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Countryside Preservation

Mr. Dykes: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government are working in partnership with farmers to conserve the countryside.

Mrs. Browning: Farmers have a vital role to play as stewards of the countryside and we work in partnership with them in all our expanding range of environmental schemes.

Animal Exports

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many live farm animals were exported in (a) 1994 and (b) 1979; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: Data for 1994 are not yet available. Published figures for 1993 and 1979 are given in the table below. Data for 1993 are provisional, and are thought to under-record the true level of exports.

Numbers of farm animals exported            

           |1993      |1979                 


Cattle     |391,130   |506,491              

Sheep      |662,846   |445,438              

Goats      |136       |483                  

Pigs       |151,149   |41,171               

Poultry    |20,450,736|9,386,293            

Source: Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.   

British Pig Breeders Association

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will be supporting the British Pig Breeders Association's application for European Union capital grants to facilitate structural change; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: The British Pig Breeders Association is seeking grant aid towards the cost of replacing sow stalls and tethers. Such expenditure would not necessarily attract reimbursement under EC regulation 2328/91, on the improvement of agricultural structures, and any other reimbursement would only be at the rate of 25 per cent. of the eligible national contribution. We are maintaining a tight control over public expenditure and we are not able to meet all demands placed upon the taxpayer by organisations such as the British Pig Breeders Association. The Government carefully considered the costs of the stall and tether ban in 1991 and our view remains that the eight-year transitional period will keep industry costs to an accommodatable level.

Next Steps Agencies

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out for each of the next steps agencies in his Department, whether they have acquired their own headquarters buildings and, if so, at what purchase cost or annual rental; how many support staff they have required which were not required when their operations were within his Department; how many of them published periodical journals and at what annual cost; how many have fleets of executive cars or single executive cars and at what annual cost; how many have specially designed logos and at what cost; how many have

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corporate clothing and at what cost; and what is the cost of specially designed and printed corporate stationery.

Mr. Waldegrave: These are matters which are delegated to agency chief executives and I have asked them to reply.

When functions were transferred from the department to the agencies, so was the necessary funding. Expenditure and staffing in the core Ministry was accordingly reduced. There have been various accommodation changes within the agencies which will overall result in savings.

All agencies have to meet performance targets which encompass cost recovery and efficiency gains or savings; these are reviewed each year. Achievement against these targets are summarised in the "Next Steps Review 1994", Cm 2750.

Letter from Martin J. Savage to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995:

In Dr. Walsh's absence, she has asked me to reply on her behalf. We thank you for the questions (PQ 402) in which you asked the Minister of Agriculture for information about each of the Next Steps Agencies within his department. This reply refers to ADAS.

Headquarters buildings

ADAS acquired its own Headquarters building at Kidlington, Oxfordshire in 1992 at an annual rent of £228,893. However, by 1 April 1996, ADAS expects to have relinquished accommodation in central London and elsewhere in England and Wales at an annual saving of approximately £3.5 million.

Support staff

There are no support staff which have been required which were previously not required when our operations were within MAFF. In fact, at the start of the agency there were 546 permanent full-time equivalent support staff and this has now reduced to 364. Thus there has been a reduction of approximately 33 per cent.

Periodical journals

Only four periodical journals have been published with a circulation of 72,000 copies at a cost of £215,760.

Executive cars

There is only one executive car which is used by the Chief Executive. This is at an approximate annual cost of £7,800.


At the start of the agency there was a relaunch of ADAS as an executive agency. This resulted in the creation of a new logo, its development and field-testing of the new identity. The total cost was approximately £15,000.

Corporate clothing

Before agency status, protective clothing for field and laboratory work was provided for staff. Following the change to agency status, new badges for these items were provided at a nominal cost. As old clothing was replaced new items bearing the corporate logo machined-on were introduced.

Pre-agency, all staff were provided with ties bearing the previous logo; these were replaced at the establishment of the agency. Female staff were provided with brooches bearing the corporate identity. This was at a total cost of £13,000.

