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Animal Welfare

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out, with statistical information, the effects of his Department's policies and actions in relation to animal welfare since 2 May 1997. [158904]

Mr. Morley: This Department has concluded a range of measures since May 1997 to improve farm animal welfare, both at EU level and domestically. We have successfully negotiated a protocol to the treaty of Rome that recognises animals as sentient beings; agreed minimum EU welfare standards for all farm animals; and secured detailed EU rules for the welfare of laying hens. At home, we have introduced an updated code of recommendations on the welfare of sheep; continued our advisory campaigns for farmers on welfare issues; and committed substantial sums to farm animal welfare research and development. Full details of these, and many other, measures may be obtained from the Department's website

Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will publish proposals on implementing the uncultivated land provisions of the environmental impact assessment directive. [159350]

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Mr. Morley: The Rural White Paper gave an undertaking that MAFF would consult on the application of environmental impact assessment procedures to projects intended to make more intensive agricultural use of uncultivated land. The consultation paper will be published today.


Positive Futures

6. Ms Blears: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans she has to involve more young people in Positive Futures projects in the north-west region. [159100]

Mr. Ian McCartney: We have set aside an extra £5 million over two years to help expand the scope and scale of Positive Futures. Up to 80 new projects will be set up and we aim to expand those already in place including Blackburn, Bolton and Salford.

To help with this expansion major sports stars, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Tammi Grey Thompson and Andy Cole, have offered their support and will act as role models for the kids. There is no doubt that the participation of heroes from the world of sport can make all the difference in helping a vulnerable young person reach their potential.

The areas being earmarked for expansion include Coventry, Leicester, Sunderland, Liverpool, Leeds, north London, Brighton, the West Country, Essex and South Wales.

Special Advisers

8. Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the Government's policy on employing special advisers during a general election. [159102]

12. Mr. Randall: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the Government's policy towards employing special advisers. [159106]

15. Mr. Day: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the Government's policy towards employing special advisers. [159110]

Marjorie Mowlam: The rules are unchanged from the previous Administration. Special advisers who remain in post during the election period will continue to be governed by the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Guidance has also been issued to them on their activities during the election period. The Guidance that will be issued to all civil servants as soon as the election is announced will also apply.

9. Mr. Blunt: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the salary bill for special advisers will be for the 2001-02 financial year assuming they all receive the maximum performance increments during this financial year. [159103]

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Marjorie Mowlam: The estimated salary bill for special advisers for 2001-02 is £4.4 million.

European Regulatory Environment

10. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress she has made on reform of the European regulatory environment; and if she will make a statement. [159104]

Mr. Stringer: We have worked closely with other member states for instance through joint statements and initiatives, such as the Mandelkern Group and the Commission to achieve the real progress my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reported to this House on 26 March following the Stockholm European Council.

Drugs (South Ribble)

11. Mr. Borrow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what action her Department has taken to tackle the problem of drug misuse in South Ribble; and if she will make a statement. [159105]

Mr. Ian McCartney: We are making good progress nation-wide in all areas of the Government's anti-drugs strategy as reported in the UK Anti-Drugs Coordinator's Annual Report for 1999-2000, published on 7 November 2000.

South Ribble lies within the boundary of the Lancashire Drug Action Team--one of the largest DATs in the country. To date, over 230 individuals have benefited from Arrest Referral Services.

New Government resources are being targeted at increasing GP shared care, service capacity and child specific services.

Departmental Advertising

13. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on her departmental budget for advertising. [159108]

Mr. Stringer: The UK Online project has a budget for Marketing Communications, including advertising, in the current financial year of £5 million. Apart from that, the departmental budget for advertising in the current financial year is under £200,000, most of which is for civil service recruitment.

Senior Civil Service

14. Mr. Derek Twigg: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what percentage of the Senior Civil Service has been recruited from the private sector. [159109]

Mr. Stringer: In 1996 23 people were recruited from the private sector into the Senior Civil Service. In 1999-2000 this had increased to 44 (27.9 per cent. of appointments made). 158 vacancies in the Senior Civil Service were filled by open competition in this period, and nearly two-thirds of them were filled by people from outside the civil service. In addition people are brought in on secondment; last year there were 354 from other sectors into the Senior Civil Service.

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17. Dr. Iddon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much the Government are spending in the financial year 2001-02 on misuse of drugs across all its Departments and agencies. [159114]

Marjorie Mowlam: The Government have made available substantial resources for directly tackling the problem of drug misuse. These are planned to increase from £700 million in 2000-01 to over £1 billion in 2003-04.

Details for 2001-02 are set out in the tables.

2000 spending review--resources directly allocated for tackling drug abuse (by main aim of the national anti-drugs strategy)(22)

£ million
Drug Treatment(23)328
Protecting Young People90
Safeguarding Communities79
Reducing Availability(24)373

(22) Excludes expenditure by devolved Administration

(23) Comprises mainstream spending by Department of Health, local authorities and the pooled National Treatment Agency budget. Excludes additional Prison Service treatment spend, brigaded under Communities

(24) Based on projected anti-drugs allocation from anti-Organised Crime shared funding

2000 spending review--new resources provided for related programmes(25)

£ million
Criminal Justice System1,420
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund200
Children's Fund100

(25) Excludes expenditure by devolved Administration

(26) This was added to existing provision for the careers service. Funding will go to the careers services in areas where Connexions is not yet running

Budget 2001--new resources for anti-drugs measures(27)

£ million
Strengthening communities50
Extending drug testing in the CJS0
Providing more help to find jobs5
Strengthening DATs5
Expanding Positive Futures2

(27) Excludes expenditure by devolved Administration

22. Mr. Pike: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made in multi-agency co-operation in tackling drug abuse problems in the last year. [159123]

Mr. Ian McCartney: Co-operation between agencies is essential to the success of the Government's anti-drugs strategy, particularly at local level. The Lancashire Drug Action Team is working closely with 12 Community Safety Partnerships on a range of initiatives designed to tackle drug misuse in the area. Examples in Burnley include

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targeting action to increase child specific services, reducing waiting times for specialist treatment, auditing service provision to ensure new resources are targeted where they are most needed, and encouraging opportunities for residents to voice their views on substance misuse.

We have also made available nationwide an additional £220 million to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships working with Drug Action Teams to build stronger community links and help police and local communities tackle neighbourhood drug problems and the crime associated with them. Partnerships will be free to use this money imaginatively on what will work in their own areas--for example, CCTV in key places, better street lighting or other environmental initiatives that improve visibility and make people feel safer, or to fund police actions against crime associated with drugs.

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made on establishing baseline figures for measuring the Government's targets on reducing drug use. [159118]

Mr. Ian McCartney: The Government have set demanding targets in all four areas of their 10 year anti-drugs strategy--halving drug use among young people, halving re-offending by drug-misusing offenders, doubling the numbers of people entering treatment and halving the availability of Class A drugs--and have put in place comprehensive research and information projects to measure progress.

In one of the areas--halving drug misuse among young people--a baseline figure has been established using the 1998 British Crime Survey. This showed that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds reporting use of Class A drugs in the last years was 8.3 per cent. and in the last month was 3.4 per cent.

Baselines for the other areas will be established within the next 12 months.

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