Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the Rural Payments Agency has decided to carry out remote sensing mapping induction in Gloucestershire; what the average time taken to process information gathered by the process is; for what reason such processes have delayed the award of single farm payments; and if he will take steps to expedite any payments so delayed. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 22 February 2010]: All European Union member states have a requirement to inspect at least 5 per cent. of single payment scheme (SPS) applications each scheme year to confirm eligibility.
The majority of these eligibility inspections are carried out by RPA using remote sensing. Remote sensing uses very high resolution satellite images to check the land area in a selected zone and then to check it matches what the farmer has claimed for on the SPS application form. The geographical zones to be inspected are selected as far as possible in counties not having been previously selected and this explains why part of Gloucestershire has been included. Claims in these zones are targeted using a risk-based approach.
RPA employs a specialist contractor to undertake preliminary checks using remote sensing. When the findings reach RPA, they are checked against the SPS claim and the Rural Land Register (RLR) and then if necessary conveyed to the farmers concerned. In previous years remote sensing inspection cases have generally been paid later in the regulatory payment window, which closes on 30 June. This year and because RPA has been more successful in paying farmers earlier non payment of remote sensing cases appears more pronounced.
Owing to the complex and scientific nature of analysing thousands of hectares of land cover and topography using satellite imagery, RPA inevitably discovers instances where it is difficult to interpret what the imagery is showing, for example because of atmospheric conditions or apparent land use and management changes, which require further clarification with the farmer. This year has also been more complex because of the work to update all of the boundaries, position and accuracy of the land in the RLR.
RPA must ensure that findings from these inspections are taken fully into account before a claim can be paid, which often necessitates ongoing communications with farmers to reach an accurate outcome. Because of the range of checks on claims some will inevitably take longer than others to complete. Remote sensing processing is being carried out as quickly as possible and RPA is working to make these payments as soon as possible.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the (a) public health and (b) moral and religious implications of undisclosed elements of pork and beef being fed to chickens. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 23 February 2010]: The grant in aid funding figures for the National Heritage Memorial Fund received from my Department in each of the last three full financial years are in the table.
|Financial year||£ million|
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the reason was for the time taken for his Department to determine the application of Birmingham city council for a certificate of immunity from listing in respect of its proposal to redevelop Birmingham Central Library; and for what reason his Department has declined to release documents relating to that decision in response to an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
All departmental responses to freedom of information requests are handled within the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Where exemptions apply, a full explanation is provided to the applicant.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he made of the revenue which would accrue to the Exchequer in circumstances in which Ofcom re-auctioned the three existing independent national radio licences. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the answer of 3 February 2010, Official Report, column 326W, on electoral register: expenditure, how much was spent on each type of initiative on electoral registration referred to in the answer in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. 
Mr. Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that the figures given in the previous answer were the total expenditure for registration objectives as recorded in its resource accounts for 2007-08 and 2008-09. The Commission further informs me that the expenditure is not recorded by activity in its accounts and that it is not possible to provide the detailed information sought without incurring disproportionate cost.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the potential effects on the energy industry in Scotland of proposals on carbon capture and storage. 
Ann McKechin: My right hon. Friend and I hold regular discussions with ministerial colleagues across Government about a wide range of issues. The Energy Bill allows for the introduction of a carbon capture and storage incentive to support the construction of up to four UK commercial-scale demonstration projects.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on international trade in Scotland. 
The Scotland Office worked closely with DEFRA on the recent Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009. The regulations came into force on 23 November last year and provide a significant step forward in providing extra protection
for an important Scottish industry. These regulations will help safeguard Scotch whisky from unfair and deceptive practices and will help protect whisky customers across the globe.
Bridget Prentice: The allocation of claims to an Employment Tribunal office is determined by the postcode of the respondent against whom the claim has been brought. Employment Tribunal claims against respondents based in the county of Essex are dealt with by the Bury St. Edmunds, East London and Watford Employment Tribunal offices. Claims against respondents based specifically in the borough of Castle Point are dealt with by the East London Office.
Tribunals Service internal management information
Claimants from Essex or Castle Point may have brought claims against respondents outside Essex and these claims may be held in other offices depending on the address of the respondents. Statistical information is not collated centrally in relation to such cases.
|Less than or equal to six months||Six months to less than 12 months||12 months to less than four years||Four years to indeterminate||Indeterminate||Total|
| Note: These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.|
Mr. Wills: The Government have recently undertaken the second stage consultation on this issue. We are currently considering the responses. The Government will then consider the next steps towards implementing the judgment in legislation.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|