The Wales Office has instigated a freeze on overtime claims across all teams, encouraging staff to instead take time off in lieu for additional hours worked to improve the work life balance of members of staff.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate she has made of her Department's expenditure on printing (a) Command Papers, (b) papers laid before Parliament by Act, (c) consultation documents and (d) other papers in each of the last 10 years. 
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) corps and (b) regiment had the highest (i) fatality and (ii) casualty rate in (A) Iraq and (B) Afghanistan in each year since 2001-02. 
Mr Robathan: The following table shows the corps and regiment which had the highest number of fatalities in Afghanistan in each financial year since 2001-02. Where multiple corps or regiments are listed they are joint equal for the highest number of fatalities in a year.
|(1 )Now part of The Rifles.|
(2) The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment became 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment during their deployment to Afghanistan in 2007.
(3) 156 Provost Company RMP is an independent Provost Company.
(4) Now part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
(5) Now part of the Mercian Regiment.
(6) The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry and the Light Infantry became part of the Rifles while deployed to Iraq in 2006-07.
Mr Robathan: Supplies are delivered to UK forces in Afghanistan through a number of means, including military and contractor convoys. Following President Karzai's decree on 16 August 2010 to disband private military security companies, the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force have been working with the Government of Afghanistan on behalf of the international community to implement the decree. Work is ongoing to develop an Afghan-led solution, including for convoy protection where required, which will include the use of elements of the Afghan National Security Forces.
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2010, Official Report, column 173W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, how many of the 84 Hellfire missiles launched from Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan since May 2008 were Hellfire AGM 114N missiles. 
Nick Harvey: The available figures for the number of civilian and military staff employed at major RAF bases in the UK in each year since 2007 is shown in the following table. To provide the answer incorporating every RAF base in the UK would incur disproportionate cost.
|April 2007||April 2008||April 2009||April 2010|
|RAF base||Military||MOD civilian||Military||MOD civilian||Military||MOD civilian||Military||MOD civilian|
1. The military figure includes all trained and un-trained personnel. Full time reserve personnel and mobilised reservists are excluded.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in five have been rounded to the nearest 20 to prevent systematic bias.
3. The figures represent the number of UK service and civilian personnel that are stationed at that postcode.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he made of the cost to the public purse under each budget heading of the cancellation of the order for the second aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 3 December 2010]: The implications of a number of options for the carrier programme were assessed during the Strategic Defence and Security Review, including our liabilities under relevant contracts and industrial agreements such as the so-called "Yellow Book". I do not propose to release the advice provided to Ministers on these liabilities.
Mr Robathan: The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO, a UK independent non-departmental public body run by the Department of Health), performed a risk assessment of strategies for the reduction of risk of bacterial contamination of platelets in 2009. The committee concluded at its meeting on 27 January 2010 that pathogen inactivation (PI) of platelets should not be implemented at this particular time, due to uncertainties around patient safety, increased donor exposure and efficacy of PI platelets.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many compulsory drugs tests (CDTs) were performed on Army personnel in each of the first three quarters of 2010; and how many had positive results for (a) cocaine and (b) ecstasy in each such quarter. 
|Period||Number of CDTs provided||Cocaine positive||Ecstasy positive|
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence no longer compiles historical estimates of UK employment relating to equipment and non-equipment expenditure in UK industry and commerce. The last estimates, for 2007-08, were published in UK Defence Statistics in September 2009. The Department has never produced forecast estimates of UK employment.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his most recent estimate is of the monetary value of the (a) fine art, (b) antique furniture, (c) clocks, (d) photographs and (e) other categories of antiques held on his Department's estates; 
Mr Robathan: In line with the policy accepted by the Department for Culture Media and Sport for the Government Art Collection, no estimate is maintained for the value of artwork and antiques in the Ministry of Defence Art Collection. There would be a high cost associated with valuing the collection that outweighs the value of holding the information.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what timetable he has set for the implementation of the proposed increase in the number of Typhoon Eurofighters in operation at RAF Leuchars. 
