|(a) Pigs and ducks||1,823|
|(b) Pigs and poultry (including ducks)||4,091|
June Agricultural Survey
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken to ensure that local authorities highways departments comply with the Ragwort Control Act 2003 Code of Practice. 
Jim Knight: Copies of the code were made available to all local authorities at the time of publication in July last year. The code provides advice for large scale land managers on how to develop a strategic approach to ragwort control. Feedback that we have had from a number of local councils during this summer indicates they are taking seriously the provisions of the code and the need to control ragwort where it poses a threat to animal welfare. Where Defra receives concerns about ragwort spreading from local authority land to land used for grazing animals or the production of conserved forage, we investigate the complaint in accordance with our enforcement procedures under the Weeds Act.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken to ensure that other Government Departments are aware of the provisions of the Ragwort Control Act 2003 Code of Practice. 
Jim Knight: Defra worked closely with other Government Departments, including Department for Transport, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Estates when drawing up the provisions of the Code of Practice on how to prevent the spread of ragwort. The code was published in July last year and all relevant Government Departments received a copy of the final version.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on the effects of the closure of rural (a) post offices, (b) bank branches and (c) independent retail shops in the south-east. 
Jim Knight: The Department receives a range of representations on issues relating to provision of services in rural areas, including post offices, bank branches and retail shops. I am aware of the importance of local services to rural communities, and my Department works with others to improve the accessibility of these services.
In relation to the south-east, in the last year we have received a letter from Councillor Mike FitzGerald (Maidstone borough council) concerning changes in provision to postal services in the Maidstone area.
Jim Knight [holding answer 21 October 2005]: The Department does not routinely issue licences for the use of snares unless the species are listed under schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
On 19 October, the Department launched a Code of Practice on the Use of Snares in Fox and Rabbit Control. This code details the legal obligations for people using snares in England and Wales, and also includes information on alternatives available to land managers to minimise damage to game, wildlife, livestock and crops caused by rabbits and foxes.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what inquiries his Department is undertaking regarding statutory blight compensation for people affected by the proposed A21 upgrade in East Sussex. 
Dr. Ladyman: Inquiries are currently being undertaken, under the statutory blight provisions, on 12 applications received from people affected by the proposed A21 Flimwell to Robertsbridge upgrade in East Sussex.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2005, Official Report, column 671W, on merchant navy, how many of the (a) officers and (b) seamen serving in the merchant marine in each year between 1994 and 2004 were British citizens. 
Dr. Ladyman: The trial of hard shoulder running will be the final phase of the M42 Active Traffic Management project and is included in the Highways Agency's Business Plan as a target to be delivered by March 2007. There will be comprehensive publicity prior to its introduction.
Ms Buck [holding answer 21 October 2005]: The Northern Line PFI contract is the responsibility of Tube Lines, and the management of the contract is a matter for the mayor and Transport for London. The Department expects both London Underground and Tube Lines to manage effectively the PPP and PFI contracts and ensure that their contractual requirements are met.
The PPP contracts are about delivering lasting solutions to reverse the historic under-investment in the Underground. The Government has committed more than a £1 billion a year to Transport for London to provide the long-term stability and investment necessary for London Underground to deliver the service that Londoners deserve.
Mr. Greg Knight:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which trunk roads in the east midlands were closed on 2 September 2005 as a result of a cycle race
24 Oct 2005 : Column 4W
taking place; how long those closures were operative in each case; and on whose authority the closures were authorised. 
Dr. Ladyman: The annual Tour of Britain cycle race held on 2 September 2005, crossed east midlands trunk roads A46/A606 Widmerpool roundabout, and A52/A606 Wheatcroft roundabout, both in Nottinghamshire. For safety reasons the slip roads to these trunk roads were briefly closed by uniformed police outriders using police powers, for two 15 minute periods each, with a 10-minute gap between each closure to allow the cyclists to cross the roads safely. The trunk roads were not actually closed.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what his policy is regarding road closures taking place for non-essential, non-transport related events; whether any assessments are made before such closures are authorised of the likely congestion to be caused; whether he plans to review his policy on such closures; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department's policy on road closures for special events is that generally this is a matter for local authorities to decide under their powers at Section 16A of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
The Department published the network management duty guidance under part 2 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 in November 2004. The annex on good practice provides guidance for local authorities on event planning processes and management practices so as to minimise disruption to the local network.
In preparation for HM the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Department also issued advice to the chief executives of all English local authorities on temporary road closures to facilitate events, such as street parties.
The Home Office are currently preparing The Good Practice Safety Guide for small and sporting events taking place on the highway, roads and public places", which will include advice on temporary road closures.
The Department plans to bring forward proposals by way of a Regulatory Reform Order to repeal section 16B of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 so that the requirements on local authorities for making orders for sporting, social or entertainment events lasting longer than three days held on road are relaxed.
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