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Written Answers

Volume 421: debated on Thursday 20 May 2004

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 20 May 2004

Environment, Food And Rural Affairs

Fruit Farming

19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on Government support for fruit farming. [174422]

Defra funds a substantial research and development programme of benefit to fruit farmers. Growers are also eligible for assistance under the England Rural Development Programme, for the first time, soft fruit will attract support as a result of CAP reform.

Fisheries

20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on Government measures to protect fish stocks in UK waters. [174423]

There are a range of national and EU measures to protect stocks in our waters. The Prime Minister's Strategy Unit has made far-reaching recommendations for further measures. We are studying the report and will respond fully by the end of the year.

Egg Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received from small-scale egg producers about recent changes to regulations, including those about egg stamping; and if she will make a statement. [174414]

Defra has received an estimated 3,150 inquiries on the Registration of Laying Flocks Order and the Egg Marketing Regulations—by far the majority of these inquiries were from producers wanting to know how to comply with the changes.

Air Quality

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs if she will make a statement on (a) urban and (b) rural air quality in 2003. [174406]

The Government's annual Air Quality Headline Indicator, published on 28 April 2004, estimates:

  • (a) an areas in 2003, air pollution was recorded as moderate or higher on 50 days on average per site, compared with 20 days in 2002
  • (b) In rural areas, the figure for 2003 was 61 days on average per site, compared with 30 in 2002.
  • Avian Flu

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the safety of imported chickens from South East Asia since the recent outbreaks of avian influenza; and if she will make a statement. [173681]

    Under EU rules, imports of live poultry are not permitted from any of the countries in Asia where highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed. This was the case even before the disease outbreaks, as none of these countries had been approved by the European Commission to export live poultry to the EU. Similarly, with the exception of Thailand, imports of meat from the affected countries are not authorised.The risk of the avian influenza virus spreading to other birds through meat is low. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, the European Commission took action on 23 January to ban imports from Thailand of fresh and frozen poultry meat unless accompanied by certification confirming that it was from birds slaughtered before 1 January 2004. In addition, cooked poultry meat that had not been heat treated to at least 70°C, was also banned. The UK took immediate action to implement these measures in domestic law.The Food Standards Agency advice is that eating chicken is not considered a risk to consumers. This is because the risk to people from Avian Influenza arises from close contact with live chickens that have the disease, and not through eating chicken.

    Beef Exports

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further steps she will take to promote the export of beef. [174421]

    Beef exports are currently limited by the requirements of the Date Based Export Scheme. In the light of last week's positive opinions from the European Food Safety Authority, and taking account of any decision to replace the UK's over-30 months rule by testing, we will continue to work with the EU Commission to ensure that controls on UK beef exports are eased as far as possible.

    Beekeeping

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations her Department has received on the hazards that can be caused by beekeeping. [173089]

    Bioremediation

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research has been conducted by or for her Department on bioremediation using genetically modified organisms. [173118]

    The Department has recently published research that specifically examines the potential use of genetically modified organisms in bioremediation (final report available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/research/epg-1–5–142.htm). The report concludes that genetic modification offers some possible benefits in this area, but that, as with all GMOs, a thorough evaluation of the potential risks is required. This evaluation needs to be carried out in the context of the contaminated environment in which bioremediation is applied and the possible alternative approaches to bioremediation.We have also commissioned research on bioremediation in general, some of which has considered the use of genetically modified organisms (for a full list see http://www.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data_projects.asp?M=KWS&V=bioremediation &SCOPE=0).

    Bovine Tb

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of repeated intradermal skin tests on the ability of the test to detect bovine TB infection in individual cattle. [172530]

    There is often a trade-off between test sensitivity and specificity. The skin test used in GB has been fine tuned to optimise specificity (i.e. keep false positives to a minimum) while retaining a good sensitivity (i.e. probability of identifying infected herds). However, because of the dynamics of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis—the causative organism for bovine tuberculosis) transmission and the time it takes to mount a detectable immune response to the intradermal injection of tuberculin, the skin test cannot be relied upon to detect every animal infected with M. bovis at the time of the disclosing test. This phenomenon is not unique to the tuberculin test and, in fact, this is quite normal for any immunological test.For these reasons, it is well accepted that the tuberculin tests are more suited to the detection of infected herds rather than the detection of infected individual cattle, i.e. a small proportion of infected animals in reactor herds may escape detection when the herd is first tested (false negatives). In order to increase the sensitivity of the skin test and detect any animals in the early stages of infection, reactor herds are re-tested at 60 day intervals until no further reactor animals are found and restrictions can be lifted. Reactor herds are then re-tested 6 and 18 months after the lifting of restrictions. Additionally, if infection has been confirmed in the herd by post mortem examination or culture, a more severe interpretation of test readings is applied. This further enhances the ability of the test to detect any residual infection after the initial screening. In other words, the imperfect sensitivity of the skin test is compensated for by the application of short-interval testing and severe interpretation.Defra has also sponsored experimental work at the Institute of Animal Health (Compton), to look into the effects of repeat skin testing. The main finding of this experiment was that repeat testing at 56-day intervals before experimental infection of calves with

    M. bovis had no effect on the animals' ability to respond to an

    intradermal test carried out seven weeks post-infection. Therefore, no matter how often an animal is skin tested before it contracts TB, the sensitivity of the skin test after infection will not be compromised.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has evaluated on the specificity and sensitivity of the Bovigam gamma in interferon test; and what conclusions she has drawn. [172550]

    The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) has reviewed 13 papers reporting gamma-interferon (γ-IFN) field trials in Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, Italy, Spain and USA. Eight papers gave 20 estimates of sensitivity (80 per cent. were in the range 71–94 per cent.) and 8 papers gave 22 estimates of specificity (80 per cent. were in the range 89–99 per cent.). These estimates for sensitivity are similar to those for the skin test as practiced in the UK, but the estimates for specificity are lower. If the γ-IFN test were used at the same time or shortly after the skin test and animals positive to either test were removed, the combined tests would have a greater sensitivity than the skin test alone. If used with the defined, more specific, antigens developed by VLA, the gamma interferon test can in certain circumstances identify uninfected animals that are positive to the skin test.The γ-IFN assay is widely considered to be at least as sensitive as the skin tests and, in addition, will detect a proportion of infected cattle that fail to react to the skin tests. This is thought to be because the γ-IFN test detects infection at an earlier stage than the skin test does, although there is also evidence that the two tests detect slightly different populations of tuberculouses cattle. However, the γ-IFN test is hardly ever used for mass TB screening on its own. This is because the test is relatively expensive, it does not detect all skin test-positive infected animals, it tends to be less specific than the SICCT (the single intradermal comparative cervical test, which is the version of the skin test used in the UK and Ireland) and, the SICCT, it is unlikely to detect infected animals that are negative to the tuberculin test due to a depressed immune response to tuberculin (this can occur in cattle with advanced TB). The need to process samples within 24–30 hours of collection also poses some logistical problems for mass screening.In contrast, it has been postulated that the use of the γ-IFN test in tandem with the skin test could allow the removal of more (but not necessarily all) infected cattle from particular breakdown herds than the skin test alone. If this is correct, use of the two tests in quick succession should speed up the elimination of infection from infected herds. Under this premise, the European Commission approved the γ-IFN test in 2002 for use as an ancillary test in animals that fail to respond to the skin test and it now complements the skin tests in cattle herds with intractable, confirmed infection in many EU member states. It is worth noting that most of these member states use a version of the skin test different to that used in the UK and Ireland.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what level of specificity and sensitivity she has concluded might be applied to control bovine TB in cattle herds which (a) are subject to repeated and persistent bovine TB breakdowns, (b) are subject to a first TB breakdown and which are also in a TB hotspot, (c) are subject to a first TB breakdown and which are not in a TB hotspot, (d) have not been subject to TB breakdowns and which are in a TB hotspot and (e) have not been subject to TB breakdowns and which are not in a TB hotspot. [172551]

    Sensitivity and specificity of tests for bovine TB in cattle have relative rather than absolute meanings as it is not possible to conclusively demonstrate that an animal with no sign of TB is not in the early stages of infection. In addition, it is possible to increase the sensitivity and decrease the specificity by lowering the reading above which the test is declared positive (as occurs with standard and severe interpretations of the skin test).The Divisional Veterinary Managers (DVMs) have the discretion to remove cattle from herds that are not skin test positive—they are generally termed Dangerous Contacts. The DVMs use their epidemiological judgment to vary the criteria used to remove animals in cases

    (a) to (e) in the question.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the predictive models used in other countries to assess the feasibility of controlling bovine TB using the Bovigam gamma interferon test. [172552]

    Other countries with a bovine TB problem comparable to Great Britain's—New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland—have used the interferon test, but there are no published predictive models for its use.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the maximum (a) specificity and (b) sensitivity achieved by the Bovigam gammas interferon test in experiments conducted in the UK is; and under what conditions these results were achieved. [172553]

    Specificity and sensitivity must be quoted together as they are inversely related, and they suffer from the lack of an absolute measure of whether an animal is infected. In the UK, the gamma interferon (γ-IFN) test has been used without the skin test only in laboratory studies.No large-scale validation of the γ-IFN test has been carried out in GB. The ongoing field trial sponsored by Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government in Wales and the Midlands aims to measure the cost effectiveness of using the γ-IFN in infected herds in conjunction with the single intradermal comparative cervical test (SICCT) and provide some data on the γ-IFN test sensitivity under GB conditions. There are also plans in train to assess the specificity of the γ-IFN test in areas of GB with little or no incidence of TB.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) maximum and (b) minimum (i) sensitivity and (ii) specificity is of the comparative intradermal tuberculin test in the UK. [172554]