Mr Robathan: Number 6 Squadron, operating at RAF Leuchars, is planned to receive its full complement of Typhoon aircraft by September 2011. Decisions on the future planned build-up of Typhoon squadrons at RAF Leuchars will be announced following completion of the work announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to examine future RAF basing requirements.
Mr Robathan: The Atomic Weapons Establishment has provided over 12,000 documents to the Ministry of Defence in relation to the Atomic Veterans Group litigation and the war pensions appeals' cases. These documents cover a wide range of information relating to the nuclear tests.
Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the number of days the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle was at sea in each of the last 10 years; whether he has made a comparative assessment of the number of days spent at sea by French and British aircraft carriers; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: The UK and France have agreed to develop the capability to deploy a UK-French integrated carrier strike group incorporating assets owned by both countries by the early 2020s. Work to achieve this is at an early stage and will take account, among other things, of the availability of each nation's naval assets. The Ministry of Defence has not conducted a comparative assessment of the number of days spent at sea by French and British aircraft carriers.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the correspondence address is of each supplier of (a) equipment, (b) personnel, (c) parts and (d) assembly facilities for the Joint Strike Fighter Project in each (i) Government office region, (ii) local authority area and (iii) Parliamentary constituency. 
Peter Luff: Under the terms of the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development (PFSD) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by all nine Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) partner nations in 2006, all requirements for JSF articles are co-ordinated centrally by the US Department of Defence to ensure economies of scale. This includes placing contracts with Lockheed Martin as the Prime Contractor for JSF who are required by the PFSD MOU to select sub contractors and suppliers on a best value basis. While UK industry has an exceptionally good position as suppliers to JSF, we do not routinely collect or maintain the details requested.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what criteria he plans to use to determine which RAF bases will be closed as a result of the implementation of the recommendation of the Strategic Defence and Security Review; 
(2) what (a) other Government Departments and agencies and (b) other organisations his Department (i) has consulted and (ii) plans to consult in relation to the closure of RAF bases in Scotland as a result of the implementation of the recommendations of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence is now addressing the full range of issues affecting the defence estate following the Strategic Defence and Security Review. This will, in some cases, involve change of use for individual sites, and potentially some closures, but no decisions have yet been made. The work under way is aimed at delivering a long-term, cost effective solution that enables the delivery of operational capability and provides value for money for the taxpayer. We do not anticipate bringing this work to a conclusion before spring 2011. We plan to be as open as we can be and will consult with other Government Departments, the Devolved Administrations and local communities and relevant agencies as appropriate.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department plans to consult the National Defence Medal Campaign as part of its forthcoming review of the rules governing the awarding of medals. 
The background and arguments on the case for a National Defence Medal are well known and understood by the Ministry of Defence. Indeed we have received many representations from campaigners. Their views will be considered as part of the review.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the capabilities are of the (a) Hercules C130 and (b) Nimrod MRA4 in respect of (i) maritime radar capability and (ii) carrying sonobuoys; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: The radars fitted to the Nimrod MRA4 and the Hercules C-130 aircraft have different capabilities because they were designed for different roles. The MRA4 was designed to operate a maritime surveillance radar capable of detecting, tracking and identifying surface ships and to deploy and monitor a variety of sonobuoys.
Hercules C-130 aircraft are fitted with radar systems that provide a basic maritime search capability, in addition to weather and collision avoidance. The Hercules CI30 is not equipped to deploy or operate sonobuoys.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of airborne intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance support for counter-terrorism purposes in respect of (a) offshore oil rigs, (b) the UK fishing fleet and (c) wind farms of the use of (i) Nimrod MRA4 aircraft and (ii) alternative methods; what
assessment he has made of the capacity to provide such support following the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements he has made to provide search and rescue cover for (a) Typhoons and (b) F-35 Joint Strike Fighters refuelling over the ocean from the new Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft following the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 October 2010, Official Report, columns 450-51W, to the right hon. Member for Coventry North East (Mr Ainsworth) and the hon. Members for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr McCann) and North Durham (Mr Jones).
