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Mr. Morley [holding answer 1 February 2002]: Estimates from the June 2001 Agriculture and Horticulture census indicate that England accounts for 93 per cent. of the maize area in the UK. Virtually all of the maize area is used for fodder.
|Area of maize||2000||2001|
|UK area (hectares)(29)||104,090||129,208|
|Percentage of UK:|
|Percentage of England:|
|Yorks and Humber||2||n/a|
n/a = not yet available
(29) Includes an adjustment in respect of minor holdings.
(30) These data refer to main holdings only, ie minor holdings excluded.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many working days were lost within the Rural Payments Agency between 16 November 2001 and 31 January 2002 as a result of industrial action. 
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) total and (b) percentage were of arable payments made by the Rural Payments Agency to arable farmers in the 16 November 2001 to 31 January 2002 window. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 1 February 2002]: The number of arable payments made by the Rural Payments Agency to arable farmers nationally in the 16 November 2001 to 31 January 2002 window was 39,697 paid, out of a total 42,738 received, representing 92.88 per cent.
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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) level and (b) percentage were of arable payments made to farmers at her Department's Exeter office within the window period to 31 January. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 1 February 2002]: The number of arable payments made to farmers at the Department's Exeter office within the window period to 31 January were 6,740 paid out, of a total of 8,282 received, representing 81.38 per cent.
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what advice she will give to councils in setting their budget for 200203 in advance of the Government deciding how much assistance will be given for the storage of refrigerators; 
(3) when she expects to announce the level of assistance to councils for the storage of refrigerators for the financial year 200203. 
Mr. Meacher: £6 million was added to the provisional local government finance settlement for 200203 to cover the costs of implementing the ozone depleting substances regulation relating to the period 1 January 2002 to 31 March 2002.
Mr. Morley: We aim to pay farmers compensation for livestock slaughtered for FMD control within three weeks of receipt of correct documents. At the peak of the outbreak this aim was not met due to the volume of claims being received at the same time.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the reports produced by the cattle plague commissioners following the outbreak of cattle plague in the 1870s were consulted by officials from her Department and MAFF the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food during the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The veterinary and scientific advice that underpins the Government's disease control policies has evolved over many years. While no particular reference has been made during the current outbreak of foot and
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mouth disease to the recommendations made in the cattle plague reports, many of them are still relevant today and were implemented last year.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her policy on public access to (a) the Disease Control System Database and (b) the Veterinary Laboratory Agency Foot and Mouth Disease Care Database. 
Mr. Morley: Under the Data Protection Act 1998, any individual, on request, may have access to their personal records held on either the Disease Control System Database and/or the Veterinary Laboratory Agency Foot and Mouth Disease Care database. General public access is not permitted to personal records.
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether all the passports of offspring under restriction on 21 January have been collected; what steps have been taken to prevent any more offspring being moved while under restriction; and when she expects the backlog of offspring under the cull to be slaughtered. 
Alun Michael: There were 659 offspring of BSE infected or suspect cattle in Great Britain under restriction on 21 January 2002 with 44 passports outstanding. But all outstanding passports have now been collected.
Officials wrote on 18 January to all owners of offspring under restriction reminding them that their cattle must not be moved without permission. Farm visits to identify offspring, issue restriction notices and remove passports are again taking place.
Mr. Wills: We keep the impact of the Human Rights Act on the judicial system under continuous review. An analysis of its impact on the workload of the courts is produced quarterly, and is placed on the human rights part of our website. A breakdown of the cases in which the Human Rights Act has been raised and their outcome is also on the site.
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for the Legal Services Commission in the current financial year is; and what is her forecast for each of the next two years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Legal Service's Commission's budget in the current financial year is £70.350 million, which is the baseline being rolled over into the next two years of the SR 2000 Spending Review period. The requirement for 200304 onwards will be under consideration in the SR 2002 Spending Review.
Mr. Wills: In respect of the Lord Chancellor's Department, none. Responsibility for administering and enforcing the Data Protection Act 1998 lies with the Information Commissioner, who carries out these responsibilities independently of Government, but is sponsored by the Lord Chancellor's Department. I understand that the Commissioner currently employs 169 staff on data protection matters at her offices in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Mr. Wood: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is being done to protect businesses from companies which use threatening and confusing letters to demand excessive amounts of money in return for data protection registration. 
Mr. Wills: The Information Commissioner, who carries out her responsibilities independently of Government, has a duty under the Data Protection Act 1998 to disseminate information about the operation of the Act. The commissioner launched a public information campaign on 17 January 2002 to alert organisations to the fact that while they may need to be on the register of data controllers, they should not be misled by businesses who have no statutory powers to maintain the register. Notices were placed in a number of national newspapers and the commissioner has set up a dedicated website at www.doineedtonotify.co.uk to help organisations establish whether they need to notify. She has also made available a self-assessment guide which can be obtained by phoning 0870 9027 522.
I understand that the commissioner is prepared to take legal action against the companies concerned wherever possible and appropriate and that she is liaising closely with the Office of Fair Trading, trading standards authorities and the police on the matter.
Mr. Wills: Since the Lord Chancellor's Department assumed responsibility for data protection issues in June 2001, I have received representations about the level of fees chargeable for subject access under the Data Protection Act 1998, in particular with regard to manually held health records. The issue here is to strike a balance between ensuring that cost is not a barrier to individuals requesting access to their health records and allowing the NHS to recoup costs incurred in servicing requests, so that essential resources are not diverted from patient care.
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The Government are committed to continuing discussion with key interest groups and to working closely with the information commissioner with the aim of achieving a long-term solution.
I have also received representations about the effect upon small businesses of the Act's notification requirements, including the annual fee of £35, and of the commissioner's forthcoming employment practices data protection code. We do not consider the level of fee to be an undue regulatory burden, although it will be kept under review. We are carefully considering the other representations in consultation with the commissioner.
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