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10 Oct 2007 : Column 649W—continued

Tesco: Extortion

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received from Tesco supermarket on threatening letters received from animal rights activists; and if she will make a statement. [154379]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office has received no representations from Tesco supermarket on threatening letters received from animal rights activists. However, the Government are committed to working in close co-operation with law enforcement agencies and any targets of animal rights extremism to eradicate the threat of extremists, building on the significant fall in illegal extremist activity, and the many significant convictions of animal rights extremists in the past 18 months.


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Duchy of Lancaster

Centre of Excellence for Charitable Giving

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the winners of the contract to host the Centre of Excellence for Charitable Giving will also be able to bid for research work commissioned by the Centre. [155631]

Phil Hope: The Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy is being commissioned on the basis of a published specification that identified key research areas.

A small proportion of the overall budget is currently uncommitted and has been set aside by the funders to support the commissioning of further research over the course of the centre.

It will be open to centre staff and others to bid for currently uncommitted funds, and to any additional funds secured to support appropriate further research projects.

Appropriate governance arrangements will be made to ensure that decisions on any further research supported by existing uncommitted funds, and by any additional funds secured, will be based on proposals’ scientific excellence, in line with ESRC practice.

Charitable Donations

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what target the Government has set to increase charitable donations in real terms over the 10 year period to 2014; and what steps the Government is taking to monitor and report on progress towards meeting this target. [155630]

Phil Hope: A Generous Society, the Government’s charitable giving strategy, was published in November 2005, and sets out our plans for working in partnership with the third sector to foster a deeper culture of planned, regular and tax-efficient giving. The Citizenship Survey will be used to determine the impact of the measures adopted.

Departments: ICT

Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many new (a) laptops, (b) mobile telephones and (c) personal digital assistant devices his Department bought for the use of new departmental Ministers in the Cabinet Office following each Cabinet reshuffle since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [156742]

Gillian Merron: The information is not held centrally and therefore is available only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Public Bodies

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list his Department’s (a) executive agencies, (b) executive Non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), (c) advisory NDPBs, (d) tribunal NDPBs, (e) trading funds and (f) public corporations for each financial year since 2005-06. [156614]


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Edward Miliband: A list of the non-departmental public bodies and agencies sponsored by the Cabinet Office can be found in the Cabinet Office departmental reports which are available in the Libraries of the House for the reference of Members. They are also available from the Cabinet Office website at:

Gift Aid

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps were taken by the Office of the Third Sector to inform the voluntary sector and the general public about the reduction in the rate of gift aid that resulted from the change in income tax rates in the last Budget; and when those steps were taken. [155629]

Phil Hope: The then Chancellor and the Minister for the third sector discussed the need to further build on the increase in the amount of money directly benefiting third sector organisations, which has increased from £135 million in 1996-97 to £750 million for 2005-06. Measures to increase take-up of Gift Aid and ensure greater awareness of how to give in a tax-efficient way have been widely consulted on this year, ahead of any changes coming into effect on income tax levels. Findings from the consultation will be made available in due course.

Information Officers: Charity Commission

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many press officers are employed by the Charity Commission. [154419]

Phil Hope: The Charity Commission employs six staff with press office responsibilities.

Information Officers: Independent Complaints Reviewer to the Charity Commission

Mr. Mackay: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many press officers are employed by the Independent Complaints Reviewer to the Charity Commission. [154461]

Phil Hope: The Independent Complaints Reviewer to the Charity Commission does not employ any press officers.

Non-Departmental Public Bodies: Political Powers

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many people are members of quangos in England and Wales; and what the total cost of quangos in England and Wales was in each of the last 10 years; [152930]

(2) what assessments are made of the political party memberships of individuals appointed to quangos and commissions in England and Wales; what reforms are planned; and if he will make a statement; [152931]

(3) which public bodies are required to report to Parliament; [152932]


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(4) how many and what percentage of the (a) paid and (b) unpaid appointments made to non-departmental public bodies since 1 May 1997 were (i) members and (ii) declared supporters of the Labour Party. [152933]

Edward Miliband: Information on membership and expenditure of public bodies is published annually by the Cabinet Office. Figures covering the period 1997 to 2006 are available on the civil service website (www.civilservice.gov.uk). Departments are in the process of publishing information for 2006-07 and a summary will be published by the Cabinet Office when publication by Departments is completed.

