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has taken to enhance science in her Department since the publication of the Government's science strategy, Investing in Innovation. 
Alun Michael: Science plays an essential, and increasingly important role in underpinning and informing Defra's policies across the three areas of environment, food and rural affairs. Defra is therefore strongly committed to maintaining and enhancing its science capabilities, in line with our Science and Innovation Strategy (Delivering the Evidence) published in May 2003. Our R&D budget is ring fenced at over £150 million per annum, and are aiming to protect this in real terms across the SR2002 period and beyond. We also spend in excess of £170 million per annum on a wide range of other types of science, including scientific advice, field trials, knowledge transfer, surveillance and monitoring.
Defra is committed to developing its scientific capabilities and performance, building on the recommendations of the SR2002 Cross Cutting Review of Science and Research and the Government's Investing in Innovation strategy. Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser is the corporate sponsor for a number of on-going science initiatives designed to ensure that:
Our rural affairs approach in both policy and delivery is informed by high quality research and analysis. The publication ("Social and economic change and diversity in rural England") in January was the first of a series from the Rural Research Centre led by Birkbeck College but including academics from other institutions.
Defra's next Science and Innovation Strategy (due to be published spring 2005) will, among other things, address innovation in support of policy priorities and sustainable wealth creation, including technology foresight and horizon scanning, and support for technology transfer and innovation.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to announce the outcome of the consultation on reform of the sugar regime; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: We are considering the wide range of views received and hope to produce a summary soon. In the meantime the responses themselves are available for public inspection in the Defra library.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to regulate specialist travel consultants who offer trophy-hunting packages to their clients. 
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Mr. Morley: The Government have no plans to take steps to control the activities of those who offer legal trophy hunting packages. Powers are available to refuse the import of hunting trophies and we shall not hesitate to use them where there is evidence that hunting trophies have been taken illegally, or that such hunting is itself unsustainable.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funds are available to businesses wishing to explore new methods of (a) recycling and (b) disposing of waste plastics. 
Mr. Morley: In addition to the general support that is available to businesses funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Waste and Resources Action Programme may fund research and development, capital investment or business advice and support for projects concerned with the recycling of plastics.
Further support may be available through Defra's Waste Implementation Programme which has a research budget for funding work on recycling and sustainable disposal methods across all waste streams. Defra is developing a waste research strategy which will identify key areas where research activity will need to be focused.
Mr. Morley: We understand that recycled farm plastics can be used to make a range of products including damp proof membrane and damp proof courses, refuse sacks and bin liners, clinical waste sacks and aprons, plastic pallets and street and garden furniture.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will issue guidance to businesses to focus waste collection efforts where this delivers maximum economic and environmental benefit. 
Mr. Morley: There are no plans to issue guidance to businesses to focus collection efforts. However, the Government does fund Envirowise, an organisation that offers free, independent advice to business on practical ways to minimise waste and increase profit.
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including grants, other financial support measures and extending promotional and capacity building services to support a broader range of commercial and industrial sectors. These measures, which are undergoing detailed development, with consultation, should help businesses improve their waste performance.
Mr. Morley: No budget is allocated to the Waste and Resources Research Advisory Group (WRRAG), beyond minor costs incurred in the running of the group. WRRAG's role is to make recommendations to Defra on key research priorities to be addressed in a three-year waste research strategy currently being drawn up. The strategy will be subject to consultation later in the year and will be put out to wider consultation.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether appointments to the Waste and Resources Research Advisory Group have been made in accordance with the Nolan principles. 
Mr. Morley: The Waste and Resources Research Advisory Group is classified as an ad hoc advisory group and is not constituted formally as a non-departmental public body. However, appointments have been fully consistent with the ethical parameters set out by the seven Nolan principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The group is providing Defra with expert input into the development of a three-year waste research strategy, which will be subject to consultation later in this year.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the (a) title and (b) subject matter of the waste management research projects that have been commissioned by (i) her Department and (ii) bodies sponsored by her Department since 1 April 2003. 
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding (a) her Department and (b) bodies sponsored by it have made available since March 2003 for research projects relating to waste management. 
|Waste and Resource Action Programme||2,695|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the additional resources that will be made available to (a) the Environment Agency and (b) local authorities to detect the unlicensed management of waste. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency is funded through GIA for its enforcement work. This year, about £12 million was spent on waste-related enforcement activity. Local authorities receive funding through the EPCS element of their block grant and will decide resource allocations according to local priorities.
However, Defra has given the Environment Agency additional funding this year to set up and maintain "Flycapture", a web based database that will enable local authorities and the Agency to fulfil the data requirements of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what modelling her Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned into the possible impact of the implementation of higher environmental standards on illegal waste (i) management and (ii) disposal activity. 
Mr. Morley: Defra launched a consultation on its proposed Fly-Tipping Strategy on 23 February 2004. This strategy proposes several changes to help deal with illegally disposed waste and contains a partial regulatory impact assessment (RIA).
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Defra is also commissioning a comprehensive research project looking at the causes and incentives of illegal waste disposal that will result in a good practice guide for practitioners focusing on pro-active, preventative policies.
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