16. Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with representatives of tenant farmers on the situation in agriculture; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Since her appointment, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not yet had the opportunity to have specific discussions with representatives of tenant farmers, but my noble Friend Lord Whitty met tenant farmers last week to discuss various issues.
Mr. Morley: From 1 January 2000 all packaging materials, including wood, were covered by the requirements of the Regulations. For wood there is a recovery obligation only. This can be met by recycling, composting or incineration with energy recovery.
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and EU colleagues in Gothenburg. The Summit agreed to establish a high level group of representatives to consider how the EU and US can co-operate on climate change.
22. Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the environmental consequences of the Kyoto protocol not being ratified by the United States Government. 
Margaret Beckett: Kyoto without the US is clearly a second best option. But Kyoto remains the best framework for global action. It will of course be important to keep the door open to the US to come on board later.
Mr. Morley: The Government are determined to tackle pollution from industry in a cost-effective and proportionate way. Emissions to air, water and land from major industrial sources are tightly controlled under the Integrated Pollution Control system and the new Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control system. Strong new rules are now in place to make sure that companies take proper responsibility for dealing with legacies of land contamination from the past.
21. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on food surplus production of the proposed expansion of the EU. 
Margaret Beckett: The impact of EU enlargement on agricultural production and consumption will depend on a number of different factors including the terms of accession, which have yet to be negotiated. But, in very general terms, surplus production would be expected to rise. This would strengthen the case for further CAP reform.
Mr. Morley: Like all livestock sectors, the pig industry is going through a difficult time, mainly as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak. Once exports markets are open, and if the industry makes full use of the assistance provided by the Ongoers element of the Government's Pig Industry Restructuring Scheme, the medium term prospects will look more promising.
24. Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the value for money obtained for support to the farming industry in each of the last five years. 
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Margaret Beckett: Funding in support of the Action Plan for Farming will be subject to evaluation in partnership with our rural, farming, food and retail industry stakeholders. The England Rural Development Programme will receive a mid-term evaluation in 2003. An annual programme of evaluations is carried out of different policy programmes; details and copies of reports are on DEFRA's website http://www.defra.gov.uk/
However the vast majority of support to farmers over the last five years has been through CAP direct payments. Despite the achievements of the Agenda 2000 agreement, the Government do not believe that the CAP offers good value for money either to taxpayers, consumers or to the UK economy. We want to see further radical reform to secure a more economically rational CAP which is sustainable in relation to the countryside environment and rural economies.
Mr. Morley: The Labour Party manifesto gave a commitment to set up an Independent Commission to advise on how we create a sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sector within a thriving rural economy which enhances environmental, health and animal welfare goals. An announcement will be made on the role and terms of reference when decisions have been taken.
Mr. Morley: The Government's objective is to facilitate the development of dynamic, competitive and sustainable economies in the countryside, tackling poverty in rural areas and this is a key priority for my Department. We will be working closely with the Regional Development Agencies, the Countryside Agency, local authorities and other partners including the food and farming industries to achieve this.
Mr. Morley: In view of the advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas the United Kingdom is fully supportive of the need to develop recovery programmes for North Sea cod, West of Scotland cod, Irish Sea cod as well as for Northern hake. Most recently the European Commission (on behalf of the Member States) reached an agreement with Norway on the steps to be taken for the second stage of the North Sea cod recovery programme. A copy of the Agreed Record dated 21 June 2001 has been placed in the Library of the House.
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30. Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the National Assembly for Wales about the reopening of the livestock markets in Wales. 
Margaret Beckett: I shall shortly be meeting Ministers from the devolved Administrations. My officials are in ongoing contact with the National Assembly's Agriculture and Rural Developments on a wide range of foot and mouth disease issues, including the impact of the disease on the livestock and related sectors.
Andy King: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to issue regulations to amend the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 in the light of the provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000; and when she intends to issue regulations for the appeals which may arise on sites of special scientific interest. 
Mr. Meacher: I have today issued two consultation papers, firstly about amendments to the Habitats Regulations and secondly proposing new appeals regulations, following commencement of Part III of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. In what is largely a technical amendment, the 1994 Habitats Regulations are to be brought in line with the provisions of the Act for protection of SSSIs. Ministers also promised the House that they would prepare regulations for the appeals that may arise on SSSIs (against refusal of consent, management notices and stop notices). These will set out a clear procedure for the conduct of appeals, so that they may be processed efficiently.
|Conceptual design, graphics and photography
|Design/production/installation of signs and graphic panels
(17) All figures are exclusive of VAT