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The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Ms Rosie Winterton): I will tomorrow announce the Government's plans for implementing the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Goodwin v The United Kingdom and XI" v The United Kingdom, following collective Ministerial consideration of the recommendations received from the Interdepartmental Working Group on Transsexual People. Copies of the announcement will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. The announcement will also be made available on the LCD website at www.lcd.gov.uk.
The review will be led by the Department for Work and Pensions, but will have the close involvement of a number of other Government Departments including HM Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Lord Chancellor's Department. It will report to Ministers in Spring 2003.
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Written contributions to the work of the review are welcomed. Any such contributions should be sent to the ELCI REVIEW TEAM at the Department for Work and Pensions, The Adelphi, Level 2, 111 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HT by Monday 17 February 2003. I have arranged for further details to be made available on the Department of Work and Pensions web site at: www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/2002/index.htm.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Malcolm Wicks): The 89th Session of the International Labour Conference adopted a new Convention 184 on Safety and Health in Agriculture and a Recommendation 192 supplementing the Convention. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has today laid before Parliament a White Paper entitled 'International Labour Conference' (Cm 5703), copies of which have been placed in the Library.
Full Representatives David Atkinson Esq MP Malcolm Bruce Esq MP Sir Sydney Chapman MP Tom Cox Esq MP Terry Davis Esq MP Bill Etherington Esq MP Paul Flynn Esq MP Lord Judd Jim Marshall Esq MP Chris McCafferty MP Kevin McNamara Esq MP Eddie O'Hara Esq MP Lord Russell-Johnston Sir Teddy Taylor MP Robert Walter Esq MP John Wilkinson Esq MP Jimmy Wray Esq MP Substitute Members
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Alan Meale Esq MP
The Minister for Transport (Mr. John Spellar): Statisticians in my Department have discovered errors in the urban/rural coding of the National Travel Survey data. A statistical release issued today presents revised data for key analyses for 19962001. Copies of the document have been placed in the Library of the House. The effects of the revisions are in general small, but they do affect the 10 Year Transport Plan indicator of rural bus service availability.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Margaret Beckett): I am pleased to report to the House that Government are today launching a Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food. Later today, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I will meet farmers and leaders of the food industry, rural, environmental and consumer bodies to discuss the new strategy and hear examples of good practice from across the food chain.
The strategy is further evidence of this Government's commitment to help deliver innovative and practical solutions to the challenges faced by those involved in the food chain. We do not underestimate the scale of these challenges: farm incomes remain under pressure and the foot and mouth disease outbreak also added to the momentum for change.
This strategy builds on the invaluable work conducted by the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food to chart a way through these challenges. It sets out how industry, Government and consumers can work together to secure a profitable and internationally competitive future for our industries, whilst contributing to a better environment, improving nutrition and public health and prosperous communities.
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New funding to assist small regional food producers: extra money channelled through Food from Britain will enable it to work with Regional Development Agencies and the Regional Food Groups to expand this sector.
More money for skills and training: knowing how to make a profit is fundamental, but respecting the environment and marketing require different skills and knowledge. We are reviewing training and advice services to help farmers develop and to exploit new opportunities.
A Food and Health Action Plan: led by the Department of Health, to build on existing work to improve diet and nutrition, working with industry and consumers. The Plan will address food production and access as well as consumer information.
A network of demonstration farms: in early 2003 a pilot network of farms will open their doors to share best practice and experiences.
Improving animal health and combating diseases: government is drawing up a new animal health and welfare strategy, has strengthened our emergency preparations and efforts to combat illegal meat imports.
The strategywhich builds on the work of the Curry Commissionalso underlines the need for farming to reconnect with its markets, better cooperation with the food chain, investment in people and technology and the adoption of environmental best practice. There are many examples of good practice to build upon:
More than 400 farmers' markets offering producers the opportunity to sell direct to their markets.
Over 78,000 farmers and growers are already members of farm assurance schemes with their produce branded under logos such as the Red Tractor and a number of industry initiatives being taken forward as part of the strategy:
The Food Chain Centre is working to improve the efficiency of the food chain through the provision of information, analysis and training and promotion of benchmarking and best practice.
The Red Meat Industry Forum is working to improve efficiency and information flow in the red meat supply chain.
English Farming and Food Partnerships, established by the industry with Defra support, will promote co-operation between farmers and between farmers and the rest of the food chain.
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Across England, regional delivery plans will be drawn up between government offices, Regional Development Agencies, local farmers, Rural Affairs Forums, Regional Chambers and a range of stakeholders, assisted by Sir Don Curry's Implementation Group.
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