Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission whether the Electoral Commission plans to investigate donations made by Catz Club to political parties following the announcement of a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission into previously undisclosed payments. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it has considered two donations made to the Labour party by Catz Club, a permissible donor under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. Both donations arose from payments made by Catz Club to attend Labour party events. A proportion of the payments met the costs of the services provided at the event, and a proportion was a donation to the party.
On the basis of information available, the Electoral Commission concluded that the figure used by the party for the cost of services provided in each instance was reasonable, and that there was no breach of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which areas in England exceeded (a) national and (b) European air quality limit values for particulates at any time in the last 12 months. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Under EU legislation, the UK is required to monitor the air continuously for levels of particulate matter (PM10) and to report to the European Commission on an annual basis. The UK also reports modelled data, in accordance with the legislation.
As a result of improvements over many years the limit values are met across more than 99 per cent. of the country, delivering significant health benefits. The few remaining areas where we have reported exceedences are small. The monitoring information for 2008 remains provisional and the fully ratified data are not yet available. However, on the basis of provisional data monitored breaches of EU limit values for particulate matter are only expected to occur in London. The modelling assessment is not due to be completed until the summer.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times the UK has breached European Union air quality (a) particulate, (b) sulphur dioxide, (c) lead and (d)
carbon monoxide limits in each year since they were introduced; and what steps the European Commission has taken in each case. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Under EU legislation, the UK is required to monitor the air for levels of particulate matter (PM10), and to report to the European Commission on an annual basis. The UK also reports modelled data, in accordance with the legislation.
For the purposes of implementing EU legislation the UK is divided up into 43 agglomeration zones (areas with a contiguous population of over 250,000 as specified by the air quality directives) and non-agglomeration zones. There are 28 agglomeration zones and 15 non-agglomeration zones.
The UK has not reported any breaches of EU limit values for lead or carbon monoxide since they were introduced. A breach of the sulphur dioxide limits was modelled and reported to the European Commission in 2005 and 2006, in the eastern zone close to a brick works in Stewartby. The European Commission requested information on action being taken to address the breaches, and, on the basis of the UK response, there has been no further correspondence. Breaches have not been reported subsequently and the brick works has now closed.
Like most other member states, the UK has reported a number of breaches of the limits for particulates (PM10) since they came into force in 2005. There has been correspondence between the Commission and many other member states on these breaches. Most recently the Commission wrote to the UK Government and a number of other member states in January in relation to breaches since 2006 in the absence of a time extension Notification seeking additional time to meet the limit value. The UK has since submitted a time extension notification for the relevant zones/agglomerations as provided for under the Ambient Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC). Details of breaches reported since 2005 are set out in the PM10 time extension notification application which can be accessed using the following link:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on his decision to suspend the third phase of London's low emission zone. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Lord Hunt met with the Mayor of London on 22 January 2009 to discuss how DEFRA and the Greater London Authority could work together to ensure air quality limit values for particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) were met in London. Following this meeting, officials in DEFRA, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London have met to discuss potential measures and these discussions are continuing.
The meeting with the Mayor was prior to his announcement on the suspension of the third phase of the London low emission zone (LEZ). While the Mayor has indicated his intentions to suspend the LEZ Phase 3 from October 2010, a final decision will be subject to
consultation which will take place between now and then. Should the Mayor decide to suspend Phase 3 the Government expect him to put in place other measures that would contribute to achieving the limit values to the same, if not greater, extent.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to consult beekeepers and other bee enthusiasts on the development of his Department's national bee health strategy; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The 'Healthy Bees' plan was developed with beekeeping associations and other interested parties and was launched on 9 March. Strengthened partnership working between these parties is vital to the success of the plan. My officials will therefore shortly be discussing the implementation of the plan with key beekeeping representatives in order to secure a sustainable way forward.
DEFRA has allocated new resources for the bee health programme to fund the implementation of the plan. On top of its current £1.3 million, an additional £1.137 million will be provided to the National Bee Unit in the financial year 2009-10 and £1.158 million in 2010-11 to implement the first stage of the plan.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has been made of the proportion of personal computers in each of his Departments offices that are turned off (a) overnight, (b) at weekends and (c) during holiday periods; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA is nearing completion of a programme to roll-out new Energy Star compliant Vista laptops and desktops to its staff in core DEFRA and those agencies/NDPBs taking all their desktop services from IBM (including Animal Health, Natural England and Marine and Fisheries Agency), a total of some 7,000 staff.