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the correspondence address is of each supplier of (a) equipment, (b) personnel, (c) parts and (d) assembly facilities for the production of unmanned aerial vehicles of each (i) type, (ii) range, (iii) capital and maintenance cost and (iv) lifespan in each (A) Government office region, (B) local authority area and (C) Parliamentary constituency. 
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much the Government have spent on research on a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions attributable to human activity and the average global temperature level in the last three years. 
Gregory Barker: In the last three years (i.e. financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11), DECC and DEFRA have spent an estimated £1.8 million on researching the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions attributable to human activity and the average global temperature level. This has been done through DECC and DEFRA support to the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme and the AVOID (Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change) Programme.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what financial contributions his Department plans to make to Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus in each financial year from 2010-11 to 2014-15. 
For the next four years (i.e. the spending review period), the UK has allocated £2.9 billion for international climate finance. This includes full funding our remaining fast start commitment. Further decisions on programming this finance will be taken next year.
Gregory Barker: At the Seoul Summit, G20 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to rationalise and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies which promote wasteful consumption. G20 Finance and Energy Ministers were directed to report to the 2011 Summit in France on progress in implementing country-specific strategies for reducing subsidy. The International Energy Agency, World Bank, OPEC and OECD were asked to review progress towards reducing levels of subsidy and report to the 2011 summit.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the merits of the introduction of a regular obligation on owners of private electricity and gas networks to tender energy supply through an open and competitive process; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry: The approach owners of private electricity and gas networks take to sourcing the electricity and gas provided to their customers is a commercial matter for the owners of those networks and will depend on the characteristics of each network. We are not seeking to introduce any obligations to regularly tender for energy supply, although EU procurement directives and regulations do impose certain obligations on public sector organisations.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on which dates officials of his Department met to consider the European Court of Justice's Citiworks ruling and the consultation on the provision of third party access to license exempt electricity and gas networks with (a) representatives of the ports sector, (b) other transport operators, (c) representatives of utility providers and (d) representatives of other commercial landlords. 
Charles Hendry: Before publication of the consultation on the provision of third party access to licence exempt electricity and gas networks my officials sought meetings with stakeholders across a wide range of sectors. Meetings that took place were as follows:
30 November 2009: Fontenergy
1 December 2009: Thameswey Energy
1 February 2010: Workshop attended by: Competitive Networks Association, Combined Heat and Power Association, Fontenergy, Utilicom (now Cofely District Energy), Energy Networks Association, Ramboll UK Limited, Thameswey Energy, Galliford Try, Sembcorp,
National Caravans Association, London borough of Camden; Network Rail, Consumer Focus, Energy Retail Association.
10 February 2010: Utilicom (now Cofely District Energy)
16 February 2010: Energy Retailers' Association
22 February 2010: Ports Authority and Bristol Port Company
1 March 2010: British Property Federation
10 March 2010: Airport Owners Association
14 April 2010: British Land
14 April 2010: More Land
24 August 2010: GTC
24 August 2010: Combined Heat and Power Association
31 August 2010: Network Rail
1 September: Fontenergy
2 September 2010: EON
9 September 2010: Bristol Port Company and UK Major Ports Group
14 September 2010: Cofely District Energy
15 September: British Property Federation
15 September: Thameswey Energy
26 October 2010: UKMPG, Forth Ports, ABP, Port of Belfast, Bristol Port Company, DP World, PD Teesport, Hutchinson Ports UL, Port of Tilbury.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to include the issue of global fossil fuel subsidy reform in the EU position for the Cancun climate change conference. 
