Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the last year of the current economic cycle will be included in the next economic cycle for the purposes of calculating compliance with the Golden Rule. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 8 January 2007]: The Government set out their latest assessment of progress against the Golden Rule in each Budget and pre-Budget report. The most recent assessment is set out in paragraphs 2.54 to 2.57 of the 2006 pre-Budget report, Cm 6984.
Mrs. May: To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission (1) how many written parliamentary questions to the Public Accounts Commission in the 2005-06 Session were not answered wholly or in part on grounds of disproportionate cost; 
(2) how many written parliamentary questions to the Public Accounts Commission in the 2005-06 Session were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before prorogation, or similar wording. 
|Number of licences issued
Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings (a) he and (b) his Ministers have held with boating organisations since the announcement of budget reductions to British Waterways in 2006-07. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 5 December 2006]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to her on 11 December 2006, Official Report, column 731W. This details meetings the Secretary of State has had with British Waterways. The Secretary of State has not met with any boating organisations. Lord Rooker met the chair of the Inland Waterways Association informally on 26 November.
I met with British Waterways on 19 July and 27 November 2006 and with the Broads Authority on 16 March and 18 September 2006 and I also met with the Waterways Trust on 26 April 2006 and The Waterways all Party Parliamentary Group on 12 December 2006.
Mr. Bradshaw: Ministers and officials in the Department have regular discussions with EU counterparts on agricultural issues, in particular in the context of the monthly Agriculture and Fisheries Council meetings.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the UK fish stock was classified as (a) in danger and (b) at risk in (i) 2001, (ii) 1996 and (iii) the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) classifies a stocks status by comparing the amount of mature fish (the spawning stock biomass) and the rate at which the stock is exploited in comparison with agreed reference levels.
In terms of spawning stock biomass, a stock is considered to have either full reproductive capacity, being at risk of suffering reduced reproductive capacity or suffering reduced reproductive capacity.
The current system for classification was introduced in 1998, making comparison with earlier years difficult. The following table presents the percentage composition within each category for the 47 stocks of most interest to the UK. Figures are given for 1998, 2001 and 2006.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Securing the Benefits initiative in tackling fisheries management since June 2005. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Good progress has been made since DEFRA and the devolved administrations published Securing the Benefits in response to the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit landmark report, Net Benefits. In particular, in terms of modernisation of fisheries management, we have achieved the following results:
(i) We have appointed a Regional Fisheries Manager for South West England to pilot the benefits of the role.
(ii) We have begun work to change the quota management system in the UK. We are developing options for change and will soon be consulting on these.
(iii) We have set up a Marine Fisheries Science Advisory Group.
(iv) We have continued to fund the Fisheries Science Partnership and, with industry involvement, identified projects for 2006-07 including work on North East coast crabs and lobsters, North Sea whiting and Eastern Channel cod.
(v) We have set up a new fund for science projects.
(vi) We have put in place registration of buyers and sellers of fish to strengthen the assurance that all fish are caught and landed in compliance with the relevant fisheries legislation.
(vii) We have appointed regional advisers to help with applications for grants under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance.
(viii) We have announced that modernised Sea Fisheries Committees (SFCs) will be given new powers, through the Marine Bill, to deliver improved management of fish stocks and the marine environment.
(ix) We have announced an increased minimum landing size for bass which will offer greater protection to the stock while providing more and larger bass for commercial fishermen and anglers.
Further information on the progress that has been made over the last year is contained in DEFRAs progress report which was published as a supplement to Fishing Focus in October 2006 on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/fish/pdf/fishfocus 1006supp.pdf.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many seizures there were of wild birds illegally imported into the UK in the 12 months (a) before and (b) since October 2005. 
Mr. Bradshaw: From October 2004 to September 2005, Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) made seven seizures of wild birds illegally imported into the UK under their border enforcement powers relating to the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). These comprised 311 wild birds in total.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the security costs were for each UK international airport in each of the last three years; and with whom responsibility lies for meeting those costs. 
The costs associated with delivering the Governments aviation security requirements are the responsibility of the industry. In some cases security will be a dedicated function and in others security will be combined with other duties. It is
therefore not possible to put a figure on the financial cost to industry of implementing security measures.
Gillian Merron: The Secretary of State made a written statement 20 July 2006 confirming that the content of the report is not appropriate for public consumption and will not therefore be placed in the Library.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his written statement of 20 July 2006, Official Report, column 56WS, on airport policing, if he will place in the Library a summary and the recommendations of the report. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 8 January 2007]: The Secretary of State made a written statement, 20 July 2006, confirming that the content of the report is not appropriate for public consumption and will not therefore be placed in the Library.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures he has put in place to ensure that car owners do not alter exhaust or silencer systems after an MOT test to ensure that those systems do not break noise regulations. 
Dr. Ladyman: Enforcement of the Road Traffic Regulations is primarily a matter for the police, although the Vehicle Operator and Standards Agency support this process through a programme of roadside inspections.
An objective assessment of the noise levels of individual vehicles during a roadside inspection is problematic due to interference from other noise sources, and static testing does not necessarily give a good representation of the level of noise with the vehicle in motion. However the Department is considering letting further research into the feasibility of a simple and robust test that might be used in these circumstances.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will further tighten regulations 54 and 97 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 to ensure that exhaust and silencer systems remain in good working order and do not make excessive noise. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department currently has no plans to tighten the regulations referred to, although this position is kept under review. Regulation 54 already requires exhaust systems to be maintained in good and efficient working order and prohibits modification to increase the level of noise emissions. The regulations as they stand are therefore adequate for dealing with noisy vehicles.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the current distance vision test for checking novice drivers vision; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Ladyman: A review of the eyesight testing requirements for drivers is being undertaken alongside a review of medical licensing, and it is intended to issue proposals for consultation in the spring.
Accurate estimates of the prevalence of visual function below the current visual standards cannot be made at present. Police officers can check a drivers visual acuity at the roadside only when impaired driving is observed and vision is suspected as its cause. The DVLA can check whether a drivers self-declared unimpaired visual function is correct only when there are reasonable grounds for suspicion.
In 2005 there were 147,509 road accidents in which a police officer attended the scene and at least one contributory factor was identified. Uncorrected defective eyesight was identified as one of the contributory factors in only 226 personal injury accidents. Poor eyesight was named as the sole contributory factor in only 12 of these 226 accidents.