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31 Oct 2002 : Column 924Wcontinued
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the consultation paper on reforming the legislative framework for providing and maintaining public spaces. 
Alun Michael: I am today publishing XLiving PlacesPowers, Rights, Responsibilities", the Government's consultation paper on options for reforming the way statutory powers, duties and guidance help the relevant service providers to improve our public spaces and the local environment. The paper is being presented at the urban summit to accompany a report on public spaces being published by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister. The consultation paper concerns several Government departments and I look forward to feedback from a broad range of groups. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the 200102 annual report of the rural payments agency. 
Alun Michael: The 200102 annual report and accounts for the rural payments agency were laid before Parliament today. Copies are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what sums she makes available to provide for street cleaners; and what measures she can take if a local authority fails to keep its area clean for the public. 
Alun Michael: A number of large mainstream budgets directly affect the safety and cleanliness of local neighbourhoods. Additional investment in real terms for these areas was announced in Spending Review 2002 covering the years 200306. General revenue grant to local authorities is up by an average of 3.9 per cent a year after inflation. The Government's general revenue provision for most aspects of public space, including
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provision for street cleaners, is allocated via the Environment, Protective and Cultural Services grant block, which is up 1.3 per cent. after inflation.A litter abatement order may be applied for if a local authority does not carry out its statutory duty to keep its land free of litter and debris, so far is practicable. This is done through the Magistrates' Court. If successful in obtaining the order it means that the offending authority must clean the area.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding is available for the voluntary sector in terms of (a) grants and (b) core-funding by her Department; and how much of that money has been (i) applied for and (ii) spent in (A) 200001, (B) 200102 and (C) 200203 to date. 
Alun Michael: Because of departmental changes in June 2001, the information is not readily available in the form requested. Information is being collated and I will write to the hon. Member within the next week.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to direct grant monies towards wildlife-friendly agriculture; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Government are committed to improving standards of environmental protection in agriculture, and are pressing for a shift in Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) expenditure from production-linked payments towards rural development and agri-environment measures.
In 2001, the Government introduced modulation, re-directing a proportion of CAP payments into schemes such as the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Environmentally Sensitive Areas, both of which aim to safeguard and enhance wildlife habitats.
These schemes form part of the England Rural Development Programme, under which #1.6 billion will be invested in the countryside between 2000 and 2006, including #1 billion on agri-environment measures. The Government have committed an additional #75 million to introduce a new entry-level agri-environment scheme in 2005, following successful pilots. This scheme will be available to as many farms as possible.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the latest estimate is of how much of Afghanistan's poppy fields have been destroyed; and what the UK is doing to help the Afghanistan Government combat the production of opium; 
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(3) what his latest estimate is of how much of Afghanistan's poppy fields have been destroyed in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Afghan Government estimate their eradication programme destroyed approximately 17,300 hectares of the 2002 opium poppy crop. The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention estimates that the size of the 2002 crop was 74,000 hectares.
The UK is co-ordinating international anti-narcotics assistance to Afghanistan. In consultation with the Afghan Government, other donors and international (especially UN) agencies, the UK has developed a strategy for the long term elimination of drugs from Afghanistan. It identifies four key areas where the international community should focus its support: providing alternative livelihoods for opium poppy farmers; improving Afghan drug law enforcement capacity; building up the capacity of Afghan drug control institutions; and reducing drug demand in Afghanistan.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assistance the Government has given to each EU applicant country in terms of bilateral aid. 
Mr. MacShane: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given him by my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Europe on 21 June 2002, Official Report, column 636W. The UK pays 19.6 per cent. of EU pre-accession assistance.Bilateral assistance is ongoing and comes from a number of areas. DFID provides significant assistance through its bilateral programme. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides assistance to applicant countries through its bilateral action plans, command programme budget allowances and through functional departments (e.g global conflict prevention fund).
Mr Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department was informed that the Government of Singapore had made a statement on responsibility for the attempted attack on the British High Commission in that country in December 2001; what assessment his Department made of that statement; what consequent threat assessment his Department has made; what action was taken and on what date; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: The Government of Singapore informed us in mid-December 2001 of a possible threat to our High Commission in Singapore. The High Commission raised its level of security. The Government of Singapore subsequently announced on 6 January 2002 the detention of thirteen people during December 2001 in connection with plans to mount terrorist attacks against a range of targets in that country.
As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said on 15 October 2002, Official Report, column 178, prior to 11 September 2001, and especially afterwards, we identified
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South East Asia as an area with a real and present threat from groups linked to al-Qaeda. The FCO's travel advice to the region takes account of this threat.
On 28 October 2002 my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary laid before this House the Statutory Instrument for the proscription of Jemaah Islamiyah in the UK. This issue was debated by both Houses of Parliament on 30 October 2002 and the Order will now come into force on 1 November 2002.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what plans he has to raise the case of Catherine Meyer in an international forum; 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given him by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 28 October 2002, Official Report, column 554.
Mr. Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are being taken to reconcile the CAP with the coming enlargement of the EU. 
Mr. MacShane: At the Brussels European Council on 24 October 2002, the EU agreed to phase in direct payments for the new member states over nine years (20042013). To help limit the cost of extending CAP to the new member states, the EU also agreed to put a ceiling on traditional CAP expenditure between 2007 and 2013 based on its 2006 levels. This is without prejudice to possible CAP reform in the context of the mid term review and the Doha development round, which the Government strongly advocates.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts concerning the Common Agricultural Policy. 
Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with EU colleagues on a number of occasions over the last few weeks. As the Prime Minister made clear to the House on 28 October, the Government remain firmly committed to a thorough reform of the CAP, consistent with the commitments that we and our EU partners made at the Doha WTO Ministerial and WSSD in Johannesburg. The conclusions of the Brussels European Council recall those commitments made at Doha.
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