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7 Apr 2005 : Column 1642W—continued

Countryside Stewardship

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Countryside Stewardship payments for 2004–05 have been paid. [224331]

Alun Michael: The scheme year for Countryside Stewardship runs from 1 October to 30 September. Annual management payments are made in arrears for the previous scheme year. Therefore claims for the 2004–05 year are not due for payment until October 2005.
 
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Claims for Capital Items under CSS (one-off items of work such as hedge and wall restoration) may be submitted at any time during the scheme year in which they are scheduled. In the 2004–05 scheme year, 1,187 claims have been received for Capital Items of which 947 have been paid.

Dairy Farming

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what mechanism is used for the distribution of dairy premium and additional dairy payment to dairy farmers in England. [225028]

Alun Michael: Dairy premium and the additional payment were introduced by the EU as direct payments to dairy farmers. In 2004 milk producers qualified for the dairy premium based upon the quota available on their holdings as at 31 March 2004. The UK was granted the sum of 53.4 million Euros to be distributed to producers on the basis of objective criteria and in such a way as to ensure equal treatment between producers. The UK decided to pay the additional payment as a top up to the dairy premium.

In 2004 producers were required to apply for dairy premium and additional payment by completing an integrated administration and control system application form. Claims for England, Northern Ireland and Wales were processed by the Rural Payments Agency.

For 2005, producers will claim dairy premium and additional payment through their single payment scheme claim form. Eligibility will be similar to 2004. Producers will not be receiving separate payments this year as both elements will be included in the single payment.

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of dairy premium and additional dairy payment will be distributed to non-dairy farmers in England. [225029]

Alun Michael: No payment will be distributed to non-dairy farmers in England as dairy premium and the additional payment are only paid to milk producers who held quota that was available on the holding at the end of the quota year. A producer is defined in the EU regulations as a farmer with a holding located within the geographic territory of a member state, who produces and markets milk or who is preparing to do so in the very near future

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dairy farmers there were in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley in the last year for which figures are available. [223793]

Alun Michael: The following figures show the number of holdings in Lancashire and Chorley where dairy is the predominant activity and the total number of farmers, partners, directors and spouses on these holdings. All figures are for 2003.
 
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Dairy holdingsFarmers, partners, directors and spouses working on dairy holdings
(a) Lancashire
Lancashire county8751,970
Blackpool unitary00
Blackburn and Darwen unitary2854
(b) Chorley58124




Source:
June Agricultural Census




Departmental Land Purchases

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what acreage of land formerly owned by Solway Light Aviation at Great Orton Airfield has been acquired by her Department; and what acreage of arable and other land at Kirkbride has been conveyed to Solway Light Aviation by her Department. [224629]

Alun Michael: The Department conveyed Kirkbride Airfield to Solway Light Aviation in exchange for their interest in the airfield at Great Orton which was acquired by the Department in 2001. The total site area at Great Orton is 83 hectares (approximately 205 acres). We do not hold details of the site area for Kirkbride Airfield.

Departmental Policies

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to the Coventry, South constituency, the effects in Coventry South of changes to her Department's policies since 1997. [219691]

Alun Michael: Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take you directly to the service: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/default. asp. In addition, the Office of National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the Coventry South constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses are set out by the Office of National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp.

The following information may help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits Coventry South.

Through our national strategy for waste we are committed to delivering a step change to more sustainable waste management, including tough national targets to recycle or compost 17 per cent. of household waste by 2003–04 and 25 per cent. by
 
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2005–06. Since 2001, Defra has established a number of funding mechanisms to help local authorities achieve their targets. As a result of allocations from these funds the residents of Coventry South should reap the benefits over the next few years. The main source of funding for Coventry city council's waste management services, as for all local authorities, is through the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS) block of annual Government grant. It is for the local authority to decide what proportion of the block is invested in waste management, including recycling, services. Coventry city council has also been allocated the following additional funding and support:

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the common agricultural policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Knowsley North and Sefton East (Mr. Howarth) on 4 April 2005, Official Report, columns 1149–50W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity.

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm-based schemes in the Coventry South constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £23,147.13.

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Extensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical information relating as closely as possible to the constituency, the effect of her Department's actions and policies on Blackpool, South constituency since (a) 1997 and (b) 2001. [215748]

Alun Michael: Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take my hon. Friend directly to the service: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/default.asp. In addition the Office for National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk.

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural
 
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communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the Blackpool, South constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses are set out by the Office for National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp.

The following information may help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits Blackpool, South.

Through our national strategy for waste we are committed to deliver a step change to more sustainable waste management, including tough national targets to recycle or compost 17 per cent. of household waste by 2003–04 and 25 per cent. by 2005–06. Defra has, since its establishment in 2001, set up a number of funding mechanisms to help local authorities achieve their targets.

