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The Environment Agency continues to drive its efficiency programme to develop better ways of working to reduce costs and deliver more for the environment. Environment Agency efficiency targets over the spending review period are £25 million per annum, of which some £15 million will be flood risk management.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to allocate funding in accordance with the Pitt Recommendations following the summer floods 2007. 
Mr. Woolas: It has not yet been determined how the money to fund work arising from the Pitt review will be allocated. A decision is not expected until after the final report has been produced and the recommendations within it considered and prioritised. In the meantime we are pursuing the urgent recommendations from the interim report in December.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will assess the likely effect of the reduction of the annual funding for the Warm Front grant on the delivery of services to settlements of fewer than 10,000 people classified as (a) hard to reach and (b) hard to treat, with particular reference to the (i) waiting times for installation and (ii) the average amount customers will have to pay as a top-up. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to review the regulations over the timing of litter picking set out in the Environment Protection Act 1990; and if he will make a statement. 
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made a comparative assessment of the potential value of the recreational sea fishery for bass and the value of commercial landings of bass. 
Jonathan Shaw: No. The potential value of recreational fishing for bass and the value of commercial landings of bass measure different things and therefore are not directly comparable. The potential value of recreational fishing for bass would include expenditure by anglers on items such as travel and accommodation, whereas the value of commercial landings of bass covers only the value of fish landed and does not take account of the economic contribution of related activity such as processing. However, in developing any management measures for stocks of interest to anglers, I would want to assess where possible the potential value of the measure to both recreational anglers and commercial fishermen.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 280W, on whales: nature conservation, when he will hold the meeting of like-minded anti-whaling countries; whether there will be any Ministers present; and if he will make a statement; 
Jonathan Shaw: The UK commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) hosted a meeting of like-minded anti-whaling countries immediately prior to the inter-sessional meeting of the IWC on 5 March 2008 in Heathrow, London. There were no Ministers present. However, I do plan to attend the annual IWC meeting in Chile in June this year.
I have not yet written to any countries on the issue of membership. However, as stated in previous responses to questions from the hon. Member, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Hilary Benn) has recently written to 18 countries, encouraging them to join the IWC for the greater protection of whales.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his objective is for the inter-sessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission to be held on 6 to 8 March 2008; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) agenda and (b) minutes of the inter-sessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission, of 6 to 8 March 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The UKs policy on whaling did not change either in the build up to, or during the course of, the inter-sessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The UK continues to support the IWC Moratorium on commercial whaling and opposes all forms of whaling, other than limited whaling operations by indigenous people for subsistence purposes, to meet a defined and substantiated need.
Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to his written statement of 19 February 2008, Official Report, columns 34-37WS, on the departmental expenditure limit 2007-08, what the reasons are for the drawdown on the reserve for matched funding in the spring supplementary estimate exceeding that forecast in the winter supplementary estimate by £74,729,000. 
Phil Hope: The Community Development Foundation (CDF) was appointed as the lead national partner administering the Grassroots Grants programme under the terms of a framework agreement between CDF and Cabinet Office.
A fair and open competitive procurement exercise in 2005, compliant with EU rules and UK Government policy and procedures, identified CDF as one of four partners to the framework agreement. These organisations can then be selected through a call-off arrangement to administer strategic and other grant programmes. The tender panel concluded that CDF should be first choice for projects that have a community interest.
In 2007 the Office of the Third Sector issued a formal Request to Participate to CDF under the framework agreement, and CDF submitted a detailed proposal that fully demonstrated their suitability as lead national partner for Grassroots Grants.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average unit tour interval was for each (a) aircraft and (b) helicopter crew type in the Royal Air Force in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table provides the latest average tour intervals between deployments for the crews of the aircraft and helicopter types specified. It should be noted that there may be variances for individual crew members.
|Average crew tour interval|
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have (a) not received their salaries in full and (b) not received any salary payment in each of the last 12 months; what the total sums (i) underpaid and (ii) not paid were; and how much is outstanding. 
|(1) The majority of the underpayments were caused by University Officer Training Corps input of bounties and training nights. Other factors were mess subscriptions and disturbance allowance. There were a further 3,340 minor errors due to the migration of some Army data elements. These were mainly resolved in June, although the level of detail to distinguish between overpayment and underpayment is not held.|
(2) Comprised 35,553 incorrect deductions of £3.00 in respect of contributions to the discontinued Royal Navy and Royal Marines Dependants Fund, and 10,752 underpayments of Home to Duty Travel claims for Reservists averaging £20-£30. The former was re-credited to pay accounts in October, and the latter underpayments paid in September.
(3) A further 4,249 errors occurred when an incorrect rank on JPA generated an erroneous payment. The level of detail to distinguish between overpayment and underpayment is not held. Corrective action was taken in time for the October 2007 pay run.
The total sums underpaid, not paid and still outstanding are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, local cash payments are always available to individuals and in the vast majority of cases once a central pay error is identified, it is corrected within one or, at most, two months.
In accordance with the former Armed Forces Personnel and Administration Agencys performance against key target 1 (timeliness of pay), as set out in its
annual corporate plan and annual report and accounts, 773 monthly salary payments, out of a total of more than three million, were paid late in financial year 2006-07, the last full financial year available. The definition of a late payment is when no money is paid into an individuals account on the designated day for that month. In all cases where late payments will result in hardship, the unit to which an individual is assigned is authorised to make cash payments in lieu.
Delays or errors in individual payments can also occur as the result of late or incorrect inputs by unit human resources staff, and failures to follow the correct processes within the payroll area. This information is held centrally.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many equipment failure reports (a) were filed in each year since 2003 and (b) have been filed in the last 12 months for each armoured vehicle type . 
|Vehicle Type||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008 so far||Last 12 Months|
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