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Homelessness

Mr. Jim Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money his Department has provided for each year from 1991-92 to 1994-95 for helping homeless people.

Sir George Young [holding answer 29 June 1994] : My Department's housing expenditure in the years in question is set out in its annual report 1994, Cm 2507. Some £7.4 billion will be spent in 1994- 95. The vast majority of that spending goes to help those who are in housing need, who need help with the repair of their housing or who have difficulty paying their local authority rent.

Mr. Gerrard : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authority, housing association and voluntary sector hostel bedspaces for single homeless people there were in England on (a) 31 December 1993 and (b) 31 March 1994, or the most recent figures available.

Sir George Young : Information available to my Department relates to bedspaces in hostels owned by registered housing associations. There were a total of 69,500 bedspaces in those hostels on 31 March 1993, the most recent date for which a figure is available. Those hostels cater not solely for single homeless people but for single people with a variety of special needs, many of whom are homeless. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy annual homelessness statistics publication includes data on the numbers of local authority hostel bedspaces for single homeless persons. A copy of the latest edition--"Homelessness Statistics 1992/93 Actuals"--is in the Library.

Information on hostel bedspaces for single homeless people in the voluntary sector is not held centrally.

Peat Extraction

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to phase out peat extraction.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps she is taking to phase out peat extraction.

Mr. Baldry : I have been asked to reply.

Government policy in respect of peat extraction is currently under review. The Government recognise the nature conservation value of the peatland resource and wish to encourage the use of suitable alternative materials while recognising the value of peat for some technically demanding uses by the horticultural industry in particular. The working group on peat extraction, 7 July 1992, Official Report, column 158, is considering a range of policies to secure the protection and rehabilitation of the most important sites and limiting new extraction to areas where no damage to nature conservation interests would arise. I will be publishing the outcome from the group's work later this year. My Department has also supported English Nature in safeguarding, for nature conservation, important vegetated areas on some existing peat workings, which were previously planned for extraction.


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Emergency Planning, Sellafield

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the basis for and outcome of the recent Oscar IV emergency planning exercise held at Sellafield.

Mr. Eggar : I have been asked to reply.

Exercise Oscar IV was the level III--national--civil nuclear emergency exercise for 1993. It was held in November and formed part of an on-going programme to demonstrate the off-site emergency arrangements at each civil nuclear site in the United Kingdom every three years.

The exercise was a successful demonstration of the off-site emergency planning arrangements for BNFL's Sellafield plant, fulfilling the licensing criteria set by the Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate.

Habitat and Species Directive

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will announce the measures he proposes to introduce to implement the European habitat and species directive ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer : I am pleased to say that the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales and I have today laid in draft, for approval under the affirmative procedure, the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, to effect transposition of the directive in Great Britain. The regulations mark an important step forward in nature conservation and consolidate our policies and practices in respect of sites and species of international importance.

On 4 October last year, the Government consulted on the proposed implementation in Great Britain of the Council directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna, the EC habitats directive. I am grateful to all those bodies and individuals who responded to the consultation, of which there were 144 in England and Wales and 94 in Scotland. The responses have been placed in the usual Libraries. Departments are writing to each of the respondents explaining the Government's consideration of the points raised and our detailed conclusions. A copy of this letter will be placed in the House Libraries.

The Government firmly support the directive's objective to contribute to the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora throughout the European Union. The Government's proposals for implementation reflect that important aim. The legal measures necessary for transposition of the directive into national law contained in the draft regulations are complemented by broader initiatives in the countryside as a whole to respond to the wider objectives of the directive. We shall deliver the latter in the medium and long term through the strategy set out in the biodiversity action plan published in January this year.

The draft regulations comprise a thorough implementation package. They build largely on the existing extensive legislative basis which provides a strong framework for nature conservation in this country. They introduce some new provisions and apply existing legislation amended as required by the directive's obligations. The EC birds directive is amended by the habitats directive in respect of special protection areas, and the draft regulations also give effect to this. United Kingdom special protection areas and


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special areas of conservation will together contribute to the European Union network of designated areas known as Natura 2000. In summary, the draft regulations cover :

new provisions for site selection and designation ;

new duties on Ministers and nature conservation agencies to use their powers in accordance with the requirements of the Directive ; application of the present SSSI and NNR legislation amended to ensure that the procedures can be operated in accordance with the Directive ;

a new basis for the conservation of marine sites in which relevant Ministers and local bodies will be under a duty to exercise their existing powers in accordance with the Directive often within the framework of an agreed inter-agency scheme of management ; a number of technical amendments to the existing species protection legislation ;

application of the Directive's requirements for approval and review of schemes which could significantly adversely affect the conservation value of the sites in respect of the Town and Country Planning, Highways, Transport and Works, Electricity and Pipe-lines Acts as well as pollution control, waste management and water discharge consents in the Environmental Protection and Water Resources Acts.

