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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many findings there have been of maladministration by ombudsmen with responsibility for agencies under the remit of her Department since 1997. 
Mr. Morley: Information on the handling of complaints is set out in tabular form by the Parliamentary Ombudsman each year as an attachment to his annual report. For those complaints where there was evidence of maladministration which warranted a full investigation, the table sets out how many complaints were upheld as being fully or partially justified. Copies of the Parliamentary Ombudsman's annual reports for the period 199798 to 200001 inclusive can be viewed in the House Library, or on the Parliamentary Ombudsman's website at www.ombudsman.org.uk/publications
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish details of the methodology used to determine the size of the moneys given to local authorities to further assist in the costs associated with the implementation of the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulation for the period 1 January 2002 to 31 March 2002; and what his estimate is for the annual cost of these measures. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The figure was based on early estimates of the costs that local authorities would face in the period January to March 2002. These estimates were made on the basis of the best information to hand at the time. It was assumed that: 2.5 million fridges would be disposed of each year; treatment costs would be around £15 per unit; and up to 40 per cent. of units might continue to be taken back by retailers and manufacturers. However, Government accepted that additional payments might be needed once the actual costs and consequences of the regulation were clearer.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she intends to include representatives of the devolved Administrations in the UK delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. 
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Mr. Meacher: As I stated in my answer of 19 December 2001, the Devolved Administrations have been closely involved in the development of the UK's position on the World Summit on Sustainable Development. They will be represented at the summit.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire of 25 January, Official Report, columns 118586W, on Government funding of the voluntary sector, if she will list the grant schemes and other mechanisms by which (a) her Department, (b) the Countryside Agency and (c) English Nature distribute funding to voluntary sector organisations. 
Alun Michael [holding answer 19 April 2002]: There are various grant schemes and spending programmes through which DEFRA, the Countryside Agency and English Nature provide funding to organisations in the voluntary and community sector.
DEFRA makes funding available to the voluntary and community sector through the Wildlife and Countryside Research Programme, the Environmental Action Fund and the Rural Stress Action Plan. Funding is also made available directly to the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, ENCAMS and National Energy Action.
The Countryside Agency has a variety of funding streams to which voluntary sector organisations and other groups are eligible to apply, flowing from its work on rural services (including community development and social exclusion), Rural Housing Enablers, market towns, its Vital Villages programme (including Community Services Grant and Rural Transport Partnership), the Wider Welcome scheme (including national trails maintenance and rights of way work), and the Walking Your Way To Health initiative.
English Nature distributes funding to voluntary sector organisations through the Reserves Enhancement Scheme, Volunteer Action Grants, Section 35 National Nature Reserve (NNR) Capital Grants Scheme, Land Purchase Grants and the Biodiversity Grant Scheme.
Mr. Morley: We have already made considerable support available to encourage conversion to organic farming and will continue to do so. We have budgeted expenditure of £140 million over the lifetime of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP), which should triple the area under organic management by 2006. And, through both the Rural Enterprise Scheme and the Processing and Marketing Grant, the ERDP provides opportunities for these sectors of the industry to improve their competitiveness.
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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set up a public inquiry into Meat and Livestock Commission invoices sent to the Intervention Board in 1998 and 1999. 
All expenditure incurred by the Intervention Board was published in the Board's annual accounts which, as with the accounts of all Government Departments, are subject to annual audit to assure Parliament that taxpayer's money is being properly spent and accounted for.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to publish the report of the inquiry into sewage discharges from Whitburn and Hendon; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The report of the inquiry prepared by the appointed inspector was submitted on 1 March. It is currently under consideration and will be published together with the announcement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's decision on the Whitburn and Hendon discharge consent applications. I am aware of the interest in the outcome of this inquiry and can assure my hon. Friend that we are working to ensure that this decision is made as quickly as possible.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government have to bring forward legislation to implement the policy objectives of the Marine Stewardship reports. 
Mr. Meacher: We will consult later this year on the regulations to extend the Habitats and Birds Directives out to the limit of jurisdiction of UK waters to protect important habitats and species. Further legislation will be brought forward if it is needed to deliver our vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on statutory safety regulations in the UK for the composting of household waste; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Meacher: The penalties available for those convicted of fly tipping are severe. For non-special waste the maximum penalty for conviction in Crown court is an unlimited fine and/or up to two years imprisonment. For special waste, the maximum prison sentence is increased to five years. There are no plans to raise these penalties further.
Anyone caught littering, including littering from a vehicle, may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. Fixed Penalty Notices for litter and dog fouling offences were increased from £25 to £50 on 1 April 2002.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings (a) she and (b) other departmental ministers have held recently with senior executives from BNFL. 
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer, of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 372W, she will list the consultants appointed to the secretariat; and if she will set out the reasons CERRIE meetings are not held in public. 
Mr. Meacher: As I indicated in my reply of 20 March, three consultants have been appointed to provide the Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (CERRIE) with an independent secretariat. They are Ian Fairlie, Marion Hill and Paul Dorfman.
Several of the members of CERRIE are on record as having strongly held contradictory views about the radiation risks from internal emitters. The CERRIE meetings are intended to provide an opportunity for those differences of opinion to be debated, at length, in an environment that will encourage consensus to be reached, as far as that is possible. Holding the meetings in private will aid the uninhibited expression of views and the ability, where appropriate, for individuals to change their minds in the light of the evidence before them. However, in order to be transparent about their discussions, CERRIE are preparing their own website which will include, among other things, summary minutes of their meetings. CERRIE's final report to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) will also be published.
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