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ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Animal Health and Welfare

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on animal health and welfare expenditure trends shown in the Departmental report for 2002. [72082]

Mr. Morley: Tables 5.1 to 5.5 in the Departmental Report for 2002 contain a number of errors. These arose from differences in the way information is loaded on

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central data bases, complications with compiling historical information following the recent Machinery of Government changes, and the re-structuring of DEFRA with the revised objectives that followed. Unfortunately, the tight timetable for producing these tables interfered with the quality assurance procedures that would normally have applied.

The Department's quality assurance procedures are being revised to prevent similar errors in future. Meanwhile, work is in hand to re-issue corrected tables. This is a significant task involving the re-loading of central data bases which are subject to a number of timetable constraints. The intention is to provide revised figures by the Autumn.

Meanwhile, it is possible to clarify that underlying provision for resources available to control animal disease have risen in real terms over the period as follows:

£ million

1999–20002000–012001–022002–03
Cash OutturnCash OutturnProvisional Resource OutturnResource Budget
152183159206

These figures exclude expenditure incurred on foot and mouth disease, given this was funded centrally out of the Reserve. The drop seen in 2001–02 can be explained by the diversion of state veterinary staff to tackling foot and mouth disease.


Veterinary Laboratories Agency

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets she has set the Veterinary Laboratories Agency for 2002–03. [72214]

Mr. Morley: I have set the Veterinary Laboratories Agency the following performance targets for 2002–03. Quality of Service

1. To maintain current third party accreditations.

2. To achieve ISO9000 accreditation for the TSE Archive.

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Service Delivery

3. To achieve a minimum of 85 per cent of ROAME project milestones.

4. To meet 95 per cent of published turnaround time for export tests.

5. To set a baseline for the customer satisfaction survey. Efficiency

6. To achieve £500k savings on procurement spending.

7. To achieve a 3 per cent improvement of overheads against turnover using the baseline established in 2001–02. Financial Performance

8. To recover from Government Departments, Agencies and external customers, the full economic costs of the Agency's services.

Fisheries

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether Spain's Northern quota entitlements expire at the end of 2002 unless renewed, reduced or extended by agreement at the EC level prior to that date; and whether the same position will apply to Portugal. [67317]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 8 July 2002]: Yes. Our interpretation is that the special northern quota entitlements outlined in the Spanish Treaty of Accession will expire at the end of 2002, but that they will stand to be taken into account when determining future quota allocations in accordance with relative stability.

Small Farms

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been paid to small family farms in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) England in each of the last five years for environmental schemes. [70438]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 July 2002]: Average environmental scheme payments to small full-time farms in England as recorded by the Farm Business Survey are given in the table. Requests for information on payments in Scotland should be referred to the Scottish parliament. Requests for information on payments in Wales should be referred to the National Assembly for Wales.

Average environmental scheme* payments to full-time small farms in England (£ per farm)

1996–971997–981998–991999–20002000–01
England350450630990980

*Includes Environmentally sensitive area, organic farming, organic aid, countryside stewardship, woodland grant, farm woodland premium, nitrate sensitive area, moorland, habitat, countryside access and SSSI schemes

Biodiversity

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the (a) loss and (b) creation of UK

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biodiversity action plan habitat since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit as a result of (i) inland flood defence schemes and (ii) coastal flood defence schemes. [68099]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 10 July 2002]: In 1999, under High Level Target 9, DEFRA put in place a mechanism for operating authorities to report losses and gains of Biodiversity Action Plan habitats as a result of flood management works. The first annual report was produced for DEFRA in July 2001. This report indicates an overall gain in BAP habitats during the reporting year of 53.37 Ha of fresh water habitats (plus 200 metres of chalk river) and 112.84 Ha of coastal or intertidal habitat. Copies of the 2000–01 report are available from Flood Management Division of DEFRA and annual reports will be available in subsequent years.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much money her Department has successfully reclaimed from (a) the Duke of Richmond and (b) the Earl of March in respect of overpayments relating to the ESA scheme; and if she will make a statement. [69403]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 12 July 2002]: The Goodwood Estates Company Limited entered into an Environmentally Sensitive Areas agreement in 1992. The area involved covered some 400 hectares. Some of the land, comprising less than 10 per cent of this area, was subsequently used for other purposes. The department reclaimed the relevant proportion of ESA support from the company, plus interest.

Environment Agency

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to issue a revised management statement to the Environment Agency. [72083]

Mr. Meacher: I am please to inform the House that the Management Statement has been issued to the Environment Agency today. The statement sets out: the relationships between the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Welsh Assembly Government, exercising powers delegated by the National Assembly for Wales, and the Environment Agency; the framework within which the Agency will operate; and other guidance relevant to its functions. The Management Statement has been drawn up in consultation with the Agency and is being issued jointly with the Welsh Assembly Government.

A copy of the Statement has today been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many calls have been received by (a) Eaga Partnership and (b) TXU Warm Front Ltd. call centres in each (i) local authority area and (ii) Government office region about delays in installations under the home energy efficiency scheme in each quarter for which information is available; [43569]

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(2) what proportion of heating installations have been completed by (a) Eaga Partnership and (b) TXU Warm Front Ltd. in each (i) local authority and (ii) Government office region in (A) less than a month, (B) one to two months, (C) two to three months, (D) three to four months, (E) four to five months, (F) five to six months, (G) six to seven months and (H) over seven months. [43570]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 18 March 2002]: The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme has an overall target of improving 800,000 properties in the period 2000–04. Between June 2000 and March 2002, in excess of 113,000 heating measures were installed.

The remaining information requested is not available without incurring disproportionate costs. But I have previously written to the hon. Member with information regarding measures installed under the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme. A copy of the letter and the data has been placed in the library of the House.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the (a) types and (b) numbers of energy efficiency and conservation measures installed by (i) Eaga Partnership and (ii) TXU Warm Front Ltd in each (A) local authority and (B) Government office region in each of the last four quarters for which information is available. [43572]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 18 March 2002]: The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme has an overall target of improving 800,000 properties in the period 2000–04. Between June 2000 and March 2002 almost 998,000 measures were installed under the scheme.

To provide the data in the form requested would incur disproportionate costs. But I have previously written to the hon. Member with information regarding measures installed under the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme. A copy of the letter and the data has been placed in the library of the House.


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