Further regulations will be laid before Parliament in due course to ensure that other activities for which statutory consents and permissions are required and which could have a significantly adverse effect on the nature conservation interests of a protected site are brought within the provisions of the directive.

The Government are committed to consultation on the sites to be proposed under the directive. The regulations make formal provision for designation but the processes leading to that point will be non-statutory. English Nature, the Countryside Council for Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage, co -ordinated through the Joint Nature Conservancy Council are working on their advice to Government about the United Kingdom contribution to the Natura 2000 network in the light of the directive's scientific criteria. When the Government have considered the agencies' advice, we shall decide to publish our proposals and the consultation process will begin. Individual owners and occupiers of sites will be fully involved.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Sudanese Peace Talks

Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of the Sudanese peace talks held in Nairobi from 16 to 20 May.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : On 17 May, the Government of Sudan and SPLA factions signed an agreement on the opening of specific air destinations and surface corridors to humanitarian relief supplies. A draft declaration of principles was circulated to all parties for consideration in advance of the next round of talks scheduled for 18 July.

Sudan

Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are presently being pursued by Her Majesty's Government to curtail the flow of arms to all parties to the Sudanese conflict.


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Mr. Douglas Hogg : On 8 March, the European Union agreed an arms embargo. This reinforced our own policy of not selling lethal weaponry to Sundan.

Recycled Paper

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of his Department's (a) press releases and (b) written answers are printed on recycled paper.

Mr. Goodlad : All the press releases and written answers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are currently printed on paper which is manufactured from renewable sources.

Immigration Cases

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) for what reasons Mrs. Sahib Jee--Ref : V93/21255-- was refused a visa to visit the United Kingdom by the High Commission in Islamabad last October ; what information she was given at that time on whether the decision to refuse a visa would prejudice a subsequent application at a further date ; for what reason Mrs. Sahib Jee was sent away from the post in Islamabad on 30 May 1993 and told that having been refused a visa she could make no further application ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will review urgently the application made to the British High Commissioner in Islamabad by Mrs. Sahib Jee--Ref : V93/21255--to visit the United Kingdom ;

(3) if he will urgently review the refusal by the British High Commission in Islamabad to grant a visa to visit the United Kingdom to Mrs. Maskeena Jan--Ref. V94/9363 ; TH/14866 ; TH/1912/92 ; IMM/V9005055--and if he will make a statement ;

(4) what recommendations he has sent to the British High Commission in Islamabad regarding applications made to visit the United Kingdom by Mrs. Maskeena Jan--Ref. TH/14866 ; TH/1912/92 ; and

IMM/V9005055--what decision was made on 15 May in relation to Mrs. Jan's latest application to visit the United Kingdom--Ref. V94/9363--and if he will recommend that Mrs. Jan be issued with a visa to visit the United Kingdom.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In the absence of any information in London about these cases, I have asked the entry clearance officer at the high commission in Islamabad to let me have a report. I shall arrange for the hon. Member to receive a substantive reply from the migration and visa correspondence unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as soon as possible.

Visas

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in how many cases since the right of appeal was abolished to those refused a visa to visit the United Kingdom second applications made to the British High Commission in Islamabad have been (a) granted, (b) refused or (c) deferred for inquiries to be made ; in how many such cases advice has been offered to the applicant or sponsor to make the application acceptable ; and in how many cases an applicant wishing to make a second application was turned away and told they were unable to lodge a second application as their first application had been refused.


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Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The high commission in Islamabad does not keep statistics about the outcome of second applications, nor does it keep statistics on what advice an entry clearance officer may pass on to an applicant following refusal to entry clearance. No applicant will be advised that he is unable to lodge an application. If he wishes to lodge a second application, he is free to do so. In Islamabad, a preliminary assessment of all non-settlement applications is carried out before an application is formally accepted and a visa fee taken. This is done in the interests of both the applicant and the high commission. The ECO may advise that, on the documentary evidence available, an application seems unlikely to succeed. An applicant is not obliged to follow the ECO's advice and if he decides to pursue the application, a formal interview is then arranged.

