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15 Feb 2006 : Column 2034W—continued

Wind Farms

11. Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the National Assembly for Wales Government on the development of onshore wind farms in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [50386]

Mr. Hain: I have regular discussions. In particular my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is considering the application for Gwynt y Mor under the set procedures.

I personally recognise the benefit to Wales of the project, which is capable of powering 500,000 homes.

Rail Links

12. Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the National Assembly for Wales Government Minister for Economic Development and Transport on improving rail links from the South Wales Valleys to Cardiff. [50387]

Nick Ainger: My right hon. Friend and I regularly discuss transport matters with Welsh Assembly Government colleagues.

The Assembly Government are providing almost £28 million for the Ebbw Valley railway project to accommodate passenger services between Ebbw Vale, Cardiff and Newport.

Disability Discrimination Act

13. Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the likely impact of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 in Wales. [50388]

Nick Ainger: My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a variety of topics. My hon. Friend the Minister for Disabled People (Mrs. McGuire) recently met Jane Hutt, the Assembly Equalities Minister, to discuss specific disability matters.

From 4 December 2006 there will be a general duty on public sector bodies to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people.

Young Offenders

14. Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on Government support to voluntary groups who help rehabilitate young offenders in Wales. [50389]


 
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Nick Ainger: The Welsh Assembly Government currently provides assistance to the Nacro Cymru to support their work in rehabilitating young offenders in Wales.

Pathways to Work Pilot

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Pathways to Work pilot in Wales. [50384]

Nick Ainger: My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues, including measures aimed at tackling economic inactivity, such as Pathways to Work.

ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

ACP Sugar Production

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of African, Caribbean and Pacific country sugar production was produced by Mauritius in the last period for which figures are available. [49631]

Mr. Bradshaw: Total production in the ACP Sugar Protocol countries in 2004 was 4,391,190 tonnes. Production in Mauritius accounted for 13.8 per cent. of the total 1 .

Preferential imports from ACP countries into the EU are planned to total 1,297,264 tonnes in the 2005–06 marketing year. Imports from Mauritius are planned to be 37.9 per cent. of that total.

Biofuels

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many gallons of biofuel she estimates will have been sold in Shropshire by (a) 2009 and (b) 2015. [50104]

Mr. Morley: In November 2005, the Government announced that a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation will be introduced. This will require 5 per cent. of all UK fuel to come from a renewable source by 2010. Target levels for 2008–09 and 2009–10 will be announced in Budget 2006.

Information on fuel sales is not collected on a regional basis so it is not possible to give estimates for Shropshire. Provisional figures for 2005 for the whole of the UK give annual biodiesel and bioethanol sales of nearly 26 million gallons. To meet a 5 per cent. target at current usage would require around 540 million gallons.

Biomass Crop

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what EU funding is available for farmers to grow biomass crop. [50972]

Mr. Morley: DEFRA's energy crops scheme provides grants to establish short rotation coppice and miscanthus for use in heat and electricity generation,
 
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and to set up short rotation coppice producer groups. Part of the funding for this scheme comes from the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund. Under the Common Agricultural Policy, farmers can also receive the single payment when these energy crops are grown on set-aside land. They can be grown on single payment land if the EU's €45 per hectare energy aid payment is also claimed. Oilseed rape and wheat can be grown on set-aside land under contract for processing into transport biofuels. These crops can also be grown on single payment land and are then eligible for the energy aid payment.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what compensation was paid by her Department to farmers in Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency for cattle affected by bovine tuberculosis in (a) 2002 and (b) 2005; [50761]

(2) how many cases of bovine tuberculosis were registered in Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency in (a) 2002, (b) 2003 and (c) 2005. [50766]

Mr. Bradshaw: Disaggregated data on compensation paid to farmers for cattle affected by bovine tuberculosis (TB) are not held centrally.

Data on cases of bovine TB are not available at the level requested. Figures for the county of Shropshire are tabulated as follows.
Total new herd incidentsConfirmed new herd incidents
2002(1)6942
20038651
200511680


(1) in 2001, the TB testing and control programme was largely suspended due to the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. When testing resumed in 2002, resources were concentrated on herds with overdue TB tests which would have had a longer period in which to contract the disease. Also the proportion of high risk herds tested immediately after the FMD outbreak was greater than that prior to the outbreak. As a result, data for 2002 is not comparable with other years.
Note:
2005 data downloaded from the State Veterinary Service database on 16 January 2006. 2002 and 2003 data downloaded on 19 May 2005. All data are provisional and subject to change as more data become available.


British Summertime

Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing Double British Summertime as a means of improving the UK's record on climate change; and if she will make a statement. [51201]

Mr. Morley: A study by the Building Research Establishment commissioned by Defra for the purposes of the current review of the UK Climate Change Programme has concluded that, while a switch to Double British Summertime would reduce energy use for domestic lighting and non-domestic cooling, these savings would be more than offset by increased demand for non-domestic heating and lighting. The study
 
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therefore concluded that a switch to Double British Summertime was unlikely to lead to a reduction in the UK's carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon Capture

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with other Departments on (a) the regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage in the UK and (b) tax incentives for large scale capture and storage demonstration projects; and if she will make a statement. [50602]

Mr. Morley: The UK is working with other parties to clarify the legal basis for carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) under the marine treaties, as the treaties were not drafted to take CCS into account. A meeting of the contracting parties to the London convention in October 2006 will consider how best to facilitate and/or regulate carbon sequestration in the sub-seabed.

Following interdepartmental consultation, which included with DEFRA, the Crown Estates and the Department of Trade and Industry, the DTI is setting up a task force to consider and develop if necessary the appropriate regulation to enable CCS activities in the UK. In addition, DEFRA is considering how marine planning aspects of CCS should be included in the Marine Bill.

Tax issues are a matter for the Treasury and will be considered by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process. The 2005 Pre-Budget Report announced that the Government will consult further on the barriers to wide-scale commercial deployment of CCS in the UK, and the potential for economic incentives in addressing those barriers.


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