Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department (a) provides and (b) plans to provide support to assist reform of the forestry sector in Cambodia. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID provides £13 million over five years to a natural resource management and livelihoods project in Cambodia managed by the Danish development agency Danida. Under this programme £1.2 million has been allocated to support the Forestry Administration to implement a forestry sector action plan. This will help put in place a supportive policy and regulatory environment for more sustainable management of forests.
Mr. Thomas: Six non-government organisations (NGOs) receive funding from DFIDs Civil Society Challenge Fund for activities in Cambodia. These are Christian Outreach, Health Unlimited, Landmine Disability Support, Cambodia Trust, Ockendon International, and World Vision. Total funding for these projects amounts to almost £2.5 million. Mines Advisory Group also receives funding for its projects to raise awareness of the dangers of mines and to support mine clearance.
DFIDs health and HIV programmes also fund NGOs to support the delivery of Government services. Under the Health Sector Support Project, Save the Children Australia, Swiss Red Cross, CARE Australia, and Health Net International receive funding to manage the delivery of primary health care services. DFID also supports Population Services International (PSI) to promote and distribute condoms under the national HIV strategy; and the NGOs World Education and Co-operation for Sustainable Cambodian Society to provide education about HIV/AIDS. Local NGOs working on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support also receive funding.
The DFID Livelihoods Programme, implemented through Danish Co-operation (Danida), will agree contracts with a number of NGOs to implement a £7 million civil society component of a larger Danida Livelihoods and Natural Resources programme.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department has undertaken a cost-benefit analysis of the (a) European Development Fund and (b) International Development Association. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID is constantly reviewing the performance of organisations to which it gives money. We are trying new ways of assessing the effectiveness of multilateral development organisations in contributing towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, to inform our aid allocation decisions. This work includes both quantitative and qualitative assessments of the effectiveness of the European Development Fund and the International Development Association. This work is due to be completed towards the second half of the year.
Mr. Straw: All select committees have the power to take oral evidence on oath (administered, under Standing Order No. 132, by the Chairman or the Clerk of the Committee). It is not usual for such Committees, other than Committees on private or hybrid Bills, to take evidence on oath although this is done on occasion. The Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Code set the requirements for Ministers and civil servants who give evidence to Select Committees.
I have made no specific assessment of the merits of Committees taking evidence on oath more widely. It is a matter on which each Committee is best placed to take a view in the circumstances of the individual case.
Mrs. May: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to his answer of 21 March 2007, Official Report, column 895W, on Departments: trade unions, if he will ask (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to change their policy on answering questions on official meetings in respect of the question from the hon. Member for Maidenhead regarding meetings with trade union representatives in 2006. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on (a) sponsoring newspaper and publication supplements and (b)
funding advertorials in newspapers and publications in the last year for which figures are available; and what the topic of each was. 
Barry Gardiner: The Governments rural manifesto said that action to improve access to the coast would be a priority. We have not yet made any decision on how to take this forward. Natural England has been carrying out detailed research and has recently recommended that the Government should introduce new legislation to enable Natural England to align a coastal corridor around the whole coast that people could enjoy with confidence and certainty. We are considering Natural Englands advice and intend to issue a public consultation document in the spring.
We are also developing carbon and sustainability standards to encourage supply of fuels giving the greatest environmental benefits. We are pressing the EU to take a lead in establishing internationally agreed standards in this area.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent representations he has received on reductions in British Waterways grant and its likely effects on the canal system; 
Barry Gardiner: The Government have received representations from British Waterways as well as a wide range of hon. Members and key stakeholders following reductions in British Waterways grant. The representations have taken the form of meetings, correspondence and parliamentary questions. In particular, I met a number of hon. Members and stakeholders at the Parliamentary Waterways Group (PWG) on 12 December 2006 and a range of inland waterways representatives and press at the London Boat Show on 11 January 2007.
In the last six months, I have met British Waterways six times in my role as Inland Waterways Minister, including at PWG and the Boat Show. Discussions have included funding and delivery of shared strategic objectives.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) has been spent in the last five years and (b) is expected to be spent in the next five years on canal systems, broken down by canal. 
Barry Gardiner: The following table provides information on the amount spent by British Waterways on canal systems in England and Wales since 2004. Information on spending is not held centrally on a canal-by-canal basis and, therefore, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|England and Wales
|31 March 2004
|31 March 2005
|31 March 2006
|31 March 2007
|(1) Routine spend on infrastructure, for example, replacing lock gates and maintenance and associated overhead costs.
(2) For example, repairs and maintenance to principal assets such as bridge repairs, lock chamber repairs, embankments and aqueducts, and culverts.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on which parts of the River Wear voluntary access agreements have been reached on (a) both river banks and (b) a single river bank; 
Barry Gardiner: On the River Wear, 9 km of access, from Houghall to the Sands, has been negotiated through the voluntary access project managed by the Environment Agency. All of this has the agreement of landowners on both banks.
The voluntary access project delivered over 70 km of access on four rivers. Of this, only 200 m on the River Mersey is with one river bank owner. There is no evidence to suggest that single bank access is likely to be a feature of many agreements and no assessment of the impact of such access has been made.
Gillian Merron: The rules about using the blue badge in a loading/unloading bay are contained in the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Exemptions for Disabled Persons) (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/683). This is supplemented by guidance issued to local authorities and badge holders which conveys the Department's policy, which is to prohibit parking by badge holders where there is a ban on loading or unloading.
the success of the project will primarily rest on commitment from senior local authority politicians and officers;
that commitment needs to extend beyond the lifetime of the project;
the towns' project managers required support and guidance in the early stages particularly on design of infrastructure and signage;
funding can unlock significant contributions from developers on cycling infrastructure adding further value to the project;
the towns that have implemented a co-ordinated approach are yielding the best results.
|(1) Bike for All is only part funded50 per cent.