Mr. Pickles: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission what assessment the Electoral Commission has made of the effect of weekend voting on turnout in areas where weekend voting pilots have taken place. 
Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission has produced evaluation reports on the piloting of weekend voting at a number of local government elections in England since 2002. In every instance weekend voting has been piloted alongside other initiatives or as a form of advance voting. It has therefore not been possible for the Commission to make an accurate assessment of the specific impact of weekend voting on turnout.
Helen Goodman: Secondary legislation arising from the implementation of EU directives is subject to the range of scrutiny processes to which all other secondary legislation is submitted, including examination by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments and by other Select Committees of each House, and to approval in Parliament under the process laid down in the relevant primary legislation. Any secondary legislation implementing EU directives is subject to an additional requirement that it should be accompanied by a Transposition Note setting out how the relevant legislation is being transposed into UK law. There are no plans for a review.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the fees for (a) non-migratory coarse and trout and (b) salmon and sea trout rod licences were in each year since 1997, broken down by category of applicant. 
|Non-migratory trout and coarse fish||Salmon and sea trout|
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the percentage increase was in the cost of a fishing licence for an (a) adult and (b) old age pensioner in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 28 April 2008]: The rod licence year starts on 1 April. Concessionary rates of rod licence duty do not apply to old age pensioners as a class, but rather to persons over the age of 65, Blue Badge holders and people in receipt of a disability living allowance.
The Environment Agency is under no legal obligation to offer rod licences to any class of persons at concessionary duty rates. Also concessionary rates are offered not because of an inability to pay, but to reflect reduced opportunities for angling available to those who are disabled or infirm.
Both the Agency and I recognise that the increase in concessionary duty rates for this year is significant. The
Agency has publicly stated that it will use a significant proportion of the monies raised by the higher duty rates to improve access to angling for the disabled and senior anglers. I welcome this and will seek evidence from the Agency that it has honoured that commitment.
|2007-08 (£)||2008-09 (£)||Percentage increase|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many civil service posts are to be transferred to the private sector as part of his Departments plans to outsource facilities management functions in the core Department and its agencies. 
Jonathan Shaw: We are unable to confirm precise numbers of civil service posts to be transferred at this time. We are still undergoing liaison with members of the DEFRA Network to establish this information.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultation with trade unions his Department has held in relation to plans to privatise the Departments facilities management functions. 
Consultation continues on a monthly basis with the SRO and senior member of the project team. An additional liaison route is extended to DTUS representation via the project HR subgroup forum which deals with local issues.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the framework approach used in his plans to privatise his Departments facilities management functions. 
Meeting all of the workplace Support Strategic drivers.
Assisting in meeting DEFRAs SOGE Targets.
Providing investment to the estate in return for a long term contract.
Thinking beyond the traditional parameters of FM.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to adopt a 15-year contract to cover the outsourcing of facilities management functions in his Department. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what savings are expected as part of his Departments outsourcing of its facilities management functions; and if he will publish the business case for the proposed outsourcing. 
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