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8 Jan 2007 : Column 284Wcontinued
It should be noted that imports of certain meats from many of these countries are not permitted. The following provides details of these import restrictions:
Where imports are not permitted we believe that any imports recorded in the overseas trade statistics represent consignments which have been exported from GB, rejected and returned or goods where the incorrect customs code have been entered.
There was no recorded trade in meat and meat products during this period for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador or Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Occupied Palestinian Territory is the recognised designation for the Palestinian region used by HMRC.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the (a) value, (b) output and (c) growth rate of the UK organic wine industry in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Owing to technical labelling rules, the EC Regulations do not recognise Organic Wine as such but only recognise Wine Produced from Organically Grown Grapes. There is currently discussion at a European level in relation to amending these rules.
DEFRA has made no assessment of the value, output and growth rate of vineyards under organic production. Statistics given to DEFRA by the Organic Certification Bodies show only two hectares of vineyards currently under organic production in the UK, but this is likely to be an underestimate.
If EU discussions lead to the labelling of organic wine it may encourage producers to convert and further exploit this niche as part of the overall growth of the UK wine industry.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on commissioning public opinion research in each of the last five years. 
Barry Gardiner: DEFRAs Communications Directorate commissions an annual public opinion survey on DEFRA and its policy areas. Surveys conducted since the Departments creation in 2001 are as follows:
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations his Department has received on the application of Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) regulations to (a) trichloroethylene, (b) chromium, (c) nickel, (d) beryllium, (e) kevlar, (f) cadmium, (g) biocides used in the manufacture of high performance materials and (h) other specialist substances; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Department has received a wide range of representations from industry, non-governmental organisations and the public on many aspects of REACH. However, since the formal adoption of the Council Common Position on REACH in June 2006, and during the subsequent course of the European Parliaments Second Reading process, I am not aware of any specific representations on the application of REACH to the substances and products listed by my hon. Friend.
Trichloroethylene, chromium, nickel, and cadmium are strictly controlled by existing legislation, and REACH will take a similar approach. There is a separate regulatory regime for biocides under the EU Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC), and these substances will be regarded as already registered for the purposes of REACH.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90W, on the retirement age, what his Department's policy is on the application of the national default retirement age to staff below the Senior Civil Service. 
Barry Gardiner: With the new Age Legislation coming into force in October 2006, DEFRA no longer has a set retirement age for employees below the senior civil service.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the payment of reuse credits by local authorities following the guidance issued to local authorities by his Department in April. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Recycling Credits scheme was reformed through section 49 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (CNEA). Changes to the Scheme increase the flexibility of payments from waste disposal authorities (WDAs) to waste collection authorities (WCAs) in two-tier areas by giving them the option to jointly agree alternative arrangements. These changes have been in effect since April 2006. The CNEA also clarified that recycling credits can be paid for reuse activity and that reuse should be treated in the same way as recycling for the purposes of the scheme.
Local authorities (LAs) have the power to pay credits to third parties for the recycling and reuse activity they carry out. These payments are at the discretion of individual LAs so that they can take account of local circumstances. The Government introduced updated guidance in April this year, which gives greater encouragement to LAs to adopt good practice. The guidance strengthens the existing presumption that LAs will consider applications for credits from third parties which meet certain criteria and consider the social, environmental and economic benefits associated with community recycling.
The guidance makes it clear that credit values should be the same for reuse as they are for recycling and disposal credits for third parties should be calculated on the same basis as credits for waste collection authorities.
Guidance on the recycling credits scheme can be found on the DEFRA website at:
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to what date his Department is committed to fund rural community councils; what plans he has to fund rural community councils after this date; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Since 1 April 2005, my Department has committed in excess of £10 million in support of the 38 Rural Community Councils (RCCs) in England, as shown in the following table.
In addition, RCCs benefit from grants and other funding for specific rural community development projects and activities.
