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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much surplus land (a) his Department and (b) its agencies own; and what the (i) area and (ii) estimated monetary value of each site is. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much surplus land (a) his Department and (b) its agencies own; and what the (i) area and (ii) estimated monetary value of each site is. 
The core Department currently holds 117 ha of surplus land awaiting disposal with an
estimated value of £6,695,000. The majority of the land is available for sale or under offer.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for each of the sites owned by his Department which are registered on the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land; what construction projects are planned for each site; and when he expects each site to be returned to use. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The land recorded on the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land has been identified as no longer required in the delivery of Departmental business. Unless there is a demand from another Government Department, in which case the land would be transferred, the primary intention is to seek the earliest possible disposal and maximise the value for money from the sale of surplus assets, subject to prevailing market conditions and planning and development constraints.
Due to the surplus nature of the land, no construction projects are currently proposed and it is not anticipated that the land will return to public sector use. The return to beneficial use, and the nature of that use, will be linked to disposal.
Where it is consider appropriate and the holding is capable of short-term beneficial occupation and use pending disposal the Department has sought to mitigate property holding costs by short term commercial lettings.
Where appropriate to do so the Department seeks to influence future beneficial use. There are two sites where the future beneficial use for residential development has been identified and this is being explored prior to disposal via the property market. These sites are recognised in the Departmental contribution to the Governments affordable homes targets.
The two sites in Perthshire are legacy sites which demonstrated long-term beneficial use for residential development, however changes in local planning framework policy and long term housing demand means that the land is now unlikely to be designated to meet future housing need and disposal in existing use is being pursued.
|County||Town||Holding body||Description||Area (ha)||Plans or proposals||Construction projects||Returned to use|
|(1) The properties have been identified as not being required for the delivery of departmental business and are therefore surplus to Government use. Return to beneficial use will be dependent upon the use applied by a new owner.|
Based on the September 2008 published Register Entry for the Department.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many legal proceedings naming his Department as a defending party have been (a) filed, (b) concluded and (c) dismissed in (i) each of the last five years and (ii) 2008 to date; 
(2) what the monetary value was of each settlement his Department made as a result of legal proceedings naming his Department as a defending party in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2008 to date, broken down by the title of litigation in cases where no such related proceedings are ongoing. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff are on a priority movers list, people action team or similar designation for staff without posts, in each of his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies. 
There are currently 25 permanent staff in core DEFRA who are on the redeployment register (previously known as the priority movers list), 14 of whom will be redeployed shortly. Of the remaining 11 we are working with these people, following CO guidelines, to ensure the best outcome for them and the Department.
DEFRA's NDPBs are separately accountable for redeployment of their staff and therefore this information is not collated centrally. DEFRA does however work closely with NDPBs to help ensure staff can be redeployed and avoid redundancy wherever possible.
The Department follows the advice contained in the Protocol For Handling Surplus Staff Situations dated April 2008 and ensure we use best endeavours to ensure we avoid compulsory redundancies whenever possible.
Working closely with our trade unions to ensure all opportunities are identified and explored.
Using voluntary exit schemes when appropriate.
Sharing all civil service vacancies through CS Vacs and prioritising the selection of staff in this position where there is a skills match.
Allocating resettlement officers when appropriate.
Providing the services of organisations who specialise in supporting people in this position.
Working closely with HR teams across the DEFRA network and other Government Departments to identify possible future vacancies.
Sharing information at an early stage with the Cabinet Office and seeking their support and advice as required.
Identifying temporary project work when possible while we continue to look for a permanent position.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers have been employed by his Department in each year since 1997-98; and at what cost in each year. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of Government-commissioned advertising in the last 12 months relating to matters falling within the remit of his Department. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: All major DEFRA advertising campaigns are commissioned through the Central Office of Information (COI). Each campaign is evaluated against agreed objectives using a combination of pre, post and tracking research. This typically involves measuring website hits, levels of awareness and shifts in attitudes and behaviours. COI is able to use its unique position to negotiate significant discounts when purchasing media, ensuring the best return on departmental investment.
For DEFRAs main campaignAct On CO2the website is performing well with a good return on investment against the current media spend. To date we have had over 270,000 unique visitors (approx 135,000 a month). This compares favourably with other government campaigns with a similar annual media spend which tend to have unique visits of between 100,000 and 120,000 a month.
Awareness of the phrase Act On CO2 has increased by 8 pecentage points from 29 per cent. in summer 2008 to 37 per cent. in 2008. Just over 40 per cent. claim to be aware of the logo, which is perceived by the majority to be from Government. This represents an increase of 17 percentage pointsthe highest recognition to date.
In July 2008, results showed that over 60 per cent. of the public had or were planning to take actions to reduce their CO2 emissions as a result of the campaignan increase of 10 per cent. on findings following the summer 2007 campaign phase.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on (i) publicity and (ii) advertising in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the remit is of each non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department; and what budget each has been set for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: My Department sponsors 67 executive and advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) which help DEFRA to deliver its strategic priorities. Information about the scope of their interests can be found at
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board is largely funded by statutory levies that it collects from the agriculture and horticulture industries and from income from its commercial activities. It receives no dedicated grant funding from DEFRA.
Food from Britain (FFB) £4 million though additional funding may be made available this year so that FFB can discharge its liabilities to the FFB pension scheme as part of the process of closing down the organisation.
Sea Fish Industry Authority is largely funded by statutory levies that it collects from the sea fish industries and from income from its commercial activities. It receives no dedicated grant funding from DEFRA. Additional revenue is in the form of grants from UK Government and the EU. Seafish is expected to bid for grants of around £2,500,000 in 2008-09.
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