Tibet

Mr. Pickthall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received about the continuing Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Mr. Goodlad : Hon. Members of the all-party parliamentary group for Tibet called on me on 28 June to discuss Tibet. Human rights abuses there are a matter of continuing concern to the British Government. We regularly raise the subject with the Chinese authorities.

Nigeria

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the British Government have made to the Nigerian Government about the release of Moshood Abida.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We strongly regret the arrest of Chief Abiola and called on the Nigerian military Government to engage all sides in a constructive political dialogue. The European Union issued a statement on 30 June condemning the arrest and urging respect for human rights.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Bovine Somatotropin

Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the differences in amounts of protein, casein and fat levels in milk coming from a dairy cow treated with synthetic bovine somatotropin and a dairy cow not treated with synthetic BST.

Mr. Soames : Many studies have been carried out to examine the effect of manufactured BST on milk composition. A review of those studies, which includes details of the amounts of protein, casein and fat, is to be found in the proceedings of the BST world-wide symposium held in August 1989 and reproduced in the "Journal of Dairy Science (1991), Volume 74 (Supplement 2), pages 2 to 11, a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research has been undertaken into IGF-1 levels in cows treated with synthetic BST ; and to what extent these levels are different from those in cows not treated with synthetic BST.


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Mr. Soames : Considerable research has been undertaken on IGF-1 levels in cows treated with manufactured BST. A review of the published studies is to be found in the 24 August 1990 edition of the journal "Science, Volume 249", pages 875 to 884, a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House.

Consultants

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many contracts and for what total sum were let out by her Department and agencies for which it is responsible to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b) KPMG Peat Marwick, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) Price Waterhouse, (e) Arthur Andersen, (f) Touche Ross, (g) Grant Thornton, (h) Robson Rhodes and (i) Pannell Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) other services in (1) 1980 to 1983, (2) 1984 to 1987, (3) 1988 to 1991 and (4) 1992-93.

Mr. Jack : The table gives the aggregate costs of contracts with each of the nine named consultants for the financial years 1990-91 to 1993- 94 let by the Department and its agencies, excluding the Intervention Board executive agency.


                     |1990-91 to                      

                     |1993-94   |Number of            

Consultant           |£         |contracts            

------------------------------------------------------

Coopers and Lybrand  |662,065   |18                   

KPMG Peat Marwick    |518,343   |6                    

Ernst and Young      |2,683,262 |8                    

Price Waterhouse     |849,919   |20                   

Arthur Andersen      |0         |0                    

Touche Ross          |844,580   |10                   

Grant Thornton       |<1>-      |1                    

Robson Rhodes        |0         |0                    

Pannell Kerr Forster |0         |0                    

<1>Single contract cost not given for reasons of      

commercial confidentiality.                           

The partial cost of some contracts started before 1990 are included in those figures. Neither records relating to individual consultants before 1990 nor breakdowns by type of contract are held centrally and those details could be made available only at disproportionate cost.

Agriculture

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is her estimate of the take-up of the arable area payments scheme in hectares for (a) the simplified scheme, (b) cereals, (c) oilseeds, (d) proteins, (e) linseed and (f) set-aside in England for 1994.

Mr. Jack : This information is as follows :


                          |(hectares)                 

------------------------------------------------------

Simplified scheme         |158,758                    

Cereals (including maize) |2,142,426                  

Oilseeds                  |365,000                    

Proteins                  |239,925                    

Linseed                   |75,000-80,000              

Set-aside                 |624,812                    

Estimates based on the area aid applications actually submitted for 1994 are not yet available.

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much was spent in each European


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Union country in pounds sterling, and what was the take-up in hectares, in 1993 on (a) the set-aside part of the arable area payments scheme or its equivalent and (b) set-aside measures introduced prior to the CAP reform of May 1992 ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack : Provisional European Commission figures for the area of land set aside in each member state in 1993 under the arable area payments scheme and the five-year set-aside scheme are set out below, together with expenditure in ecus to the end of 1993. A sterling equivalent has been included for illustrative purposes.


