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Arable Farmland

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what changes there were in the average value of arable farmland in England from 1990 to 2000. [136591]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 6 November 2000]: MAFF's agricultural land prices series are derived from returns made to the Valuation Office Agency of the Inland Revenue. Arising from changes in the manner in which

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the data were transmitted and compiled last year, there were some changes in definitions occasioning a break in the series. This break occurs in 1993; hence it is not possible to have a comparable series before and after that year. The latest available data refer to the year 1999 (and figures for this and the two preceding years are still provisional). The MAFF series are not defined directly for arable farmland but there is a categorisation by predominant grade of land. It is probably the case that Grades 1 and 2 land would be closest to arable land for most situations and this general assumption is made for the purpose of these valuations. The average price of Grades 1 and 2 farmland in England rose from £3,617 per hectare in 1993 to £7,172 in 1999, representing an increase in current (nominal) price terms of 98.3 per cent. The increase was not continuous and peaked in 1997 when the price was £7,339 per hectare; it declined to £6,941 in 1998, before rising somewhat again last year. In real (constant 1995 price) terms the overall increase for the period 1993 to 1999 amounted to 68.8 per cent.


Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total funding for the ERDP in each of its seven years broken down by (a) source of funding and (b) component scheme. [136724]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The table shows the planned expenditure and sources of funding for each measure under the ERDP over the period 16 October 1999 to 15 October 2006.

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£ million
FEOGA years(9)
Investment in Agricultural Holdings
Of which:
EU Contribution0.
Exchequer Contribution0.
Of which:
EU Contribution0.
Exchequer Contribution0.
Less Favoured Areas
Of which:
EU Contribution11.
Exchequer Contribution31.036.733.930.327.820.120.1199.8
Of which:
EU Contribution34.834.529.123.718.316.213.7170.3
Exchequer Contribution48.864.671.580.690.099.8108.8564.1
Modulation Receipts0.012.221.533.345.253.261.3226.7
Improving Processing and Marketing of Agricultural Products
Of which:
EU Contribution0.
Exchequer Contribution0.
Afforestation of Agricultural Land
Of which:
EU Contribution5.
Exchequer Contribution10.213.015.417.217.819.119.7112.3
Modulation Receipts0.
Other Forestry Measures
Of which:
EU Contribution0.
Exchequer Contribution7.
Adaption and Development of Rural Areas
Of which:
EU Contribution0.
Total expenditure149.3193.5216.6242.1269.1284.0320.01,674.7
Of which:
EU Contribution51.752.954.155.356.557.759.1387.4
Exchequer Contribution97.7126.8139.0151.6165.3171.1195.81,047.2
Modulation Receipts0.013.823.435.347.255.265.1240.0

(9) FEOGA years run from 16 October to 15 October

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Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence his Department has obtained that links new variant CJD in humans with BSE in cattle. [135915]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 31 October 2000]: I have been asked to reply.

We are advised on all matters relating to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC). At its meeting in March 1999, SEAC advised that



Mr. Gapes: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she will report progress on the Government's 10-year anti-drugs strategy; and if she will make a statement. [137184]

Marjorie Mowlam: The Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator's second Annual Report is published today and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report sets out progress during 1999-2000 in delivering our targets across the four aims of the Government's 10-Year Strategy which reflect the balance of our policies across all aspects of the drug misuse problem. Those aims are: helping young people to resist drug misuse; protecting our communities from drug related anti-social and criminal behaviour; increasing the numbers of drug misusers in treatment; and reducing the availability of drugs on our streets.

We have met most of our annual targets and are on track for our targets for 2002. Key achievements include: the establishment of the Drugs Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS), with nine regional teams to support the work of Drug Action Teams (DATs); establishment of a

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framework for a holistic approach to drug education in schools through Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) which is now in the national curriculum for the first time--Ofsted reports indicated that 93 per cent. of secondary and 75 per cent. of primary schools now have a drug education policy; targeted prevention work for young people at risk through Health Action Zones; arrest referral schemes covering all custody suites in all police forces in England and Wales expected well ahead of our 2002 target; steady increase in drug misusers attending treatment services--around 7 per cent. over six months from March 1999 to September 1999; CARATs--the Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare programme for drug misusers is now available in every prison in England and Wales; and co-ordinated law enforcement activity leading to some £1.2 billion of Class A drugs being prevented from reaching our streets--an increase of 33.5 per cent on the previous year; and an increase of 9.2 per cent. in the number of Class A trafficking groups disrupted--nearly double the target.

Good progress has been made, but there is still a lot to do. New money made available to the Anti-Drugs Strategy under the Spending Review for 2001 to 2004 will help us to do more to drive forward the Strategy's key targets for 2005 and 2008 and increase our proactive efforts to prevent and tackle drug misuse.

Focus 5000

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what the cost was in the last 12 months for which figures are available of servicing the Focus 5000 group; [136928]

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Marjorie Mowlam: The cost of servicing the Panel over the last 12 months is £146,750, made up of:

Since the Panel was set up in 1998, 450 members have asked to leave. The original members were recruited by MORI (contracted to run the Panel) using a pre-selected random sample in 714 sampling points at addresses across the United Kingdom. In order to ensure the correct number of young people joined the Panel, a booster survey was conducted among 16-24 year olds.

Since 1998, there have been two top-up recruitment exercises, both from a pre-selected ramdom sample of addressees, but stratified towards more deprived areas and those with a greater proportion of young people.

Although the proportion of original Panel members coming from ethnic minorities is representative of the UK population as a whole, it is too small to analyse their views in detail. We have, therefore, recruited 830 new members with ethnic minority backgrounds.

The Panel has a profile that is representative of the UK population in terms of age, gender, region and a wide range of other demographic indicators. Research results are benchmarked against other surveys that MORI carry out for other central Government Departments and local authorities and we have also commissioned a small study looking at representativeness of research carried out using the Panel; by comparing individual responses among those who took part in the most recent wave of research and in 1998 on service satisfaction questions.

A full evaluation of the effectiveness of the Panel in helping shape Government policy and how representative it now is will be carried out early in 2001. The results will be published.

Five major waves of quantitative research and several qualitative research projects have been carried out using the People's Panel. These have supported a number of policy initiatives. Summaries of the research results have been placed in the House Library and published on the internet. I shall send copies to the hon. Member.

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