It is not possible to be specific as to how successful the Blackpool, South constituency has been in obtaining some of the available funding. However, as a result of allocations from these funds, the residents of the borough of Blackpool should, over the next few years, reap the benefits. Since 2001 a total of £1,106,836 has been awarded to the borough to expand kerbside recycling schemes.

Defra has overall policy responsibility for flood .and coastal erosion risk in England and funds most of the activities of the Environment Agency (EA) in this area. Defra also provides grant aid on a project-by-project basis to the other flood and coastal defence operating authorities (local authorities and internal drainage boards) to support their investment in improvement works.

Improvement projects funded by Defra, including those of the EA, must meet specified economic, technical and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score" to be eligible for funding. Defra does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on what specific projects to carry out. The works programme to manage risk is driven by the operating authorities.

Details of Defra grant aid paid to Blackpool borough council for coast protection works carried out under the Coast Protection Act from 1997 to date are:
£
19973,246,295
19985,333,593
19992,693,727
20006,320,596
20011,295,302
20021,850,269
20031,128,269
2004400,873
2005670,003

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, North
 
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and Sefton, East (Mr. Howarth) on 4 April 2005, Official Report, columns 1149–50W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity.

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm based schemes in the Blackpool, South constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £4,426.59

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Exfensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 0if she will set out, with statistical information relating as closely as possible to Chorley constituency, the effect of her Department's policies and actions on Chorley constituency since 1997. [216194]

Alun Michael: Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take you directly to the service: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/default. asp. In addition the Office of National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the Chorley constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses areset out by the Office of National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp.

The following information may help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits Chorley.

Through our national strategy for waste we are committed to deliver a step change to more sustainable waste management, including tough national targets to recycle or compost 17 per cent. of household waste by 2003–04 and 25 per cent. by 2005–06.

Defra has, since its establishment in 2001, set up a number of funding mechanisms to help local authorities achieve their targets. As a result of allocations from these funds the residents of Chorley should, over the next few years, reap the benefits. Since 2001 a total of £1,016,646 has been awarded to the borough to expand kerbside recycling schemes.
 
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In March 2005 we announced Lancashire as one of eight rural pathfinders in England. The pathfinder initiative is a key part of the Government's Rural Strategy and reflects the Government's commitment to devolve decision-making and resources to the local level. The Lancashire rural pathfinder will ensure greater co-ordination of rural delivery programmes testing new and innovative methods to bring about improvements in the delivery of services to rural communities and businesses.

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Knowsley North and Sefton East, (Mr. Howarth) on 4 April 2005, Official Report, columns 1149–50W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity.

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm based schemes in the Chorley constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £1,207,777.07.

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Extensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to West Dorset constituency, the effects on West Dorset of her Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [215978]

Alun Michael: Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take you directly to the service: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/default. asp. In addition the Office of National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the West Dorset constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses areset out by the Office of National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp.

The following information may help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits West Dorset.
 
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The Environment Agency has been active on the ground in West Dorset dealing with water quality problems. This work has been part of the Cycleau Project", a European Interreg IIIB funded project that aims to:

More details are on the website. www.cycleau.com

In West Dorset most of the activity has been in the River Char catchment area (upstream of Charmouth). The Environment Agency is the lead partner with FWAG delivering advice and grant aid. The main concern has been to ensure that the beach at Charmouth meets its Bathing Water standards with failures in the past resulting from diffuse farm pollution. There are about 35 farms in the Char catchment and so far about 20 farmers have been involved in the project. Funding is £70,000 over three years, up to 2006

West Dorset forms part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and as such is supported by Defra (through the Countryside Agency) for core funding. Core funding since 2002 has been £574,200 that is further enhanced by contributions from all the district authorities and the county council.

Defra has supported Leader+ through the Dorset Chalk and Cheese programme, and awarded £1,217,456 EU and £591,558 Defra funding, to run a six year community based programme (2000–06), in parts of rural West Dorset.

The Voluntary and Community Sector in Dorset has benefited from joint funding with the Home Office through the Capacity Building and Infrastructure Strategy Programme. The rural preparatory programme to June 2004 awarded £20,000 to Churches Together in Dorset (CTD), Dorset Community Action (DCA) and Dorset Race Equality Council and sought primarily to:

The Change Up programme that follows on from this will see Defra and the Home Office supporting a Dorset Consortia to continue with this work and West Dorset is sure to benefit.

The England Rural Development Programme has supported a number of grants in West Dorset for Vocational Training Schemes, for example training farm staff and on organic skills. Processing and Marketing grants of £105,577 were given to support farms and food processing plants. The Rural Enterprise Scheme gave grants of £466,671 to support rural businesses including a livery stable, equatic centre and food processing plant.

