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5 Nov 2002 : Column 230Wcontinued
Mr. Morley: Decisions about current and future programmes for tackling domestic energy efficiency, including any future strategy, will be covered in the Energy White Paper, which the Government aims to publish around the turn of the year.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what improvement in energy efficiency in domestic properties by 2010 she expects to result from local authorities' activities under the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995; what the predictions were in the UK Climate Change Strategy; and if she will make a statement on how the discrepancies will be addressed. 
Mr. Morley: Circular 2/96 indicated that the Secretary of State expected energy conservation authorities' reports to show a strategy for making at least substantial progress towards a 30 per cent. improvement over a 10-year period. Improvement in the first six years is just over 8 per cent.. It is therefore clear that authorities are not going to make the improvements they originally hoped for. Decisions about the future role of local authorities in local energy efficiency are expected to be covered in the Energy White Paper, which the Government aims to publish around the turn of the year.
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characteristics, and (d) amount received of those households who have qualified for grants under the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (i) since it began operating and (ii) allocated for future periods; 
Mr. Morley: The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme is now marketed as The Warm Front Team, and is the Government's main programme for tackling fuel poverty in the private sector in England. The Scheme was launched in June 2000 and by June 2002 over 400,000 households had received assistance and some #200 million had been spent on installing measures. Warm Front provides insulation and heating measures depending upon the needs of the householder and the property type.
The Scheme Managers provide, on an annual basis, information on the number, location and measures installed under the scheme to local authorities. However, socio-economic information is not colleted. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) on 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 275W. Updated information is not available and could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.
Clients not eligible for assistance are not recorded. The numbers are likely to be significant and additional costs would be incurred in keying and maintaining the two Scheme Managers' databases. As an indication of scale, it is estimated that the two call centres handle in the region of 20,000 calls per week in the winter.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the procedures adopted by the EU if spending on agriculture in any year appears to be likely to exceed the budgetary estimates. 
Mr. Morley: Heading 1 of the annual EC budget sets out expenditure appropriations for spending on the Common Agricultural Policy by budget line. In cases where expenditure for any line looked likely to exceed the appropriation the European Commission would be able to propose an in year transfer from another line within the heading. In the event of unavoidable, exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, the Commission may propose during the year that the budget be amended and submit a preliminary draft amending budget to the Council and the European Parliament. The Commission, Council and European Parliament would remain bound by the expenditure ceilings set down in the Financial Perspective and inter-institutional agreement on budget discipline.
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Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for the disposal of fallen stock after April 2003; and if she will make available a free service of collection and disposal. 
Mr. Morley: Since April 2002, the Government have been holding discussions with livestock and disposal industry stakeholders with the aim of developing a national fallen stock disposal scheme. At a stakeholder meeting on 18 September the collection and disposal industries submitted a joint proposal for a National Fallen Stock collection and disposal scheme. I intend to meet the industry to discuss their proposal. However, it is for the livestock industry, like other industries, to pay for the disposal of its waste.
(20) The figures for June 2000 and 2001 are not directly comparable. Between 2000 and 2001 a review of temporary holdings took place, which resulted in the addition of holdings not previously included in the census. If these holdings had not been included in June 2001 the total agricultural labour force would have been recorded as 368.3 (thousands).
1. Includes estimates for minor holdings.
2. The total labour force is that employed on registered agricultural holdings.
3. The estimates include employees, farmers, partners, directors and their spouses where the spouse works on the holding.
4. Estimates have been made for non-respondents
5. Figures exclude school children but include trainees employed under an official youth training scheme and paid at Agricultural Wages Board rates or above.
6. In 1998, fundamental changes were introduced to the labour questions on the June Agricultural and Horticultural Census in England. It appears that this change in questions may have led to the recording of additional Labour who were not previously included in the returns. We therefore advise caution when comparing the 1998 results with previous years.
June Agricultural and Horticultural Census
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encouragement the Government are giving to young people to enter farming; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: One of the key tasks of Defra is to work with all concerned to develop an economically viable, sustainable, diverse and dynamic farming industry. Providing such an economic framework is the best way of encouraging young people to enter farming. My Department is preparing a response to the recommendations of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food; including its recommendations on entry into farming, and on ensuring new entrants have the right skills. An announcement will be made in due course.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with EU Farm Ministers about capping; what steps she is taking to increase the capping levels for UK farms; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: We have made our position on capping of direct payments clear whenever this has been discussed at the Agriculture Council or at meetings of officials preparing for the council. We oppose capping of these payments in principle and have not taken any steps to modify the proposal by altering the levels at which capping would apply.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions her Department has had with (a) the European Commission, (b) the French Government and (c) other EU member states regarding the possible impact of (i) pair trawling for bass and (ii) industrial fishing methods upon the wider marine environment and the conservation of cetaceans. 
Mr. Morley: Commission proposals for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy include a commitment to bring forward proposals by the end of 2002 to reduce cetacean bycatch and to commission from ICES a study of the impact of industrial fishing on the wider marine environment. These are plans which the UK supports and will be looking to drive forward when they come up for substantive discussion in the CFP review process. I have written to Commissioner Fischler and to the French Minister pressing the need for action in relation to cetacean bycatch, particularly in the bass fishery: the researchers contracted by Defra to trial measures to reduce cetacean bycatch have been meeting contacts from France and elsewhere to secure wider commitment to this work.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the total allowable catch of cod available for each of the fisheries management areas for which cod quotas apply has been caught by each of the member states entitled to catch cod around the seas of the United
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Kingdom (a) in each of the last five years for which figures are available and (b) so far this catching year. 
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