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21 Jun 2007 : Column 2081Wcontinued
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the sources of funding for extremist imams in the UK; and which countries have been identified as sources of funding. 
Mr. McNulty: The Home Office has made no assessment about the sources of funding for extremist imams in the UK. However, the Government are undertaking a range of measures to tackle violent extremism, which includes strengthening the role of faith institutions and leaders, further details of which can found in the Communities and Local Government publication Preventing Violent Extremism (http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id =1506079) and a public consultation, run by the Home Office and HM Treasury, on how charitable organisations can best be safeguarded from exploitation (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/Charities_consultation.pdf?view=Binary).
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner has provided to the Valuation Office Agency on the practice of inspections and surveillance for valuation purposes. 
Mr. McNulty: The Office of Surveillance Commissioners has not given the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) any advice or guidance, nor been asked to, in relation to conduct undertaken by the agency for the purpose of valuing properties for council tax. The Agency does not carry out surveillance of individuals and does not operate covertly, and its officers always identify themselves as VOA officers when carrying out their duties.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to tackle illegal rave activity. 
Mr. Coaker: The Government and the police are clear that illegal rave activity is not acceptable and are committed to tackling the disorder and antisocial behaviour associated with raves which intimidates and alienates local communities.
The police are equipped with a range of powers to deal with raves. Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 allows police to direct rave goers to leave an event. Following reports of problems with raves in buildings such as barns, the police were given powers in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 to direct participants at indoor raves to leave buildings where trespass is involved, and to include events of 20 or more people. The Government have also made it a criminal offence for a person on whom a direction under section 63 has been served to attend any rave within 24 hours of the direction being given.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation was carried out with the NHS and its associated bodies prior to the implementation of the new immigration rules on how the rules would affect foreign national doctors employed by the NHS. 
John Reid: On 7 November, the Government announced changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant programme (HSMP). These changes included the removal of a GP Priority category, which awarded points to GPs registered with the General Medical Council, on the strength that the increase in funding for doctors training has increased the number of qualified GPs available, removing the need for special arrangements to attract GPs from abroad.
The removal of the GPs provision was agreed with the Department of Health and cleared across Government.
It is not the Governments intention to disqualify highly-skilled applicants with medical qualifications, who could still qualify under the new HSMP criteria.
11. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the carbon price necessary to achieve the Governments carbon dioxide reduction objectives. 
Ian Pearson: The Government do not set or seek a particular price for carbon allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. As it is a Market Mechanism the Government believe it is the role of the market to establish the carbon price. The Governments role is to ensure sufficient scarcity in the market and its proper functioning.
20. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on Government support for the biomass industry in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: I have regular contact with ministerial colleagues on a range of biomass issues. The Energy White Paper and the UK Biomass Strategy set out the Governments commitment to increasing the use of biomass and the support needed to achieve our goals.
21. John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to modify the minimum separation distances between GM and non-GM crops. 
Ian Pearson: We are still considering the responses to the proposed coexistence separation distances we set out for consultation last year.
22. Ms Butler: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assistance his Department provides to businesses to improve their management of waste, with particular reference to recycling. 
Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRAs Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme is returning £284 million of landfill tax receipts to businesses, over the three years to March 2008, through targeted waste projects designed to help them increase recycling, minimise waste and improve resource efficiency. The Waste and Resources Action Programme is helping businesses in a range of sectors to recycle more and landfill less.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned cars were recorded in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire, (f) Norfolk and (g) England in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Data on the number of abandoned vehicles both removed and destroyed by local authorities or their agents are shown in the following table.
|Numbers of abandoned vehicles (thousands)|
Results, which include estimated values for authorities not responding, are available for each year from 2000-01 to 2005-06. Prior to 2000-01, this information was not collected by this Department.
Results are recorded collectively from district councils within each county council area. Results from the four unitary authorities have been included with their county of original origin, hence: Luton DA with Bedfordshire, Peterborough UA with Cambridgeshire and Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock UAs with Essex.
DEFRA municipal waste statistics.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average retail price was of (a) apples, (b) beef, (c) cabbages, (d) carrots, (e) chicken, (f) eggs, (g) lamb, (h) onions, (i) pork, (j) potatoes, (k) tomatoes, (l) wheat and (m) milk in each year since 1995. 
Barry Gardiner: The retail prices from 1995 up to 2006 for the listed commodities are shown in the following table:
| Source: Office of National Statistics, consumer price indices, RPI average retail price of selected items|
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