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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the regulatory burdens that would arise from the implementation of European Commission Draft Instrument 7396/02, dated 21 March 2002, concerning the control of high-activity sealed sources; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the regulatory impact assessment in the Library. 
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discussion in Council working group. The department is currently carrying out an initial Regulatory Impact Assessment to gauge the potential costs and benefits of implementing the current draft of the Directive. This is expected to be ready in the autumn and will be provided to the European Scrutiny Committee. I shall also place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Morley: Horticulture Research International (HRI) is undergoing a Quinquennial Review of its performance, organisational status and relationship with Defra. The Review Team's report was published on 23 September. Stakeholders have been invited to provide comments on the report by 18 November before Ministers take final decisions about HRI's future, including its funding arrangements. These decisions will also be informed by further analysis of the financial implications of implementing the Review Team's recommendations.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are being taken to ensure that the Countryside Agency's rural proofing checklist (a) is available to Government Departments and (b) informs policy decisions. 
Alun Michael: The Countryside Agency's rural proofing checklist was launched in April 2001. At the time it was published in hard copy as well as published on the Countryside Agency's website. Copies were circulated round all Government departments, and promoted throughout departments by the Countryside Agency and staff in departments themselves. This is an ongoing process, with continuing liaison between Government departments and both the Countryside Agency and the Department. The Countryside Agency is currently revising the checklist and this will be published shortly, with a further promotion across Government.
The ongoing process of monitoring and evaluation that leads to the publication of the Countryside Agency's annual reports on rural proofing is the principal way to ensure that the checklist is used to inform policy decisions, and leads to rural solutions and outcomes. The continuing close liaison mentioned above also keeps the checklist at the front of policy makers minds, and the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Rural Renewal discusses such issues regularly.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 23 July 2002, ref 70633, if she has applied to the European Court to intervene in the case. 
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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has (a) received from and (b) made to the NFU; what was discussed; and when the next meeting will take place. 
(3) when she will outline the new strategy for sustainable food and farming in England; 
(4) what specific reforms in line with the Curry report she estimates will be made possible by the Comprehensive Spending Review. 
Mr. Morley: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 26 March a series of early actions as a first step towards implementing the Policy Commission's report. A new Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food in England will be launched in the autumn. This will incorporate a response to all of the Policy Commission's recommendations and include details of a range of policy measures.
The recent Spending Review settlement demonstrates the Government's commitment to delivering on the vision identified in the report, providing the resources to address the Commission's core recommendations, including those aimed at improving the competitiveness of farming and the food chain and enhancing the ability of farming to deliver environmental benefits.
From our increased post-Spending Review budget of around #2.8bn p.a., more than #500m will be made available for investment in sustainable farming and food over the three years of the Spending Review. This includes an increase of #200m in 200506, which will allow full roll-out of an entry-level agri-environment scheme in that year, following successful pilots.
Mr. Morley: The dairy sector is supported at a European level by the Common Organisation of the Market for Milk and Milk Products. Recognising the difficulties caused for many dairy farmers by the current low price of milk, the Government has worked within this framework to back measures taken in Brussels to support EU Markets and encourage exports.
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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the negotiations between the Government and outside contractors regarding the backlog of cattle TB testing. 
Mr. Morley: TB testing is carried out by the State Veterinary Service (including Local Veterinary Inspectors); there are no plans to change these arrangements. Contractors are being employed to help with the survey of badgers killed in road traffic accidents and negotiations are continuing with contractors over reducing the backlog in ''TB99'' epidemiological questionnaires.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to pay more than market value for cattle compulsorily slaughtered under TB control measures. 
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what cost analysis has been undertaken to assess how much the delays in testing for Bovine TB have cost the farming industry. 
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food; and what progress they have made since their formation. 
Mr. Morley: The Policy Commisison on the Future of Farming and Food was set up in August 2001 to advise the Government on the creation of a sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sector in England. The Policy Commission presented its report to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State in January 2002, after which its work ceased. The Government welcomed the report, supported its broad analysis and conclusions and will publish a response in Autumn in the context of a new strategy for sustainable farming and food.
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eligibility requirements are of the Agricultural Development Scheme; and what will be the number and value of the grants distributed. 
Mr. Morley: The eligiblity criteria are set out in the guidance notes for the scheme. In summary, projects must concern the organisation, promotion, encouragement, development, co-ordination or facilitation of the marketing of produce and not be eligible for aid under another grant scheme. Only non-capital expenditure can be grant aided, up to a maximum grant of #0.5m and a maximum grant rate of 50 per cent. Grant can only be awarded for ''additional'' activities (i.e. the applicant must demonstrate that the project would not take place without grantor would only proceed on a significantly smaller of slower scale).
The number and value of grants will be decided in the light of the quality of applications received and the resources available, within the overall limits on individual projects summarised above. The resources available will be determined as part of our planned strategy for sustainable food and farming.
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