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7 Jan 2010 : Column 490W—continued


Olympic Games: Education

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether she plans to take steps to provide educational materials to schools on the history of the Olympic Games. [308476]

Tessa Jowell: "Get Set" is the official London 2012 education programme for schools, colleges and local authority education providers across the UK. It is managed by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The "Get Set" programme offers a wide range of opportunities for young people between 3 and 19 to connect with London 2012 and also for education providers across the UK to use "Get Set" materials. There are over 9,000 schools, colleges and other learning institutions registered.

The "Get Set" website:

offers learning providers a range of resources such as films, activity ideas and games based around the Paralympic and Olympic values.

It is updated on a regular basis to provide fresh ideas and additional support materials. For example, teachers were provided with material to mark 1,000 days to go to London 2012 and resources will also be released to tie in with the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games beginning in February.

The resources available include information on the history of the Olympic/Paralympic movements which can be used on the web or downloaded as factsheets.

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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare Act 2006

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 279W, on the Animal Welfare Act 2006, what progress has been made on considering the consultation responses; and when he expects revised drafts to be published. [309329]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 6 January 2010]: The codes of practice for the welfare of cats, dogs and horses were laid before Parliament on 8 December. If approved by Parliament, they will come into force on 6 April 2010.

A summary of the responses can be found on the DEFRA website and copies of all the responses have been placed in the House Library.

Animals: Codes of Practice

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the recently published codes of practice for the welfare of dogs and cats did not include guidance on breeding. [308187]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The main purpose of the cat and dog codes is to assist the courts in cases of poor welfare, brought under the Animal Welfare Act, in relation to cats or dogs. Another purpose is to provide owners of cats and dogs with guidance in how to meet the welfare needs of their animals, as required under the Act. Protecting the progeny of animals is not covered in the code.

The breeding of dogs has been considered by the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare, which reported in the autumn. The report from Sir Patrick Bateson on dog breeding will be published in January. The recommendations from these two inquiries will need careful consideration and to issue a code of practice on breeding at this juncture might preempt the conclusions we draw from this valuable work.

Campaign for the Farmed Environment

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Country Landowners Association and the National Farmers Union on (a) the Campaign for the Farmed Environment sponsored by these bodies and (b) progress towards the targets set by that campaign for (i) England, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) Cumbria. [308541]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have met with the leaders of both organisations a number of times over recent months to discuss how best to recapture the environmental benefits of set-aside through the development of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, as have my ministerial
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colleagues and our officials. The Memorandum of Understanding which has been signed by all the campaign partners, including DEFRA, CLA and NFU, and the nearly £3 million of funding which the Department has earmarked for the campaign, demonstrates the commitment of all the partners to its success.

The campaign's targets are for England and are not county-specific. It is currently too early to assess the impact of the campaign on the ground, following its official launch on 5 November 2009, but I have just received an interim report from the campaign's industry partners reporting on progress to date with setting up the campaign. DEFRA has also recently sent out a baseline sample survey of farmers' existing voluntary actions, against which future annual surveys will establish the progress of the campaign. Our intention is that the results of the first of these surveys will be published in summer 2010.

Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which local authorities levy an annual charge for wheeled refuse containers; what charge was set by each such authority in 2009-10; and how much each such authority raised in such charges in the most recent financial year. [309433]

Dan Norris: DEFRA and the Waste and Resources Action Programme do not hold this information.

Food: Climate Change

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps in consultation with farmers and supermarkets to undertake research into the effects of climate change on the preservation of foodstuffs grown in an extended growing season. [308885]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government have not funded research to look specifically at the impacts of climate change on storage of food products. However, we have funded research to improve storage of products to extend storage time, maintain quality in storage and therefore reduce losses. This has been achieved through improvements in storage technology and crop management.

We have also commissioned research to develop storage technologies that are more sustainable. The knowledge and improved technologies delivered provide greater resilience to climate change because they provide options for adaptation. A non-exhaustive list of relevant research projects is shown in the following table.

