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Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 1415W, on departmental marketing, how much of the total for the year 2007-08 was funded by the Firearms and Explosives Branch. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much in European regional aid structural funding was allocated to Northern Ireland
for 2000 to 2006; how much of this funding had been spent by 31 December 2008; and whether a request was made to the European Commission to extend the spending deadline beyond this date. 
Mr. Woodward: The information is not available in the form requested. I am advised by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland, which has responsibility for these matters, that European regional aid structural funding of €1,434,485,611 (approx £1,141,541,061) was provided for the period 2000-08.
In the UK, managing authorities made the decision whether to extend their programmes. BERR officials consolidated those requests (which included a request from Northern Ireland) in a letter to the European Commission. This letter included the request to extend the Northern Ireland Objective 1 transitional programme and the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland INTERREG Strand A programme.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent to date on lawyers and legal firms employed by the (a) Hamill, (b) Wright and (c) Nelson inquiries.  [Official Report, 20 April 2009, Vol. 491, c. 1MC.]
(a) The Robert Hamill Inquiry£8.74 million;
(b) The Billy Wright Inquiry£4.87 million;
(c) The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry£13.05 million.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what guidance his Department provided to local authorities in Northern Ireland on their investment strategies during periods of direct rule since 1997. 
Mr. Woodward: Local government matters are devolved in Northern Ireland. I have been advised by the Northern Ireland Minister for the Environment that no specific guidance on investment strategies was issued to local authorities by his Department during the periods of direct rule since 1997.
The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 and the Trustee Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 provide for district councils in Northern Ireland to invest funds. The Trustee Act contains a general power of investment and sets out standard investment criteria, to which district councils are expected to adhere.
Mr. Woodward: The Robert Hamill Inquiry does not directly employ security guards. It holds a contract with a private company for the provision of security guards for the Inquiry's Belfast accommodation, and a separate company provides staff to carry out overnight and weekend guarding for the building as a whole.
Mr. Woodward: The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry does not directly employ security guards. It holds a contract with a private company for the provision of security guards for the inquiry's Belfast accommodation, and a separate company provides staff to carry out overnight and weekend guarding for the building as a whole.
Huw Irranca-Davies: In England GM crops were grown in trials last year on no more than two hectares of land, and it has been reported that a limited area of an EU-approved GM maize was grown commercially in Wales.
The Government are taking forward a number of measures aimed at achieving our vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. The Marine and Coastal Access Bill currently before the House of Lords will improve
the way in which we sustainably manage our marine environment. The Government are also committed to work to achieve Good Environmental Status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and action towards sustainable fisheries management.
Hilary Benn: The Government provided a total of £168 million in funding to upland farmers through the hill farm allowance and the single payment scheme in 2008. Rural development funding in 2007 also provided upland farmers with £56 million from agri-environment schemes.
The HFA will be replaced by Uplands ELS in 2010. Based on uptake of 80 per cent., funding will be around £25 million a year. Further to this, a significant amount of new Higher Level Stewardship funding will go to upland farmers.
9. Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of the recommendations in Sir Michael Pitt's report from the 2007 floods Lessons learned have been implemented. 
The Government's response to the Pitt Review set out what had been implemented before December 2008 and the further steps required to implement its recommendations in the future. The Government will report further on implementation every six months, beginning in June 2009.
Jane Kennedy: The economic downturn poses new challenges, especially because of volatility in markets; and we are keeping a very close watch on the situation. The clear message to householders is that there are markets for most materials and we should continue to recycle.
11. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in his Department's discussions with the farming industry on sharing the costs of the animal disease strategy. 
Jane Kennedy: There has been considerable progress, as reflected in the 2006 report of the Joint Industry-Government Working Group and the work of the Consultative Forum between December 2007 and July 2008.
12. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in discussions with the European Commission on new rules on country of origin food labelling. 
Jane Kennedy: The EU Commission is aiming to simplify existing general food labelling and nutrition labelling legislation and published the EU Proposal for a Regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers in February 2008.
There have yet to be substantive discussions on this issue in Europe under the proposed Food Information Regulation. But the Government will be pressing for much clearer rules backing up origin claims.
16. Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the use of country of origin labelling for food and food products. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA staff in York are supported through an onsite subsidised nursery. The nursery currently supports a total of 50 children of staff from DEFRA, the Pesticides Safety Directorate (now part of the Health and Safety Executive) and the Meat Hygiene Service, who are all located on the Kings Pool site.
14. Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the operation of the single farm payment scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: I am pleased to confirm that the Rural Payments Agency met the first of its formal targets for payments under the 2008 single payment scheme, to pay 75 per cent. by value by the end of January, and is on course to meet its next target, to pay 90 per cent. by value by the end of March. Latest figures show that just under £1.37 billion (84.35 per cent.) has been paid to nearly 96,000 customers (over 90 per cent.)
18. James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department has allocated for implementation of the recommendations of Sir Michael Pitt's review of the floods of the summer of 2007. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Government set aside £34.5 million of the £2.15 billion total for flood and coastal erosion in this year and the following two years to implement Sir Michael Pitt's Review. This response also draws upon other budgets available for flood risk management activity in order to invest a total of over £60 million in delivering the recommendations over the same period.
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has a new role to co-ordinate food policy across Government and has a new departmental strategic objective for a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply. We are working across Government and with stakeholders for sustainable production, distribution and consumption of food, ensuring that it is available and affordable for all sectors of society, and considering the sustainability impacts of meeting global food needs.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether he has received a request from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council for exemption from the Clean Air Act 1993 to facilitate the burning of wood pellets in coal-fired boilers; 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Barnsley metropolitan borough council wrote to DEFRA in September last year regarding exemptions under the Clean Air Act 1993 and in October, following a request from my Department for further information. My hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley, West and Penistone (Mr. Clapham) also wrote to the Secretary of State in September last year regarding the councils pilot trials.
DEFRA replied to Barnsley metropolitan council on 5 December 2008 and explained that, in this case, it was considered that a general exemption was not appropriate
but that it was open to the council to make a local exemption to enable wood pellets to be used in certain coal fired boilers in their area.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proposals he has to simplify the procedure for applying for an exemption under the Smoke Control Areas (Exempted Fireplaces) Order. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: In 2006, the Government, in response to the Biomass Task Force 2005 Report, agreed to ask the British Standards Institute to review their guidelines for testing appliances for smokeless operation with a view to simplifying the exemption procedure. We have since implemented changes to streamline and simplify the application and testing procedure for exempting appliances for use in smoke control areas. We will continue to keep these procedures under review but currently have no plans to introduce further simplifications.
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