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22 Jan 2004 : Column 1368Wcontinued
Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with EU Ministers in connection with the Common Agricultural Policy since the Agriculture Council in June 2003. 
Alun Michael: Since June last year, the Common Agricultural Policy has been on the agenda at several of the monthly meetings of the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers, which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, or her ministerial colleagues have attended. At its September meeting, agreement was reached on the Council Regulation implementing the June reform agreement. Since then, there has been discussion of the European Commission's proposals for further reform of the CAP, covering the cotton, tobacco, olive oil and hops sectors and of options for reforming the sugar regime.
In addition, my right hon. Friend discussed CAP reform with the Irish Agriculture Minister in November as part of his preparations for Ireland's presidency of the European Union. Agriculture was also a major issue at the WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun in September at which my right hon. Friend discussed the June agreement and future CAP reform with her EU colleagues.
Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with colleagues in the Department for International Development in connection with the development implications of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. 
Alun Michael: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, has regular meetings with her colleagues from other Departments, including the Secretary of State for International Development, to discuss issues relating to the current World Trade Organisation negotiations. These discussions encompass the relationship between development and CAP reform.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of the proposed flood defence plan for Cheltenham. 
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Mr. Morley: Defra agreed the Environment Agency's strategic approach to flood management measures for Cheltenham in 1999 and has since provided grant to the Agency for the first three phases of works. Defra is currently considering the Agency's application for grant on the detailed proposals on the remaining four phases of works but in any event the commencement of works must necessarily await the outcome of the Agency's application for planning permission for these works. I understand that the Agency's proposals would reduce the risk of flooding to over 600 properties and provide environmental and amenity benefits. I also understand that there are local concerns about disruption during construction, the removal of trees (although a major planting scheme is planned in mitigation) and a change in the use that could be made of an area identified by the Agency as a flood storage area. It will be for the planning authority to reach a view on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed works in the first instance.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the purpose was of the meeting held on 7 January, involving the Environment Minister, at which ghost ships were discussed; who requested the meeting; what factors were taken into account before the Minister agreed to meet representatives of Able UK Ltd.; what the outcome of the meeting was; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Morley [holding answer 19 January 2004]: I met the right hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr Mandelson), at his request, with the Mayor and Chief Executive of Hartlepool Borough Council and the Chief Executive of Able UK. The meeting agreed that the issue of the US Ships in Hartlepool is a matter for the regulatory bodiesin particular, the Environment Agency and the local planning authority. The meeting enabled the participants to understand the respective responsibilities of the bodies involved, and to help ensure that all the necessary procedures are followed.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the Environment Minister will agree to meet a delegation representing groups and individuals opposed to the proposed dismantling of US ghost ships in Hartlepool. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 19 January 2004]: I am always happy to consider requests to meet local delegations from the relevant Member of Parliament. I recently met my right hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson), along with Mayor of Hartlepool and others, to discuss the US ships.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost to public funds was of the Joint Environmental Markets Unit in each of the past 10 years; and what the total value is of waste management contracts which British companies have secured overseas as a direct result of the activity of the Joint Environmental Markets Unit in each of these years. 
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Mr. Morley: JEMU is a joint unit between DEFRA and DTI. JEMU provide support for the environmental goods and services industry, of which waste management is a sub sector. The total public funds (from both departments) spent on the Joint Environmental Markets Unit over the past 10 years are as follows:
|Year||Total budgets (£000)|
|200304 (Year's allocation)||1,404|
(2) These figures are an estimate based on available records.
JEMU targets its international trade work at developing markets, where it can add most value. JEMU has worked with other parts of Defra and the Environment Agency to promote UK Environmental Policy as a means of marketing UK expertise. Relationships in these countries take time and persistence to develop and contracts can take several years to be finalised. JEMU is aware of at least two waste management companies who, in recent years, have won contracts totalling in excess of £5 million as a direct result of JEMU work. Feedback from waste companies, who participated in a JEMU trade mission to SE Asia last March, has also forecasted total potential business of £63 million over the next three years. JEMU introduced a systematic method of monitoring performance recently, and will be evaluating the results of this carefully.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has commissioned into the economic effects of the introduction of the Large Combustion Plant Directive on the United Kingdom coal industry. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 January 2004]: We are continuing to assess the potential economic impact of the introduction of the Directive on the UK coal industry, and on the coal-fired electricity generating industry which is its major market, using both internal analyses and independent research. We are also in detailed dialogue with these industries to help us to understand their views.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the recovery of livestock farming in (a) Chorley and (b) Lancashire; and if she will make a statement. 
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made of the recovery of livestock farming in Chorley and Lancashire. Data from the Agricultural Census 1 show the following:
|Sheep and Lambs|
|Cattle and Calves|
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total supermarket share of the (a) liquid milk and (b) cheese market was in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Alun Michael: The supermarket share of the biggest four supermarkets (Asda, Safeways, Sainsburys and Tesco) of liquid milk in 200102 was 36 per cent. If smaller supermarkets are included (excluding town centre and local shops) the share rises to 48 per cent. The corresponding market shares for cheese are 64 per cent. for the big four and 80 per cent for all supermarkets. Figures are from the Expenditure and Food Survey and are only available for the twelve month period ending in March 2002.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the outcome of the retail price initiatives on liquid milk and cheese during the last three years. 
Alun Michael: The evolution of farmgate and retail prices over the last three years is tabulated below. Last year, in a Milk Development Council commissioned study by KPMG on "Prices and Profitability in the British Dairy Chain", London Economics undertook an econometric study of various aspects of the supply chain, including price transmission. For the UK, London Economics found that increases and decreases in retail prices for liquid milk are fully transmitted to farmgate prices with a lag of five months. However, price changes at farmgate level are not fully transmitted. A 1 unit increase in farmgate price results in a 0.56 unit increase in retail price, while a 1 unit decrease in farmgate prices results in a 0.71 unit decrease in retail price. For cheese they found no transmission and for butter they found some evidence that a fall in the farmgate price of milk resulted in an increase in the butter price.
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|Year||Farmgate pence per pint||Retail(3) penceper pint|
(3) The retail price is an average of one pint of delivered milk and one pint of shop bought milk. Because most milk is shop bought this overstates what is actually paid per pint by most consumers.
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