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Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: I support the Government's policy on the Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive on the need to have a realistic and balanced approach to avoid damage to the health of workers, including farmers and their employees, through the effects of excessive vibration, while permitting them
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to carry on their business. Following my raising concerns in the Agriculture Council about the unjustifiably heavy regulatory burden which the German Presidency's original proposals would have imposed on farmers, the Employment and Social Policy Council has unanimously reached a compromise political agreement which provides for a more realistic limit on whole-body vibration exposure and a lengthy transition period for agriculture.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he plans to make a formal application for agrimonetary compensation for farmers in the dairy, beef, sheep and cereal sectors this year. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 15 January 2001]: We are awaiting the publication of figures for possible agrimonetary compensation by the European Commission. We then have until 30 April to decide whether to apply for any compensation.
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Ms Quin [holding answer 15 January 2001]: The last representations made were in October in respect of agrimonetary aid available for the arable sector. The Government announced on 2 November that the full amount of £34 million would be paid, subject to Commission approval. We hope to receive such approval soon.
Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much of the fund for decommissioning UK fishing vessels was spent (a) up to May 1997, (b) between May 1997 and December 2000 and (c) remains available. 
Mr. Morley: There was no individual fund for decommissioning UK fishing vessels covering the whole of this period. However, £26.4 million was spent up to May 1997, and £13.9 million between May 1997 and December 2000.
Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what additional support is being made available to fishing communities adversely affected by cuts to total allocated catches and quotas for nephrops. 
Mr. Morley: Fisheries Departments in England and the devolved Administrations are making more than £60 million available over the next three years under the EU fisheries structural fund. We will be holding discussions with fishing industry representatives over the coming weeks to consider what additional measures are necessary to assist fishing communities including the recovery of North sea stocks.
Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effect since 1999 of United Kingdom measures against quota hopping in respect of (a) the quantity of quota stocks landed in UK ports by foreign owned UK flagged vessels and (b) additional quota being available to the UK inshore fleet. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many foreign owned fishing vessels were on the UK register (a) in May 1997 and (b) at the most recent date for which figures are available. 
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However, based on advice from local port offices of the Fisheries Departments in the UK, we estimate that there were more than 160 wholly or partly foreign owned fishing vessels in the UK fleet at the end of 1996 and that this number had fallen to 115 by June 2000.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the Government will raise the limits on the number of overseas seasonal farm workers entering this country under approved schemes. 
I announced last November that the Government will be increasing the quota of non-European Economic Area (EEA) students participating in the seasonal agricultural worker scheme (SAWS) from 10,000 to 15,200 with effect from the 2001 season.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action is being taken as a result of the establishment of an Adoption Register for England and Wales to ensure that Welsh-speaking children are placed in Welsh- speaking families. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Adoption Register for England and Wales will be operated in accordance with National Adoption Standards for England, Scotland and Wales, a consultation draft of which has recently been published, in Wales, by the National Assembly. The draft standards specifically recognise the importance, when making decisions, of respecting and considering children's ethnic origin, cultural background, religion and language.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of adopted Welsh-speaking children have been placed in Welsh-speaking homes in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had about the introduction of further legislation to control the activities of unscrupulous landlords; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government are committed to introducing a national mandatory licensing scheme, which aims to provide safe, acceptable living conditions without reducing the supply of private rented accommodation. The licensing proposals include changing the legal definition of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) to bring many more properties into the ambit of registration (including most student accommodation). The proposals will be introduced at the earliest parliamentary opportunity. The primary legislation will be on an England and Wales basis
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Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will commission a study of the implications and practicality of replacing the Barnett Formula with a needs based formula for resource distribution within the UK. 
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will review the mechanisms and systems available for people suffering from social exclusion in Wales and seek to ensure that the outcome of this review is taken into account in the formulation of the Government's legislative programme. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Welsh Affairs Select Committee has recently undertaken an inquiry into this area. Their report, "Social Exclusion in Wales" [HC 365-1], which was published on 15 January, makes a wide range of detailed recommendations.
Mr. Paul Murphy: I met representatives of the company in June 2000, when we discussed a range of issues, and I am aware of their concerns. I understand that the company has also had discussions with officials of the Department of Trade and Industry and of the National Assembly for Wales, who are responsible for rates and local government finance issues in Wales.
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