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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many on-the- spot fines were levied for litter offences in England in (a) 1997 and (b) the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 5 November 2001]: Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, litter wardens can issue a £25 fixed penalty to anyone who drops litter and refuses to dispose of it properly. These penalty notices are not on-the-spot fines but can be paid
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within 14 days of an offence occurring. If the money is not paid within 14 days the litterer can be prosecuted and if convicted face a maximum fine of £2,500.
In the period 199798, 727 litter fixed penalties were issued by local authorities in England, of which 660 were paid. The last year from which figures are available is the period 19992000 where 2,970 fixed penalty notices were issued of which 1,563 were paid.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will calculate (a) the number of sweet lambs awaiting entry into the national supply chain and (b) the amount of sweet lamb being processed in the supply chain as a result of the imposition of export control restrictions on British livestock and meat. 
Mr. Morley: DEFRA figures for the week ending 13 October 2001 indicate that the volume of sheep being slaughtered in the UK for human consumption was about 73 per cent. of the level that would have been expected had foot and mouth not occurred. However, allowing for the impact of the export ban, the production of sheep meat for the UK market is approximately 99 per cent. of normal.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what has been the average crop harvested of Bramley apples in (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) England since 1981. 
|England and Wales||Scotland||Northern Ireland||UK total|
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Alun Michael: I shall be publishing a consultation paper on Quality Parish and Town Councils tomorrow, Wednesday 7 November. This takes forward the commitment in the Rural White Paper to help town and parish councils develop a new role, give communities the opportunity to help shape their future and to make local government in the countryside more responsive to local people and local needs. Copies will be placed in the Library and the Vote Office in the morning. The consultation paper will be available on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' website www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/consultfrm.htm and from my Department on request. I shall also be writing to Members of Parliament individually with the document.
Cases of ebola haemorrhagic fever are not infectious before the onset of symptoms and there are systems in place, based on the World Health Organisation's international health regulations, to ensure that individuals who appear to be ill on entry to this country are identified and are put in contact with health care services.
We have issued guidance to the national health service on the management and control of viral haemorrhagic fevers to help in the identification and safe care of cases, including the monitoring of contacts. There are two high security infectious disease units in England that provide specialised isolation facilities on a United Kingdom-wide basis for people suffering from or suspected of suffering from highly infectious diseases such as viral haemorrhagic fever. Specialist laboratories, which provide early diagnosis of suspected cases, support these units.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what checks will be made on grain imports to prevent terrorists from polluting them with disease-bearing spores. 
There are extensive controls on imports of food including grain at ports of entry. In addition, the Food Standards Agency plays a full part in Government emergency planning to protect the food chain, including against terrorism.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the value, net of withdrawals and reductions, of the (a) penalties and (b) interest charged by HM Customs and Excise in respect of Insurance Premium Tax in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) 200102 to date. 
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|Net value charged|
|2001 to 31 August||265||(3)|
(3) Reliable information is not yet available for this period, and it would take a disproportionate amount of time to quantify. Customs are developing a new system to report these data
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the targets for detection of revenue set for each anti-smuggling team in HM Customs and Excise in (a) 199899, (b) 19992000, (c) 200001 and (d) 200102. 
|Job band||Number of staff|
Mr. Bacon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employees of HM Customs and Excise are the subject of criminal investigations by the police; and how many of these relate to frauds on duty. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the sum of revenue detected by each anti- smuggling team within HM Customs and Excise in (a) 199899, (b) 19992000, (c) 200001 and (d) 200102 to date. 
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Mr. Boateng: Under the Terrorism Act 2000, all Customs officers at ports and airports in Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland, are designated as examining officers. This provides officers with a range of investigative powers to enable the officer to determine whether a person is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
In addition, the Act designates all Customs officers in the UK as authorised officers. This provides officers with powers to seize cash at import or export, or moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is believed to be linked to terrorism. The detention of seized cash beyond 48 hours must be authorised by the courts.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many notifications of businesses no longer trading were received by HM Customs and Excise following the annual reminder mailshots in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000 and (e) 2001. 
Mr. Boateng: Information on the number of businesses no longer trading and notified as a result of annual reminders is not readily available. Information about the percentage increase in changes notified due to the annual reminder may be found in the publication "HM Customs and Excise annual report 199899, appendix BManagement by Outputs Agreement".
Such data are not readily available for the remaining years in question and would involve disproportionate cost to produce. Details of the total number of deregistrations over the period in question may be found in HM Customs and Excise annual reports for the respective financial years.
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