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Rover Task Force

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will break down the amount of money spent from the Rover task force in each local authority area. [1996]

Mr. Wilson: The Rover task force funds projects across the west midlands, which assist with the long-term economic regeneration of the region. All parts of the west midlands will benefit from the investment in the region's long-term future. As it is a regional initiative, data were not recorded on a local authority basis.

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if funding from the Rover task force will be provided for the volunteer bureau in Bromsgrove. [1987]

Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has now accepted the final report of the Rover task force, which sets strategic priorities for the automotive sector and economic regeneration of the region. The funding of £129 million has already been fully allocated to good quality business projects in the region and unfortunately there are no resources remaining. However there was no scope for funding projects from the voluntary sector.

Village Post Offices (Road Tax)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to allow village post offices to issue road tax licences. [249]

Mr. Alexander: Consideration is being given to increasing the provision of services through post offices and sub-post offices as part of developing the Government general practitioner facility.

Arms Exports

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to introduce further legislation to control the export of arms from the UK; and if he will make a statement. [1856]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 3 July 2001]: The Export Control Bill was introduced to Parliament on 26 June. This follows a comprehensive and detailed review by the Government of the existing legislative framework governing strategic export controls, taking into account the views of all interested parties. The Export Control Bill will replace the export control provisions of the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939. The Bill contains new powers to strengthen the export control regime, sets out the purposes for which export controls can be imposed and provides for parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation made under the Bill.

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German Plutonium

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to make arrangements for the treatment and return of German plutonium research reactor fuel, currently at Dounreay, to Germany. [1770]

Mr. Wilson: I understand that UKAEA intend to return the Kalkar SNR 300 fuel, which is the majority of German plutonium research reactor fuel at Dounreay, before the end of 2001. There are no plans for treating the Kalkar SNR 300 fuel at Dounreay.

Renewable Energy

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to encourage regional development agencies to promote the (a) manufacture and (b) installation of renewable energy technologies. [1765]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 2 July 2001]: The Department has provided financial support for regional studies of the potential for renewables throughout the UK. A number of the regional development authorities (RDAs) have been very actively involved in these assessments and some RDAs, including the Welsh Development Agency, have conducted their own studies with a focus on manufacturing and employment opportunities. On the basis of this involvement, the RDAs will be well placed to promote all aspects of renewable energy, in pursuance of regional targets.

ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Petrol Safety

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many petrol retailers have been prosecuted in each of the past five years for not reporting leakages from underground storage tanks. [1588]

Mr. Meacher: The Environment Agency's prosecution database runs only from January 1999 and does not provide narrative in respect of prosecutions. The failure to report leakage from a storage tank would not therefore be specifically identified and case-by-case information would be disproportionately expensive to obtain. If leakage from a petrol tank occurred, a prosecution would be likely to be based on the leakage itself and the resulting pollution or a breach of a licence condition.

Foot and Mouth

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average valuation price was per bovine in each week of the current foot and mouth epidemic. [790]

Mr. Morley: The information is not yet available in the form requested. The Department is currently preparing a database of detailed information on livestock valuations and I will right to the right hon. Member when I am able to provide the information.

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many foreign vets, from which countries, have assisted the UK during the foot and mouth epidemic; and how many left the UK before receiving payment. [791]

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Mr. Morley: Foreign veterinary assistance has been provided in two ways. Governments have loaned state veterinarians to the Department. Terms and conditions were agreed with the relevant authorities in each country prior to the vets travelling to GB. Their salaries continue to be paid by the authorities in their own country.

Other foreign vets have also been appointed as Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs). TVIs are paid a daily rate which is claimed retrospectively. The necessary details to allow payment of money due is requested at the time of appointment. Information concerning the timing of payments to individuals in relation to their date of departure from GB is not recorded.

To date 463 veterinarians from the following countries have provided assistance during the FMD outbreak:



The number of foreign TVIs appointed is currently 375 and they come from one of the following countries:



4 Jul 2001 : Column: 191W

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many premises in Worcestershire were at any stage considered to be infected with foot and mouth disease; and of these, how many have subsequently been cleared following negative laboratory tests. [41]

Mr. Morley: Information is available only for Hereford and Worcester. As of 26 June there were 66 Infected Premises (IPs). Of these, 43 were tested, of which 30 returned negative results. There were 17 slaughter- on-suspicion cases. Of these 16 were tested, all returned negative results.

An Infected Premises is one where foot and mouth disease has either been diagnosed by a vet on the farm, supported by convincing clinical evidence, or where disease is found after testing. However, a negative laboratory result does not necessarily mean that the disease was not present and does not change the status of an Infected Premises.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps were taken to inform veterinary surgeons of discrepancies between clinical diagnosis of foot and mouth disease on farms and subsequent laboratory tests; on how many occasions such discrepancies occurred; and if she will make a statement. [47]

Mr. Morley: Almost all cases of foot and mouth disease during the current outbreak have been confirmed on clinical grounds. Although laboratory results are being monitored, it is important to remember that a negative laboratory test does not necessarily mean that the disease does not exist within the flock or herd. Guidance has been issued to staff to assist with clinical diagnosis, including advice on diseases or conditions which might involve symptoms similar to foot and mouth disease, particularly in sheep.

Pigswill

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the risks of using pigswill prepared to the required standards; and if she will further review her Department's ban on the use of pigswill. [2097]

Mr. Morley: A veterinary assessment of the risks of using pigswill was made before the ban on swill-feeding was introduced. This assessment concluded that, owing to the recent foot and mouth disease outbreak, the disease risks from swill-feeding are very much greater than they were previously.

No further review of the ban will be made as agreement was reached at the Agriculture Council on 19 June to introduce an EU wide ban on the feeding of swill to livestock.


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