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16 Jul 2002 : Column 138W
the UK Government did not support the development of mandatory and indicative targets for biofuels in the relevant EU draft directive. 
In common with the majority of other European Union member states, the UK Government do not support the European Commission's proposals for mandatory targets applied uniformly to every state, as originally proposed by the European Commission in the Biofuels Directive. In order to maintain the UK's ability to set national policy on the basis of the UK's own domestic circumstances, the Government favour the adoption of flexible, indicative targets; an approach endorsed by the European Scrutiny Committees of both Houses of Parliament.
The Government actively support the use of transport biofuels, in particular through the 20 pence per litre reduction in fuel duty on biodieseldue to come into effect shortlyand through the further round of the Green Fuels Challenge, offering zero duty for pilots demonstrating innovative technologies for environmentally beneficial fuels.
Quality of service
To complete evaluations and contribute to the EC Review Programme under Council Directive 91/414/EEC, according to the processing times set out in Table 1.
1. To deliver high quality scientific work to underpin the protection of human health and the environment.
2. To provide clear and accessible public information about pesticide issues consistent with sustainable and economic production.
3. To ensure the UK's objectives are reflected in the revised Council Directive 91/414/EEC and to maintain our international reputation as a leading regulatory authority.
1. To implement a Quality system by the end of December 2002 that enables an improvement in quality and efficiency and which takes account of priorities identified in the 2001 Customer Satisfaction Survey.
2. To deliver 3 per cent. efficiency savings through the combination of achieving reductions to processing times for applications for approval and through savings in cost of outputs.
1. To recover from industry and Government the full economic cost (as calculated according to resource accounting principles) of its services.
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|Estimated workflow||Target processing time (weeks)|
|EC Reviews Rapporteur (2nd stage)|
|New active substances|
|Assessed experimental approval||2||20||20|
|Extrapolated experimental approval||2||10||10|
|Emergency off label||15||9||10|
|Non-emergency off label||30||25||30|
|Simplified own-use parallel||10||2||2|
Overall target90 per cent. of applications with a stated processing time must be completed within that time.
Mr. Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the 200102 Annual Report for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science. 
Mr. Meacher: The 200102 Annual Report and Accounts for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science were laid before Parliament today. Copies are available in the Library of the House.
Quality of Service
To make satisfactory progress with the action plan resulting from the 19992000 Science Audit.
To manage the Agency in an effective manner including pursuit of commercial exploitation of research outputs.
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To give satisfaction to customers in the way that outputs are provided, as measured by the CEFAS Customer Satisfaction Survey.
To achieve savings and efficiency gains in a range of key functions.
To recover from Government Departments and Agencies and external customers the full economic costs of the Agency's services.
Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has received the report of the Royal Society's Scientific Review of Infectious Diseases in Livestock; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: I am delighted that the Royal Society have today published the report of their independent Scientific Review of Infectious Diseases in Livestock. Copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
This report was commissioned by the Government following the unprecedented outbreak of foot and mouth disease last year. I am very grateful to Professor Sir Brian Follett and his committee for producing such a thorough and excellent report in such a short space of time. This is a very significant contribution to our work to strengthen our ability to guard against and deal with animal disease.
I welcome the importance that the report places on the livestock industry in this country and Great Britain having animal disease free status. We are already taking action on imports and disease surveillance to protect this and the report's views on these matters will be of great assistance.
More widely, we intend to press ahead with an animal health and welfare strategy and will need to consider carefully the recommendations made by the report on research and development in the light of yesterday's spending review announcement.
The report's recommendations will be of crucial importance in developing the Government's emergency preparedness for controlling animal diseases, and we will need to study these closely, in particular the recommended approach to vaccination against foot and mouth disease. The Government has never rejected vaccination as an option in the fight against foot and mouth. The report recognises that there are aspects of vaccination, in particular trade and technical issues, which are not yet resolved, but which can and should be resolved. Even then, vaccination will not necessarily be a panacea and will not necessarily be right in all circumstances. The report notes that, even with emergency vaccination in place, culling would still be necessary.
I welcome the Royal Society's endorsement of the need to take forward the work we have in hand on a greatly improved contingency plan for foot and mouth. Its findings on biosecurity and animal movements will also be of particular importance.
In taking work forward on the report, we will need to involve stakeholders, in particular the farming industry, who have a share in the responsibility for maintaining the animal disease free status recommended by the report.
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I intend to give a fuller initial response on the recommendations in this report when the Lessons Learned Inquiry has reported on Monday 22 July. It is also intended, later in the year, to issue a detailed reply to the recommendations in both these independent reports.
Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action the Government have taken to ameliorate the problem of (a) leylandii and (b) other rapidly growing trees associated with neighbour nuisance. 
The Government supported the high hedges Bill introduced last Session by the hon. Member for Solihull (Mr. Taylor). Unfortunately, it fell due to lack of time before the election. Although it has not been possible to bring forward a high hedges Bill in the current Session, we remain committed to legislation allowing local authorities to deal with complaints about high hedges as soon as parliamentary time can be found.
In December last year, we published guidelines on "Hedge height and light loss" developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). The guidelines explain how to calculate whether a hedge is likely to block out too much light from a garden and from the main rooms of a house. These scientifically based tests might carry some weight with hedge owners and help them to understand the impact of their hedge. As a result, they might be more willing to negotiate with neighbours.
We are now preparing a leaflet for members of the public, advising them how they might approach their neighbours to try to agree a solution to their hedge problems. The leaflet will include information on a range of factors that people might consider in settling on the right hedge height for their particular circumstances. It will cover such matters as what heights will ensure privacy; those at which a hedge can be safely maintained; and those likely to block light to neighbouring properties.
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