    There is often a trade-off between sensitivity and specificity of a diagnostic test and no test is 100 per cent. sensitive and 100 per cent. specific. When used as a routine screening test in GB, the single intradermal comparative cervical test (SICCT) is designed to maximise specificity while retaining a good sensitivity.Statistical analysis of TB testing data suggests that the maximum sensitivity of disclosing tests is 90 per cent. and the maximum sensitivity of subsequent (short-interval) tests is 70 per cent. The average specificity of the disclosing test in low-incidence districts of Great Britain is between 99.98 per cent. and 99.99 per cent.When used in herds with confirmed TB, the cut off point of the test is shifted to increase sensitivity at the expense of specificity.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many studies the Government have funded in the last 15 years into the specificity and sensitivity of the Bovigam gamma interferon test; which research establishments conducted each study; what the conclusions of each study were, with reference to specificity and sensitivity; when the results of each study were drawn to the attention of (a) the chief veterinary officers and (b) Ministers; and where and when the results were published. [172556]

    The Bovigam test became commercially available around 1991. Since then, field research in a number of countries, including Britain, has confirmed the test to be a valuable ancillary test to the skin test. We have not conducted studies designed to look particularly at the specificity and sensitivity of the Bovigam test in the UK. However, there are nine current research projects which are looking at the development of more Mycobacterium bovis specific gamma interferon antigens or on the validation of the ones already trialled.Further details of these can be found in Annex 2 of the paper presented to the TB Forum on Gamma Interferon (TBF62) available on line at www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/tb/forum/papers/tbf62.htm.Work is continuing in the form of the policy pilot field trial. In addition, a number of peer-reviewed papers have been published in academic journals.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of combinations of specificity and sensitivity applied in countries which have a bovine TB problem, in their use of the Bovigam gamma interferon test. [172565]

    The performance of the gamma interferon (γ-IFN) test (Bovigam) has been assessed by many authors in trials carried out in several countries with bovine tuberculosis (TB) problems. This research has been carefully evaluated by Defra and scientists from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency.In these trials, the sensitivity of the test has ranged between 55.4 and 100 per cent. and the specificity between 70.0 and 99.6 per cent. However, these results are influenced by the characteristics of the cattle populations in which the studies were carried out, the prevalence of cross-reacting organisms, the cut-off point

    used to interpret the γ-IFN test and the criteria used to establish the

    M. bovis infection status of the trial animals (often known as the "gold standard"). It is not, therefore, straight forward to extrapolate specificity and sensitivity estimates directly from one country to another. Ideally, the performance of a diagnostic test for TB should be evaluated under the conditions and in the geographical area in which the test will be used.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has undertaken a cost and benefit analysis of the use of the Bovigam gamma interferon test. [172568]

    No large-scale validation of the gamma interferon (γ-IFN) test has been carried out in GB. Although the γ-IFN test is now used in several countries, experimental data is lacking on the cost-effectiveness of using γ-IFN in infected herds in conjunction with the single intradermal comparative cervical test. Desk studies have estimated that significant savings will need to accrue from the use of the γ-IFN before it becomes cost-effective in GB. The on-going field trial sponsored by Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government in Wales and the Midlands aims to resolve this question.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice the Central Scientific Laboratory has provided to her Department on the (a) specificity and (b) sensitivity of the Bovigam gamma interferon test; and what advice it has provided on the applicability of the test as a bovine TB control measure; [172999](2) what recent discussions her Department and its agencies have had with Central Science Laboratory on the practical application of its Bovigam gamma interferon test for bovine TB in cattle. [172555]

    No discussions have taken place with the Central Science Laboratory on the subject of the Bovigam gamma interferon test. The Bovigam test was developed by Commonwealth Serological Laboratories Veterinary Ltd., Australia.

    British Produce

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the procurement of British-produced food by public bodies. [173682]

    A key objective of the Government's public sector food procurement initiative is to increase the amount of locally produced food purchased by public sector bodies. This cannot be done by restricting business to UK suppliers because the European Treaty prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. However, the legal and policy framework for procurement does allow public bodies to create a competitive environment that will encourage more UK producers to bid for public sector business.Public bodies are being advised to structure contract requirements so that small and local suppliers have the capacity and opportunity to compete and a realistic chance of being successful. One example is to specify more fresh seasonal produce. We are also asking food service companies to develop opportunities for local producers to become, part of their supply chains.The scope for applying these measures will vary depending on the size and particular requirements of each public sector contract. Public bodies have an overarching duty to secure value for money and so will have to ensure that the measures they adopt to encourage more supplies of local food are proportionate and justified. Nevertheless, the Government are confident that more local produce could be supplied to the public sector through the intelligent application of procurement practice.More information on this initiative is given on Defra's website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/sustain/procurement/index.htm.

    Coastal Defence Strategy

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the Coastal Defence Strategy. [174417]

    Assuming the question is about the River Arun to Pagham Harbour Coastal Defence Strategy, the Department anticipates receiving submission of the Executive Summary some time in June this year. A complete submission of all documentation is anticipated within the next three months. Defra would anticipate making a response within about three months if the documentation is complete.

    Common Agricultural Policy

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the final draft of the mid-term review of the Common Agricultural Policy; how long farmers will have to comply with the requirements of the mid-term review from the date of publication; and if she will make a statement. [174271]

    On 26 June 2003, Official Report, column 1220, my right hon. Friend reported to the House on the political agreement that had been reached that morning on the Commission's proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. That agreement was subsequently given legal effect in Council Regulations 1782/2003, 1783/2003, 1784/2003, 1785/2003, 1786/2003, 1787/2003, and 1788/2003. Member states and individual farmers, where applicable, will have to comply with the requirements of those Regulations until such time as the Regulations are amended or repealed. Some provisions are already in place, for example those relating to the new Dairy Premium Scheme, but most will apply from 1 January 2005, when the new Single Payment Scheme (SPS) is introduced, and some, for example, on the Farm Advisory System, will not apply until later years. Details on these provisions appear on the Department's website (www.defra.gov.uk) and further information will be sent to farmers over the coming months in the lead up to the first application period for the SPS.

    Departmental Expenditure (Entertainment)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her latest estimate is of the amount spent by her Department on official entertainment in each year from 1996–97 to 2004–05. [169004]

    The information for Defra is as follows:

    £
    2001–021239,000
    2002–031450,000
    2003–041428,000
    1 Outturn.
    2 Provisional outturn.
    It should be noted that Defra only came into being in 2001. An estimate is not provided for 2004–05 since specific budgets are not set for this type of expenditure.The figures include expenditure on official entertainment made in accordance with the principles set out in "Government Accounting" and can range from tea and biscuits to catering for major events at which the Department—at official or ministerial level—discusses a range of issues from high-level policy issues to highly technical, legal and scientific issues. All such expenditure is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety.

    Animal Welfare

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much Government funding was allocated to the protection and welfare of animals in 2003–04, broken down by budget heading. [169945]

    In 2003–04 a total of £9.2 million was spent on the protection and welfare of animals. This can be broken down as follows:

    Amount
    Research (£ million)3.6
    Enforcement (£ million)12.5
    Administration (£ million)2.2
    Scheme (£000)2900
    1 This does not include the cost of enforcement by local authorities.
    2 This figure includes items such as contracts with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) and the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS) to support and promote animal welfare.

    Fallen Stock

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the contribution made by hunt kennels to the disposal of farm animal carcases. [174206]

    No formal assessment has been made. Hunt kennels play a useful role in disposal of fallen stock in some areas. However, overall the quantity of material collected is relatively low, and the type of material collected limited, when compared to that collected by the fallen stock collection and disposal industry as a whole.

    Milk

    To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many litres of liquid milk were imported into the UK from EU countries in each of the last five years, broken down by country of origin. [172935]

    The following table shows UK imports of liquid milk from the EU 15 member states in each of the last five years to 2003, broken down by country of despatch.

    UK imports of liquid milk from EU 15 countries, 1999–2003
    Thousand litres
    Country19992000200120022003Grand

    total
    Irish Republic60,34260,19954,83526,233135,719337,328
    Denmark30,33425,1669,42179542566,140
    Germany17,07819,53111,1965,6293,88857,323
    France13,2888,5149,66710,2998,60050,368
    Belgium6,7866,9223,8112,3453,75923,624
    Netherlands3,6204629192,1981,0278,227
    Austria2,8441,3554,200
    Italy1142149110170590
    Portugal04040
    Spain231437
    Sweden11
    EU 15 total134,431122,37889,94047,600153,527547,877

    Note:

    2003 data are provisional and subject to amendment.

    Source: HM Customs and Excise.

    Data prepared by Statistics (Commodities & Food) Consultancy, Trade & IT, ESD, DEFRA.

    Culture, Media And Sport

    Fitness Initiatives

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been (a) allocated to and (b) spent on advertising fitness and exercise initiatives in each year since 1997. [174593]

    The Department has not allocated any specific funding to advertising fitness and exercise initiatives since 1997. However, Sport England has earmarked £250,000 from their budget this financial year to test a campaign in the North East region aimed at changing people's attitude to physical activity. The campaign will be launched on 11 June.

    National Lottery Disbursements

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much lottery money has been distributed in each year from 1997 to date to the (a) Arts Council England, (b) Arts Council of Northern Ireland, (c) Arts Council of Wales, (d) Award for All (England) Joint Scheme, (e) Community Fund, (f) Heritage Lottery Fund, (g) Millennium Commission, (h) New Opportunities Fund, (i) Scottish Arts Council, (j) Scottish Screen, (k) Sport England, (l) Sport Scotland, (m) Sports Council for Northern Ireland, (n) Sports Council for Wales, (o) UK Film Council and (p) UK Sport. [174342]

    The information is shown in the following tables.

