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Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the proportion of registered holdings which are farmed by people other than the owner or tenant under (a) contract farming, (b) share farming and (c) similar arrangements; and what the proportion was (i) five and (ii) 10 years ago. 
So far as share farming is concerned the Farm Business Survey for 200001 showed that 35 of the 2,183 'full-time' farm businesses surveyed in England were involved in share farming. This is equivalent to 1.6 per cent. of the farm businesses in the survey.
Results from the June 2000 census (which included full and part-time holdings) in England showed that 0.7 per cent. of respondents were involved in share farming, and the total area share farmed was 1.0 per cent. of the respondents' total area. No data on share farming are available for five or 10 years ago.
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to protect buried archaeological treasures from farming practices which might disturb them. 
Mr. Morley: The objectives of our agri-environment schemes include conserving areas which demonstrate their history and to protect important features and major earthworks by measures such as low intensity grazing, scrub control and by converting cultivated land to pasture. A number of scheme options support those objectives.
In recognition of the threat to archaeological sites in intensively farmed landscapes, DEFRA has commissioned a research project from the Oxford Archaeological Unit to investigate the impact of arable management on buried archaeological sites. Their report, which is expected in the next few months, will contribute to the development of best practice guidelines for managing archaeological features in arable landscapes, while retaining land, where possible, in production.
These initiatives add to the existing legal protection for archaeological features that are formally recognised. Steps have also been taken to encourage the voluntary reporting of all archaeological finds.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost was of the advertisements for the chairmen of the Environment Agency Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committee; and in which publications advertisements were placed. 
Mr. Morley: In total advertising costs for the most recent Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair appointment exercise was £10,200. Advertisements were placed in The Times, The Sunday Times and The Anglers Mail and also appeared on the Department's website.
Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 29 January 2002, Official Report, columns 24950W, on farm subsidy claims, how the Government intend to implement the new penalty structure; and what progress the RPA has made in amending its policy to reflect this change in the regulations. 
Mr. Morley: The new penalty structure for IACS is set out in detail in Commission Regulation No. 2419/2001, which came into force on 1 January and is directly applicable in the UK. IACS claims made during the course of this scheme year will be dealt with in accordance with the new penalty provisions.
The RPA is in the process of finalising scheme literature for distribution to claimants explaining the new penalty provisions in respect of the various IACS schemes. A supplement to the IACS Booklet will be issued in late March and the other specific scheme literature will be updated and issued at the usual times during the course of the year.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the retirement ages that apply to the employees of her Department and its agencies, including how many and which categories of employees are affected by each; and if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on flexible retirement. 
Mr. Morley: As at 1 January, there were 13,990 permanent, casual and fixed-term contract staff employed by the Department and the agencies. Of these, 7,384 staff were of Executive Officer (or equivalent grade) and above. These grades normally retire at age 60. There were 6,606 staff in Administrative Officer, Administrative Assistant and Support grades. These staff are subject to a maximum retirement age of 65.
Staff may be retained beyond normal retirement age for short periods where there is a specific business need (this might, for example, be to complete a particular task or to cover the time until a replacement arrives). Flexible early retirement may be offered if the Department needs to resolve a structural problem.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for West Derbyshire dated 18 March and 18 June, concerning Mr. A. Tabbenor of Brooklands, Barnes Lane, Youlgrave, Derbyshire, and his suckler cow premium; 
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2002, Official Report, column 801W, when she will reply to the letter from the Surrey County Agricultural Society dated 16 January regarding the showing of animals at the county show that will take place on 3 June. 
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what agreement was reached at the Council of Ministers' meeting on 29 October on amendments to the recreational craft directive, with particular reference to exhaust noise emissions levels. 
Mr. Meacher: At the Council of Ministers' meeting on 29 October, political agreement on a common position was reached on the amendment to Directive 94/25/EC laying down limit values for exhaust and noise emissions from new recreational craft placed on the Community market. The Council agreed limit values at the levels
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proposed by the European Commission in COM(2000) 639 dated 12 October 2000. Particularly in relation to noise emissions, agreement was reached on less costly methods of demonstrating compliance. Overall the agreement represented a reasonable balance between achieving challenging environmental objectives while minimising the cost to small and medium-sized business and individuals.
Mr. Kevin Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on administering the Common Agricultural Policy in the United Kingdom, and what proportion of total CAP spending in the UK was paid to farmers in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Morley: We estimate the cost of administering CAP market support measures throughout the UK to have been £78 million in the financial year 200001. We estimate the cost of administering direct support measures in England in that year to have been £52 million. The administration of direct payments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the devolved Ministers.
The following table gives estimates of (a) expenditure on CAP market support measures and (b) direct payments to the agriculture sector under the CAP in the UK in the last five years. It is not possible to calculate how much of the expenditure on market support was paid to farmers, as traders can also be eligible. Almost all the direct payments will have gone to farmers.
|Total expenditure under the CAP||Expenditure on CAP market support measures||Expenditure on CAP direct payments to the agriculture sector|
The final column includes expenditure on HLCAs and LFAs.
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