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The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Vaccination is the key tool for containment and control of bluetongue, and the ongoing approach to vaccination will be shaped in discussion with the farming industry. Following discussions with livestock industry and veterinary profession stakeholders during the development of the 2008 vaccination plan, it was concluded by Defra and the core group of industry stakeholders that a voluntary approach should be taken.
The vaccination plan for bluetongue serotype 8 in 2009 is currently being developed with stakeholders. Further details will be announced following these discussions with the expectation that the vaccination plan will be published by December. This will be made available on the Defra website.
Why the proposed upland entry level scheme due to replace the hill farm allowance requires a five-year commitment from tenant farmers renting land on an annual basis; and what area of the countryside will, thereby, receive no environmental upkeep. [HL6074]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): All UK agri-environment schemes (including the proposed uplands strand of the entry level environmental stewardship scheme, or upland ELS) are part-funded by the European Union, and it is an EU requirement that commitments under these schemes last a minimum of five years. This is the minimum period necessary to achieve the environmental benefits being paid for. In order to comply with that requirement, it is necessary to obtain the agreement of the landowner (or the next tenant if his rights to the land are defined) where the tenant does not have rights for the full term of the agri-environment agreement.
Farmers with tenancies of less than five years at the time of application will be able to apply for upland ELS provided the landowner countersigns the application and agrees to continue the funded management should the tenant/grazier not be able to do so. The same rule applies to all the other strands of environmental stewardship which have been in place since 2005.
Whether they have considered designing a legally binding agreement allowing tenant farmers access to the proposed upland entry level scheme on the basis that annual renewal of rent for the land in question will denote continuing in the scheme for the full five-year term. [HL6075]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Tenant farmers will be able to access the proposed uplands strand of entry level environmental stewardship, or upland ELS. Farmers with tenancies of less than five years at the time of application will be able to apply for upland ELS provided the landowner countersigns the application, and agrees to continue the funded management should the tenant/grazier not be able to do so. This is to ensure the required land management is carried out for the five-year duration of the agreement. It is an EU requirement that commitments under all agri-environment schemes last a minimum of five years.
Whether they have published guidance on whether the use of body scanners at airports and other security check points complies with provisions relating to the taking of indecent photographs of children in the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and what representations they have received from operators of these scanners on this matter. [HL6208]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Only the UK Border Agency currently uses body scanners and the equipment used does not breach either of the Acts quoted. There are no body scanners currently in use at UK airports as the recent trials have been completed.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): We are supporting the EU and ANFREL (Asian Network for Free Elections) observation missions. Dhaka-based UK officials plan to join the EU election observation mission as short-term observers. International observers have an important role to play, monitoring electoral processes around the world and making recommendations on ways to improve those electoral processes based on their observations.
Lord Bach: We plan to participate in the EU election observation mission, whose efforts will complement other planned international observation missions from the UN, Commonwealth, United States and a regional
19 Nov 2008 : Column WA191
Further to the reply by Lord Myners on 11 November (Official Report, col. 550), how they intend to ensure that the initiative for new financial regulations will come from Her Majesty's Government and not the European Union. [HL6315]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Financial Services Authority, the Bank of England and Her Majesty's Treasury are responsible for financial regulation in the UK. The Government have already announced certain banking reforms. The Chancellor has asked the noble Lord, Lord Turner, the chairman of the FSA, to make recommendations on the reform of financial regulation. The UK works with EU partners to ensure that EU proposals for regulation are appropriate and effective.
What has been the cost to the Treasury of contingent liabilities to each Overseas Territory in each of the past 10 years for which figures are available; and how much of this has been due to damage caused by climate incidents and other natural phenomena. [HL5520]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): All assistance arises from the UK's contingent liability to meet the reasonable assistance needs of the Overseas Territories, and defence commitments.
The following government departments provide the majority of the assistance to the Overseas Territories: the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DfID), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Within these amounts, DfID provided bilateral humanitarian assistance following natural disasters to Montserrat (£19.9 million), St. Helena and Dependencies (£165,000), Anguilla (£112,000) and the Cayman Islands (£3,000).
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