    £
    1997–981998–991999–2000
    Arts Council of

    England
    297,674,958.58234,629,859.32201,058,663.29
    Film Council16,056,392.23
    Arts Council of

    Northern Ireland
    10,489,555.039,023,485.268,167,170.78
    Scottish Arts Council32,276,810.0926,608,478.8624,245,201.60
    Arts Council of Wales17,972,111.6214,661,626.1713,398,079.06
    Community Fund366,204,936.20304,414,393.21275,486,728.98
    Heritage Lottery

    Fund
    370,693,625.32315,021,565.87287,593,028.02
    Millennium

    Commission
    402,696,027.65397,144,837.84349,839,026.64
    New Opportunities

    Fund
    1,553,847.62236,630,592.46302,559,277.80
    Sport England307,000,691.38255,901,294.48210,867,545.58
    Sports Council for

    Northern Ireland
    10,126,712.038,316,253.517,162,640.35
    Scottish Sports

    Council
    32,853,648.2627,439,225.2623,584,603.19
    UK Sport18,932,242.63
    Sports Council for

    Wales
    18,173,106.3715,053,130.7412,624,633.25
    Scottish Screen
    2000–012001–022002–032003–04
    Arts Council

    of England
    201,707,450.45207,764,719.59177,936,423.27161,048,185.71
    Film Council33,257,300.9836,272,468.6632,444,398.1328,365,460.42
    Arts Council

    of Northern

    Ireland
    9,236,419.179,208,707.258,543,017.157,135,487.05
    Scottish Arts

    Council
    20,944,373.7823,451,472.1020,747,939.2918,157,194.45
    Arts Council

    of Wales
    14,679,682.5415,153,183.9013,416,816.7411,648,213.52
    Community

    Fund
    295,433,473.86296,124,518.56250,408,130.69223,828,328.31
    Heritage

    Lottery Fund
    321,858,529.67320,101,846.34291,159,343.35246,378,592.73
    Millennium

    Commission
    345,092,502.45123,760,547.9421,355,335.166,254,496.64
    New

    Opportunities

    Fund
    243 244,793.24479,770,400.23418,289,289.56457,523,040.78
    Sport England226,930,617.00228,025,901.28193,744,834.69170,745,796.93
    Sports Council

    for Northern

    Ireland
    7,709,283.558,004,236.177,197,218.306,321,925.77
    Scottish Sports

    Council
    25,850,263.0825,739,278.0823,337,098.9719,758,355.46
    UK Sport24,010,153.1825,614,739.8321,461,040.0119,985,883.40
    Sports Council

    for Wales
    13,910,716.3214,171,442.5412,585,730.8010,521,925.89
    Scottish

    Screen
    5,577,636.683,368,609.382,845,832.592,563,477.41
    The figures are the income to each distributor in each year as derived from the lottery games and the income accrued on balances held.Awards for All (England) is a joint scheme under which Sport England, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Community Fund and New Opportunities Fund contribute money to single joint pot. The Awards for All (England) budget is, as such, part of the figures in the table, not additional.The Awards for All budget in each year was as in the following table.
    £ million
    2000–0139.872
    2001–0240.787
    2002–0345.026
    2003–0443.282

    Public Bodies (Funding)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much grant in aid funding was given to the (a) Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites, (b) Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection, (c) Advisory Council on Libraries, (d) Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art, (e) Spoliation Advisory Panel, (f), Treasure Valuation Committee, (g) Working Group on Human Remains, (h) Advisory Group on Illicit Trade, (i) Live Music Forum, (j) Review of BBC's Digital Television Services and (k) Review of BBC's Digital Radio Services in 2002–03; what the administration costs of each were in that year; and what the projected grant in aid (i) is for each in 2003–04 and (ii) will be for each in (A) 2004–05 and (B) 2005–06. [173705]

    English Heritage administers the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites out of its core grant in aid. The role of the secretariat passed from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) with the successful passage of the National Heritage Act 2002 and has not formed part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's administration costs since then.The actual and forecast cost of support to the Committee, which includes travel and subsistence and expenses for board members, is as follows:

    (a) Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites
    £000
    2002–03<1
    2003–045
    2004–051
    2005–061
    The other Advisory Committees, Groups and Reviews

    (b-k) form part of the Administration and Research budget of DCMS; they are not recipients of grant in aid. Their administration costs are borne by the DCMS whose staff provide secretariat support, accommodation and legal advice. These costs are centrally budgeted and could be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost. Details of the Department's administration costs are published in the DCMS Annual Report 2004, Vol. 1 (CM 6220). Copies may be obtained from the Library of the House.

    Other support to the committees (b-i), which includes travel and subsistence, expenses for board members and publications, did not exceed £100,000 in total in both years 2002–03 and 2003–04. Forecast total budgets for 2004–05 and 2005–06 are not expected to exceed £100,000 in either year.

    There was no expenditure relating the Review of the BBC's Digital Television and Radio services (j-k) in 2002–03 and 2003–04. The combined budget for these reviews in 2004–05 will not exceed £200,000.

    Transport

    Civil Contingencies Bill

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) port facilitiy security officers and (b) airport security officers would be counted as category 2 responders under the Civil Contingencies Bill. [170069]

    The Bill provides that a harbour authority within the meaning of section 46(1) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 and an airport operator within the meaning of section 82(1) of the Airports Act 1986 would be considered as category 2 responders. It will be for them to decide on how they carry out their requirements subject to any guidance issued under the provisions of the Bill.

    Departmental Officials

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials in his Department and associated agencies have initially withheld their salaries from official departmental and parliamentary publications and subsequently disclosed this information in each year since 1997. [172085]

    Since the Department was formed in May 2002 there have been no officials who have initially withheld their salaries from official departmental and parliamentary publications and subsequently disclosed this information.

    Driving Standards Agency

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many overseas visits have been made by management at the Driving Standards Agency in each year since 1997; and what the total cost of these visits is. [174182]

    In April 2003, the Driving Standards Agency introduced an electronic system for the payment of staff travel and subsistence. This shows that during 2003–04, members of the agency's corporate management team made 28 overseas visits, at a cost of some £30,000.Before April 2003, travel expense claims were dealt with as paper transactions and it is not possible for the agency to identify the information easily.

    Electronic Vehicle Licensing Channels

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential effects on Post Offices of setting up electronic vehicle licensing channels. [174173]

    It is estimated that up to 30 per cent. of the eligible population will migrate from re-licensing at Post Office branches to electronic vehicle licensing channels by 2006–07, with this figure increasing to 35 per cent. by 2010–11. This equates to approximately 13 million fewer relicensing transactions at Post Offices in 2006–07.

    Network Rail

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the average period of the maintenance and renewals contracts let by Network Rail is; [173726](2) what criteria are used by Network Rail to determine whether maintenance and renewals work should be undertaken in-house; [173727](3) how much was spent by Network Rail on maintenance and renewals work

    (a) by external contractors and (b) in-house in 2003. [173728]

    These are operational matters for Network Rail. Details of contracts issued by Network Rail are commercially confidential.

    Railways

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the rail projects which have involved the establishment of enhanced Companies (EnCos) since the publication of the Strategic Rail Authority's Strategic Plan. [171402]

    None, because Enhancement Companies (EnCos) proved to be an unnecessarily complex method of involving the private sector. The preferred method now is by means of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), specially formed to take forward an infrastructure upgrade. A number of SPVs are currently under development, including that for the Chiltern Line upgrade.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the impact on his target to increase passenger volumes on the railway of the policy adopted by the Government and the Strategic Rail Authority's to thin rail services. [174073]

    No specific assessment has been made by the Department in this area. However, the SRA's Capacity Utilisation Policy aims to make the best use of capacity on the rail network. In some instances this involves taking lightly used services out of the timetable in order to increase the resilience and reliability of the network and the services that use it. A reliable rail service is a key factor that people consider when deciding whether or not to travel by rail.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the economic impact of (a) regular commuter journeys on the railways and (b) long-distance non-commuter journeys. [174078]

    Advice from the Strategic Rail Authority on the value for money case for investment to enhance passenger rail services includes assessment of the economic impact of the proposal on all rail passengers.

    Road Traffic Accidents

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents took place in bus lanes in the last year for which figures are available. [175086]

    The following table shows the numbers of accidents that took place in bus lanes in 2002, the latest year for which data are available.

    Number
    Fatal6
    Serious142
    Slight864
    Total1,012

    Speed Cameras

    To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many legacy cameras have been removed in each year since 2001. [171922]

    Safety Camera Partnerships are asked to review their sites on a regular basis and will take decisions on which sites should be taken out of operation on either a temporary or permanent basis.

    Prime Minister

    Appointments

    To ask the Prime Minister if he will make an announcement about the re-appointment of His Honour Viscount Colville of Culross QC, His Honour Colin Kolbert and His Honour John Jeremy Fordham as assistant surveillance commissioners, under section 63 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. [175341]

    In accordance with Section 63 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, I have agreed to re-appoint His Honour Viscount Colville of Culross QC, His Honour Colin Kolbert and His Honour John Jeremy Fordham as Assistant Surveillance Commissioners from 1 May 2004 until 30 April 2007 to assist the Chief Surveillance Commissioner in his duties. The remit of each Assistant Surveillance Commissioner covers the whole of the United Kingdom so that any Assistant Surveillance Commissioner can act in jurisdictions other than his or her own.His Honour Viscount Colville of Culross QC, His Honour Colin Kolbert and His Honour John Jeremy Fordham have served as Assistant Surveillance Commissioners since 1 May 2001.Assistant Surveillance Commissioners are appointed under Section 63 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Since the authorisation of intrusive surveillance operations forms a key component of the Government's response to serious and organised crime, I attach considerable importance to these appointments, and I am delighted that they have accepted their re-appointment. In conjunction with Sir Andrew Leggatt, their substantial judicial experience, particularly of the criminal justice system, will provide independent oversight of surveillance operations, which although operationally important, must also be subject to stringent safeguards.

    Climate Change

    To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will use the British Presidency of the UN Security Council in October to ensure that the Security Council has a detailed discussion on climate change as a global security issue, using the full diplomatic resources of the UK to increase the urgency and effectiveness of global action to combat dangerous climate change; and if he will make a statement; [173306](2) if he will make it his policy to include global climate change on the agenda of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2005, in Malta; [173307](3) if he will make it his policy to include climate change on the agenda for the British Presidency of the EU in 2005. [173311]

    As I said in my speech at the launch of the Climate Group on 27 April, climate change is the most important long-term challenge the world faces. We will therefore pursue every opportunity to raise this issue with other nations through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process, during the UK Presidency of the EU and in other fora where this can help to further effective international action on climate change.

