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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent inspection report of the Rural Payments Agency by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner that is held by the Rural Payments Agency. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The last report on the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) by the Office of Surveillance Commissioner (OSC) was in 2004. As the report includes sensitive information on the areas and use of covert investigation techniques under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), including the resources available, it would be inappropriate to place the report in the Library.
The Interception of Communications Commissioner, the Chief Surveillance Commissioner and the Intelligence Service Commissioner, who each have particular inspection and oversight responsibilities under RIPA, publish annual reports. The latest reports were laid before Parliament and copies placed in the House Library on 22 July. The figures provided in the reports for use of specific covert techniques are not broken down by individual public authority. The question of further disclosure for any particular public authority is a matter for the relevant commissioner.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect of proposals under the CAP Health Check to remove cross-compliance rules which allow for a reduction in payments for claimants who permit their land to be used for illegal poisoning of birds of prey. 
The protection of wild birds, their eggs and nests is currently subject to cross compliance rules. The CAP Health Check will not remove the requirement relating to the deliberate killing (including killing by poisoning) of wild birds. However, the requirements to prohibit the taking of wild birds' eggs, keeping wild birds and using non-selective means of hunting, capture or killing are likely to be removed. The Government accept that farmers are unlikely to take wild birds eggs or take birds from the wild for keeping in captivity, however, the Government have argued against the removal of the prohibition on non-selective means of hunting, capture or killing birds. My Department considers that this aspect may be beneficial in dealing
with cases of illegal poisoning in addition to the main offence of deliberate killing. However, this is not a view widely held by other member states or the European Commission.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is prohibited to use any explosive other than ammunition for a firearm for the purpose of killing or taking any wild animal. My Department believes that the product called the Rodenator and similar devices are explosive devices and their use for these purposes is thus prohibited.
The 1981 Act includes provisions for the granting of licences allowing the use of prohibited methods for certain purposes where suitably justified. The assessment of individual applications would be carried out on DEFRA's behalf by Natural England within a policy framework set by DEFRA. DEFRA's policy is that licences should be considered only if it can be demonstrated to DEFRA's satisfaction that the method is humane and effective. DEFRA's position statement on Rodenator and similar devices can be found on our website.
Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 it is prohibited, without a licence, to wilfully take or kill a badger, or to interfere with a badger sett. Therefore a licence under the 1992 Act would also be needed to use the Rodenator to take or kill badgers, or to interfere with a badger sett. The assessment of individual applications is carried out on DEFRA's behalf by Natural England within a policy framework set by DEFRA. This policy document is also available on our website.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, columns 769-70W, on carbon emissions: New Forest, (1) what the effect of the technical constraints is on the policy of whether traffic on the A31 trunk road should be included in the carbon footprint of the New Forest National Park Authority; 
[holding answer 17 November 2008]: The technical hurdles to producing carbon dioxide
emissions figures for the New Forest National Park concern aggregation of available spatially disaggregated data to the boundaries of the park, and merging data for emissions and removals due to land use with other emissions. These issues have been known generically for a long time and apply in general to producing geographically disaggregated estimates. My Department routinely produces estimates for local authority areas, but not national park boundaries. I anticipate that the technical constraints will not prevent inclusion of emission from the A31 Trunk Road in the carbon footprint of the national park, and it should be possible to produce emissions estimates for other sections of the A31. My response later in the year, promised in my previous answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, columns 769-70W, will set out these issues in more detail.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on entertainment by his Department in 2007-08; and how much of that sum is accounted for by expenditure on (a) food, (b) alcohol, (c) staff and (d) accommodation. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on (a) electricity and (b) heating in each month of each of the last five years. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 13 November 2008]: The Secretary of State is unable to provide data broken down by month but can provide costs for electricity, gas and oil over the five-year period as shown in the following table:
|Electricity cost||Gas cost||Oil cost||Total cost|
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's expenditure was on consultants for (a) management, (b) media and public relations, (c) design, (d) information technology, (e) recruitment, (f) research, (g) marketing, (h) public affairs and (i) training in each year since 2001. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many unique visitors there were to his Departmental website in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Details of page views, and unique visitors, to www.defra.gov.uk are as follows for the period from January 2007 to March 2008:
|Month||Page views||Unique visitors|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates in each of the last five years his Department informed the House of the creation of contingent liabilities relating to his Department or its non-departmental public bodies. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Within the five year period 2004 to 2008, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs informed the House of a contingent liability by laying a specific minute on only one occasion. On 6 October 2008, the Department informed the House that we wished to issue a Letter of Comfort to the Covent Garden Market Authority.
Huw Irranca-Davies: From information held centrally, the core-Department's VAT inclusive expenditure on overnight accommodation for the period July 2007 to June 2008 inclusive was £2,643,363.32. Information on overnight accommodation by all of DEFRA's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1484W, on departmental planning permission, what the address of the building was for each application; what type of permission was applied for in each case; and what licensing hours were requested in the licensing application. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The addresses of each site for the Departmental planning applications, included in the answer of 1 September 2008 , Official Report, column 1484W, and the type of application submitted are set out in the following table.
The licensing hours requested for the site club bar at the Epsom Road, Guildford site were 24 hours, seven days a week. This was to bring the sports and social club into line with new licensing laws. The site has now been sold.
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