Previous Section Index Home Page

1 Feb 2007 : Column 446W—continued

Table 2: UK Average milk producer prices
Average price (pence per litre)







January to November 2006


Departmental Carbon Emissions

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to reduce carbon emissions from his Department. [110151]

Ian Pearson: Working with the Carbon Trust, DEFRA has developed a systematic approach to carbon management and is actively engaged in identifying carbon reduction opportunities through operational improvements, reduced energy costs, staff awareness and monitoring initiatives.

A system for benchmarking, monitoring and analysing utility usage across the estate has been created which highlights buildings where substantial energy savings can be made. Focusing on these sites has helped identify key projects which will return major savings on energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Among other smaller projects, three major ‘voltage optimisation’ projects which could save the department a potential 900 tonnes of carbon per year (8 per cent. of DEFRA’s total annual carbon emissions) are currently being assessed with a view to implement before the end of the financial year. The success of these pilot projects will influence the roll out of further initiatives in the new financial year.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of expenditure by his Department in each Government Office region in the most recent year for which figures are available. [116717]

Barry Gardiner: Chapter 7 of the annual Treasury publication “Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses” details expenditure on services in the regions and countries of the United Kingdom.

1 Feb 2007 : Column 447W

Identifiable spending in each region of England by Government Department for 2004-05 (latest available data) is contained within table 7.19 of the 2006 edition of PESA.

The 2006 edition of PESA is available at:

Departmental Hospitality

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department’s expenditure was on hospitality and entertainment in 2005-06; and what his predecessor Department’s expenditure was on hospitality and entertainment in 1996-97. [114041]

Barry Gardiner: In the 2005-06 fiscal year, the Department spent £626,000 on hospitality and entertainment. There are no figures provided for DEFRA’s predecessor Departments in 1996-97 as this information could be provided only by incurring disproportionate cost. The Prime Minister’s answer to the right hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) of 9 February 1998, Official Report, column 17W, provides the global figure for Government expenditure on ministerial entertaining and hospitality for official purposes in 1996-97.

All expenditure of official entertainment is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been (a) spent on and (b) allocated to bonuses for staff in his Department in financial years (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2004-05; what the highest and lowest bonus paid in each year was; and what percentage of the total sum in each year was related to staff who have responsibility for departmental matters (A) in the North West, (B) in the Eddisbury constituency and (C) for single farm payments. [110266]

Barry Gardiner: Payment of non-consolidated performance bonuses reflects the principle across the civil service of rewarding performance increasingly through one-off payments rather than increases to basic salary.

Core-DEFRA (covering State Veterinary Service, Pesticides Safety Directorate, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Marine Fisheries Agency and Government Decontamination Service) operates two different performance bonus systems: in-year high performance bonuses, paid to individuals or teams below the Senior Civil Service (SCS) in recognition of one-off achievement during the year; and annual high performance bonuses, paid to both SCS and non-SCS staff for high performance sustained throughout the whole year.

For the period November 2004 to March 2005, in year-performance bonuses totalling £179,879 were awarded to staff. Information on annual performance
1 Feb 2007 : Column 448W
and in-year performance bonuses before this date is available only at disproportionate cost as a result of system changes.

For the periods April 2005 to March 2006 and April 2006 to date, information on annual and in-year performance bonuses awarded was as follows:

Period Total bonuses paid Highest bonus Lowest bonus

April 2005 to March 2006




April to November 2006




A little over 1 per cent. of paybill is allocated annually for performance related bonuses.

Information is not held centrally on the geographical areas of responsibility of staff awarded bonuses. Staff with responsibility for single farm payments work in RPA who operate separate pay and bonus arrangements.

Departmental Websites

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which websites are being closed by his Department as a result of the recent departmental review as referred to by the Chief Information Officer’s Transformational Government Annual Report 2006; how much use was made by visitors of each website being closed; and how much was spent on maintaining each in the last two years. [116916]

Barry Gardiner [holding answer 19 January 2007]: Defra fully supports the Transformational Government strategy and is taking a leading role in working with the Chief Information Officer’s Delivery Transformation Group to deliver website rationalisation. Defra is taking a pragmatic approach to this complex process and has begun to plan its delivery in a number of phases. The initial phase will review content and services of almost 50 websites for convergence on Directgov and Business Link, as recommended in the Transformational Government implementation plan. The focus will be on providing online services that meet the needs of our customers and no sites will be closed precipitously.

Some of the information requested is not readily available but I will write with a list of websites to be reviewed during the first phase, and available visitor and cost data as soon as possible.

Energy Efficiency

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he expects the consultation on the third phase of the Energy Efficiency Commitment 2008-11 in spring 2007 to include a section on smart metering with two way communications systems. [112197]

Ian Pearson: The statutory consultation on the third phase of the Energy Efficiency Commitment 2008-11 (EEC3) will cover a range of measures that energy
1 Feb 2007 : Column 449W
suppliers may promote in order to achieve carbon savings in the household sector.

The Government are currently consulting on energy billing and metering to take forward the measures in last year’s Energy Review and the transposition of the European Community (EC) Directive on Energy End Use Efficiency and Energy Services. This will take account of possible developments under EEC3.


Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates Ministers in his Department and its predecessors made official visits to the London boroughs of (a) Tower Hamlets, (b) Newham and (c) Waltham Forest in each year since 1997. [115739]

Barry Gardiner: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Environment Agency

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many consultants were employed by the Environment Agency in each of the last five years. [111019]

Barry Gardiner [holding answer 25 January 2007]: The Environment Agency does not record the number of individual consultants it uses.

