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Barry Gardiner: Data on UK mammal population trends for 1995-2004, show population estimates of 195,000 foxes in England, and 22,000 in Wales. The population is thought to be fairly stable, with slight increases occurring in years with mild winters. However, there are no firm data available about changes to fox populations year-by-year.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) names and (b) addresses are of each licensed gangmaster in north-east Cambridgeshire; and which firms of gangmasters in north-east Cambridgeshire have applied for a licence. 
As at 17 October 2006, 45 licence holders and three applicants were recorded by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) with head offices based in Cambridgeshire. The names, addresses and other contact details of the licence holders and applicants are available on the GLA website at: http://laws.gla.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=PublicRegister
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what occasions since 1997 the UK has invoked the Hague
Preference; what the (a) amount reserved and (b) increase in share was in each case; on how many occasions stocks were at a level where the Preference could have been used but was not; and if he will make a statement on his policy on the use of the Hague Preference. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The historic data are not available without incurring disproportionate cost. However, in recent years, the UK has invoked the Hague Preference on all stocks on which the Irish Government invokes it, in order to minimise the UK losses that flow from Irish invocation. In the North Sea, we have avoided invoking the Hague Preference on severely depleted stocks such as cod, but maintain our right to invoke on other stocks, if circumstances demand. The table shows the net effect of our 2006 invocations. We are currently reviewing our approach to use of the Hague Preference.
|Initial Quota||Initial Quota||Final Quota||Final Quota||Net estimated value of HP impact (£million)|
|(1) West of Scotland (2) Irish Sea (3) Area includes Channel, Celtic Sea (4) Irish Sea (5) West of Scotland (6) Irish Sea|
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the operation of the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 2003. 
Barry Gardiner: In England, legislation prohibiting the use of lead shot on named Sites of Special Scientific Interest, considered important for waterfowl, and all Ramsar (wetland) sites, came into force in 1999. It also prohibited the use of lead shot for shooting various waterfowl species. Minor amendments to the species and sites listed in the 1999 regulations were made in 2002 and 2003. Resources permitting, my Department is planning to undertake an assessment of compliance with lead shot regulations during 2007-08. The results of the compliance work will inform a review of the operation of the regulations that I hope will take place later in 2008.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how his Department will assess compliance with the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 2003; and what funding is available for this work. 
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the occasions since he has held his present office on which he has used (a) rail services, (b) the London underground, (c) tram or light railway services and (d) buses in connection with his Ministerial duties. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 17 October 2006]: The Secretary of State regularly uses rail services in connection with his Ministerial duties; to produce a list of every time he has done so could be done only at disproportionate cost. He has not used the London Underground, tram or light railway services or buses in connection with his Ministerial duties but regularly uses public transport in a personal capacity.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the annual rate of increase has been in fees charged by the Environment Agency for mooring boats on the waters for which they are responsible in each of the last five years for which figures are available; what increases are proposed; what discussions he has had with the agency regarding the reasons for these increases; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: The Environment Agency currently let out a variety of moorings to boaters across their waterways. The charges and charging regimes vary from region to region in accordance with their historic governance. The agency is proposing increases in navigation charges of seven per cent plus the cost reflective index, which, based on this past year, is 5 per cent. This formula will be applied for three years starting in 2007-08. Increases in mooring rates vary between waterways across the agencys regions. As an illustration, the charging structure for moorings on the Thames has increased in line with other navigation charges (such as boat registration) over the last five years, as set out as follows:
|Charging rates for moorings on the Thames|
Defra and agency officials hold regular liaison meetings where navigation issues are discussed. This includes proposed charging arrangements. However, the agency does not require ministerial permission to increase its navigation charges.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the system will be in place in Natural England to transfer the responsibility for the signing off of spending from the chief executive; and to whom the responsibility will be transferred. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 18 October 2006]: The Natural England Skeleton Board agreed a scheme of delegation, both financial and non-financial, between the board and the chief executive at its meeting on 13 September. Financial delegations from the chief executive to the rest of the organisation have been put in place for vesting on 1 October and are now operational. The detail of certain non-financial delegations are still being developed but will be agreed shortly.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs When he expects the issue of import licences for New Zealand butter to be resumed; and what representations he has made about this. 
Mr. Bradshaw: On 1 October, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1452/2006 lifted the temporary suspension on issuing import licences for New Zealand butter that was imposed after the recent European Court of Justice ruling. The Regulation allows for the remaining 14,294.6 tonnes of butter from the 2006 quota to be imported before 31 December under a modified procedure.
In the meantime, discussions between the Commission and New Zealand, and the Commission and member states, on the changes necessary to the administration of the 2007 quota year and beyond will continue.
We are working closely with the Commission, other member states and New Zealand to ensure that the disruptions to trade are minimal and that a new system for the administration of the New Zealand butter quota can be implemented quickly and smoothly.
Mr. Bradshaw: The following table provides information on the total area of organically managed land (fully organic and land in conversion) in the UK in each year since 1993. Information for earlier years could be gathered only at disproportionate cost.
|Organically managed land in the UK|
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance he has given to local authorities on the appropriateness of including social justice as a material consideration in drafting shoreline management plans; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Guidance for authorities on the preparation of revised shoreline management plans (SMPs) is published on the Department's website. SMPs aim to provide a strategic framework within which sustainable coastal erosion and flood risk management strategies can be developed for the coast. It is essential to have sustainable policies in place to guide future investment and inform the development planning process. The analysis informing SMPs should be as full as possible, within the level of detail appropriate to this high level of strategic planning.
Social and environmental impacts should be taken into account in deciding the most sustainable management policies for the coastline insofar as it is practical to do so, and all available information used for the economic analysis. Approaches to helping communities adapt to a changing coastline, including addressing any social justice implications, are being considered under the Department's Making space for water programme.
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