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Mr. Benyon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date he most recently discussed sea fishing quotas with his counterparts in the devolved administrations; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: I regularly discuss fisheries issues with my counterparts in the devolved Administrations; the most recent discussion was at the European Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Monday 25 May 2009.
The latest discussions I have had with my counterparts that focused specifically on quotas were in the run up to our joint announcement on 13 May 2009 to set up a quadrilateral Ministerial Working Group to deliver proposals for quota management and licensing reforms in the UK.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of mutual aid agreements established by local authorities following the recommendations of the Pitt report on flooding. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We estimate there are hundreds of such agreements in place across England and Wales. These agreements cover a whole range of aspects of mutual aid between local authorities and between organisations which might be called upon during wide-area emergencies. In December 2008, guidance to local authorities on establishing mutual aid protocols was published jointly by the Cabinet Office, the Local Government Association and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. The impact of this guidance on the number and standard of mutual aid arrangements will be surveyed during the course of this year.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the results of the first bidding round for the property-level flood protection grants scheme. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average time taken to process an abstraction licence application for hydropower schemes was in each of the last four years. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency has collected information on the time taken to determine hydropower permit applications since November 2008. The time taken to determine applications between receipt of the formal application to issuing a permit is as follows:
2008: Average time 133 days
2009: Average time 119 days
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the amounts of money raised from the disposal of waste by the (a) landfill tax and (b) Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: Landfill Tax is administered by HM Revenue and Customs. The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme is a trading scheme between local authorities and as such the Government do not raise money from it.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the potential for the use of side-flapped, automatic sheeting systems for tipper trucks to contribute to a reduction in littering; and if he will make a statement. 
Current regulations require all loads to be secured so that no danger or nuisance is caused to any person or property by the load either falling or being blown from the vehicle. Vehicle users are free to select the most appropriate equipment to meet these requirements and there are no plans to make an assessment of any new systems.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Marine and Fisheries Agency spent on hospitality and entertainment in each of the last five years. 
The Agency may, with the prior approval of the chief executive and in accordance with DEFRA departmental policies, incur expenditure on hospitality in furtherance of its business including, for example, working lunches, dinners and similar meetings with external stakeholders and representatives of other countries marine and fishery authorities.
|MFA hospitality (£)|
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter of 31 March 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. M. Carey. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to support milk production; and what assessment he has made of the effect on dairy farmers of recent trends in the price of milk. 
I am aware of the current prices and declining milk production, and their effect on the dairy sector at present. This is not specific to the UK, as other EU member states are also experiencing similar drops in milk deliveries. It is normal to see a fall in prices at this time of year due to seasonal production increases. This has been exacerbated somewhat by the high returns experienced in 2007-08 which resulted in an increase in supply, and the fall in global demand seen recently due to the current economic situation.
Phase 1 (March to September 2009): low resolution assessment of downstream risk to life for all reservoirs covered by the Reservoirs Act 1975 (i.e. those over 25,000 cubic metres capacity). As at the end of May, 57 reservoirs had been mapped under this Phase.
Phase 2 (June 2009 to January 2010): higher resolution assessment on the higher risk reservoirs identified in Phase 1.
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA no longer funds the Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs). From April 2005 to March 2008, DEFRA had part-funded this scheme to allow a smooth transition to local authorities and other funding sources after the Countryside Agency withdrew from this area of work.
The vision for the long-term funding of RHEs was that they should be supported at a local level by the same local authorities and housing associations whose rural delivery they exist to support. This reflects the
Government's desire to enable decisions about priorities to be taken at the local level in response to local needs. Hence, local authorities, housing associations and registered social landowners now fund the scheme.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with local authorities in Devon on the disposal of small holdings in local authority ownership. 
Jane Kennedy: There have been no specific discussions with local authorities in Devon on the disposal of local authority smallholdings. However, in the foreword to the latest Annual Report on Smallholdings, a copy of which is in the House Library, I made it clear that DEFRA fully supports the continuation of the county farm system.
I understand that in Devon following a Best Value Review in 2001 the council firmly backed the retention of a county farm estate and that the current estate comprises 60 smallholdings, of which 20 are starter farms and 40 progression farms.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2009, Official Report, column 439W, on trade unions, what office facilities his Department provides for the exclusive use of each recognised trade union; and what the notional annual value of such provision is. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA and its Executive agencies provide trade unions access to appropriate facilities to enable them to carry out their duties effectively, provided this does not interfere with departmental work and they are not used excessively. Examples include:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the first set of quarterly data from WasteDataFlow returns to be published following the Environment Agencys issuing of guidance to waste disposal authorities on listing the final destination of waste. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) of 12 March 2009, Official Report, column 685W, on waste disposal: fees and charges, which local authorities made initial inquiries about participating in piloting a waste reduction scheme. 
Mark Pritchard: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what representations the Church Commissioners have received on funding for repairs to the roof of St. Margarets Church, Westminster. 
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