    Trade And Industry

    Correspondence

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the hon. Member for West Worcestershire will receive a response to his letter of 31 March. [174746]

    My right hon. Friend the Minister for Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women and Equality replied on 13 May 2004.

    End Of Life Vehicles Directive

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the progress of the consultation on the implementation of the End of Life Vehicles Directive. [174407]

    Public consultation on the draft End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2004, to transpose the remaining provisions (Articles 5 and 7) of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, closed on 30 March. 65 responses were received and are being assessed. The Regulations will be presented to Parliament shortly.

    Exports (Gambia)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the number and types of UK companies (a) exporting goods to, (b) exporting services to and (c) investing capital in The Gambia since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [173441]

    The total number of UK companies exporting goods, services and investing capital in The Gambia since 1997 is difficult to determine because of the poor records held and maintained by the Gambian authorities, including the Registrar General of Companies, the Department for Trade, Customs and Excise and the Gambian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Nevertheless, from enquiries made by and records held at the British High Commission in Banjul, the number of known such companies is 29. However, UK companies are not required to notify the High Commission or UK Trade and Investment that they are doing business in or with The Gambia, and consequently the list cannot be considered to be exhaustive or complete. The majority on the list are small companies operating in the service industry but also include multinationals such as British American Tobacco and Shell. Furthermore, many UK individuals, as opposed to companies, have businesses in The Gambia such as bars and restaurants.An indication of the volume of trade between the UK and The Gambia is shown in the following import/export statistics:

    £ million
    UK exportUK import
    199719.23.1
    199814.42.9
    199916.72.8
    200014.4.3.5
    200118.57.7
    200216.44.0
    200318.962.77

    Identity Theft

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Post Office is taking to minimise identity thefts within its areas of responsibility. [173054]

    Royal Mail has a duty under condition 8 of its licence issued by the postal services regulator Postcomm to protect the integrity of mail. Security issues are taken very seriously and Royal Mail's security team is dedicated to maintaining standards through specific procedures, practices and investigations. To divulge the details of these security activities would inevitably compromise their effectiveness.

    Oil Reserves

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the current strategic reserve of (a) crude oil and (b) oil products is in the U.K. [174108]

    The UK does not have a strategic reserve. It meets its international stocking obligations by imposing compulsory oil stocking obligations on commercial companies. These amount to 67½ days of average daily consumption for refiners and 48½ days of average daily consumption for non-refiners. As at the end of February 2004, the UK held stocks of crude oil and petroleum products equivalent to almost 76 days of average daily consumption.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the current position on UK stocks of (a) crude oil and (b) main oil products in relation to average daily consumption. [174111]

    As at the end of February 2004, the UK held stocks of crude oil and petroleum products equivalent to almost 76 days of average daily consumption. This is some eight days in excess of our EU stockholding obligations of 67½ days worth of average daily consumption.

    Uk Trade And Investment

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what commercial training or experience is required for each grade of staff of UK Trade and Investment. [172113]

    [holding answer 13 May 2004]: Commercial training or experience is not a specific requirement for UK Trade and Investment staff prior to recruitment. However, the organisation is committed to offering its staff a career structure in which continuous training and development opportunities are offered to enhance professionalism. All staff undertake induction courses and relevant training to enable them to meet business objectives.UK Trade and Investment's international trade advisers (based in Business Links) and locally engaged staff overseas also undertake associated commercial training to gain the knowledge and skills relevant to their role. Many international trade advisers and locally engaged staff have practical business experience. Staff are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to work in the private sector and in our commercial posts overseas. Those within the organisation who are from the public sector also benefit from the knowledge, skills and expertise of the private sector business experts working alongside them.

    Vat Registrations

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many registered businesses were registered for VAT in (a) the UK, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) England in each year since 1996–97 [174067]

    Barclays Bank's latest survey of business creation includes non-VAT registered firms and shows that there were 115,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in the last quarter of 2003. The latest yearly figures show 465,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in 2003. This represents a 19 per cent. increase on the year before.

    The following table records Barclays business creation data for England and Wales in each year since 1996:

    Business start-ups

    1996406,000
    1997415,700
    1998412,200
    1999374,400

    Stocks

    1996

    1997

    1998

    1999

    2000

    2001

    2002

    2003

    UK1,629,1651,645,5401,681,3351,715,3951,736,3601,754,9151,762,3551,762,110
    England1,377,301,393,0701,426,2651,458,7201,479,9001,498,4251,505,5751,505,495
    Wales77,54577,17077,39077,34576,90576,95576,99076,310
    Scotland120,225120,670122,260123,355123,565123,800123,980124,200
    Northern Ireland54,09054,63555,42055,98055,99055,73555,81056,100

    Source:

    Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Stocks 1994–2002, Small Business Service, available from www.sbs.gov.uk/statistics/vatstats.php

    VAT stocks do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that de-register will not necessarily have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 3.8 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2002.

    Wind Turbines

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment has been made of the effect on bird life of additional wind turbines under construction and planned. [174405]

    Over the years, there have been a large number of studies carried out in the UK of the impact of wind farms on wildlife and in particular birds. Those studies suggest that there is a small risk of bird strikes from the operation of wind turbines, as long as they are properly sited.Work related to the study of birds is continuing, with DTI funded studies being carried out by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) to look at the distribution and main flight paths of seabirds including migratory, feeding/roosting patterns and their behavioural response to wind farms.

    £000
    1

    Project or

    Sector Aid
    2

    Programme

    Aid
    3

    Technical

    Cooperation
    4

    Aid and Trade

    Provision
    5

    Grants Other

    Aid in Kind
    6

    Humanitarian

    Assistance
    7

    DFID Debt

    Relief
    8

    Total DFID

    Programme
    (i) Africa
    1987–9836,13474,934130,8167,64860,86624,19510,419345,013
    1998–9949,565125,234144,2729,19563,43046,2518,019445,966
    1999–200090,617132,140163,3452,65266,32532,0017,513494,593
    2000–01104,141245,857165,34062664,30863,4256,992650,690
    2001–02147,860161,948177,56751948,97142,7556,390586,010
    2002–03135,330151,208213,177-1,05292,160153,9805,414750,218
    (ii) Central Africa (Great Lakes)
    1997–98202,1119,0954,98416,211
    1998–99209912,1844,4737,669
    1999–2000191,3071,4635,7368,527

    Business start-ups

    2000356,400
    2001324,800
    2002390,700
    2003465,100

    Source:

    Barclays Small Business Survey.

    The stock of businesses registered for VAT in the UK, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England at the start of each year 1996–2003, are as follows:

    In addition, no wind farm development can be undertaken without securing the necessary permissions and consents under the normal planning regime or Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. This process places a requirement on developers to consider all environmental aspects of a project, including any effects a particular development may have on the bird life in that location, and produce an Environmental Impact Assessment. These assessments are available to the public.

    International Development

    Aid (Africa)

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial aid and (b) aid in kind his Department has delivered to (i) Africa, (ii) Central Africa, (iii) Uganda, (iv) Rwanda, (v) Burundi and (vi) the Democratic Republic of Congo in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [173812]

    The amount of bilateral development assistance DFID has given to Africa and the other specified region/countries is given in the following table. Financial aid (excluding the Aid and Trade Provision) comprises all expenditure in columns 1 and 2, and Aid in Kind forms part of the expenditure in column 5.

    £000

    1
    Project or
    Sector Aid

    2
    Programme
    Aid

    3
    Technical
    Cooperation

    4
    Aid and Trade
    Provision

    5
    Grants Other
    Aid in Kind

    6
    Humanitarian
    Assistance

    7
    DFID Debt
    Relief

    8
    Total DFID
    Programme

    2000–01171,89683210,20312,946
    2001–02161,79227211,08513,166
    2002–03164,0911,29525,16130,562

    (ii) Uganda

    1997–989,81319,14512,3335,99365747,941
    1996–9917,78517,00011,9285,50036052,574
    1999–200041,46716,00017,2875,91054381,206
    2000–0117,82645,00015,7487,32044766,342
    2001–0213,97435,00014,6114,56332868,476
    2002–0313,84617,50015,5805,4092,53354,868

    (iv) Rwanda

    1997–983351,8434,0196,198
    1996–9910,0001,2821,2811,00513,568
    1999–200010,0002,3417841,17014,294
    2000–011,05225,4005,41983732,708
    2001–021,48818,5866,21274127,027
    2002–032,34822,0326,5421,42332,344

    (v) Burundi

    1997–983181,5801,602
    1996–9926298324
    1999–2000203709912
    2000–01431,5041,547
    2001–0264540604
    2002–03658141,0551,934

    (vi) Congo (Dm Rep)

    1997–98486,0568076,911
    1996–9963118370552
    1999–200049151,2571,322
    2000–0123383,0363,096
    2001–02188635,3075,558
    2002–031,1388311,65012,871

    Note:

    Comprises expenditure for Angola, Burundi, DRC, Entrea and Somalia,

    The Government's total aid budget has doubled since 1997–98—from £2 billion to £4 billion. As the table shows, assistance to Africa has more than doubled. In the current (2004–05) financial year my Department's bilateral programme in Africa stands at £864 million and in 2005–06 we plan to spend £1.1 billion. These figures demonstrate our real and growing commitment to Africa. But it is not only the quantity of assistance that matters; quality too is vital. In order to improve the quality of aid and hence its impact we are working increasingly closely with other donors to reduce the number of individual and uncoordinated initiatives, and to ensure we use our aid to strengthen—not undermine—national planning and implementation capacity.

    Departmental Projects

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the Department's high-risk bilateral projects, referred to on page 189 of the 2004 Departmental Report, which are evaluated as (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful. [174113]

    The high-risk projects referred to on page 189 of DFID's Departmental Report are listed on the tables below. Each DFID project is given a score ranging from 1 to 5 based on the likelihood of achieving their intended objectives. Table (a) relates to projects scored 1 and 2, table (b) relates to projects scored 3 to 5.

