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Export Licence Application (P.W. Allen)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she will make a decision on granting export licence application 27282, submitted on 10 September, by P.W. Allen and Company, Tewkesbury. [10593]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 26 October 2001]: A decision on the export licence application in question has been taken. The company was informed of this decision on 25 October 2001.

Employment Profile (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the population in Lancashire were employed in the (a) manufacturing sector and (b) service sector for each of the last five years. [10087]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Lindsay Hoyle, dated 30 October 2001:

Lancashire—employee jobs by industry

Manufacturing Section D of SIC (92) Services Section G-Q of SIC (92) Other industries(1)
Number (000)Percentage of all employeesNumber (000)Percentage of all employeesNumber (000)Percentage of all employees

(1) 'Other industries' include agriculture, fishing, mining and quarrying, utilities and

and construction (sections A, B, C, E and F of SIC(92)).

(2) As at September (1995–97).

(3) As at December (1998–99).

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 591W

These estimates are based on the results of the Annual Employment Survey (1995–1997) and its successor, Part 1 of the Annual Business Inquiry (1998 and 1999). An individual with two jobs would count twice in these figures. The figures cover jobs based in Lancashire rather than individuals who live in Lancashire.


Fly Tipping

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what change there has been in the incidence of fly tipping following the increase in the level of the landfill tax since April; and if she will make a statement. [7726]

Mr. Meacher: The Department does not collate statistics on fly tipping. The Government's review of the tax in March 1998, led by HM Customs and Excise, showed that out of 530 local authorities, only 78 felt that there had been an increase in fly tipping since the introduction of the tax.

In addition, a Tidy Britain group report, "Effects of the Landfill Tax on Flytipping" (published in 1998), did not establish a clear link between the tax and increased fly tipping. The report showed for 1997–98 that domestic waste was, overall, the type of fly-tipped waste most frequently collected by local authorities. The landfill tax would not make a difference to such waste as householders do not directly meet increases in the cost of the tax.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act

Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the regulations arising from the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 will be introduced which enable an authority to make a special extinguishment order and special diversion order. [9079]

Alun Michael: The regulations will be introduced as soon as possible once the necessary preparatory work has been completed. New sections 118B (special extinguishment order) and 119B (special diversion order) of the Highways Act 1980, to be inserted by schedule 6 to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, require an order to be made by the Secretary of State prior to commencement. The order must designate the areas where the power to make special extinguishment and special diversion orders, for the purposes of crime prevention, will be available to local highway authorities. The exercise of the power in relation to school security will apply throughout England.

Officials from my Department and the Home Office are working jointly to establish the most appropriate means of identifying areas to be included in the designation order. I am seeking to implement new sections 118B and 119B in advance of the rest of schedule 6, to ensure these provisions are available at the earliest possible date.

BSE in Sheep (Research)

Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out the latest position on (a) the research programme and (b) current monitoring of sheep brains for evidence of BSE infection. [9605]

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 592W

Mr. Morley: DEFRA is funding a great deal of work in relation to BSE in sheep. This includes experiments to assess susceptibility, infectivity and possible transmission in sheep, particularly in relation to different genotypes and breeds. This work will underpin the national scrapie plan.

At their meeting in September 2001, the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee reviewed the latest data from the current programme of strain typing work to assess whether BSE is present in the current sheep flock. To date, about 180 individual scrapie brains have been inoculated into mice. Results for 163 brains have reached a point where the mice might have been expected to display signs characteristic of BSE, if the disease was present. This has not happened. However, it is too soon to draw firm conclusions from these on-going experiments. Work is also in hand to develop molecular methods of differentiating BSE from scrapie to enable many more brains to be screened rapidly.

During the development of a molecular method at Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA), 460 sheep brains have been screened. None has indicated the presence of BSE, but the test is not yet fully validated and it is therefore too early to draw firm conclusions.

Organic Farming

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to ensure that the planned increase in funding for organic conversion will keep up with the projected increase in demand for organic produce. [9804]

Mr. Morley: The England rural development programme already allocates funding for conversion to organic farming, which would triple the organic area by 2006. We intend to produce a strategy for the future direction of organic farming when we have the report of the Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, taking account of any recommendations it makes for this sector. The strategy will assess potential growth both for UK production and for the organic market, and will need to take account of the large variation between different products. It is likely, for example, that UK production of organic fruit and vegetables can take a significantly higher share of the market for these products, while the scope for increasing organic milk production will be much more limited given the relatively slow growth of this market.

Countryside (Access)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to increase accessibility to the countryside for those living in inner cities. [10001]

Alun Michael: The new statutory right of access to open countryside will open up new areas of land close to where people live. We expect local authorities to give priority to links between town and country in their rights of way improvement plans and local transport plans, and to consider town to country journeys for leisure purposes, as well as those from the country to the town for work, shopping and education. We are also encouraging local authorities to develop and promote public transport links for people wishing to go to the countryside.

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Energy Efficiency Week

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action her Department took in recognition of energy efficiency week. [11520]

Mr. Meacher: The Government have provided funding to the Energy Saving Trust since 1996–97 to run a wide-ranging programme of work to promote energy efficiency. The Department is providing over £22 million in support of the trust's programme this year. Energy efficiency week is an important part of that programme. I warmly welcome this initiative, and spoke at a parliamentary reception to mark the launch of energy efficiency week on 22 October.

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