Member State         |Area Set    |Payments    |Sterling                 

                     |Aside                    |Equivalent               

                                               |(rounded)                

                     |('000 ha)   |('000 ecu)  |(£'000)                  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arable Area Payments Scheme                                              

Belgium              |19          |6,356       |4,847                    

Denmark              |205         |55,963      |42,674                   

Fed. Rep. of Germany |1,063       |320,591     |244,465                  

Greece               |17          |2,625       |2,002                    

Spain                |909         |115,854     |88,344                   

France               |1,589       |516,430     |393,801                  

Republic of Ireland  |24          |0           |0                        

Italy                |207         |23,742      |18,104                   

Luxembourg           |2           |391         |298                      

Netherlands          |8           |2,711       |2,067                    

Portugal             |78          |877         |669                      

United Kingdom       |556         |153,799     |117,279                  

                     |-------     |-------     |-------                  

Total                |4,674       |1,199,339   |914,550                  

                                                                         

Five-Year Set-Aside Scheme                                               

Belgium              |1           |195         |149                      

Denmark              |7           |-2          |-1.5                     

Fed. Rep. of Germany |415         |3,396       |2,590                    

Greece               |1           |0           |0                        

Spain                |95          |5,101       |3,890                    

France               |214         |7,001       |5,339                    

Republic of Ireland  |2           |196         |149                      

Italy                |639         |3,604       |2,748                    

Luxembourg           |0           |0           |0                        

Netherlands          |15          |0           |0                        

Portugal             |0           |0           |0                        

United Kingdom       |133         |30,795      |23,483                   

                     |-------     |-------     |-------                  

Total                |1,522       |50,286      |38,345                   


Column 30

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will give the payment rates made per hectare under the arable areas payments scheme for (a) cereals, (b) oilseeds, (c) proteins, (d) linseed, (e) set-aside and (f) the simplified scheme paid in (i) the first year and (ii) the second year of the scheme in England.

Mr. Jack : The payment rates per hectare in England for the first and second years of the scheme are set out below. The actual rates payable in 1994 may be reduced if base areas are exceeded. The rate for oilseeds may change subject to the possible penalties resulting from the EC-US oilseeds agreement, and to adjustments dependent on the observed reference price. Set-aside land which is used to grow sugar beet for industrial purposes does not qualify for payment.


                             |1992-93|1993-94        

                             |£      |£              

-----------------------------------------------------

(a) cereals                  |140    |193            

(b) oilseeds                 |400    |436            

(c) proteins                 |365    |359            

(d) linseed<1>               |-      |-              

(e) set-aside                |253    |315            

  set-aside: reduced rate<2> |-      |220            

(f) simplified scheme        |140    |193            

<1> Linseed was not incorporated into the arable     

area payments scheme until 1993-94. The payment rate 

for 1993-94 has not yet been fixed.                  

<2> There is a reduced payment rate for voluntary    

set-aside in excess of the applicant's cropped area. 

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 11 January, Official Report, column 56, if she will now give (i) the number of hectares taken up and (ii) the number of holdings in each county in England in 1993 for (a) cereals, (b) potatoes, (c) linseed, (d) sugar beet, (e) horticultural produce and (f) oilseeds.

Mr. Jack : The table gives the requested information.


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June 1993 census of agriculture and horticulture results by English counties<1><2>                        

                             |<3>Area of|Number of |Area of   |Number of |Area of   |Number of            

                             |cereals   |holdings  |potatoes  |holdings  |sugar beet|holdings             

                                        |growing              |growing              |growing              

                                        |cereals              |potatoes             |sugar beet           

                             |Hectares             |Hectares             |Hectares                        

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avon                         |11,284    |412       |201       |97        |0         |0                    

Bedfordshire                 |38,750    |662       |682       |163       |499       |29                   

Berkshire                    |24,467    |280       |101       |22        |0         |0                    

Buckinghamshire              |32,585    |640       |<4>-      |<4>-      |<4>-      |<4>-                 

Cambridgeshire               |133,160   |2,514     |10,725    |980       |23,261    |1,367                

Cheshire                     |21,803    |1,114     |4,317     |568       |193       |20                   

Cleveland                    |11,911    |260       |208       |46        |0         |0                    

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |34,357    |2,094     |3,952     |733       |110       |8                    

Cumbria                      |20,060    |1,390     |498       |300       |0         |0                    

Derbyshire                   |25,766    |1,016     |992       |259       |313       |15                   

Devon                        |52,652    |2,916     |1,576     |602       |51        |3                    

Dorset                       |40,464    |668       |203       |65        |82        |4                    

Durham                       |31,533    |773       |841       |124       |0         |0                    

East Sussex                  |18,105    |455       |288       |73        |0         |0                    

Essex                        |121,736   |1,744     |5,174     |380       |4,128     |206                  

Gloucestershire              |49,521    |995       |815       |160       |157       |10                   

