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Departmental Policies (Lincoln)

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Lincoln constituency, the effects on Lincoln of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [152980]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 20 March 2001]: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Lincoln constituency and Lincolnshire LEA have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Policies (Stourbridge and Dudley)

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to (a) Stourbridge and (b) the metropolitan borough of Dudley the effects on the area of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154730]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 20 March 2001]: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Stourbridge constituency and the metropolitan borough of Dudley and Dudley LEA have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Policies (Lancaster and Wyre)

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Lancaster and Wyre constituency, the effect on Lancaster and Wyre of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154685]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 21 March 2001]: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Lancaster and Wyre constituency and the Lancashire LEA have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Policies (Battersea)

Mr. Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to Battersea, the effects of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154821]

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Mr. Wills: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Battersea constituency and the Wandsworth LEA have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Policies (Truro and St. Austell)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Truro and St. Austell constituency, the effects on Truro and St. Austell of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154534]

Mr. Wills: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Truro and St. Austell constituency and Cornwall LEA have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Policies (Chichester)

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Chichester constituency, the effects on Chichester of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [155279]

Mr. Wills: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Chichester constituency and West Sussex LEA have been placed in the Library.

Departmental Policies (Walthamstow)

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Walthamstow constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154174]

Mr. Wills: Details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Walthamstow constituency and the Waltham Forest LEA have been placed in the Library.

New Deal

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many cohorts had their first interview for the New Deal for 18 to 24-years-olds in (a) January and (b) April 1998. [154931]

Ms Jowell: In January 1998, 4,030 young people had an initial New Deal interview in the 12 Pathfinder areas. In April 1998, the first month that the programme was rolled out nationally, 13,200 young people had an initial interview.

Education Action Zones

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list, for each education action zone (a) the lead LEA, (b) the schools in the zones, (c) the parliamentary constituencies covered by each zone, (d) the date of the zone's inauguration, (e) the total public funding given to each zone to date, (f) the public funding budgeted to be given to the zone in future, (g) the total private funding obtained by each zone and (h) the date of (i) inspection and (ii) audit of each zone's efficiency and effectiveness. [153280]

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Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 12 March 2001]: The information requested for each of the 73 large Education Action Zones (EAZs), is contained in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Library, with the exception of (h) (ii) which is an ongoing process. EAZs do not have 'lead LEAs'. The table lists the Partner LEAs.

This funding has led to improvements in the standards of education. In the 25 first round zones which have been running the longest, the proportion of 7-year-olds reaching level 2 in reading, writing and maths has increased by 7, 6 and 8 percentage points respectively since 1998, compared with national increases of 4, 4 and 6 percentage points over the same period. The proportion of 11-year-olds achieving level 4 in English, maths and science has increased by 12, 16 and 20 percentage points respectively, compared with 10, 14 and 16 percentage points nationally.

Pledged private sector sponsorship for all Education Action Zones now runs at over £37 million; some £36 million of this is for large zones.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

BSE

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the longest period of time is in which existing stocks of rendered specified risk material and over-30-months scheme material have been stored. [152065]

Ms Quin [holding answer 5 March 2001]: The longest period of time to date in which existing stocks of rendered OTMS material (which includes SRM from over-30- months cattle) have been stored is 4 years 9 months, i.e. from the start of the scheme in May 1996.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what veterinary advice he has received regarding the level of threat posed to the spreading of foot and mouth disease by the holding of horseracing meetings; and if he will make a statement. [152162]

Ms Quin [holding answer 5 March 2001]: Veterinary advice to Ministers is that no meeting should be held within an officially designated Protection Zone. This is an area of at least 3 kilometres around an infected premises.

We have provided veterinary support in drawing up advice for use by the British Horseracing Board regarding the conditions under which race meetings in other parts of the country may be held.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had with British Waterways about the precautions necessary to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. [153842]

Ms Quin [holding answer 15 March 2001]: The Ministry has had a number of contacts with British Waterways at a local level and these have been constructive. In the light of the developing situation, British Waterways has commissioned a detailed risk

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assessment from the ADAS consultancy. This will ensure that a consistent policy is implemented on access to British Waterways land. The Ministry is assisting ADAS and the results of the study will be made available on the MAFF website http://www.maff.gov.uk/.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what precautions are in place with regard to the transport of animals for rendering during the foot and mouth outbreak. [153971]

Ms Quin: The lorries involved in transport to rendering plants are specially designed to be leakproof. This is checked by filling them partially with water and tilting them to 30 degrees to check for leaks. Dead animals do not excrete the virus. The carcases are all individually disinfected and covered in the lorries with plastic sheeting. This is weighed down with straw or sawdust which is heavily disinfected. The lorry is then covered with a tight-fitting tarpaulin. These precautions reduce the risk of spreading infection to an extremely low level.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce regulations to allow the burial of carcases as an alternative to burning for the disposal of animals culled as part of the precautions against foot and mouth. [153952]

Ms Quin: Burial is our preferred method of disposal where environmental conditions permit. Unfortunately, the high watertable across much of the country has precluded its use in many cases. We will use the full range of safe disposal routes available to us.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received on the level of prices for meat at abattoirs during the foot and mouth crisis. [154283]

Ms Quin: Regular, vigorous representations on the price of red meat have been received from all sectors of the industry since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. However, since official deadweight price reporting of cattle has recommenced and the exchange of information on sheep and pig prices has improved, the level has reduced significantly. Issues relating to pricing policies and unfair competition are a matter for the Director General of Fair Trading.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what arrangements he has made to ensure animals are being slaughtered at the closest possible abattoir to the point of origin of the stock; and if he will make a statement; [154395]

Mr. Morley: For the duration of the outbreak, we are using the weekly foot and mouth disease stakeholders meetings to stress the need to keep journeys as short as possible. All movement is banned subject to restricted and limited journeys under licence. Where necessary to move animals for welfare reasons, then this is subject to strict controls.

For the longer term, we agree that we will need to look very closely at long distance livestock movements, both on animal health and welfare grounds.

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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the meetings and conferences organised by his Department and agencies of his Department which have been (a) cancelled and (b) postponed owing to foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. [155372]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 March 2001]: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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