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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 275W, on asbestos, what differentiations she has made between white and blue asbestos waste, including asbestos cement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: There are hazards associated with all types of asbestos waste. We do not, therefore, distinguish between white and blue asbestos and as I said in the answer I gave on 15 January, all types of asbestos waste have been classified as special waste in Great Britain since 1996 and in Northern Ireland since 1998.
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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: We currently expect that the first results of the Farm Scale Evaluations for certain spring-sown herbicide tolerant genetically modified crops will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal in the summer of 2003. The independent Scientific Steering Committee, which oversees the evaluations, will publish its advice to Government at the same time.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many genetically modified crops were imported into the UK for the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Grain and derived products from the following genetically modified crops have approval under Directive 90/220/EEC for importation into the European Community, dating from 1996 onwards. No figures of amounts imported are available.
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|Oilseed rape||Herbicide tolerant||Aventis||C/GB/95/M5/1|
|Maize||Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant||Northrup King||C/GB/96/M4/1|
|Maize||Insect resistant and herbicide tolerant||Ciba-Geigy||C/F/94/1103|
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The Government have an open mind about genetically modified (GM) crops. Our first priority is to protect human health and the environment. No GM crop can be grown in the environment for research or commercial purposes without prior assessment and approval in compliance with the European union regulatory regimes.
In addition, the Farm Scale Evaluation research programme will provide information about the effect, that the management practices associated with GM herbicide tolerant crops might have on farmland wildlife, when compared with weed control used with equivalent non-GM crops. There will be no commercial growing of GM crops until the evaluations are completed and only then if the crops and associated farming practices are assessed as causing no unacceptable impact on the environment. The results of the evaluations will enable a more informed decision to be taken about the possible use of this technology.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 14 February 2002, Official Report, column 648W, how much additional access to white water inland rivers the report Water-based Sport and Recreation estimates is necessary; and if he will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: The report identified an imbalance between supply of and demand for white water for canoeists, particularly in south-east England. The report did not identify how much additional access was needed.
Officials recently met the other sponsors of the research (British Waterways, the Countryside Agency, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency and Sport England) and other interested Government Departments and we are considering what action to take in the light of the report's findings.
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a statement on her Department's policy on deregulation in the agriculture industry; and if she will list the regulations removed since May 1997. 
Mr. Morley: The Department implements the Government's policy on better regulation. This is regulating only when necessary, doing so in a light touch way, consistent with policy objectives, and reducing regulatory burdens where possible.
Regulatory reform can included changes to primary and secondary legislation and administrative procedures. The process was started through implementation of the recommendations of the 1999 Red Tape Reviews and the Better Regulation Task Force's Review of Environmental Regulations and Farmers. This has led to the streamlining of processes and procedures for example by implementing a simplified procedure for granting "own-use" approvals for imports of pesticides with a reduced fee, by streamlining intervention procedures, and by better co-ordinated cattle inspections. The Government's Regulatory Reform Action Plan announced on 4 February contains further proposals for reform by the Department.
The Department does not hold a comprehensive list of deregulatory changes made since 1997. However, in the last two months the Department has achieved the removal of complex rules applying to sheep produced groups and their replacement by simpler general rules as part of the changes to the CAP sheep regime agreed at the December 2001 Agriculture Council, and the removal of a requirement in Commission regulations on arable crops for testing of farm-saved rapeseed for glucosinolate content, estimated to result in savings to farmers of about £1 million. The Regulatory Reform Action Plan provides a basis for recording all such changes systematically from now on.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive on the amount of waste electrical goods illegally abandoned in public places. 
Mr. Meacher: The Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is still in draft. We are currently at Common Position stage, and for this reason we have not yet made any such assessment.
The Directive requires distributors to take back waste electrical goods free of charge to the end user. This take- back provision may be in-store, on delivery or through an alternative arrangement, eg. curbside collection. Furthermore, the Directive requires member states to ensure that users are given necessary information about the return and collection systems available to them and about their role in contributing to re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of WEEE.
We therefore believe that the Directive will make a positive contribution to increasing the amount of waste electrical goods recovered and recycled and we see no reason to anticipate an increase in the illegal abandoning of WEEE in public places.
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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made towards meeting his pledge that all central Government should be contactable electronically by 2005; which (a) Ministers and (b) members of the Cabinet are contactable by the public via e-mail; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: The latest figures on progress towards the target of making Government services available electronically by 2005 show that over 50 per cent. of Government services are e-enabled now. In addition, Departments predict that three-quarters of services will be e-enabled by the end of 2002.
