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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the considerable budgetary problems as a result of unfunded pressures in the 2006-07 financial year referred to in the Governments response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committees Seventh Report of Session 2006-07, page 2, were; and if he will make a statement. 
As with other large organisations, DEFRA faces new financial pressures each year which
require constant review and re-adjustment to spending plans. The last financial year (2006-07) brought several such pressures that meant the Department had to reduce its original resource budgets by around £200 million. These pressures stemmed from:
RPAs running costs (about 11 per cent.), including administration of the single payment scheme for both 2005 and 2006;
Avian influenza (about 5 per cent.);
surplus capital charge budget no longer being available to fund programme expenditure due to new tighter rules governing public expenditure (around 30 per cent.);
costs deferred from 2005-06, not as a result of underspending, but arising from pressure on the budget that year (around 45 per cent.);
other miscellaneous pressures (about 9 per cent.).
Jonathan Shaw: A list that provides the names of all manufacturers of software used by DEFRA, as collected and recorded by IBM (the Departments strategic IT supplier since its IT services were outsourced in October 2004), has been placed in the Library of the House of Commons.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the percentage turnover of staff was in (a) his Department and (b) his Departments agencies in (i) the last 12-month period and (ii) the last 24-month period for which figures are available. 
Jonathan Shaw: The turnover rates for DEFRA and each of the agencies for all leavers and for voluntary resignations (including transfers to other Government Departments) only is shown in the following table:
|1 November 2006 to 31 October 2007||1 November 2005 to 31 October 2007|
|All leavers||Resignations||All leavers||Resignations|
|(1) CEFAS turnover rates cover the periods 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 and 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2007.|
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which telephone contact centres are the responsibility of his Department; what mechanisms are in place to monitor their effectiveness; and how many people have been employed in each of those centres in each year since they were established. 
Jonathan Shaw: My Department is directly responsible for the main DEFRA helpline only, which is available for general telephone and e-mail enquiries. Some of DEFRAs Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies also have operational responsibility for more specific customer contact services.
The present arrangements for running the DEFRA helpline, mean that the number of telephone advisers varies to reflect the level of customer demand. Before these arrangements were implemented, earlier this year, the DEFRA helpline routinely employed eight advisers.
The DEFRA helpline generates both daily and weekly statistics, which enable my officials to monitor its performance. Regular meetings are held to review day-to-day operational issues. My officials also have access to live call-traffic information.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information his Department collects and monitors in relation to the telephone contact centres for which his Department is responsible. 
(i) data on call volumes, including the number of calls received, answered and abandoned;
(ii) information on call types, organised by subject; and
(iii) information on the duration of calls.
Other information may be gathered for specific purposes. For example, if people use the helpline to report dead wild gulls, waders, ducks, geese or swans, or groups of dead birds in connection with avian influenza, their telephone contact details and the location of the dead bird(s) will also be collected.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much each telephone contact centre for which his Department is responsible has (a) cost and (b) generated in income in each financial year since their establishment. 
|Financial year||Total cost of running the DEFRA helpline (£)|
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will set out the Government's proposals for the application of the European Fisheries Fund in the United Kingdom for the period 2007 to 2013; and when he intends to submit such proposals to the European Commission. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Government's proposals for the application of the European Fisheries Fund in the United Kingdom for the period 2007 to 2013 will be set out in the draft UK operational programme as required by Article 17 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1198/2006.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government support Eyemouth and the Berwickshire coast being designated as a fisheries dependent area eligible for assistance from the European Fisheries Fund. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who signed the most recent licence authorising the holding or working with restricted pathogens in respect of (a) the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright and (b) the Merial site, Pirbright. 
Jonathan Shaw: The licences were signed by a DEFRA official experienced in laboratory inspections. Merials licence was restored following detailed DEFRA and Health and Safety Executive inspections that confirmed the terms of the licence (including operating procedures and installation of security measures) had been fully met, and that it was safe for vaccine production to recommence.
Following an incident announced by DEFRA on 22 November, Merials Special Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) licence was suspended. The incident was contained in the closed, re-lined drainage system, and there was no release of virus to the environment. An inspection team is producing a full report for the Acting Chief Veterinary Officer, and further action will then be considered.
Jonathan Shaw: I will again be seeking additional days at sea for vessels participating in the Irish Sea data enhancement pilot. We expect the pilot to produce results by the end of next year and will review progress in the spring.
Jonathan Shaw: The purpose of DEFRAs Marine and Fisheries Directorate is to support the Governments work to achieve its marine vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which stakeholders form the membership of the Marine Fisheries Science Group; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The DEFRA Marine Fisheries Science Advisory Group was set up in 2006 to advise DEFRA on its marine fisheries science programme. The Group is chaired by John Shepherd, Professor of Oceanography at Southampton university, and its membership is made up of individuals invited in a personal capacity, on the basis of their expertise and previous contributions to discussions of relevant issues.
Group members come from a wide range of sectors, including: DEFRA and other devolved administrations, Government laboratories such as the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and Fisheries Research Services, academic universities, Sea Fisheries Committees, fisher's organisations, fish producers organisations, individual fishers, The Sea Fish Industry Authority, The Food and Drink Federation, The Sea Anglers Conservation Network, and conservation groups such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Marine Conservation Society.
Information on the number of organic farms is given in the following table. This shows the number of organic farms in the eastern England Government office region between 2004 and
2007 (based on data collected at January of each year). Prior to 2004 data are unavailable.
|Number of organic farms in the eastern region of England|
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