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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to receive the report of the Risk Assessment Group which she established to study illegal meat imports. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 28 October 2002]: The risk assessment is being carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). The work commenced in March 2002 and we expect the report to be published later this year.
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the consequences for the Government's policy on bio-fuels of the collapse of ARBRE Energy. 
Margaret Beckett: The Government take the future of energy from biomass very seriously and considers that energy crops have the potential to make a significant contribution to renewable energy and climate change targets. We are providing support to develop the sector through the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme and the Energy Crops Scheme. The funding available from the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme could deliver about 100MW of generating capacity. Discussions are continuing on the future of ARBRE and there are a number of lessons from the project that can be applied to future high efficiency biomass plants. The project has shown that short rotation coppice can be established and grown at the scale required to form an important element of the fuel supply. Useful information has been learned on improving yields, the use of varieties to minimise pest and disease impact and on harvesting technology.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about increasing the tax incentives offered to producers of bio-fuels; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 4 November 2002]: I am in regular contact with Treasury Ministers to discuss a whole range of matters related to energy and environmental policy. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of matters that affect the business of the Department. As with all tax matters, decisions on tax incentives rest with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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Energy in respect of the Eggborough Power Station and (b) the impact on those farm businesses of moves by her Department to recover grants paid. 
Margaret Beckett: Under the Energy Crops Scheme and the Woodland Grant Scheme planting grants are payable to growers. In the case of crops to provide fuel for the ARBRE power station growers assigned the payments to ARBRE Energy and this Department and the Forestry Commission were asked to make the payments to the third party. 12 growers qualified for grants to plant crops to provide fuel for ARBRE under the Energy Crops Scheme. A further 46 growers qualified for grants under the Woodland Grants Scheme. The Energy Crops Scheme requires that crops are used for the production of energy but it is too early to consider any recovery of grant as discussions are continuing on the future of ARBRE. Should it become necessary the Department will work closely with growers to access one of the alternative energy markets.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much money her Department has paid in grants, and under which schemes, to ARBRE Energy in respect of the wood-burning power station at Eggborough, Selby. 
A further #97,090 remains payable to Arbre Energy under assignments made by growers. Following the liquidation, we were asked to delay these two payments until the growers in question had opportunity to discuss cancellation of the assignments with the liquidator. I hope that this will be resolved shortly.
The Local Government Association produced a report which was presented to the fly tipping forum at the beginning of 2002. This paper was based on a survey of local authorities and provided information on levels of fly tipping within each local authority and the enforcement action taken.
The paper also outlined a number of suggestions for increasing local authorities' powers in relation to waste management and fly tipping. As a result, the Government will be amending shortly the duty of care legislation to allow local authorities to be able to serve notice on businesses which will require them to supply
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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 644W, on the A404, if she will place in the Library copies of the advice received from lawyers; and if she will make a statement on the footpath Bisham 9. 
Alun Michael: We have been continuing correspondence with Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council and the Ramblers Association about the proposed diversion of footpath Bisham No. 9. On the information now before me, I am satisfied that the drafting of the necessary orders are justified. These orders will be published shortly.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will press for a review of the Protected Designation of Origin procedure affecting non-generic products; and if she will make a statement on the recent decision in respect of feta cheese. 
Mr. Morley: The UK has consistently opposed the registration of feta cheese as an EU protected food name on the grounds that we believed that the name ''feta'' had become a generic product and so not eligible for protection. However, in the absence of a contrary decision by the Council, feta was registered by the Commission as a protected food name on 15 October. While disappointed with this particular outcome, we are satisfied in general with the protected food name scheme and the procedures for registration of products. The scheme was highlighted by the Curry Commission Report on the Future of Farming Food as being a useful opportunity for UK producers to protect the character of their product and secure a premium price for it.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in terms of how much paperwork is involved in the agri-scheme; how easy it will be to access, what account the scheme will take of work already done; how it will be funded; and how it will be policed. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 4 November 2002]: Defra is working with stakeholders on a fundamental review of agri-environment schemes. A first round of public consultation was held earlier this year and a second round of consultation will begin shortly. A key objective of the review is to streamline the administration of the schemes, making full use of modern technology.
One strand of the review is based on the recommendation by the Policy Commission on the Future of Food and Farming that the current schemes should be complemented by a new, simple entry-level scheme, open to as many farms in England as possible. Defra is designing a pilot for such a scheme which will be launched in four areas next year. The scheme would
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reward positive management of existing features as well as enhancement. Subject to success of the pilot, it is hoped that the new scheme could be rolled out nationally in 2005.
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