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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 21 October 2002


Central Science Laboratory

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1) what was her Department's (a) planned and (b) actual expenditure on services from the Central Science Laboratory in 2001–02; [74700]

Margaret Beckett: The Central Science Laboratory provides a wide variety of primarily scientific services connected with agriculture, food and the countryside to my Department and other customers. Those services are provided on the basis of contracts for specific projects and expenditure by the Department on the Central Science Laboratory will be dependent on the totality of those contracts from individual departmental customers.

2001–02 was not a typical year since the Foot and Mouth outbreak required the Department to make exceptional calls on Central Science Laboratory staff and facilities.

The net planned income from Defra for 2001–02 was #25,621m, the actual income was #30,560m. The difference is largely accounted for by income on FMD activity of #3.8m.

The net income derived by Central Science Laboratory in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02 is shown in the table below:

Other Government Departments930390
Levy Bodies677563
Private Sector*4,7536,207


* includes income from the EU.

Fuller information is available in the Central Science Laboratory's Annual Report and Accounts available on their website at: www.csl.gov.uk/news/publication/

Central Science Laboratory's planned income from its departmental customers for the current financial year is expected to total #27,919m.

CSL current forecast income for the next three financial years is as follows:

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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to spend the money raised by fining polluters on environmental improvements. [75144]

Alun Michael: Pollution is tightly regulated under a range of legislation. For example, industrial activities with a significant polluting potential must prevent or minimise emissions by applying the ''Best Available Techniques'', in accordance with the new Pollution Prevention and Control regime (The Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000). Where polluters are prosecuted in the Courts, any fines that might be imposed are paid to the Exchequer. These payments are not ring-fenced for environmental improvement purposes but imposed by the Courts as a penalty. The Courts can also order payment of regulators' costs.

As regards the Pollution Prevention and Control regime, in line with the ''polluter pays'' principle, polluting companies are required to meet the cost of any necessary improvements and fees in relation to the cost of regulation. There is also a provision under the Pollution Prevention and Control legislation enabling regulators, in certain circumstances, to require operators to prevent or remedy the effects of pollution at their own expense and to recover the costs where the regulator itself arranges for the work to be done.


Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria are used by her Department to determine entitlement to new investment to protect residential areas at risk from flooding. [75896]

Mr. Morley: This Department provides funding to local operating authorities for new and improved flood and coastal defences that are technically sound, economically worthwhile and environmentally acceptable, and also achieve an appropriate priority score. The priority score system has been revised and, for schemes starting after April 2003, will be based on three elements—economic, people issues and environmental protection and enhancement.

Rural Areas

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the (a) Parish Plan scheme, (b) Community Services Grant

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and (c) Parish Transport Grant was (i) bid for and (ii) spent in (A) 2001–02 and (B) 2002–03 to date broken down by organisation. [75182]

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Alun Michael: I refer the hon. Member to the figures below. Annual figures for the amount of money bid for are not currently available. Cumulative figures for the whole programme period, split by organisation, have been given.

Funds Spent

SchemeOrganisationBid 01/03 (to Oct 1)Spent 01/02Spent 02/03 (to Oct 1)
Parish PlansParish & Town Councils#0.92m#0.39m#0.53m
Community Service GrantCommercial/Retail#2.09m#1.02m#0.87m
Parish Transport GrantParish and Town Councils#0.97m#0.35m#0.6m


(1) ''Other'' includes private individuals, the voluntary sector and not-for-profit groups.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent on supporting rural sub-post offices broken down by county since September 2001. [75187]

Alun Michael: The Department for Trade and Industry established a #2 million fund in November 2001 of which #822,337 has been approved up to 30 September 2002. Of this #528,991 has been paid out. The breakdown of funds by English county and devolved administration is:

CountyMoney ApprovedMoney Paid Out
County Durham#2115#1,998
East Sussex#3,663#3,663
North Yorkshire#394#394
Tyne and Wear#9,864#0
West Midlands#1613#1,613
Northern Ireland#43,822#33,575

Since April 2001 the Vital Villages programme has supported 35 schemes, which included support for rural post offices. Figures broken down by county are not available but #373,211 has been spent on these schemes in total.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 6 February 2002, Official Report, column 987W, on the Rural White Paper, what information on expenditure and assistance has since been carried out by her Department on market towns; and if she will publish it. [75837]

Alun Michael: Expenditure on market towns in 2001–02 is estimated at some #2.5m by the Regional Development Agencies and some #2.5m by the Countryside Agency. Information for the current financial year is not yet available but as most towns have now completed their action plans this should result in a substantial increase in project expenditure by RDAs and other partners.

Tenant Farmers (Right to Buy)

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to introduce a right-to-buy scheme for tenant farmers. [75021]

Alun Michael: The Government has re-established the Tenancy Reform Industry Group to help it take forward the recommendations on agricultural tenancy issues made by the Policy Commission on Food and Farming and in the report produced by Plymouth University on the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995. The group is expected to hold its first meeting shortly. I can confirm that the Government has no plans at present to introduce a right-to-buy scheme for tenant farmers in England and Wales.

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