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3 July 2008 : Column 1087W—continued


Warehouse Parties

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance he has issued to (a) local authorities and (b) the Forestry Commission on illegal raves. [215345]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 1 July 2008]: DEFRA has not issued any guidance to local authorities or the Forestry Commission regarding illegal raves.

Warm Front Scheme

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many residents of (a) St. Ives constituency, (b) Cornwall and (c) England applied for grants under the Warm Front Scheme in each year since 2000; and how many of each were successful in each such year. [214938]

Mr. Woolas: I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and arrange for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people resident in (a) St. Ives constituency, (b) Cornwall and (c) England were offered a grant under the Warm Front Scheme which was of a sum less than that required to meet the cost of works in each year since 2000. [214941]

Mr. Woolas: Client contributions were introduced to the Warm Front Scheme in June 2005. The following table illustrates, over the period 1 June 2005 to 31 March 2008, the number of households receiving at least one measure from the Warm Front Scheme, and the number of referrals where a contribution was requested from the householder.


3 July 2008 : Column 1088W
Local authority description Total households assisted Referrals requiring contributions

St. Ives Constituency

1,378

423

Cornwall Contributions (LA Boundaries)

6,990

2,050

England

583,727

115,802


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the grant limits for the Warm Front scheme will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement. [215718]

Mr. Woolas: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 860W.

Whales: Japan

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2008, Official Report, columns 424-25W, on Japan, whether the Prime Minister presented Prime Minister Fukuda with the Government publication “Protecting Whales—A Global Responsibility”; and if he will make a statement. [214586]

Jonathan Shaw: For reasons given in my reply of 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 1296W, and of 28 February 2008, Official Report, column 1874W, I do not think it appropriate to provide the information sought by the hon. Member.

Wood

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much timber and timber products were procured by his Department in each of the last five years; and at what cost. [213731]

Jonathan Shaw: Information on how much timber and timber products were procured by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs in each of the last five years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

DEFRA is committed to procuring legal and sustainable timber and leads on the timber procurement policy for central Government, which requires central Departments to actively seek to procure legal and sustainable timber. From April 2009, there will be a step change in policy and Departments will be required to procure legal and sustainable timber or timber licensed under the EU's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. DEFRA also funds a Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) to provide advice and guidance to all public sector buyers and suppliers, helping Departments meet the policy requirements.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much timber and how many timber products were procured by his Department originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner in each of the last five years; and at what cost. [213732]


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Jonathan Shaw: Information on how much timber and timber products originated from independently verified legal and sustainable sources in each of the last five years could be provided only by Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs at disproportionate cost.

DEFRA has not procured any FLEGT licensed timber in the last five years as there is currently no FLEGT licensed timber on the market. The UK is working closely with the European Commission to support the negotiation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements with timber-producing countries, and the development of Legality Assurance Systems for the verification of legality of timber exports to the EU.

DEFRA is committed to procuring legal and sustainable timber and leads on the timber procurement policy for central Government, which requires central Departments to actively seek to procure legal and sustainable timber. From April 2009, there will be a step change in policy and Departments will be required to procure legal and sustainable timber or timber licensed under the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative.

World War II: Medals

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department plans to issue Women’s Land Army Award badges to applicants. [214424]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 2 July 2008]: The Women’s Land Army badges will be issued to all applicants towards the end of July. We shall shortly be writing to all hon. and right hon. Members informing them of the arrangements in connection with this.

Northern Ireland

Abortion

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received since January 2008 from hon. and right hon. Members wishing to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland; what response he gave; and if he will make a statement. [214057]

Mr. Woodward: Since January 2008, I have received two letters from hon. Members writing on behalf of constituents who wished to see the Abortion Act 1967 extended to Northern Ireland. Additionally, I have received requests for meetings from two hon. Members to discuss the matter.

The Government position remains the same. We have no plans to amend the law on abortion to include Northern Ireland. We also continue to believe the best forum for discussion of this issue is the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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Children, Schools and Families

Food: Health Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government have taken to increase school pupils' awareness of the principles of healthy eating during school time. [215522]

Kevin Brennan: The Government have a range of programmes to make pupils aware of healthy eating. These include the food-based nutritional standards introduced in September 2006 for school lunches and from September 2007 for other school food.

Schools can also achieve National Healthy Schools Status which requires them to satisfy 41 criteria under four core themes which include a Healthy Eating theme. Under this theme, a healthy school would have developed a food policy which ensures that lunches, breakfast club, tuck shop, vending machine and after-school food service (where available in school) meets or exceeds current DCSF school food standards.

