Robert Key: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what percentage of the parishes in the provinces of (a) Canterbury and (b) York are in the pastoral care of flying bishops. 
Sir Stuart Bell: At 31 March 2004, 1.5 per cent. of parishes in the Province of Canterbury, and 3.1 per cent. of parishes in the Province of York had petitioned for extended episcopal ministry and received this from the three Provincial Episcopal Visitors. The respective totals including those receiving episcopal ministry from other bishops as well were 2.1 per cent. and 3.3 per cent.
The Rural Payments Agency is modernising its systems and processes to deliver the single payment scheme (SPS). It is estimated that the cost of processing £1.6 billion of claims will be 5.4 pence
2 Feb 2006 : Column 624W
in the pound. This compares favourably with the cost of administering the schemes SPS replaces which in 200405 was 5.7 pence in the pound.
Margaret Beckett: The Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset (Jim Knight) announced on 31 January that full payments under the single payment scheme will commence in February 2006. Staff are working exceedingly hard to ensure that this expectation is turned into a reality.
Margaret Beckett: The Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset (Jim Knight) confirmed on 31 January that SPS payments will commence before the end of February, with the bulk of payments being made by the end of March.
14. Mr. David Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her latest estimate is of the costs associated with the management of the stockpile of radioactive waste; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The total cost of operating, cleaning up and decommissioning the UK's publicly owned civil nuclear sites, for which the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has been given responsibility, is currently estimated at £56 billion. This figure includes the costs of interim management of waste arising from decommissioning and clean-up activity. The cost of any facility, or facilities that will be needed in light of CoRWM recommendation for the final long-term management higher activity wastes will be additional to this.
Mr. Bradshaw: A small number of legislative changes are in hand, to meet a recent European Court of Justice ruling,. But of course the UK has already done more than virtually any other EU member state in meeting the policy objectives behind the directive by protecting and enhancing our terrestrial and marine biodiversity.
Mr. Morley: Canoeists currently have access to around 27 per cent. of our major areas of inland water, and research suggests that overall supply meets demand. But we are working with partners to develop more opportunities for access in the future.
18. Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the impact of the proposed closure of the Banchory station of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on climate change research. 
Mr. Morley: Staff at the Banchory station of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) carry out important monitoring and scientific research on the impacts of climate change on plants and animals. Links between biodiversity and climate change remain a priority for the new CEH. Future research work in this area will be carried out in even closer collaboration with universities, through a proposed new partnership funding initiative.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely impact on wildlife research of the National Environment Research Council's plans for the future organisation of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. 
Mr. Morley: The Government are fully committed to maintaining the quality of environmental science in the UK and provides funding to the Natural Environment Research Council for this purpose. NERC is currently consulting widely with stakeholders on proposals on how best the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology can contribute on a sustainable basis to this. I am sure that NERC Council will consider all evidence and views on the potential impact of the proposals, including any impact on wildlife research. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will continue to deliver its contractual commitments to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs arid other Government Department and agencies.
19. Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the operation of the warm homes scheme in Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland. 
Mr. Morley: The Warm Front Scheme has already provided assistance to 3,573 homes in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland through a range of insulation and heating measures and energy efficiency advice. We continue to work with Eaga Partnership, the scheme manager, to ensure the effective delivery of the scheme across the country.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on progress towards meeting climate change targets. 
Margaret Beckett: I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on our progress towards meeting both our international and domestic climate change targets as part of the climate change review process, through our involvement in the Sustainable Energy Policy Network and the EE Committee.
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