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to the hon Member for Knowsley North and Sefton East, (Mr. Howarth) on 4 April 2005, Official Report,
 
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columns 1149–1150W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity:

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm based schemes in the West Dorset constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £9,929,067.25

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Extensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to Preseli, Pembrokeshire constituency, the effects on Preseli, Pembrokeshire of her Department's policies and actions since it was established. [211322]

Alun Michael: Most policy areas for which Defra has responsibility are devolved and fall to the National Assembly for Wales in respect of Welsh constituencies. Statistics for Welsh constituencies are also generally a matter for the Assembly.

Mr. Sedgemore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to South-East Cambridgeshire constituency, the effects on South-East Cambridgeshire of her Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [216020]

Alun Michael: Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take you directly to the service: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/default. asp. In addition the Office of National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the South East Cambridgeshire constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses are set out by the Office of National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp

The following information may help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits South East Cambridgeshire. Through our national strategy for waste we are committed to delivering a step change to more sustainable waste management, including tough national targets to recycle or compost 17 per cent. of household waste by 2003–04, and 25 per cent. by
 
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2005–06. The county of Cambridgeshire continues to make a substantial contribution to achieving national recycling targets. The county's recycling performance in 2003–04, the most recent year for which data are available, was 29 per cent., against the national average for that year of 16.9 per cent.

The Government are committed to increasing the amount of electricity supplied by renewable sources in the UK to 10 per cent. by 2010. Between 1990 and 1998, the percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources in Cambridgeshire increased from zero, or very little, to around 0.9 per cent. In the last four years, this figure has increased to around 6 per cent. This dramatic increase is mainly attributable to the opening of a straw burning power station in Sutton near Ely in late 2001.

An area of the East of England, which covers a large part of the South East Cambridgeshire constituency, is one of the eight rural delivery pathfinders announced by the Minister of State, Alun Michael, at Ely on 14 March. The pathfinder initiative is a key part of the Government's Rural Strategy and reflects the Government's commitment to devolve decision-making and resources to the local level. The Fens rural pathfinder will ensure greater co-ordination of rural delivery programmes by testing new and innovative methods to bring about improvements in the delivery of services to rural communities and businesses. Partners in pathfinder areas are currently worked on their detailed proposals of actions they will undertake, but a summary can be obtained via the following web address: www. idea-knowledge, gov.uk/idk/core/page. do?pageld =335795

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Knowsley North and Sefton East, (Mr. Howarth) on 4 April 2005, Official Report, columns 1149–50W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity.

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm based schemes in the South East Cambridgeshire constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £12, 865, 707.74.

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Extensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to Witney constituency, the effects on Witney of her Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [215977]


 
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Alun Michael: Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take my right hon. Friend directly to the service: http://statistics.defra. gov.uk/esg/default.asp. In addition the Office for National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk.

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the Witney constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses areset out by the Office for National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp.

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, North and Sefton, East (Mr. Howarth) on 4 April 2005, Official Report, columns 1149–50W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity.

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm based schemes in the Witney constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £13,661,576.34.

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Extensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

Other benefits

The following information may also help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits Witney through a selection of activities which have taken place in Oxfordshire.

Applications for the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) have been received from within the County of Oxfordshire. As at 2004 Oxfordshire had 594 agri-environment schemes which is the highest number of any other county in the region. Grant paid under the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme and Farm Woodland Scheme since 2000 is £1.2 million and £112,000 has been under the Habitat Scheme since 2001. £565,000 has been paid under the Project Based Schemes since 2001.
 
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Clinics for the promotion of good quality applications under the ERDP are held regularly by the Defra Rural Development Service in Reading and Guildford.

West Oxfordshire is one of five areas in the South East region that has funding under the LEADER + programme, with European Union support, for experimental development of rural projects and community initiatives. Over 20 projects have, or are being funded, through the programme in Oxfordshire with further projects due to start this year. Projects aim to improve quality of life and particularly target younger and older people, women, rural business and workers affected by rural restructuring.

The Countryside Agency is supporting a number of projects in the area. The Vital Villages Programme began in 2001 and provides financial support for rural transport projects, projects to enhance and establish key rural services and to assist parishes with producing a parish plan. Funding for this programme in West Oxfordshire exceeds £1 million.

Defra has worked to implement the vision of the Rural White Paper to support vibrant rural communities through the proactive work of Oxfordshire rural community council which delivers support and services on the ground to rural communities. In the three years from 2001–04 over £800,000 has been invested in supporting rural transport, rural retail services, the provision of affordable homes in rural communities, community development work and work with socially excluded groups in rural areas across Oxfordshire. The money channelled by Defra through the RCC for this work, has also been instrumental at a local level, in levering other sources of finance to support rural communities.

Defra is funding a pilot study which aims to increase the local food content (fresh, seasonal ingredients) of school meals. Several schools are involved across the pilot area covering Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The findings are due this April.

The South East Rural Affairs Forum was set up following recommendations in the Rural White Paper. The forum held a conference involving stakeholders across the region on 7 September 2004 and was attended by several stakeholders from Oxfordshire.


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