Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's proposals to provide insurance cover for third party casualties in the event of an aircraft crash resulting from a terrorist attack; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is currently working to revise the 1952 Rome Convention on third party liability. The next step is for the ICAO legal committee to consider the latest draft of a convention on unlawful interference. The UK expects to participate in these discussions when they take place next year, but any conclusions remain some way off.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response she has made to the joint planning statement for Daedalus airfield by Fareham and Gosport borough councils with particular regards to their requirement that future development should seek to maximise the benefit of the existing runways for general and private aviation use; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contracts her Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants in her Department and its predecessors (a) transferred to other Government departments and (b) left the Civil Service in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government is taking to encourage co-ordination of rail booking systems throughout Europe; and if she will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: The Government welcomes the initiative announced in July by Eurostar, as part of Railteam, to give travellers seamless high-speed train travel across international borders. From 2009 their new distribution system will allow international travellers to purchase, make a reservation and receive tickets for Railteam members services from any distributor of European rail tickets in one transaction.
The Government have been participating in European initiatives such as the recently adopted Regulation on Rail Passenger Rights, and is monitoring the early development of European technical standards on through ticketing and passenger information systems for travel between European railway destinations.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons are for the delay in the decision and announcement of the A1 motorway upgrade for Disforth to Barton; what her estimate is of the likely start date of the upgrade; and when she expects the inspectors report on the proposed upgrade to be published. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The inspectors report on the A1 Dishforth to Barton scheme is currently being considered. We expect to announce our decision in early 2008 together with publication of the inspectors report. Subject to the scheme orders being confirmed, it is currently anticipated that works would start on site in late summer 2008.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Walking and cycling policies do not fall into neat boxes which enable us to identify exactly how many people deal with each area. The Departments walking and cycling team currently consists of six people. Another team, the sustainable travel team, promotes all forms of sustainable travel which clearly has a strong emphasis on walking and cycling. This includes the Department for Transport (DFT) half of the DFT/Department for Children, Schools and Families School Travel Project: 14,000
schools have school travel plans and for Walking to school grants in which 3,200 primary schools are receiving grants for increasing walking through walking buses and other walking initiatives. In addition, colleagues in other teams including traffic management, road safety and communications for example also work on policies to encourage and promote walking and cycling. We also created an independent body, Cycling England, in 2005 which has a budget of £10 million per annum to promote cycling.
Joan Ruddock: Birds of prey enjoy high levels of protection from killing and taking. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to kill, take or possess wild birds, including all birds of prey and their eggs. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Most species of birds of prey are listed on Schedule 1.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he expects to publish the Governments full response to the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recent report on British Waterways before the Christmas recess. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what departmental assets are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: For reasons of commercial sensitivity it is not possible to itemise the net book value and expected sale revenue of each asset currently planned for disposal. However the Department is taking professional advice to ensure value for money and to maximise the return on these disposals.
The Department currently anticipates total receipts from the sale of assets of approximately £9 million in 2007-08; £36 million in 2008-09; £10 million in 2009-10 and £5 million in 2010-11. The disposals planned for the latter three years will form part of the Department's asset management strategy to be published in December this year.
It should also be noted that the figures apply to the wider DEFRA network, not just to the core Department. The assets in question are surplus or under-utilised land and property. The largest anticipated sale is that of DEFRA-owned land and buildings at Guildford, and we expect this to account for approximately one third of the income from asset disposals over the period 2007-08 to 2010-11.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts his Department signed on a consultancy basis with a net value of more than £20,000 in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts his Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. 
The Department does not hold information centrally on the average hourly rate paid to consultants hired by the Department in each of the last five years. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
There are two companies supplying the core Department with fish. Baxter Storey who already promote the use of MSC fish on DEFRA sites
and Aramark. The Baxter Storey contract is due to finish in January 2010 and the Aramark contract in June 2009 unless extensions are granted. Both organisations are committed to the use of sustainable fish supplies.
Aramark for the month of November, will be running a Sustainable Fish promotional campaign on DEFRA sites. On a particular day, not Friday, they will offer their customers the opportunity to sample sustainable white fish alternatives to Cod and Haddock, products such as MSC Hake, Coley, Pollock, Pangasius and Hoki. They will ask customers for feedback on the products and once the feedback has been collated they hope to be in a position to remove Cod and Haddock completely. They have already run this campaign at other customer sites, where customers voted overwhelmingly to remove Cod and Haddock completely from the menu, having enjoyed the alternatives.
Jonathan Shaw: Guidance has been made available to all government procurers on the inclusion of a clause, for catering contracts, that addresses the issue of sourcing sustainable seafood. Advice on how to do this is given in the model specification clauses included in DEFRAs Catering Services and Food Procurement Toolkitsee section 2(A) and appendix E. URL:
Jonathan Shaw: Information supplied by the catering service providers to the core Department shows that approximately 2.5 kilos per week of cod is used. There is only one supplier currently serving cod on one site. The company, Aramark, are proposing to substitute it with alternatives such as MSC Hake, Coley, Pollock, Pangasius and Hoki if a campaign to promote these species of fish from sustainable sources is well received by customers. Trials elsewhere have proved successful.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the (a) financial value of direct mail to Royal Mail and (b) potential impact on Royal Mails revenues of the introduction of an enforced opt-in system for direct mail; 
(2) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the potential impact on the income of the charitable sector of the introduction of an opt-in system for direct mail. 
Joan Ruddock [holding answer 14 November 2007]: The Waste Strategy for England 2007 commits the Government to exploring with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) whether an opt-in system would be an appropriate mechanism to further reduce unnecessary direct mail. My officials have recently begun discussions on this with the DMA but it is too early for any conclusions to have been reached. My officials also plan to hold discussions with the Royal Mail and with other interested parties on this issue.
If discussions with the DMA and others suggest that an opt-in system for direct mail would be a practicable and effective way of reducing unwanted direct mail, the Government would put forward draft proposals and hold a full and open consultation on them with all interested parties, including of course the Royal Mail and the charitable sector. Before introducing any new system, and as part of these consultations, an impact assessment would be prepared setting out the anticipated costs and benefits for those affected.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to ban the sale of electric shock training devices for dogs; and if he will make a statement. 
DEFRA has recognised that further research into these types of collars is a priority and a study, based on observation of collars already in use, has been commissioned. This is due to be completed in 2010.
DEFRA has also asked the Companion Animal Welfare Council, a key advisory body for government on companion animal welfare matters, to undertake an independent study of the available evidence on the use of these electronic training aids. This will help to inform policy development and complement the DEFRA-funded study.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 provides powers to prohibit or ban the use of any equipment in England and Wales in relation to animals. This can be done through secondary legislation, if considered necessary.
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