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Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the rules of his Department and its agencies are on the use of work computers for personal communication. 
Dan Norris: Personal computers, email and other DEFRA IT facilities are provided primarily for work related purposes. A reasonable level of personal use of the work email account is permitted providing that:
the sending or receipt of personal email messages does not interfere with work commitments;
the email messages do not constitute any misuse of email, e.g. downloading or forwarding chain mail, or material of a pornographic, sexist, racist or derogatory nature;
staff do not use the departmental email system for any kind of private business or to raise money for themselves or anyone else. To use email in connection with fund-raising activities for a recognised charity, staff must first consult about the propriety aspects;
the email messages could not adversely affect DEFRA's reputation.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by press officers in his Department in each of the last three financial years. 
Dan Norris: During the 2009-10 financial year (from April to November 2009), £11,703.61 was claimed in reimbursable expenses by press officers within the Department. This figure includes all cash reimbursed expenses and those claimed on corporate credit cards for travel and subsistence. It would incur disproportionate cost to identify other minor expenses on corporate credit cards.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the National Forest has made to Cavendish Communications and Cavendish Public Affairs in the last 12 months; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments were made. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: In the last 12 months the National Forest Company has made payments amounting to £16,997.80 to Cavendish Place Communications for advice on communication with cross-parliamentary audiences, necessary for the delivery of the National Forest Delivery Plan 2009-14. There is no contract in place with Cavendish Public Affairs.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the Waste and Resources Action Programme has made to Fishburn Hedges in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments were made. 
Dan Norris: Following a competitive tender, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) contracted Fishburn Hedges to develop and deliver communications support across five separate areas of work. This has included three highly successful nationwide consumer campaigns:
Recycle Now, which has delivered a step change in recycling by UK households resulting in more than two thirds of households recycling as a way of life.
Love Food Hate Waste, which has highlighted the problem of food waste and helped cut around 160,000 tonnes of food waste, and saved consumers more than £400 million a year, preventing 725,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted.
Home Composting Campaign, which has contributed to selling over two million compost bins in England and Scotland which are estimated to divert over 260,000 tonnes of organic waste each year.
In addition, Fishburn Hedges provided support to pilot campaigns in 12 local authority areas to encourage the recycling of small waste electrical products, funded
by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, as well as helping a WRAP programme promoting recycling to schools and their pupils.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments British Waterways has made to (a) Four Communications, (b) Cavendish Communications and (c) Atherton Associates in the last 12 months; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each contract under which such payments were made. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: British Waterways has advised that payments made in the 12 months since 1 November 2008 (excluding VAT) to Four Communications, Cavendish Place Communications and Atherton Associates are as follows:
(a) Four Communications-£39,805.53 for public affairs support for British Waterways London. The contract was not renewed.
(b) Cavendish Place Communication-£61,627.57 for public affairs support. This is a rolling contract.
(c) Atherton Associates-None.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments the Commission for Rural Communities has made to Connect Public Affairs in the last 12 months; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments were made. 
Dan Norris: DEFRA sponsors the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC)-a non-departmental public body which acts as an independent rural adviser, advocate and watchdog, with a particular focus on social disadvantage and economic underperformance. The CRC is tasked to advise and challenge the Government and delivery bodies at all levels to improve performance and embed best practice. The functions of the CRC are specified in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006.
During the last 12 months, the CRC has paid Connect Public Affairs £25,329.83 for events management and communications support relating to the CRC's activities in raising awareness of the needs of rural people, in line with the NERC Act, at all three major 2008 party conferences. The CRC adhered to Cabinet Office "NDPBs: Attendance at Party Conferences" guidance in relation to these events. No contracts have been entered into and no payments made during the current financial year.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what decisions have been made on amending emergency regulations to increase the minimum amount of water to be provided in an emergency in accordance with recommendation 40 of the Pitt Report. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Sir Michael Pitt's report on learning the lessons from the 2007 floods included the recommendation that DEFRA should amend emergency regulations to increase the minimum amount of water to be provided in an emergency, in order to reflect reasonable needs during a longer-term loss of mains supply.
Discussions have taken place with the water sector, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, the Health Protection Agency, the Consumer Council for Water, Ofwat and the Welsh Assembly Government. We expect to provide updated guidance to water companies on the minimum amount of water to be provided in an emergency before the new year.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the number of homes at risk of (a) coastal and (b) inland flooding in each region. 
|EA Water Management region||Tidal||River||Both||Total|
| Note: Figures are shown in thousands of properties.|
The Environment Agency's 'Flooding in England' report published in June 2009 estimated that, in addition to the above, a further 2.8 million homes and businesses in England are at risk of surface water flooding. This was an estimate to assess the scale of the risk and was not broken down by region.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of incidents of fly-tipping in the London Borough of Bexley in each of the last three years. 
The number of incidents of fly-tipping on public land reported as having been dealt with by the London borough of Bexley in each of the last three years is shown in the following table. There is currently no estimate of the number of fly-tipping incidents occurring on private land as these are the responsibility of the landowner to clear.
|Total number of incidents|
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding his Department allocated to research on food sustainability in each year since 2001; and how much such funding it has allocated in 2009 to date. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Between 2001 and 2009, DEFRA has invested in a wide range of research activities associated with food sustainability (including animal health and welfare). Total spend (in millions) allocated since 2001 is shown in the following table. The table also shows the funding of related food and farming R and D by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council where figures are available.
|DEFRA R and D spend on food sustainability( 1)||BBSRC funding for related food and farming R and D|
|(1) These figures are taken from the DEFRA Science Information System database.|
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