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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in expenditure on the ability of the state veterinary service to deal with outbreaks of disease. 
I understand from the Food Standards Agency that operators of abattoirs pay charges for meat hygiene official controls either on the basis of standard European Community fees for animal throughput, or on the basis of the cost of the controls if this would provide a lower charge. In 2005-06, about 95 per cent. of operators of abattoirs paid charges for hygiene controls based on European Community fees for animal throughput. These fees have not been increased since they were introduced in 2001.
The other 5 per cent. of abattoir operators, mainly of the largest abattoirs, pay charges based on the cost of the meat hygiene official controls that are carried out. These charges include an element for veterinary costs in addition to the costs of other classes of official control staff and overheads. The veterinary cost element of the charge in Great Britain comprises the cost of veterinarians employed by the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) or the cost of veterinary services provided under contracts that are let competitively by the MHS and are individual to each abattoir. The veterinary cost element of meat hygiene charges for services provided by veterinarians employed by the MHS increased by approximately 24 per cent. from 2002-03 to 2006-07. The change in the average cost of contract veterinarians in the last five years could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether the Waste and Resources Action Programme Real Nappy Initiative aimed to divert 35,000 tonnes of waste (a) in each year from 2003 to 2006 and (b) in total; 
The target of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Real Nappy programme target was to convert an additional 155,000 households to real nappy use by April 2006, and in the process divert 35,000 tonnes per annum of disposable nappy waste from landfill.
WRAP reports annually on its overall progress in meeting targets, including work under the Real Nappy Programme. It is scheduled to report on its achievements for the business plan period up to 2006 soon. At the outset of the programme, 91 per cent. of expectant parents said they intended to use disposable nappies. Work done for the Environment Agency suggested the figure may be higher at 94 per cent. WRAP intends to survey parents again at the end of the programme and to establish the change in intended behaviour. An estimate of the diversion will be made and published by WRAP at that time taking account of the survey and other quantitative evidence.
|UK imports of goods from Burma: January to June 2006 at two digit Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) level|
|nes = not elsewhere specified. Note: Further detail is available in OTS publications and from the website www.uktradeinfo.com Source: HM Revenue and Customs Overseas Trade Statistics|
(a) For reasons of confidentiality, HM Revenue and Customs do not publish company information at the level of detail required by this question.
(b) This information is not collected.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2006, Official Report, column 2323W, on citizens advice bureaux, what assessment he has made of the merits of (a) time-limited and (b) on-going support. 
Mr. McCartney: As the previous answer indicated, central Government will not be providing on-going support to Citizens Advice Bureaux in the UK and has therefore not carried out an assessment of support options for the bureaux. Approximately half the current support comes from local authorities that offer time-limited support agreements with possibility of renewal (but no guarantees).
A recent review of the Departments funding of Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland concluded that there were advantages in having a mix of core funding and short-term project support. This can provide stability with the ability to be innovative and flexible to meet changing needs. I will be considering the reports recommendations as part of our Comprehensive Spending Review planning process. The full report is on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/files/file33785.pdf.
Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs presented the Governments response to the Stern review on the economics of climate change in this House on 30 October.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1689W, on departmental property, what items were reported within his Department as being lost or stolen in each month since July 2005 in each building; and what the approximate value was of each item. 
The Departments records do not readily differentiate between items reported as stolen or lost, by building. The breakdown between the three is not held in an easily accessible form and can, therefore, be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
Jim Fitzpatrick: On 7 September 2006 the Department announced the Governments response to a report on doorstep selling published by the Office of Fair Trading in May 2004, in the light of a public consultation between July and November 2004 and further consultations with interested parties in 2005 and 2006. The response says that the Government will:
(a) extend to solicited visits, the cancellation rights and cooling-off period that consumers currently enjoy for unsolicited visits;
(b) require cancellation notices to be provided within contracts; and
(c) encourage greater transparency on prices and greater willingness to provide written quotes.
The first measure (a) will require primary legislation, which the Government will bring forward at the earliest opportunity. We will then implement both options (a) and (b) by bringing forward revised Regulations in this area.
The response recommended that the third measure (c) be taken forward through industry self-regulation, by encouraging traders to operate under Codes of Practice that have been approved under the Office of Fair Tradings Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, or for the building and construction trades through participation in TrustMark.
Mr. McCartney: The UK took an active part in discussions to agree a joint ACP/EU declaration on the review currently taking place and we pushed hard for language that reflects our UK position. We see the review as an opportunity to highlight concerns raised by both sides and we regularly ask the Commission for updates on progress. We have also asked the Commission to hold an EPA Expert Group meeting in November in order to feedback to all member states on progress to date, raise any concerns and provide a timeline for completion of negotiations.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to increase financial support for (a) energy research and development and (b) the deployment of low carbon technologies. 
Malcolm Wicks: Research Councils support for energy research is increasing from £40 million per annum to £70 million per annum between 2005-06 and 2007-08. Funding for the following three years will be determined in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced in September a commitment of up to £500 million to a new Energy Technologies Institute, to create a £l billion joint venture with industry over the next decade for energy research and development.
In June, my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced the new Environmental Transformation Fund which is intended to boost investment in low carbon technologies and in energy efficiency. The fund will focus on demonstration and deployment of low carbon technologies. It is expected to run over the next CSR period from 2008-09 through to 2010-11. Details of the Fund will be announced in due course.
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