Greater London               |3,110     |72        |108       |14        |0         |0                    

Greater Manchester           |4,975     |192       |539       |92        |54        |8                    

Hampshire                    |77,038    |829       |<4>-      |<4>-      |<4>-      |<4>-                 

Hereford and Worcester       |70,588    |2,369     |7,150     |750       |4,370     |278                  

Hertfordshire                |45,323    |547       |333       |50        |186       |6                    

Humberside                   |148,659   |2,402     |7,713     |668       |9,571     |654                  

Isle of Wight                |6,142     |135       |237       |29        |0         |0                    

Kent                         |66,171    |1,238     |3,893     |329       |6         |3                    

Lancashire                   |14,355    |663       |2,575     |474       |287       |28                   

Leicestershire               |64,048    |1,350     |1,263     |154       |982       |46                   

Lincolnshire                 |236,403   |3,940     |16,964    |1,640     |34,073    |2,015                

Merseyside                   |7,630     |239       |859       |133       |230       |25                   

Norfolk                      |179,750   |3,264     |13,525    |1,022     |57,496    |2,354                

North Yorkshire              |163,031   |3,730     |11,232    |1,117     |12,586    |886                  

Northamptonshire             |64,946    |1,012     |660       |70        |406       |24                   

Northumberland               |65,827    |1,077     |1,040     |92        |0         |0                    

Nottinghamshire              |61,441    |1,241     |5,206     |342       |8,411     |386                  

Oxfordshire                  |73,325    |1,004     |649       |83        |125       |6                    

Shropshire                   |70,530    |1,932     |7,737     |489       |10,061    |428                  

Somerset                     |33,130    |1,202     |1,630     |299       |366       |19                   

South Yorkshire              |27,473    |664       |1,620     |218       |1,888     |93                   

Staffordshire                |35,425    |1,040     |3,856     |315       |2,498     |104                  

Suffolk                      |137,376   |2,253     |5,019     |365       |23,717    |945                  

Surrey                       |8,572     |226       |83        |28        |0         |0                    

Tyne and Wear                |5,482     |132       |65        |16        |0         |0                    

Warwickshire                 |47,543    |1,056     |2,251     |236       |139       |5                    

West Midlands                |4,046     |139       |289       |57        |173       |7                    

West Sussex                  |28,923    |501       |883       |76        |0         |0                    

West Yorkshire               |18,469    |492       |948       |175       |396       |31                   

Wiltshire                    |81,162    |1,045     |666       |111       |89        |4                    

<1>Excluding estimates for minor holdings.                                                                

<2>Crops grown on set-aside land are not included.                                                        

<3>Excluding maize.                                                                                       

<4>Data suppressed to prevent disclosure of information about individual holdings.                        


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June 1993 census of agriculture and horticulture results by English counties<1><2>                                             

                             |<3>Area of   |Number of    |Area of      |Number of    |Area of      |Number of                  

                             |horticultural|holdings     |oilseed rape |holdings     |linseed      |holdings                   

                             |crops        |growing                    |growing                    |growing                    

                                           |horticultural              |oilseed rape               |linseed                    

                                           |crops                                                                              

                             |Hectares                   |Hectares                   |Hectares                                 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avon                         |388          |197          |1,192        |60           |720          |49                         

Bedfordshire                 |1,947        |341          |7,996        |246          |2,233        |100                        

Berkshire                    |458          |81           |4,270        |91           |2,191        |85                         

Buckinghamshire              |507          |133          |8,180        |283          |2,129        |88                         

Cambridgeshire               |9,863        |855          |15,301       |552          |7,077        |426                        

Cheshire                     |1,123        |323          |1,495        |88           |365          |19                         

Cleveland                    |34           |23           |2,026        |107          |90           |5                          

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |3,110        |740          |1,036        |64           |2,007        |147                        

Cumbria                      |203          |116          |334          |17           |61           |3                          

Derbyshire                   |600          |144          |3,408        |187          |322          |18                         

Devon                        |1,892        |652          |1,526        |82           |3,424        |267                        

Dorset                       |512          |223          |1,799        |60           |2,827        |113                        

Durham                       |133          |57           |5,593        |309          |606          |39                         

East Sussex                  |1,442        |291          |2,840        |121          |3,418        |149                        

Essex                        |5,413        |846          |20,623       |722          |7,370        |394                        

Gloucestershire              |1,501        |373          |9,201        |299          |6,611        |251                        

Greater London               |669          |139          |600          |27           |179          |10                         

