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29 Oct 2009 : Column WA171

29 Oct 2009 : Column WA171

Written Answers

Thursday 29 October 2009

Air Quality


Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Government always strive to meet the 20-working-day deadline for responding to requests made under the environmental information regulations (EIRs). However, we very much regret that in this case we were unable to meet the deadline at either the initial request or internal review stage. This was because the request from the Campaign for Clean Air in London involved some detailed and careful consideration about the application or otherwise of certain of the exceptions in the EIRs, the consequent balance of the public interest arguments around the disclosure of advice to Ministers as well as consultation with third parties about information relating to them.

Alpacas and Llamas


Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain, launched in June 2004, continues to direct the Government and others in their work to bring about long-term improvements to the well-being of England's kept animals, including camelids (alpacas and llamas).

Suspicion of a notifiable exotic animal disease in camelids is notifiable to Animal Health. Defra has a scanning surveillance program in place to measure notifiable diseases.

Through Defra's surveillance programmes, the Veterinary Laboratory Agency has identified Johne's disease and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea in llamas and alpacas and is undertaking research to better understand diseases in these species.

The camelid sector in the UK has acted in a largely responsible manner in proactively vaccinating its animals

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against bluetongue serotype 8 (BTV8). Bluetongue- susceptible animals imported into the UK, including alpacas and llamas, will be tested for BTV8 on arrival.

Asked by Baroness Byford

Lord Davies of Oldham: Once testing and slaughter protocols have been agreed with the owner, Defra's approach is to provide compensation of £750 for each TB-affected alpaca and/or llama required to be slaughtered for disease control purposes.

Asked by Baroness Byford

Lord Davies of Oldham: The preferred anatomical part for TB testing in llamas and alpacas (camelids) is the neck at the base of the cervical area about level with the animal's back (cranial scapular). The auxiliary, behind the front leg, is also acceptable. The fibre is shaved off so the test site is easily seen.

Armed Forces Day: Northern Ireland


Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The MoD provided £10,000 of funding to the Armed Forces Day event in Carrickfergus.

Common Agricultural Policy: Single Farm Payment


Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The number of farmers whose single payment scheme claims we currently identify as needing adjustment post-payment is set out below:

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Scheme YearNumber of farmers*









* It should be noted that some farmers may be included against more than one year.

The number of farmers who have received no single payment scheme payment to date from a valid claim is:

Scheme YearNumber of farmers*









Some farmers may be included against more than one year, as above.

The majority of these relate to probate issues.

Asked by Baroness Byford

Lord Davies of Oldham: The amount of money recovered from single payment scheme overpayments for each year 2005 to 2008 is shown in the following table:

YearAmount Recovered


£19.1 million


£13.7 million


£4.5 million


£0.08 million

Devolved Administrations


Asked by Lord Laird

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Major capital projects in devolved areas of policy are for the devolved Administrations to fund from within their overall block budgets.

Asked by Lord Laird

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Lord Myners: In devolved areas of spending it is up to the devolved Administrations to assess the financial and environmental considerations of devolved spending projects.

Italy: Antiquities


Asked by Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The UK can receive requests for assistance to return antiquities that have been allegedly illegally exported, through a number of routes including:

the EU Council Directive 93/7/EC 1993 and the European Communities (Return of Cultural Objects) Regulations 1994, which set out procedures for mutual assistance between EU member states for the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of an EU member state. Such requests are handled by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The DCMS has received no requests for assistance from the Italian authorities in relation to Mr Symes under the EU Council Directive; andmutual legal assistance (MLA) in criminal matters. The Home Office UK Central Authority (UKCA) handles requests for mutual legal assistance where the assistance required is for use in an ongoing criminal investigation or for use in criminal proceedings. The UK is able to provide a wide range of assistance under the provisions of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005.

It is the normal policy of the Home Office to neither confirm nor deny the receipt of MLA requests so as not to prejudice ongoing criminal investigations or criminal proceedings.

Morocco: Fisheries Agreements


Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco expires in 2011. As with all negotiations with third countries we will seek to

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ensure that the financial compensation offered to Morocco in exchange for fishing opportunities is used to aid development of Morocco's fishing industry and its national administration's ability to effectively conserve fisheries resources. In agreeing the fishing opportunities to the EU fleet we would seek to ensure that the best available scientific advice is strictly adhered to.

National DNA Database


Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are currently considering the results of the public consultation exercise conducted over the summer on proposals for a proportionate framework for the retention of DNA in light of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of S and Marper.

As soon as parliamentary time allows, we will bring forward appropriate measures which will place the detail of DNA retention periods on the face of primary legislation, allowing full debate and scrutiny on the issue in both Houses.

As far as the process of removal raised by the African Peoples Advocacy is concerned, currently only chief police officers have the discretion to decide whether to remove DNA records. The guidance on the exceptional case procedure issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers makes it clear that records and profiles which have been taken lawfully will be removed only in exceptional cases. If a person thinks their DNA records should be removed from the database all they need to do is write to their local chief police officer setting out what they feel are the exceptional circumstances around their case that would qualify for their records to be removed.

The consultation paper on DNA retention proposed placing the exceptional case procedure on a statutory footing and detailing the criteria under which applications should be considered. This aims to make the process more open and transparent and to raise public awareness of the ability to apply for deletion and the grounds on which such applications could be made.

The retention rules for the DNA database as they apply in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Executive and as such Her Majesty's Government are unable to provide an assessment.

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Northern Ireland Office: Consultants


Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has control mechanisms in place to ensure that the use of external consultancy is managed appropriately. The cost of external consultancy has dropped steadily over the past four financial years with a 45 per cent reduction in costs over the period.

Detailed information on the use of external consultants by the NIO and its executive agencies is only available for each financial year from 2005-06 to 2008-09. The following tables give a breakdown of the type of consultancy provided and the costs in each of the past four financial years.

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NIO and Executive Agencies Financial Year 2005-06





Williamson Consulting


Grafton Recruiting


Jenkinson Consulting






Clairteq Systems Consulting


Penna PLC


TTC International




Anderson Spratt








JBM Consultants Ltd


The Whitehall & Industry Group


The Test Score


BBC Consultancy


Daniell Consulting


Others/Individual Contracts


Cumulative total



Watts & Partners






AH Design


ASM Howarth




Others/Individual Contracts


Cumulative total





T & S International


Cumulative total



Keppies Design


L'Estrange & Brett


Napier Watson


Colin Burrows CICS Ltd


Anderson Spratt




Turley Assoc


Claire Consulting


Others/Individual Contracts


Cumulative total



Anderson Spratt


Cumulative total


General Consultancy

Cleaver Fulton & Rankin








Karolyn Cooper


Cowan Architectural






Others/Individual Contracts


Cumulative total


IT Consultancy

Tim Lewis Rec




Osprey Mott MacDonald


PA Consulting






ICS Computing




Mentec International Ltd




IB Solutions


Cumulative total


Total Expenditure 05/06


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