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Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the level of borrowing in the agricultural industry. 
Mr. Morley: The latest available information is that published in Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2000 and is given in the table. Estimates for 2000 will be published in March 2002.
|Long and medium term:|
|AMC, SASC, and LIC||1,168||1,215||1,288||1,321||1,381|
|Building Societies and Institutions||255||317||305||370||365|
|Total long and medium term||3,508||3,914||3,986||4,579||4,550|
|Total short term||4,932||4,876||4,780||4,910||4,819|
Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2000
21 Nov 2001 : Column: 325W
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to improve co-ordination between public bodies with special reference to local councils, over meeting the Government's waste recycling targets. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 16 November 2000]: We provided guidance to local authorities on producing Municipal Waste Management Strategies published in March this year, which encouraged partnership working, as a key means for delivering the statutory targets on recycling.
Today, we are publishing a Consultation Paper on the distribution of £140 million of additional funding for local authority waste minimisation and recycling. In that Paper we suggest that partnership working between authorities to deliver higher recycling might be one of the funding priorities.
The Consultation Paper also consults on a mechanism for allowing local authorities to 'pool' their statutory performance standards for recycling and composting of household waste. In doing so we are responding to those local authorities who have told us that this will help to deliver partnership working.
Copies of the consultation paper are available in Libraries of the House.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are being used to assess the programme of protecting and enhancing the countryside as set out in Objective 11 of Table 14.1 of the Rural White Paper in relation to (a) biodiversity, (b) tranquillity, (c) heritage and (d) landscape character. 
Alun Michael: The Department is working with the Countryside Agency, English Nature, English Heritage and the Natural Environment Research Council's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to develop proposals for an indicator of change in countryside quality. Further research to develop the indicator is currently being commissioned. The research will use existing national datasets about changing countryside character, including agriculture, forestry and land use change statistics and, from Countryside Survey 2000, information on landscape features and biodiversity. New data on traditional farm buildings are being collated by English Heritage and the Countryside Agency. The research will consider tranquillity as an aspect of countryside character. It is intended that the indicator will be available for publication in 2004.
In addition we have an extensive programme for monitoring the effects of our agri-environment schemes, on biodiversity in particular.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) total income from farming and (b) total off-farming income was in rural areas in the United Kingdom in (i) 1996, (ii) 1997, (iii) 1998, (iv) 1999, (v) 2000 and (vi) 2001. 
21 Nov 2001 : Column: 326W
Alun Michael: The table provides total income from farming for the years 1996 to 2000 in real terms at 2000 prices in absolute terms and on a per head basis.
|Year||UK total income from farming (TIFF) (£ million)||UK total income from farming per whole time person equivalent (£)|
The forecast of UK total income from farming for 2001 will be published on 29 November 2001.
The table shows the United Kingdom off-farm income for farms where off-farm income covers income from employment or self employment away from the farm, and unearned income from investments, pensions and social payments.
|Year||Total off-farm income (£ million)||Total off-farm income (£ per farm)|
Figures for 2000 and 2001 are not yet available.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the latest date for which figures are available, what proportion of parishes in the countryside were classified as (a) vibrant, (b) active, (c) barely active and (d) sleeping, stating in each case the measures used. 
Alun Michael: The Countryside Agency's State of the Countryside Report 2001 set out indicators for community vibrancy using a selection of community activities such as contested parish council elections and annual events. Building on from this information preliminary work to re-evaluate the full database of parishes suggests that: 27 per cent. of parishes were vibrant, 38 per cent. active, 26 per cent. barely active and 9 per cent. sleeping.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of people living in rural wards in the United Kingdom were in low income bands compared to the national average in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999, (e) 2000 and (f) 2001. 
Alun Michael: The Countryside Agency is planning to establish a baseline for low incomes for the 2002 State of the Countryside Report. This will use the 1998 classification of rural wards and from late 2002 will use data on low income from the Office for National Statistics (this is the first time that data of this nature will be available). Reliable time series data for low income bands are not available for wards.
21 Nov 2001 : Column: 327W
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new business start-ups there were in rural areas in the United Kingdom in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999, (e) 2000 and (f) 2001. 
Alun Michael: Data on business start-ups in rural areas are not readily available. Information on VAT registrations for the year ending April 2000 indicates that there were 41,540 registrations in rural England. Information on earlier years is not available.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of reported crime by category there were in rural areas in the United Kingdom in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000 and (e) 2001. 
Alun Michael: Home Office data on recorded crime in rural England for the 12 months to March 2001 are taken from the Crime Reduction Partnership Areas linked to all local authorities. Data collected in previous years cannot be directly compared as they used Basic Command Units (Police Force Administration Units) whose boundaries do not all coincide with local authority ones.
Population weighted figuresnumber of offences per 1,000 population were: violence 6.54, sexual 0.45, robbery 0.31, burglary (dwelling) 4.06, theft of vehicle 2.91, theft from vehicle 7.61.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which local education authorities in England and Wales are classified as rural. 
Alun Michael: There is no classification of local education authorities. Most local education authorities which cover rural areas also contain urban areas.
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