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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost to local authorities of clearing up fly-tipping in each of the last five years. 
Initial data from the first year's Flycapture reports have indicated that local authorities and the Environment Agency spent an average of £44 million on clearing and disposing of fly-tipping between April 2004 and March 2005.
Mr. Bradshaw: No national data were previously available before Flycapture, the national database for fly-tipping incidents, was launched in April 2004. Flycapture gathers summary data on the numbers of fly-tipping incidents dealt with by local authorities and the Environment Agency as well as data on the actions taken to deal with fly-tipping.
The Environment Agency, which deals primarily with the larger, more serious fly-tipping incidents, has been recording information on the total fines per year resulting from agency prosecution of persons depositing waste without authorisation since 1 January 2000.
In addition, the following data illustrates the average fines issued at all courts in England and Wales between 1999 and 2003 for various 'fly-tipping' offences under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
|Offence description||Principal statute||Year|
|Contravening conditions of a waste management licence||Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 33 (6)||1999|
|Depositing, causing the deposition or permitting the deposition, treating, keeping or disposing of controlled waste(but not special waste) in or on land without a licence||Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 33 (8)||1999|
|Depositing, causing the deposition or permitting the deposition of controlled special waste in or on land without a licence||Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 33 (9)||1999|
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on recent price changes for (a) beef, (b) lamb, (c) milk and (d) cereals. 
(a) Beef prices have risen over the last few years. Prices were stable in first half of 2005, but have fallen slightly over the last few months due to increasing domestic supplies and imports coinciding with weaker consumer demand.
(b) Lamb prices rose by more than 30 per cent. between 2000 and 2004. Lamb prices are seasonal. In the early part of 2005 prices were lower than in 2004 as increased supplies met with static demand. Prices rallied as new season lambs started to reach the market. However, since June prices have fallen again due to the increased supplies and the poor value of sheepskins.
(c) Farmgate milk prices in 2005 have been broadly similar to last year, despite the price support cuts for butter and skimmed milk powder agreed as part of the CAP reform package, for which dairy farmers have been partially compensated.
(d) Cereal prices are affected by a range of factors, including conditions on domestic and international markets and changes in exchange rates. The high prices of 2004 reflected the substantially lower EU harvest in 2003, but have subsequently fallen back to more normal levels.
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many full-time equivalent employee reductions have been made as a result of the Gershon review; what (a) cost savings relating to IT projects and (b) total value of efficiency savings (i) were achieved in 200405 and (ii) are expected to be achieved in 200506; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 2 November 2005]: Data on headcount and financial efficiencies delivered to the end of financial year 200405 are reported in the departmental report 2005 published at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/deprep/default.htm.
None of the programmes and projects contributing to DEFRA's efficiency targets is an exclusively IT related programme. A number of programmes have elements of IT-enabled change but also involve organisational and culture change elements.
Information about yearly targets for financial and headcount efficiencies are set in the Efficiency Technical Note (which can be viewed on the DEFRA website at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/busplan/efficienynote-0410.pdf). This is being updated at present and will be published on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has made (a) directly and (b) through the EU to the Government of (i) Brazil and (ii) Argentina regarding illegal logging; and what steps she has taken to ensure that illegal timber is not imported into the UK. 
Mr. Morley: Although the my right hon. Friend, Secretary of State, has not made any recent representations to Brazil or Argentina on illegal logging, the UK Government are involved with a number of initiatives in Latin America.
The UK has contributed £14 million to the multi-donor Pilot Programme for the Preservation of Brazilian Rain Forests and is a major contributor to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which is creating and maintaining protected areas in the region through the Amazon Region Protected Areas Programme. The managers of the GEF have approved or endorsed funding for 29 projects in Brazil, with a value of approximately £150 million. The UK also continues to support projects in the Amazon through multilateral organisations, including the European Commission and the World Bank.
On steps taken to ensure illegal timber will not be imported into the UK, under the UK's Presidency of the EU, unanimous Political Agreement was achieved on the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) dossier. This will allow the EU to enter into agreements with developing countries and provide them with assistance to tackle illegal logging. This assistance will include a licensing system designed to identify products and license them for export to the EU. It will be reinforced by powers for Customs to take a
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range of actions relating to unlicensed products from partner countries. This will allow illegal timber to be prevented from importation to the EU for the first time.
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