Information on the political activity of those appointed to the boards of public bodies is collected by the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments and published in her annual report. The Commissioner’s annual report for 2006-07 was published on 8 October 2007. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Olympic Games: Greater London

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2007, Official Report, column 363W, on the Olympic Games: Greater London, whether the role of KPMG changed once they stopped providing advice to her Department and started advising the Olympic Delivery Authority in July 2006. [154086]

Tessa Jowell: Yes. KPMG were contracted to provide advice to the Department on the development of the Olympic budget until July 2006. Following this, KPMG were contracted by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to provide the ODA with ongoing advice on their cost estimates. KPMG have continued in this role.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2007, Official Report, column 363W, on the Olympic Games: Greater London, what documents KPMG provided to her Department when they stopped providing it with advice on the cost of the Olympics in July 2006. [154089]

Tessa Jowell: Other than an invoice for their work up until July 2006, our records show that KPMG did not provide the Department with any further documents.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1292W, on the Olympic Games: Greater London, how the cost review continued its work after 25 April; [154100]

(2) on what areas of the Olympics budget the cost review continued to work after 25 April. [154101]

Tessa Jowell: After 25 April 2006, the cost review continued its work by analysing and validating the cost estimates and risks underpinning all aspects of the cost package that was subsequently announced to the House on 15 March 2007. This included: Olympic Park and venues; Olympic infrastructure and regeneration; and security.


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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1292W, on the Olympic Games: Greater London, which (a) ministerial and (b) official groups have taken forward the work of the Cost Review Group since 25 April. [154102]

Tessa Jowell: I, and departmental officials, held a number of bilateral meetings with key stakeholders to take forward the cost review work from 25 April 2006 until my statement of 15 March 2007, Official Report, column 450. No specific ministerial group or official groups were required.

Following my announcement of 15 March 2007, Ministers have established a Funders Group, supported by officials, to continually assess the Olympic budget and agree any further calls on the contingency provision.

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) what her policy is on the use of the Red Arrows RAF flying team during the 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement; [155620]

(2) if she will make a statement on the involvement of the Red Arrows in the Olympic ceremonies in 2012. [156006]

Tessa Jowell: Newspaper claims that the Government have banned or advised against the Red Arrows’ involvement in the opening ceremony or any other celebrations associated with the 2012 Games are completely untrue and unfounded.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is responsible for deciding what to include in the opening ceremony and other celebrations, and no decisions have yet been taken about the content. The Red Arrows have already played a memorable role in the celebrations, when they flew over Trafalgar Square to mark London winning the Games.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will estimate (a) the number and (b) average value of payments made by the Rural Payments Agency in respect of the Common Agricultural Policy in excess of (i) £150,000, (ii) £200,000, (iii) £250,000 and (iv) 300,000; and if he will make a statement. [154770]

Jonathan Shaw: A breakdown of individual CAP payments exceeding £150,000 made to customers over the 2006-07 exchequer year is reflected in the table.

The table includes payments made for expenditure both fully and partly funded by the EC.

This table is based on analysis of all individual payments to customers exceeding £150,000 over the period 1 April 2006 through to 31 March 2007.


10 Oct 2007 : Column 654W
Value of payment Number of payments Average value of payments (£)

Over £150,000

1,647

252,826.81

Over £200,000

801

338,504.48

Over £250,000

457

425,872.31

Over £300,000

295

508,639.72


John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much has been paid in agricultural subsidies in Bassetlaw constituency in each year since 2005; [155600]

(2) how many farmers have been paid agricultural subsidies in Bassetlaw constituency in each of the last 10 years. [155601]

Jonathan Shaw: The information requested is not currently available, but I have asked officials to collate the data. I will write to the hon. Member with the information in due course and copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Animals: Disease Control

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will assess whether there is any continuing risk to the farming industry from a failure of bio-security at the (a) Compton and (b) Pirbright sites of the Institute for Animal Health. [155777]

Jonathan Shaw: All the recommendations in the reports by the Health and Safety Executive and Professor Spratt applying to the Government, the Institute of Animal Health and Merial have been accepted and already have been, or are being, implemented. In addition, as set out in the Government Statement of 7 September 2007 in response to these investigations, we have taken action that goes beyond these recommendations. These measures ensure the highest level of bio-security at Pirbright and at other laboratories working with specified animal pathogens.

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which viruses dangerous to animal or human health have been subject to experimentation at the (a) Pirbright and (b) Compton sites of the Institute for Animal Health. [155786]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA, as licensor and regulator under the Specified Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) 1998 have issued the Institute for Animal Health with licences for both the Pirbright and Compton sites to hold category 3 and 4 viruses under that Order. Among the viruses covered by the Order are: bluetongue, African horse sickness, foot and mouth disease, African swine fever, avian influenza, avian oncogenic viruses, coronaviruses and morbiliviruses. It is not possible, for reasons of commercial confidentiality, to give details of specific viruses that have been subject to experimentation.


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Birds: Malta

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his Maltese counterpart on reducing the shooting of turtle doves and quails during spring 2008 in that country. [156490]

Joan Ruddock: No such discussions have taken place.

Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds (the “Birds Directive”) lays down rules for the protection, management and control of all wild birds. Member states are required to introduce legislation in line with the birds directive’s requirements and ensure it is applied effectively.

The hunting of turtle dove and quail in Malta is permitted under the birds directive. However, during periods of reproduction or during their return to rearing grounds, hunting may only be permitted under derogation and if the strict conditions under Article 9 of the birds directive are met. This is a matter for the Maltese authorities to determine.


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