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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many civil servants in his Department (a) transferred to other Government Departments and (b) left the Civil Service in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the full-time equivalent headcount in his Department is; what the forecast full-time equivalent headcount for his Department is for (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps his Department plans to take to control the outbreaks of Diabrotica virgifera to the west of London, following the public consultation; 
(3) whether his Department (a) has used and (b) plans to use DNA profiling techniques to help to identify the origin of the outbreak of Diabrotica virgifera to the west of London; and if he will make a statement. 
Investigations into the origins of the populations of WCR found in the south-east of England are very difficult because the means by which it was introduced are unclear. There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that WCR is spread by aircraft since outbreaks have been closely associated with airports throughout
Europe. However, to date, no studies have been carried out on the presence of potentially invasive insects on aircraft.
A study is being carried out to assess the feasibility of using DMA genetic markers to identify entry pathways of invasive pests such as WCR. The results are due to be published soon. However, they indicate that the cases in the UK have been introduced from at least two sources, linked to populations in the USA and eastern Europe. Other published studies have also suggested at least three independent introductions of this pest into Europe from North America during the past two decades.
Crop rotation is the most effective means of controlling WCR and enforced rotation of maize crops is required under statutory notice in infected areas of the UK, in line with the EU legislation. A range of alternative management options for the control or eradication of WCR have been used in areas where the pest occurs, including foliar insecticide treatments for use against adult beetles. Unfortunately, there are no effective methods of spraying such insecticides in the UK, since aerial application is not possible around airports and high clearance sprayers are not generally available. Insecticide seed treatments may exert a limited degree of control against larvae in the soil but will not eradicate the pest. Since the pathway for entry of WCR remains unidentified and hence uncontrolled, the possibility of further introductions remains high. Public consultation has been completed to determine future policy regarding this pest, taking account of EU legislation and recent survey results, and the outcome will be published shortly.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whose responsibility it is to repair the faulty drains at the Pirbright Research Laboratory in Surrey; and when he expects this work to be carried out. 
Jonathan Shaw: Those responsible for repairing the drains are the Institute of Animal Health (IAH), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (which owns the land and buildings on the Pirbright site) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills as the IAHs and BBSRCs sponsoring Department.
Remedial action was taken immediately after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported on a survey of the drainage system on 17 August, and was followed by further work, which was completed and independently validated and tested by 4 November 2007. Details of the work to repair the system, and an Improvement Plan to implement recommendations made by HSE and Professor Spratt in their respective reports on the disease outbreak, were published in the Governments Response to the reports on 7 September and is available on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has investigated whether there was any deliberate release of foot and mouth from the Pirbright Centre. 
Jonathan Shaw: Investigations into the cause of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak have considered a number of possible scenarios, including the possibility of deliberate release of the pathogen. Professor Spratt recognised in his report, published on 7 September 2007, that identifying the source of an outbreak of this kind with any certainty is always likely to be inconclusive, unless some gross and obvious breakdown in a safety critical feature has occurred. He concluded that there were no indications of deliberate release, and that the most likely cause of the outbreak was release of infectious FMD virus from the effluent pipes.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has commissioned on the reasons why householders install (a) energy efficiency methods and (b) micro-renewable technologies. 
Mr. Woolas: We have an ongoing programme of research to develop our evidence and understanding of what motivates individuals to take action to reduce their environmental impacts. This work helps underpin the measures and policies at the heart of our climate change programme.
(i) regular annual surveys on public attitudes towards the environment, with the results of the 2007 survey published on 15 August;
(ii) Public Understanding of Sustainable Energy Use in the Home, which will be published on 19 November;
(iii) a project to develop the new DEFRA segmentation model, which seeks to understand what motivates the actions of different individuals; what information is helpful and how is it understood; and the extent to which people take personal responsibility for their climate change impacts.
In general terms, our research has shown that key motivators for householders investing in energy efficiency and microgeneration measures are the feel good factor; being seen to be doing the right thing; and personal financial benefit.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the proposed Hunts Grove settlement, near Gloucester, is (a) in the flood plain and (b) likely to have an impact on the adjacent flood plains. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency has confirmed that the Hunts Grove development site near Gloucester does not lie in a floodplain location shown on their Flood Map. The Agency has been involved in the planning consultation process for the development since 2005, and in March 2007, advised the local planning authority, Stroud district council, that the development was deemed to be acceptable.
The development is not considered at risk of flooding from the nearby Shorn Brook. Surface water drainage is to be managed using sustainable drainage techniques to restrict discharge of surface water to existing levels present on site. This includes measures to account for the potential effects of climate change,
which is in accordance with current flood risk planning policy (PPS25) to prevent any increase in flooding and flood risk elsewhere from pluvial sources.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has had discussions with local authorities in Gloucestershire on whether the flooding in summer 2007 is likely to cause a re-assessment of where to place new residential developments. 
The Environment Agency are using data from the summer floods in their assessments and will continue to work with local planning authorities to prevent inappropriate development taking place in areas at risk from flooding.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on construction industry contracts for flood defences for (a) Yorkshire and the Humber and (b) England and Wales in each of the last five years. 
Expenditure for the Agency's north east region is based on a review of project types in year-end financial reports for the Yorkshire Regional Flood Defence Committee area. England and Wales data reflects expenditure through National Engineering and Environmental Consultancy Agreement (consultant) and National Framework Contractor frameworks. Flood management is a devolved function and my Department has policy responsibility only for funding in England.
|NE region contract expenditure||Total (£000)|
|England and Wales||Total (£000)|
England and Wales
2002-03from national capital programme management service spend records.
2003-04from end of year procurement statistics. Total framework supplier spend used as spend data is not split out by framework contract.
2004-07from end of year procurement statistics. Data specific to National Engineering and Environmental Consultancy Agreement and National Framework Contractor frameworks.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider having a direct contact point for the construction industry in the Environment Agency on flood defences and other infrastructures that affect coastal, river and pluvial flooding. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency maintains a large number of contacts with the construction industry, utilities and other operators at a host of levels (both nationally and regionally) on a broad range of operational, policy and process topics. These contacts include relationships with professional bodies such as the Institution of Civil Engineers, CIWEM and trade associations such as the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Association of Consulting Engineers.
Major flood risk management schemes delivered by the Environment Agency are primarily promoted through its long-term framework contracts. These partnerships have established communications protocols that allow the supply chain direct access to senior procurement and capital programme management staff.
In short, because the nature of these contacts is particularly diverse, the Environment Agency does not feel that it is practical or beneficial to nominate a single contact for the construction industry.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to give (a) electricity sub-stations and (b) water treatment infrastructure greater protection from flooding. 
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has requested that electricity network operators should review the resilience of electricity substations to flooding. This work is underway under the leadership of the Energy Networks Association. The outcome will be reported to the Energy Minister via the Energy Emergency Executive, a joint BERR, Ofgem and Industry forum. The water industry has appointed Sir John Baker to chair an industry wide review on how to reduce the impacts of future flooding on water customers, including the vulnerability of water infrastructure to climate change.
Both reviews will help inform Sir Michael Pitt's independent review of the summer's flooding which, among other things, is looking at the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, including its ability to withstand flooding and what improvements might be made.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the flooding in summer 2007 was due to (a) river flooding and (b) surface water flooding. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency estimates that, of the domestic and commercial properties affected by flooding during summer 2007, one third were flooded from rivers and two thirds from other sources, predominantly surface water.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the effect of increased rat infestations in North Yorkshire following the floods this summer. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the vulnerability of Thurrock to flooding from surge tide in the Thames following the high tides on 8 and 9 November; and if he will make a statement. 
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