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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 28 February 2001


Tyre Dumping

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he intends to introduce a scheme to help farmers with the cost of removing illegally dumped motor vehicle tyres from agricultural land; [150810]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: I have been asked to reply.

Section 59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides the Environment Agency and local authorities with powers to require the removal of waste dumped in contravention of waste controls; or to remove it and recover their costs from those responsible. However, farmers of land which is the subject of fly-tipping cannot be required to remove the waste or to pay for its removal, unless they knowingly caused or permitted its dumping. We have no plans to introduce a scheme to pay the costs incurred by landowners in removing fly-tipped waste.

However, the Fly Tipping Forum is addressing the problem of fly-tipping on farms; and has commissioned research to assess the problem's scale and associated costs. (The Environment Agency chairs the Forum and its members include the NFU and the Country Landowners Association.) It is anticipated that this research project will be completed later in the spring and the Forum will then consider its findings. The Department of Trade and Industry also chairs a joint Government/industry working group which is considering options for recycling tyres in the light of the Landfill Directive, which will ban their disposal in landfill sites.

No data are currently held centrally on the cost to either local authorities or farmers of removing illegally dumped motor vehicle tyres.

Departmental Policies (Blackpool, South)

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Blackpool, South constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [142229]

Ms Quin: As most of my Department's policies flow from measures agreed within the framework of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, statistical data are normally available on a UK or England basis, but not disaggregated further. However, farmers in the UK have benefited from this Government's policies to the tune of £1.2 billion since

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2 May 1997 in addition to the figure of approximately £3 billion per year in direct CAP payments. Farmers in the Blackpool, South constituency will also have available to them all of the schemes available under the England Rural Development Programme, which is backed by funding of £1.6 billion over the period 2000-06. Three of the schemes within this programme--Rural Enterprise, Processing and Marketing, and Vocational Training--have a budget of around £190 million and are being operated on a regional basis; each region has its own allocation.

Policy and Strategy Units

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when his policy and corporate strategy unit was established; which of its reports are placed in the public domain; how many departmental or non- departmental special advisers participate in its work; how many regular (a) non-departmental and (b) departmental staff participate in its work; and how many of these work for the unit on a full-time basis. [150366]

Ms Quin: The MAFF Policy and Corporate Strategy Unit was established in November last year. No departmental or non-departmental special advisers participate directly in the unit's work, but one of the departmental special advisers sits, alongside senior officials and a non-executive director of the MAFF management board, on the unit's steering board. This board is chaired by the permanent secretary and is intended to determine priorities for the unit's work.

It is intended that the Policy and Corporate Strategy Unity will provide internal advice to Ministers and the permanent secretary. Typically, resulting reports would be placed in the public domain by the Department. No such reports have yet been produced by the unit.

The unit currently has 10 full time members of staff, including three staff on loan from other Government Departments and Agencies. During the coming months its staff complement is expected to rise to approximately 15 full time staff.

Producers' Organisations

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what review has been carried out by his Department's officials in order that producers' organisations recognised prior to 1995 satisfy EC Regulation 1762/96; and if he will list the proportion of total production by weight, attributable to each producers' organisation for its economic area. [151536]

Mr. Morley: UK Fisheries Departments regularly review the status of producers' organisations in accordance with the provisions of EC Regulation 2939/94, as amended by EC Regulation 1762/96, to ensure that they still meet the recognition criteria. Under EC Regulation 2939/94 a producers' organisation must be responsible for at least 15 per cent. of the production in its area, or at least 30 per cent. of production in a major port in its area. Data from 1999, the latest date for which information is available, for the producers' organisations are set out as follows. It should be noted that the European Commission is currently reviewing the recognition criteria in respect of minimum levels of economic activity.

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Producers' organisationMajor port for landingsProportion of landings at major port (percentage)
Anglo-North Irish FPO Ltd.Kilkeel69
Cornish FPO Ltd.Newlyn72
South Western FPO Ltd.Brixham71
The FPO Ltd.Hull84
Anglo-Scottish FPO Ltd.North Shields76
Yorkshire and Anglia FPO Ltd.Bridlington38
Northern Ireland FPO Ltd.Portavogie71
Grimsby FPO Ltd.Scarborough57
Fleetwood FPO Ltd.Fleetwood54
Lowestoft FPO Ltd.Lowestoft59
North Sea FO Ltd.Harlingen100
Wales and West Coast FPO Ltd.Corunna62
Northern FPO Ltd.Montrose88

Producers' organisationProportion of landings in economic area (percentage)
Aberdeen FPO Ltd.33
Fife FPO Ltd.59
North East Scotland FO Ltd.20
Scottish FO Ltd.44
Shetland FPO Ltd.36
West of Scotland FPO Ltd.(1)19

(1) The West of Scotland FPO Ltd. is only recognised for Nephrops


Hague Convention on Child Abduction

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will place in the Library the Government's response to the questionnaire concerning the practical operation of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction and views on possible recommendations, drawn up by Mr. William Duncan, Deputy Secretary-General, and dated October 2000. [150890]

Jane Kennedy: The response to the questionnaire on behalf of the Central Authority for England and Wales has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


School Sports Co-ordinator

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will name the remaining areas that will benefit from a new school sports co-ordinator from September 2001. [149399]

Kate Hoey: Twelve new areas in the second round of school sport co-ordinators were announced on 16 February. Fifty-five further appointments will be made in these new areas bringing the total number of school sport co-ordinators to 195.

Sports Facilities (Primary Schools)

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the quality of sports facilities in primary schools. [149386]

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Kate Hoey: There is need to improve sports facilities in many of our primary schools. Part of our plan to do this is the Space for Sport and the Arts initiative which will provide £130 million for capital projects in 65 LEAs benefiting about 300 schools. In addition, £580 million of New Opportunities Fund money will be invested in strengthening the foundation of sport across England by building and refurbishing PE and sports facilities in over 1,500 schools.

Lottery Funds

Mr. Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures he is taking to ensure national lottery funds are distributed in a way that targets areas with the greatest social needs. [149393]

Mr. Chris Smith: Following the 1988 reforms to the national lottery, distributors are required to take into account the need to ensure that all areas have access to funding and the scope for reducing economic and social deprivation. Since then, distributors have increasingly targeted funding on areas of need, on people and activities rather than just capital projects, and on small grants to community groups. All of this means that, more than ever, the communities with the greatest needs are experiencing the positive effects of national lottery funding.

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