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10 Jan 2005 : Column 168W—continued

Engagements

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list her public engagements since 15 May. [200728]

Margaret Beckett: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 21 December 2004, Official Report, column 1517W.

Environmental Action Fund

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the application from the Exhibition and Branding Parks County Trust was not considered for the Environmental Action Fund; and when a new application can be made. [206332]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 21 December 2004]: An application was made to the Environmental Action Fund (EAF) by the Exhibition and Brandling Parks Community Trust for funding of a project under the new round of EAF grants from 2005 to 2008. The application was not accepted because it did not meet the conditions of the grant competition relating to the deadline for submission and to the completion of information. We have made no decisions about the
 
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scope and timing of future grant rounds, but do not currently have plans to launch another competition before 2007.

Environmental Services Association

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she last met representatives of the Environmental Services Association. [206807]

Mr. Morley: I met representatives of the Environmental Services Association on 2 February and on 20 May this year. Further meetings are tabled for 9 February and June 2005.

Erosion

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much and what percentage of the budget for 2005–06 for flood and coastal erosion will be spent on beach re-charge. [206664]

Mr. Morley: Total Central Government funding for management of flood and coastal erosion risk in 2005–06 will be £570 million. The flood and coastal defence operating authorities (Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards) will use most of this for operation and maintenance of existing risk management infrastructure and improvement projects. For coastal flood and erosion risk control the management of beaches through recharge and recycling of sand and shingle can be a very effective response. However, no sum is specifically set aside for beach re-charge projects though such work is likely to feature in a number of projects.

Ethnic Minorities

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent to which her Department's policies meet the needs of ethnic minorities. [205552]

Alun Michael: The Department's assessment of the impact of it's policies and services, including how these meet the needs of minority ethnic communities is set out in the Race Equality Scheme. This was published in July 2003, following a public consultation exercise. A copy of Defra's Race Equality Scheme will be placed in the Library of the House.

The Department is currently reviewing the Scheme, and Race Equality Impact Assessments will be undertaken as part of the review which will be reassessing policies to ensure they meet the needs of all our stakeholders. The Department is already taking part in a number of initiatives aimed at improving service to ethnic minority communities such as participating in Inter-Departmental Groups. Defra has a dedicated team within its Diversity Equality Unit that deal with all equality issues as they pertain to the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, employment and training. The Diversity and Equality Unit work closely with Defra's Ethnic Minority staff network group consulting them on a regular basis. A Race Relations one day training event will be provided to all Defra's Directors in February 2005.
 
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In addition the Department is taking action to address issues relating to the recruitment, retention and progression of ethnic minority staff.

Farm Grants (Pendle)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the principal grants available to farmers in Pendle; how many farmers were in receipt of such grants on the latest date for which figures are available; and what the average amount claimed in each category of grant was in the most recent year for which figures are available. [205009]

Alun Michael: Please see the following table detailing the payments to farmers in Pendle by scheme for the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) Accounting period 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004. This details, for each scheme, the number of claimants, the total value of payments and the average value of payment.
Pendle constituency payments for EAGGF 2004: 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004—Payment to vendors within Pendle constituency postcode listing

ClaimantsPayment
(£)
Average payment (£)
Direct aid:
Arable Area Payments12,451.262,451.26
Beef Special Premium60141,204.562,353.41
Extensification Premium55112,382.592,043.32
Sheep Annual Premium119419,663.253,526.58
Slaughter Premium107112,435.061,050.79
Suckler Cow Premium49203,640.134,155.92
ERDP:
Countryside Stewardship2178,009.243,714.73
Farm Woodland Premium84,071.80508.98
Hill Farming Allowance107262,065.032,449.21
Organic Farming11,338.011,338.01
Rural Enterprise346,614.3615,538.12

Fisheries

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what monitoring she is undertaking in the offshore pair trawl fishery for sea bass. [203880]

Mr. Bradshaw: Under contract to Defra, the Sea Mammal Research Unit has placed observers on board UK vessels in the offshore pair trawl fishery. Results for this season's fishery which began in November are not yet available.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of proposals to change the (a) number, (b) operational framework, (c) basis of accountability, (d) funding regime and (e) legislative framework of Sea Fisheries Committees following her Department's receipt of the Bradley Report. [204192]

Mr. Bradshaw: There were around 130 responses to consultation on the Bradley report, which closed at the beginning of October. A significant number of respondents argued that the Bradley recommendations should be taken forward alongside those made by the
 
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Strategy Unit in its report 'Net Benefits', which also made recommendations on the management of inshore fisheries. Many also emphasised the importance they placed on local and stakeholder input.

I agree with both these points, and have recently written to the Chairmen of Sea Fisheries Committees to advise them that I do not propose to make decisions about inshore management structures while a working group on which they are represented is considering the relevant Strategy Unit recommendations. Copies of the letters have been placed in the House Library.

One substantial issue raised by Bradley that was not covered by the Strategy Unit is the status and management of the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate, where I propose to move the SFI executive agency status next year.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated discards were in UK waters, in the last three years for which statistics are available, broken down by category of fish. [204220]

Mr. Bradshaw: UK fisheries laboratories send observers to sea to record the quantity of fish discarded and retained by fishing vessels. The following tables show estimates for the proportion of catch discarded of cod, haddock, and whiting by the Scottish fleet and a representative sample of the English fleet in the North Sea. These estimates are obtained by raising the observer data to the total number of recorded days-at-sea. The estimates update information given in response to a previous question from the hon. Member on 2 April 2003, Official Report, column 763W. The English figures for 2001 and 2002 have been adjusted from those given in the previous reply.
Percentage of catch discarded (by weight)

Species200120022003
England
Cod132212
Haddock39919
Whiting634064
Scotland
Cod23912
Haddock754637
Whiting465251

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what Total Allowable Catch permitted for waters within the United Kingdom's 200 mile or median line limit, broken down by fish type is; what the Total Allowable Catch is for UK vessels as a proportion of each; and if she will make a statement. [204221]

Mr. Bradshaw: There are over 200 fish stocks for which the EC Fisheries Council sets total allowable catches (TACs). Only one of those stocks, Clyde herring, is a stock that is exclusively within the United Kingdom's fisheries limits. The UK receives all of the total allowable catch set for this stock.
 
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The other stocks that include waters within the United Kingdom's fisheries limits also include parts of other sea areas as well. For these stocks, no separate part of the Total Allowable Catch is related exclusively to the UK waters involved, and as such the question as asked cannot be answered.


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