Greater Manchester           |787          |135          |424          |31           |<4>-         |<4>-                       

Hampshire                    |3,368        |502          |8,229        |244          |7,098        |249                        

Hereford and Worcester       |9,406        |1,291        |6,979        |366          |1,745        |132                        

Hertfordshire                |388          |199          |6,918        |233          |2,141        |85                         

Humberside                   |12,408       |711          |16,042       |808          |5,065        |332                        

Isle of Wight                |355          |70           |909          |32           |945          |46                         

Kent                         |21,004       |1,399        |15,080       |449          |7,963        |389                        

Lancashire                   |5,147        |901          |1,036        |70           |190          |13                         

Leicestershire               |423          |135          |13,089       |491          |3,381        |161                        

Lincolnshire                 |33,778       |1,971        |27,782       |1,072        |14,470       |700                        

Merseyside                   |1,081        |172          |646          |41           |<4>-         |<4>-                       

Norfolk                      |20,743       |1,293        |5,497        |243          |10,106       |520                        

North Yorkshire              |2,152        |384          |15,480       |922          |5,104        |352                        

Northamptonshire             |223          |97           |17,819       |515          |3,192        |147                        

Northumberland               |434          |62           |11,238       |443          |966          |45                         

Nottinghamshire              |2,710        |242          |10,120       |465          |4,648        |221                        

Oxfordshire                  |897          |151          |15,896       |451          |5,827        |248                        

Shropshire                   |878          |196          |2,805        |150          |1,393        |91                         

Somerset                     |2,244        |513          |1,565        |91           |1,831        |134                        

South Yorkshire              |626          |112          |4,795        |242          |3,412        |156                        

Staffordshire                |1,368        |231          |3,175        |153          |1,116        |61                         

Suffolk                      |11,295       |702          |11,303       |480          |7,571        |406                        

Surrey                       |1,223        |275          |1,506        |64           |1,583        |70                         

Tyne and Wear                |99           |25           |1,485        |67           |90           |8                          

Warwickshire                 |1,418        |189          |10,544       |408          |3,268        |143                        

West Midlands                |304          |63           |680          |39           |45           |4                          

West Sussex                  |1,691        |505          |3,295        |134          |4,180        |193                        

West Yorkshire               |953          |208          |2,457        |142          |444          |33                         

Wiltshire                    |542          |164          |10,236       |349          |6,828        |280                        

<1>Excluding estimates for minor holdings.                                                                                     

<2>Crops grown on set-aside land are not included.                                                                             

<3>Excluding peas for harvesting dry and mushrooms.                                                                            

<4>Data suppressed to prevent disclosure of information about individual holdings.                                             

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much was spent in pounds sterling, and what was the take-up in hectares, in 1993 on the arable area payments scheme or its equivalent in each European Union country ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack : I understand from working papers of the European Commission that the situation was as follows. The sterling figure is for illustrative purposes.


Member State                |Area In     |Payments in |Sterling                 

                            |Scheme      |1993        |Equivalent               

                                                      |(rounded)                

                            |('000 ha)   |('000 ecu)  |(£'000)                  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Belgium                     |410         |77,729      |59,272                   

Denmark                     |1,805       |309,630     |236,107                  

Federal Republic of Germany |9,328       |1,570,326   |1,197,442                

Greece                      |1,267       |301,440     |229,861                  

Spain                       |8,435       |589,182     |449,277                  

France                      |12,920      |2,627,735   |2,003,763                

Republic of Ireland         |269         |60,182      |45,891                   

Italy                       |3,701       |520,063     |396,571                  

Luxembourg                  |36          |4,679       |3,568                    

Netherlands                 |334         |63,017      |48,053                   

Portugal                    |684         |28,658      |21,853                   

United Kingdom              |3,978       |906,036     |690,892                  

                            |---         |----        |----                     

Total                       |43,166      |7,058,677   |5,382,551                

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 24 June, Official Report, column 391, what estimates she has for the amounts to be paid out for linseed in 1993-94 under the arable area payments scheme in (a) each county and (b) each region in England ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack : It will not be possible to produce estimates for the amounts to be paid out for linseed in 1994 until the payment rate has been agreed by the Council of Ministers.

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) farmers and (b) holdings there were in each county in England in 1993.

Mr. Jack : The information requested is set out in the table.


