|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many enclosed waters of one hectare or more in size there are in (a) South Tyneside, (b) Tyne and Wear and (c) the North East; and how many of these are known to be used for sport and recreation. 
Alun Michael: Our research report, XWater-Based Sport and Recreation: the Facts" was published in December 2001. The researchers found that 73 of the 169 enclosed water spaces of one hectare or more in the North are used for sport and recreation. The report does not provide separate figures for South Tyneside, Tyne and Wear and the North East.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many clubs are associated with inland water sport and recreation in (a) South Tyneside, (b) Tyne and Wear and (c) the North East. 
3 Apr 2002 : Column 1026W
Alun Michael: Our research report, XWater-Based Sport and Recreation: the Facts" was published in December 2001. The researchers conducted interviews with 58 national stakeholder organisations in England and Wales and also undertook a questionnaire survey of 1,250 local clubs, associations and organisations. The report does not detail how many clubs are associated with inland water sport and recreation in South Tyneside, Tyne and Wear and the North East.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will announce what action she plans to take on the research report XWater Based Sport and Recreation: the Facts".
Alun Michael: Officials recently met British Waterways, the Countryside Agency, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency and Sport England as the other sponsors of the research along with other interested Government Departments. We are considering what action to take in the light of the report's findings.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which market towns have received grants for regeneration under the New Deal for Market Towns, stating (a) the amount and (b) the purpose of each grant. 
Alun Michael: The Market Town Initiative is being taken forward on DEFRA's behalf by the Regional Development Agencies, working with the Countryside Agency and local partners and using the #37 million of Government funding announced in the Rural White Paper. We hope that match funding will raise the figure to some #100 million. The Department does not plan to monitor the amount and purpose of individual grants made in each town. The process at a local level is important in itself. Most towns are still at the stage of community consultation prior to agreeing action plans, and few project grants have been approved. I understand the total grant allocation by RDAs to individual towns remain indicative. The table below lists the towns included in the programme to date.
3 Apr 2002 : Column 1027W
3 Apr 2002 : Column 1028W
3 Apr 2002 : Column 1029W
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the approved buffer zone is between GM crop trial plantations and non-GM crops; on what basis it was arrived at; and what equivalent buffer zone is in use in other EU countries where GM crop trials are taking place. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 14 March 2002]: There is no single approved buffer zone between GM crop trials and non-GM crops. The conditions governing each trial, including the separation distance between GM plants and other crops, are determined on a case-by-case basis and set out in each consent.
The basis for the size and nature of the buffer zone on other conditions is to restrict the impact of the GM crop on the environment. The distances are dependent on the reproductive characteristics of the GM crop, the nature of the modification and whether any alternative form of risk management is in operation (eg flower removal, pollen barrier).
These distances are set after consultation with the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE), the Government's statutory advisory committee on matters relating to the release of GMOs to the environment, which examines all applications for GM trials. ACRE advises on the basis of the best scientific evidence available and experience gained from previous releases and, for example, by the seeds industry in the use of separation distances to secure specific levels of seed purity amongst conventionally bred plant varieties.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many cases of illegal possession of wild animals there have been in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Morley: There are several pieces of legislation for which my Department is responsible that regulate the possession of wild animals (including wild birds), but details of illegal keeping are not readily available.
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, which regulates the possession of some wild animals, was reviewed last year by independent consultants to examine its effectiveness. The Act is administered and enforced by local authorities and no records are held centrally. However, the consultants report, which has been put on the website, contains some information about prosecutions, though it is not limited to the last five years and is not necessarily comprehensive.
3 Apr 2002 : Column 1030W
The review highlighted a number of shortcomings, including some relating to enforcement. We have sought views on the report's recommendations from stakeholders and shortly will be preparing our proposals on how we intend to address the shortcomings. The public will be invited to comment.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the enriched cages to be permitted in England under the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive 99/74/EC will need to provide more than 250 cubic centimetres of which shall be usable. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 26 March 2002]: Council Directive 99/74/EC lays down minimum requirements for enriched cages, including cage area per hen and usable area. It is intended that the Directive will be implemented in England without being added to in any way. If further changes are proposed, there will be a full public consultation.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information supported the designation of(a) Gatcombe parish council and (b) Newchurch parish council.
Alun Michael: Neither Gatcombe parish council nor Newchurch parish council have been classified as Xbarely active". The work which is being undertaken by the Countryside Agency towards a national indicator of community vibrancy is not a categorisation of parish councils or their effectiveness. The National Indicator uses as a proxy for community vibrancy measures of the opportunities for members of a community to contribute to community activities.
The information used was collected as part of the Agency's Rural Services Survey from parish clerks and comprised the presence of a village hall or similar local meeting place, the presence of a public house, incidence of local traditions and events and contested parish council elections. Full details are set out in the Countryside Agency's State of the Countryside Report 2001 where it was noted that there is a marked relationship between the indicator score and population size. The indicator was reported at the national level.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|