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3 Jun 2008 : Column 849W—continued

The Environmental Noise Directive requires that maps should represent annual average noise values and requires the use of four different parameters. These are Lday (07.00-19.00), Levening (19.00-23.00), Lnight (23.00-07.00), Leq 16 hour (07.00-23.00), and Lden (00.00-24.00).

Given the difference in parameters, caution should be exercised in attempting any comparison between ‘traditional’ UK annual summer daytime aircraft noise contour maps and aircraft contour maps produced in accordance with the Environmental Noise Directive.

Departmental Computers

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has issued guidance to staff in her Department to switch off personal computers when not in use; and if she will make a statement. [208180]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport and its agencies are very conscious of the need to reduce power, thereby contributing to a common target to reduce carbon emissions by 12.5 per cent. by 2010-11, and 30 per cent. by 2020-21.

All have policies of shutting down computers when not in use, and at night. Staff are regularly instructed and reminded to do so through training, circulars, general guidance and night security checks. In addition, DfT (Central) has implemented a policy of automatic shutdown of computers at 7 pm every Friday evening.

Departmental procurement policy also states that preference should be given to energy-efficient IT equipment when new purchases are made.

Departmental Correspondence

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to respond to the letter from Lesley Welch, Newport Pagnell Town Clerk, dated 15 May 2008. [208206]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has no record of receiving this letter.

Departmental Disclosure of Information

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether it is her Department’s policy to release the home addresses of (a) senior and (b) middle-ranking officials, if requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and what assessment she has made of the implications for personal security resulting from the release of such data. [207920]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 2 June 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice on 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 640W.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was paid in end-of-year performance bonuses to (a) all staff and (b) staff at senior civil service level in (i) her Department and (ii) its agencies in the 2007-08 financial year; and how many payments were made. [207475]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport is currently in the process of conducting performance management reviews and allocating any applicable bonuses. This process is likely to come to a conclusion in late July 2008.

Shipping: Aircraft

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effect of introducing Mode S transponders across the UK aircraft fleet, with particular reference to any effect on air sports; and if she will make a statement. [207404]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Mode S transponders are the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) approved replacement for Mode A and Mode C transponders
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which use outdated technology. On 31 May 2008 the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) concluded their consultation on phase 2 of their proposals to extend the use of Mode S transponders. This is part of the CAA’s phased approach to improving the technical interoperability of aircraft in UK airspace. They will consider carefully all the responses they have received before making a decision.

Phase 1, which came into force on 31 March 2008, required the use of Mode S for existing transponders. All aircraft that were required to carry Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) Mode A and C transponders had to be upgraded to Mode S capability. A transition period of four years will be provided during which time upgrades of existing transponders can be completed. All new installations of SSR equipment and all new aircraft brought into service with an SSR transponder already installed will now need to be Mode S compliant.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was contributed to the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund in each year since 2002; [207697]

(2) how much was spent on projects under the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund in each year since 2002. [207698]

Jonathan Shaw: Total expenditure on the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund in England is shown in the following table.

Expenditure (£ million)













The amount spent on projects each year will be slightly less than this as the above figures include the expenditure of our delivery partners in administering the funding, which can be up to 7 per cent. of the total funding they receive.

Aggregates: Carbon Emissions

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the volume of carbon dioxide emissions from the aggregates industry in each year since 1997. [207699]

Jonathan Shaw: The Quarry Products Association estimate that emissions from the quarry products industry are 800,000 tonnes of carbon per year. This includes aggregates, asphalt, ready mixed concrete, lime and mortar, but excludes delivery transport.

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Agriculture: Subsidies

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the common agricultural policy prior to the 13 May 2008; and if he will make a statement. [207220]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 22 May 2008]: It is long established practice under successive Governments that information relating to discussions between Ministers is not normally disclosed. The Government’s position on the common agricultural policy was set out in the joint DEFRA/Treasury vision paper published in December 2005.

Animal Welfare

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2008, Official Report, columns 1121-2W, on animal welfare, what progress has been made on drafting a protocol to take into account the views of religious communities when enforcing the requirements of animal health and welfare legislation. [207435]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 2 June 2008]: A draft protocol to underpin the handling of animal welfare cases in co-operation with the Hindu community has been prepared. This is currently being considered by members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at Bhaktivedanta Manor. The draft protocol sets out the way in which the beliefs of the Hindu community will be taken into account when enforcing animal welfare legislation and will apply to cattle in the care of the Hindu community at temples and similarly designated sacred sites. The protocol is intended to ensure that everyone involved understands how animal welfare legislation will be enforced in the future.