Specially designed and printed corporate stationery

Prior to agency status, stationery was available at each office bearing the individual address and the corporate logo. Following the move to agency status this was replaced but the new stationery was generally introduced as the old was used. ADAS was able to purchase new stationery (including the design and artwork) for a total of 96 different offices at a total cost of £35,500 which was equivalent to £370 per office.

I hope that these details provide the answers you require.

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Letter from C. J. Lawson to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995:

PQ11 18 January 1995

In the absence of the Chief Executive on business, I have been asked by the Minister to reply on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to your questions about Next Steps Agencies in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The information you requested is as follows:

Headquarters building

The Directorate has not acquired its own headquarters buildings since becoming as an Agency on 2 April 1990. It occupies the same site at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Addlestone as it did before Agency status.

Support staff

Since 1990 there has been an increase of four in the number of support staff required, three dealing with information technology and one with finance.


Excluding the Annual Report and Accounts, the Directorate publishes only one periodical journal, the Medicines Act Veterinary Information Service (MAVIS) quarterly newsletter. This was first issued in May 1992 to improve both the quality of service provided to our customers and the transparency of the licensing process for veterinary medicines. Approximately 6,000 copies are issued each quarter to holders of marketing authorisations, veterinary surgeons, interested organisations and individuals. The cost of publication in 1994 was £23,288.79.

Executive cars

The Directorate does not have any executive cars.


Details of the costs incurred in the design of the Directorate logo are held in our archive store, and it has not been possible to access these in the time available. I will write with the information required as soon as possible.

Corporate clothing

The Directorate does not have any corporate clothing.

Corporate stationery

The Directorate had its own stationery before Agency status was achieved. As stocks ran out, it was replaced at no additional cost by stationery indicating that the Directorate was an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Letter from A. M. Kerr to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995:

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has asked me to reply, in respect of the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), to your Question seeking details of various corporate and related cost aspects of the Next Steps agencies in his Department (MAFF). The Directorate has not acquired its own headquarters buildings as a consequence of obtaining executive agency status. However, the agency has since been relocated along with some other parts of MAFF from buildings in central London and the South East to a MAFF office complex in York. PSD's share of the rental for the York office complex is estimated to be around £550,000 per annum.

The only published periodical journal that the agency has responsibility for is The Pesticides Register. This is produced jointly with the Health and Safety Executive each month and provides a listing of UK pesticide approvals and other official announcements on pesticides. It is available as an HMSO priced publication and the production costs are met by HMSO and recovered through the annual subscription charge of £55 and sales of individual issues costing £4.50 each.

The Directorate has its own specially designed logo. This was drawn up at the time of the agency launch on 1 April 1993 following an in-house competition and therefore no design costs were incurred. As far as corporate stationery is concerned, an initial set-up supply was obtained at a cost of £680.33. Apart from the need to obtain a new supply as a consequence of the change of address following relocation to the York site, the only stationery costs incurred by the Directorate have arisen from the general need to replenish used

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stocks and as such do not constitute any additional cost to the normal operational requirements of the organisation.

Finally, the Directorate has not required any additional support staff to that which was required when its operations were part of the core Department, nor has it purchased any executive cars or corporate clothing.

Letter from T. W. A. Little to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995:

The Minister has asked me to reply to your question covering the various running cost issues of the Ministry's agencies in so far as the Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) is concerned.

Perhaps I could deal with the issues you raise in the order they appear in your Question. CVL has not acquired a new Headquarters building and remains on the site it occupied at Weybridge when it became an Agency in April 1990.

As you will note the Agency has been in existence for nearly five years now. In that time there have been a number of changes both in central MAFF and at the Agency and it is therefore not possible to draw meaningful comparisons between support staff prior to the creation of the Agency and after. This is particularly the case since CVL now carries out some functions such as marketing and business development not previously undertaken by the Ministry.

CVL does not publish periodical journals nor does it have a fleet of or any single executive cars.

