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6 Dec 2006 : Column 417W—continued

Film

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many responses her Department received to the consultation on the new guidance on the Cultural Test for Films. [107355]

Mr. Woodward: The Department carried out a full 12-week consultation on the existing cultural test in 2005, and developed and published the underlying guidance in response to views expressed in that exercise.

The new test and underlying guidance, which retain many of the features of the previous versions, were developed in consultation with HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Film Council and following discussions with the European Commission. Responses from the original consultation were borne in mind throughout this process.


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Olympic Games London

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her Department sought to publicise the extension to the deadline for the consultation on the Tourism Strategy for the 2012 games to all interested stakeholders; and if she will make a statement. [104784]

Mr. Woodward: There was no publicised extension to the consultation deadline. We maintained an open dialogue with stakeholders throughout the process and gave individuals and organisations, who requested a limited extension, time to submit a quality response.

Piers

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her strategy is for the long-term sustainability of seaside piers; and if she will make a statement. [104830]

Mr. Woodward: This Department does not have a strategy for the sustainability of seaside piers. However, the English Heritage Seaside Research Project is examining the broad historical contribution of the pier to England's seaside. Its findings will be published in a monograph, which is due to be published in September/October 2007. The research gathered in the course of the project will be used to develop policy for English Heritage, which might include specific initiatives on the conservation and future of piers.

Sports Pay

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people are employed as county sport partnership directors; and what the (a) minimum, (b) median and (c) maximum salary is of those employed. [104772]

Mr. Caborn: There are 49 directors of the County Sports Partnerships.

Salaries range from £35,000 to £50,000. The median salary is £43,000. This variation is due to differences in partnership size.

Scotland

Gender Equality

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to carry out gender impact assessments of his Department's major policy developments and new legislation. [101528]

David Cairns: I have no immediate plans to carry out a gender impact assessment as the statutory functions of the Scotland office relate to constitutional matters arising from the devolution settlement and the conduct of elections to the Scottish Parliament.


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Special Advisers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many of his Department's civil servants work full-time to support departmental special advisers; and what the salary is of each such civil servant. [106500]

David Cairns: None.

Wales

Departmental Statistics

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on statistics relating to the work of his Department in each of the last five years. [107281]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office spent 235 on statistics in 2005-6. Figures for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Furniture

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was spent by his Office on furniture made by British firms in each year since 2000. [105148]

Mr. Hain: Since 1999 my office has generally obtained furniture through procurement contracts administered by the National Assembly of Wales and the Department for Constitutional Affairs. For this, the information requested could not be obtained without disproportionate cost. We procured some furniture directly this year, at a cost of £690, all of it manufactured in the UK.

Gender Equality

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to carry out gender impact assessments of his Department’s major policy developments and new legislation. [101526]

Mr. Hain: My Department will conform to the requirement to carry out gender impact assessments as part of our processes for dealing with major policy developments and legislation.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Bovine Tuberculosis: Shropshire

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to help reduce bovine tuberculosis in Shropshire. [104845]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 29 November 2006, Official Report, column 678W.


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Canine Shock Collars

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) funded into the (i) safety and (ii) ethics of electric shock collars for dogs. [106400]

Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA has not yet commissioned or funded any research into electric shock collars for dogs, though we are currently considering this.

A limited tender call asking for proposals to assess the effect of electronic pet training aids (specifically static pulse, anti-bark, and inert gas training systems) on the welfare of dogs was circulated in July.

A single proposal was received, which is now undergoing internal and external assessment before a decision is taken on whether to commission this research. If any research is commissioned we would expect work to start in April 2007.

The terms of the call were for studies focusing on an epidemiological approach into the behavioural, physiological and psychological effects of electric training collars on the welfare of dogs. Safety is implicit in this.

DEFRA has also asked the Companion Animal Welfare Council to undertake an independent study of available evidence on the use of these electronic training aids, to help inform policy and complement any research that the Department may commission. The overall aim is to develop a sound evidence-base to formulate policy on whether or not to regulate such devices. Ethical issues are an integral part of animal welfare policy considerations.

I also refer my hon. Friend to the answer given in the other place on 8 November 2006, Official Report, column WA161.

