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Police Recruitment

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost of recruiting, training and equipping a police officer is. [10671]

Mr. Denham: The recruitment of police officers is the responsibility of the Chief Officer of each force. No central records are kept of the overall cost of recruiting, training and equipping a police officer.

When rates of payment to be made under the Crime Fighting Fund in 2000–01 were agreed with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities, £1,000 was included for recruitment and £7,000 for the initial residential training for each new recruit. In 2001–02 the payment for recruitment has been up-rated to £1,030 per recruit.

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Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in the UK were granted parole in the last three years. [10668]

Beverley Hughes: The number of prisoners released on parole in the last three years is:



Climate Change

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the progress of the climate change negotiations. [9281]

Mr. Meacher: Political agreement was reached between 177 countries on the implementation of the Kyoto protocol at the resumed Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn in July. This was a significant political achievement.

The Seventh Conference of the Parties is now taking place in Marrakesh (29 October-9 November). Our aim will be to complete the task of converting the Bonn agreement into detailed decisions. We should not underestimate the scale of this task, but I am optimistic agreement should be possible. It is vital that we maintain political momentum and the spirit of co-operation that was evident in Bonn. We hope that agreement in Marrakesh will pave the way for ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto protocol by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2002.

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what new initiatives she plans to assist British compliance with commitments under the Kyoto protocol. [9301]

Mr. Meacher: The UK's climate change programme, published in November 2000, sets out details of the policies and measures that the Government are introducing to meet the UK's target under the Kyoto protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2008–12 and to move towards our domestic goal to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010. We estimate that these policies could reduce emissions by 23 per cent. by 2010. This is substantially beyond our Kyoto target.

The Government have been making progress with implementing the policies outlined in the programme. The UK's Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was published on 30 October, provides an update of this progress. Copies of the Communication will be placed in the Library of each House.

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Foot and Mouth

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what improvements in the co-ordination of rural policy and departmental operation have been achieved since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [9297]

Alun Michael: Major benefits are expected to flow from bringing together responsibilities for farming and food, environment and conservation and the rural affairs portfolio within one Department, although the benefits—both policy and operational—will be realised gradually. On foot and mouth disease, there was already close joint working between Departments, via the Cabinet Office co-ordination machinery and via the rural task force, which brought together both Departments involved and external stakeholders. The establishment of DEFRA has offered scope for further integration. Great efforts are being made to establish a new culture within the Department, with clear aims and objectives through a process in which stakeholders and staff at every level have been involved. We are also seeking to develop close partnerships as a way of working within the new Department, across Whitehall and with partners at a regional and local level throughout England as well as on the international stage. The new Department has created a post at Board level to bring together general weight of DEFRA field delivery as a whole.

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what restrictions will apply to the provision of grants to rural businesses as part of the extension of the Business Recovery Fund announced on 18 October; [10101]

Alun Michael [holding answer 25 October 2001]: Regional development agencies have played a crucial role in responding to the needs of businesses affected by foot and mouth disease. I am grateful to them for their positive response to the challenges and the high degree of co-operation we have received from them in recent months. As with earlier tranches of money, it will be for the individual regional development agency to decide on the best way to allocate the Business Recovery Fund (BRF) in its region and to set the deadline for applications according to local circumstances. Regional development agencies must ensure that grants are consistent with the European Commission's state aids rules as well as the guidance issued by this Department. A copy will be placed in the Libraries of the House when published.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what statistical information she has collated on the impact foot and mouth disease has had on (a) farm incomes and (b) output. [10471]

Mr. Morley: The Department is very much aware that the outbreak has had a considerable impact on farming and a range of industries throughout the UK. DEFRA is currently working with a number of other Government Departments to estimate the economic impact of the outbreak and the results of this work will be made publicly available.

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In addition, an estimate of total income from farming (TIFF) for 2001 will be published on 29 November 2001. This will include the effects of foot and mouth disease and other factors that have affected income in 2001.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many contracts have been concluded between her Department and farms infected by foot and mouth near Thirsk for the cleansing of their premises. [10179]

Mr. Morley: The Department has now agreed 59 contracts, with 54 farmers and five contractors in the Thirsk area, for the cleansing and disinfection of premises affected by foot and mouth disease.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals were slaughtered as a result of foot and mouth disease, broken down by those from infected farms and those culled for protective purposes, weekly since March. [9911]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 October 2001]: The Animal Health Act 1981 provides the powers to require the slaughter of any animals affected with foot and mouth disease (FMD), suspected of being affected, which are or have been in contact with affected animals or have been exposed to the infection of FMD.

The following table sets out the breakdown of the number of animals slaughtered by Infected Premises (IPs), Dangerous Contacts (DCs), and Slaughtered on Suspicion (SOSs) by week.

Week endingIPsDCsSOSs
25 February2,094817653
4 March31,8517,5250
11 March65,84611,9460
18 March104,51341,0930
25 March165,748124,8760
1 April234,986244,34711,242
8 April234,986244,34711,242
15 April107,204466,97020,390
22 April65,359339,17117,241
29 April56,029166,12517,966
6 May31,05973,8828,112
13 May15,02536,7439,985
20 May18,65543,590940
27 May25,57267,0214,712
3 June23,73848,482171
10 June12,55246,2702,283
17 June25,85542,333954
24 June13,29139,8882,098
1 July11,03017,107471
8 July19,54630,5391,072
15 July11,31026,693666
22 July11,30324,35444
29 July12,99515,4941,612
5 August21,21524,102496
12 August9,92816,700689
19 August8,99614,355829
26 August7,0204,0050
2 September11,15227,8870
9 September14,69623,2951,145
16 September3,5849,772380
23 September1,8408,905117
30 September2,1223,8901,250
7 October018380
14 October1661,9140
21 October0387324
Grand total1,316,7042,473,669126,183

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The grand total for dangerous contacts is believed to be a slight underestimate of the true figure. These figures may be subject to change as quality assurance of the data is carried out.

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason blood tests requested by her Department in July on 22 farms in north Somerset were delayed until October. [7888]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 October 2001]: DEFRA Head Office gives permission for local Animal Health Offices (AHOs) to start blood testing (serosurveillance) around former infected premises but it is left to the local AHO to decide on its priorities for sampling based on a number of factors. In the case of north Somerset, the AHO is also responsible for Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

The blood tests are part of the extensive on-going programme of testing sheep flocks inside foot and mouth disease protection and surveillance zones and so far over 1.1 million samples have been taken across the country. The 22 farms in north Somerset fell within a surveillance zone straddling the borders of two testing regions. Those in the Somerset part of the zone were sampled in advance of those in north Somerset.

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the reasons were for the change in Government policy on the criteria for classifying outbreaks of foot and mouth disease that came into effect in April. [7728]

Mr. Morley: Our policy for confirming an outbreak of foot and mouth has not changed. There are, however, a number of different scenarios which would lead to animals being slaughtered to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease;

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