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Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to provide farmers with (a) information and (b) guidelines on the (i) production and (ii) support for production of energy crops. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRA officials attend agricultural shows, workshops, seminars and conferences to explain the financial support and guidance that is available. DEFRA also provides articles for relevant farming journals and newsletters. Local support teams, set up under the Community Renewables Initiative, which is part-sponsored by DEFRA, also help to raise awareness.
DEFRAs website gives details of the payments available to help establish energy crops and to develop supply lines. Best practice guidance booklets are available for growing short rotation coppice and miscanthus. These advise on the choice of site, planting techniques, crop management and harvesting methods. The Biomass Energy Centre (www.biomassenergycentre.org.uk) provides detailed information on all aspects of growing and supplying energy crops. The centre is supported by the Government and aim to draw together information from existing sources into one easy to use service based around the website and an information inquiry service.
Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of recipients of support for (a) energy efficiency and (b) central heating installation from Eaga Group Warm Front grants are able to fund 100 per cent. of the necessary works from their grant. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 27 November 2006]: The Warm Front Scheme can provide a grant of up to £2,700 (or up to £4,000 where an oil central heating system is recommended). Where works recommended exceed the grant maxima, efforts are made to identify funding from other sources.
(i) Over 99 per cent. of cases that just require insulation measures can be fully funded by the Warm Front grant.
(ii) Where heating measures alone are recommended, over 70 per cent. of cases can be fully funded by Warm Front, with 40 per cent. of those cases that exceed the grant maxima having previously received assistance from the scheme.
(iii) Where both heating and insulation measures are recommended, over 85 per cent. of cases can be fully funded by Warm Front.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his departmental press release of 13 March 2006, what definition he used for a household that could benefit from cavity wall insulation installation; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Any household within the 16 councils who have signed up to the British Gas council tax rebate scheme, who have fillable cavities and are interested in applying, can benefit from cavity wall insulation installation.
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what additional measures his Department has considered to promote energy efficiency within the home; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: [holding answer 30 November 2006]: As set out in Julys Energy Review, we have built on the 2006 Climate Change Programme and announced a number of ambitious new measures to continue to promote an increase in household energy efficiency, including an energy supplier obligation to 2020, a strengthened emphasis on building and product standards and a renewed emphasis on the importance of individual action and citizen engagement. In total this package ensures that the household sector remains on course to achieve 60 per cent. carbon savings by 2050.
|Under 10 metre||Over 10 metre|
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent (a) in England and (b) in the Ouse catchment area on flood protection and alleviation measures by (i) the Government and (ii) City of York council in 2005-06; and what estimate he has made of the likely expenditure in 2006-07. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRA funds most of the Environment Agencys (EA) 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.
Local authority expenditure on flood risk management (including levies to the EA and internal drainage boards) is largely supported by the local government funding mechanisms operated by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Table 1 shows total central and local government expenditure on flood protection and alleviation measures in (a) England and (b) the Ouse catchment area. This includes expenditure on flood defences, flood warning and research and development, but excludes expenditure on measures primarily to reduce risk of coastal erosion (which can also sometimes help reduce flood risk).
|DEFRA grant and other expenditure||Local authority expenditure||(b)Ouse catchment( 1)|
|1 Defined as EA expenditure within the Ouse catchment area between the confluence with the River Ure and the confluence with the River Derwent. DEFRA grant to local authorities and/or internal drainage boards within the Ouse catchment area, if any, could not be determined without incurring disproportionate cost.|
|Flood defence revenue expenditure||Internal drainage board special levies|
The EA has undertaken significant works within the Ouse catchment area to repair and improve flood defences since the floods of autumn 2000. These include repairs to defences in York and Selby (including the Foss Barrier) totalling in excess of £1 million and improvements to flood defences in Selby, due to be completed in 2008 at a cost of some £14 million.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) capital and (b) revenue funding was (i) allocated and (ii) spent on flood relief in each financial year since 2001-02 in 2006-07 prices. 
DEFRA has overall policy responsibility for flood risk management in England,
funds most of the Environment Agency (EA)s flood related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities (LAs) and internal drainage boards (IDBs). The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities; DEFRA does not carry out works, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.
The following table shows DEFRA initial funding allocations for flood risk management at the start of each year, together with outturns on EA spend and DEFRA funding to LAs and IDBs. The figures have been converted to approximate equivalents at todays prices using the public works non road inflation index published by the Department of Trade and Industry, with 2006-07 as the base year.
|Initial allocation at start of year||Spend outturn at end of year|
|DEFRA funding to EA (grant in aid from 2004-05 onwards)||DEFRA capital funding to LAs and IDBs||EA spend||DEFRA capital funding to LAs/IDBs|
EA spend is funded from sources additional to DEFRA grant, including levies on LAs, charges and contributions from beneficiaries but only DEFRA initial allocations have been shown in the table. However, the column under EA spend headed Var. indicates the match between overall resources available to the EA and spend in each year, being the difference between spend and income with a negative indicating expenditure less than income for the year. These variances are reflected in changes in the balances of funds carried forward by EA from one year to the next. Prior to 2004-05 the primary EA income sources were grant from DEFRA for specific projects and levies on LAs. Both forms of funding were largely replaced by grant in aid from DEFRA from 2004-05 onwards.
The revenue/capital split of DEFRA initial allocations for EA in 2004-05 and 2005-06 as shown was based on a narrow definition of capital spend, restricted to spend creating fixed assets in accounting terms. They understate the actual amount allocated by DEFRA for capital improvement measures. The definition to be used from 2006-07 onwards will better reflect spend on capital projects to construct new and improved defences regardless of whether a capital asset has been created in accounting terms. The figures for EA capital spend in the table use the latter definition in all years.
The table does not include DEFRA funding for LA capital coast protection projects which protect against coastal erosion and also often provide significant benefits in terms of reducing flood risk from the sea. In 2006-07 a higher proportion of capital funding than in 2005-06 was directed to LA coast protection projects in accordance with the DEFRA priority scoring system with a commensurate reduction in capital funding for the Environment Agency in 2006-07.
Local authorities incur further revenue spend on levies to EA and IDBs and their own spend and much of this is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government but not shown in the table.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) capital and (b) revenue expenditure on flood and coastal defences from (i) his Department and (ii) the Environment Agency there has been in each year from 1997-98; and what the forecast level of such expenditure is for 2007-08. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRA has overall policy responsibility for flood and coastal erosion risk management in England, funds most of the Environment Agency's (EA) flood related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities (LAs) and internal drainage boards (IDBs). The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities; DEFRA does not carry out works, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.
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