Contaminated Land

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) who will be responsible for the treatment of contaminated areas in the event that no specific polluter can be identified; [106736]

(2) what enforcement measures may be taken against polluters of contaminated land. [106983]

Mr. Bradshaw: Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) places a duty on local authorities (LAs) in England to identify contaminated land in their area, and to ensure that the appropriate remedial action is taken. Where land has been identified as contaminated, the LA will try to find the person who caused, or knowingly permitted, the presence of the substances causing the problem. If found, they will be required to carry out any necessary remedial works. Where the person responsible cannot be found, for example because a company is no longer in existence, the landowner may be the appropriate person, subject to detailed rules in the Act and the statutory guidance. The guidance (DEFRA Circular 01/2006) is available on the DEFRA website at:


6 Dec 2006 : Column 421W

The regime allows for voluntary remediation, and also for the relevant LA to carry out remediation on behalf of those considered liable and to recover the cost. As a last resort, the LA can serve a remediation notice requiring work to be done, subject to a right of appeal. Failure to comply with a remediation notice is a criminal offence.

Environment Agency

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many businesses have registered for the Environment Agency’s NetRegs email alert service; and if he will make a statement. [107427]

Ian Pearson: The NetRegs website (www.netregs.gov.uk) provides environmental guidance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) throughout the UK. The NetRegs e-alerts service informs registered users of the latest important updates to the NetRegs website. The service was launched in February 2006 and, to date, 4,334 users have registered. Five bi-monthly e-alerts have been produced so far.

The NetRegs website itself attracts over 30,000 different users every month. It provides guidance for 105 different business sectors and has received excellent feedback from businesses, trade associations and business support organisations.

NetRegs has conducted extensive user research and website testing. This is enabling improvements that will strengthen the website’s usefulness for SMEs.

Farm Inspections

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will provide more on-farm inspections to oversee the breeding and husbandry of animals. [107531]

Mr. Bradshaw: The State Veterinary Service (SVS) carries out inspections on farms to check that welfare legislation and codes are being followed. In addition to spot checks and planned visits, the SVS follows up all complaints and allegations of poor welfare on specific farms as a matter of urgency. In 2005, the SVS carried out 6,123 on-farm welfare inspections. This compares with 5,431 welfare inspections carried out in 2004.

From 1 January 2007, cross-compliance inspections will include checks on the welfare of farmed animals. Most farms will be selected on a risk basis, ensuring that those with a higher risk of not meeting legislative standards are more likely to be selected for inspection. This is in line with DEFRA’s Better Regulation policy, to reduce burdens on the majority of farmers who do comply with the law.

Fisheries

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many British sea fishermen there were in each year since 1997. [106779]


6 Dec 2006 : Column 422W

Mr. Bradshaw: The following table gives the total number of fishermen in the UK for each year since 1997.

Number of fishermen

1997

18,604

1998

17,889

1999

16,896

2000

15,649

2001

14,958

2002

14,205

2003

13,122

2004

13,453

2005

12,647


Detailed data on the number of fishermen operating in each year since 1997 are published in “UK Sea Fisheries Statistics 2005” which is available on the Marine Fisheries Agency (MFA) website at:

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total EU subsidy for each national fishing fleet was in each year since 1985. [106746]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not hold all the information requested. However, some of the information is available within the report “Financial Support OECD Fisheries: Implications for Sustainable Development” which has been placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many British sea fishing vessels (a) under and (b) over 10 metres in length were in use in each year since 1997. [106778]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 1 September 2006, there were 5,977 fishing vessels registered and licensed in the United Kingdom (excluding Islands). Of these, 1,458 were over 10 metres in length and 4,519 were 10 metres or under in length. The data for the years 1997 to 2005 are in the following table.

Number under 10 metres Number over 10 metres

1997

5,474

2,338

1998

5,487

2,152

1999

5,409

2,039

2000

5,273

1,969

2001

5,227

1,942

2002

5,287

1,746

2003

5,113

1,622

2004

5,092

1,549

2005

4,833

1,508


Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) total allowable catches and (b) levels of discards were within British territorial waters for each fish species in 2005-06. [106770]


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