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Sporting Rights (Grants)

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will provide a breakdown by district of revenue received by the Forestry Commission in the last 12 months, by way of grants for sporting rights. [42680]

Mr. Morley: The subject of the question relates to matters undertaken by Forest Enterprise. I have asked its Chief Executive, Dr. Bob McIntosh, to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Bob McIntosh to Mr. Simon Thomas, dated 18 March 2002:

East Anglia55,000
Forest of Dean24,500
New Forest13,000
North West England6,000
North York Moors40,000
South East Anglia28,500
West Midlands41,000
Total income327,500

If you require any further information please let me know.

Public Appointments

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many appointments to public bodies have been made through her Department (a) from April 2000 to March 2001 and (b) since 31 March 2001; and how many of these were (i) men and (ii) women. [42159]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 12 March 2002]: The numbers of men and women appointed, or reappointed, by Ministers in this Department to bodies sponsored by this Department during the periods in question are as follows:

1 April 2000 to 31 March 20011 April 2001 to 28 February 2002
Men appointed23596
Women appointed7844

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Agriculture Council

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether a Scottish Executive Minister will be a member of the UK delegation to the forthcoming Agriculture European Union Council of Ministers meeting on 18 and 19 March; and what information is being provided by her Department to guarantee effective pre-council scrutiny by the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament. [42687]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 12 March 2002]: There are no plans for any Scottish Executive Minister to attend the Agriculture Council in March. It is the responsibility of the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament to scrutinise the Scottish Executive's involvement in preparations for EU Council meetings. These arrangements are a matter for the Committee and the Scottish Executive. My Department provides information to Scottish Executive officials as part of that process.

Tail Docking

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to ensure that the docking of dogs' tails is regulated; and if she will make a statement. [42631]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 12 March 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (John Mann) on 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 796W.

Electric Goods Disposal

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the availability of treatment systems to disassemble waste electrical and electronic equipment. [42597]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 March 2002]: The European Community Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is still in draft.

At present, the UK collects more WEEE than the forthcoming Directive is likely to require. There are adequate facilities for processing existing disposals of WEEE through a wide range of re-use facilities, treatment sites and shredder operations licensed or registered exempt through the Environment Agency. These include community based refurbishment initiatives for household electrical items, scrap metal processors who take in white goods and shredders which take a range of WEEE in addition to white goods.

There have been new facilities established recently to deal with specific types of WEEE, such as the reprocessing of fluorescent tubes, refurbishment of personal computers and mobile telephones. Several of these newer operations undertake the disassembly of any equipment which cannot be refurbished for re-use in order to re-use components or to minimize cross-contamination during the recycling of different types of material.

Ruddy Duck

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many ruddy ducks have been killed in Britain since the beginning of the campaign to eradicate them. [39534]

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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 12 March 2002]: No decision has yet been taken on whether to undertake a campaign to eradicate the ruddy duck in the United Kingdom. However, as part of the Government's control trial to test the feasibility of eradicating the UK's population of ruddy duck within 10 years, a total of 2,558 ruddy ducks have been culled.

Regulatory Impact Unit

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many members her Department employs in its Regulatory Impact Unit; and if she will make a statement. [42931]

Mr. Morley: Four people work full time in the Better Regulation Unit. The Unit is supervised by a member of the Senior Civil Service who is also engaged on other duties.

It is the job of Departmental Regulatory Impact Units to establish and promote the principles of good regulation in their departments. The staff work closely with the officials responsible for developing policies within their Department, the Cabinet Office's Regulatory Impact Unit and the Small Business Service. They focus on those regulations that impact on business, charities, and the voluntary sector.


Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints were registered against her Department and its predecessor Departments in (a) 1990 to 1996 and (b) 1997 to 2002; how many are current; and what proportion were (i) taken up and (ii) upheld by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in this period. [42903]

Mr. Morley: The table shows up-to-date information from records in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the number of citizens charter complaints received since 1995.

Citizens charter complaints received by MAFF and DEFRA(24)

Number of citizens charter complaints(26)23141164
Current citizens charter complaints033
Number of citizens charter complaints referred to PCA(27)145
Number of citizens charter complaints upheld by PCA000

(24) Prior to the creation of DEFRA, the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions did not maintain a record of complaints that were referred to its central office for citizens charter issues. A manual count of DETR's complaints cannot be conducted without disproportionate effort. Before it became part of DEFRA, the Hunting Policy Unit of the Home Office did not receive any complaints.

(25) Before the establishment of the citizens charters for Government Departments, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food did not have a central unit for co-ordinating responses to complaints. As a result, DEFRA cannot co-ordinate statistics for complaints prior to 1995 without disproportionate effort.

(26) DEFRA's central unit for citizens charter complaints deals with all complaints addressed to DEFRA's complaints adjudicator. Centralised records do not exist for complaints addressed directly to individual divisions, and so DEFRA cannot co-ordinate figures for these without disproportionate effort.

(27) These figures do not include complaints made directly to the PCA. The total number of complaints that the Parliamentary Ombudsman investigated are in his annual reports.

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Litter (Fines)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 5 February 2002, Official Report, column 901W, on littering, how many people in the UK were prosecuted in each of the last five years; and in how many cases they were convicted. [43324]

Mr. Meacher: In 1996 there were 626 people prosecuted and 468 of those were convicted for littering offences, in 1997 there were 505 prosecutions with 352 convictions, in 1998 there were 494 prosecutions with 377 convictions and in 1999 there were 501 prosecutions with 390 convictions. There are no central data held prior to 1996.

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