|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the funds which are available to local authorities on application, indicating those for which the Torbay Unitary Authority has successfully applied in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Nick Brown: Local authorities can apply for a range of funds managed by my Department, depending on their individual circumstances. My Department's records show that Torbay Unitary Authority had three successful applications under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in 1998-99.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of those farmers requesting information from the organic conversion information service entered the organic farming scheme. 
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farmers requested information from the organic conversion information service in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
27 Jun 2000 : Column: 482W
I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that products containing beta-sitosterol require pre-market approval under the European Commission Novel Foods Regulation 258/97 if they did not have a significant history of consumption in Europe at the time the regulations came into force.
28. Dr. Godman: To ask the Advocate-General what recent advice she has given to the Government concerning the cross-examination of complainers in court cases involving sexual assault and similar offences in relation to (a) the human rights of such witnesses and (b) the European convention on human rights. 
The Advocate-General for Scotland: This raises difficult questions which require to be handled with great delicacy by policy Ministers. These questions include issues of human rights, of the complainer as well as of the accused. In England and Wales, this is the responsibility of the Home Secretary and legislation has been passed by Parliament. The relevant provisions of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 will be brought into force once the necessary rules of court, which are at an advanced stage, have been made. In Scotland, where the matter is devolved, the Executive have announced their intention to examine options open to them.
The Advocate-General for Scotland: I have intervened in a variety of devolution issues cases. Each case is considered on its merits. In general terms I have intervened, for example, where important issues of principle have arisen particularly in cases which might have ramifications for the whole United Kingdom. I do not usually intervene until a case has reached appeal or Privy Council stage.
27 Jun 2000 : Column: 483W
Dr. Reid: It is not possible to be precise on this. The Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Scotland has not yet formally started its next review. It is for the Commission to determine when this commences, keeping in mind the requirement that it needs to report between December 2002 and December 2006. Following the report, implementation will take some time.
9. Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Boundary Commission for Scotland about the Government's plan to reduce the number of hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies. 
Dr. Reid: I have had no such discussions. The rules for the redistribution of parliamentary seats are set out in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, as amended, and the Scotland Act 1998. The Boundary Commission is required to follow these in any review of the number of constituencies in Scotland.
25. Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister about reducing the number of hon. Members sitting for Scottish constituencies. 
10. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received on the operation of the Barnett formula in respect of the block grant to the Scottish Executive. 
Dr. Reid: This Government are very aware of the specific problems faced by coalfield areas and remain committed to a long-term plan of action to regenerate coalfield communities. As I explained in my reply to my hon. Friend on 18 April, the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is a matter for the Scottish Executive.
27 Jun 2000 : Column: 484W
With the publication of the report "Improving Lottery Funding Access and Delivery in the British Coalfields" on 5 June, this Government have signalled their intention to ensure that people in coalfields and other deprived areas can get the fullest benefit possible from the National Lottery.
Mr. Wilson: Since the introduction of the minimum wage on 1 April 1999, national minimum wage inspectors in Scotland have taken action against 17 companies to enforce the national minimum wage. There are presently 229 cases being investigated by national minimum wage investigators. The Low Pay Commission reported on 15 February that the Inland Revenue has made a successful start to enforcement and was working proactively to ensure compliance with the legislation.
13. Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Scottish Executive regarding the assisted area status map for Scotland. 
Dr. Reid: I have had various discussions with both the Department for Trade and Industry and the Scottish Executive about the assisted areas map for Scotland. I am hopeful that the Commission will soon agree to a map that will secure a very favourable outcome for Scotland.
14. Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will raise in the joint Ministerial Committee between the Scottish Executive and the UK Government the subject of planning decisions with cross-border implications. 
Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friend has no plans to raise this issue in the Joint Ministerial Committee. Planning decisions are in the first instance a matter for local government, and it will generally be desirable that local authorities should discuss planning matters that span their boundaries with neighbouring local authorities, whether those authorities are in Scotland or England. The bilateral concordat between the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Scottish Executive provides for communication and co-ordination between these central government bodies.
27 Jun 2000 : Column: 485W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|