These new devices deploy Vistas inbuilt group policy options to enforce a default switch to the Vista sleep (which drops the device to a low power setting) and then hibernate standby modes (which encrypts the data and then switches off the machine) after pre-set periods of inactivity.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) printers and (b) multi-function devices with printing functions were in use in each division of his Department in each of the last five years; how many such devices had a function enabling two-sided printing; and if he will make a statement. 
In 2007 a printer consolidation exercise was undertaken for the core Department and those of its agencies taking desktop services from the Departments strategic supplier IBM (some 4,500 staff). As a result:
2,044 printers were removed for disposal
601 multi-function devices were installed with duplex settings
749 existing printers with duplex and standby power modes were redeployed.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what proportion of IT products in each category procured for each division of his Department were compliant with the Governments Buy Sustainable-Quick Win standard in the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: For core DEFRA and those agencies taking all their IT services from IBM, (some 4,500 staff), IBM currently uses a catalogue of assets that conform with the Quick Wins criteria for those product sectors where these are now in place i.e. laptops, desktops and monitors.
96 per cent. of the currently deployed 4,500 IBM desktop and laptop assets are compliant with Quick Wins, following completion of a recent refresh exercise that provided a single device for all these staff.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent on (a) the purchase of and (b) bills for (i) BlackBerrys and (ii) other mobile telephones for (A) Ministers, (B) special advisers and (C) civil servants in his Department in each year since 2005. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The requested information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Department does not record costs at the level of detail required to allow a breakdown per device or for the categories of individual requested.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) BlackBerrys and (b) other mobile telephones have been provided to (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) civil servants in his Department in each year since 2005. 
1. In the case of BlackBerry services, these are provided through the IBM contract. DEFRA is unable to provide a breakdown of past usage of BlackBerry services as this would require a manual trawl of historical data that would incur disproportionate cost. We have shown the usage figures for March 2009 for the core Department for information as an indication of current usage:
|(1) Figure relates to civil servants in core Department only.|
2. In the case of mobile phones, these are purchased via OGCs Mobile Solutions contract. DEFRA is unable to provide the data at the level of detail requested for historical data. The total number of connections for the core Department and a breakdown for March 2009 data is included in the following table:
|Total connections( 1)|
|(1) Figures based on connections during the year from historical reports in December 2006, October 2007, December 2008, April 2009. Data from 2005 not readily available at proportionate cost.|
(2) Figure is based on assumption that civil servants equals end users i.e. civil servants and contractors working in the Department.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 March 2009, Official Report, columns 826-27W, on the economic situation, what expenditure was incurred by his Department in relation to (a) the internal conference held in October 2008 and (b) the seminar with delivery bodies held in November 2008, under each budgetary heading. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The total cost of the senior civil service conference in October 2008 was £16,064.76. £6,687.11 was spent on venue hire and catering and £9,377.65 was spent on facilitation of the event. There were no costs incurred for the following workshops.
The seminar with DEFRA delivery bodies on 10 November 2008 was held at the offices of WRAP in Banbury. The only costs to DEFRA were the time and rail travel of seven departmental representatives. Attendees from the other delivery bodies would have incurred similar costs.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress is being made to end the right to automatic connections to surface water drains for major new developments. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Provision for the amendment of the right to automatically connect surface water drains and sewers serving new developments to the public sewerage system, under section 106 of the Water Industry Act 1991, is contained in the draft Flood and Water Management Bill, published for consultation on 21 April.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that water company price reviews for 2009 make provision for them to achieve required works for the resilience to flooding of critical infrastructure; and what discussions he has had with Ofwat on the issue. 
Consideration of the risks and impacts of floods on water and sewerage infrastructure and the greater incidence of more extreme weather conditions that climate change is likely to bring, should also extend to resilience of the water industry. Companies, in their business plans, are expected to consider the vulnerability of their critical assets to hazards and assess the resilience of their asset systems in providing services to their customers and the environment. In addition, specific regulatory requirements are placed on companies by the Security and Emergency Measures Direction (SEMD) 1998, and on Licensees by SEMD 2006. These directions among other things, require companies to carry out security work on their vital installations, and protect their other installations and facilities according to Guidance issued by the Government to companies. Ofwat is expected to ensure that companies are able to invest in essential works.
I received a joint briefing from Ofwat, the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Drinking Water Inspectorate on 27 April on water and sewerage companies final business plans, which were submitted to Ofwat on 7 April. This included discussions on resilience.
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