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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many firms in the UK manufacture LPG cylinders for the automotive industry; and how many cylinders were made in each year since 1995. 
Mr. Caborn: Pendle has benefited from the Department's employment rights policies, which include the national minimum wage, the working time directive, part-time working regulations and improved maternity leave.
14 Feb 2001 : Column: 139W
In the North West region, the Department's policies have also contributed to a growth in employment by 107,000 and a fall in unemployment by 63,000, and to reductions in youth employment by 75 per cent. and long-term unemployment by 54 per cent.
Mr. Byers [holding answer 22 January 2001]: The total spent by Ministers' offices on drinks and entertainment in the financial year 1999-2000, including the costs of some official DTI functions, was £19,834.
Mr. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the accessibility of existing test centres for health compensation claims for former miners in the Leicestershire and South Derbyshire coalfields. 
Mr. Hain: Claimants in the Leicestershire region are most likely to attend centres in Coventry, Nottingham or Cannock. For claimants in the South Derbyshire region, the centres at Nottingham, Mansfield and Chesterfield are usually suggested. To date, these centres have assessed through the full Medical Assessment Process, MAP, over 1,300 claimants, with a further 511 appointments made.
14 Feb 2001 : Column: 140W
Claimants are usually asked to attend a test centre within a 25-mile radius of their residence. However, claimants are given the option to attend a different centre if a more suitable time is available. For those claimants who are not able to travel to a centre, and have a letter from their doctor, Healthcall carries out home visits.
Dr. Howells: Work is continuing to prepare the draft Export Control Bill for publication and the Government will publish the Bill as soon as it is ready. It is not possible at this stage to give a precise date but we hope to be in a position to publish the Bill within the next few months.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the agricultural shows this year (a) to which (i) he and (ii) other Ministers in his Department have received invitations and (b) which shows (i) he and (ii) each other Minister has attended. 
14 Feb 2001 : Column: 139W
|Show||Invitation received by||Attended by|
|Beef 2000||Joyce Quin||--|
|Cereals 2000||Elliot Morley||Elliot Morley|
|Cheshire County Show||Nick Brown||Elliot Morley|
|CLA Game Fair||Nick Brown and Elliot Morley||Nick Brown and Elliot Morley|
|Devon Show||Joyce Quin||Joyce Quin|
|Driffield Show||Nick Brown||--|
|East of England Show||Nick Brown||--|
|Essex Show||Nick Brown||--|
|European Dairy Farming Event||Nick Brown||Joyce Quin|
|Great Yorkshire Show||Nick Brown||Elliot Morley|
|Kent Show||Joyce Quin||Joyce Quin|
|Lincolnshire Show||Nick Brown||Nick Brown|
|National Fruit Show||Nick Brown||--|
|Royal Bath and West Show||Nick Brown||Baroness Hayman|
|Royal Highland Show||Nick Brown||Nick Brown|
|Royal Norfolk Show||Nick Brown||Elliot Morley|
|Sheep 2000||Nick Brown||Elliot Morley|
|South of England Show||Baroness Hayman||Baroness Hayman|
|South West Dairy Show||Nick Brown||Joyce Quin|
|The Royal Show||Nick Brown, Joyce Quin, Baroness Hayman and Elliot Morley||Nick Brown, Joyce Quin, Baroness Hayman|
|The Royal Smithfield Show||Nick Brown||Nick Brown, Baroness Hayman and Elliot Morley|
|The Royal Welsh Show||Nick Brown||Nick Brown|
|Three Counties Show||Baroness Hayman||Baroness Hayman|
|Westmorland Show||Joyce Quin||--|
14 Feb 2001 : Column: 139W
14 Feb 2001 : Column: 140W
Mr. Nick Brown: I meet Jean Glavany regularly at EU Agriculture Council. I last met him for a formal bilateral discussion, in London, on 26 June 2000. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State met Jan Fencl on my behalf on 5 July 2000.
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Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 10 January 2001, Official Report, column 562W, on GM crops, if the Government definition of GM agriculture is restricted to commercial agricultural activities. 
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 30 January 2001]: Any assessment of the impact of GM agriculture on farmland values, which was the subject of the hon. Member's previous question, would need to consider the impact of commercial cultivation. Only limited GM crop trials are currently taking place in the UK.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what (a) assumptions and (b) projections of agricultural employment and production levels apply to the Government's long-term strategy for agriculture. 
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: The Government's long-term agriculture strategy takes account of the changing economic circumstances facing the sector, including trends in employment and production levels. The underlying economic analysis is summarised in a MAFF publication "Strategy for Agriculture: Current and Prospective Economic Situation", which is available in the Libraries of the House, and associated MAFF working papers produced in March 2000. The key policies underpinning the strategy will be subject to economic evaluation.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the Government have made representations at the EU level on the need for a replacement for the agrimonetary compensation system. 
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: The Council's agrimonetary regulations cover currency movements to the end of 2001 and provide for compensation which could extend over the next three years. No member state has pressed for a replacement at the present time.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the impact on funding of the ERDP if the modulation of agriculture subsidies at the stated percentages yields significantly less than the amounts expected. 
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: The funds raised through modulation of agriculture subsidies will be monitored closely throughout the life of the England Rural Development Programme.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if ERDP funding is subject to annual ring- fencing arrangements similar to those that apply to the money announced in March 2000 for pig farmers. 
14 Feb 2001 : Column: 142W
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: An initial consultation visit under the Farm Business Advice Service, which is being delivered for MAFF by the Small Business Service, is conducted by a Farm Business Adviser (FBA) and lasts approximately half a day. The FBA will look round the farm and discuss with the farmer the way the business is run and managed, financial matters and the aspirations for the business of the farmer and his/her family. Information required to undertake a business health check and to prepare a current farm balance sheet will be collected, which the farmer will normally have been forewarned to have ready, to help the FBA prepare an action plan following the initial visit. The FBA may also collect data to benchmark business performance. During the visit or on a subsequent visit the FBA might use the specially developed Connect CD to illustrate the options open to the farmer.
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: Expenditure to date on the Farm Business Advice Service which is being delivered for MAFF by the Small Business Service (SBS) through Business Link outlets is £1,053,092. Business Links will be submitting invoices to cover the costs they have incurred delivering the service, over the period since its launch, at the end of February. All costs will be met from moneys allocated to MAFF under the Action Plan for Farming. Any funds allocated to this service for this financial year and not spent will be carried over to next year.
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