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7 Mar 2005 : Column 1495W—continued

GM Crops

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the final results of the winter oilseed rape field scale evaluations will be published; in what form they will be published; and whether her Department will consult stakeholders before responding to the results. [219527]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 3 March 2005]: The results from the farm-scale evaluations of winter oilseed rape are expected to be published in the journal The Proceedings of the Royal Society" on 21 March 2005. On that day the Scientific Steering Committee, which oversaw the evaluations, and members of the research consortium, who undertook the research, will present the results at an open meeting at the Royal Institution in London. Details of the event are available through the Defra website. The committee is also arranging for a non-technical summary to be published on the same day; this will be available both as a free publication and to download from Defra's website.

The Government intend to refer the results to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment for advice on their implications. ACRE is proposing to hold an open meeting on 25 May 2005 at which it will take evidence to assist it with formulating the advice required for our response to the results. Details of this event will be finalised shortly and placed on Defra's website. There will also be provision on the web for stakeholders to submit evidence for ACRE's consideration.

Green Taxes

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the effects of EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision No. 148/04/COL of 30 June 2004, 2004/C 319/08, OJ C319 of 23 December 2004, on the ability of EU states to adjust green taxes under single market competition provisions. [215238]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

The Government support effective control of distortive state aids within the Single Market. The Government have been active in using environmental taxes, along with other approaches, to achieve environmental outcomes and do not believe that the EFTA Surveillance Authority decision alters the ability of the UK and other EU member states to make changes to their environmental taxes within the scope of the EU state aid rules.

Planning Inspectorate

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the
 
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consistency guidelines produced by the Planning Inspectorate that relate to rights of way and definition map orders; how they may be amended; and who monitors their accuracy. [220471]

Alun Michael: The Planning Inspectorate has produced a document entitled Definitive Map Orders: Consistency Guidelines". These guidelines were developed in consultation with rights of way inspectors and Defra's rights of way policy division. The Rights of Way Review Committee and, more recently, various rights of way user groups have been consulted over the content of the guidelines. The Inspectorate, in conjunction with Defra, continues to monitor and update the guidelines as changes in legislation and case law make this necessary. Any individual or group that considers that a change to the guidelines is necessary can alert the Planning Inspectorate or Defra's rights of way policy division to this need.

Targets

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to protect society from the impact of animal diseases; [219978]

(2) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to improve the health and welfare of kept animals; [219979]

(3) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce the spread of bovine TB to new parishes to below the incremental trend of 17.5 confirmed new instances per annum by the end of 2008 will be met; [219980]

(4) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to eradicate BSE by 2010 will be met; [219981]

(5) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce the prevalence of scrapie infection by 40 per cent. from 0.33 per cent. to 0.20 per cent. by 2010 will be met; [219982]

(6) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to eliminate fuel poverty in vulnerable households in England by 2010 will be met; [219983]

(7) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to care for the natural heritage; [219984]

(8) what recent progress has been made towards achieving the Public Service Agreement target of moving towards a 20 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels by 2010; [219985]

(9) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 12.5 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010 will be met; [219986]

(10) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to increase the use of energy saving technologies; [219987]
 
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(11) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to lead the integration of environment policies across Government and internationally; [219988]

(12) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement targets to protect and improve the (a) rural, (b) urban, (c) marine and (d) global environment; [219989]

(13) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement targets to deliver more customer-focused farming; [219990]

(14) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to promote sustainable, diverse, modern and adaptable farming through domestic and international action; [219991]

(15) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to promote a sustainable, competitive and safe food supply chain; [219992]

(16) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to improve the accessibility of services for rural people; [219993]

(17) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to deliver the UK's World Summit on Sustainable Development commitments in the areas of (a) sustainable consumption, (b) sustainable production, (c) biodiversity, (d) oceans, (e) fisheries and (f) agriculture; [219994]

(18) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to increase the electronic service delivery capability to Common Agricultural Policy payments to 95 per cent. by 31 March will be met; [219995]

(19) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce the unit cost of administering Common Agricultural Policy payments by 10 per cent. by 2004–05 will be met; [219996]

(20) whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce the time taken to clear up cases of poor welfare infarmed animals by 5 per cent. by March 2004 was met; [219997]

(21) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce the annual incidence of BSE to less than 30 cases by 2006 will be met; [219998]

(22) what recent progress has been made towards achieving the Public Service Agreement target to improve air quality by meeting the National Air Quality strategy objectives for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particles, sulphur dioxide, benzene and 1–3 butadiene; [219999]

(23) what recent progress has been made towards achieving the Public Service Agreement target to protect the public's interest in relation to environmental impacts and health; [220000]

(24) whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce fuel poverty among vulnerable households by improving the energy efficiency of 600,000 homes between 2001 and 2004 was met; [220001]
 
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(25) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to enable 25 per cent. of household waste to be recycled or composted by 2005–06 will be met; [220002]

(26) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement targets to promote (a) sustainable management and (b) the prudent use of natural resources domestically and internationally. [220003]

(27) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to enable enhanced EU funding for rural development; [220004]

(28) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to enable enhanced EU funding for environmental conservation; [220005]

(29) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to secure Common Agricultural Policy reforms; [220006]

(30) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to increase agriculture's gross value added per person; [220007]

(31) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to deliver more competitive and sustainable farming; [220008]

(32) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to reduce the gap in productivity between the least well performing quartile of rural areas and the English median by 2006 will be met; [220009]

(33) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to enhance opportunity in rural areas; [220010]

(34) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to tackle social exclusion in rural areas; [220011]

(35) what recent assessment she has made towards the Public Service Agreement target to open up public access to mountain, moor, heath and down by the end of 2005 will be met; [220012]

(36) what recent assessment she has made of whether the Public Service Agreement target to bring 95 per cent. of all nationally important wildlife sites into favourable condition by 2010 will be met; [220013]

(37) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to reverse the long-term decline in the number of farmland birds by 2020; [220014]

(38) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to preserve biological diversity; [220015]

(39) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to promote sustainable development across Government and the country; [220016]

(40) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to make the countryside attractive and enjoyable for all; [220017]
 
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(41) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to deliver thriving economies and communities in rural areas; [220018]

(42) what recent progress has been made towards the Public Service Agreement target to promote economic prosperity through sustainable farming, fishing, food, water and other industries that meet consumers' requirements. [220019]

Alun Michael: The Department provides regular performance updates against its outstanding Public Service Agreement targets through its annual Departmental Report and its Autumn Performance Report published in spring and autumn respectively. The 2004 versions, which are the most recently published, are available in the House Libraries and online at:

A short summary of progress against our 2002 Spending Review targets can be found in Appendix 4 of the reports, with more detailed information available in Chapter 2.

The Department also gives regular updates on its performance via HM Treasury's website at:

Defra's 2005 Departmental Report is due for publication late spring/early summer 2005.


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