Gregory Barker: Fossil fuel subsidies are not within the scope of the agenda of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Cancun. International fossil fuel subsidy reform has the potential to lead to significant reductions in global carbon emissions and support the UK's energy security. The UK has strongly supported the G20 initiative to rationalise and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that promote wasteful consumption and will continue to work through the G20 to seek progress on these issues.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department plans to introduce exploration licensing legislation to facilitate geothermal heat and power projects. 
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent request his Department has received for meetings with representatives of the deep geothermal energy industry; and what response was made. 
DECC Ministers have received a meeting request from the Deep Geothermal Group within the Renewable Energy Association, and a meeting is planned for the new year. DECC officials also met representatives of the deep geothermal industry in October,
to discuss deep geothermal power and the renewables obligation, and in September to discuss deep geothermal heat and the proposed renewable heat incentive.
Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the barriers to the development of deep geothermal energy in the UK; and what steps his Department is taking to remove such barriers to deployment. 
Charles Hendry: We have assessed deep geothermal energy alongside other innovative renewable technologies. A particular barrier is the sector's ability to secure upfront capital support, which we have addressed through the two rounds of the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund. The first round awarded £4 million in capital grants to three projects in financial year 2009-10, while the second round is currently under way with several bids under consideration. Another potential barrier is establishing investor confidence in ongoing returns at a commercial rate. This is provided by deep geothermal power's eligibility for 2 ROCs under the Renewables Obligation, as for other innovative renewable power technologies. Deep geothermal energy has also been considered during the development of the Renewable Heat Incentive. In addition, some in the industry have commented that the lack of a licensing regime creates a barrier to the sector's development. My officials are looking into this as set out in my answer today to my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) to question 28470.
Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what assessment his Department has made of the requirements for support of deep geothermal power in respect of the Renewables Obligation; 
Charles Hendry: Deep geothermal power is supported under the Renewables Obligation (RO) and receives 2ROCs/MWh. A banding review of Renewables Obligation support for all technologies, including deep geothermal, began in October this year. This review will consider whether any changes are needed to the banding.
Charles Hendry: DECC has not had any recent discussions with Ofgem on deep geothermal power, which is an eligible technology under the RO. In continuing to encourage deep geothermal power the Department will raise issues with Ofgem as and when it becomes necessary.
Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department has plans to introduce a regulatory regime for the development of deep geothermal power technology. 
Charles Hendry [holding answer 1 December 2010]: The security of supply of gas is a top Government priority in the UK. Gas is fungible and DECC does not distinguish between types of gas consumed in the UK but instead aims to create an environment where there are incentives for investing in all viable forms of gas production. The energy security and green economy bill contains measures to strengthen the market incentive mechanism for ensuring sufficient gas is available.
The UK is already benefiting from the technological breakthroughs in unconventional gas production methods. Recent increases in shale gas production in the United States has reduced the US's demand for imports of LNG, freeing up this LNG to be imported by other countries such as the UK and helping to put downward pressure on wholesale gas prices.
Further increases in the global production of shale gas are expected. This may help the UK to meet its demand for gas either directly (i.e. by being consumed in the UK) or indirectly (i.e. by freeing up other gas resources for consumption by the UK).
The British Geological Survey estimates that there could be worthwhile shale gas resources in the UK. However it is not possible to make an estimate of reserves without drilling and production testing, and it is not yet clear that the success elsewhere can be replicated in the UK.
Charles Hendry: The EU-China Near Zero Emissions Coal project (NZEC) has been planned as a three phase project. The UK led Phase I and provided £2.8 million to support workstreams that examined the potential for CO2 capture, transport and geological storage in China and the relative merits of a range of carbon capture and storage technologies. Phase I was delivered by 19 Chinese and nine UK partners representing academia, industry and research institutes and was completed in October 2009.Further information on can be found at:
We are currently in discussion with European partners and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology over the terms of Phase IIa, which is being led by the European Commission, with the aim of enabling China to determine the type of demonstration that they would like to see and identify where that facility should be located. The UK has yet to make a financial contribution toward this phase of the project.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many meetings the Geological Disposal Implementation Board for Radioactive Waste has held; what the current membership is of the board; and if he will post on his Department's website a copy of each paper presented to the board. 
