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Ms Rosie Winterton: The average annual distance travelled per person living in England in 2006, based on data from the national travel survey, was 6,677 miles in urban areas and 9,971 miles in rural areas.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate the Government have made of the costs likely to be incurred by farmers for arranging slurry storage for six months under the proposed nitrate vulnerable zones directive; 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 7 January 2008]: The partial regulatory impact assessment and paper G4Assistance on the partial RIA including extended Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, published in support of the consultation on implementation of the nitrates directive in England, provide details of my Department's assessment of the likely cost to farmers of the proposed nitrates action programme measures. Both these papers are available to view on DEFRA's website.
These assessments estimate the likely cost to farmers of meeting the proposed manure storage requirements as in the range £19 million to £24 million per year. This is assuming that the action programme is applied within proposed nitrate vulnerable zones covering 70 per cent. of England. Costs will be higher if the decision is taken to apply the action programme to the whole of England (annualised over 20 years).
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department provided local authorities in relation to stray animals in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Funding for stray dogs is one of the services supported through formula grant. Formula grant, which comprises revenue support grant, redistributed business rates and principal formula police grant, where appropriate, is an unhypothecated block grant; that is, councils are free to spend the money on any service. For this reason, and due to the method of calculation, particularly floor damping, it is not possible to say how much grant has been provided for any particular service.
From 6 April 2008, local authorities will have sole responsibility for stray dogs functions under sections 149 and 150 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. An additional £4 million per year will be funded through the revenue support grant for local authorities in England and Wales.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of stray animals in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2007, Official Report, columns 991-2W, on biodiversity, what the form of the socioeconomic studies is; who is undertaking them; what contribution the UK is making to them; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: There is no set form for the provision of views and case studies on the socio-economic considerations. The UK has no plans to provide a contribution and has not yet seen any contributions provided by any other parties.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how his Department plans to encourage domestic carbon offsetting and the reduction of emissions in 2008. 
Through the Act on CO2 campaign DEFRA is promoting awareness of climate change and encouraging individuals and households to take action to reduce their CO2 emissions. DEFRA continues to promote the use of the Act on CO2 carbon calculator to help raise awareness of an individuals or households carbon footprint.
Offsetting should be set in a hierarchy of actions. The most effective way to tackle climate change is to avoid and reduce emissions. When it is not possible to avoid or reduce emissions, consumers should consider offsetting. When carried out in this context, we support the use of offsets generated by robust and verifiable mechanisms bound by international regulation.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he has taken to meet the target of ensuring the Central Government Office Estate is carbon neutral by 2012; 
Mr. Woolas: Reducing carbon emissions is the most important element of delivering carbon neutrality. Departments are currently working towards meeting the sustainable operations targets for the Government estate, which include a requirement to reduce carbon emissions from office energy use by 12.5 per cent. by 2010-11, relative to 1999-2000 levels and by 30 per cent. by 2020. Options for the offsetting scheme that will be required to meet the 2012 carbon neutrality target will be considered during 2008.
Between 2005 and 2007, the Carbon Trust has used some of the funding it receives from DEFRA to help numerous Government Departments reduce their carbon emissions, and financial support is available through Salix Finance, a revolving loan scheme that can be used to invest in cost-effective energy efficiency projects in the public sector.
DEFRA is working towards minimising carbon emissions and energy consumption in its buildings through retrofitting energy efficiency technologies and behavioural change initiatives. DEFRAs new Alnwick office has been designed to be the first carbon neutrally operated office building on the DEFRA estate and a true benchmark for the future.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what initiatives have been introduced since the Bali Climate Change Conference to help small businesses reduce their carbon emissions. 
Mr. Woolas: DEFRA is already grant funding the Carbon Trust (with around £90 million in 2007-08) to help businesses of all sizes reduce their carbon emissions. The trust provides a range of support to small businesses, which includes interest-free loans for approved energy saving projects, site surveys identifying energy-saving opportunities for companies with energy bills of more than £50,000 per annum, a free telephone helpline and a range of online tools and bespoke information for different business sectors. Over the last three years the trust has provided around £90 million of support to small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and in 2006-07 alone, SMEs comprised 40 per cent. of the trust's customer base and received two-thirds of the 5,000 on-site energy surveys conducted by, or on behalf of, the trust.
The Government are also currently developing options for implementing the Energy Services Directive which requires that all (except very small) energy suppliers must take action to supply or promote some form of energy efficiency or energy services to all sectors, including small businesses. Once implemented this will complement the range of carbon abatement services offered to this sector by the Carbon Trust.
