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Country of Origin Labelling

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action the Government are taking to curb misleading country of origin labelling on food products. [108318]

Mr. Nick Brown: Following consultation of the food industry and enforcement authorities I issued today revised guidance notes on origin labelling to ensure that consumers are not misled about the true origin of the food they buy. A copy of the guidance notes has been placed in the Library of both Houses.

Red Tape Review

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will announce his responses to the Red Tape Review reports on the Meat Industry, IACS and Inspections, and the Intervention System. [108319]

Mr. Nick Brown: Further to my replies of 13 December 1999, Official Report, column 89W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Dr. Naysmith), and to my hon. Friends the Members for Wirral, South (Mr. Chapman) and for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mrs. Lawrence), 21 December 1999, Official Report, columns 572-73W, welcoming the three reports prepared as key parts of the review of regulatory burdens on agriculture, I am today placing in the Library of the House action plans which set out the Government's responses to the 107 recommendations in the reports. We have accepted 98 of the 107 recommendations. We shall be giving six recommendations further consideration, and will do so as rapidly as possible. Of the 98 recommendations we have accepted, we shall be pursuing 23 in Brussels to seek changes in the basic legal provisions.

1 Feb 2000 : Column: 570W

Over-30-month Scheme

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish the criteria by which the Intervention Board awards slaughter contracts under the over-30-month scheme. [102918]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 16 December 1999]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 25 January 2000, Official Report, column 183W.

Asset Sales

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the items in the National Assets Register sold by his Department, its agencies and associated public bodies since 15 February 1999, stating in each case the amount of money realised; if he will estimate the total amount raised from such sales to date; and if he will make a statement. [104479]

Mr. Morley: Some £16,744,388 has accrued to my Department, its agencies and associated non-departmental public bodies from sales of surplus assets disposed of since 15 February 1999.

A summary of individual assets and groups of assets sold or otherwise disposed of by my Department and its associated bodies since February 1999 is contained in the following tables. The table headings reflect the categories reported in the National Asset Register.

Categories where no disposals have taken place have been omitted.

More detailed information (such as types of computer, descriptions of individual vehicles) is held by the Department but would be expensive to compile.

Since the National Asset Register was published in November 1997, a total of £29,374,183 has been realised from disposals of such assets.

The Department remains committed to the early identification of surplus assets and their disposal on terms favourable to the public purse.

    The Ministry has disposed of the sites listed since 15 February 1999, and realised £14,450,100 to date. A further £1,850,000 is payable to MAFF in 2000-01 arising from these sales. Individual figures for each item are held by my Department but have not been reported here for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

    A number of surplus properties remain. Action is in hand to dispose of these at best value to the Department.

    1A. Freehold Property--HQ and Regional Offices

    Berkeley Towers, Nantwich Road, Crewe

    1B. Freehold Property--Laboratories

    Central Science Laboratory, London Road, Slough

    CSL National Bees Unit, Luddington, Stratford upon Avon (2 plots)

    1C. Freehold Property--Farms etc.

    Efford EHS, Lymington, Hants. (part)

    Marsh Cottages, Rosemaund, Preston Wynne, Hereford

    1 Marsh Cottages, Rosemaund, Preston Wynne, Hereford

    9 Great North Road, Chawston, BedsHurstborne Common, Andover, Hants.

1 Feb 2000 : Column: 571W

    1D. Freehold Property--Buffer Depots

    Former RAF station, Strubby, Alford, Lincs.

    Gravel Pit, Hertford Road, Hoddesdon, Herts.

    Towy Avenue, Llandovery, Dyfed

    2B. Historic Leasehold Property--Laboratories

    Olantigh Road, Wye, Ashford, Kent

    3A. Long Leasehold Property--Laboratories

    CSL Colney Lane, Norwich.

5A. Information Technology--Equipment (Servers, Pcs)

Number disposed ofSales receipts (£)
FRCA (21)--0
Total> 2540

(21) Where number of units are not stated, the information is available but due to changes in local accounting systems could only be retrieved at significant cost.


As a consequence of technical obsolescence, IT disposals tend to have no resale value. The Department and its Agencies seek to maximise the use of existing technology where possible, and only dispose of IT equipment when it can no longer meet the Department's needs.

The Department has incurred some additional expense to dispose safely of PCBs and Monitors but this cost is not readily distinguishable from other expenditure on waste disposal.

1 Feb 2000 : Column: 572W

    8. Furniture and Fittings
    Small amounts of furniture and fittings have been disposed of when dilapidated, but with no resale value.

    9. Vehicles

    Numbers disposed ofSales receipts (£)

    12. Non-Departmental Public Bodies
    Covent Garden Market Authority
    No items have been sold since 15 February 1999, though plant and equipment with a book value of £3,069 was disposed of with no cash benefit.
    Total sales since 1997 = £2,359.
    Food from Britain
    No assets have been disposed of since 15 February 1999.
    Total sales since 1997 = £30,302
    Horticulture Research International
    No assets have been disposed of since 15 February 1999. There have been no sales receipts for registered assets since 1997.
    Meat and Livestock Commission
    Sales of surplus assets since 15 February 1999:
    IT Equipment: £3,000
    Vehicles: £122,000
    Total Sales since 1997 = £474,000.
    Sea Fish Industry Authority
    The following items have been sold since 15 February 1999:
    Office equipment: £1,478
    IT Equipment: £251
    Vehicles: £950
    Disposals with no cash benefit--1 portacabin.
    Total sales since 1997 = £15,988.
    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    The following items have been sold since 15 February 1999:
    Scientific and Laboratory Equipment: £1,170
    Vehicles: £10,900
    Total sales since 1997 = £24,326.

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