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seeking and acting upon crime prevention advice from the police;
measures to raise staff awareness on crime prevention;
improved record keeping and investigating the theft of valuable items to see if theft prevention practices can be improved.
There are no immediate plans to introduce additional security measures to deter theft or fraud but the situation is kept under regular review and further action could be initiated should circumstances change.
(3) what account she has taken of regional differences in pay in setting the minimum wage; and what plans she has for setting different minimum wages for separate regions. 
Alan Johnson: The current minimum wage rates are £4.10 per hour for workers aged 22 or above and £3.50 per hour for workers aged 1821 inclusive. The Government have agreed that, subject to economic conditions, these rates should increase on 1 October 2002 to £4.20 and £3.60 per hour respectively.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 10 January 2002, Official Report, column 153W, on BNFL, if she will list the meetings with ministerial colleagues in which the insolvency of BNFL was discussed. 
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who in her Department told the United States embassy in London that the moratorium on gas-fired power stations was due to be discussed at the Cabinet meeting of 4 June 1998; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will outline the procedure by which independent members will be appointed to sit on her Department's (a) new Strategy Board and (b) other boards as announced in November following the outcome of the Department's internal reviews. 
Ms Hewitt: The procedure for appointing the independent members to the Strategy Board will be open and transparent with appointments made on the basis of merit. While the appointments do not fall within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, the procedures follow the principles and best practice laid down in the Commissioner's Code. I have employed search consultants to help us with the process.
The appointments will be advertised on the Department's website which will include an information pack containing details of the full procedure, job and person specification, and how to apply. This information will also explain the process for appointing independent members to an Executive Board, chaired by the Permanent Secretary, and to other Boards across the Department. Analogous procedures to those outlined above will be adopted for all these appointments.
I see this as an unprecedented opportunity for the Department to benefit from fresh thinking. Candidates will be drawn from a wide range of fields and backgrounds. Their role will not be to represent any particular interest; rather we are looking for people to help us improve internal processes, service delivery and change management. They will not take decisions, but will have an important challenging and advisory role. I will announce the appointments during May.
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Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many mistakes were made in calculating farming subsidy claims in 2001 by (a) her Department and (b) applicants. 
Mr. Morley: This information has not previously been collected. However the Rural Payments Agency, which has a target to pay 98.5 per cent. of all claims accurately, will be carrying out an analysis of its performance during the financial year ending 31 March 2002 using statistical sampling techniques. The results, which will not be available until mid 2002 will be published in the RPA Annual Report.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in the review of the UK's protected zone status for rhizomania; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The period for the consultation on the future of the protected zone has now finished and on the basis of replies received and in consultation with officials in the devolved Administrations we have concluded that we should ask the Standing Committee on Plant Health to end rhizomania protected zone status in Great Britain.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish figures showing the volume of correspondence received by Ministers in her Department throughout 2001, indicating the target times set for replies and the number of replies sent within those target times. 
Mr. Morley: Information on the volume of correspondence from Members of Parliament received by all ministerial agency chief executives, and Departments and agencies and performance in handling them is published annually by the Cabinet Office. The most recent report covering 2000, was announced by the then Minister for the Cabinet Office on 6 April 2001, Official Report, column 32427W. The report on 2001 correspondence handling figures will be published within the next few months.
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Margaret Beckett: Composting is an aerobic biodegradation process which produces carbon dioxide, and appropriately managed processes will not emit methane. The Environment Agency is currently developing technical guidance on composting operations, which will inform their monitoring of these operations.
Methane can be obtained from the anaerobic digestion of biodegradable materials (usually in the form of a slurry) and has previously been employed to treat single stream biomass wastes, such as sewage sludge, with energy recovery. However, the indications are that the process is less effective for mixed wastes (such as the organic fraction of municipal solid waste) and is unlikely with the present state of development to be widely applicable to wastes.
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