|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to expedite single farm payments to farmers affected by the taking into receivership of Dairy Farmers of Britain. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Recently agreed EU legislation provides the possibility for member states to make 70 per cent. advance payments under the 2009 single payment scheme (SPS) from 16 October where full scheme controls have been completed.
We have always said that we would consider the case for advance payments on the basis of an assessment by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on what consequential impacts would be, including on the timetable of full payments for all claimants. We have yet to take a final decision, but DEFRA have spoken to the chief executive on the issue and it is clear that there would be a real risk that making advances would affect the RPA's ability to match last year's performance in making nearly £1 billion of full SPS payments in December.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) attempts and (b) successful attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (i) database and (ii) ICT system run by his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Norris: It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for Departments to confirm information on the number of attempts, successful or otherwise, to gain unauthorised access to departmental systems or databases. Such disclosure could undermine the integrity and security of departmental systems and thereby expose them to potential threats.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information databases his Department (a) maintains and (b) uses which do not contain personal information. 
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what categories of personal information on members of the public will be held on each of his Department's and its agency's databases expected to become operational in the next five years; what estimate he has made of the likely number of individuals' details each such database will hold when fully operational; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Norris: Information about the categories of personal information on members of the public that will be held on each of the Department's and its agency's databases expected to become operational in the next five years and estimates of the likely number of individual's details that each dataset will hold when fully operational can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Routine assurance of database developments during the business planning cycle ensures that any planned databases containing personal information are identified before development commences and referred to the departmental data protection team to ensure that they adhere to the Data Protection Act.
Moreover, following the publication of the cross government data handling review in June 2008, staff establishing new projects and programmes that hold significant amounts of personal data are obliged to conduct privacy impact assessments.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many interns work in his Department; what terms of reference apply to their appointment; what remuneration they receive; and how long on average an intern appointment lasts. 
Dan Norris: Five graduate internships commenced placements with DEFRA on 6 July 2009, three via the Cabinet Office Summer Development programme (ethnic minorities) and two from the summer placement scheme (disability). All interns are engaged on a paid basis at civil service EO level salaries.
The type of work offered to interns will, for example, range from a time-limited project to a more varied programme of work. The aim of such internships is to help internees develop their levels of skill and practical experience, and to increase their employability.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to encourage the veterinary profession to work more closely with the medical profession on matters relating to the transmission of diseases between humans and animals; and if he will make a statement. 
DEFRA are fully aware of the need for close collaboration between the veterinary and medical profession in preventing and controlling transmission of diseases between humans and animals. Officials continue to collaborate with their counterparts in the Department
of Health, the Health Protection Agency and the devolved Administrations regular inter-departmental meetings are held to assess the risk from diseases, as well as from newly emerging conditions, which might have the potential for inter-species transmission. There is also strong collaboration at the local level where joint assessments and co-ordinated veterinary and medical investigations of disease outbreaks are made.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the annual level of carbon dioxide emissions resulting from electrical appliances being left in standby mode. 
Dan Norris: The most recent analysis of the energy consumption of equipment in households and commercial properties was undertaken by DEFRA's Market Transformation Programme (MTP) in 2006. This estimated that the level of carbon emissions resulting from all the appliances most commonly found in UK homes was at least 7.2 TWh equal to 2.1 per cent. of UK electricity consumption or 0.8 million tonnes of carbon. The MTP is in the process of updating this information for 2008.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the tonnage of (a) aluminium, (b) wood, (c) paper, (d) green waste, (e) glass, (f) steel and (g) textiles in the municipal waste stream in each year since 1997; and how much of each he estimates was (i) recycled, (ii) landfilled and (iii) sent to energy from waste facilities (A) in total and (B) in each local authority area in each such year. 
Dan Norris: DEFRA keeps tonnages of municipal waste sent for recycling in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08, broken down into material types. Data on waste sent to landfill or for energy recovery is not broken down into material types, but the totals are available. All this data are available at local authority level and will be placed in the Library shortly.
WasteDataFlow and DEFRA's Municipal Waste Management Survey.
Mr. Stewart Jackson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will
make an estimate of the unit cost to a local authority of the provision of wheeled refuse containers for the collection of household waste. 
Dan Norris: It is not feasible to make an estimate of the unit cost to a local authority of the provision of wheelie bins. This will depend on a number of factors including which company the local authority procures the bins from and the number of bins ordered.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to Lord Taylor of Holbeach of 2 July 2009, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA94, on waste management: refuse collection, what proportion of dwellings used wheeled refuse containers for the collection of residual waste in each year for which figures are available. 
Dan Norris: The following table shows the percentage of dwellings in England that have been issued with wheeled refuse containers by local authorities for the collection of residual (black bag) waste from 2000-01 to 2007-08.
|Percentage of dwellings using wheeled refuse containers for residual waste|
|n/a = Not available.|
WasteDataFlow and DEFRA's Municipal Waste Management Survey.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Environment Agency delivers major investment programmes through flood risk and civil engineering work. Expenditure includes the feasibility, design and supervision of these projects which are developed through accessing specialist engineering companies.
The following table shows total Environment Agency expenditure on consultants in each of the last five years. This expenditure includes regional and national civil engineering consultants, water management engineering consultants, environmental policy consultants and management consultants.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the statutory obligations upon it provided for in legislation introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available. 
The administrative burdens measurement exercise carried out by the Government in 2006 put the proportion of administrative burdens stemming from the EU at approximately one third of the total administrative burden.
The important thing is not the origins of a legislation, which could of course be a devolved administration or a local authority, as well as the Government or the EU, but the quality of the regulation. All regulations, irrespective of their origins, should comply with the principles of better regulation. Regulations should be risk based, proportionate and well designed, so as to achieve their objectives while also keeping costs to a minimum. The Government continue to work with European partners to ensure that EU regulations meet these standards.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on levels of bank lending to farmers; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: No recent formal representations have been received on the subject of bank lending to farmers. At the end of March 2009, net lending to agriculture, forestry and hunting in the UK stood at just below £11 billion. This was more than £900 million higher than at the same point in 2008 and some £280 million above the level recorded at the end of 2008. There is strong evidence that the banking sector is continuing to lend to farm businesses with sound business cases but DEFRA will continue to monitor the situation.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|