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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 10 November 2008

House of Commons Commission

Air Travel

Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the amount of (a) domestic, (b) short haul and (c) long haul air mileage of hon. Members used to calculate the House payment to the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund was in each year that the House has been a member of the Offsetting Fund. [233644]

Nick Harvey: The House has made an annual payment to the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund since 2006-07. The figures requested are as follows:

Miles

2006-07 2007-08

Domestic

1,965,156

1,689,817

Short haul

1,561,170

1,726,554

Long haul

4,743,821

4,305,546


Commuters: Sustainable Development

Gwyn Prosser: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will develop a workplace travel plan to reduce the environmental impact of travel by House staff. [233547]

Nick Harvey: Staff are encouraged to use bicycles through the provision of bicycle loans and cycle racks, and are encouraged to use public transport through the provision of season ticket loans. The possibility of developing a sustainable travel to work policy will be considered as part of developing the House’s environmental strategy.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has paid to the Cooperative Wholesale Society or its farming division in respect of (a) UK and (b) EU payments for the production at its Stoughton Farm Estate in Harborough of (i) wheat, (ii) barley, (iii) oats, (iv) other cereal crops, (v) oil seed rape, (vi) beans and (vii) all other arable farm produce in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and in each case what tonnage was in respect of which the payment was made. [231319]


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Jane Kennedy [holding answer 28 October 2008]: Arable area payments were made under the arable area payments scheme (AAPS), which were based on payments per hectare and not by commodity or weight.

In 2005 they were replaced by payments under the single payment scheme (SPS).

AAPS and SPS information is not held specifically for Stoughton Farm Estate and to extract it is not possible without incurring disproportionate costs.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much public funding is being provided to each Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 2008-09; and what account is taken of the size of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in determining the allocation of funding to them. [232510]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The responsibility for funding Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) rests with Natural England and Defra would not interfere in the decisions Natural England takes in setting the budget of any AONB.

The funding for AONBs consists of three elements: core funding for staff and essential administrative costs; projects; and the Sustainable Development Fund. In 2008-09 Natural England has been able to add 2 per cent. to AONB core grants. Core funding is based on a formula which, among other factors, takes into account the area of each AONB. However, funding for projects has had to be prioritised to those of highest importance and those which AONB partnerships are locked into, such as Heritage Lottery Fund schemes. As for the Sustainable Development Fund, each AONB can bid for up to £61,666 from Natural England. There is, therefore, no strict correlation between the area of any one AONB and the amount of total funding it receives and it is inappropriate to relate the total funding of any AONB to its area.

The total funding being provided by Natural England to each of the AONBs for 2008-09 is:


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£

Arnside and Silverdale

180,871

Blackdown Hills

213,481

Cannock Chase

185,968

Chichester Harbour

188,816

Chilterns

570,638

Cornwall

235,666

Cotswolds

577,926

Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs

295,501

DedhamVale

202,174

Dorset

314,510

East Devon

205,542

Forest of Bowland

282,639

High Weald

347,067

Howardian Hills

157,666

Isle of Wight

178,177

Isles of Scilly

159,536

Kent Downs

303,727

Lincolnshire Wolds

207,343

Malvern Hiils

186,771

Mendip Hills

213,459

Nidderdale

229,809

Norfolk Coast

198,733

North Devon

186,652

North Pennines

412,846

North Wessex Downs

315,422

Northumberland Coast

178,679

Quantock Hills

207,941

Shropshire Hills

251,306

Solway Coast

177,583

South Devon

202,381

South Downs (Sussex Downs and East Hampshire)

1,049,961

Suffolk Coasts and Heaths

212,371

Surrey Hills

238,186

Tamar Valley

245,166

Wye Valley

168,166

Total

9,482,683


Bluetongue Disease: Vaccination

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on its communications campaign to promote uptake of the bluetongue vaccination in each year since its inception. [233353]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 10 November 2008]: In line with the core group of industry stakeholders, the Government consider that mass vaccination through the 2008 programme for Bluetongue type 8 (the only programme so far) can be best and most rapidly achieved through a voluntary approach, supported by an industry-led campaign promoting the benefits of vaccination. DEFRA has contributed to the industry campaign by giving prominence to bluetongue messages in its existing communications channels, e.g. website, advertising in farming press and campaigns such as Livestock Market Roadshows and the website-based ‘Give Disease the Boot’ campaign. In addition, DEFRA has worked with the Animal Health Agency to alert local veterinary surgeons and others to the availability of vaccine as it has been rolled out across England.

