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12 Dec 2002 : Column 436W—continued

English Nature

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice her Department has issued to English Nature regarding environmental assessments necessary under the Conservation Regulations 1994 for the extraction of marl in the Fal and Helford Candidate Special Area of Conservation. [86278]

Mr. Morley: I believe my hon. Friend is referring to Maerl.

Comments on the scope and process by which English Nature could offer management scheme advice was given in writing on 25 October 2000. No further advice has been issued. In the first instance it is the responsibility of competent authorities, such as the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, to satisfy themselves that they are exercising their functions in compliance with the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994.

Environment Agency

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total budget of the Environment Agency is in 2002–03; and how this budget has changed since 1998–99. [86985]

Mr. Meacher: The Environment Agency's planned expenditure for 2002–03 totals #758.212 million—an increase of #165.211 million over the Agency's expenditure in 1998–99.

Farm Businesses

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) farms and (b) farmers were in business in each region in each year since 1990. [85351]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 December 2002]: The number of (a) holdings and (b) farmers by region in England 1990, 1995–2001. Data for 1991–94 is currently not available by Government office region.

Government office region1990199519961997
North-east region
Total holdings5,2435,2025,2005,178
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses7,8957,7457,7527,768
North-west region, inc. Merseyside
Total holdings18,60317,66517,53317,397
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses27,59826,46126,41226,199
Yorkshire and Humberside region
Total holdings16,78216,19516,09416,042
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses24,79023,89623,77823,715
East Midlands region
Total holdings16,62416,25616,05215,799
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses24,03223,40623,26223,058
West Midlands region
Total holdings19,23318,76118,84718,871
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses27,33626,75126,97126,912
East of England region
Total holdings18,65117,71617,57417,326
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses26,35324,88324,67624,254
Greater London
Total holdings478431418400
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses658622593580
South-east region
Total holdings19,50218,46418,28618,161
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses25,71724,39524,21424,050
South-west region
Total holdings35,53735,41935,63435,603
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses50,01349,89150,14949,885

12 Dec 2002 : Column 437W

Government office region1998199920002001
England
Total holdings150,653146,109145,638144,777
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses214,392208,050207,807206,421
North-east region
Total holdings5,1445,2805,6746,073
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses7,8297,7798,1058,598
North-west region, inc. Merseyside
Total holdings17,37417,60920,49221,048
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses26,05925,54627,53828,682
Yorkshire and Humberside region
Total holdings15,99616,20418,53019,661
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses23,77423,28925,69527,280
East Midlands region
Total holdings15,76015,71517,75419,095
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses22,63121,92523,83925,433
West Midlands region
Total holdings18,90319,16122,28123,247
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses26,79626,31229,52431,076
East of England region
Total holdings17,22417,06419,35721,054
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses23,84422,93425,87027,325
Greater London
Total holdings399402424434
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses538491520543
South-east region
Total holdings18,64518,92120,93722,461
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses23,68323,37625,64227,673
South-west region
Total holdings35,64836,86442,40644,861
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses49,38348,65154,19857,218
England
Total holdings145,093147,220167,855177,934
Farmers, partners, directors and spouses204,537200,303220,931233,828

Notes:

1. Figures for 2000 and 2001 include minor holdings.

2. Spouses are included only if working on the holdings.

3. Between 2000 and 2001 a register improvement exercise took place which resulted in the addition of holdings not previously included in the Census. An increase in the number of holdings was also seen after the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.

Source:

June Agricultural and Horticultural Census.


12 Dec 2002 : Column 439W

Farmers

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 20 November 2002, Official Report, column 159W, on farmers, what the average age of farmers was in (a) 1990, (b) 1993, (c) 1995, (d) 1997 and (e) 2000 broken down by (i) sex, (ii) whether they were owners or tenants and (iii) whether they were full or part time. [85390]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 December 2002]: Pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Gentleman on 20 November, further information on the average age of farmers in England, broken down by the categories requested, is given in the table.

19901993199519972000
England
Gender
Male5353545354
Female5554555455
Land tenure
Own all land5354555455
Rent all land5252525252
Part owned/part rented5353545353
Working time
Full-time5353535353
Part-time5353545354

Source:

EC Farm Structure Surveys.


Fisheries

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the aquis communautaire on fisheries will be fully implemented by Poland on the first day of her accession to the European Union. [85511]

Mr. Morley: Negotiation of the Fisheries Chapter was provisionally closed with Poland in June 2002. In the negotiations Poland fully accepted, and undertook to implement by the date of accession, the aquis communautaire for fisheries. Agreement on access to resources and catch quotas for all candidates is currently under discussion.

Flood Cover

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his answer of 3 December 2002, Ref: 84186, on flood cover, what actions she is taking to ensure that those homes who will not get continued provision of flood insurance get cover; and how many homes the Association of British Insurers has told the Government will not continue to be provided with flood insurance. [85969]

Mr. Morley: The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have advised us that, for those homes unprotected to their minimum standard and unlikely to be so by 2007, they will consider each case on an individual basis using their best efforts to provide some form of cover. The ABI has not given the Government any specific figures relating to numbers of homes which will not continue to be provided with flood insurance.

12 Dec 2002 : Column 440W

Flood Defence Committees

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers the Flood Defence Committee has to add items to the budget of the Environment Agency. [86222]

Mr. Morley: The Flood Defence Committees' budgets are separately identified within the overall budget of the Environment Agency. Each Committee sets its own budget for the year based on its programme of works, and contributes towards the general cost of running the Environment Agency's Flood Defence service.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many flood defence committees there are in England and Wales. [86219]

Mr. Morley: There are nine Regional Flood Defence Committees in England and one in Wales. There are statutory Local Flood Defence Committees in Anglian, Southern and Wessex Regions and in Wales. In the North West region there are three non-statutory advisory committees.

All committees are listed below:





















Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidelines have been set for appointments by her to flood defence committees; and how many on the committees she appoints. [86223]

Mr. Morley: My right hon. Friend appoints the Chairman and a number of members to each of the English Regional Flood Defence Committees (RFDCs). Sections 15–19 of, and Schedules 4 and 5 to, the

12 Dec 2002 : Column 441W

Environment Act 1995 set out the statutory basis for these appointments and the rules concerning composition of the committees.

RFDCs vary in size but always contain a bare majority of persons appointed by local authorities. The Environment Agency appoints two members and my right hon. Friend appoints the Chairman and the remaining members one of whom is normally appointed to represent environmental and conservation interests. When making these appointments, my right hon. Friend adheres to guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

My right hon. Friend does not make appointments to Local Flood Defence Committees. The Chair is appointed from among the RFDC members; other members are appointed by the RFDC and constituent local authorities again to form a bare majority.

The composition of each RFDC is as follows:






































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