Charles Hendry: Government are committed to geological disposal of higher activity radioactive waste, coupled with safe and secure interim storage and a geological disposal facility siting process based on voluntarism and partnership.
The Geological Disposal Implementation Board (GDIB) that I chair, was set up to provide direct ministerial oversight of the implementation programme as well as enabling stakeholders to provide input to, or to have observation of, the programme. The Board will meet two to three times per year and will provide increased visibility of the programme and make clear programme responsibilities and accountabilities.
The first meeting of this board took place on 30 November 2010 and a high-level timeline for the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely programme was presented to members. This describes the progress to date, as well as setting out indicative timescales and milestones in implementing geological disposal. Government will keep the timeline and milestones under review and update them whenever required.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to make a decision on whether to grandfather bioliquids made from waste under the Renewables Obligation; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry [holding answer 3 December 2010]: The timing of decisions is now being considered. My officials will write shortly to the industry representatives contributing to this work to let them know the timescale.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received on the potential effect on the number of green jobs in the economy of any decision not to grandfather bioliquids made from waste under the Renewables Obligation. 
Charles Hendry [holding answer 3 December 2010]: The Government have not yet made a decision on whether to grandfather bioliquids under the Renewables Obligation (RO). In our response to the consultation on grandfathering biomass in the Renewables Obligation we committed to do further work on bioliquids derived from wastes. This work is currently being undertaken in discussion with the industry.
12 companies have made representations to the Government that jobs in this sector are dependent on investor certainty, which is in turn dependent on grandfathering RO support rates. These representations indicate that although some projects and companies may be significantly affected, the overall impact on green jobs is likely to be small. Nevertheless the Government are keen to promote both green jobs and energy from waste and is therefore considering the issue very carefully.
Charles Hendry: The following table lists the number of wind turbines by region and district in England, and by county in Wales and Scotland. This is drawn from a database commissioned by DECC (which is regularly updated but may not be fully comprehensive, particularly over the last month). We do not have a breakdown according to local authority area and it would be disproportionately expensive to provide this.
|Region||District/county||Wind farms||Wind turbines|
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many wind farms are (a) in operation and (b) in construction; and how many applications for wind farms are awaiting planning permission. 
Charles Hendry: Currently, there are 331 operational wind farms in the UK, of which 15 are offshore. There are a further 49 under construction, of which six are offshore. 168 wind farms are currently awaiting construction, of which three are offshore. And 257 are awaiting planning permission, of which six are offshore.
These figures are taken from the Renewable Energy Planning Database, which is available on the DECC website, and contains data on UK wind farm projects of l0 kW and above (including single turbine installations). The database is updated regularly though the figures provided may not reflect changes to project status that have occurred in the last month.
Ms Bagshawe: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has allocated to research which aims to improve the efficiency of wind turbines in the latest period for which figures are available; and how much funding he plans to allocate in each of the next three years. 
1. The Environmental Transformation Fund Offshore Wind Demonstration Call has allocated up to £27.08 million over three years (2009-12) into the demonstration of new technology for large multi-megawatt offshore turbines. (£8 million of this was from the DECC/BIS Dual Key Funding).
2. DECC has provided up to £4.8 million over two years (2009-11) to The Carbon Trust to support the Offshore Wind Accelerator, a programme funding various cost reduction technologies.
DECC has not decided on budget allocations in innovation for the next three year period as we need to undertake our normal business planning and Budget Committee process and that process won't be fully resolved until January/February 2011.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has assessed the effects of holding a joint ballot for a referendum on the alternative vote and elections to the Scottish Parliament on those (a) with learning difficulties and (b) for whom English is not their first language. 
