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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the landfill tax on fly tipping; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The Department does not collate statistics on fly tipping. Reports by the Tidy Britain Group on this issue showed that the type of waste most frequently fly-tipped is household waste. It is unlikely that the landfill tax causes householders to fly tip waste because local authorities have a legal obligation to collect or accept this type of waste and, as a result, householders do not directly meet the cost of the tax.
Under Section 59 of the Environment Protection Act 1990, local authorities (or the Environment Agency) have the power to remove any fly-tipped waste and recover costs incurred from any person who made or knowingly caused or permitted the deposit of the waste.
The local authority or the Environment Agency also has the power to prosecute the perpetrators of fly tipping which can lead to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for up to two years (five years for special wastes).
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to claim agrimonetary compensation from the CAP; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 28 February 2002]: We have made no plans to claim any further agrimonetary compensation. We are waiting for the Commission to confirm whether any further compensation is available, and we will take a decision when we have the information.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many members of her staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: DEFRA actively supports its staff in giving time to their communities. We aim to raise the profile of volunteering and make it easier for staff to give their time and effort to voluntary work.
Staff are allowed varying amounts of paid time off for voluntary public duties such as serving as magistrates or school governors. Additionally, in September 2000, we introduced arrangements that allow all staff a day's paid
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special leave each year to participate in an unpaid voluntary activity. Up until the end of March 2001, 10 people had taken advantage of this in DEFRA (including the Pesticides Safety Directorate, Rural Payments Agency, Veterinary Laboratories Agency and Veterinary Medicines Directorate). Due to major staff re-deployment during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, no records were kept between April and December 2001. So far this year three people have taken a day's paid leave for voluntary work.
DEFRA is supporting staff who wish to join the volunteer programme to help in the arrangements for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and will be allowing staff 50 per cent. of their time volunteering as paid special leave up to a maximum of eight days.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what economic assessment has been made of the cost of banning Thinsec (Carbaryl) for the top fruit industry. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Pesticide products containing carbaryl have been reviewed as part of the general review in the UK of all organophosphate pesticides. The main purpose of the review is to address public concerns about the potential toxicity of these chemicals and economic impact is not an overriding consideration where safety is concerned. However, the loss of some compounds may have an economic impact on particular sectors of industry. The decision to revoke a particular compound is not taken lightly. It may be revoked because serious safety concerns remain following the evaluation of data submitted in support of the compound or because there was insufficient data submitted for an adequate evaluation of the data to be made. The loss of carbaryl stems from a commercial decision by the approval holder not to support the compound under the UK review.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Carbaryl has been included as part of the general review in the UK of all organophosphate pesticides. The review was undertaken because of public concerns about the potential toxicity of these chemicals.
Organophosphate pesticides are mainly older compounds and the review will establish whether there is sufficient safety data available to satisfy modern standards. Companies are therefore required to submit data they hold on human health and environmental effects to support the continued safe use of the products containing these compounds. If data are not submitted then the approval for these products are revoked.
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Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on the decision to ban Thinsec (Carbaryl) for UK top fruit producers; and which EU countries plan to follow the UK's lead. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Under EU rules the UK is not obliged to inform other member states of any national review programme of pesticide products undertaken to address national issues. However, all member states and the commission were informed of the UK programme to review organophosphate compounds, which includes carbaryl. In addition, all are automatically informed of any new product approvals and revocations. A separate European programme intends to review all active substances used in plant protection products within the community and all member states and the commission are involved in this decision-making process.
The approval holder for carbaryl did not submit supporting data under the UK review and therefore the approval for all products containing carbaryl, including Thinsec, have been revoked. Under the European review programme carbaryl has been supported so far. Data for the evaluation of carbaryl must be submitted to the member state evaluating the compound by the end of April 2002. The continued approval of carbaryl throughout Europe is therefore dependent on the conclusions of that evaluation.
It is possible for member states to carry out their own review exercises and for these to be carried out at different times to the European review. Member states are not obliged to follow other countries, domestic decisions regarding the approval or revocation of compounds. In this case, the UK organophosphate review was introduced to address public concerns about the safety of these compounds and we have acted in a consistent manner to revoke their use where appropriate.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to improve the public image of farming in England; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The public image of farming in England is not the responsibility of Government alone. Farming faces a wide range of challenges and we are committed to working with all those with an interest in the future of farming to help tackle these and develop a more sustainable industry that better meets society's expectations.
That is why we established the independent Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food. The Commission's report to Government sets out a clear vision for a sustainable competitive and diverse farming and food sector, playing a dynamic role in the rural economy and delivering the environmental outputs that society demands. Delivery of this vision is for industry and other organisations, as well as Government. We will be launching shortly a process for engaging with interested organisations on the details of this with a view to launching a strategy for sustainable food and farming in the early autumn.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on what research the Countryside Agency has launched into social exclusion and transport; and when it is expected to publish its research. 
Alun Michael: The Countryside Agency is not currently involved in research specifically into social exclusion and transport. However, certain other studies include elements relating to the transport needs of the socially excluded. One such study is on "Wheels to Work", an evaluation and good practice guide on access to education and employment for young people. This is due to report in April.
Alun Michael: Section 47 is part of a group of provisions relating to restricted byways. Our aim is to consult later this year on the secondary legislation needed to implement these provisions, with a view to bringing them into effect in the early part of 2003. The task is complicated by the need to amend any relevant existing highways legislation: in primary legislation alone there are over 40,000 references to be investigated.
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