As a separate part of the Department even prior to Agency status, CVL had its own logo. We updated this two years ago at a cost of £503.70. Given we have always had a logo our stationery could not be regarded as specially designed and change was effected as old stocks ran down.

Finally, we do not use any corporate clothing at CVL.

Letter from P. I. Stanley to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 26 January 1995:

Information About HQ Buildings, Support Staff, Periodic Journals, Executive Cars, Logos, Corporate Clothing and Stationery for the CSL Agency

The Central Science Laboratory (CSL) was first launched as a Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) executive agency on 1 April 1992. Two years later CSL was re-launched as an enlarged Agency following the merger of the original Agency with the Food Science Laboratories at Norwich and Aberdeen.

In your question you asked specifically for information on several items, and taking each one in turn:

-- prior to gaining Agency status CSL occupied several sites and had its headquarters building at Slough. This continues to be the case and so I can confirm that the Agency has not acquired any new headquarters building;

--since gaining Agency status it has been necessary for CSL to create its own support functions. However the cost has been met from funding that already existed as a result of posts being transferred from the Department along with the operations;

--the Agency has not produced any periodical journals;

--the Agency does not provide executive cars but does operate a leased cars scheme under Departmental rules, which, in order to obtain best value for money, is based upon minimum official mileage and is open to all staff;

--creation of the CSL logo resulted from an internal staff competition at a cost of a £50 award to the winning entrant; --corporate clothing has not been introduced by the Agency; --as a discrete part of the Department, prior to Agency status, CSL had its own bespoke stationery. This was replaced with new stationery bearing the Agency logo as stocks ran out.

Sea Fishing Industry

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many people are currently employed in the sea fishing industry; what were the numbers in (a) 1970, (b) 1980 and (c) 1990; and how

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many of the jobs were (i) on fishing vessels and (ii) ashore.

Mr. Jack: The latest available information is published in table 2.6 of "UK Sea Fisheries Statistics 1993", a copy of which is in the Library. No separate information is available on the number of United Kingdom onshore jobs from sea fishing.


Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is his assessment of the accuracy of the estimate of the proportion of the benefit of the EU banana policy which accrues to banana producers; and if he will identify where the rest of the benefit goes;

(2) what estimate he has made of the additional costs of banana purchases to United Kingdom consumers in consequence of the EU banana policy; and what estimate he has made of the impact on the consumer prices in other EC nations;

(3) when he received the World bank report on the operation of the EU banana policy; and if he will make a statement outlining his view of their conclusions and also the power available to the United Kingdom Government to take any initiative on efficiency of use of Community funds and the prices charged to the general public; (4) what impact the general agreement on tariffs and trade will have on the banana scheme of the EEC.

Mr. Jack: The EU schedule drawn up and deposited under the terms of the GATT agriculture agreement sets out the tariffs which will apply to imports within and above the EU tariff quota for bananas together with the size of the tariff quota. Also incorporated in the EU schedule is the text of the framework agreement negotiated between the EU and Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Nicaragua in the closing stages of the Uruguay round. This grants specific shares of the tariff quota to these suppliers. Under the terms of the agreement they have agreed not to bring any further challenges to the EU regime in the GATT/WTO.

Executive Search Agencies

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what guidelines are operated by his Department as regards the use of executive search agencies to fill vacancies within his Department and his Department's executive agencies; and in what circumstances his Department employs executive search agencies instead of relying fully on departmental resources to fill vacant posts.

Mr. Jack: All recruitment in my Department and its executive agencies is undertaken in accordance with the Minister's rules applying to departmental recruitment as set out in the civil service order in council of 1991. Executive search agencies are only used for more senior appointments where it is difficult to attract a good field through advertising alone. I can confirm that an executive search agency has been used on only one occasion in 1994.

Goat Producers

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what financial assistance is available to goat producers.