David Mundell: Article 90 of the Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2010 allows returning officers to provide documents in different languages, in graphical representations, or in such ways as to make them more accessible to people who might otherwise not have reasonable access to information. The Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill includes a similar provision. In addition, the Electoral Commission will be sending an information booklet to all households explaining how to vote at both the Scottish Parliament election and the referendum. The Commission are working with the Central Office of Information to ensure that the public information they provide will be accessible. As part of that process they are considering the needs of people with learning disabilities and English as a second language.
Eric Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Scottish Government will receive a budgetary uplift as a consequence of the allocation of £50 million by the Government to the interim cancer drugs fund. 
In July 2010, the Secretary of State for Health, the right hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), announced that from October patients will have greater access to cancer drugs that their doctors recommend for them due to an
extra £50 million in funding being made available by the Department of Health. There are no new Barnett consequentials for the Scottish budget as a consequence of this policy.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on printing (a) Command Papers, (b) papers laid before Parliament by Act, (c) consultation documents and (d) other papers in each of the last 10 years. 
David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not separately record its expenditure on printing Command Papers, papers presented to Parliament by Act, consultation documents or any other papers. However, Scotland Office's total expenditure on printing for the last 10 years is shown in the following table:
|(1) In our earlier years, the costs of the Scotland Office were not discernable from those of the Office of the Advocate-General. Therefore, the costs shown for the first two years include the costs of both Offices.|
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many and what proportion of questions tabled to the Secretary of State for written answer on a named day were answered substantively before or on the day named for answer (a) in Session 2009-10 and (b) since May 2010; how many such questions tabled between May 2010 and 12 November 2010 had not received a substantive answer by 18 November 2010; and what estimate he has made of the average cost to his Department of answering a question for written answer on a named day on the day named for answer in the latest period for which figures are available. 
David Mundell: Between May 2010 and 12 November 2010, 88 named day parliamentary questions were tabled to the Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore). Of these, 79 (90%) were answered substantively on the day named for answer. All received a substantive answer by 18 November 2010.
The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions for the 2009-10 Session. This information will be submitted to the Procedure Committee shortly.
HM Treasury conducts an annual indexation exercise of the cost of written and oral parliamentary questions so as to ensure that these average costs are increased in line with increases in underlying costs. The estimated cost of written questions that has applied from 20 January 2010 is £154.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for what reasons the laying of the draft Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2010 took place after the presentation of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill. 
David Mundell: This Government assumed responsibility for the Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2010 from the previous Administration and we made every effort to lay it as soon as practicable.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the nature of the operational relationship between the Government and Interim Electoral Management Board Scotland following its establishment as a statutory body. 
David Mundell: The Interim Electoral Management Board for Scotland has not yet been established as a statutory body. Scotland Office officials attend meetings of the Board and we will continue to work closely with the Board on the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections and reserved elections.
David Mundell: Under Article 13 of the Scottish Parliament (Elections etc.) Order 2010, a local government by-election which takes place on the same date as a Scottish Parliament general election must be combined. If a Scottish Parliament by-election falls on the same date as a local government election, the returning officer, or returning officers if there are different returning officers for both elections, may combine them if they think fit.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department has spent on research concerning bees in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. 
|(1) The figure for 2010-11 includes the £500,000 per year that DEFRA is contributing to the Insect Pollinators Initiative over the next five years which includes research on both honey and bumble bees. The Insect Pollinators Initiative is a £10 million programme established in 2009 to support research to better understand the importance of, threats to and management needs for insect pollinators in the UK. Although much of the funding is directed to honey bee research, there are some research projects on bumblebee ecology or on insect pollinators in general.|
The amounts in the table cover a number of different projects, some of which have been completed. Final reports for the completed projects are available on the DEFRA website. Details of the projects funded under the Insect Pollinators Initiative are available on the Living with Environmental Change website.
DEFRA and Natural England have provided additional research funding, amounting to between £6,000 and £22,000 in each of the last three years, on understanding the status and ecology of rare and declining wild bee species.
