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13 Jan 2003 : Column 375Wcontinued
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to receive European Commission state aids approval for National Park farm schemes; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: Further information was sent to the European Commission to assist their assessment of the National Park farm schemes' compatibility with state aid legislation in June 2002. The National Park farm schemes are being considered by the commission within regulatory requirements, and we will continue to work with the commission to gain approval for this scheme.
Mr. Morley: The Government are committed to minimising the adverse environmental impact of pesticide use, consistent with adequate crop protection. A voluntary agreement on measures to reduce the environmental damage caused by pesticides was entered into by the industry and other stakeholders in April 2001. Provided the voluntary initiative is fully implemented, it should reduce the environmental impacts of pesticides and the Government remain committed to this approach. However, the Government are carrying out further work and analysis on a possible tax or other economic instrument, should the voluntary initiative fail to deliver its objectives within a reasonable timescale.
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Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many departmental minutes issued by her Department were outstanding on 30 November 2002, that referred to public-private partnerships, as included in Table B14 of the Consolidated Fund and National Loans Fund Accounts; and what their value was. 
Alun Michael: Defra had no minutes outstanding at 30 November 2002 that referred to public-private partnerships. The Department has two contracts for delivery of flood defences on public-private partnership terms: as these are operating within the contractual terms, they do not require the issue of a departmental minute.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of the Government's contingency plan for dealing with an outbreak of rabies in the United Kingdom; and what plans she has to review the contingency plan. 
Margaret Beckett: The existing Rabies Contingency Plan is being updated to take account of lessons learned from our experience with foot and mouth disease. We intend to issue, in the spring of this year, a revised draft of the Plan, for consultation by stakeholders.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many calls have been received by the Rural Payments Agency fraudline telephone number in each quarter since it was launched. 
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many claims for slaughter premium were refused for the reason that they were received more than six months after sale or slaughter of the animal in each year since the scheme began. 
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Alun Michael: The following figures are provided for 2000 Under Thirty Months, 2001 Adult and Veal and 2002 Adult and Veal. The figures refer to animals for which claims were late and so that the applicant was not entitled to a payment.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government's policy is on the payment of slaughter premium in respect of stock slaughtered under (a) the foot and mouth cull and (b) the Livestock Welfare Disposal scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 7 January 2003]: FMD culled cattle did not meet the criteria for receipt of the Slaughter Premium subsidy. Eligibility for the subsidy for animals taken under the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme is a matter still under consideration.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to allow third parties to take court action against projects on environmental grounds; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 December 2002]: The existing standing provisions for judicial review allow the courts to determine whether or not a specific party should be heard. They have demonstrated that they are willing to give standing to non-governmental organisations and members of the public in appropriate environmental cases.
In order to gain a fuller insight into NGOs views, DEFRA is funding a research project by Capacity Global entitled XAccess to Courts: Barriers and Opportunities for Environmental Justice". This will look at the experiences of NGOs and individuals. Results are expected to be available in spring 2003.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what has been the cost incurred by her Department in providing translation of (a) forms and (b) publications for (i) Welsh and (ii) Gaelic speakers in the last 12 months. 
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|Financial year||Forms (#)||Publications (#)||Total (#)|
|20022003 (to 31.12.02)||8,719||11,198||19,917|
Mr. Morley: To qualify for a grant under the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme, now marketed as the Warm Front Team, the householder or their spouse must be in receipt of a qualifying income or disability related benefit. Children under 16 in receipt of such benefits do not qualify for assistance through the scheme. Householders in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance are currently entitled to assistance up to the value of #1,500.
Margaret Beckett: A revised partial regulatory impact assessment (RIA) will be included in a third consultation paper which is due to be published later this year. A RIA was published with the first consultation paper on the water framework directive in March 2001. Chapter 4 of the second consultation paper published in November 2002 provided information about carrying forward the RIA. This work is now underway.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what jurisdiction the United Kingdom has in respect of the anti-personnel landmines being stored by the United States on Diego Garcia. 
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