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Defra: Agencies and Bodies

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was created in June 2001; the information given relates to the period since then.

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Defra currently has responsibility for 18 executive non-departmental public bodies, 32 advisory bodies, four tribunals and two public corporations. These numbers have not changed significantly since the department was created. The lists below show all the non-departmental public bodies that have reported to Defra since June 2001. They include the number of staff employed in the public corporations and executive NDPBs; the advisory and tribunal NDPBs do not employ their own staff.

Public Corporations
British Waterways Board1,9291,9292,063
Covent Garden Market Authority393940
Executive NDPBs
Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales1.81.82
Agricultural Wages Committees for England and Wales1.61.61.6
Apple and Pear Research Council(1)0.51
British Potato Council626363
Countryside Agency509.15631.5625.4
English Nature783.58251,030
Environment Agency10,47610,59510,595
Food from Britain262626
Home-Grown Cereals Authority43.547.350
Horticultural Development Council1513.512
Horticulture Research International567502.5484
Joint Nature Conservation Committee82100101
Meat and Livestock Commission678666666
Milk Development Council91414
National Forest Company15.51717
Regional Flood Defence Committees000
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew551601601
Sea Fish Industry Authority147145145
United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards(2)777
Wine Standards Board10.510.510.5

Advisory NDPBs

Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment

Advisory Committee on Consumer Products and the Environment

Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances

Advisory Committee on Organic Standards(1)

Advisory Committee on Packaging(2)

Advisory Committee on Pesticides

Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment

Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees

Airborne Particles Expert Group(3)

Air Quality Expert Group(4)

Committee of Investigation for Great Britain

Committee on Agricultural Valuation

Committee on Products and Processes for Use in Public Water Supply

Consumers' Committee for Great Britain

Darwin Advisory Committee

Expert Group on Cryptosporidium in Water Supplies

Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards

Farm Animal Welfare Council

Government-Industry Forum on Non-food Uses of Crops

Hill Farming Advisory Committee

Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB

Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council

Integrated Administration and Control System Appeals Panel(5)

National Expert Group on Transboundary Air Pollution(6)

Pesticide Residues Committee

Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee

Royal Commission on Environment Pollution

Science Advisory Council(7)

Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee

Sustainable Development Commission

Sustainable Development Education Panel(10)

Veterinary Products Committee

Veterinary Residues Committee

Water Regulations Advisory Committee

Zoos Forum

Tribunal NDPBs

Agricultural Land Tribunal

Commons Commissioners

Dairy Produce Quota Tribunal

Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal

(8) Wound up 31 March 2003

(9) Wound up 18 July 2003

(10) Established 1 November 2003

(11) Old committee was wound up on 31 December 2001, and a new committee of the same name established on 10 September 2002

(12) Wound up early 2002

(13) Established 1 July 2002

(14) Established 1 April 2002

(15) Wound up 31 August 2001

(16) Established 5 January 2004

(10) Wound up February 2003

Defra inherited six executive agencies at the time of its creation, all from the former MAFF. These agencies were:

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

Central Science Laboratory (CSL)

Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD)

Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA)

Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), and

Intervention Board Executive Agency (IBEA)

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) was created on 16 October 2001, and took over the functions and staff of the IBEA on 15 November 2001.

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The number of permanent staff in each agency for each year since the creation of Defra is set out on the table below:

Agency1 Oct 20011 Apr 20021 Apr 2003

Foot and Mouth Disease: Claims Settlements

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they anticipate paying the outstanding claims by farmers which are not subject to court cases, following the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001.[HL1207]

Lord Whitty: There are currently 25 cases relating to claims by farmers against Defra arising from the outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in 2001 in which proceedings have not been issued. Settlement offers have been made or are being negotiated in 10 of these cases. Defra denies liability to make any payments in each of the remaining 15 cases.

In addition, 119 outstanding claims for increased compensation for animals slaughtered as a result of FMD are subject to ongoing discussions and further review, including the use of mediation and arbitration processes, with individual farmers and their representatives.

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many claims by farmers relating to the foot and mouth outbreak are due to be taken to court.[HL1208]

Lord Whitty: Proceedings have been issued in five cases relating to claims by farmers against Defra arising from the outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in 2001. Trial dates have been scheduled in four of these cases.


Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current annual total of taxpayer subsidy involved in train leasing arrangements; and[HL1239]

    How current taxpayer subsidy is divided between recipient train operators individually.[HL1240]

Lord Davies of Oldham: Franchise agreements specify franchise payments (whether subsidy or premium) in aggregate annual amounts as established in competition for the franchise. These payments meet the full service requirements specified in the franchise

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agreement, including train lease costs. The payments for each of the train operating companies are listed on page 141 of the Strategic Rail Authority's 2002–03 annual report which has been placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the estimated cost of (a) the Pacer, and (b) the Pendolino trains, and the annual leasing cost; and[HL1241]

    Whether changes to primary legislation would be required to abolish the train leasing system. [HL1242]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The procurement of rolling stock is a matter of private contract between train operating companies and rolling stock leasing companies. It would require primary legislation to abolish the train leasing system.

Heathrow Airport: Travelators

Lord Acton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Davies of Oldham on 2 February (WA 77), how much Heathrow Airport paid by way of rebates to airlines for failure of the travelators in Terminal 3 to meet the specified standard in any month between July and December 2003.[HL1245]

Lord Davies of Oldham: Over the period Heathrow Airport paid £40,000 to airlines in respect of the travelators in Terminal 3, which was the maximum amount payable under the scheme for rebates for failing to meet the specified standard.

A12: Witham Bypass

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Highways Agency will arrange to plant fresh tree and shrub screening along the newly renovated section of the Witham bypass on the A12 trunk road.[HL1214]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Highways Agency is carrying out a survey into all landscaping on the A12 trunk road. The survey should be completed by early spring. A landscape management plan for the whole of this route will then be drawn up and will consider whether any additional tree and shrub planting is necessary along the recently improved section of Witham bypass.

Vehicle Registration Office: Honeypot Lane, Stanmore

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the approximate turnover of the Vehicle Registration Office at Honeypot Lane, Stanmore, in terms of vehicle excise licence receipts.[HL1217]

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Lord Davies of Oldham: The average monthly vehicle licence receipts at the DVLA local office at Stanmore are £570,000. A further £200,000 is received monthly in respect of other business such as driving licence, cherished transfer and vehicle registration fees.

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