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Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the revenue raised through modulation of the single farm payment was spent on in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08. 
Jonathan Shaw: Money raised through modulation of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and other direct payments is transferred to Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy and is used to fund rural development programmes.
Modulation receipts in England from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 SPS schemes years form part of the funding of the England Rural Development Programme 2000-2006 and latterly the Rural Development Programme for England 2007-2013.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the value of the modulation element of the single farm payment in England was in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08. 
|SPS scheme year( 1)||£ million( 2)|
|(1) Scheme year refers to claims submitted in that calendar year for which the payment window runs from December to 30 June of the following calendar year. (2) All figures subject to change as payments are made or adjusted. (3) Approximately 16 per cent. of the value of 2007 SPS payments remain to be made.|
Jonathan Shaw: Detailed allocations for all of DEFRAs programmes have still to be finalised, including those for research. The expectation is that funding for commissioned research into bee health will be around the same level as in previous years. Research priorities are addressed in the draft Bee Health strategy which has been published for public consultation.
Jonathan Shaw: The National Bee Unit operates a statutory inspection programme for American foul brood, European foul brood and exotic pests which have yet to be found in the UK. It is too early to assess disease incidence this season although there are indications of some significant colony losses across the country which are under investigation.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments British Waterways made to Weber Shandwick Public Affairs in each of the last five years; and on what date and for what purpose the payment was made in each case. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in meeting the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan target of reducing emissions from the UK's residential housing stock by 31 per cent. on 1990 levels by 2020. 
Mr. Woolas: As it is less than a year since the adoption of the action plan it is too soon to assess progress towards the 9 per cent. energy-saving target but there have been significant steps forward in the household sector since the action plan was published. These include the commencement of the carbon emissions reduction target on 1 April and the launch, also on 1 April, of the Green Homes Service with funding of £26 million in 2008-09 to help over two million people in its first year to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, choose lower emissions transport, reduce waste and conserve water.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the Carbon Trust made to (a) Citigate Public Affairs, (b) Weber Shandwick Public Affairs and (c) Grayling Political Strategy in each of the last five years; and on what date and for what purpose the payment was made in each case. 
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments English Nature made to Citigate Public Affairs in each of the last five years; and on what date and for what purpose the payment was made in each case. 
Jonathan Shaw: Citigate were contracted to undertake a parliamentary monitoring service for English Nature, and subsequently Natural England (following the merger of the three founding bodies of Natural England on 1 October 2006), for daily monitoring of parliamentary information.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms he has visited since taking up his position, in each Government region; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: In addition to attending the Royal Show, the Great Yorkshire Show and the Oxford Farming Conference and having a number of meetings with both farmers and their representative bodies, the Secretary of State has visited farms in the following regions:
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will review the powers and responsibilities of internal drainage boards (IDBs) including the opportunity for areas currently not covered by an IDB to opt in to those services. 
Mr. Woolas: One of Sir Michael Pitt's interim conclusions was that flooding legislation should be updated and streamlined under a single unifying Act of Parliament that, among other outcomes, addresses all sources of flooding, clarifies responsibilities and facilitates flood risk management. DEFRA recognises the force of this argument and is considering current legislation and how it might be improved.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider the merits of introducing in England grants for farmers with similar purposes to those of the food processing and marketing grants in place in Wales. 
Grants for the purposes mentioned by my hon. Friend have already been introduced in England. The Processing and Marketing Grant scheme is an important element in the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-13. It is designed to assist in the achievement of improved competitiveness by boosting productivity, creating enhanced added value and applying innovative technology. It is aimed at Welsh farmers, growers, foresters,
food and drink manufacturers and processors. Assistance aimed at providing their English counterparts with the same benefits is provided under Axis 1 of the Rural Development Programme for England, which includes a range of measures designed to increase the competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sectors. The budget for the whole of Axis 1 is some £250 million over the Programming period 2007-13.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider the merits of introducing in England a scheme designed to promote the food production industry similar to the True Taste of Wales programme. 
Jonathan Shaw: As part of our programme to support the quality regional food sector in England, DEFRA has provided funding for a number of award schemes with similar objectives to the True Taste of Wales programme. These include:
1. The Guild of Fine Foods Retailers annual Great Taste Awards and associated promotional events, such as Taste British Gold: a two-week in- store promotion featuring gold winners from the Taste Awards
2. The AA Regional Food Awards aimed at showcasing and encouraging the use of quality regional ingredients and
3. The Daily Telegraph Taste of Britain awards which are a celebration of good quality local and regional British food.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will introduce measures under the cross-compliance rules governing the common agricultural policy to deduct payments from landowners who have permitted their land to be used for (a) illegal poisoning of birds of prey and (b) hunting with hounds. 
Jonathan Shaw: The cross compliance rules under the common agricultural policy already allow for a reduction in payments for claimants who permit their land to be used for illegal poisoning of birds of prey.
Hunting with hounds on the other hand is not covered by the statutory management requirements nor identified as one of the issues' or standards' in the good agricultural and environmental condition framework which member states are obliged to consider under the cross compliance rules.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the Meat and Livestock Commission made to Weber Shandwick Public Affairs in each of the last five years; and on what date and for what purpose the payment was made in each case. 
|Meat and Livestock Commission|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) the adequacy of the Governments funding of Natural England and (b) the effect of funding levels on Natural Englands ability to support local groups such as the Stroud Valleys Project in Stroud constituency. 
Jonathan Shaw: We announced core funding of £176 million for Natural England in 2008-09 on 21 February. The board of Natural England consider that to be a good settlement in the current financial climate. Decisions on funding for individual projects and grants are a matter for Natural England and its board.
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. I am confident that the budget allocation we have made for this year will enable Natural England to play a major part in delivering those goals.
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