Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what assessment the House of Commons Commission has made of the potential contribution of use of (a) micro-generation and (b) combined heat and power to improving the energy efficiency of the House of Commons part of the parliamentary estate; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: Studies have been undertaken to assess the potential for micro-generation and combined heat and power to improve energy efficiency across the estate. These include assessments of the potential for solar, wind and tidal power generation, borehole water cooling and combined heat, power and cooling for the Palace of Westminster. Solar, wind and tidal power generation for the Palace have, at this stage, been discounted due mainly to heritage restrictions and unfavourable local conditions. Combined heat, power and cooling is now being subjected to an in-depth feasibility study the outcome of which will determine a way forward.
Additional opportunities are also being reviewed including connection of northern outbuildings to the Whitehall District Heating (combined heat and power) System and resolving the long-standing problems preventing the use of the existing combined heat and power plant in Norman Shaw South.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what appeals process may be invoked by farmers who face deductions from their single farm payments for (a) cattle passport contraventions, (b) breaches of the conditions of the Rural Stewardship Scheme and (c) other matters. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: A farmer facing a deduction from their Single Payment Scheme claim may appeal against the decision to apply the reductions under the Single Payment Scheme Appeal Procedure. Full details of this procedure can be found on the RPA website
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking at EU level to seek to improve welfare standards for animals in transit in the EU. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: At the 7 September EU Agriculture Council meeting, the Secretary of State expressed concern at the unnecessarily long journeys some animals undertake within Europe, particularly to slaughter. He urged the European Commission to give due consideration to shorter journey times and improved enforcement of welfare in transport rules when putting forward proposals to review the legislation. Commission proposals for an early review have not come forward this year as expected. It is not now known when new proposals may be drawn up although the Commission is obliged to review the Regulation by 2011.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what culling methods have been used in trials for culling tuberculosis-infected badgers; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Gassing of badgers in setts with hydrogen cyanide gas was carried out between 1975-1982, when it was discontinued due to studies which showed it to be inhumane. Trapping and shooting has been the culling method used since, during the clean ring (1982-1986) and interim (1986-1997) control strategies and the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (1998-2005). Both tuberculosis-infected and uninfected badgers were removed in all of these operations. It was also the manner of culling used during the live test trial (1994-1996), which initially aimed to remove individual infected badgers that tested positive to a diagnostic test (known as the Brock Elisa test). However, due to the poor performance of the test in detecting infected badgers, the trial was suspended in 1996.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 on the Rural Development Programme for Business Support Scheme; and how many businesses received assistance from the scheme in each of those years. 
(1)( )These figures relate to activity supported under Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) business support measures as defined under Solutions for Business. RDPE is part of Solutions for Business, the Government's package of publicly funded business support designed to help companies start and grow.
|Spend (£ million)||Number of businesses supported|
Dan Norris: DEFRA does not hold this information centrally. The Department's grant programmes are administered by a wide range of delivery bodies. To collect the information centrally would incur disproportionate cost.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much grant in aid was provided by his Department to the Commission for Rural Communities in each of the last three years. 
| Source: CRC Annual Report 2008-09 and CRC Annual Report 2007-08.|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the measures in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 on (a) the prevalence of pit bull terriers and similar breeds and (b) trends in the number of attacks on humans by dogs in the last 10 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: No assessment has been made of the effect of the measures in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 on the prevalence of pit bull terriers and similar breeds and trends in the number of attacks on humans by dogs in the last 10 years. However, following a spate of high profile dog attacks in 2007, DEFRA consulted police forces for their views on the current dangerous dog legislation. Responses indicated that more guidance should be made available to the police. In April of this year, DEFRA made available additional guidance on the law. We also provided the Association of Chief of Police Officers £20,000 towards the training of specialist dog legislation officers.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on overnight accommodation for (a) Ministers and (b) officials while overseas in each of the last three years. 
Information on expenditure on overnight accommodation for Ministers is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Travel by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code respectively. The Cabinet Office produces an annual list of overseas travel over £500 undertaken by Ministers. The 2008-09 list was published on 16 July and can be viewed at:
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average level of fluoride ions in parts per million was in water supplied to households by each water company in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Water companies have provided sample results giving actual fluoride levels in treated water since 2004 to the Drinking Water Inspectorate. The average levels of fluoride in tap water samples taken in each year from 2004 to 2008 by company are provided below. These data are published on the Drinking Water Inspectorate's website.
|Average fluoride in parts per million|
|(1) Scottish and Southern Energy was a new supplier in 2008|
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