Previous Section Index Home Page

9 Jan 2008 : Column 516W—continued

Christmas

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is his Department’s policy to use (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises. [173504]

Derek Twigg: No specific requirements have been set for this type of lighting.

Contracts

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of all price indices used by his Department in variation of price clauses in fixed price contracts. [176291]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I will arrange for copies of the most recent Monthly Price Indices booklet and Quarterly Foreign Price Indices booklet to be placed in the Library of the House.

Together, these publications contain all of the price indices commonly used in MOD fixed price contracts.

Departmental Finance

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s (a) US dollar and (b) euro general accounting rate was in each financial year since 1997-98. [176292]

Derek Twigg: For the financial years 1997-98 to 2000-01, the GAR was based solely on the weighted average of the forward contract purchases:

Accounting rate Accounting rate

1997-98

Dm2.1958/£

$1.5205/£

1998-99

Dm2.7353/£

$1.6137/£

1999-2000

Dm2.7546/£

$1.6269/£

2000-01 (to December 2000)

Dm3.0065/£

(1)$1.6086/£

2000-01 (from January 2001)

€1.5372/£

(1)


From the financial year 2001-02 onwards, the GAR has been based on the weighted average of all forward and spot purchases, adjusted monthly if necessary. The ranges of rates used for each year are shown in the following table:


9 Jan 2008 : Column 517W
Range of rates Range of rates

2001-02

€1.6176-€1.6250/£

$1.4350-$1.4568/£

2002-03

€1.5790-€1.6114/£

$1.3885-$1.4785/£

2003-04

€1.4910-€1.5650/£

$1.5142-$1.7500/£

2004-05

€1.4250-€1.4350/£

$1.5700-$1.7000/£

2005-06

€1.4300-€1.4500/£

$1.7300-$1.7800/£

2006-07

€1.4000-€1.4100/£

$1.8200-$1.8900/£


Departmental Pay

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies spent on end-of-year bonus payments in each of the last five years. [171547]

Derek Twigg: The number and value of annual appraisal related bonuses paid to members of the senior civil service (SCS), to fixed term appointees and to civil servants below the level of the SCS covered by the MOD main pay deal (excluding trading funds), over the past five years, are listed in the tables one to three as follows.

Table 1: bonuses paid to senior civil servants
Number of bonuses paid Value of bonuses paid (£)

2007-08

186

1,325,700

2006-07

181

1,178,500

2005-06

184

918,000

2004-05

136

711,737

2003-04

140

701,221


Table 2: bonuses paid to fixed term appointees
Number of bonuses paid Value of bonuses paid (£)

2007-08

(1)13

286,699

2006-07

10

73,191

2005-06

10

65,586

2004-05

14

112,329

2003-04

13

86,531

(1) There are four outstanding bonus payments still to be agreed.

Table 3: end of year bonuses paid to staff below the level of the SCS
Number of bonuses paid Value of bonuses paid (£)

2007-08

52,193

39,695,110

2006-07

46,463

36,197,006

2005-06

38,766

37,962,800

2004-05

36,043

29,312,275

2003-04

27,497

20,203,875


Departmental Visits Abroad

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on overnight accommodation for Ministers overseas in the last year. [171339]

Derek Twigg: Details of the cost of overseas travel, including the cost of travel and accommodation are contained in the Overseas Travel by Cabinet Ministers list. The latest list for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 was published on 25 July 2007. Details for the 2007-08 financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. All travel is made in accordance with the Ministerial Code.


9 Jan 2008 : Column 518W

RAF Machrihanish

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which bodies his Department has consulted on the future of RAF Machrihanish; and if he will make a statement on the future of the base. [176996]

Derek Twigg: No final decision has been made on the future of the former RAF Machrihanish. However, Defence Estates has consulted the Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Airways Ltd. and has responded to approaches from a number of potential developers on a without prejudice basis.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many improvement notices have been issued under section 10 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, broken down by the issuing authority; and if he will make a statement. [176147]

Jonathan Shaw: Figures on improvement notices issued under section 10 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 are not held centrally.

Fireworks: Environment Protection

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department and its agencies have given to local authorities on the environmental effects of municipal (a) bonfires and (b) firework displays. [176546]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA has not published guidance specifically for local authorities on the environmental effects of bonfires and firework displays. However, the Department does publish advice to the public when air pollution is expected to be high, most recently prior to the weekend before 5 November 2007. This advice was published on 2 November in the form of a press release which advised that, while air pollution has fallen significantly in recent years, certain occasions such as bonfire night can see higher than average levels. Those with heart and lung disease, as well as those with asthma, were advised to spend less time outdoors and to use their medication where necessary. Those without such illnesses should not have been affected by the high pollution.