Mr Paice: Specific data on the honey bee population on 1 March 2000 and 2010 is not available. The population varies during the year from around 20,000 per colony in the winter to 60,000 per colony in the summer. A study carried out by ADAS Consulting Ltd. in 2001 estimated that there were 230,000 managed honey bee colonies in England. No subsequent estimates have been made. However, the National Bee Unit, part of the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), has a voluntary database on which 18,878 beekeepers managing 102,172 colonies in England are currently registered.
In addition to the honey bee, there are many species of wild bee in our countryside, a number of which have been the focus of UK conservation action. Information on the distribution and status of wild bees is available thought the websites of voluntary groups such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust or the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society or from the Government-supported National Biodiversity Network Gateway which is an on-line database of information on the distribution of wildlife in the UK.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent discussions she has had with (a) supermarket retailers and (b) the farming industry on the sustainability of the dairy farming industry; 
Mr Paice: On 6 July, I chaired the Dairy Supply Chain Forum which brought together representatives from throughout the supply chain and included discussions on the impacts of price volatility and the sustainability of the dairy industry.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department plans to take to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises and third sector organisations to compete for departmental contracts in line with value-for-money policy, UK regulations and EU procurement directives. 
Richard Benyon: The Department complies with the UK and EU procurement directives and publishes requirements on websites such as CompeteFour and Supply-to-Gov in the expectation that small and medium-sized enterprises and third sector organisations will see and respond to the procurement need.
All procurement processes allow for the minimum of effort by the potential supplier to ensure that there are no obstacles that prevent small and medium-sized enterprises and third sector organisations from responding.
In line with Government policy we cannot show favour to any type of supplier in the final procurement selection processes. If the requirements could be met by a third sector organisation, the Department will include this point at the pre-procurement stage when details are published.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what factors she plans to take into account in determining whether the Environment Agency's navigations will transfer to the charitable body proposed to be established by April 2012 to operate the British Waterways inland waterways network; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon [holding answer 3 December 2010]: In considering whether or not to transfer the Environment Agency's navigations into the new waterways charity, we are taking into account: the contribution this could make to our vision of a national trust for the waterways in civil society; the views of stakeholders; operational management practicalities, and; affordability in relation to the need for the charity to have cover for future liabilities.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations she received prior to making her decision to terminate funding for Farming Futures in the next financial year; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr Paice: Farming Futures is a communications project that aims to raise awareness and inform farmers of the impacts of climate change and the actions that can be adopted. Funded by DEFRA, it is a partnership of key agricultural organisations; comprising the National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, Agricultural Industries Confederation, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, and Linking Environment and Farming.
In December 2009, Farming Futures and the industry partners were informed that DEFRA could no longer provide the financial support after four years of core funding. It had always been envisaged that the funding would be time-limited, allowing Farming Futures enough time with which to seek alternative long-term financial support. Informal representations were received from project partners following the decision to end funding for Farming Futures.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish her impact assessment in respect of the rural (a) economy and (b) environment of her Department's decision to terminate funding for Farming Futures in the next financial year; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: Since the launch of the Farming Futures communications project in 2007, DEFRA has provided significant core funding. This contribution has allowed Farming Futures to establish themselves in playing a central role in supporting the farming industry organisations to take action on climate change. This includes raising awareness and informing farmers of the actions that can be taken to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate.
It has always been envisaged that funding from Government would be time-limited, allowing Farming Futures enough time with which to seek alternative long-term financial support. To effect behaviour change within the sector, the farming industry organisations need to play a bigger role to ensure that key messages are delivered to farmers and that action is taken to tackle the effects of climate change. Therefore, no formal impact assessment has been undertaken.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish her Department's assessments of the value for money delivered by Farming Futures in each of the last four financial years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: In 2007 Farming Futures was launched to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on farming. Overall, in that year, a good network of media contacts and direct links with farmers and farming organisations was developed; achieving a £157,000 advertising value equivalent.
