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Tenant Farming

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government's latest assessment is of the economic future of tenant farming in England. [9692]

Jim Knight [holding answer 7 July 2005]: The most recent forecasts of farm incomes are for the UK as a whole and were published by Defra on 27 January 2005. These included an estimate of aggregate income for 2004 and forecasts of incomes by farm type for 2004–05 (i.e. 2004 harvest). A copy of the publication can be found on the Defra website at

The next publication of income forecasts is likely to be in the autumn, with the first estimate of aggregate income for 2005. Income forecasts for different farm types for 2005–06 (i.e. 2005 harvest) will be published at the end of January 2006.

We do not produce separate economic assessments for tenanted farms.

As part of our strategy for a sustainable food and farming sector, the Government are committed to maintaining a healthy and viable tenanted sector. The legislative changes that we are making as a result of the recommendations of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group will provide better opportunities for tenant farmers in England to develop the business potential of their farms and should help, in the longer term, to improve the economic value of the sector.

Veterinary Surgeons

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that veterinary surgeons employed by the state veterinary services in quarantine facilities are fully cognisant of the diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases, with particular reference to heartworm. [10346]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 11 July 2005]: Authorised quarantine facilities are required, as part of their authorisation, to engage the services of a veterinary surgeon. The appointment of a quarantine veterinary surgeon (QVS) is approved by Defra, based on an assessment and recommendation of a local
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Veterinary Officer of the SVS. Assessment is focused on rabies diagnosis, welfare and security of the kennels rather than other diseases.

It is the responsibility of all veterinary surgeons to ensure that their own continuing professional development encompasses all they might encounter in day-to-day work. For QVSs who attend the quarantine premises six days each week, this would include tropical diseases.

Defra promotes awareness of any exotic disease through their passive surveillance programme DACTARI. This enables veterinary surgeons to report all travel-associated disease to the Department. The distribution of all reported disease is posted on the internet at

Waste Disposal

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with her counterparts in (a) Germany, (b) France, (c) the Netherlands, (d) Denmark, (e) Italy and (f) Belgium on their definitions of (i) biodegradable waste, (ii) municipal waste, (iii) commercial waste, (iv) hazardous waste, (v) industrial waste, (vi) recycling, (vii) recovery, (viii) composting and (ix) waste minimisation. [10682]

Mr. Bradshaw: As confirmed in my reply of 15 June 2005, Official Report, column 433W to the hon. Member, commercial waste" and industrial waste" are national terms; and waste minimisation" is not defined in either Community or national legislation. There have been no direct discussions, therefore, about these terms with the other member states referred to.

The other terms referred to are either defined or used without being defined in Community legislation. The UK has participated in discussions with other member states on these terms in the context of the negotiations on the directives which contain the terms. Such meetings take place under the auspices of the presidency of the Council. The UK has also participated in meetings of the Technical Adaptation Committee chaired by the European Commission and established under article 18 of the waste framework directive, article 9 of the hazardous waste directive, article 21 of the packaging and packaging waste directive, article 17 of the landfill directive, article 11 of the end of life vehicles directive and article 14 of the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive.



David T.C. Davies: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much the Office spent on advertising in each of the last five years. [10255]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002 the advertising spends since then has been as follows:
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The majority of this spend has been on the Fire Safety publicity campaign.

Council Tax

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the 10 local authorities with the (a) lowest and (b) highest council tax collection rates in England in 2004–05. [11391]

Mr. Woolas: The 10 local authorities with the (a) lowest and (b) highest in year council tax collection rates in England in 2004–05 are listed in the following table.
Highest collection ratePercentage
Surrey Heath99.5
Vale of White Horse99.5
North Hertfordshire99.2
East Dorset99.2
South Hams99.1
Lowest collection rate
Barking and Dagenham91.3
Waltham Forest91.4
Portsmouth UA91.4
Middlesbrough UA91.9
Nottingham City UA92.0

The data for Arun district council, Hart district council and Macclesfield borough council were excluded from this analysis as they failed to submit a signed return.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate his Department has made of the number of caravans which have obtained (a) class C and (b) class G council tax exemptions. [11392]

Mr. Woolas: This information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Decent Homes Standard

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which local authorities with arm's length management organisations have failed to achieve two-stars in their performance inspection; and how much money allocated to achieve the Decent Homes Standard is being withheld in each case. [11159]

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Yvette Cooper: Two arm's length management organisations (ALMOs) currently on the ALMO programme have failed to achieve the two star inspection rating necessary to qualify for additional Government funding. These are in Gateshead and Easington, which have conditional funding allocations of £63 million and £23.6 million respectively for 2004–06. Both ALMOs are currently working towards re-inspection. Their funding allocations will be released as soon as the ALMOs achieve the qualifying standard.

Departmental IT Projects

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list IT projects the Department is responsible for which have received a second consecutive red review and a letter from the chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce. [11597]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There are no IT projects that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for which have received a second consecutive red review.

Departmental Telephone Services

Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his Department's policy is on the private use of (a) official telephones and (b) the internet; and how such use is monitored. [8203]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Staff in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister are allowed to make occasional and reasonable private use of official telephones and the internet. Internet and telephone usage are monitored to prevent abuse and/or breaches of usage policy; this is managed through the periodic analysis of usage logs.

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