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AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Public Analyst Services

Ms Lawrence: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the review of public analyst services in England and Wales. [39885]

Mr. Rooker: The Government undertook to initiate a review in response to a recommendation in Professor James' report on the Food Standards Agency. I have today announced the terms of reference of the review, which will be undertaken by an independent Review Team under the chairmanship of Mr. Alan Turner, OBE. Interested parties are invited to submit written evidence to the Review Team. I hope the review will be completed before the end of the year.

23 Apr 1998 : Column: 673

Fishing Limits

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many square miles of sea there are between (a) the baseline and the six mile limit where the six mile limit applies, (b) the baseline and the 12 mile limit where the 12 mile limit applies and (c) the baseline and the 200 mile limit or the median line where applicable. [38167]

Mr. Morley: Information is not held in the form requested and could be obtained only by means of a survey at disproportionate cost. The Hydrographic Unit of the Ministry of Defence has, however, supplied the following information. The approximate area of sea between the low water line and the 12 mile limit is 49,473 square nautical miles. From the low water line to the 200 mile limit covers an area of approximately 211,130 square nautical miles. Both figures include areas of water inside the baselines.

Fishery Restructuring

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate (a) the proportion of fishing fleet cutbacks required for United Kingdom receipt of EU restructuring funds for the industry which could be achieved through national repurchase of quota hopping vessels and licences and (b) the estimated cost of such repurchases. [37565]

Mr. Morley: A scheme aimed at compulsorily purchasing vessels and licence entitlements owned by non-UK interests would not be permissible under Community law. Nor would it be permissible to prevent any non-UK interests who have previously left the industry from re-investing in the UK fleet. Such a scheme could not therefore be used to help achieve the UK's outstanding fishing fleet reduction targets which, along with levels of non-UK ownership, vary considerably from segment to segment of the fleet. All UK registered fishing vessels have been eligible to apply for decommissioning, regardless of ownership.

Green-top Milk

Mr. Jack: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to make an announcement on the future sale of green-top milk in England. [39260]

Dr. John Cunningham: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given to him on 1 April 1998, Official Report, column 582. We are still taking stock of all the points raised in the consultation and an announcement will be made in due course.

Correspondence

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for what reasons he has not yet replied to the letters from the Chief Executive of Devon County Council dated 16 December 1997 on the impact of the latest BSE measures and 9 March on the agricultural sector in Devon; and when he expects to reply to them. [36809]

Dr. John Cunningham [holding answer 1 April 1998]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I sent to the Chief Executive dated 8 April 1998, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

23 Apr 1998 : Column: 674

SCOTLAND

Local Government

Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to strengthen the ethical framework for local government. [39843]

Mr. Dewar: I believe the public must be able to rely on the highest standards of conduct from its elected representatives. I also believe that there must be provision for swift and authoritative investigation of complaints of misconduct against councillors. That is why I have today published a consultation paper on the proposed new ethical framework for local government which would provide for clearer standards of conduct for councillors and stronger means of investigating and punishing misconduct. I have placed copies in the Library of the House.

PRIME MINISTER

Permanent Secretaries

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy on the recruitment and appointment of permanent secretaries; in what circumstances open competition is used; and if he will make a statement. [37915]

The Prime Minister: Policy on the recruitment and appointment of permanent secretaries and on the use of open competition continues to be based on the checklist proposed in the Oughton Report on Career Management and Succession Planning published in November 1993 and endorsed by the last Government: namely






Ministerial Accommodation

Mr. Forth: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 9 March 1998, Official Report, columns 19-20, concerning ministerial accommodation, if he will list the Government ministers in official accommodation on (a) 1 April 1997 and (b) 1 April 1998. [38448]

The Prime Minister: The Ministers with official Government residences on 1 April 1997 were:








23 Apr 1998 : Column: 675

In addition, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and other Northern Ireland Ministers had the use of accommodation in Hillsborough Castle while on duty in Northern Ireland.

At 1 April 1998, the following Ministers were in official Government residences:



    The Deputy Prime Minister


    The Chancellor of the Exchequer


    The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs


    The Secretary of State for Defence


    The Secretary of State for Education and Employment


    The Secretary of State for Scotland


    The President of the Board of Trade.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and other Northern Ireland Ministers also have the use of accommodation in Hillsborough Castle while on duty in Northern Ireland.

No. 10 Downing Street

Mr. Forth: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those who worked in No. 10 Downing Street, giving their job titles, on (a) 1 April 1998 and (b) 1 April 1997. [38474]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 20 April 1998]: Those working in No. 10 Downing Street on the dates referred to were as follows:

1 April 19981 April 1997
Private Secretaries, appointments and honours staff2521
Policy Unit169
Press Office1110
Strategic Communications Unit8--
Support staff (including administrative, secretarial, messengerial, custodial, switchboard staff and drivers)8582
Political Office78

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Forth: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 6 April 1998, Official Report, column 72, if he will identify the precise references in the Ministerial Code to partners and officials. [38571]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 20 April 1998]: The Ministerial Code seeks to lay down general principles. The key principle governing Ministerial travel was set out in my answer to the right hon. Member on 3 February 1998, Official Report, column 72.

Security Vetting Appeals Panel

Sir Raymond Powell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the members of the Security Vetting Appeals Panel indicating the criteria governing their appointment. [38868]

23 Apr 1998 : Column: 676

The Prime Minister: The members of the Security Vetting Appeals Panel are as follows:







The membership of the panel has been drawn up to reflect a range of interests. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman are senior members of the judiciary, currently a Lord Justice of Appeal and a High Court Judge respectively. The other Panel members have a background, at a senior level, in the Civil Service, the Armed Forces, the trades unions and industry, and related experience in security matters.


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