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Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the draft New Forest Recreation Management Strategy, if he will publish the evidence justifying the proposed policy of the New Forest National Park Authority that the use of horses for recreation in the New Forest needs to be restricted. 
The New Forest National Park Authority has published a number of policies and proposals in its draft Recreation Management Strategy and draft National Park Plan that are the subject of a public consultation until 14 November 2008. All interested parties are free to make their views known to the Authority and to have those views fully considered.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the decision to make available to China stockpiled ivory for onward sale; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of this decision on elephant populations. 
At the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in July, the UK voted to approve China as a trading partner in the one-off sale of legal ivory held by four southern African nations. The UK
and Bulgaria reflected the combined EU position, which was reached based on evidence that China had fulfilled the strict conditions for trading partner status as laid down in the Annotations to the CITES Appendices and agreed by CITES Parties.
The UK is supporting two programmes (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) and the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS)) which will monitor the effect of the sale on illegal poaching and trade, and is represented on the Steering Group monitoring their work.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for a repositioning exercise of the National Forest Estate to better deliver public policy objectives. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We have no current plans to reposition the public forest estate. Any significant repositioning would require a full appraisal of the estate in the light of the new Strategy for Englands Trees Woods and Forests, published last year, and the Delivery Plan, which has been prepared by the Forestry Commission and Natural England and is due for publication soon.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria are used on the National Forest Estate for the identification of sites for disposal, retention and purchase. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Assets (woodlands and other property) that are making a relatively limited contribution to our forestry policy objectives and where there are limited public benefits are sold. The resulting funds are reinvested in forestry policy priorities such as community woodlands around our cities, improved recreation facilities and habitat restoration. This reinvestment is often made in projects where there is additional support and funding from partners.
Land purchases occur where opportunities arise to enable the Forestry Commission to secure high levels of public benefit. For example, the purchase of freeholds that will increase public access or the creation of new community woodlands close to where people live.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations the National Rights of Way Casework Team has received since its inception; what the (a) longest, (b) shortest and (c) average period between the receipt of a representation and the issue of a decision on that representation has been; how many decisions have been issued more than 12 months from the date of receipt of the representations; and what the longest time is a representation has remained without the issue of a decision. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The National Rights of Way Casework Team has received 71 representations (direction requests) since its inception. The requested information on representation handling times can be provided only by reviewing all the 71 case files and therefore can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether any full-time equivalent members of staff in his Department are working on projects relating to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: My Department is currently applying less than one full-time equivalent member of staff to our work on legacy planning for 2012. This input is expected to rise over the coming years. Staff at the Environment Agency and Natural England are also involved in work related to the Games.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which car parks under the control of the New Forest National Park Authority are being considered for designation as dog-free car parks; and what evidence there is to justify such a designation in each case. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: I understand that the New Forest national park authority does not control any car parks in the New Forest. If the concept of dog free car parks is developed it would be implemented by the landowner or operator, as has been the case where the Forestry Commission has introduced a few temporary closures during the breeding season for ground nesting birds.
The authority has published a number of proposals in its draft Recreation Management Strategy, including on the issue of dog-free car parks and responsible dog-walking, that are the subject of a public consultation until 14 November 2008. All interested parties are free to make their views known to the authority and to have those views fully considered.
Hilary Benn: The core Department's supplier of postal services is Royal Mail. In financial year 2007-08, and from information held centrally, the Department incurred costs of some £4.89 million with Royal Mail.
This compares with £5.21 million for the financial year 2006-07. On figures to date for financial year 2008-09, annual expenditure with Royal Mail will total a little over £4 milliona further substantial reduction in expenditure obtained though efficiencies and commercial discussions.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many illegally held pet primates have been seized in each year since 2000; and where such seized primates were subsequently kept. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The enforcement and administration of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 is a matter for local authorities. Central records are not kept on seizures of illegally held pet primates.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the Government awarded the contract for research into the safety and efficacy of the use of snares to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The research contract was awarded to the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust with CSL as the lead partner. The two organisations successfully bid for the contract in response to an advertised open competition. The bid from these contractors was considered to offer the best value for money and provide the best solution. This conclusion was reached with the help of independent reviewers who are experts in relevant fields.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the (a) terms of reference and (b) contract details relating to the proposed arrangement between the Game and Wildlife Trust and his Department on research into the use of snares. 
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department takes to ensure that householders are invoiced separately for the parts, labour, travel and management fees associated with Warm Front Scheme work undertaken for them. 
In order to avoid potential confusion, Warm Front customers are only invoiced for the costs of works required that exceed the grant maxima (£2,700 for gas heating and £4,000 for oil). Currently, contribution letters provide customers with the costs of any previous Warm Front measures to the property (which are deducted from the new grant), installer labour costs (harmonised by region) and costs for any required materials (set centrally across the country).
Jim Knight: Start-up grants for academies are designed to enable a new bodythe academy trustto effect a complete educational transformation for the pupils. To this end, start-up grant provides for substantial new resources in terms of books, equipment and materials. If the academy is not full, start-up grant also helps meet the overhead costs of the senior and middle management teams, so that these can be of a size and quality to carry through that transformation, and various transitional costs during the period in which new buildings are being constructed. It also meets necessary expenditure on transforming the ethos of an academy such as uniform and induction costs. The length of time over which start-up grant is payable depends on the rate of pupil build-up and building completion.
The level of start-up grant for academies is therefore, in most cases, substantially higher than that for a Fresh Start school, which has a more limited purpose. Giving poorly performing schools a Fresh Start can be a very successful way to raise standards. In some cases, this may be the appropriate short-term action, prior to a long term solution such as an Academy or a Trust. Giving a school a fresh start means closing and reopening it on the same site under the normal school reorganisation procedures. Schools requiring a Fresh Start are allocated revenue and capital funding on the basis of need based on the size and phase of the school. Capital resources to support a Fresh Start of a school will involve either a re-build of the school or development of suitable teaching facilities needed at neighbouring school to enable closure of the school needing a fresh start.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his policy is on the (a) number and (b) proportion of governors on the governing body of an academy who (i) represent and (ii) are appointed by the principal sponsor; and if he will make a statement. 
There are variations in the overall number of governors of Academies. However the sponsors of an Academy (excluding the LA, where the LA is a co-sponsor) must appoint a majority of the Governing Body members. If there are non-LA Co-Sponsors as well as Lead Sponsors the Lead Sponsor will appoint at least one more Governor than the non-LA Co-sponsor.
If an Academy is to be jointly sponsored, both sponsors will appoint the same number of Governors but collectively appoint a majority.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the total cost was of the bonuses paid through the education maintenance allowance for submitting course work on time in the latest period for which figures are available; when the bonus was introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who operate the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold information about payments made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSCs Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member for Yeovil with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library. EMA bonuses were included in the pilots and have been an integral part of the scheme since its beginning in 1999.
I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Questions that asked; what the total cost was of the bonuses paid through the Education Maintenance Allowance for submitting course work on time in the latest period for which figures are available; when the bonus was introduced and how many local authorities allow people enrolled on an entry to employment programme to apply for education maintenance allowance online; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the online application process.
The total Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) bonus payments paid out during the academic year 2007/8 amounted to £68.2m. Bonus payments are paid based on an agreement between the individual learning provider and the individual learner and upon the learner achieving the aims of this agreement. It is not
possible to say how many learners achieved a bonus for submitting coursework on time. Bonus payments were introduced at the same time as EMA was rolled out nationally in 2004/5.
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