|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
|Total operational training expenditure per head||Total expenditure|
New permanent management staff spent an average of 70 hours per head on management related training across the period 2001-02 to 2006-07. 70 permanent middle managers spent an average of 46 hours per head participating in the RPA's Leadership Development Programme between 2003-04 and 2006-07 at a total cost of circa £600,000 and average £8,570 per head.
In addition to formal training, RPA staff receive varying amounts of training at the desk, which as an ongoing process is dependant on individual learning needs and changes in operational requirements. The time spent and expenditure on this informal training cannot be quantified, without incurring disproportionate costs.
In 2007-08, RPA will make similar financial provision to that spent in 2006-07 on the training of permanent staff and agency temporary workers. Budgetary increases will also be made as required to take account of changes in operational and system requirements that may occur during the period. A project has also been initiated to review the level and adequacy of training for the future delivery of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS). The outcome of this review may result in further increases in the provision and scope of operational training for SPS.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many penalties have resulted from cross-compliance inspections of (a) single farm payment claim and (b) a property; 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the single farm payment for the 2007-08 financial year is paid on time. 
Barry Gardiner: The Minister of State (Lords) is working closely with the new management team at the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to ensure that the lessons from the 2005 and 2006 scheme years are properly addressed.
The RPA has implemented a series of initiatives in consultation with key stakeholder groups to simplify and streamline the application process and is targeting those areas that caused problems in the first two years of the scheme.
In the meantime and in accordance with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement of 7 November the RPA is seeking to make a payment to all those 2006 scheme year claimants due to receive at least €1000 as early as possible in the claim payment window.
Barry Gardiner: The Government consider that, where there is a need for wildlife management, the proper use of snares is one of a range of control methods. Used according to best practice, snares can be an effective and practical means of wildlife management and are needed where other forms of pest control are ineffective or impractical. In these circumstances, snares restrain rather than kill and may prove to be more humane than other methods. If snares were to be banned entirely it might encourage the use of more dangerous and illegal alternatives such as poisons.
The Government are committed to working to improve the legal use of snares. Following an informal consultation on snares and traps and their use, carried out in 2003, Defra convened an independent snares working group chaired by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. The Group was given a remit of producing a good practice guide and advising Defra on the next steps on improving the use of snares. On 19 October 2005, we published the Groups report, together with the Defra Snares Action Plan and the Defra Code of Good Practice on the use of Snares in Fox and Rabbit Control in England. These documents are available on the Defra website at:
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) member states of the European Union on amending European Union Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy regulations; and when these discussions took place. 
Defra participates in regular meetings with the European Commission and other member states through the Commissions Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) Working Group, which meets approximately every two months, and
through the Commissions Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), which meets approximately every two weeks. Amendments to the annexes of European Union (EU) TSE Regulations have been discussed frequently, especially prior to the decision to lift the UK export ban and in the context of adjusting the surveillance and eradication programmes for TSEs in sheep.
At council level, chief veterinary officers of EU member states meet monthly and have discussed TSEs. Last year and earlier this year, there were also regular Council Working Group meetings to discuss both the Commissions TSE Roadmap and a regulation amending the main part of the EU TSE Regulations (Explanatory Memorandum 15874/04). The amending regulation was agreed by the Council on 23 November.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans there are to amend European Union Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy regulations on (a) the requirement to cull suspect animals and (b) holding restrictions for suspect animals. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action he has taken to ensure that best practice in terms of dealing with waste disposal and recycling is shared between local authorities. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Defra Waste Implementation Programmes Local Authority Support Unit (LASU) provides direct support and information to local authorities on waste disposal and recycling. The unit assists with the removal of barriers to improved waste performance and provides information on other agencies and programmes that offer relevant support. This good practice and guidance on waste management issues is shared to local authorities through the LASU website (http://lasupport.defra.gov.uk/). In addition, a Waste CD ROM containing good practice, toolkits, guidance, and further information was produced by LASU and made available to all local authorities this year.
The Waste and Resources Action Programmes (WRAP) Recycling and Organics Technical Advisory Team (ROTATE) was launched in June 2004 as an addition to WRAPs existing programmes for local authorities. It is a free advisory service that provides hands-on advice and best practice to local authorities in England and Northern Ireland on their collection programmes for dry recyclables and organic waste. The service also offers best practice advice on local communications and awareness programmes.
WRAP provides toolkits and best practice guides for local authorities. These collate results of local authority-related studies, which enables the sharing of best practice. WRAP will also be running food waste collection pilots to research the most effective way to divert food waste from landfill. The research results will be shared with all local authorities.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether he has applied Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration to the disposal of dredged materials at Whitsand Bay; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many tonnes of dredged material were disposed in and around Whitsand Bay in each year since 1997; how much such material he expects to be disposed of there in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Rame Head disposal site has received dredged material from the Plymouth area for over 100 years. A disposal licence under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA) is required prior to any disposal taking place. No licence would be issued until the impact of disposing of the material had been fully assessed. The decision would account for Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on the precautionary principle.
The majority of the dredged material disposed of at Rame Head is sourced from the Devonport Naval Base on the River Tamar. However, Cattewater Harbour and ABP Millbay Docks and Lincombe Boatyard have also used the site. The following tables show the licences issued since 1997 and the amounts disposed of to the disposal site. Further historical information is available on request.
The weight of evidence currently to hand supports the view that the continued disposal of dredged material to the Rame Head site in Whitsand Bay is an environmentally acceptable one, subject to licence conditions and oversight of the activities.
|Table 1: Licences issued for the disposal of dredged material at the Rame Head disposal site|
|Year issued||Licence Id||DC file reference||Licensee|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|