The draft will be reviewed in the light of the comments received and will then be sent to the organisations involved in the enforcement of the welfare provisions in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the wider Hindu community, for comment.

Asbestos: Alnwick

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken to locate missing records of asbestos treatment carried out in the 1990s at his Department's offices in Alnwick, Northumberland; where these records would normally have been kept; and if he will make a statement. [205913]

Jonathan Shaw: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, now DEFRA, assumed responsibility for this site in 1992-93. It was transferred from the Property Services Agency (PSA) which now no longer exists. Anecdotal evidence implies that PSA commissioned asbestos removal works in 1988 but no records were handed over at the point of transfer to MAFF and no files were kept at that time on site.

For clarification no asbestos treatment work was undertaken during 1990s and therefore there are no records.

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In 2004 DEFRA undertook Asbestos Type III surveys across the estate, and results from Alnwick revealed small particles of asbestos in the ceiling void. Air tests were immediately conducted and have continued since that time. Test result records have been maintained since 2004.

Bees: Research

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding was allocated by his Department to bee health research in each year since 1997. [207788]

Jonathan Shaw: The following list shows the funding allocated by DEFRA for honey bee health research. This includes funding for specific honey bee health projects and elements of other funded research which benefits honey bee health.

























Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effect on air quality of increasing use of biofuels. [207451]

Jonathan Shaw: My Department has made no specific assessment. However, the Department for Transport has commissioned and published various pieces of research into the effects of biofuels on air quality.

Cattle: Ear Tagging

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what monitoring he is undertaking of compliance with the double-ear tag requirement in relation to cattle; what representations he has received on the effectiveness of the scheme; and if he will consider the merits of returning to a system of single ear-tags. [207323]

Jonathan Shaw: The unique, lifetime, individual identification of bovine animals is an essential element of the work to control and eradicate Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). The requirement for bovines to have an officially approved tag in each ear bearing identical official identification numbers (“double-tagging”) has been directly applicable Community law since 1 January 1998. Double-tagging was chosen to give surer guarantees that an animal’s identity remains secure throughout its life. There are no immediate plans to alter this.

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Member states are required to inspect annually 10 per cent. of the cattle holdings in their territory for compliance with bovine identification and registration rules, and to report the result to the EU Commission by 31 August. The inspections must be unannounced and cover all animals present on the holding. Holdings must be selected by risk analysis. This inspection regime has been operating since 1998. In England, Rural Payments Agency inspectors inspect around 5,000 farms each year, checking each animal’s tags, cattle passport, and records. Copies of the annual report can be seen on the animal identification section of DEFRA’s website. Last year, around 1.5 per cent. of the animals inspected in Britain did not fully comply with the tagging rules. This rate of compliance is good and has been consistently so since 2000.

I consider the monitoring of double-tagging to be effective. Our systems were considered sufficiently robust for the EU Commission to lift the ten-year beef and cattle export ban in 2006. I have received no representations on their effectiveness.

Coastal Areas: Archaeology

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will seek the inclusion of provisions in the forthcoming Marine Bill to protect coastal artefacts of historic importance. [207319]

Jonathan Shaw: The Government's principal legislative tools for protecting coastal artefacts of historic importance are the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, or the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, depending on the nature and whereabouts of the particular artefact. The draft Heritage Protection Bill contains provisions for a new unified legal framework for protecting such assets in future.

The draft Marine Bill will introduce a new system of marine planning, which will enable Government to communicate our policies on heritage in coastal and marine areas, and clarify the locations and obligations attached to sites of historic interest. The draft Marine Bill will make clear that the duty of licensing authorities to have regard to the need to protect the environment when they make decisions includes the protection of sites of historic or archaeological interest. Where appropriate, conditions to do this could be included in the terms of a marine licence.

Dairy Farming

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average age of dairy farmers was in the UK at the most recent date for which figures are available. [207450]

Jonathan Shaw: The average (median) age of a holder on dairy farms in the UK in 2005 was 55 years.

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