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20 Nov 2002 : Column 166Wcontinued
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on methods used by her Department to measure rural regeneration in the United Kingdom. 
Alun Michael: The Government will be breaking new ground by measuring rural regeneration through its impact on rural productivity as part of the new rural economy Public Service Agreement target which commits Defra in conjunction with other Government Departments to Xreducing the gap in productivity between the less well performing quartile of rural areas and the English median by 2006." As GDP datatypically used in measuring productivityis not available at small area level my officials have developed a proxy productivity measure of the aggregate earnings of taxpayers of working age divided by the number of people of working age. A set of districts, facing problems of lower productivity, will be used to track change. This will be supplemented by other related indicators, such as business start-ups.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she takes to ensure each batch of sewage sludge spread on agricultural land is not unacceptably contaminated by heavy metals. 
Mr. Morley: The Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989 (SI 1263), as amended in 1990 (SI 880), impose controls on the application of sewage sludge to agricultural land, including statutory limits on the amount of heavy metals that can be added to the soil and on the concentration of heavy metals in the soil after
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Mr. Morley: The table shows, by Environment Agency region, the average fine for offences prosecuted in 200102 under Section 85 of the Water Resources Act 1991 involving all types of agricultural pollution including slurry pollution.
Enhancement to the agency's national enforcement database planned for the first quarter of 2003 will allow provision of information on specific pollutants such as slurry, but information is not currently held at this level of detail.
|Region||Average fine (#)|
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to amend the disciplinary process for veterinary surgeons in the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (VSA) responsibility for disciplining members of the veterinary profession in the UK falls to the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. There are no plans to change this procedure at this time.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much water was estimated to be lost from company supply pipes, broken down by each water supplier, in (a) 2001, (b) 1997 and (c) 1992. 
Mr. Morley: Water company leakage data is published annually by the Director General of Water Services in the 'Security of supply, leakage and the efficient use of water' reports. The reported total leakage
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figures, which include companies' distribution losses and customers' supply pipe losses, for 199293, 199798 and 200102 (in Megalitres/day) were as follows:
|Water and Sewerage Companies|
|Dwr Cymru (Welsh)||383||329||245|
|Water only companies|
|Bournemouth and West Hants||27||26||22|
|Essex and Suffolk||96||82||73|
|Sutton and East Surrey||35||26||24|
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reason bookmakers are required by the Horse Race Betting Levy Board to have their accounts signed by a registered auditor, where their turnover is between #250,000 and #1 million. 
Mr. Caborn: The Levy Board requires bookmakers to have their annual declaration for 2001/02 signed by a registered auditor where their horserace betting turnover exceeds #275,000. The Board relies upon the auditor's certification as confirmation of its accuracy. The turnover figure of #275,000 equates to approximately #5,300 per week, above which a betting shop business is deemed to be sufficiently substantial to require audit confirmation.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many bookmakers registered with the Horse Race Betting Levy Board have recorded turnovers of (a) less than #250,000, (b) #250,000 to #1 million and (c) above #1 million in 200102. 
|Turnover band||Number of bookmakers|
|(a) Less than #250,000||338|
|(b) #250,000 to #1,000,000||826|
|(c) Above #1,000,000||239|
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Dr. Howells: It is the responsibility of the BBC governors to ensure that the Corporation's public service remit, as set out in the charter and agreement, is delivered across the full range of BBC public services.
Dr. Howells: The Government's policy is that the television licence fee will remain the main source of BBC funding at least until the expiry of the BBC's current Royal Charter at the end of 2006. Future funding arrangements will need to be considered as part of the Charter review process, which will commence in 2004.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when she intends to publish the review of BBC News 24 conducted by Mr. Richard Lambert; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many car parking spaces are available to (a) employees of her Department and (b) visitors to her Department within the proposed central London road user charging zone. 
Dr. Howells: [holding answer Tuesday 19 November 2002]: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has four offices within the central London charging zone with accommodation for over four hundred staff. There are a total of 13 parking spaces available to the Department, five of which are reserved for official cars and a further space reserved for a member of staff with a disability. The remaining seven spaces are available for booking by staff on a day to day basis where a need can be shown and for visitors and contractor's vehicles. One of those spaces is being converted for cycle storage by the installation of fixed cycle racks; another of the seven spaces is regularly used for the parking of three motorcycle and scooters.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the policy is of her Department in relation to the reimbursement of Central London road user charges incurred by its employees. 
Dr. Howells: [holding answer Tuesday 19 November 2002]:It is general departmental travel planning policy that staff should not be encouraged to use cars to commute to and from work. Also, the cost of daily travel between home and the permanent place of work lies with staff, not the employer. However, staff on
20 Nov 2002 : Column 170W
official business who are required to drive their own vehicles, or hire vehicles, within the charging zone will be reimbursed.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the estimated cost is to her Department of the central London road user charging scheme for (a) 17th February 2003 to 31st March 2003, and (b) 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004. 
Dr. Howells: [holding answer 19 November 2002]:Any additional costs to my Department as a result of the congestion-charging scheme will be just one element within wider costs, which have to be met from budgets for official travelling and other costs.
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