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16 Jan 2007 : Column 964W—continued

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with which countries schools in the UK have so far been linked under his Global Schools Partnerships programme. [115116]

Mr. Thomas: Schools in the UK have been linked with the following countries under the DFID Global School Partnerships programme for the period January 2003 to December 2006.

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World Classroom Publication

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was for the (a) production and design, including payments to Cog Design, and (b) distribution to schools of the The World Classroom publication. [115105]

Mr. Thomas: The cost for (a) the production and design of The World Classroom (including payments to Cog Design) was £13,203.53. There is a Welsh language version of this publication in production; costs are yet to be finalised.

(b) DFID does not distribute publications directly to schools as per the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) guidelines. The document has been distributed to Development Education Centres and other partner organisations and this has come to £451.07 to date.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many World Classroom publications have been delivered to schools in the UK to date. [115106]

Mr. Thomas: 20,000 copies of the World Classroom were printed and distribution began on 8 January 2007. It is too early to say how many copies have yet been received by schools.

Copies were sent to DFID’s regional education co-ordinators across the UK and they are taking responsibility for local distribution. DFID has also promoted the publication on its website and has closely collaborated with DfES, the Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Assembly for their assistance with distribution.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many civil servants in his Department worked to produce the World Classroom publication, broken down by pay band. [115107]

Mr. Thomas: Two DFID staff members worked on this publication in November and December, while also performing other wider ranging tasks required of them in their posts. A grade 8 (A3) staff member managed and produced the publication, overseen by a grade 6 (A1) line manager.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when preparation for his Department’s the World Classroom publication commenced. [115108]

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Mr. Thomas: Preparation of World Classroom began following an initial meeting between DFID and Treasury officials on 20 November 2006.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Abandoned Vehicles

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to reduce the number of abandoned cars; and if he will make a statement. [114646]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of abandoned vehicles has significantly reduced over the last few years. DEFRA’s Waste Data Flow survey shows that there has been a 58 per cent. reduction from 294,000 in 2002-03 to an estimated 126,000 in 2005-06.

The end-of-life vehicle directive (ELV) sets out measures to recycle and reuse end-of-life vehicles and their components to reduce the amount of waste sent for disposal. The producer responsibility obligations mean that, since 1 January 2007, vehicle producers have been required to make available an adequate network of facilities where last owners can receive free take-back for their vehicles.

Best Value Performance Indicator 218 was introduced to record the percentage of vehicles investigated within 24 hours of the report being received and the percentage of vehicles being removed within 24 hours of being legally entitled to do so. This will encourage local authorities to clear vehicles from the road as quickly as possible and therefore reduce the probability of arson and associated antisocial behaviour. This is a mandatory local area agreement indicator for all local authorities in receipt of Neighbourhood Renewal funding.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 gives local authorities more powers to deal with abandoned cars. All vehicles abandoned on a road can now be removed as soon as they are identified. The definition of ‘road’ has been widened, so abandoned vehicles can be removed immediately from any road. Rules on disposing of abandoned vehicles have been simplified. Abandoned vehicles that are only fit for destruction, or those that do not display a license or number plate, can now be destroyed immediately. If local authorities are unable to find the owner of a vehicle, or if the owner does not collect the vehicle within seven days of being contacted, the vehicle can be disposed of. Also, local authorities can impose fixed penalties of £200, in lieu of prosecution, if the owner of an abandoned vehicle can be identified.

DEFRA is also working closely with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to increase the percentage of vehicles that are registered. The introduction of continuous registration and the statutory off-road notice have made it easier to provide a clear picture of vehicle ownership through the vehicle register. 93 local authorities have received training and devolved powers from the DVLA to remove unlicensed vehicles from the road. It is often unlicensed vehicles that end up abandoned
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and/or are involved in criminal activity and therefore the quicker they are identified and removed the better. It is likely that the number of abandoned vehicles will continue to decrease as the percentage of unlicensed vehicles is reduced.

Agricultural Land

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of land in (a) England and (b) each EU member state is devoted to agricultural use. [113921]

Barry Gardiner: In 2005, 75 per cent. of land in England, including common land, was on an agricultural holding. The proportion across the whole of the UK is 77 per cent.

EU-wide figures are available excluding common land. These are shown in the table as follows:

Member state Land on agricultural holdings (excluding common land) as a proportion of total land, 2005



United Kingdom


Czech Republic
















































1. The area of land on agricultural holdings is collected through the EU Farm Structure Survey. Common land is not included as part of this survey. Although the data is largely collected on a comparable basis in each member state, the threshold for the smallest agricultural holding to be included in the survey does vary.
2. The total land area figures are for 2003.
3. The area of land on agricultural holdings is not available on a comparable basis for Bulgaria and Romania.
Agricultural land area—EU Farm Structure Survey, 2005; Total land area—OECD Statistical Year Book, 2006

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Agricultural Waste Regulations

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures his Department has put in place to ensure that farmers are aware of their obligations under the Agricultural Waste Regulations. [116250]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Sensitive Farming programme, funded by Defra, holds workshops, seminars and farm walks for farmers and growers across all regions. The programme covers the Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 (Agricultural Waste Regulations), advising farmers what they are required to do and helping them to minimise waste.

The Environment Agency (EA) has published information and guidance to farmers on their obligations with regards to dealing with agricultural waste, including the document “Waste—you can handle it. New rules on agricultural waste”. This is available from the EA's website at the following address:

The EA has also set up a dedicated helpline for farmers and growers to offer advice and support on the new regulations.

Animal Welfare Act

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to announce a timetable for secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006; and if he will make a statement. [114521]

Mr. Bradshaw: During the passage of the Animal Welfare Act through Parliament, the noble Lord Rooker and I made a number of commitments for the introduction of secondary legislation. The following table outlines in full our intended timetable for the introduction of secondary legislation:

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Issue Proposed timetable


Regulations by April 2007 (to be introduced at same time as Act comes into force)

Tail Docking

Regulations by April 2007 (to be introduced at same time as Act comes into force)

Racing Greyhounds

Regulations by 2008

Pet Fairs

Regulations by 2008

Primates as Pets

Code of Practice by 2008

Wild Animals in Circuses

Regulations by 2008

Cat Code

Code of Practice by 2008

Dog Code

Code of Practice by 2008

Pet shops

Regulations and possible Code of Practice by 2008

Game Birds

Draft code of practice by end 2008 Coming into force 2009

Animal (dog and cat) Boarding

No commitment(1)

Tethering of horses

No commitment(1)

Riding Schools

No commitment(1)

Livery Yards

No commitment(1)

Animal Sanctuaries

No commitment(1)

Performing Animals

No commitment(1)

(1) These regulations and codes will be introduced as soon as possible in line with available resources. Bringing any other issues forward may have a detrimental effect where commitments have already been given.

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