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Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding was allocated by her Department to Hemel Hempstead constituency for (a) capital projects and (b) revenue funding in each of the last eight years. 
Jim Knight: The Department does not allocate or account for its capital or revenue funding on a parliamentary constituency basis or indeed on a regional basis. Expenditure is decided along policy objective lines in support of ministerial priorities. Chapter 8 of the Public Expenditure Analysis shows overall Government expenditure on a regional basis with Hemel Hempstead being included in the East of England Region.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many outstanding applications for Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS) there were at (a) December 2003, (b) January 2005 and (c) May 2005. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 14 November 2005]: We have been collecting data on the numbers of applications for byways open to all traffic from some time. However, we do not currently have this data for the particular periods you specify. We have set about gathering this information from local authorities and have 30 responses at the time of writing this reply, but it will take further time to get all the returns in. I will write to you as soon as I have this information and place a copy in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many grants from her Department's Rural Development Service have been made in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley; and what each grant was used for. 
Jim Knight: The following information sets out the number and value of grant payments that were made in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley during 200405 for each of the principle schemes administered by the Rural Development Service. The aims and objectives of each scheme are briefly set out as follows:
The Environmentally Sensitive Areas" (ESA) scheme aims to encourage farmers to adopt agricultural practices which would safeguard and enhance parts of the country of particularly high landscape, wildlife or historic value.
The Countryside Stewardship Scheme" (CSS) aims to sustain landscape beauty and diversity, to protect and extend wildlife habitats, to conserve archaeological sites and historic features, restore neglected land or features, create new habitats and landscapes and improve opportunities for people to enjoy the countryside.
The Farm Woodland Scheme" (FWS) and Farm Woodland Premium Scheme" (FWPS) aim to enhance the environment through the planting of farm woodlands, thereby improving the landscape, providing new habitats and increasing biodiversity. (Now closed to new applications and replaced by the Forestry Commission 's England Woodland Grant Scheme.
Project-based Schemes" (PBS), including the Rural Enterprise Scheme, Processing and Marketing Grant and Vocational Training Schemes, are focussed around individual developments and projects, and aim to promote imaginative and varied schemes within rural areas. The schemes are generally available to farmers and rural businesses to help them develop new opportunities and widen the skills they already possess.
The OFS, CSS and ESA schemes are now closed to new applications and have been replaced by Environmental Stewardship that was launched in March this year. There are already over 270 live ES agreements in Lancashire.
|Scheme||Number of payments||Value of payments (£)|
|Scheme||Number of payments||Value of payments (£)|
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received about delays in implementing the single farm payment scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Ministers and Rural Payments Agency (RPA) officials are in regular contact with all stakeholder groups, farmers and agents. Ministers and the RPA chief executive have also received several hundred written representations on issues affecting the administration of the single payment scheme (SPS). RPA announced in January 2005 that payments under the SPS in England would begin in February 2006. The regulatory payment window for the 2005 scheme laid down by the European Union runs from 1 December 2005 to 30 June 2006.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she is taking to resolve delays in the mapping of farms under the single farm payment scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 8 November 2005]: Since September 2004 the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has received over 100,000 requests to digitise land parcels or to amend their boundaries, representing a substantial increase on the previous level of requests. The majority of these requests have now been processed, and RPA has recently outsourced 85 per cent. of the outstanding mapping requests to a trusted third party. This has significantly increased resources, enabling RPA to remain on course to commence payment under the Single Payment Scheme in February 2006, in line with announcements made at the start of the year.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether payments under the single farm payment scheme in England and Wales will start by January 2006; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 8 November 2005]: The Rural Payments Agency is responsible for implementing the Single Payment Scheme and making payments in England. RPA announced in January 2005 that payments under the Single Payment Scheme in England would begin in February 2006. RPA remains on course to commence payments in February 2006.
The Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for implementing the Single Payment Scheme in Wales. They have confirmed that they are on track to make payments to as many farmers as soon as possible after the opening of the payment window (1 December).
|Entry Level Scheme||7,545|
|Organic Entry Level Scheme||317|
|Higher Level Scheme||221|
|Organic Higher Level Scheme||7|
Environmental Stewardship agreements can be made at any time. Monthly start dates are operated under for the purposes of Entry Level and Organic Entry Level agreements. For Higher Level agreements, applications received by 31 August are currently being processed with a view to introducing the first agreements from early next year.
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