Fisheries: Enforcement

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2007, Official Report, column 1272W, on Fisheries: Enforcement, for what reasons the number of hours of aerial surveillance tasked have been reduced since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [176127]

Jonathan Shaw: The number of flying hours were reduced because of the introduction of satellite monitoring to all fishing vessels over 15 metres. The constant provision of data showing the activity of the majority of the UK fleet by the satellite monitoring system reduced the need for aerial surveillance.


9 Jan 2008 : Column 519W

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will break down by subheading his Department's planned budget for fisheries enforcement in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. [176141]

Jonathan Shaw: The budget for fisheries enforcement for the next five years has not yet been set. The budget for the period covered by the comprehensive spending review is currently being considered as part of the Department's business planning process.

Fisheries: Protection

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 409W, on Fisheries: Protection, whether replacement vessels were provided between 15 and 19 June 2007 when the three River Class offshore patrol vessels were recalled due to a Davit fault; whether his Department or the Marine and Fisheries Agency incurred any extra costs; and if he will make a statement. [176134]

Jonathan Shaw: No replacement vessels were provided between 15-19 June 2007 when the three River Class offshore patrol vessels were recalled due to a Davit fault. No extra costs were incurred.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 409W, on Fisheries: Protection, if he will provide the Marine and Fisheries Agency with the resources required to implement the European rules on electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities; and if he will make a statement. [176135]

Jonathan Shaw: Funding and resources to the Marine and Fisheries Agency to deliver electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities are being considered as part of the Department's business planning process.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 409W, on Fisheries: Protection, whether the Marine and Fisheries Agency or his Department will incur extra costs if vessels are required in the event that one or more River Class offshore patrol vessels are experiencing extended time off task; and if he will make a statement. [176136]


9 Jan 2008 : Column 520W

Jonathan Shaw: No extra costs will be incurred.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the new contract with the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron, beginning on 1 April 2008, will cost in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. [176140]

Jonathan Shaw: From 1 April 2008 the Ministry of Defence will charge for the service at a platform daily rate of £8,425. The platform daily rate will be assessed annually to take account of factors such as inflation and increases or reductions in costs. The Marine and Fisheries Agency and the Fisheries Protection Squadron will continue to review the platform days in the light of operational needs. The cost to the Agency in future years will therefore depend on the work to be done by the Squadron and the annual review of the daily rate.

Fishing Catches

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the commercial value of all fish stocks discarded by UK-registered vessels in (a) UK waters and (b) non-UK waters in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by fish stock; and if he will make a statement. [176145]

Jonathan Shaw: There are no current estimates of the value of discarded fish by UK vessels nor of the value of discards in UK waters.

However, to give some perspective on the issue of UK discards, recent Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) research undertaken among the UK fleets working in Area VII (the western English channel, Western Approaches, Bristol channel and Irish sea) estimated that the annual value of the landings from these fleets is about £70 million. The research suggests that of an estimated 72 million tonnes of fish caught some 35 per cent. was discarded.

This cannot however be prorated to an equivalent monetary value. Fish are discarded due to lack of suitable markets, because they are below minimum legal sizes or because they are marketable but over-quota. The following tables show the main species discarded in Area VII by species by the two main fishing gears used (beam trawl and otter trawl); many of the discards are of fish with low or no value.

The discard rates will in turn vary with area and by year in line with changes in the annual management measures which apply.


9 Jan 2008 : Column 521W

9 Jan 2008 : Column 522W
10 most discarded species and significant commercial species by English and Welsh registered beam trawlers
Numbers (x10( 6) )
Rank Common name Latin name Annual mean Range Percentage discarded

1

Gurnards

Trigla spp.

9.9

6.4—14.9

82 (4.6)

2

Common Cuttlefish

Sepia officinalis

7.9

1.4—13.4

58 (0.5)

3

European plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

7.2

0.6—23.4

43 (11.4)

4

Dab

Limanda kimanda

6.8

2.7—15.2

97 (1.1)

5

Lesser-spotted dogfish

Scyliorhinus canicula

6.4

5.0—8.5

99 (0.6)

6

Poor cod

Trisopterus minutus

5.2

3.8—6.8

100 (0.0)

7

Dragonets

Callionymidae

4.9

3.2—6.1

100 (0.1)

8

Whiting-pout (Bib)

Trisopterus luscus

4.7

3.4—6.3

75 (5.2)

9

Whiting

Merlangius merlangus

2.2

0.6—3.4

83 (2.7)

10

Megrim

Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis

1.5

0.4—2.4

30 (3.0)


Next Section Index Home Page