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23 Feb 2007 : Column 949W—continued

Environment: Education

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what programmes his Department supports within the education sector which seek to enhance understanding of the environment. [121839]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA supports a range of projects with the aim of increasing understanding of the environment in the education sector. The climate change champions competition was launched in January 2006 and nine champions have now been chosen; one from each region in England. During their term of office, they are spreading the message about climate change, and the role that young people can play in tackling it, throughout their respective regions.


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The champions initiative is part of the larger climate change communications initiative (CCCI). Through the CCCI, 83 projects have been funded by the climate challenge fund, and 16 of these are aimed at young people. The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has invited representatives from all the education-related climate challenge fund projects to a meeting. This will ensure that activities are as joined up as possible.

On 2 February, the Secretary of State and the Education Secretary announced that Al Gore's film “An Inconvenient Truth” will form part of a climate change pack sent to secondary schools in England. DEFRA will be part of a sustainable schools year of action to support all schools in becoming models of sustainable best practice. Support materials will include teacher resource packs, a pupil “detective kit”, guidance for bursars and governors, and a new teaching award.

DEFRA is an active partner in the year of food and farming, a joint initiative with DfES, which will start this September for the 2007-08 school year. This initiative aims to educate children and young people about the origins of the food they eat and how it is produced. DEFRA is also a signatory to the learning outside the classroom manifesto, launched by DfES in November 2006.

Currently, there are approximately 1,000 farms in England providing educational access visits under agri-environment schemes (environmental stewardship and countryside stewardship). Farmers receive payments for opening their farms, free of charge, to schools for curricular studies and colleges and other special interest groups for formal or informal study. A wide range of organisations are involved in school visits to farms. However, DEFRA is the biggest single provider of visits, which offer ideal opportunities during the year of food and farming.

In addition, the waste and resources action programme (WRAP) runs the Recycle Now schools programme on behalf of DEFRA. This involves the “Recycler” robot, which can encourage primary school children to recycle from a young age and to take the recycling message home. The programme is also looking to develop resources that secondary schools can use.

The eco-schools programme provides a framework to enable schools to analyse their operations and become more sustainable. It promotes environmental awareness in a way that links to many curriculum subjects, including citizenship, personal and social and health education, and education for sustainable development. Eco-schools examine all their activities and implement ways of reducing their environmental impact; including litter, waste, energy, water, school grounds, healthy living, biodiversity and global perspectives.

Farmers: Bankruptcy

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms went bankrupt in each of the last five years, broken down by reason for bankruptcy. [122339]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.


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The closest available estimate for bankruptcies among farmers are the number of bankruptcy orders made under the category “agriculture” according to the Insolvency Trade Classification. Also provided for further information are the number of company liquidations in the agricultural sector. The following table provides the England and Wales figures in 2001-05, currently figures for 2006 are not available by industry sector:

Bankruptcies and Company Liquidations in England and Wales for Agriculture, 2001-05
Bankruptcy orders Company liquidations

2001

183

90

2002

132

76


Official bankruptcy statistics are not routinely analysed by reasons for bankruptcies and to provide the information requested would incur disproportionate cost.

Hunting Act 2004

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the Hunting Act 2005 on (a) levels of rural employment, (b) the fox population, (c) sheep deaths caused by foxes and (d) the prosperity of rural areas. [122506]

Barry Gardiner: My Department has made no specific assessment of the impact of the Hunting Act 2005, beyond its normal monitoring of wildlife and the rural economy. However, the majority of hunts have continued to operate within the law. Therefore, there has been no discernable adverse effect on rural employment, which remains above the national average, or on the rural economy as a whole. In addition, DEFRA has no evidence to suggest that there has been a significant change in the national fox population as a result of the Act, nor that the overall numbers of sheep being taken by foxes has increased substantially since it was introduced.

Rural Areas: Sustainable Development

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what programmes his Department funds which aim to promote the sustainability of rural communities. [121838]

Barry Gardiner: A number of DEFRA programmes have a positive impact on the sustainability of rural communities. The most relevant programmes in this financial year are:

DEFRA supports a sustainable agricultural sector which, in turn, helps underpin the overall sustainability of rural communities.

DEFRA also funds the Commission for Rural Communities. Their role is to provide well-informed, independent advice to the Government and ensure that mainstream policies, and the delivery of services, reflects the real needs of people living and working in rural areas of England.

Constitutional Affairs

Constitutions: Channel Islands

Kate Hoey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the constitutional position of the Channel Islands. [122321]

Bridget Prentice: The Channel Islands (the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey) are self-governing dependencies of the Crown, which—acting through its Privy Council—is responsible for their good governance. The Channel Islands have their own directly elected legislative assemblies, administrative, fiscal and legal systems, and their own courts of law. They do not form part of the United Kingdom, and UK legislation does not apply to them unless specifically extended; nor are they members of the European Union, but enjoy a special relationship with the EU under Protocol 3 of the UK’s Treaty of Accession. The UK is, however, responsible in international law for the international relations of all of the Crown Dependencies and is also responsible for their defence.