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Mr. Jack [holding answer 20 January 1995]: In the United Kingdom there are no premia payable specifically to goat producers under either the sheep annual premium scheme or the hill livestock compensatory allowances scheme. Nor are there any specific measures of assistance available to goat farmers under the farm and conservation grant scheme. However, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria, they would qualify for grant under the farm and conservation grant scheme. Grants are available towards the costs of conservation measures, such as repair or reinstatement of traditional buildings, hedges, stone walls and banks and the provision of shelter belts, to established agricultural businesses.

Goat producers may also be eligible for grant under the marketing and development scheme and in relation to goat milk and meat products, the EC processing and marketing grant scheme.

New Zealand Flatworms

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies he has carried out into the areas where the New Zealand flatworm has been found; if it is increasing in numbers and areas affected; what assessment he has made of its impact on native earthworms and soil structure; what measures are available to control its spread; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: The Ministry of Agriculture has commissioned a research project to look into the questions posed by the hon. Member in England and Wales. The results of that project will be known shortly and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment at this stage.


Youth Training, Leeds

Dr. Hampson: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the percentage of those who progressed to (a) full-time work, (b) part-time work, (c) self-employment, (d) further education and training and (e) unemployment from the youth training schemes of the Leeds training and enterprise council in 1992 93; and what are the latest available figures for 1994.

Mr. Paice: The information is not available in the format requested. The following table shows information on outcomes from youth training in the Leeds training and enterprise council area.


Per cent.                                                   



Full-time work, part-time work, and                         

  self-employment                   |34     |39             

Further education and training      |8      |6              

Unemployment                        |10     |14             

Found voluntary work or destination                         

  not known                         |48     |41             

Source: Leeds TEC follow-up survey.                         

Disability Symbol

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list employers now using the disability symbol.

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Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. John Heppell, dated 26 January 1995:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question requesting a list of employers now using the disability symbol. May I refer you to the National List of Disability Symbol Users, copies of which are available in the Library.

The published list is updated approximately every six months and a revised list is currently in preparation. Copies will be sent to the Library when they become available.

I hope this is helpful.

Executive Search Agencies

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer of 16 December, Official Report , column 818 , which posts were filled as a result of the employment of executive search agencies; which executive search agencies were involved in this exercise; and what were the values of the individual contracts involved.

Miss Widdecombe: St. James's Management Recruitment was used to fill the post of head of financial services branch and head of the accountancy profession for the Employment Department group. Price Waterhouse is being used to fill the post of permanent secretary of the ED Group. Details of the individual contracts concerned are confidential.


Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current (a) unemployment rate and (b) number of persons unemployed among black people (i) under 25 years of age and (ii) in total, giving the figures by gender.

Mr. Oppenheim: The following table gives the latest information available from the labour force survey:

ILO Unemployed people from the black ethnic group                     

Summer 1994 (not seasonally adjusted)                                 

Great Britain                                                         

                      |All persons|Men        |Women                  


ILO unemployment rate                                                 

  (Per cent.)         |26         |31         |19                     

Numbers unemployed                                                    

  (thousands)         |103        |69         |35                     


Of which aged 16-14                                                   

ILO unemployment rate                                                 

  (per cent.)         |42         |53         |<1>-                   

Numbers unemployed                                                    

  (thousands)         |27         |18         |<1>-                   

<1>Estimate below 10,000, therefore not shown.                        

Source: LFS.                                                          

Spares Depot, Bromley-by-Bow

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will request the Health and Safety Commission to assess the effects of the current level of service to the public of the spares depot at Bromley-by- Bow as part of his referral of matters of safety related to the reorganisation of British Gas to the Health and Safety Commission.

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Mr. Oppenheim: No. This is not a safety matter. The siting of spares depots and the level of stocks held are purely commercial decisions. Nevertheless, British Gas is obliged to conform to all health and safety legislation, including that relating to gas safety.

Jobcentres (Overseas Jobs)

Mr. Hutton: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his Department's policy on vetting overseas jobs advertised in jobcentres; and if he will make a statement.

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