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DTI figures for the whole of the UK, which includes rural and non-rural areas, based solely on VAT de-registrations for bars 1 are shown in the table for 1995 to 2004. Data for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006.
VAT registration and de-registration data do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that de- register will not necessarily have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2004.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the expenditure by each of the (a) regional fisheries, ecology and recreation advisory committees and (b) regional flood defence committees was in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committees are advisory bodies set up to advise the EA on related matters. The only expenditure incurred by them are those associated with their meetings.
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The Regional Flood Defence Committees are executive committees of the Environment Agency which help deliver their Flood Risk Management functions. The expenditure by each committee in 200405 is given in the following table.
|Region||Committee||Expenditure (£ million)|
|North West||North West||35.2|
|South West||South West||13.8|
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the (a) regional fisheries, ecology and recreation advisory committees and (b) regional flood defence committees are based on the government office regions. 
Mr. Morley: The regional fisheries, ecology and recreation and advisory committees (RFERACs), and the regional flood defence committees (RFDCs) are based on the boundaries of the Environment Agency regions, not those of the government office regions.
There are 7 RFERACs in England which are aligned to the 7 EA regions (NorthWest, North East, Midlands, Anglia, Thames, Southern and South West). There are 11 RFDCs in England which are similarly aligned, although the EA's North East, and South West regions are split into 2 RFDCs, and the Anglian region is split into 3 RFDCs. All these committee areas are based on river catchments.
John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to increase the fees paid to veterinary practitioners under the LVI contract; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 13 October 2005]: In November and December, the State Veterinary Service (SVS) will be implementing a backdated increase in LVI fees for work carried out between 1 April 2003 and 31 March 2005.
The payment increase is being calculated by applying the relevant Retail Price Index (RPI) figure, firstly to fees for financial year 200304, followed by a further RPI increase for work in financial year 200405.
The aim of the review is to agree a strategy for the delivery of veterinary and professional services that meets the current and likely future needs of the SVS and the community it serves. One of the issues to be considered is the possibility of introducing contractually-based arrangements for LVI work.
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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received in the last 12 months regarding water supply in East Sussex over the next 10 years. 
Mr. Morley: The Department has had discussions with Southern Water and South East Water, the companies that serve East Sussex, over short-term drought issues. In addition, I have corresponded with the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Soames) about the current water restrictions imposed by South East Water and about the adequacy of water resources to serve further development in Sussex. I have received no specific representations concerning water supply in East Sussex over the next 10 years.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes involving the use of air-soft weapons have been recorded in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Hazel Blears: Statistics for crimes involving soft air weapons, and other types of imitation firearms, have only been collected separately since April 2004. Full data for 200405 are not yet available but will be published in 'Crime in England and Wales 200405: Supplementary Volume' in January 2006.
Mr. McNulty: Information on asylum applications by nationality is published quarterly and annually. The information requested is published in the annual bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2004. Copies are available from the Library and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
Information on asylum refusals by nationality is published quarterly and annually. The information requested is published in the annual bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2004. Copies are available from the Library and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html
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Andy Burnham: The Government have no plans to do so. All non-human primates, whether wild-caught or captive-bred, are afforded special protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. For the use of wild-caught primates to be authorised, there must be no alternative tests appropriate, no suitable captive-bred animals available and the likely benefits must fully justify their use. I would look to both the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate and the Animal Procedures Committee to advise on such applications should they arise. We have not authorised any acquisitions of wild-caught primates since 1998.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will allow refused asylum seekers to remain in their National Asylum Support Service accommodation until they are removed from the UK. 
Mr. McNulty: It is Government policy that asylum seekers whose applications have been unsuccessful should leave the UK. Routinely continuing to provide accommodation for those whose claims have been finally determined would undermine this policy. There is nothing to prevent the majority of unsuccessful asylum seekers from leaving immediately and they can request assistance from either the Immigration Service or the International Organization for Migration to do so. Support can be provided for those unable to leave the country immediately due to circumstances entirely beyond their control, by the use of section four accommodation.
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