Departments: Freedom of Information

Mr. Wills: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost to Government Departments involved in the one week monitoring exercise in January 2006 of the time needed to respond to Freedom of Information requests. [121762]

Ms Harman: Frontier Economics, using the data collected in the one week monitoring exercise, estimated that the total cost in officials’ time of dealing with FOI requests across central government is £8.6 million.

A detailed breakdown of the total annual cost to central Government of handling FOI requests can be found at annexe 1 of the Frontier Economics report, which is available in the Libraries of the House.


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Powers of Attorney

Susan Kramer: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs on how many occasions the Public Guardianship Office had to intervene to suspend an individual’s power of attorney over another in the most recent year for which figures are available. [122003]

Ms Harman: The information requested is not available from the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) statistics currently maintained by the Public Guardianship Office. Although individual case records will show this information, the costs of collating these details would be prohibitive.

Health

Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 910W, on accident and emergency departments, which NHS trusts the NHS has told her are (a) consulting on and (b) planning to consult on changes to their accident and emergency departments. [118220]

Andy Burnham: The national health service has told us of one ongoing consultation that could affect accident and emergency (A&E) services. This is the consultation on proposals affecting Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

The NHS has told us of seven other proposals where consultation on proposed changes that could affect A&E services is planned. The NHS trusts covered by these planned consultations are:

The proposals concerned are not solely about changes to A&E services but depending on the outcome of consultation it is possible that there could be changes to A&E services at some of these trusts.


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It is likely that other sets of proposals will come forward for consultation in the future that could affect other A&E services.

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the longest distance is from the nearest accident and emergency department to the furthest dwelling in each parliamentary constituency. [122311]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 22 February 2007]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Bournemouth Hospital: Accident and Emergency Department

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many accident and emergency admissions were received at Bournemouth hospital in each of the last five years. [119921]

Andy Burnham: The information on the number of admissions via accident and emergency (A&E) at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust, from quarter two 2001-02 to quarter two 2006-07 is shown in the table. Information on the number of attendances at A&E is a separate collection.

Admissions via A&E

2001-02(1)

10,250

2002-03

18,717

2003-04(2)

13,806

2004-05

14,300

2005-06

15,980

2006-07(3)

7,512

(1) Admissions were first collected in quarter two 2001-02, so data for this year are for three quarters only.
(2) Admissions via all A&E types were first collected in quarter one 2003-04. Data after this date are for all A&E types, prior to this the figures are for admissions via major (type one) A&E only.
(3 )2006-07 data are for quarter one and quarter two only.
Source:
Department of Health form QMAE

GP Numbers

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioners there are per head of population (a) in Romford and (b) in each London borough. [115576]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is shown in the table. Romford is part of the London borough of Haringey.


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23 Feb 2007 : Column 956W
Number (Headcount)
2005
All practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars)( 1) Population All practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars)( 1) per 100,000 head of population

Q36

London

4,896

7,517,726

65.1

Q05

North Central London

840

1,243,437

67.6

5A9

Barnet PCT

234

326,747

71.6

5K7

Camden PCT

156

217,072

71.9

5C1

Enfield PCT

158

279,974

56.4

5C9

Haringey PCT

150

224,293

66.9

5K8

Islington PCT

142

179,871

78.9

Q06

North East London

963

1,542,634

62.4

5C2

Barking and Dagenham PCT

82

164,572

49.8

5C3

City and Hackney PCT

177

215,654

82.1

5A4

Havering PCT

122

225,010

54.2

5C5

Newham PCT

171

247,710

69.0

5NA

Redbridge PCT

124

247,316

50.1

5C4

Tower Hamlets PCT

142

209,322

67.8

5NC

Waltham Forest PCT

145

221,843

65.4

Q04

North West London

1,166

1,871,187

62.3

5K5

Brent PCT

200

267,741

74.7

5HX

Ealing PCT

192

303,204

63.3

5H1

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

104

176,773

58.8

5K6

Harrow PCT

141

211,229

66.8

5AT

Hillingdon PCT

138

248,697

55.5

5HY

Hounslow PCT

141

212,343

66.4

5LA

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

107

184,056

58.1

5LC

Westminster PCT

143

230,023

62.2

Q07

South East London

1,034

1,524,646

67.8

TAK

Bexley PCT

117

219,517

53.3

5A7

Bromley PCT

203

299,122

67.9

5A8

Greenwich PCT

141

225,687

62.5

5LD

Lambeth PCT

214

268,120

79.8

5LF

Lewisham PCT

175

247,024

70.8

5LE

Southwark PCT

184

254,652

72.3

Q08

South West London

893

1,335,822

66.9

5K9

Croydon PCT

224

340,164

65.9

5A5

Kingston PCT

114

151,815

75.1

5M6

Richmond and Twickenham PCT

123

182,723

67.3

5M7

Sutton and Merton PCT

241

369,823

65.2

5LG

Wandsworth PCT

191

276,493

69.1

(1) GPs excluding retainers and registrars per 100, 000 for London SHA population based on PCTs.

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