Current funding agreements with RCCs end on 31 March 2008. A decision on future funding will be made in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many 2005 single farm payments have been made for a sum less than €100; what estimate he has made of 2005 payments of less than €100 yet to be paid; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: As at 12 December 2006 the total number of payments made for the 2005 single farm payments scheme for less than €100 is 12,232. Of these, 12,179 were paid in full and 53 have been partially paid. There are 756 claims that are yet to receive either a partial or a full payment.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many 2005 single farm payments were made for a sum in excess of (a) €300,000 and (b) £1 million; who the recipients were of those awards; how much was received by each recipient; what estimate he has made of the number of 2005 payments of each size yet to be paid; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: As at 12 December 2006 the total number of payments made for the 2005 single payment scheme (SPS) in excess of €300,000 is 310, of which seven are in excess of £1 million. Of these, 300 have been paid in full and 10 have been partially paid.
There are no claims of value €300,000 or more that are yet to receive either a partial or full payment.
The figures produced are gross amounts and may differ when compared to the amount actually received by the customer as some element of the payment may have been automatically intercepted to pay off an outstanding debt.
It is the Rural Payments Agencys (RPA) intention to publish on its website, shortly after the completion of 2005 SPS payments, details of amounts of SPS money paid to farmers and associated farm businesses. This follows the precedent set of publishing common agricultural policy payments for the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund for 2003-04 and 2004-05 over the last two years.
Well-known delays in implementing year one of SPS have impacted on RPAs payment timetable, but once service has normalised, the intention is to publish
details of non-SPS CAP payment details in the spring and SPS payment details in the autumn each year.
A table showing the amount received by each recipient has been placed in the House Library.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Rural Payments Agency has established a separate team to process outstanding claims in respect of 2005-06 single farm payments. 
Barry Gardiner: The Rural Payments Agency has a dedicated team of staff working on processing the remaining 2005 single payment scheme claims. The team is working hard to ensure that as many claims as possible are paid before the end of December.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, columns 306-7W, on the Rural Payments Agency, what total amount of interest the Department has paid following late payments under the single payment scheme. 
Barry Gardiner: In respect of the 2005 single payment scheme, the total amount of interest paid by the Rural Payments Agency by the end of November 2006 is £596,000.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of previously outstanding payments under the single farm payment scheme have been paid in full in North Yorkshire since 31 March 2005. 
Barry Gardiner: As at 30 November 2006 the total value of Single Farm Payment Scheme payments made to customers in North Yorkshire amounted to £109,025,115.
The value of payments yet to made amounts to £521,721.
The payment value includes partial payments made.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which EU member states have been making (a) partial and (b) full single farm payments since 1 December; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Informal reports from the other 14 EU member states who are operating the 2006 single payment scheme suggest that all intend to begin making either full or partial payments during December 2006.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many claimants in England have received (a) partial and (b) full 2006 single farm payments since 1 December; what percentage this figure represents of total claimants; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: No 2006 single farm payments have been made.
A total of 1,705 full 2005 single farm payments were made between 1 December and 12 December 2006 (inclusive). This figure represents 1.46 per cent. of 2005 total claimants paid between 1 December and 12 December 2006 (inclusive).
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what factors were taken into account in the decision to end the funding for the scheme set up to help tenant farmers to seek the means to diversify. 
Barry Gardiner: The decision to end the adjudication scheme was not taken lightly. The Scheme supports the Code of Good Practice for agri-environment schemes and diversification projects within agricultural tenancies. It is administered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and was set up in December last year, with the intention that it would continue for a period of four years. However, since its launch in December 2005, there has not been a single application for the Scheme.
Given the current financial constraints within DEFRA, it would not have been a sensible use of public money to allocate funds for a further three years to a scheme in which there has been no interest. Therefore, we decided reluctantly that the Scheme should be closed at the end of 2006.
The closure of the Scheme does not affect the validity of the Code of Good Practice, which stands in its own right and gives useful and informative advice to tenants and landlords contemplating diversification activities. The Code is available from the DEFRA website at:
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much total allowable catch previously under UK jurisdiction is outside UK territorial waters following the cessation of sovereignty of Rockall. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are over 200 fish stocks for which the EC Fisheries Council sets total allowable catches (TACs). Only one of those stocks, Clyde herring, is exclusively within the United Kingdom's (UK) fisheries limits (this is unchanged by the cessation of the sovereignty of Rockall). The others are in other sea areas as well as the UK's limits. For these stocks, no separate part of the total allowable catch is related exclusively to the UK waters involved. Therefore, it is not possible to provide the information requested.
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