Government also announced on 23 January 2008, as part of their obesity strategy, that every young person will have to do compulsory cooking lessons. Food technology will be compulsory at key stage 3 for every 11 to 14-year-old from September 2011, with food technology lessons involving practical cooking lessons and classes on diet, nutrition and hygiene.

The new key stage 3 Design and Technology programme of study to be introduced from September 2008 will include healthy eating models relating to a balanced diet, and will deliberately focus on practical cooking skills and knowledge.

We continue to fund the Licence to Cook programme which aims to support schools to teach pupils how to cook a range of simple nutritious dishes from basic ingredients, and fund the Food in Schools programme. This involves secondary school teachers training primary school teachers to teach effective practical food lessons and support them in working towards the healthy eating strand of the National Healthy Schools Standard.

Pre-school Education: Tamworth

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children in Tamworth constituency took up free nursery places in the most recent period for which figures are available. [215809]

Beverley Hughes: The available information is shown in the tables.

Table 1 provides information about the part-time equivalent number of free early education places filled by three and four-year-olds in Tamworth parliamentary constituency area. Data are provided for 2007 only because parliamentary constituency data are not yet available for 2008.


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3 July 2008 : Column 1092W
Table 1: Part-time equivalent number of free early education places( 1,2) filled by three and four-year-olds—Tamworth parliamentary constituency area
Position at January 2007
Three-year-olds Four-year-olds

Maintained nursery and primary schools( 3) Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers( 4) Total three-year-olds Maintained nursery and primary schools( 5) Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers( 6) Total four-year-olds

2007

310

650

950

760

190

950

(1) A place is equal to five or more sessions and can be filled by more than one child.
(2) Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 and to the nearest 10 otherwise.
(3) Headcount of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the School Census.
(4) Part-time equivalent number of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Early Years Census and the School Census.
(5) Headcount of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the School Census.
(6) Part-time equivalent number of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Early Years Census and the School Census.

Table 2 provides information for 2008 about the part-time equivalent number of free early education places filled by three and four-year-olds for Staffordshire local authority area.

Table 2: Part-time equivalent number of free early education places( 1,2) filled by three and four-year-olds—Staffordshire local authority
Position at January 2008
Three-year-olds Four-year-olds

Maintained nursery and primary schools( 3) Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers Total three-year-olds Maintained nursery and primary schools( 4) Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers Total four-year-olds

2008

2,900

(5)4,700

7,600

7,000

(6)1,600

8,500

(1) A place is equal to five or more sessions and can be filled by more than one child.
(2) Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 and to the nearest 10 otherwise.
(3) Headcount of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the School Census.
(4) Headcount of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the School Census.
(5) Part-time equivalent number of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Early Years Census and the School Census.
(6) Part-time equivalent number of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Early Years Census and the School Census.

The latest figures on early education places for three and four-year-olds in England were published in Statistical First Release (SFR) 12/2008 “Provision for children under five years of age in England: January 2008”, available on my Department’s website:

School Meals: Organic Food

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government have taken to promote the use of organic produce in school meals. [215521]

Kevin Brennan: It is for schools and local authorities to decide whether or not to include organic produce in the school meals that they provide. However, the School Food Trust, in partnership with DCSF, DEFRA and the North East Centre of Excellence has recently produced a booklet, “A Fresh Look at School Food Procurement, Efficiency and Sustainability”, which includes information about how providers of school food can improve the perception of their service through the use of certified, assured and seasonal produce.

Schools: Fair Trade Initiative

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government have taken to encourage schools to gain Fair Trade status. [215520]

Kevin Brennan: Fair Trade issues are important to schools and young people, therefore our National Framework for Sustainable Schools includes “doorways” on food and drink and the global dimension. We expect all schools to be sustainable schools by 2020, showing strong commitment to the environment and social responsibility, both locally and globally.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is raising awareness of Fair Trade issues through its Global Gateway website (www.globalgateway.org) where there is information on voluntary organisations such as Oxfam who are trying to make trade fairer. They are also opportunities for schools and young people to get involved in Fair Trade; for example, young people could become Fair Trade Young Co-operatives coordinators.

Duchy of Lancaster

Departmental ICT

Pete Wishart: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the value of his Department's computer systems (a) was at the time of purchase and (b) is now. [214678]

Phil Hope: The net book values of the Department's tangible and intangible assets are published in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2006-07, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House. The 2007-08 Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts are expected to be published before the summer 2008 recess.

At 31 March 2007 the net book value of the Department's information technology assets was £9.7 million. The cost of the assets at the time of purchase was £23.5 million.


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