionable; in the last year licences were administered (1988) only 44 per cent. of dog owners applied for a licence.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential impact of EC Council Regulations 1/2005 on (a) exhibitors and visitors to dog shows and trials and (b) dog breeders; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The EC Council Regulations 1/2005 will apply to the transport of animals in connection with an economic activity. The winning of prizes at shows and trials should not be regarded as making the transport of dogs to them commercial. However, the regulation will apply to the transport of dogs to shows and trials in connection with an economic activity, for example, that of professional dog breeders.
Those who breed dogs as a hobby will be excluded from the scope of the regulations providing that their income source does not exceed the expenses of the hobby. However, the regulation will apply to professional dog breeders.
Ian Pearson: The Government provide the Carbon Trust, a not-for-profit company, with funding of around £80 million each year to work closely with businesses, including retailers, to encourage more sustainable use of energy and help to establish more energy-efficient practices and systems.
A small fraction of retailers are participants in the voluntary climate change agreements, which offer a fiscal incentive for achievement of energy or carbon targets. The recent Energy Review identified significant potential for further cost-effective carbon savings from the non-energy intensive business and public sectors, which would include retailers. We will shortly consult on options to achieve these reductions, including a new mandatory emissions trading scheme, alongside other options.
Ian Pearson: The Department for Transport has the policy responsibility for street lighting, while the provision and maintenance of street lighting is the responsibility of highway authorities. All authorities should be seeking to reduce energy usage both to cut costs and to help combat climate change. As street lighting accounts for a significant proportion of the energy used by authorities, it should be readily identified as an area that should be examined for potential efficiency savings.
It is for the authorities themselves to make decisions on the type and level of lighting required, taking into account local circumstances and in accordance with their general responsibilities and duties. In many cases, it may be possible to reduce the intensity of street lighting and as a result reduce the amount of energy used. But this must not be to the extent that the lighting fails to perform as intended in aiding movement for all road users, reducing accidents and helping to create an environment that is pleasant and safe.
Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 507W, on energy efficiency, whether his Department has revised its estimates of the cost-effective potential for carbon savings in the commercial and public services sector through energy efficiency measures by 2010 and 2020. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of a substantial increase in the use of energy from waste on progress towards UK targets on (a) renewable energy and (b) waste management. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Where waste cannot be recycled or composted, recovering energy from waste (EfW) is preferable to sending it to landfill. In 2004-05, energy was recovered from 9 per cent. of municipal waste in England, which is expected to increase to 25 per cent. by 2020. Increases in recycling and composting, as well as EfW will help the UK achieve its obligations under the EU Landfill Directive in diverting biodegradable municipal waste from landfill.
Electricity generated from waste combustion contributed about 6 per cent. of renewable electricity generation in the UK in 2005. While EfW is expected to increase, its contribution to future renewable energy generation will depend on waste composition, the pace at which new facilities are built and the types of technology used.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts were entered into by English Nature with environmental organisations in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05 and (c) 2005-06, broken down by (i) length and (ii) value. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has commissioned work to compare the costs of the Environment Agency with those of equivalent organisations in other European countries. 
Ian Pearson: The Secretary of State has not commissioned work to compare the costs of the Environment Agency (EA) with those of equivalent organisations in other European countries. The structures, remits and funding (through charging income or general taxation) of equivalent organisations in other countries differ so much as to make such a comparison uninformative.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was allocated in grant-in-aid to the Environment Agency for flood risk management in each year since 1997-98; and how much he expects to allocate in each year up to 2009-10. 
Ian Pearson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 9 October 2006, Official Report, columns 200-02W, which provided information on DEFRA funding to the Environment Agency for flood risk management from 1996-97 to 2005-06.
David Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the proposed roles are of (a) his Department and (b) the Department of Trade and Industry in relation tothe Environmental Transformation Fund; and what the timescale is for the implementation of the proposals for the fund. 
Ian Pearson: The final details of the scale and scope of the joint DEFRA and Department for Trade and Industry Environmental Transformation Fund will be announced in the 2007 Spending Review, for implementation in 2008.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has held with the Department of Trade and Industry on the animal welfare implications of restrictions on the retail sale of fireworks. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 2 November 2006]: The Protection of Animals Act 1911 makes it an offence to infuriate or terrify any animal. Any person or organisation may initiate proceedings under this Act.
The courts alone must decide whether an offence has been committed. A review of the legislation governing the sale and use of fireworks was carried between 2001 and 2003, which included discussions between my Department and the Department of Trade and Industry. Following that review, the Government supported a Private Members Bill that introduced new regulations on the sale and use of fireworksthe Fireworks Act 2003.
Regulations were introduced in 2004, under the 2003 Act, to prohibit the use of fireworks after 11 pm (12 am on 5 November). They also ban the supply of excessively loud fireworks. These measures were partly brought in to protect animals.
Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the British quota for white fish is allocated across the (a) over 10 m and (b) under 10 m sectors of the British fishing industry in England. 
At the beginning of each year, the United Kingdom receives a fixed percentage of the total allowable catch for each quota stock. Fisheries Administrations then calculate the UK quota which will be distributed to producer organisations and most other groups based on the aggregate of the fixed quota allocations (FQA) units held by members within each group. The membership of producer organisations mainly involves over 10 m vessels. Members of the under 10 m fleet, which fish against the under
10 m pool of quota, do not hold FQA units with their licences. Instead, units are held on a nominal dummy licence and the aggregate of these are used to calculate the opening allocation for these vessels. Some adjustments are then made to the quota which members might otherwise receive to boost their share of the UK quota for certain stocks before their opening quota is set.
Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fishing vessels are registered in the UK fishing industry; and what estimated number is in the (a) over 10 m and (b) under 10 m sector. 
Mr. Bradshaw: On 1 September 2006, there were 5,977 fishing vessels registered and licensed in the United Kingdom (excluding Islands). Of these, 1,458 were over 10 m in length and 4,519 were 10 m or under in length.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) capital and (b) revenue funding was allocated to flood relief for financial year 2006-07; and what changes have been made to these allocations in the last six months. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRA funds most of the Environment Agency's flood-related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and, in low-lying areas, internal drainage boards. The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities; DEFRA does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on what specific projects to undertake.
|Allocation at start of financial year||Allocation now|
DEFRA grant to local authorities and internal drainage boards for capital coast protection improvement projects (which protect against coastal erosion but often also have significant benefits in terms of protection against flooding from the sea)
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|