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12 July 2007 : Column 1641W—continued

Departments: Personnel

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the average fully loaded cost is of a full-time equivalent member of staff of his Department working in Whitehall. [146865]

Gillian Merron: Details of the average fully loaded cost of a full-time equivalent member of staff working in Whitehall, is not held centrally and is therefore available only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Racial Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. [149259]

Gillian Merron: During the last 12 months (for the period July 2006 to July 2007) the Cabinet Office has not received any official complaints of racial abuse.

Ministers Private Offices: Deputy Prime Minister

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to what use the office space previously used as the private office for the Deputy Prime Minister is being put. [149275]

Gillian Merron: The office space allocated to the Office of the former Deputy Prime Minister is being returned to the Cabinet Office.

Ministry of Defence: Location

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what discussions he has had with the
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Secretary of State for Defence on the contribution that the Ministry of Defence could make to post-Gershon work on the re-location of civil service jobs out of London and the South East via current initiatives, with particular reference to the Naval Base Review; and if he will make a statement. [147247]

Gillian Merron: Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and advice. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meetings.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when he expects to be in a position to begin making payments of the 2007 Single Farm Payment; [148726]

(2) what steps he will take to ensure that farmers are given their 2007 Single Farm Payment as soon as possible after the payment window opens. [148736]

Jonathan Shaw: The regulatory window for making payments under the 2007 single payment scheme (SPS) runs from 1 December 2007 to 30 June 2008. While the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will aim to start payments as early as possible within that window, the date will depend in practice on progress with the validation of claims.

We have set the RPA the target of paying 75 per cent. of the value of valid SPS 2007 claims by 31 March 2008 and 90 per cent. by 31 May 2008 based on the assumption that no partial payments will be made. While this represents a greater degree of challenge for the agency in the coming year it also reflects the fact that it is still in a recovery period. The Department will consider the issue of partial payments in autumn 2007 and the agency's target may be adjusted as necessary at that point.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects all single farm payments for (a) 2005 and (b) 2006 to be resolved. [148737]

Jonathan Shaw: We cannot give a firm date for when we will make the final payments under the 2005 and 2006 single payment scheme (SPS). The claimants who have yet to receive any payment are the more complex cases, such as those involving probate, which by their nature are more difficult to resolve. As the Secretary of State reported to the House on 2 July, there are also some 20,000 SPS 2005 claims where entitlement values have been identified for review and possible adjustment, upwards or downwards. This may identify a further payment to be made or an overpayment to be recovered. The RPA is now switching resources to deal with these cases.

Animal Welfare: Transport

Gwyn Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the
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answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 61W, on animal welfare: transport, when four calves were humanely destroyed at Dover; and for what reason. [147732]

Jonathan Shaw: Since May 2006, animal health inspectors at Dover have found five calves in a collapsed state on vehicles intended for export. Notices were served requiring the immediate humane slaughter of all of these calves, although one died naturally. The notices did not require any further action as it was the opinion of the inspectors that the means and conditions of transport were not the cause of the calves condition. Because no post mortem was carried out, definitive prognosis is not available.

Animal Welfare: Trapping

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has held on the manufacturing, sale and use of animal snares; and if he will make a statement. [141779]

Joan Ruddock: The Government consider that where there is a need for wildlife management then the proper use of snares is one of a range of possible control methods. Used according to best practice, snares can be an effective and practical means of wildlife management (particularly for rabbits and foxes) and are needed where other forms of pest control are ineffective or impractical. In these circumstances snares restrain rather than kill and may prove to be more humane than other methods. The DEFRA snares action plan and the DEFRA code of good practice on the use of snares in fox and rabbit control in England can be found at:

Neither my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Barry Gardiner) nor I, have held any recent discussions specifically on these issues. However, officials have occasional discussions with a wide range of stakeholders on the current policy on the use of snares.

Beef: Brazil

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tests are performed on beef imports from Brazil to detect residues of (a) pesticides, (b) veterinary medicines and (c) growth hormones. [147422]

Mr. Woolas: The Pesticide Residues Committee conducts annual programmes to monitor pesticide residues in food. The Committee last sampled beef imported from Brazil in 2004 and found no residues of substances sought.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) tests imported foods from third countries for residues of veterinary medicines and substances not permitted for use in the EU.