These costs for bluetongue vaccination campaigns are not available separately. However, the overall indicative budget for Livestock Markets Roadshows and Animal Disease Prevention communications (excluding publications, Farming Link and shows) is £400,000 in the current financial year. In the 2007-08 financial year, the total spend amounted to approximately £280,000.

Carbon Emissions: New Forest

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the carbon footprint of the New Forest National Park was in the latest period for which figures are available; and (a) by what means and (b) to what extent it will be reduced if the draft Recreation Management Strategy is adopted; [227623]

(2) whether it is the policy of the New Forest National Park Authority to include traffic on the A31 trunk road within the calculation of its carbon footprint. [228030]


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Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answers 16 and 17 October 2008]: Carbon footprint figures are not currently available by National Park boundary. There are technical hurdles to producing such figures which DEFRA is currently exploring, and I shall write to the hon. Member before the end of the year to report progress.

The Recreation Management Strategy is being produced by the National Park Authority who (subject to the technical constraints mentioned above) would be responsible for assessing its impact.

Combined Heat and Power: Government Departments

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the electricity consumption that the Government sources from combined heat and power is obtained from combined heat and power stations located on the Government estate. [221879]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

There are 10 combined heat and power (CHP) schemes located on the Government estate registered with the Government’s CHP Quality Assurance programme (CHPQA). In 2007-08 these 10 schemes produced just over 19 gigawatt hours of Good Quality CHP electricity. This represents around 0.1 per cent. of the 28,677 gigawatts electricity produced in total by Good Quality CHP plants in the UK in 2007.

Early information from the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) as part of its annual Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) report indicates that total CHP generated electricity consumed on the Government estate in 2007-08 was 311 gigawatt hours. This would mean that the 19 gigawatt hours of Good Quality CHP electricity generated on the Government estate represents round 6 per cent. of the total CHP electricity consumed on the Government estate in 2007-08.

Departmental Training

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what personal training courses at public expense he has undertaken since his appointment. [230956]

Hilary Benn: None.

Wood: Sustainable Development

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration he has given to the introduction of binding regulations to provide that timber used in new buildings is sourced in a legal and sustainable manner. [232125]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The UK Government's Forest Governance and Trade Programme aims to tackle illegal logging and trade associated with it. It works to promote governance reforms in developing countries where illegal logging is a problem, and to improve the functioning of markets for wood products. Efforts focus on negotiating and implementing bilateral Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between timber-producing countries and the EU, as part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.


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The European Commission published recently a proposal for legislation requiring traders in timber to exercise due diligence to ensure that the timber they buy and sell is legally harvested. Once the regulation is agreed, the new requirements will ensure that legally harvested timber only is traded in the EU.

The UK has lobbied hard for Community-wide measures to exclude illegal timber from the European market. This legislation will support the Government's efforts under the FLEGT Action Plan, which provides support to timber-producing countries who have problems with illegal logging to verify the legality of timber exports. The UK seeks to work in collaboration with other EU member states in preference to unilaterally introducing binding regulations.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was paid to consultants by his Department in each year since 1998-99. [232874]

Mr. Woodward: The following table provides details of the Northern Ireland Office's expenditure on consultants (excluding Agencies and Executive NDPBs) since 2002-03:

Consultancy expenditure (£)

2002-03

3,683,447

2003-04

4,268,556

2004-05

4,557,883

2005-06

6,169,360

2006-07

5,153,102

2007-08

5,048,116


The value of payments for consultancy prior to 2002-03 would be available only at disproportionate cost.


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