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Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of maintaining the databases owned and managed by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies was in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007 and (iii) 2008. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA and its agencies own or maintain a wide range of databases reflecting its diverse policy and regulatory functions. The costs of maintaining these databases are included within the costs for each of these functions. Separating out the costs of maintaining databases for such a broad range of activities could be provided only at disproportionate cost to the Department.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new recruits his Department took on in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09; how many of these were taken on as (i) permanent, (ii) temporary and (iii) agency staff; and what estimate he has made of the equivalent figures for (A) 2009-10 and (B) 2010-11. 
|Financial year||Permanent||Short-term appointments||Total|
|(1) Period covered is 1 April to 31 December 2008.|
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many language translators are employed in each of his Departments (a) executive agencies and (b) non-Ministerial departments; and what the cost of translating services provided by such people was in the latest period for which information is available. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: None of DEFRAs Executive agencies employ translators but can use core DEFRA services. Their share of the costs of these in 2007-08 was £26,497. The Forestry Commission employs one translator. Their translation services in 2007-08 cost £40,665.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on research to support the development of the (a) Exotic Animal Disease Contingency Plan and (b) Farm Animal Welfare Council Opinion on the Welfare of Farmed Gamebirds. 
(a) DEFRA funds research on a range of exotic diseases of animals. The research provides evidence that contributes to policy development aimed at better prevention and control of exotic diseases. This evidence is utilised in the Exotic Animal Disease Contingency Plans. In the financial year 2008-09, the Department will be spending £7.3 million on research on exotic diseases of animals.
(b) The Department spent £341,362 on research to inform the Farm Animal Welfare Council Opinion on the Welfare of Farmed Gamebirds. The cost of research carried out by Farm Animal Welfare Council members was approximately £17,100. The cost of Secretariat and DEFRA veterinary advice provision was approximately £9,200.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the future skills needs of low carbon, resource-efficient environmental sectors. 
Jane Kennedy: In 2008, DEFRA commissioned a review of the evidence of the skills that are, or will be, needed for a low carbon resource-efficient economy. The research was commissioned to identify gaps in the evidence base and help inform policy development in this area.
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 25 February 2009]: The Entry Level Stewardship scheme (ELS) was launched in 2005 and there are now over 37,000 live ELS agreements covering over 5 million hectares of land.
Payments under ELS are made every six months for the five-year duration of the ELS agreement. Each of these payments is made automatically, apart from the final payment for which a claim must be submitted. As the earliest ELS agreements have not yet reached the final payment stage, no claims have been submitted under the scheme to date.
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be created by bringing forward funding for flood defence schemes. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department has allocated for each category of research into sustainable forms of agriculture in each of the last four years. 
|(1) R&D programmes closed to new projects in 2005. (2) Excluding post-farm gate R&D.|
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which sites in England deal with hazardous waste; what the distance is between each site and the nearest unit of housing; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 27 January 2009]: There are about 1,300 sites permitted to store hazardous wastes, including asbestos, some batteries, television sets and fluorescent tubes. These permitted sites consist of approximately 740 hazardous waste transfer stations; 370 hazardous waste treatment facilities; 31 hazardous waste incinerators including clinical waste incinerators; 33 in-house hazardous waste storage facilities; 102 hazardous waste landfill sites (30 of which are in the process of closing); and 68 pet crematoria.
Lists of the sites have been placed in the Library of the House. The lists record the distance of each site from human occupation. Postcode specific searches for this information can be obtained on a case by case basis via the Environment Agency's website. Information on some of the sites is not available as it is not held or the site is new.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on (a) research and (b) consultations for the introduction of local authority industrial pollution regulations. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The current system of local authority industrial pollution regulation began in 1991. DEFRA's annual research expenditure on this system varies annually, but on average is around £40,000 a year. Consultations are undertaken periodically, including an annual consultation on the level of fees and charges payable by regulated businesses. In the last six months, separate consultations have been undertaken on a better regulation review of the system, and on the principles to underpin the forthcoming review of statutory guidance notes on pollution standards. Separate data are not held which distinguishes the cost of these consultations from that of managing the system as a whole.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department has allocated for the training passport scheme to train staff in the poultry industry to NVQ level qualification. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to ensure that environmental standards are upheld in waste treatment facilities. 
Jane Kennedy: Waste treatment facilities operate under a permit issued by the competent authorities (Environment Agency or local authority) that regulates the nature of the operation, the types and quantities of waste and the measures to be taken to prevent harm or pollution.
Facilities are therefore subject to a range of guidance from Government and the competent authorities in respect of their environmental standards of operation and to regular inspection and compliance monitoring by the competent authorities, which take account of the environmental risk and the operators performance.
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