Since 2008, the focus of Farming Futures expanded further to include effecting behaviour change, and information was provided (through fact sheets, case studies, workshops etc.) to enable farmers to take the necessary action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate. As part of the evaluation of the each phase of the project, a survey was undertaken to assess the level of success achieved. We will ensure that the results of these surveys are made readily available on the Farming Futures website:
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding her Department plans to provide to the farming industry for the purposes of tackling climate change in each of the next four financial years; and what mechanism she plans to use to (a) disburse and (b) monitor the effectiveness of such funding. 
Mr Paice: Climate change is a key priority for this Government, and as with all sectors of the economy, the agriculture sector will need to play its role in tackling greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the changing climate.
In England, the farming industry has taken responsibility for reducing emissions from agriculture through the development of a Greenhouse Gas Action Plan, for which a Framework for Action was published in February. This approach was supported by the previous administration and this Government continue to encourage the industry to work in partnership to achieve significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions. We look forward to the publication of a delivery plan in the near future.
The Government have made a significant investment of £12.6 million over four and half years, in partnership with the devolved Administrations, in a series of projects that aim to strengthen our collective understanding of on-farm emissions, allowing for better targeting of actions and capturing improvements made in livestock and crop management practices. We will also ensure Carbon Trust interest-free loans are available to farm businesses to invest in energy-saving equipment.
Farmers and land managers are also vulnerable to the effects of climate change and will need to take action to adapt sustainably. The Government are looking at enhancing existing advice and guidance arrangements to support voluntary adaptation action. DEFRA also undertakes research on the impact on climate change in the farming sector; future funding will depend on the specific projects undertaken.
Funding is currently available for farmers under Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to address challenges including climate change. For example, Environmental Stewardship provides farmers with a range of management options that are able to deliver multiple objectives, including climate change mitigation and adaption benefits. Climate change was embedded as an over-arching theme into Environmental Stewardship following the 2008 Review of Progress. An evaluation of the RDPE is currently under way and we look forward to its findings on the effectiveness of the programme which will be available early in 2011.
Richard Benyon [holding answer 24 November 2010]: All flood defence projects already under construction will be completed. It is too early to identify individual new flood defence projects that will be funded during the coming spending period. This is partly because annual budgets are still being finalised. It is also because the way in which Government funding is allocated to projects, and who decides which projects go ahead, may be changing.
DEFRA launched a public consultation on 24 November seeking views on how capital funding should be allocated to individual projects in the future. Subject to final decisions in the spring, the new approach could apply to all projects seeking funds to begin construction from April 2012 onwards.
The proposed approach would mark a departure from the existing system in that the Environment Agency would no longer decide the list of projects that go ahead, and which others need to be deferred as a result of annual limits in Government funding. Instead such decisions in most cases would be devolved to local authorities acting collectively as part of Regional Flood Defence Committees (to become Regional Flood and Coastal Committees under the Flood and Water Management Act). The approach also rewards public bodies and communities if they find ways of keeping project costs down, as well as if they can find additional local funding to come forward. In doing so, each community at risk could have a bigger say in which projects go ahead over time.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department (a) allocated for expenditure on flood defences in each of the last five years and (b) plans to allocate to expenditure on flood defences in each of the next five years. 
Richard Benyon: The following table sets out the amounts allocated for expenditure on flood and coastal erosion risk management for the last five years, including how much is provided to the Environment Agency as grant.
|Total||Funding to Environment Agency||Other expenditure, including to local authorities|
|(1) The figures for 2010-11 are estimates of expenditure. (2) £497.3 million for 2006-07 includes funding allocated by DEFRA which in later years was administered by the Environment Agency.|
DEFRA expects to spend at least £2.1 billion on flooding and coastal erosion over the next four years. Annual budgets are yet to be finalised. It is not possible to speculate about funding in 2015-16 because this is outside the current spending review period.
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