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12 Oct 2009 : Column 280W—continued

Birds: Urban Areas

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding he has provided for research into the impact of seagull droppings on town centres in (a) 2009-10 and (b) subsequent years; and if he will make a statement. [292153]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information is as follows:

Coastal Areas

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many coastal change pathfinders he expects to be created following the consultation on coastal change policy; and if he will make a statement. [290054]


12 Oct 2009 : Column 281W

Huw Irranca-Davies: The Consultation on Coastal Change Policy was launched alongside the pathfinder competition on 15 June 2009. It included a number of criteria against which bids from local authorities interested in becoming pathfinders will be assessed. The number of pathfinders that are created will depend on the nature of the bids received and how well they meet the published criteria.

The closing date for bids was 11 September 2009 and I can confirm that 20 bids have been received. These are now being assessed against the published criteria and I expect to announce the selected pathfinders later in the autumn.

Compost: Health Hazards

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects on public health of odour emissions from mushroom composting sites in England. [291238]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 16 September 2009]: Mushroom composting operations which produce compost for sale are regulated under the local authority pollution control regime. It is intended shortly to extend this form of regulation to all mushroom composting operations. A key focus of such regulation is on the control of odour emissions, which can be particularly offensive. No assessment has been made of the effect of the odour emission on public health.

Delivery Unit

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what stocktake meetings his Department has had with the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit in the last 12 months. [289943]

Dan Norris: The PMDU is in constant contact with Departments as part of its process of taking stock of delivery. It reports regularly to the PM, the Treasury and the Departments concerned.

Departmental Advertising

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on newspaper advertising carried in each newspaper in the most recent year for which figures are available. [289505]

Dan Norris: Please find as follows a table which indicates newspaper advertising carried in each newspaper for 2008.


12 Oct 2009 : Column 282W
Title/Display 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008 t otal (£)

Birmingham Evening Mail

1,400

Daily Mail

151,787

Daily Star

35,475

Daily Telegraph

59,856

Daily mirror

88,578

Daily Express

51,880

Guardian Weekend

3,600

Guardian

25,100

Independent

12,599

Independent on Sunday

1,900

Mail on Sunday-Live Magazine

52,750

Mail on Sunday

169,318

News of t he World

102,443

Observer

6,200

Observer Magazine

3,500

Telegraph - Sat Magazine

7,000

Sunday Telegraph-7 Magazine

4,000

Sunday Mirror

64,206

Sunday Times Magazine

35,875

Sunday Times Review

51,500

Sunday Telegraph

23,310

Sun

184,231

Star Sunday

1,900

Sunday Express

29,722

Sunday Times

63,936

Times

85,897


Please find as follows costs for statutory and recruitment advertising. As a number of DEFRA's recruitment adverts are placed through the Cabinet Office framework as part of a whole advertising campaign (campaigns can include the preparation of application packs, advertisements, sifting and assessments) it is not possible to split out the advertising element at a proportionate cost.

Classified/Recruitment £

National Press

3,091

Regional Press

1,986

Public Notices

27,523


Departmental Databases

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what databases are (a) owned and (b) maintained by his Department. [291845]

Dan Norris: DEFRA own and maintains a wide range of databases reflecting its diverse policy and regulatory functions. A full list could be provided only at disproportionate cost to the Department.

However, DEFRA's information asset register does provide details of many of the databases managed by the Department. This register is available on the Department's website at:

Departmental Dismissal

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many members of staff have (a) been dismissed and ( b) had their contract terminated by his Department in each of the last five years; what the reason was in each case; and what the severance costs in relation to (i) dismissal and (ii) contract termination were in each such year. [290526]

Dan Norris: The following table details the number of employees dismissed from DEFRA and its executive agencies in each of the last five years together with the reasons and associated costs where appropriate:


12 Oct 2009 : Column 283W
Financial year Performance Attendance Misconduct Costs (£)

2005-06

6

8

12

117,471.59

2006-07

10

(1,2)-

9

32,407.90

2007-08

12

12

9

24,371.99

2008-09

6

6

8

120,841.28

2009-10

(1)-

(1)-

(1)-

(1)-

(1) Withheld on confidentiality grounds
Notes:
1. The data are for DEFRA's executive agencies but not non departmental public bodies as sourcing this information can be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
2. Because of the small number of dismissals in these years, we cannot give figures because of the possibility of identifying individuals.

These dismissals were the result of staff undergoing procedures for unsatisfactory performance (including probation), unsatisfactory attendance and misconduct.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out the requirements for Departments to have procedures in place to deal with discipline, attendance and performance issues. All dismissals are conducted in line with DEFRA's misconduct, attendance and performance policies and procedures, which are available to staff via DEFRA's intranet.

The following table details the number of employees who have had their contract terminated as a result of redundancy in each of the last five years together with associated severance costs where appropriate:

Financial year Number of redundancies Costs (£)

2005-06

0

0

2006-07

22

400,000.00

2007-08

13

769,420.00

2008-09

8

200,000.00

2009-10

(1)-

(1)-

Notes:
1. The data are for DEFRA's executive agencies but not non departmental public bodies as sourcing this information can be provided only at disproportionate cost threshold.
2. Because of the small number of redundancies in this year, we cannot give figures because of the possibility of identifying individuals.

Departmental Flexible Working

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what flexi-time arrangements were available to staff of his Department in each of the last five years; and how many staff participated in such arrangements in each such year. [290528]

Dan Norris: DEFRA and its agencies are committed to helping their staff to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Managers and employees are encouraged to think creatively about working patterns to help ensure the Department delivers a high quality service to its customers whilst accommodating the flexible working requests of its employees wherever possible.

In doing so, DEFRA meets the legal requirement to provide certain employees the right to request flexible working arrangements. Eligible employees are those responsible for bringing up a young (under 16) or disabled (under 18) child and those who are responsible for caring for an adult.

The flexible working practices in place for staff in DEFRA include:


12 Oct 2009 : Column 284W

DEFRA has also promoted the Civil Service Job Share website that was launched in May 2009 to help its employees find job share partners.

In terms of DEFRA'S flexi-time provisions, all staff below senior civil service (SCS) are eligible to apply to participate. The system allows employees to accrue time worked over and above their conditioned hours which they can then take in addition to their annual leave entitlement with approval from their manager.

Requests by staff to participate in the flexi-time arrangements are agreed, or otherwise, by line managers and no records are held centrally. These data can therefore be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Departmental Information Officers

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press officers his Department employs. [291844]

Dan Norris: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs currently employs 18 full-time equivalent press officers.

Departmental Location

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of his Department's staff have their main place of work (a) in and (b) outside London. [291851]

Dan Norris: The following table shows the number of staff in DEFRA and its agencies that work in London offices and the number that work outside London. The figures are staff in post (headcount) as at 31 August 2009.

Department/agency London-based Outside London Total

DEFRA

1,906

584

2,490

Animal Health

26

1,682

1,708

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

3

561

564

Food and Environment Research Agency

15

904

919

Marine and Fisheries Agency

99

102

201

Rural Payments Agency

0

3,326

3,326

Veterinary Laboratories Agency

0

1,331

1,331

Veterinary Medicines Directorate

0

153

153

Total

2,049

8,643

10,692


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