    We judge projects receiving a score of 1 or 2 to be successful. Projects receiving a lower score will have achieved some of their objectives

    Table A
    All high risk projects with a commitment value of £ million or over
    evaluated as successful during 2003

    £

    Region

    Title

    Commitment

    Africa Division
    DFID Nigeria
    Nigeria
    Insecticide Treated Nets2,131,094
    CeP3,365,346
    Contraceptive Social
    Marketing
    14,000,000
    DFID Rwanda
    Rwanda
    R Revenue Authority 37,218,800
    DFID Southern
    Africa
    Lesotho
    Agricultural Policy and Cap
    Bld
    1,200,000
    DFID Uganda
    Uganda
    Acholi land Conflict
    Reduction
    1,755,155
    DFID Zambia
    Zambia
    Venture Capital Fund1,362,000
    Asia Division
    DFID Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Manusher Jonno (HUGO
    Fund)
    16,520,000

    DFID South East Asia

    Table A
    All high risk projects with a commitment value of £ million or over
    evaluated as successful during 2003

    £

    Region

    Title

    Commitment

    DFID South East
    Asia
    Indonesia
    Community Recovery Prog7,050,000
    Sri LankaICRC Programme
    1998–1999
    3,500,000
    DFID Vietnam
    Vietnam
    Vietnam Proverty
    Reduction Support Credit
    Confinancing
    14,000,000
    Western Asia
    Department
    Pakistan
    NWFP SRSP Community
    infrastructure initiative
    1,120,000
    Europe, Middle East
    and Americas
    Division
    DFID Caribbean
    Belize
    Belize Southern Highway
    Upgrade
    1,400,000
    Belize Southern Highway
    Project
    7,835,000
    GuyanaGuyana Enterprise
    Privatisation
    3,572,000
    DFID Russia
    Russian Federation
    Revitalisation of Insolvent
    Farms Project (RIFP)
    3,539,158
    Latin America
    Department
    OSI Ham Reduction4,200,000
    BrazilPlantas do Nordeste Project1,953,000
    PeruSan Martin Rural
    Development Project
    1,515,000
    Middle East and
    North Africa
    Department
    West Bank and Gaza
    SCF Water and
    Sanitation—Jabalia
    1,190,537
    SCF Water and
    Sanitation—Rafash
    2,013,836
    SCF Water and
    Sanitation—Dura
    2,233,000
    Sanitation—Anabta World Bank NGO Project2,290,565
    Private Sector
    Infrastructure and
    CDC Department
    Africa Regional
    Africa Private Infrastructure
    Financing Facility (APIFF)
    70,500,000

    Table B
    All high risk projects with a commitment value of £ million or over
    evaluated as only partly achieving their purpose and output
    during 2003

    £

    Region

    Title

    Commitment

    Africa Division
    DFIP Ghana
    Ghana
    Sub-Vented Agencies Ref
    Proj
    2,300,000
    Programme Aid Grant 200230,000,000
    Integrated Personnel Payroll
    Database Replacement
    Project
    1,500,000

    Table B
    All high risk projects with a commitment value of £ million or over
    evaluated as only partly achieving their purpose and output
    during 2003

    £

    Region

    Title

    Commitment

    DF1D Malawi
    Malawi
    Economic Activities
    programme (EAP)
    1,490,736
    DFID Mozambique
    Mozambique
    Agricultural sector public
    expenditure programme
    (PROAGRi)
    1,800,000
    DFID NigeriaNigeria
    Chainge Agent Programme1,600,000
    Nigeria Governance Fund2,400,000
    Slgp20,871,000
    DFID Southern
    Africa
    Sthrn Af Dev Coord
    Ctte
    Regional Aids Programme7,850.000
    DFID Zimbabwe
    Zimbabawe Great
    Lakes and Horn
    Credit for the Informal
    Sector Project
    1,841.000
    Department
    Angola
    Luanda Urban Poverty
    Prog
    7.471.188
    SudanICRC 2002 Appeal Sudan2,500.000
    West Africa
    Department
    Sierra Leone
    MRC Tonkolili1,195,000
    Sierra Leone—Security
    Sector Programme
    2,030,100
    Asia Division
    DFID Bangladesh Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    SHAPLA: Public/Private
    Partaership
    2.300.000
    SHAPLA: Organisation and
    Management Development
    5,265.000
    SHAPLA: WB Time Slice
    Funding
    25,000,000
    Rural Hygiene, Sanitation
    and Water Supply
    27,250,000
    SHAPLA: Human
    Resources Planning and
    Development Project
    1.405000
    Parliamentary Committees2,077.554
    SHAPLA: Hospital
    Management
    3,300,000
    Reforms in Revenue Admin
    (RJRA)
    5.550.000
    Proshika Phase VI23,000,000
    DFID China
    China
    HIV/AIDS Prevention and
    Care(TC)
    8,217.100
    HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care(FA)11.682.900
    DFID India
    India
    Madhya Pradesh Technical
    Assistance for Power Sector
    Reform
    10.000.000
    AP Power Sector
    Restructuring Project
    28,000.000
    DFID Nepal
    Nepal
    Achham Poverty Reduction
    Project—J1B1KA
    2,150,000
    Hill Agriculture Research
    Project
    11,661.000

    Table B
    All high risk projects with a commitment value of £ million or over
    evaluated as only partly achieving their purpose and output
    during 2003

    £

    Region

    Title

    Commitment

    DFID South East Asia
    IndonesiaMultistakeholder Forestry
    Programme
    25.160.000
    PakistanSocial Action Prog 250.000.000
    Europe, Middle East
    and America
    Division
    DFID Caribbean
    Guyana
    Guywa Technical
    Cooperation Water
    Authority Twinning Project
    1,125,000
    Guyana Water Supply and
    Rehabilitation Project
    3.870.000
    DFID Russia
    Russian Federation
    Samara ST1s including
    Togliam
    1,000,000
    Tuberculosis (TB) treatment
    training programme in Tomsk
    1.426,224
    Europe and Central
    Asia Department
    Bosnia
    Public Broadcasting3.710.000
    Private and Sector
    Infrastructure and
    CDC Department
    Non Specific
    Country
    Public/Private Partnership
    for the Urban Environment
    (PPPUE)
    3.614,000

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will publish his assessment of the reasons for the decline referred to on page 190 of the 2004 Departmental Report on the number of low-risk departmental projects evaluated as successful. [174118]

    The number of low risk projects judged as likely to be successful was reported as 75 per cent. in DFID's Departmental Report, against a baseline of 81 per cent. This increased to 78 per cent. in the first quarter figures for 2004.The figure gives a forecast of success for projects of £1 million or more that have been in operation for at least two years. It fluctuates on a quarterly basis because it is recording work in progress and is a 12-month snapshot view on a particular date reflecting those projects that meet the above criteria. The decline was caused by a small number of successful projects ending and therefore graduating from the scoring system.We will continue to report both the underlying data, and our assessment of it, in our Autumn Performance Report and in the annual Departmental Report.

    Efficiency Reviews

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will publish the outcome of the rolling programme of efficiency reviews referred to on page 190 of the Departmental Report 2004. [174112]

    In addition to the information in DFID's Departmental Report, DFID will make a report covering all aspects of DFID's efficiency programmes available on our public website in the autumn. This will incorporate plans under development in response to the Government's Efficiency Review.

    Electronic Applications

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development for what reasons the Service Delivery Agreement target to provide 100 per cent. capacity to receive and process electronic applications from UK offices by 2003 has not been met. [174139]

    As indicated in Annex 3 of DFID's 2004 Departmental Report, the introduction of a Human Resource (HR) Integrated Management System in DFID has initially focused on the payroll and data base elements. Now that these modules have been successfully introduced complimentary e-recruitment systems will be considered and introduced in 2004. The facility to receive full details of vacancies and return application forms on line already exists through the civil service recruitment gateway and DFID websites.

    Iraq

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the trauma caused to children in Iraq from (a) the coalition invasion and (b) the continuing violence; and what assistance his Department is providing to mitigate trauma in Iraqi children. [174374]

    DFID's support for the health sector in Iraq, including psychosocial support, is being channelled through the multi-donor Trust Fund managed by the United Nations. The work of the UN in this area will focus on the provision of technical assistance for the development of mental health and psychosocial support services at the primary level. DFID has made an initial contribution of £30 million to the UN Trust Fund.DFID has not undertaken an assessment of the levels of trauma suffered by children in Iraq, but such an evaluation is planned by the UN as part of the World Health Organisation's mental health plans.

    Trade Negotiations

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will publish the evidence base referred to on page 189 of the 2004 Departmental Report that aims to underpin pro-poor UK/EU trade negotiating positions. [174114]

    The evidence based referred to is not a single document but includes the numerous pieces of research already published, commissioned or in the pipeline. DFID is putting together a research matrix detailing issue specific research projects funded by the Department to inform the development of pro-poor trade policies, and I will write to the hon. Gentleman very shortly with more details.

    Yemen

    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid was given to Yemen in each of the last five years; and what plans he has to increase such aid. [R] [173746]

    Total aid from all donors to Yemen in each of the last five years for which OECD DAC figures are available was:

    $ million
    Amount
    1998370
    1999458
    2000265
    2001461
    2002584
    DFID has provided the following aid to Yemen in each of the last five financial years:

    £ million
    Financial yearAmount
    1999–20001.49
    2000–012.73
    2001–022.58
    2002–035.44
    2003–0416.55
    1 Estimate
    The amount for 2000–01 includes a one off payment of £1.52 million for pensions, and for 2002–03 a one off payment of £3.16 million for Paris Club debt relief.DFID's share of European Community (EC) spending in Yemen from 1997–2001 was around £7 million; we have also contributed through the World Bank and the United Nations (UN).The aid framework for DFID's programme in Yemen is increasing to £5.9 million for 2004–05 and £9.9 million for 2005–06. I will be considering allocations for future years in the light of the Government's Spending Review later this year, and progress with the Yemeni Government's use of our existing aid. The UK is also arguing for an increase in EC spending in Yemen, as the only low income country in the region.

