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Dan Norris: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be participating in the annual Earth Hour event on Saturday 27 March by switching off unnecessary lights at all headquarters properties within its estate.
Dan Norris: Since its inception in June 2001 the Department has spent £112,070,295 on office refurbishments within its estate portfolio. This figure includes works, professional fees and appropriate VAT.
The figure provided is for a single total cost. While our current systems could readily identify recent spend by year the costs required to provide a year by year position from inception would be disproportionate (in excess of £800).
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Fallen Stock Scheme in containing diseases; and if he will make a statement. 
In October 2009 the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo), which runs the National Fallen Stock Scheme, was transferred from Government ownership to become a Community Interest Company. However, the scheme continues to provide an excellent
service, has a growing farmer membership, and ensures that strict biosecurity conditions are applied to the collection and disposal of fallen stock to help prevent the spread of disease.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking in (a) this country and (b) international forums to curb illegal trade in endangered species. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Primary responsibility for enforcing wildlife legislation rests with the Police Service and the UK Border Agency. DEFRA actively supports their activities through the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW).
DEFRA, together with the Home Office, is the main source of funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). The UK is one of only a handful of countries having a specialist wildlife crime unit and is a world leader in this respect. The Unit spearheads national action to reduce wildlife crime and is the UK's focal point for international wildlife crime enquiries.
The UK has selected wildlife crime priorities for urgent action, either because of their impact on the conservation of certain species or because high levels of crime have been reported. The priorities include species covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Endangered species listed on annexe A to CITES require licences in order to be traded within the UK. Animal Health operates a panel of wildlife inspectors who carry out inspections to ensure that the legislation is complied with; it also has an enforcement team which provides information from its records in support of prosecutions.
Internationally, the UK Government (through DEFRA) is the current chair of the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) - an international organisation which aims to focus public and political attention and resources on ending the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products.
Further international protection is offered by the UK's commitment to working with 174 other countries through our membership of CITES. Through CITES, member countries work to protect endangered species of plants and animals by restricting and monitoring international trade in them.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Since its publication on 15 March 2010, no representations have been received with regard to the Noise Policy Statement for England. In developing the Statement, DEFRA officials met with all of the relevant Government Departments, including a number of key external stakeholders, ranging in interests from industry to non-governmental organisations, who expressed broad support for it.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions a decision taken at an early stage by the Environment Agency on what constitutes best available techniques in respect of a staged application for pollution prevention and control permits has subsequently been (a) confirmed and (b) reversed in the last five years. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many members of his Department have taken authorised days of absence owing to severe weather in 2010. 
Dan Norris: The Department does not keep central records of the number of staff who were unable to attend the office in 2010 due to severe weather conditions. We are therefore unable to provide this information without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Staff unable to travel to their normal place of work will have agreed individual arrangements with their line managers. Options available will have included working from home, taking annual leave, and adjusting their flexible working arrangements.
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 22 February 2010]: Tree planting is normally recorded on the basis of area planted, and this is made up of a combination of new woodland creation and replanting after the harvesting of timber from existing woodland.
|Year ending 31 March||New woodland creation||Replanting of existing woodland|
It is estimated that broad-leaved planting is at an average density of 1,500 trees per hectare, and conifer planting is at an average density of 2,200 trees per hectare, for both new woodland creation and replanting.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the report on his Department's research project commissioned from the Central Science Laboratory with reference WM0317. 
Dan Norris: The report of the Central Science Laboratory (now the Food and Environment Research Agency) on the use of analgesics and rodenticides (reference WM0317) has yet to be submitted to DEFRA and thus cannot yet be placed in the Library. Delay has arisen through unexpected additional priorities for specialist staff. We expect to receive the report soon and this will be placed in the Library after appropriate subsequent review.
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA has published guidance setting out its policy in relation to the determination of applications to the Secretary of State for consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 to construct restricted works on common land in England, and under section 16(1) of the 2006 Act to deregister and exchange common land in England.
"4.13 The Secretary of State wishes to promote sustainable energy generation in an appropriate setting, but equally, his policy is to ensure that the stock of commons is not diminished, that works on common land must maintain or improve the condition of the common, and the use must be consistent with its status as common land. To balance these issues our expectation is that applications for such infrastructure projects on common land are more likely to be successful under section 16 of the Act, so that an exchange of land is proposed and can be taken into account. An application for consent to such works under section 38 will rarely be granted unless there are convincing reasons why an application under section 16 cannot be pursued."
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what activities will be funded under the Adult Learner Responsive sub-total for the Development Learning category in the Strategy Document, Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11, November 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department routes funding through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for the provision of further education (FE) and skills training for adult learners aged 19 and over. This includes activity categorised as Developmental Learning through the demand-led Adult Learner Responsive funding stream (ALR).
Developmental Learning may be used to fund learning aims eligible for funding which are not otherwise funded through one of the priority qualification categories which are: Full Level 2, Full Level 3, Level 4, Foundation Learning and Skills for Life.
It can therefore include learning aims for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities not included in any other category, 19+ learners completing a 16 to 18 programme (learners who draw down entitlement funding), trade union studies and initial teacher training.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment has been made of the level of support and resources the Skills Funding Agency will require for administering the provision of learning for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) are currently responsible for funding further education (FE) and training for adult learners aged 19 and over delivered by FE colleges and training organisations. The LSC do not deliver any provision directly.
In 2009/10 academic year the cost of provision for learners aged 19 or over with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) will be supported through the same adult budgets as those learners without LDD. Learners with LDD in mainstream provision can have their additional support needs met through Additional Learning Support Funding (ALS). For the 2009/10 academic year around £150 million was allocated to FE colleges and training organisations for this purpose. However it should be noted that ALS funding is not solely for learners with LDD and can also be used to meet the needs of other vulnerable groups.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what criteria will be used to establish which learners will be covered by the provision of the Adult Learner Responsive sub-total for the Foundation Learning (excluding Skills for Life) category in the Strategy Document, Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11, November 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Foundation learning (excluding Skills for Life) funded through the Adult Learner Responsive budget includes nationally accredited provision outside of Skills for Life at entry level and Level 1. Programmes funded through the ALR budget are delivered wholly on the FE college or training organisation's premises. The type of learners funded through this route will vary depending on the needs of learners within each local area.
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