Further information on these projects is available from the DEFRA website at:

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7 Jan 2010 : Column 494W
Code Title Start End Cost (£)


Development of diffuse browning disorder in relation to physiological and biochemical changes in apple fruit during development and storage

April 2007

March 2009



A novel strategy for reducing wastage in potato storage by improved control of tuber dormancy.

October 2007

March 2008



Defining and managing risks to safety and quality during food and feed grain storage

July 2006

July 2011



Biopesticides for the control of storage insect pests

April 2005

September 2009



Interaction of biology and behaviour of storage insects with environmental conditions in bulk grain

April 2002

March 2006



Safe storage of grain by preventing and controlling the development of mite pests

April 2002

March 2006



Molecular and biochemical characters of post harvest quality in brassicas

January 2002

December 2005



Improving the detection and monitoring of storage beetle pests by development of a multi-species lure

October 2002

September 2005



The potential for manipulating the orchard microflora to control storage rot fungi

April 2001

March 2005



Storage rots in plums and cherries

September 2001

August 2004



Identify the mechanisms of a naturally-occurring, heritable trait for reduced ethylene production in apple fruits

April 2001

March 2004



Control of potato storage diseases by laser treatment

October 2001

September 2004



Integrated control of new storage rot problems in apples and pears.

April 1998

March 2001



Expanding the potential of the UK stone fruit industry by the use of modern storage technology

April 1998

March 2001



Investigation into improving storage of horticultural produce by control of ethylene metabolism.

October 1997

September 2000


Hunting Act 2004

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many convictions there have been under the Hunting Act 2004. [308234]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 6 January 2010]: The following table shows the number of defendants found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 from 2005-07 (latest available).

Data for 2008 is planned for publication on 28 January 2010.

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for offences under the Hunting Act 2004( 1) , England and Wales, 2005-07( 2, 3)








(1) Came into force on 18 February 2005.
(2) The court proceedings statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services: Ministry of Justice. (Ref: 591-09)

Sewers: Private Sector

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to implement a new Mandatory Build Standard for the transfer of private sewers and drains to water company ownership; and if he will make a statement. [308077]

Huw Irranca-Davies: There is little point transferring existing private sewers if a new stock of private sewers is allowed to grow over time to replace it. Therefore, provision is contained in the Flood and Water Management Bill, currently before Parliament, for new sewers connecting to the public system to be built to a mandatory standard and then adopted by water and sewerage companies. DEFRA officials are working with stakeholders on the preparation of a mandatory build standard for consultation.

Subject to the successful passage of the Bill, I anticipate that the standards should be published in advance of the transfer of existing private sewers and lateral drains.

Leader of the House

Members: Allowances

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Leader of the House what timetable has been set for the cessation of the communications allowance. [308809]

Barbara Keeley: No claims for expenditure incurred on or after 1 January 2010 will be paid from Communications Expenditure, with the exception of expenditure on advertisements for surgeries, including posters (subject to restrictions set out as follows) and maintenance of equipment funded from Communications Expenditure where there are contractual commitments.

Advertisements for surgeries, where the expenditure is incurred on or after 1 January 2010 and is funded by Communications Expenditure, must not include party colours or logos and slogans, must not include extraneous material, must be proportionate in nature, and may not include advertisements in national media or leaflets or flyers; references to other elected officials must be approved in advance by the Department of Resources.

No materials or resources, other than websites and office equipment, purchased from Communications Expenditure before 1 January 2010 may be used on or after that date unless the Member first returns the full cost of those resources to the House.

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Where Communications Expenditure is used to fund an ongoing cost or item which occurs across both the restricted and unrestricted period, only the relevant fraction of the costs can be paid for out of Communications Expenditure, unless the item concerned is (i) one of the items excepted in the first paragraph above or (ii) the Member entered into an unconditional obligation to pay for the item using Communications Expenditure on or before 23 November 2009 and the item is not used on or after 1 January 2010.

The Department of Resources issued detailed guidance on 16 December 2009. Members who have any queries about their own Communications Expenditure during the restricted period should seek advice from the Department.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has today published a draft allowances scheme for consultation under section 5 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.

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