    Home Department

    Emergency Services' Communication Systems

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how far advanced Government plans are to ensure that police, ambulance and fire services communications systems are able to be used underground. [174679]

    The fire service and the British Transport Police already have radio communication facilities in the London Underground. Work commissioned by the Home Office has confirmed the feasibility of extending the new Airwave radio system to the London Underground. The implementation phase is currently under discussion. The new underground system is scoped to accommodate police, ambulance and fire requirements.

    Speed Cameras

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was raised from speed cameras located at motorway construction and repair sites during 2002–03. [169940]

    Information on the amount of revenue generated by speed cameras or camera location is not collected centrally.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received from (a) police authorities, (b) fire and rescue authorities and (c) health service trusts concerning the administrative costs of dealing with the paperwork generated by the contravention by their vehicles on emergency calls of speed limits captured on speed cameras. [173809]

    None.We are, however, aware of the difficulties which may arise. Home Office officials have already had very useful discussions with the Department of Health and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) with the aim of minimising the, level of bureaucracy involved.

    Animal Research

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department collects on assaults on those working in animal research during the course of their work. [170857]

    It is not possible from the information collected centrally by the Home Office to identify whether a victim of crime works in animal research. However, from regular discussions from the police and industry, we are aware that one individual who works in animal research was physically assaulted in 2001. The Government are working closely with the police and other criminal justice agencies to ensure a proper response to harassment of people working in this area.

    Animal Rights Protesters

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to meet the members of Victims of Animal Rights Extremism. [172623]

    I have not been invited to meet members of the Victims of Animal Rights Extremism, but I would be happy to meet them to discuss their concerns.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to establish a specific police unit for dealing with criminal activity connected to animal rights protesters. [172624]

    The Home Office is funding a new unit which has recently been set up to provide a tactical coordinating role for the policing of extremist protests.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) arrests and (b) convictions there have been for criminal activity connected to animal rights protesters in each year since 1999; [172636]

    (2) how many animal rights protesters who have been convicted of criminal activity have been given a custodial sentence in each year since 1999. [172641]

    It is not possible from the information collected centrally by the Home Office to identify whether a defendant is an animal rights protestor. However, we understand from the police that there were 117 arrests of animal rights activists during the first four months of 2004 compared with 15 arrests during the same period in 2003. The Home Office is working with the police and other agencies to improve availability of information in this area.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list visits made by each Minister in the Department to animal rights groups since 1997. [172640]

    Home Office Ministers have not made any visits to extremist groups involved in the harassment and intimidation of individuals or companies licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.Home Office Ministers are, however, willing to meet groups prepared to engage in reasoned debate and discussion about the use of animals in scientific procedures, whatever their point of view, provided they do not support extremist activity. Ministers have, therefore, met groups involved with the protection of animals, such as the RSPCA, as well as groups opposed to animal experimentation, such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, the National Anti-Vivisection Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Uncaged Campaigns. Animal Aid and Naturewatch, and organisations seeking humane alternatives to animal experiments, such as the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments.Similarly, Ministers have met a wide variety of industry and science groups with an interest in the use of animals in scientific procedures, including Amicus MSF, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Association of Medical Research Charities, the BioIndustry Association, the BioSciences Federation, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Institute of Animal Technicians, the Japanese Pharmaceutical Group, the Laboratory Animals Breeders Association, the Laboratory Animals Science Association, the Laboratory Animals Veterinary Association, the Medical Research Council and the Research Defence Society

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans there are to make (a) harassment, (b) intimidation and (c) terrorism against companies, or conspiracy to carry out these acts, specific offences; [172642](2) what plans there are to change the law relating to harassment, with particular reference to harassment by animal rights protesters. [172643]

    It is a key part of the Government's strategy in tackling animal rights extremism to identify new legislative powers where needed. Police must have the right powers to do the job, but legislation needs to be accompanied by robust enforcement.

    There is a range of legislation currently available to deal with extremism. We recently made changes to strengthen police powers to deal with intimidatory protests and office occupations in Anti Social Behaviour Act.

    We are looking carefully at what further changes might be made to strengthen police powers to deal with protests outside someone's home and protecting companies from harassment.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to provide funds for the protection of businesses targeted by animal rights protesters. [172644]

    The Home Office has provided the police with additional funding to assist with additional costs arising from animal rights protests. The Home Office is also funding a new unit to co-ordinate the tactical response to extremism.

    Burglary

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many burglaries per 1,000 households there have been in the Metropolitan Police Authority area in each year since 1999; and what the detection rate each year was for domestic burglaries. [170491]

    The available information is given in the table:

    Recorded offences of burglary in a dwelling in the Metropolitan

    Police District
    Number of burglaries

    per 1,000 households
    Detection rate (%)
    1999–200028.69.4
    2000–0125.29.9
    2001–0226.69.3
    2002–0324.011.8

    Note:

    Figures for 2002–03 will have been affected by the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard on 1 April 2002.

    Cctv

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much public funding has been spent on CCTV cameras in Blackpool, South since 1997. [173062]

    Since 1997, the Home Office has provided £737,350 to Blackpool for CCTV schemes.Allocation of that funding locally, is a matter for Blackpool Borough Council and Lancashire Constabulary. The information is not held centrally.

    Counter-Terrorism

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what role officials from (a) his Department, (b) the Home Security Services and (c) members of the Joint Terrorism Control Unit played in the simulation exercise to counter nuclear-armed terrorists carried out at the NATO headquarters on 4 May; and what assessment he has made of its applicability to situations in the United Kingdom. [172313]

    I have been asked to reply.Officials from the Cabinet Office represented the UK Government at a seminar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Brussels on 3 May. In total, over 55 officials and experts from 15 countries and half a dozen international bodies were present at the event.The seminar addressed issues associated with the terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction in Europe, and focussed on the means by which terrorists might be prevented from acquiring and using such weapons.The Government already has an extensive programme to develop our ability to manage threats posed by terrorism. This includes regularly-reviewed preparations to deal with the consequences of a Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear (CBRN) attack. The Government also takes seriously the threat posed by poorly secured CBRN material, and has worked with others to improve security in countries holding such material.

    Crime (Manchester)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage change in (a) overall recorded crime, (b) recorded violent crime, (c) burglaries and (d) vehicle thefts in Manchester, Central has been since 1997. [174277]

    The information requested is not available centrally.Manchester, Central is a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) area. Data at CDRP level has only been published from 1999–2000 onwards. Detailed statistics at CDRP level are available for 2002–03 on the new Home Office website: http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk

    To ask the Secretary of State for the home Department what the percentage change in (a) overall recorded crime, (b) recorded violent crime, (c) burglaries and (d) vehicle thefts in Manchester, Blackley has been since 1997. [172891]

    The information requested is not available centrally.Blackley comes within the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership's (CDRP) in the Greater Manchester area. Data at CDRP level has only been published from 1999–2000 onwards. Detailed statistics at CDRP level are available for 2002–03 on the new Home Office website: http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk

    Crime Statistics

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage change in (a) overall recorded crime, (b) recorded violent crime, (c) burglaries and (d) vehicle thefts in Sittingbourne and Sheppey has been since 1997. [170288]

    Sittingbourne and Sheppey lies within the Swale Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) area. Data at CDRP level has only been published from 1999–2000 onwards. Detailed statistics at CDRP level are available for 2002–03 on the new Home Office website: http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk

    Cyclists

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice the Government offers (a) the police and (b) transport authorities about cyclists cycling on pavements. [165964]

    Chief officers of police are best placed to assess the nature and cause of cycling offences locally.To help the police with enforcement we have made it possible for Community Support Officers (CSOs) appointed under the Police Reform Act 2002 to issue £30 fixed penalty notices for cycling inconsiderately or irresponsibly on pavements.The cycling infrastructure and environment are currently under improvement as a result of our National Cycling Strategy. We expect this improvement to reduce the incentive to cycle on the pavement.

    Dangerous Driving

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to require drivers to display (a) insurance and (b) MOT documentation on their car windscreens; and if he will make a statement. [169069]

    We have no current plans to require drivers to display insurance or MOT documentation.Driving without insurance or MOT are, however, serious offences and we are determined that they should be tackled effectivelyWe appointed Professor David Greenaway of the University of Nottingham to carry out an independent review of motor insurance arrangements in the UK and to advise on how to improve its effectiveness and reduce uninsured driving. Professor Greenaway has just presented his report and we shall be studying it carefully with a view to appropriate action as soon as possible.The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency are intending to establish in 2004–05 an MOT database. This will enable the police to query MOT status details immediately from the roadside and make enforcement easier.

    Diesel Spillages

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drivers of diesel vehicles have been prosecuted for overfilling fuel tanks not fitted with non-spill fuel caps, which then caused dangerous diesel spillages, in each of the past three years. [168626]

    Available information held centrally on prosecutions does not include the circumstances of the offence so that offences involving fuel spillages cannot be distinguished from other offences within the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 group of offences.

    Driving Licences

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answers of 4 May 2004, Official Report, column 1398W, and 12 May 2004, Official Report, columns 351–52W, on driving licences, if he will obtain from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency an estimate of the number of people who have five points or more on their driving licence. [173995]

    I understand from DVLA that such an estimate could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 10 May, reference 169445, how many people lost their driving licence under section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (penalty points system) in each year since 1990. [174120]

    Information, taken from the Home Office Court Proceedings Database, is given in the table.

    Number of persons disqualified1 under section 35 of the Road

    Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (penalty points system) by type of

    court, England and Wales, 1990–2002
    Type of court
    Magistrates

    court
    Crown courtTotal all

    courts
    199033,01727533,292
    199126,70514626,851
    199229,19412129,315
    199331,8244331,867
    199433,1282133,149
    199531,65226231,914
    199631,00642731,433
    199730,93918131,120
    199823,69517023,865
    199934,1466434,210
    200033,4975733,554
    200130,0047530,079
    200230,33616230,498
    1 The Home Office Court Proceedings Database does not identify the individual offence under which the disqualification on reaching 12 points within three years was ordered by the courts.