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 1267W, on crabs: conservation, whether he plans to discuss (a) brown crab and (b) lobster conservation with the European Commission and his European counterparts in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA is in discussion with the devolved Administrations regarding brown crab and lobster conservation. Plans to discuss these issues with the European Commission and European counterparts in the next 12 months will be dependent upon the outcome of these talks with the devolved Administrations.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the effects of the change in his Departments budget following the most recent Comprehensive Spending Review on its ability to meet its target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effects of the change in his Departments budget following the most recent Comprehensive Spending Review on Natural Englands work on (a) local biodiversity partnerships, (b) national trails, (c) bridleways, (d) areas of outstanding beauty and (e) national nature reserves; 
Joan Ruddock: We are currently considering allocation of the Departments resources for 2008-09 and have started discussions with Natural England on options for its CSR budget. However, it is too early to set out what the implications will be for individual areas of work.
Securing a healthy natural environment remains a top priority and is one of my Departments two high level goals alongside tackling climate change. Natural England will be a key contributor to this work. We expect to be in a position to confirm Natural Englands financial settlement for 2008-09 by the end of February 2008 and will then be working with Natural England to finalise its next corporate plan, which will set Natural Englands priorities and the outcomes to be achieved.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the change in his Departments budget following the most recent Comprehensive Spending Review on (a) staff morale, (b) staff numbers, (c) spending programmes and (d) grants to non-governmental organisations, including (i) Butterfly Conservations, (ii) The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, (iii) the Wildlife Trusts, (iv) Plantlife and (v) the Bat Conservation Trust. 
Joan Ruddock: The changes to the Departments budget following the CSR settlement in October 2007 have not yet been finalised. New budgets for the CSR period will be announced before the beginning of the next financial year and until these are decided it is not possible to make an assessment of the various issues listed. The exception being on (b), staff numbers, where there are no pre-determined targets across the CSR period. However, staffing levels will be kept under review to ensure that DEFRA maintains a flexible and efficient work force within its administration budget, which will be reduced by 5 per cent. in real terms per annum in common with other Government Departments.
Jonathan Shaw: In February 2007, Natural England approved a review of the Discovering Lost Ways project. This is a fundamental review, which is being informed by evidence collected from a series of small-scale tests and a structured programme of engagement with stakeholders. Natural England is currently finalising its advice on the way forward for the project and will report to me shortly on the outcome of its deliberations.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information his Department has on the number of dog wardens in each local authority in England; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department does not collect statistics on the number of dog wardens that individual local authorities employ. However, each local authority is required to appoint an officer to carry out the stray dogs functions set out in section 149 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Jonathan Shaw: The Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is currently consulting on a draft Appropriate Assessment for the Moray Firth in the context of the 24th Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round. The draft Appropriate Assessment has been carried out under the terms of the Habitats Directive which was implemented into UK law by the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations 2001 (as amended). Those regulations require that before granting a petroleum licence, the Secretary of State carry out an Appropriate Assessment where he considers that any activity which might be carried on pursuant to such a licence is likely to have a significant effect on any Special Area of Conservationwhether individually or in combination with other plans or projects. Subject to certain exceptions, a licence can only be granted after having ascertained through the Appropriate Assessment that such activities will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of such a SAC.
The draft Appropriate Assessment considers the impact of potential oil and gas activities on the Moray Firth SAC, which has been designated as such because it contains one of only two resident bottlenose dolphin populations in UK waters. In carrying out his assessment, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform obtained a report from the specialist Sea Mammal Research Unit which is based at St. Andrews University in Scotland. The Secretary of States preliminary viewwhich is supported by the report from the SMRUis that oil and gas activities which would flow from the grant of a petroleum licence in the Moray Firth would not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Moray Firth SAC (or others).
The draft Appropriate Assessment was published on 21 December 2007 and the public consultation period on the draft runs until 14 March 2008. The Governments statutory environmental advisers are also being consulted.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) the total funding received from the business resource efficiency and waste programme and other Government sources, (b) the total landfill diverted in tonnes, (c) the total carbon dioxide saved in tonnes, (d) the amount of virgin materials saved in tonnes, (e) the amount of hazardous waste reduced in tonnes and (f) the amount of water saved in tonnes was by (i) the Carbon Trust, (ii) Envirowise, (iii) the National Industrial Symbiosis programme and (iv) WRAP in (A) 2005-06 and (B) 2006-07. 
DEFRA's BREW programme is returning £284 million raised from the landfill tax escalator back to businesses between 2005 and 2008. Work is being taken forward to improve businesses' resource
efficiency and to minimise waste that is unnecessarily sent to landfill. Funds are awarded to a number of regional and national BREW delivery bodies. Allocations for 2005 to 2007 are set out in the following table.
|Delivery body||Budget 2005-06||Budget 2006-07|
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