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Powershift Programme

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many people have received help from the Powershift programme to convert their vehicles to run on alternative fuels in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [149741]

Mr. Hill: In the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2000, the Powershift programme offered grants towards the cost of converting 4,566 vehicles to run on alternative

13 Feb 2001 : Column: 117W

fuels. Of those recipients, 208 grants were to private individuals and 615 were private companies or public organisations.

Television Reception

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to take measures to ensure housing agencies and associations are legally responsible for providing television reception to their tenants and residents. [149663]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: None. Responsibility for providing for television reception is a matter of contract between social landlords and their tenants and residents. Many tenants and residents of social housing are, in common with owner-occupiers, responsible for providing for their television reception. In situations where television reception depends upon shared aerial systems, social landlords may be responsible (as part of tenancy terms and conditions) for the supply and upkeep of those aerials.

Rural Bus Subsidy

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will make an announcement on the allocation of the rural bus subsidy grant to local authorities for 2001-02. [150328]

Mr. Hill: We expect to make the announcement of the local authority rural bus subsidy grant allocations for 2001-02 shortly.

Sub-regions (South-West)

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his reply of 8 February 2001, Official Report, column 648W, what different underlying economic realities are reflected in the proposed sub-regions. [150341]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The sub-regional approach draws on the report of the independent panel who conducted the public examination of the draft regional planning guidance (RPG) in March 2000. Their report was published on 3 August 2000 and copies were placed in the House of Commons Library. Chapter 4 of the report sets out their reasoning, including economic issues, which informed the proposals in the published proposed changes to the draft RPG.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 8 February 2001, Official Report, column 648W, which parliamentary constituencies fall within each of the proposed sub-regions. [150340]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The proposed sub-regions are broad areas which each have key economic features in common and therefore offer a basis for spatial planning. The areas overlap and it is not therefore possible to be as specific as the question suggests. The proposals remain subject to public consultation and comment.

Single Regeneration Budget

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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what public expenditure is planned for (a) 2001-02, (b) 2002-03 and (c) 2003-04 for the single regeneration budget. [150220]

Ms Beverley Hughes: £872.8 million for 2001-02. There are no figures for 2002-03 and 2003-04 because the single regeneration budget (SRB) will be combined with the regional development agencies, other programmes to form a single budget that will fund a wide range of activities.

Road Congestion

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he last met the CBI to discuss the problem of road congestion. [148445]

Mr. Hill: Ministers have extensive meetings with organisations both in the public and private sectors as part of their duties. Such meetings usually cover a range of topics. It would be impractical to maintain a central record of meetings with representatives of external bodies or the details of such meetings.

Local Democracy

Jean Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on initiatives to extend local democracy. [148442]

Ms Armstrong: We have put in place a wide range of initiatives to begin to reinvigorate local democracy. These include piloting new ways of voting, giving people real choice about how they are governed locally, and giving councils real powers to listen to and lead their local communities.

Rail Policy

Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to ensure that there is common purpose in the planning, investment, strategies and operations of Railtrack and train operators. [148471]

Mr. Hill: The Transport Act 2000 created the Strategic Rail Authority, with the purposes of promoting the use of the railway network for the carriage of passengers and goods, securing the development of the railway network and contributing to the development of an integrated system of transport of passengers and goods. The authority will develop strategies for rail development in accordance with the 10-year plan. The authority, the Rail Regulator and the Health and Safety Commission are the three pillars of railway regulation.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Fishing Industry

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much funding from the EU was (a) available to and (b) received by the UK fishing industry in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [146230]

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Mr. Morley: The EU made funds available to the UK from the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance under 1994-99 programmes of structural aid for the fisheries sector. The programmes covered Objective 1, Objective 5a and the PESCA Community Initiative. The indicative sums set out in the programmes at the beginning of the programme period were as follows:

Objective 1 and 5a

Yearm euros£ million(18)
199420.6112.81
199520.6012.81
199620.6212.82
199720.6112.81
199820.6312.83
199920.6312.83

(18) At end 1999 conversion rate 1 euro = £0.6217


PESCA

Yearm euros£ million(19)
19951.1320.7
19961.7121.064
19971.9371.204
19981.6721.039
19991.8991.181

(19) At end 1999 conversion rate 1 euro = £0.6217


A further 0.66 million euros (£410,000) was subsequently awarded to the UK towards the end of the PESCA Programme.

The funding received by the UK fishing industry for these years is as follows:

£ million

YearObjectives 1 and 5aPESCA
19957.26--
199615.87--
199710.610.094
19988.410.437
199912.521.225

The following amounts were paid in formation grants to producer organisations:

Year£ million
19950.047
19960.183
19970.101
19980.025
19990.014

In addition the following amounts were paid by the Intervention Board Executive Agency under the fish withdrawal schemes:

Year£ million
19951.51
19962.83
19972.22
19981.10
19990.57


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BSE

Mr. Cox: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the European Union countries in which cattle have been discovered to have BSE, indicating the measures taken to prohibit the import into the United Kingdom of beef products in each case. [146576]

Ms Quin: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have all reported indigenous cases of BSE.

In line with EU legislation the UK has prohibited the import of beef and beef products from Portugal but has not prohibited imports from any of the other countries listed above. UK consumers are protected regarding products that are imported from any of the other countries listed above by the EU-wide requirement to remove specified risk materials from the food chain.

Crop Protection Chemicals

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the joint industry submission, Minimising the Environmental Impacts of Crop Protection Chemicals, Revised proposals February 2001. [148864]

Ms Quin: The November 2000 pre-Budget report announced that, in the run-up to Budget 2001, the Government wished to see the Crop Protection Association (CPA) make further improvements to the package of voluntary measures that the industry has been developing over the past year. This latest submission from the CPA and from a number of other stakeholders involved in the supply and use of crop protection products, was received by the Government on 29 January. It is currently being evaluated.


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