    Drug Testing

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his statement of 14 January 2004, Official Report, column 279WH, on drug testing, which organisation trained the Drug Action Team (DAT) nominated trainers; what the cost was to the Home Office; what the lengths and the dates were of the training courses which the DAT nominated trainers undertook; who accredited the courses; for how many companies the DAT nominated trainers have helped to write drug policies; how the trainers have advertised their availability to train companies; what budget has been allocated to this advertising; and how the Home Office is evaluating the effectiveness of the new DAT nominated trainers. [161186]

    188 nominated Drug Action Team (DAT) business trainers from 149 DATS have been trained by an independent training company chosen by the Home Office Business Engagement Team and Hertfordshire DAT. In total, 15 training days took place across the country and the overall cost of training, plus the production of a 'Drugs in the Workplace Training Pack' has been approximately £270,000. This came from confiscated asset fund monies that were successfully bid by Kent and Hertfordshire DAT. The training courses so far have not been accredited but plans are being considered for the training to be accredited by the accrediting body City and Guilds.In total 74 workplace policies have been introduced into companies by DAT business trainers. The way the DAT business trainers have advertised their service varies from DAT to DAT and region to region. As a first approach, DAT business trainers are encouraged to use their network and approach safety critical companies in their area. Other ways of targeting include direct marketing and organising business breakfasts, lunches and seminars to highlight to employers the importance of a drug and alcohol workplace policy. To date there has not been a budget allocated to DATs to promote the workplace policy service however, for those DATs that need additional funding there are a number of funding programmes that Government Office Drugs Teams facilitate. The Home Office as part of Phase 3 (March-December 2004) of the National Workplace Initiative plans to evaluate each of the 74 companies workplace policies. This evaluation will in principle be qualitative and focused on improving services and understanding the usefulness of the policy in the workplace. After this, evaluations at a local level will be down to each DAT.

    Heroin

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact on the UK heroin market of changes in poppy production in Afghanistan over the past two years; and if he will make a statement. [168724]

    According to the annual UN surveys the poppy crops in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003 were 74,000 and 80,000 hectares. The change does not appear to have had any appreciable effect on the market in the UK.

    Emergency Services (Insurance Cover)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what insurance cover is provided, and by whom, for members of the emergency services who are called out to terrorist incidents. [173514]

    [holding answer 18 May 2004] Emergency service employers make provision for their employees and their dependants in the event of death or injury on duty. The details of such provision are a matter for employers.

    Firearms

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2004, Official Report, column 531W, on firearms legislation, when his Department intends to publish the review of firearms legislation. [170093]

    Internet Auction Sites

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the National Hi Tech Crime Unit will investigate cases of fraud associated with internet auction sites. [166356]

    The National Hi Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) investigates serious and organised computer-enabled criminality at national and international levels within or which impacts upon the UK. Individual cases of fraud associated with internet auction sites do not fall within their remit, and such investigations remain the responsibility of local police forces.

    Mobile Phones

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what change he has made in the police grant to take account of the enforcement of the ban on using mobile phones while driving. [173557]

    No additional government grant has been made available specifically for this policing activity, which is less demanding on police resources than previous arrangements.We have put significant extra resources into the police service in England and Wales over the last few years. Since 2000–01 total provision for policing to be supported by grant or spent centrally on services for the police has risen by over 30 per cent. or £2.3 billion.

    North London Mosque

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost has been of policing the meetings outside the North London Mosque on Fridays (a) on average per meeting and (b) in total. [169780]

    The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis informs me that in general no additional policing costs have been incurred in routine policing of the meetings. The officers used to police the meetings have been drawn from non-operational staff in police support roles. This approach has ensured that there has been no reduction in the number of officers on Response Teams.On a few occasions, demonstrations opposed to the meetings have required additional police resources. The Metropolitan Police Authority would be expected to meet any extra costs from its £2.3 billion budget.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of whether the Friday meetings outside the North London mosque are (a) political demonstrations and (b) religious services; and if he will make a statement. [169792]

    The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis tells me that prayers take place during the Friday meetings outside the North London mosque and it is policed accordingly.

    Police National Computer

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the target time period is for entering records on the police national computer in relation to (a) arrests and summonses and (b outcome of court proceedings. [173776]

    At present, police forces in England and Wales operate to standards set by the Association of Chief Police Officers, as follows:

    arrest/summons reports—90 per cent. within 24 hours of the event.
    court results—100 per cent. within 72 hours of receipt from the courts.
    Performance standards have been under review, and a code of practice under the Police Reform Act 2002 has been drafted and circulated for comments. The final code will be published in the near future.

    Policing (North Wales)

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community support officers are operating in the North Wales police force. [174066]

    On 30 April 2004, eight Community Support Officers were employed by North Wales Police.

    Positive Futures Initiative

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the Positive Futures initiative in (a) reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training and (b) reducing substance misuse among participants. [172825]

    Positive Futures has an ongoing national monitoring and evaluation strategy that aims to identify and establish the value that both the national programme and individual projects have for participants and the communities in which they live.

    (a) Reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training.

    Approximately 20,000 young people are engaged with the 107 projects at present. Of these, in the previous six months:

    over 2,400 have made some kind of educational achievement (e.g. returned to education, doing better in school, improved school attendance);
    nearly 600 have secured a job or are now looking for a job1;
    over 1,500 project participants have achieved some form of training or award (e.g. sports/leadership awards, Duke of Edinburgh, drugs education)2.

    Source:
    1MORI (figures from a minimum base of 83 projects)
    2MORI

    (b) Reducing substance misuse among participants.

    As a sport and activity based social inclusion programme, Positive Futures creates opportunities to address the multiple issues associated with problematic substance misuse. It is targeted at marginalised young people in the 10–19 age range living in the most deprived communities, who are at increased risk of involvement in problem drug use and crime.

    Substance misuse prevention work offered by Positive Futures projects includes:

    drop-in surgeries, often with specialist advisors on hand;
    one-to-one sessions;
    leaflets/literature;
    informal advice through sport, e.g. staff will adapt sessions to focus on fitness and healthy lifestyles. This creates opportunities to address drugs and alcohol issues.

    During March 2004 around 200 front-line Positive Futures staff across the country received comprehensive substance misuse training as part of the programme's Workforce Quality Initiative.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of the Positive Futures initiative has been in each year since its launch. [172826]

    The table shows the total amount of government funding allocated by the Positive Futures programme to local projects for each financial year, since its launch in 2000.

    Financial yearTotal government fielded

    project grants (£)
    2000–01545,000
    2001–022,915,000
    2002–032,295,000
    2003–046,085,000
    2004–055,200,000
    Notes:1. For 2000 and 2003 the figures include funds from the Home Office, Sport England, the Communities Against Drugs fund and the Recovered Assets Fund. From 2003–04 onwards the Home Office funded the total cost of project grants.2. 2000 to 2003—these figures have been approximated to financial years as Sport England originally allocated funding in variable 'project years'.3. From 2003–04 onwards there was:An extension of the programme to include 17 to 19-year-olds, with a focus on links to education, training and employment. Additional funding to projects in the top 30 high crime Basic Command Unit areas (BCU).4. From 2004–05 onwards there was a reduction in the core grant to established projects from 100 per cent. to 60 per cent. while support was given to identifying and negotiating gap funding. The programme has secured support from a range of local and national organisations, including £1 million per annum from the Football Foundation for new projects. Local projects have individually secured additional partnership funding ranging from £10,000 to £150,000.5. In addition to the project grant costs shown in the table, the programme also incurs some central costs associated principally with monitoring and evaluation, communications and the training and development of project staff. Estimates of these costs are not available for all the years shown in the table. However, for 2004–05 the total central costs are expected to be approximately £0.5 million.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding has been provided to voluntary youth organisations through the Positive Futures initiative in each year since its launch. [172827]

    Records held about Positive Futures projects classify their lead delivery agency as either statutory or non-statutory. 55 per cent. of 107 Positive Futures projects currently operating have a non-statutory lead delivery agency.

    The table shows the amount of government funding that has been allocated to non-statutory agencies for Positive Futures projects since the programme began in 2000.

    Funding (£)

    2000 to 200312,350,000
    2003–04956,000
    2004–052,565,000

    1Figures for 2000 to 2003 have been amalgamated because during this period Sport England allocated funding in variable 'project years'.

    Sexual Offences

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to repeat the Spiked initiative. [171026]

    The Spiked campaign is an educational film which raises awareness of drink and drug related sexual assault. It is not a Home Office initiative, and no direct funding has been made available by the Home Office. Funding totalling £9,275 was provided to support the project from the Drugscope Millennium Awards Scheme. It was initiated by an independent film maker based in Hertfordshire and there has been some take up in other local areas, but this has not been organised by the Home Office.

    Solvent Abuse

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has commissioned into the extent of solvent abuse by children. [169063]

    I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Children, on 29 April 2004, Official Report, column 1273W.

    Terrorism

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who would be responsible for meeting the cost of temporary mortuaries in the event of a large-scale terrorist attack. [170067]

    Section 198 of the Public Health Act 1936 states that local authorities may or shall, if directed to do so by the Minister, provide a public mortuary. Additionally, Section 27 of the Coroners Act 1988 sets out that county councils and lead boroughs in metropolitan areas are responsible for providing support to coroners.However, we recognise that a large-scale terrorist attack could have the potential to overwhelm existing local or regional mortuary capacity.We are issuing national guidance shortly on dealing with fatalities in emergencies. Following publication, we will be working with the regions, devolved administrations, local responders and specialists to review existing levels of national capacity and to consider a framework for a national response. The guidance will he updated in light of this work.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy, in the event of a large-scale terrorist attack that affected several counties, to establish a helpline for concerned family members to gain information about relatives. [170068]

    In the event of a terrorist incident affecting several counties the Metropolitan Police Service would respond to any request from the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Home Office or from other UK Police Forces, to open the Central Casualty Bureau.Each UK Police Force will have a Casualty Bureau but in the event that several counties were affected by a major terrorist incident, obviously it would be expected that the Central Casualty Bureau would be opened.The Casualty Bureau provides a central contact point and is set up to deal specifically with missing persons, survivors, evacuees and witnesses involved in the incident. It is designed to receive and collate information relating to the incident.If approached, the Central Casualty Bureau may also be opened for foreign events involving British subjects, as it has previously.