Column 34


Number of holdings and farmers, partners                                           

and directors in England<1> in 1993                                                

County                       |Number of        |Number of                          

                             |holdings         |farmers, partners                  

                                               |and directors<2>                   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avon                         |2,227            |2,246                              

Bedfordshire                 |1,244            |1,450                              

Berkshire                    |886              |829                                

Buckinghamshire              |1,937            |2,131                              

Cambridgeshire               |3,518            |4,046                              

                                                                                   

Cheshire                     |4,450            |5,003                              

Cleveland                    |435              |528                                

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |7,082            |7,758                              

Cumbria                      |6,544            |7,755                              

Derbyshire                   |3,963            |4,450                              

                                                                                   

Devon                        |11,453           |12,681                             

Dorset                       |3,070            |3,412                              

Durham                       |2,184            |2,664                              

East Sussex                  |2,328            |2,435                              

Essex                        |3,796            |4,347                              

                                                                                   

Gloucestershire              |3,517            |3,674                              

Greater London               |463              |492                                

Greater Manchester           |1,522            |1,624                              

Hampshire                    |3,159            |3,267                              

Hereford and Worcester       |6,907            |7,691                              

                                                                                   

Hertfordshire                |1,378            |1,478                              

Humberside                   |3,632            |4,507                              

Isle of Wight                |526              |567                                

Kent                         |4,288            |4,694                              

Lancashire                   |5,712            |6,441                              

                                                                                   

Leicestershire               |3,062            |3,307                              

Lincolnshire                 |5,970            |7,334                              

Merseyside                   |493              |596                                

Norfolk                      |5,321            |5,864                              

North Yorkshire              |8,633            |10,621                             

                                                                                   

Northamptonshire             |2,138            |2,361                              

Northumberland               |2,393            |2,925                              

Nottinghamshire              |2,097            |2,459                              

                                                                                   

Oxfordshire                  |2,137            |2,314                              

Shropshire                   |5,034            |5,742                              

                                                                                   

Somerset                     |6,048            |6,360                              

South Yorkshire              |1,497            |1,714                              

Staffordshire                |4,785            |5,130                              

Suffolk                      |3,659            |4,205                              

Surrey                       |1,855            |1,810                              

                                                                                   

Tyne and Wear                |268              |305                                

Warwickshire                 |2,504            |2,817                              

West Midlands                |483              |520                                

West Sussex                  |2,335            |2,335                              

West Yorkshire               |3,297            |3,401                              

                                                                                   

Wiltshire                    |3,192            |3,360                              

                                                                                   

England                      |153,422          |171,650                            

Source: 1993 June Agricultural and Horticultural Census.                           

<1> Excluding minor holdings.                                                      

<2> Excludes spouses of farmers, partners and directors though they themselves may 

be partners or directors.                                                          

Subsidies and Grants

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what amount of money was paid out by each of her regional service centres for each (a) agricultural subsidy scheme and (b) grant scheme to farmers in 1992-93.

Mr. Jack : Information in the form requested by the hon. Member could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Summaries of the outturn on various grants and subsidy schemes in 1992-93 on a United Kingdom or on an all-England basis are included in the HM Treasury publication "Supply Estimates 1994-95 (Class III Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Intervention Board--Intervention Agency)", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Set-aside Scheme

Mr. Tipping : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much land in each county in England was under the five-year set-aside scheme in (a) 1993-94 and (b) 1994-95 at the latest available date ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack : The latest information on land in the five-year set-aside scheme which is available on a county basis relates to the scheme year 1992 -93, which ended on 30 September 1993, and is set out below.