EU Sugar Regime

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what factors were taken into consideration when appointing the agency to pay sugar beet compensation following reform of the EU sugar regime; whether British Sugar was considered as a candidate; whether consideration was given to making a request to the European Commission that British Sugar become a registered European payment agency for this purpose; and whether he made an estimate of the effect on costs of administration of appointing British Sugar to make sugar beet compensation payments to farmers. [111621]

Barry Gardiner: All elements of the additional income support made available to farmers must be incorporated into the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and, specifically, the model of the scheme that member states have already adopted. This falls under the terms of the November 2005 agreement on reform of the EU sugar regime.

In England, the SPS is administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), which is the accredited Paying Agency which makes Common Agricultural Policy payments to English farmers. Given the impracticality of two paying agencies administering different, but closely inter-related, aspects of the same scheme for the same farmers, the RPA was the natural choice to administer the additional income support.

Even if this had not been the case, it is highly unlikely that British Sugar would have been considered as a candidate. The EU has regulatory requirements
1 Feb 2007 : Column 450W
that member states must restrict paying agency numbers to the minimum necessary and that such agencies must be public rather than private bodies.

Flood Risk: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission further studies to ascertain the risk of flooding in areas put forward by English Partnerships as possible areas of growth surrounding Milton Keynes. [112372]

Ian Pearson: The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) leads on land use planning policy. DEFRA funds the Environment Agency (EA) to advise planning authorities on development proposals to ensure flood risk is properly taken into account.

The new Planning Policy Statement on Development and Flood Risk, PPS25, was published by DCLG in December 2006. This clearly sets out how local planning authorities should prevent and manage flood risk to and from new developments to ensure that, where new development is necessary in flood risk areas, it is appropriate and safe, does not increase flood risk elsewhere ;and where possible, reduces flood risk overall.

It is the responsibility of the planning authority to ensure that flood risk is taken properly into account when planning new development. In the case of Milton Keynes, I understand the planning authority will undertake a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment in consultation with the EA. At the planning application stage, PPS25 requires appropriate site specific Flood Risk Assessments to be provided by developers to describe how flood risk will be managed in detail. I understand the EA is confident that a well-established strategic approach is being applied to future development in Milton Keynes, which is not considered to be a significant flood risk area.

Hosepipe Bans

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if his Department will assess the merits of amending the legislative framework on hosepipe bans to allow for concessions for the elderly, people with disabilities and those with newly landscaped gardens. [112552]

Ian Pearson: My Department is reviewing the scope of the current legislative framework relating to hosepipe bans, and the issue of concessions is being considered as part of this. We will undertake a public consultation on the proposals before making any changes to the legislation.

Levy Bands

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proposals he has to reform the levy bands. [111433]

Barry Gardiner: I assume the hon. Member’s question refers to the reform of the statutory agricultural and horticultural levy boards.

1 Feb 2007 : Column 451W

A project is now under way to replace the five existing levy boards with a single levy body and a number of wholly-owned subsidiary sectoral companies covering horticulture, potatoes, cereals, milk, pigs, beef and lamb. The new structure will be established by statutory instrument made under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. The new levy body will come into being on 1 April 2008.

A shadow board is being appointed to lead the process of establishing the new levy body. These appointments are being made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). The shadow board will review the current requirements of each sector, take a view on what activities could meet those needs, and consider what implications that might have for levy rates in the different sectors (called the ‘Fresh Start’ exercise).

Restructuring of the levy boards will improve governance and transparency, with decisions on sector strategies and levy expenditure taken close to levy payers. The new structure will provide a more efficient and effective service and enhance industry ownership of levy arrangements.

1 Feb 2007 : Column 452W

Consultation on secondary legislation to implement the reforms will take place in spring 2007.

Live Animal Exports

Gwyn Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many live (a) calves, (b) adult cattle, (c) sheep and (d) pigs were exported for (i) slaughter, (ii) fattening and (iii) breeding in 2006, broken down by country of destination. [110962]

Barry Gardiner: The following table gives the number of live animals recorded as exported from the UK in 2006 from January to November. December figures are not currently available.

Please note these figures are obtained using VAT records and will exclude some EU trade for businesses which are below the VAT threshold. As a result, actual trade levels may be higher than those given.

1 Feb 2007 : Column 453W

1 Feb 2007 : Column 454W
Short description Description EU/Non-EU Country Number of head

Live swine other than pure bred breeding animals

Live dom swine o/t pure bred breeding animals wgt 50 kg or more


Irish Republic


Live swine o/t dom spp whg 50 kg or more


Irish Republic


Live swine pure bred breeding animals

Live swine pure bred breeding animals
















South Korea





















Other than pure bred breeding animals bovine

Bovines of a wgt exc 80 kg but n/e 160 kg, not for slaughter




Of a weight not exceeding 80 kg






Live bovine animals o/t dom spp





Irish Republic


Sheep live

Lambs (up to a year old)




Sheep pure bred breeding animals




Sheep o/t pure-bred breeding animals and lambs up to a year old


Irish Republic


Pure bred breeding animals bovine

Heifers (female bovines that have never calved)




Pure-bred breeding bovines o/t heifers and cows




1. 2006 data are subject to amendments
2. EU data based on EU 25
HM Revenue and Customs
Data prepared by Trade statistics, Agricultural Statistics and Analysis Division, DEFRA

Next Section Index Home Page