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The Guidelines for UK Government websites encourage individual departmental websites to list Ministers and their responsibilities, and to publish contact addresses, that is, a full postal address as well as an e-mail address.
Jean Corston: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Bristol, East constituency, the effects on Bristol of his Department's policies and actions (a) from 5 May 1994 to 2 May 1997, (b) from 2 May 1997 to 7 May 1998, and (c) since 7 May 1998. 
Mrs. Roche: The following tables provide key data for Bristol from 1997 to 1998 and from 1998 to date. Limited data are available, given changes in methodologies within the period. The information requested prior to 1997 is not held centrally, nor in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Education (Bristol Local Education Authority)|
|Percentage of 15-year-olds gaining 5+A*-C GCSE/GNVQ(25)||32.1 per cent.||29 per cent.||-3.1 percentage points|
|Percentage of pupils gaining level 4 plus at Key Stage 2 (11-year-olds) English(26)||54 per cent.||55 per cent.||1 percentage point|
|Percentage of pupils gaining level 4 plus at Key Stage 2 (11-year-olds) mathematics(27)||52 per cent.||47 per cent.||-5 percentage points|
|Infants in class sizes of more than 30(28)||3,708 (January)||3,770 (January)||62 pupil increase|
|Funding per pupil (in real terms)(29)||£2,700||£2,750||£50 real terms increase|
|Welfare to Work (Bristol Unitary Authority)|
|Number of adults in employment(30)||171,000 (May)||182,000 (May)||11,000 (6.4 per cent.)|
|Percentage of working age people in employment(31)||68.9 per cent. (May)||72 per cent. (May)||3.1 percentage points|
|Claimant count unemployed(32)||13,269 (May)||9,851 (May)||-3,418 (-25.8 per cent.)|
|Youth unemployment (1824 claimant count)(33)||3,033 (May)||2,303 (May)||-730 (-24.1 per cent.)|
|Health (Avon Health Authority)|
|Number of doctors(34)||2,169||2,326||157 (7.2 per cent.)|
|Qualified nurses(35)||8,260 (September 1997)||6,679 (September 1998)||-581 (-7 per cent.)|
|Inpatient waiting lists(36)||23,104 (March 1997)|||||
|Outpatients seen within 13 weeks(37)||Robust data not available||76 per cent. (June 1998)|||
(25),(26),(27),(28)DfES published statistics (taken from DfES Internet site)
(29) DfES held statistics obtained through policy officials for use in ministerial briefing
(30),(31),(32),(33)NOMIS database (Office for National Statistics)
(34) DoH statistic obtained through policy officials for use in ministerial briefing
(35),(36),(37)DoH statistics from Avon health authority briefing
|Education (Bristol Local Education Authority)|
|Percentage of 15-year-olds gaining 5+A*-C GCSE/GNVQ(38)||29 per cent.||31.8 per cent. (2001)|
|Percentage of pupils gaining level 4 plus at Key Stage 2 (11-year-olds) English(39)||55 per cent.||65.5 per cent. (2001)|
|Percentage of pupils gaining level 4 plus at Key Stage 2 (11-year-olds) mathematics(40)||47 per cent.||61.6 per cent. (2001)|
|Infants in class sizes of more than 30(41)||3.770 (January)||Zero (September 2001)|
|Funding per pupil (in real terms)(42)||£2,750||£3,290 (2001provisional)|
|Welfare to work (Bristol Unitary Authority)|
|Number of adults in employment(43)||182,000 (May)||205,000 (November 2001)|
|Percentage of working age people in employment(44)||72 per cent. (May)||78.2 per cent. (November 2001)|
|Claimant count unemployed(45)||9,851 (May)||6,266 (December 2001)|
|Youth unemployment (1824 claimant count)(46)||2,303 (May)||1,502 (December 2001)|
|Health (Avon Health Authority)|
|Number of doctors(47)||2,326||2,508 (2001)|
|Qualified nurses(48)||7,679 (September)||7,569 (September 2000)|
|Inpatient waiting lists(49)||||21,492 (September 2001)|
|Outpatients seen within 13 weeks(50)||76 per cent. (June)||80 per cent. (September 2001)|
(38),(39),(40),(41)DfES published statistics (taken from DfES Internet site)
(42) DfES held statistics obtained through policy officials for use in ministerial briefing
(43),(44),(45),(46)Publicly available through NOMIS database(Office for National Statistics)
(47) DoH statistic obtained through policy officials for use in ministerial briefing
(48),(49),(50)DoH statistics from Avon Health Authority briefing (available through the Government Knowledge Network)
4 Mar 2002 : Column 81W
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