Five Year Set-Aside Scheme                                     

1992-93 scheme year                                            

County                 |Area Set-aside                         

---------------------------------------------------------------

Avon                   |1,900                                  

Bedfordshire           |3,050                                  

Berkshire              |3,250                                  

Buckinghamshire        |6,400                                  

Cambridgeshire         |4,500                                  

Cheshire               |850                                    

Cleveland              |100                                    

Cornwall               |1,800                                  

Cumbria                |350                                    

Derbyshire             |1,050                                  

Devon                  |3,300                                  

Dorset                 |1,950                                  

Durham                 |1,200                                  

East Sussex            |3,900                                  

Essex                  |5,100                                  

Gloucestershire        |5,250                                  

Greater London         |550                                    

Greater Manchester     |100                                    

Hampshire              |4,450                                  

Hereford and Worcester |2,000                                  

Hertfordshire          |2,950                                  

Humberside             |2,450                                  

Isle of Wight          |50                                     

Kent                   |6,150                                  

Lancashire             |250                                    

Leicestershire         |1,600                                  

Lincolnshire           |3,550                                  

Merseyside             |400                                    

Norfolk                |3,250                                  

North Yorkshire        |3,650                                  

Northamptonshire       |4,100                                  

Northumberland         |1,300                                  

Nottinghamshire        |950                                    

Oxfordshire            |6,800                                  

Shropshire             |600                                    

Somerset               |2,400                                  

South Yorkshire        |400                                    

Staffordshire          |1,400                                  

Suffolk                |4,700                                  

Surrey                 |2,300                                  

Tyne and Wear          |500                                    

Warwickshire           |2,750                                  

West Midlands          |200                                    

West Yorkshire         |400                                    

West Sussex            |3,300                                  

Wiltshire              |4,500                                  

                       |-------                                

Total                  |111,950                                

Note: figures rounded to nearest 50ha.                         

Animal Welfare

Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps she is taking to discourage (a) tail docking of piglets and (b) beak trimming of egg-laying hens ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Soames : The draft Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1994, which were laid before Parliament on 14 June, provide that tail docking of piglets may be carried out routinely only where there is evidence on the farm that injuries to other piglets have occurred or are likely to occur as a result of not carrying out this procedure. In addition, the codes of recommendations for the welfare of pigs and of domestic fowl, made under section 3(1) of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968, make it clear that tail docking and beak trimming should be carried out only as a last resort. The Department also addresses means of controlling aggression in pigs and laying hens in its research programme.

Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the United Kingdom's pig herd was tail-docked in the last 12-month period for which figures are available.

Mr. Soames : Figures on the number of pigs which have been tail docked are not available.

Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the United Kingdom's flock of egg-laying hens was beak trimmed in the last 12-month period for which figures are available.

Mr. Soames : Figures on the number of egg-laying hens which have been beak trimmed are not available.


Column 37

Bovine Immuno-deficiency Virus

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what tests for BIV are carried out on imported milk ; (2) what evidence of BIV infection has been found in (a) British and (b) imported milk supplies ; on how many occasions ; and what action was taken.

Mr. Soames : The Importation of Milk Regulations 1988, as amended, require all imports of milk from member states to be accompanied either by a health certificate certifying that the milk meets specified standards of production and hygiene or a commercial document or EC health mark indicating that it meets requirements in EC directive 92/46 on milk hygiene. All imported drinking milk is pasteurised, sterilised or ultra heat-treated. Imports of milk from third countries are currently prohibited. No tests for bovine immunodeficiency-like virus are carried out on British or imported milk. However, experience with other viruses suggests that pasteurisation would kill BIV. There is no evidence that BIV affects humans.

Beef Imports

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of beef imported into the United Kingdom per annum originates in Mexico ; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack [holding answer 30 June 1994] : There were no recorded United Kingdom imports of beef of Mexican origin during 1993.

Correspondence

Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many letters are received by her Department each year in respect of the problems encountered by the constituents of hon. Members ; what is the average time of response and when the hon. Member for Hereford can expect to receive a reply to the letter he sent on behalf of his constituent Mr. Peter Symonds of Llandinabo on 7 December 1993 and about which follow up letters were sent on 4 March and 10 May 1994.

Mr. Jack [holding answer 1 July 1994] : The number of letters received from hon. Members enclosing correspondence from their constituents or from noble peers in the last three calendar years and the percentage replied to within MAFF's target of 15 days are set out in the table :


Year           |Number        |Percentage                   

                              |replied to                   

                              |within 15 days               

------------------------------------------------------------

1991           |9,976         |76                           

1992           |10,974        |81                           

1993           |11,141        |67                           

Figures are not collected on the average time taken to respond to hon. Members' letters.

The letter of 7 December 1993 from the hon. Member sent on behalf of his constituent, Mr. Peter Symonds of Llandinabo, concerned a commercial appraisal carried out by ADAS. The correspondence was accordingly forwarded to ADAS for reply. However, neither the letter of 13


Column 38

December nor the follow-up letters were received by ADAS and the Chief Executive was therefore unaware that the matter had been delegated until 29 June.

I understand that the chief executive of ADAS replied to the hon. Member's letter on 30 June.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Public Bodies

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to produce annual reports.

Mr. Howard : The Animal Procedures Committee and the Parole Board.

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department which are required to lay their annual reports before Parliament.

Mr. Howard : The Parole Board.

Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required to consult before legislation proposals ; and in respect of which bodies the Government must publish their response to advice supplied by them.


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