Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what his most recent estimate is of the unfunded liability in present value terms of each public sector pension scheme for which his Department is responsible; and on what assumptions for (a) discount and (b) longevity the estimate is based; 
(3) what the (a) rate and (b) cost was of employer contributions for each public sector pension scheme for which his Department has responsibility in each year since 1990-91; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what the effect on his Department's expenditure would be from increasing the employee contribution to each pension scheme for which his Department is responsible by one per cent.; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: Employees of the Northern Ireland Office are employed by either the Home civil service or Northern Ireland civil service, and as such, they are members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (GB) and (NI) respectively. These schemes are the responsibility of Cabinet Office and the Department for Finance and Personnel respectively. Relevant details are included in their scheme accounts.
The Department has responsibility for broadly by analogy pension schemes for public appointments. Details of the most recent and past unfunded liabilities in present value terms will be contained within the Department's resource accounts which will be laid before Parliament by 22 July.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2008, Official Report, column 765W, on police stations: closures, when he expects the review to be published on possible police station closures in Northern Ireland. 
Work is currently being carried out identifying stations, which will be subject to review. The outcome will likely be included in the Updated PSNI Estates Strategy planned to be submitted to the Northern Ireland Policing Board in June 2008.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what percentage of (a) convicted and (b) remand prisoners in Northern Ireland were neither UK nor Irish citizens in 2007. 
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he plans to have discussions with the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Irish Republic on the possible future political implications in Northern Ireland of the charging in the Special Criminal Court in the Irish Republic on 10 May of a man in connection with possession of explosives and membership of the IRA. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) target and (b) outturn for the proportion of aggregates that are recycled or from secondary sources used in Government-funded construction projects was in each of the last three years. 
Jonathan Shaw: No targets have been set in respect of the recycling of aggregates and data are not held on the proportion of aggregates that are recycled or from secondary sources used in Government-funded construction projects.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether, in his role as Director of the International Assessment of Agricultural knowledge, Science and Technology for Development at the Intergovernmental Plenary, the Chief Scientific Adviser is required to act independently of the UK Government. 
Jonathan Shaw: The DEFRA Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Bob Watson, is also Director of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Professor Watson was appointed as IAASTD Director in an independent capacity and is not representing the UK Government in this role.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Tewkesbury of 22 January 2008, Official Report, column 1969W, on animal welfare: circuses, what progress has been made in considering the feasibility of introducing secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to regulate the welfare of wild animals in circuses through the replacement of the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925; and whether there is a timeframe within which he expects these changes to be made. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 12 May 2008]: The feasibility study, looking at the possibility of regulating wild animal acts in travelling circuses, has taken longer to complete than we originally anticipated. Details will be released as soon as the study is complete. Any future regulations relating to wild animals in circuses would not replace the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925. DEFRA has a long-term commitment to reviewing this Act, but the timing of this review has yet to be fixed.
Jonathan Shaw: Detailed allocations for all of DEFRA's programmes have still to be finalised, including those for research. Funding for DEFRA's bee health programme is expected to be unchanged in 2008-09 (£1.3 million) In addition to this, commissioned research into honey bee health is expected to be c. £190,000. In addition, honey bee health benefits from other DEFRA-funded research activities. Research priorities are addressed in the draft Bee Health strategy which has recently been published for public consultation.
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the risk to bee colonies of (a) the varroa mite and (b) other bee parasites. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 May 2008]: The Varroa mite is ubiquitous and is probably in every honey bee colony in England and Wales. Although it is no longer a statutory requirement to notify the presence of Varroa, it poses a major threat to beekeepers. However, it can be kept under control with appropriate treatments and hive management techniques. The National Bee Unit provides written material on Varroa management (available on their Beebase website) and issues advice to beekeepers both through comprehensive training sessions on effective management of Varroa and when visiting individual beekeepers.
Other damaging parasites affecting honey bees include Nosema and Tracheal mites. Limited survey work has shown that two species of NosemaN. apis
and N. ceranaeare present in the UK. They have been found in widely dispersed locations. Tracheal mite is also widespread.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on whether to use badger culling as part of a package of measures to address the incidence of bovine tuberculosis. 
Jonathan Shaw: No decision has yet been made on whether to use badger culling to contribute to the control of TB in cattle. There is a great deal of complex evidence to consider and the matter is receiving our attention.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) UK and (b) non-UK nationals were employed in his Department's establishments in each year since 2001. 
Jonathan Shaw: Although information on the nationality of candidates is collected as part of the recruitment process, the nationality of members of staff is not held electronically and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many local authorities in England employed dog wardens in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
(2) pursuant to the question of 15 November 2007, Official Report, column 339W, on ducks, whether his Department plans to make changes to the welfare regulations relating to ducks as a result of the research project on the welfare of farmed ducks. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 13 May 2008]: The results of the DEFRA-funded research project a "Study to Assess the Welfare of Ducks Housed in Systems Currently Used in the UK" are being prepared for publication and will be submitted to a scientific journal shortly. We will consider the report in detail before deciding on a way forward.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is for the implementation of Lot 1 of the Energy-using Products Directive; and when he expects a decision on this matter to be taken by the Regulatory Committee. 
Joan Ruddock: The Commission has not yet set a formal timetable for bringing forward the implementing measure on Lot 1 of the energy-using products directive, but has indicated that it expects the measure to go to the Regulatory Committee for a vote towards the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider assigning the proceeds of the fine imposed on Severn Trent plc to improvement of the sewage and drainage systems in areas affected by last year's flooding; and if he will make a statement. [Official Report, 22 May 2008, Vol. 476, c. 6MC.] 
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage retail outlets to replace plastic bags with brown paper bags; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: We are taking no such steps. To do so would be counterproductive in terms of direct environmental impact, and would conflict with our objective of phasing out all single use bags, whether made from plastic or paper. While paper bags are derived from a renewable resource, their manufacturing process is resource intensive. Considerable quantities of oil are used, particularly for the extraction of wood pulp. Paper bags are also heavier than plastic bags and therefore require more energy to transport, resulting in greater emissions.
Jonathan Shaw: The total budget for 2007-08 was £392.4 million of which £192.4 million was Exchequer-funded and £200 million was funded from the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The DEFRA Exchequer-funded RDPE budget for 2008-09 is £204.4 million. The EAFRD budgets to match this funding are still being finalised. DEFRA budgets for 2009-10 and 2010-11 have not yet been finalised.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) purpose and (b) value was of each (i) contract and (ii) transaction between his Department and Stichling Hahn Hilbrich in each of the last five years; and on what date each such (A) contract was signed and (B) transaction took place. 
Jonathan Shaw: From information held centrally, the core-Department has made no payments to Stichling Hahn Hilbrich since DEFRA was created in June 2001. Information on payments made by DEFRA outside of the core-Department is not held centrally and any information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on (a) written consultations, (b) consultation roadshows and (c) stakeholder focus groups in each of the last three years. 
Des Browne: In the last three years, the Scotland Office has incurred direct costs of £2,038 in 2007-08 on written consultations; nothing on consultation roadshows; and nothing on stakeholder focus groups.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultants have been contracted by his Department to conduct public participation activity in the last three years; and what the value of each such contract was. 
Mr. Doran: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what further steps the Members Estimate Committee plans to take regarding freedom of information requests for data held by the House. 
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