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Auld Report

Mr. Sawford: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he plans to announce the results of Lord Justice Auld's review of the criminal justice system. [147691]

Jane Kennedy: Lord Justice Auld is currently drafting his final report. It will be published once it is available.

Magistrates Courts Service (Northamptonshire)

Mr. Sawford: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what funding has been provided for the Northamptonshire magistrates courts service for each year from 1990. [147704]

Jane Kennedy: The Lord Chancellor's Department provides separate grants for revenue and capital (buildings and IT) to local authorities for magistrates courts costs. Grant is paid at 80 per cent. of expenditure/costs of scheme or item, with the remaining 20 per cent. met by local authorities.

The total funding provided to Northamptonshire magistrates courts committee was:

Year£ million

(14) The 2000-01 figure is an estimate, as revenue grant costs will not be certain until the end of this financial year

The Lord Chancellor's Department became responsible for magistrates courts from 1 April 1992. Funding figures prior to this are unavailable.


TV Licensing

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many representations (a) his Department and (b) TV Licensing have received from (i) hon. Members and (ii) members of the public on the conduct of TV Licensing. [147609]

Janet Anderson: The Department does not record the subject matter of correspondence received in such a way as to enable the information requested to be provided in full. However, during the calendar year 2000 the Department received over 80 representations from hon. Members about correspondence received from TV Licensing or the activities of that organisation. A number of representations were also received from members of the public on these subjects.

TV Licensing carries out the administration of the television licensing system as an agent for the BBC. According to information provided by the BBC, during

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the calendar year 2000 TV Licensing received 45,095 representations. Separate figures for Members of Parliament are not readily available.

National Waterways Museum

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support his Department has given to the National Waterways Museum in the years (a) 1998, (b) 1999 and (c) 2000. [147620]

Mr. Alan Howarth: My Department does not provide core funding for the National Waterways Museum which is governed by the Waterways Trust, an independent charitable trust. However, the Museum has received financial support from organisations directly and indirectly sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

From the Designated Museums Challenge Fund, the Museum received £53,080 in 1999-2000, and £116,608 in 2000-01. From the South West Museums Council, which is funded by Re:Source: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, the Museum received grants totalling £2,424 in 1998-99, and £2,571 in 1999-2000. The Museum was also awarded a grant of £502 in 1999-2000, and has been offered a grant of £5,000 in 2000-01, from the PRISM (Preservation of Scientific and Industrial Material) Fund administered by the Science Museum on behalf of Re:Source.


Farm Incomes

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on farm incomes. [148535]

Mr. Nick Brown: Revised estimates of farm income during 2000 were published this morning. These confirm the significant reduction forecast last November, and indicate a fall of 25 per cent.

This fall is largely due to pressure on prices for agricultural outputs caused by a further rise in sterling against the euro, as compared to 1999.

The Government remain committed to providing a framework within which the industry may react to the challenges presented by the current situation.

Detailed estimates of the income, output and productivity of agriculture in the United Kingdom in 2000 have been placed in the Library of the House.

Hazard Analysis

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received concerning the impact of hazard analysis critical control points on official control of meat inspection. [146981]

Ms Stuart: I have been asked to reply.

Representations on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and the future control of meat inspection have been received from UNISON and hon. Members on behalf of constituents. I am advised that UNISON and the Association of Meat Inspectors (AMI) have also been holding discussions on this issue with the

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Food Standards Agency (FSA). The concerns expressed relate to an unfounded view that the FSA would countenance a change to the present system of meat inspection which did not fully protect the public.

A European Commission working document, made available by the FSA earlier this month to a wide range of interests, including UNISON and the AMI, sets out some initial ideas on what might form the main elements of a future risk-based meat inspection system. Among other things, the document discusses the possibility that operators who demonstrate a high degree of commitment to good hygiene practice including consistently good microbiological test results, who train their own staff to the same level as official inspectors and who wish to take on the responsibility, might be permitted to carry out on-line meat inspection subject to official scrutiny and enforcement, as long as those high standards are maintained. Other, non-European Union, countries have already adopted or are piloting such an approach because of perceived consumer benefits.

Any legislative proposals that flow from the Commission's working document would be subject to formal public consultation in the UK, negotiations with other member states, and both EU and UK Parliamentary scrutiny, before any changes could be implemented.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate his Department has made of the cost of introducing hazard analysis critical control point. [146982]

Ms Stuart: I have been asked to reply.

I am advised that the Food Standards Agency is in the process of gathering information on the cost implications of implementing the changes to European Union food safety legislation proposed by the European Commission last July. This includes information on the likely costs of introducing in full the hazard analysis and critical control point food safety management system. The agency invited comments on the likely costs of meeting the new legal requirements in the initial regulatory impact assessment (RIA) which formed part of its public consultation on the Commission's proposals. An updated RIA will be made available when the European Scrutiny Committee debates the proposals.


Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many agricultural holdings were registered as at 1 January; and of that number how many were classified as smallholdings. [146641]

Ms Quin [pursuant to her reply, 23 January 2001, c. 515W]: I regret an error has been discovered in the numbers previously provided.

The correct number of agricultural holdings in England registered at 1 January 2001 is:

It should also be noted that there has been an increase of 4,800 holdings on the register since June 2000 largely as a result of the register improvement exercise currently taking place, and the total figures are subject to change.

31 Jan 2001 : Column: 228W

If any of these conditions is not satisfied, the holding is categorised as "main".


Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed EU-wide ban on fishmeal in animal feed on Britain's livestock farmers. [146407]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 22 January 2001]: I have asked my officials to consult the UK agriculture industry on the impact of the introduction of the new EU-wide feed controls, including the ban on fishmeal. A consultation paper including a draft Regulatory Impact Assessment has been sent to representative organisations for comments by 2 February. It is also available on the MAFF website and in the Libraries of the House.

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