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|Commissioning body||Nature of service||Total capital value (£ million)||Estimated unitary chargestotal (£ million)||Length of contract (Years)||Type of costs included in unitary charge|
|(1) Includes £95.1 million separate capital payments made upon the completion of individual work packages during the life of the project plus the £41.6 million payments (2) The unitary charge is entirely for maintenance and related services, not capital works.|
(3) For the Pevensey Bay sea defences project capital and maintenance work is not separated out.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 220W, on renewable energy, what plans his Department has to increase the percentage of electricity acquired from renewable sources. 
Ian Pearson: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs currently acquires 62.3 per cent. of its electricity from certified renewable sources. This is against the target for all Government Departments to source at least 10 per cent. of electricity from renewables.
DEFRA will work towards increasing this further through the installation of appropriate renewable energy systems (wind, solar, thermal and photovoltaic) in all new building or major refurbishment projects within its estate.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer from the Parliamentary Secretary Cabinet Office, the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-East (Mr. McFadden) to the hon. Member for Blackpool South of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90W, on the retirement age, what his Departments policy is for the setting of retirement ages for staff below the senior civil service under the Civil Service (Management Functions) Act 1992. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were trained under the Rural Development Programme in the UK in 2003; what the average cost was per person of that training; and whether he has made an assessment of the average cost per person of such training in other EU member states in that period. 
Barry Gardiner: In the 2003 calendar year, the vocational training scheme offered under the England Rural Development Programme 2000-06 supported 27,132 training days. The cost of these training days totalled £1.997 million which, while costs per training day will vary, provided an average of £73.60 per day.
We have no information on the average cost of training under other member states' rural development programmes for the same period. The main source of comparative data currently available on such programmes is the Synthesis of Rural Development Mid-Term Evaluations (November 2005), carried out by Agra CEAS Consulting for the European Commission, but this does not give average costs of training.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the extent to which other European Union member states have delayed the implementation of their rural development programmes from 2007 to 2013; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: No rural development programmes will formally begin on 1 January 2007. At present none of the European Union member states have been able to submit a new rural development programme formally as the detailed implementing regulations are not yet in place.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what additional (a) staff and (b) other resources he plans to put in place to deal with applications for support under the Rural Development Programme between 2007 and 2013. 
Barry Gardiner: The Rural Development Programme for England 2007-2013 will be delivered by Natural England, the Forestry Commission and eight Regional Development Agencies. Each organisation will ensure that there are sufficient staff and resources in place to deal with applications for support under the Programme. This will not necessarily involve additional resources, as in many cases the delivery of support under the new Programme will use those resources that are currently delivering the existing Programme. The formal transfer to the Regional Development Agencies of responsibility for delivery of the socio-economic elements of the current and successor Rural Development Programmes in England involved a transfer of 65.5 full time equivalent posts from the Rural Development Service
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support programmes his Department provides for rural areas; and what the financial cost of these programmes is expected to be in 2007-08. 
Barry Gardiner: The Government are committed to building a strong economy and fair society where there is opportunity and security for all. This commitment applies equally in rural and urban areas. The majority of my Departments programmes benefit both rural and urban areas. However, the cost of these programmes in rural areas alone could not be identified without disproportionate cost.
The Department does have a number of programmes in place which address specific issues which have been identified in rural areas. These programmes and their estimated spend in 2007-08 are listed in the following table:
|Programme||Provisional allocation 2007-08 (£ million)|
DEFRA also contributes £74 million to the Regional Development Agencies (RDA) Single Pot in 2007-08, for delivery against three of its Public Service Agreement targets: sustainable development, rural productivity, and sustainable farming and food. While RDAs are required to address the needs of their regions rural areas, they recognise there is considerable interdependence between cities, towns and rural areas. Rural needs are best secured by tailoring mainstream policy, with rurally specific programmes only being developed where market failure cannot be addressed through mainstream provision. As the majority of expenditure in rural areas is therefore likely to be through an RDAs mainstream activities (such as regional business support and skills development) it is difficult to identify precise rural spend.
The England LEADER+ programme, which assists rural communities in improving the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area, will contribute around £10 million in 2007-08 to the 25 local action groups selected to deliver the Programme in their area.
In addition, Objective 1 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Funding, (EAGGF) administered by DEFRA, will provide around £22 million in 2007-08 for the three areas (Cornwall
and The Isles of Scilly, South Yorkshire and Merseyside) designated under the programme.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that Mrs. G. Bidwell, a constituent of the hon. Member for Northavon, receives outstanding single farm payments due to her and compensation for the delays in payment. 
Barry Gardiner: The Rural Payments Agency has now fully processed Mrs. Bidwell's single payment scheme claim for 2005. My noble Friend, Lord Rooker will write to the hon. Gentleman about his constituent.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications of the report Forecast Wood Fibre availability and demand in Scotland and Northern England for 2016, published by John Clegg Consulting Ltd. in November 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: This is an independent report to which the Forestry Commission contributed. The study provides an overview of the supply and demand position to help guide both the strategic investment decisions made by industry and the development of forestry policy, which in the case of Scotland is a devolved matter. Publication of the report has been welcomed by the Forestry Commission.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of UK aid distributed by third party agencies was spent on administration in the last period for which figures are available. 
Hilary Benn: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Administration costs are negotiated with individual agencies to take account of the specific circumstances as well as value for money considerations. Rates typically range from between 5 per cent. and 13 per cent.
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