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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much angling contributes to the Exchequer; and how much is paid out to assist with angling-related activity. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are no exact figures on how much angling contributes to the Exchequer, but estimates suggest that the annual economic activity associated with angling is up to £2.75 billion, directly employing around 20,000 people, either full or part-time.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which (a) bathing and (b) non-bathing beaches are (i) measured and (ii) not measured for (A) beach and (B) water quality standards; whether each beach which is measured met each standard at its last inspection; and what plans there are to strengthen the (1) monitoring and (2) standards. 
Ian Pearson: Bathing waters are identified according to the criteria set by the 1976 EC Bathing Water Directive (1976/160/EEC). There are 405 identified coastal bathing waters in England, which are monitored in accordance with the Directive during the bathing season, which runs from mid-May to the end of September. In 2005, 98.8 per cent. of these met the mandatory standards of the Bathing Water Directive, with only five waters failing to meet the minimum requirements. There are also nine identified inland bathing waters in England, all of which met the mandatory standards. A list of these sites is presented in Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) Detailed Summary of 2005 Survey Results United Kingdom, which has been placed in the Library of the House. It is also available at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/water/quality/bathing/pdf/report05.pdf
With regard to the strengthening of monitoring and other standards, a revised Bathing Water Directive was recently adopted by the EU and entered into force in March 2006. This revised version will bring a closer focus on the protection of public health and tighter water quality standards to identified bathing waters by 2015.
The duty to clear litter and refuse under section 89 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, only applies to relevant land above the high water mark. However, beach quality standards are an important element of the international Blue Flag Award administered in the UK by ENCAMS (Environmental Campaigns), and of the UK-wide ENCAMS Seaside Award scheme recognising clean, safe and well-managed beaches.
Each year local authorities can apply for a Blue Flag or Seaside Award, or both, for any of their beaches. Each application, which is assessed by an independent panel of judges, must satisfy rigorous criteria which covers a broad range of factors pertaining to the management of the beach. The applications for 2006 are as follows:
|(1) Two failures due to water quality testing technicalities. (2) 150 seaside award only applications plus 79 joint blue flag/seaside award applications.|
Southwold Pier gained a Blue Flag England and Boulevard Beach, Blackpool gained a Seaside Award England. They are not showing on the website due to ongoing building work which has over-run its schedule.
Monitoring and standards for beaches will be strengthened in a new Quality Coast award scheme, developed by ENCAMS and supported by Defra, that will replace the seaside awards for applications from the end of this year. This scheme will provide a broader framework for beach operators to assist in managing the needs of different users and the beach environment. Local environmental quality standards will be a key component of the award, and will be monitored using survey methodology based on the Local Environmental Quality Survey of England which also forms the basis for street cleansing best value performance indicators BV199A-D.
Barry Gardiner: The €45 per hectare Energy Aid payment was introduced by the European Commission in 2004 as part of the Common Agricultural Policy reform, to encourage the production of biofuels. At the time, certain energy crops grown on set-aside land were eligible for the set-aside payment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many problem herds were involved in his Departments pilot study of the gamma interferon bovine tuberculosis test; and how many cattle (a) there were in each herd, (b) tested positive to the standard intradermal skin test, (c) tested positive to the standard intradermal skin test and showed visible lesions or were bacteriologically positive, (d) were inconclusive to the standard intradermal skin test, (e) were inconclusive to the standard intradermal skin test and subsequently slaughtered, (f) were inconclusive to the standard intradermal skin test, were subsequently slaughtered and showed visible lesions or were bacteriologically positive, (g) tested negative to the standard intradermal skin test but positive to the gamma interferon tuberculosis test and (h) tested negative to the standard intradermal skin test but positive to the gamma interferon tuberculosis
test and, on slaughter, showed visible lesions or were bacteriologically positive. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations he has received on the impending closure of the British Sugar factory in York in 2007; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the implications for local farmers of the closure of the British Sugar factory, with particular reference to the cost of transporting sugar beet to factories. 
Barry Gardiner: In addition to a meeting which my noble Friend, Lord Rooker, the Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food had with the National Farmers Union on 12 July, we are receiving a number of correspondence cases about the implications for growers in the area concerned.
British Sugar has written to us explaining the background to its decision and informing us that it is currently in discussion with the National Farmers Union on these issues and with its own staff about the employment consequences at the factory itself. We have asked to be kept informed about progress.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the funds earmarked for sea coastal defences in (a) Clacton-on-Sea and (b) Holland-on-Sea have been allocated; and what assessment he has made of the balance of priorities between river and sea flood defences in Essex. 
From April 2006, all local authority flood and coastal erosion capital improvement projects are funded by direct grant aid from Defra. Defra funding is allocated to individual capital improvement projects across the country through a priority scoring system, which looks at the benefits of potential projects compared with the costs. River and sea defences are treated equally within this process.
Environment Agency budgets for coastal and fluvial funding are drawn up in September, for spending in the following financial year. These figures are based upon asset and watercourse inspections and historical levels of expenditure. There may, in some years, be raised levels of expenditure depending on situations such as storm damage, high rainfall events and varying levels of weed growth in watercourses. Where repairs to damage sustained are above the budgeted level, these
works are funded from within the overall area maintenance budget by reprioritising programmed works.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total amount paid under the Common Agricultural Policy to (a) limited companies and (b) individuals was in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers in the UK received Common Agricultural Policy subsidies of (a) 0 to 5,000, (b) 5,000 to 50,000 and (c) more than 50,000 euros in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05 and (iii) 2005-06. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) the Treasury and (b) the Cabinet Office regarding the pre-comprehensive spending review report; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has had and will continue to have wide ranging and regular discussions with the Chief Secretary about preparations for the 2007 comprehensive spending review, as a matter of key importance to Defras medium and long-term planning.
The Governments guiding principles are to ensure impartiality and to help create a level playing field for all providers of financial services in order that their specific attributes can be properly harnessed.
Employees are of course free to join in credit unions if they meet their relevant membership criteria and Departments may provide appropriate levels of support if employees wish to set up a credit union.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff employed by (a) his Department, (b) the Rural Payments Agency, (c) the Countryside Agency, (d) the Environment Agency and (e) English Nature have been previously employed in (i) agriculture and (ii) a related industry. 
Barry Gardiner: Records of the previous employment of members of staff are not held electronically and therefore if the information requested was available, it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what draft Bills have been produced by his Department since October 2005; how many were (a) examined and (b) are planned to be examined by (i) a Departmental Select Committee and (ii) a Joint Committee; which draft Bills are still to be produced by his Department; when each is expected to be published; how many clauses each has; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his practice is regarding meeting, discussing and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Defra is committed to strengthening its stakeholder engagement and developing a relationship of trust and confidence with customers, partners and other stakeholders. The Department always seeks a full range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. Consultation is a key part of the policy-making process, both informal and formal. The Department holds regular
meetings with representatives of the principal stakeholder groups for our policy areas, actively seeking the involvement of minority groups, and with relevant experts. Organisations and individuals can also contribute to the Department's formal consultations which abide by the Code of Conduct on Consultation. Known stakeholders are alerted to the fact that a formal consultation is taking place, with key stakeholders contributing to the content of the consultation document. All contributors should receive an acknowledgement from the Department, and may be invited to further discuss their comments. As required by the Code, the Department then gives feedback on the responses received and on how the consultation process influenced the policy decision.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the Deposited Papers placed in the Library by his Department since 2000; and when each was published. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what actions have been taken by his Department to implement Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee recommendations since the 2001-02 session; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the Government do make clear in its response to Select Committee Reports whether or not the Committee's recommendations are accepted.
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