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22 July 2008 : Column 1005Wcontinued
66 Staff disciplined within DEFRA agencies
The figure refers to staff disciplined for recorded minor, serious and gross misconduct. However, it does not reflect the total number of staff disciplined for minor misconduct, because these warnings are issued by line managers who are not required to record these cases centrally. To obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.
The Civil Service Management Code sets out the requirements for Departments to have procedures in place to deal with conduct and disciplinary issues. The DEFRA procedures are laid down in the staff handbook which is accessed on the departmental intranet.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost to his Department was of employing a press and media officer in 2007-08. 
Jonathan Shaw: 20 full-time, permanent members of staff are employed in the DEFRA Press Office to deal with inquiries from the media.
Details of the number of staff employed at each grade and the relevant salary scales are included in the following table:
|Grade||Number of Staff||Salary scale (£)|
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of his Department's budget and that of its predecessor was used for research within its areas of responsibility in each of the last 10 years. 
Jonathan Shaw: The proportion of DEFRAs budget that was used for research and development in each of the last eight years was:
|Financial year||Proportion of budget used for research and development (Percentage)|
The table shows the research and development proportion of total expenditure for the financial years since the department was formed in 2001. There are no figures provided for DEFRAs predecessor Departments as this information could only be provided by incurring disproportionate cost.
The acquisition and use of evidence is central to the development and delivery of robust policies and operations and underpins DEFRAs reputation and ability to influence.
In 2007-08, around 95 per cent. of DEFRAs research and development budget was spent by policy groups to directly support their strategic priorities. The remaining funds were used by the central evidence teams to fund cross-cutting and horizon scanning work. In addition to spend on research and development, approximately £200 million was spent in 2007-08 on other science, including surveillance, monitoring, field trials and knowledge transfer.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what data sources he uses to establish (a) the population of (i) bottlenose and (ii) common dolphins in UK waters, (b) the existence of sub-populations and (c) dolphin population trends; and if he will publish such data; 
(2) what data sources he uses to establish (a) the population of harbour porpoises in UK waters, (b) the existence of sub-populations and (c) porpoise population trends; and if he will publish these data. 
Jonathan Shaw: Cetacean abundance has been assessed recently in European waters through two large international survey projects: Small Cetacean Abundance in the North sea in 2005 (SCANS-II) and Offshore Distribution and Abundance2007 (CODA). The first project assessed abundance of both species on the continental shelf of the European Atlantic and North sea and the latter in the offshore environment.
The estimates from SCANS-II were compared with those from an earlier survey (SCANS) in 1994 and there was no significant difference found between population size for harbour porpoise. The final report has recently been submitted to the EU and will shortly be published.
The CODA project focuses on cetaceans in offshore waters of the European Atlantic and began in November 2006. Shipboard surveys to assess abundance were carried out in July 2007 and the data are currently being processed. Publication of the results will follow the projects completion in September 2008.
Common dolphins are widely distributed, with the number of animals in the continental shelf area varying
substantially from year to year. There is no known sub- structuring of the common dolphin population in UK waters.
For bottlenose dolphins there is some sub-structuring. Genetic studies have indicated that the Tursiops. truncatus occurring in the offshore waters of the North Atlantic belong to a large oceanic population. Conversely, and although coastal populations around the UK are not genetically isolated, there is some evidence for geographic structuring.
In 2007, Favourable Conservation Status assessments were undertaken for both species under the requirements of the Habitats Directive. The bottlenose dolphin was reported to be in a favourable condition, while the status of the common dolphin was unknown, due mainly to our lacking of knowledge in the offshore abundance. CODA was in part initiated to provide this information. The UK FCS assessments are available from the Joint Nature Conservation Committees website.
The two SCANS surveys (1994 and 2005) estimated common dolphin abundance in the Celtic sea area. However, the 1994 estimate was not corrected for animals missed on the transect line or for responsive movement, and this is now known to generate significant positive bias. Therefore, it is unknown whether the differences in the abundances obtained were indicative of an actual change in abundance or were related to the different methodology used. Additionally, these two surveys only covered the continental shelf area. This species is known to move widely between inshore and offshore areas.
The sub-population structure of North East Atlantic harbour porpoises has still not been elucidated fully. However, two sub-populations are recognised in UK waters. The first in the North sea and through to western Scotland; and the second in the Celtic and Irish sea area.
The abundance estimates from SCANS-II were compared with those from an earlier survey (SCANS) in 1994 for the North sea. There was no significant difference found between population size for harbour porpoise over this decadal period. The final report for SCANS II has recently been submitted to the EU, following which the work will be published.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the amount of domestic waste produced in England and Wales in each of the last three years, broken down by region; and how much was produced per household in each region in each year. 
Joan Ruddock: The household waste figures are calculated from data submitted to WasteDataFlow by local authorities and are for the last three financial years for which data are published.
|Total household waste (million tonnes)|
The household waste per household figures are calculated using the same WasteDataFlow data and the Valuation Office Agency dwelling stock figures.
|Household waste (kilograms per household per year)|
Any issues relating to Wales are a devolved matter for the Welsh Assembly Government and should be answered by them.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers waste collection authorities have to fine households which put rubbish out at times other than those specified by the authority. 
Joan Ruddock: Under section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), local authorities can issue residents with a notice specifying requirements as to the collection of household waste receptacles. These requirements may include the specifics of how and when to present the receptacles for collection, or the articles which must be placed in the receptacles. It is an offence for somebody to fail to comply with these requirements.
Section 47ZA of the EPA allows local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for offences under section 46. These fixed penalty notices can be issued by the following people:
(a) an employee of the authority who is authorised in writing by the authority for the purposes of giving notices;
(b) any person who, in pursuance of arrangements made with the authority, has the function of giving such notices and is authorised in writing by the authority to perform that function; and
(c) any employee of such a person who is authorised in writing by the authority for the purposes of giving such notices.
DEFRAs guidance on fixed penalty notices explains that where local authorities authorise contractors to carry out enforcement activities, they should ensure
that background checks are carried out to determine their suitability and capability. It is important that contractors receive adequate training and have a full understanding of any locally set procedures or policies before they begin to issue fixed penalties. The published guidance can be found on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers waste collection authorities have to fine householders for putting rubbish or recycling into the wrong rubbish or recycling bin or box; and what the statutory basis is for such powers. 
Joan Ruddock: Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) allows a waste collection authority, by issuing a section 46 notice (s.46 notice), to specify the conditions of the waste collection service it provides. The conditions a s.46 notice covers include the number and type of receptacles to be used, how the waste is to be presented, where and when the receptacle(s) should be placed for collection and any other conditions to facilitate its collection.
Section 46(6) of the EPA makes it an offence for a recipient of the service to breach the conditions set in the s.46 notice and those that breach could be prosecuted under this section. In such a case, the magistrates court would determine the fine.
Section 48 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (CNEA) amended the EPA, adding section 47ZA. Section 47ZA allows a waste collection authority to issue fixed penalty notices for breaches of s.46 of the EPA. The amount of the fixed penalty is set by the waste collection authority in relation to the authoritys area, or if no amount is set £100. An authority can accept a lesser amount if it is paid before a date specified by the authority.
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