On the recommendation of the independent Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC), which advises
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the VMD and the Food Standards Agency on residues surveillance, the programme has focused on looking for banned substances in recent years. In 2003 and 2004, a total of 599 samples of imported beef were tested for residues of trenbolone and zeranol (hormonally active substances used for growth promotion), avermectins and ß-agonists. This included 202 samples from Brazil. No residues of these hormonal substances were detected in any of the samples.

In the light of these results, the VRC recommended that beef should be temporarily removed from the imports surveillance programme to focus more resources on areas where intelligence suggested that problems were emerging. The VRC recommended that beef should be restored to the imports surveillance programme in 2007, and 300 samples will be tested for zeranol, trenbolone, and avermectins.

All these test results have been published on the VMD and VRC websites.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to visit farms in (a) England and (b) Shropshire which have been affected by bovine tuberculosis. [148608]

Jonathan Shaw: My ministerial colleagues and I look forward to meeting farmers and their representatives in different parts of the country to discuss a range of important issues, including bovine tuberculosis, in our new roles.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Shrewsbury

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of bovine tuberculosis were recorded in Shrewsbury constituency in (a) 2000, (b) 2002, (c) 2003, (d) 2004, (e) 2005 and (f) 2006. [147671]

Jonathan Shaw: Bovine tuberculosis (TB) statistics are not collected on a constituency basis, but at county level. The total number of new herd TB incidents in Shropshire in the years requested are as follows:

Total new herd TB incidents













(1) Data are provisional, subject to change as more data becomes available.
(2) Data for 2002 are not comparable with other years because the TB testing and control programme was largely suspended in 2001 due to the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. When testing resumed in 2002, resources were concentrated on herds with overdue TB tests, which would have had a longer period in which to contract the disease. Also, the proportion of high risk herds tested immediately after the FMD outbreak was greater than that prior to the outbreak.

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Coastal Erosion: East Riding

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies his Department has (a) carried out and (b) commissioned on the effects of coastal erosion in the East Riding of Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement. [148354]

Mr. Woolas: DEFRA has overall policy responsibility for flood risk management in England, funds most of the Environment Agency's flood related work, and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and internal drainage boards (IDBs). The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities. DEFRA does not carry out works or studies, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.

East Riding of Yorkshire council is the operating authority for this stretch of coast and has carried out annual monitoring of the Easington coast with DEFRA grant aid since 1997. Strategic studies for Bridlington and Withernsea were approved in 1999. In 2002, it carried out Holderness coastline beach management and monitoring which has continued until this year. An application for £111,000 of grant aid
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is being considered for DEFRA approval to continue funding the strategic monitoring of the coastline into 2007-08.

The East Riding of Yorkshire council is leading, with a contribution from the Environment Agency, the development of a shoreline management plan for Flamborough Head to Gibraltar Point. An application for grant aid of £270,000 is also currently being considered by DEFRA.

Departments: Consultants

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on (a) management consultants and (b) other external consultants and advisers in each year since 2000; and which of these consultants undertook work for the Department with a total contractual value in excess of £10 million over this period. [146337]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department came into being in July 2001. From information held centrally, the core-Department expenditure on consultancy and professional services over the financial years 2002-03 to 2006-07 (the first six months) is as per the following table:

Professional services 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

IT and telecommunication






Management and business consultancy



78,671 ,992



Programme and project management






Research and development






Specialist consultancy






Temporary staff






Grand total






Consultancy and professional services companies who undertook work in excess of £10 million over this period are:

Vendor name Total (£)

IBM United Kingdom Ltd


Atos Origin IT Services UK Ltd


ADAS Consulting Ltd


Powergen Warm Front Ltd


Sungard Sherwood Systems Ltd


P A Consulting Group


Sema UK Ltd


Sherwood International Group Ltd


Adecco UK Ltd


Hedra Consortium


Walter Lilly and Co Ltd


Casella Stanger


Kelly Services UK Ltd


Tribal Yale


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