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From what I have seen, I am convinced that RPA staff are doing their level best to get through mapping tasks and to speed up the validation process.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the occasions on which he indicated (a) in public and (b) to the House that payments under the single payments scheme would be met before the legal deadline. 
My right hon. friend the Secretary of State and his predecessor have consistently reported the Rural Payments Agency's targets and forecasts in respect of the timing of payments under the 2005 single payment scheme. Those targets and forecasts have tended to focus on when payments would start and when certain proportions would be completed rather than the position at the end of the regulatory payment
window of 30 June. My right hon. friend the Secretary of State's latest report on 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 1478 indicated that, as of 20 June, some £1.38 billion, representing more than 90 per cent. of the total fund, has now been paid to more than 100,000 applicants. The outstanding payments will be made as soon as possible.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will seek to extend the single farm payment to those who plant trees on their land as part of an environmental improvement. 
Barry Gardiner: While claimants under the Single Payment Scheme are required to maintain their land in good agricultural and environmental condition, the scheme is not designed to fund environmental improvements.
However, there are other options available to farmers and landlords, such as Environmental Stewardship and the English Woodland Grant Scheme, which do support the environmental improvement of land, including the planting of trees.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of farmers in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) England have received their single farm payments. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to make partial payments under the 2006 single payments scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: As my right hon. friend, the Secretary of State, reported to the House on 22 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1478-79, the need for the necessary EU legislation to make partial payments has been discussed with the Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Mrs. Fisher-Boel, and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has been authorised to start work on the necessary systems. However, until the interim RPA chief executive has had an opportunity to make a realistic assessment of the prospects for full payments, we do not want to commit to a particular timetable or specify whether or when partial payments might be necessary.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the likely impact of exempting tallow from the EU definition of biomass. 
the biodegradable fraction of products, wastes and residues from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste....
Barry Gardiner: There are no current economic sanctions or restrictions on sourcing goods from Burma. However, Government policy is to offer no support to British companies who wish to trade with Burma, informing those who enquire of the grave political situation, the regime's atrocious record on human rights, and its economic mismanagement.
Government are working closely with the NGO Global Witness on how best to protect Burma's forests. Their report, A Choice For China, calls for a ban on illegally logged timber. It does not, however, support a ban on all timber from Burma, bearing in mind the complexity of the problem. Instead, Global Witness has called for timber companies not to import illegally logged timber, and for the Chinese Government to suspend imports of logs and processed timber across the China-Burma border. China has taken action by closing its border crossings to timber trucks from Burma. Burma officials have also been trying to stop the trade in recent months, and the military regime suspended tree-cutting, timber transport and log shipments to China at the end of 2005.
Barry Gardiner: Responsibility for delivering the Countryside Agency's rural economic and social regeneration policies, including transport, now lies with the regional development agencies (RDAs) who will determine where and on what it is appropriate to spend funds.
East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) has funded two Wheels to Work schemes in Northamptonshire using the funds that were transferred to EMDA from the Countryside Agency. £248,990 of EMDA funding has been allocated over three years (2005-08).
As well as support from the RDAs, Wheels to Work or Learning schemes receive funding from local
Jobcentre Plus and Connexions offices, Learning and Skills Councils and from local transport authorities. The major source of transport funding in rural areas is local authorities.
14. Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in establishing a minimum compensation payment scheme for ex-miners suffering from chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department supports the minimum payment proposal in principle and continues to work with the claimants solicitors group to conclude matters. Discussions are nearing resolution and I hope the issues that remain are now resolved quickly enabling final agreement, including approval from solicitors, to be achieved.
Malcolm Wicks: The Energy Review, launched by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in November 2005, is considering how to secure clean and affordable energy for the long term. It is exploring aspects of energy supply and demand, focusing on policy measures beyond 2010 including an assessment of the possible future role of civil nuclear and other generating technologies.
Mr. McCartney: In a fast moving world the UK needs to be in a position to meet the challenges of globalisation. UK Trade and Investment is addressing this issue by helping British business to respond better to rapid, turbulent economic and social change. It is developing a new programme of support for companies trading internationally in emerging markets such as India and China as well as an increased focus on helping knowledge-intensive and innovative businesses.
UK Trade and Investment has been developing a new five-year strategy outlining how in the future it will undertake this vital role. The proposed launch date for the strategy is 20 July and I will keep the House informed.
Malcolm Wicks: The Renewables Obligation is the Governments key mechanism for encouraging renewable generation. This is supported by around £500 million of spending between 2002 and 2008 in the form of R and D and capital grants on emerging low carbon and renewable technologies.
Margaret Hodge: My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for the Royal Mail and Post Office (Jim Fitzpatrick), has had a number of discussions with ministerial colleagues in key Government Departments about the future of the Post Office network.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent estimate he has made of the carbon emissions of his Department; what commitment he has made to reducing such emissions; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The DTI is committed to the targets for energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions as set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development in Government. During the period 1990-2000 to 2004-05 the DTI HQ and its Agencies have achieved a reduction in carbon emissions from 5.2 to 4.4 (000 tC).
Over the past two years the Department has reduced the size of its London HQ estate by over 30 per cent. with a corresponding reduction in all the associated environmental impacts. This has been achieved by making more efficient use of its existing accommodation and the adoption of flexible desking on the basis of eight workstations for every 10 staff. Other carbon reduction initiatives include the purchase of nearly a third of its electricity from renewable sources between 1999-2000 and 2004-05.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many meetings have been convened between complainants and companies by the UK National Contact Point under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises since the Guidelines were implemented by the Government; 
(2) what the criteria are by which the UK National Contact Point for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises decides to include specific instance cases in the official OECD table of specific instances; 
(3) what the criteria are by which the UK National Contact Point for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises decides to share relevant information with the complainant during the course of the specific instance procedure; 
(4) to what extent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines on Multinational Enterprise cover the behaviour of UK companies in dealing with their suppliers; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) if he will assess the extent to which his Department has implemented the recommendations made in the report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; and if he will make a statement; 
(7) in what ways the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises govern the operations of multinational companies in states where the national government is considered by the UK Government to be perpetrating humans rights abuses. 
(8) how many complaints the national contact point for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises has received under the specific instance mechanism relating to activities of UK companies in (a) Zimbabwe and (b) Nigeria in each of the last five years; and how many have been resolved; 
(9) what the average time taken to conclude the specific instance procedure for complaints under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by the nation contact point located within his Department has been in each year since they were introduced; 
(10) how he will ensure that complainants based in non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are able to use the specific instance procedure under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in relation to UK companies. 
Mr. McCartney: Governments adhering to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises encourage enterprises operating in or from their territories to observe the Guidelines wherever they operate. Chapter IIGeneral Policies states that enterprises should
respect the human rights of those affected by their activities consistent with the host government's international obligations and commitments.
encourage, where practicable, business partners, including suppliers and subcontractors, to apply principles of corporate conduct compatible with the Guidelines.
As asserted m the September 2005 stakeholder consultation document on the UK national contact point's (NCP) promotion and implementation of the
Guidelines, the NCP will follow its procedures where relevant and practicable if issues arise in non-adhering countries. Where information is not otherwise available, it may be able to obtain this through UK overseas posts. Where parties are unable to make their representations in the UK, it may undertake field visits, for which terms of reference will be established in advance.
information and views provided during the proceedings by another party involved will remain confidential, unless that other party agrees to their disclosure.
Accordingly, as asserted in the stakeholder consultation document, in the interests of transparency, the NCP will make available all documentation received from a party to other parties except in accordance with the exemptions provided for under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
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