    Constitutional Affairs

    Fine Collection

    To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps his Department is taking to improve collection rates of fines. [174010]

    Driving up performance in the collection of fines is a key priority in increasing confidence in the Criminal Justice System. That is why I announced last June my action plan to deliver significant improvements. A wide range of initiatives have been delivered or are planned. These include:

    The piloting of new enforcement tools and measures included in the Courts Act 2003
    the introduction earlier this year of a policy of no longer writing off fines;
    the introduction from April 2004 of a new incentives package for enforcement teams;
    direct support for poorer performing magistrates courts committees (MCCs) through targeted intervention;
    "Operation Payback", a national blitz on outstanding warrants which raised £630,000 during the week commencing 22 March and will be repeated later in the year; and
    improving the information available to MCCs when offenders are difficult to trace.

    To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will set targets for percentage collection rates of fines imposed by the courts for (a) the current year and (b) each of the next two years. [174011]

    As a result of the progress made in 2003–04, with the payment rate in the final quarter at 76 per cent. against the target of 75 per cent., I have set a new national payment rate target for 2004–05 at 78 per cent. This will sustain the performance improvement achieved to date and build on it.Performance during 2004–05 will inform decisions to be taken on targets for future years.

    Scotland

    Scottish Development International

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the annual running costs of Scottish Development International were over the last three years; and how much inward investment has been attracted and how many new jobs have been created over this period. [174721]

    As this is a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive, the Scotland Office does not hold any information on the financial or operational performance of Scottish Development International.Information relating to Scottish Development International is also available on their website, at www.scottishdevelopmentinternational.com.

    Deputy Prime Minister

    Community Housing Task Force

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people work in his Community Housing Task Force; what their average salary is; and how many are (a) civil servants and (b) consultants. [174099]

    There are a total of 16 people working in the Community Housing Task Force. The average salaries for the twelve senior advisers who support local authorities, tenants and other stakeholders across the country is £44,032; salaries for the head of the task force is £79,288 pa and the average salaries for three support staff is £26,497. There are 13 civil servants and three advisers on secondments arrangements from local authorities and the National Housing Federation. There are no consultants working in the task force.

    Mobile Homes

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will review the way in which the Valuation Office Agency assesses mobile homes for council tax purposes. [174971]

    Mobile homes are not in themselves subject to council tax, but liability may arise in respect of the land on which the mobile home stands. Most mobile homes pitches which are subject to council tax are rated at band A. The 2001 White Paper "Strong Local Leadership—Quality Public Services" recognised that council tax bands are not fine grained enough to reflect differences in value at the bottom end of the property market and noted the concerns of mobile home owners about this. This issue has been further considered by his Balance of Funding Review. The Government have announced that work on a council tax revaluation will start in 2005, with council tax bills based on updated property values issuing in 2007.Ahead of revaluation the Government will listen to the views of taxpayers and local authorities about council tax bands to help inform the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's decisions on future band structure.

    Housing (North-East Lincolnshire)

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much public money per council property

    2000–012001–022002–032003–042004–05
    North East Lincolnshire
    Management and maintenance8,129,5788,045,5748,412,6418,770,55710,430,125
    Major repairs4,785,6874,837,1784,792,7784,807,644
    Charges for capital4,271,9133,926,6123,724,5273,940,9022,656,856
    Other items of reckonable expenditure4043464642
    Tenant Participation Compacts17,87418,692
    Resource Accounting43,90345,887
    ALMO allowance000
    PFI allowance0
    Admissible allowance45,051
    Anti-social behaviour allowance1,000
    Negative subsidy transitional measures transfer allowance0
    Assumed expenditure in HRA subsidy12,463,30816,822,49516,974,39217,504,28317,940,718
    Stock for subsidy calculations9,4819,3789,2789,1468,973
    Assumed expenditure per dwelling1,314.561,793.831,829.531,913.871,999.41
    Kingston upon Hull
    Management and maintenance29,060,82629,046,49327,783,70329,494,83038,976,355
    Major repairs17,621,94016,267,66516,602,04015,982,654
    Charges for capital20,363,71219,478,33917,656,18116,807,40512,775,370
    Other items of reckonable expenditure00000
    Tenant Participation Compacts37,56340,098
    Resource Accounting124,647130,254
    ALMO allowance000
    PFI allowance0
    Admissible allowance16,463
    Anti-social behaviour allowance1,000
    Negative subsidy transitional measures transfer allowance0
    Assumed expenditure in HRA subsidy49,586,74866,317,12461,707,54962,904,27567,751,842
    Stock for subsidy calculations37,12736,09732,59533,30931,957
    Assumed expenditure per dwelling1,335.601,837.191,893.161,888.512,120.09

    Sources:

    Claim Forms 0004, 0104, 0204, 0302, 0401

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what common design, lay-out and publicity services were provided by his Department for the literature, the formal consultation document and the videos distributed to tenants in different recent large scale voluntary transfer campaigns were so similar to each other. [174635]

    Annex O of the Housing Transfer Manual 2003 Programme contains good practice guidance on producing consultation material which is based on feedback from tenants who have gone through the transfer process. Authorities should take into account specific local circumstances in their consultation material but as they are all consulting on transferring stock there will inevitably be similarities in presentation.

    has been allocated to (a) Hull and (b) Grimsby in each year since 2000–01; and what the projected total is for 2004–05. [174634]

    The table shows the expenditure allowances within Housing Revenue Account Subsidy for north east Lincolnshire and Kingston upon Hull for 2000–01 to 2004–05.The allowances include the funding provided to meet the costs of past and new borrowing carried out to finance renovation and improvement work. It is also open to authorities to fund such work from their own resources, for example from capital receipts. Decisions on this are for individual authorities to take in the light of local priorities.

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the fact that 44 per cent. of eligible tenants have voted to give away the council housing stock of north-east Lincolnshire is a sufficient mandate for transfer. [174660]

    My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister cannot grant consent to a housing stock transfer if it appears that the majority of tenants are opposed to it. 64.98 per cent. of tenants in north-east Lincolnshire participated in the ballot and 67.3 per cent. of those who voted were in favour of the transfer. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister considers that a simple majority of those voting being in favour is sufficient to indicate tenant support for a transfer.

    Renewal Areas (Physical Activity)

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress his Department's Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has made on developing a toolkit for delivering sport and physical activity in renewal areas; and if he will make a statement. [173707]

    The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister intends to launch a multi-agency toolkit showing how best to deliver sport and physical activity in renewal areas on its good practice website, renewal.net. in summer 2004.

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much his Department's Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has spent on sport and physical activity, and who has received grants from that spending, broken down by (a) year and (b) region. [173709]

    The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is unable to provide a breakdown of how much its Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has spent on sport and physical activity.The NRU does not allocate funding specifically for sport and physical activity, but funding can be used in this way to meet local priorities in delivering the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal.

    Stamp Duty

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people live in areas that are exempt from stamp duty on properties up to the value of £150,000, broken down by local authorities in England. [174464]

    The selection of areas eligible for stamp duty exemption was based on the 15 per cent. most deprived wards in England as determined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000 (IMD 2000). This index was based on ward boundaries in existence in April 1998. Using the IMD 2000 there are just over 11 million people living in these wards. A table with the breakdown of this population by local authority district has been made available in the Library of the House.

    Thames Gateway

    To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made by the Thames Gateway Strategic Executive with the Environment Agency on the production of working maps of environmental and flooding constraints for the zones of change in the Thames Gateway; and when he expects these maps to be published. [174360]

    In the Thames Gateway and elsewhere, the Environment Agency provides local planning authorities with information on flood risk for use in local planning processes. In summer 2004 the Environment Agency will be issuing local planning authorities with flood zone maps, which show the different zones of flood risk as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 25 on 'Development and Flood Risk'. These flood zone maps will be incorporated into the Flood Map on the Agency's website in the autumn. Updates to the Flood Map (which also includes information on flood defences) will be provided to local planning authorities every three months.

    The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is working closely with the Environment Agency on the management of flood risk in the Thames Gateway. As elsewhere, new development is expected to comply with guidance on flood risk as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 25. In addition, all Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's funded local delivery vehicles in the Thames Gateway zones of change are required to ensure the production of flood risk assessments for their area so that the appropriate siting and design of development is considered. Where we are funding individual projects in the Thames Gateway this will also be conditional on an appropriate flood risk assessment being carried out.

    Cabinet Office

    Emergency Communications Network

    To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans he has (a) to upgrade and (b) to modernise the Emergency Communications Network. [172750]

    Departmental officials are currently exploring options for modernising Emergency Communications.

    Eu Regulations

    To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will list the EU regulations which have taken effect in the UK since May 1997; and which such regulations have subsequently been (a) revised and (b) repealed. [171440]

    Official Journal of the European Union (copies available in the Library of the House) we assess that the number of EC, ECSC and Euratom Regulations made was as follows:

    Number

    19972,339
    19982,852
    19992,802
    20002,882
    20012,600
    20022,125
    20032,176

    We also assess that the number of EU directives issued was as follows:

    Number

    199785
    1998109
    1999100
    200091
    200183
    2002159
    2003134

    All the data covers the period from December (of the preceding year) to November of that year inclusive.

    The number of regulations subsequently revised and repealed is not held centrally and it would incur disproportionate costs to supply such a figure.

    Wales

    Early Retirement

    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff in his Department took early retirement, and at what total cost, in the last financial year. [171866]

    Education Maintenance Allowance