|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with the Silk Stream Flood Defence project in the Hendon constituency. 
Mr. Morley: Operational responsibility for flood measures rests with the local operating authorities, normally the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils, who decide which projects to promote and their timing. I understand that the EA has recently reviewed the extent of their flood alleviation proposals for the Silk Stream and the London borough of Harrow is due to consider the revised scope of the proposals for planning purposes by the end of May. The EA will then be submitting an application for grant to DEFRA which will be considered against our normal economic, technical and environmental criteria and priority score arrangements. Subject to all approvals and contributions being in place, the EA plan to commence works in summer 2003.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of private veterinary surgeons have received training for each notifiable disease from her Department and its predecessors in the last five years. 
Part of the appointment process involves departmental training in those areas to which the appointment relates. The objectives of such training are to improve the ability and performance of the LVI in carrying out work for the Department and to provide motivation to achieve and maintain satisfactory standards.
Following a successful assessment of the trainee's suitability a temporary appointment of six months will be established. During this period an assessment of the officers' competence will be made. Satisfactory assessment leads to a full appointment.
8 May 2002 : Column 163W
It is the responsibility of the Department to maintain a level of training suitable for the LVI to perform his or her functions. Training is complemented with written instructions, newsletters and practice liaison meetings during which new issues and instructions are discussed. The department's official journal of the SVSState Veterinary Journalis published and distributed to LVI practices bi-annually. These publications have included a series of articles on notifiable diseases. All LVI's have access to a departmental veterinary officer 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 7 May 2002]: The Interim Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan was placed on DEFRA's website for consultation on 12 March 2002. It codifies the operational response regime that was developed during the last outbreak and as such forms the basis for any future response to a new disease outbreak. It is however work in progress and will be reviewed to take account of any recommendations made when the official independent inquiries report.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost to the taxpayer of keeping dogs under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has been in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Morley: There are no centralised records of figures or costs of dogs held, by all police forces, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (as amended). However the Metropolitan police, who hold the largest number of dogs under the 1991 Act, have informed us that the cost for holding such dogs in their area for the last 12 months was £280,030.10.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average length of time dogs have been held by the police under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was. 
Mr. Morley: There are no centralised records of figures or costs of dogs held, by all police forces, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (as amended). However, the Metropolitan police, who hold the largest number of dogs under the 1991 Act, have informed us that the average length of time for a dog to be held in their area since 1991 is 418 days, but for the one year 200102 the average was 51 days.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dogs are held by the Metropolitan police service under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. 
8 May 2002 : Column 164W
Mr. Morley: There are no centralised records of figures or costs of dogs held, by all police forces, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (as amended). However, the Metropolitan police, who hold the largest number of dogs under the 1991 Act, have informed us that the total cost within the Metropolitan police of holding dogs under the 1991 Act since it came into force is £4,567,692.36.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she intends to introduce a compensation scheme for rams devalued owing to culling under the National Scrapie Plan. 
Mr. Morley: Participation in the National Scrapie Plan is voluntary, and at present it is only those rams which are most susceptible to scrapie which have to be removed from the breeding flock (either by slaughter or castration). It is normal farming practice to remove rams that are not required for breeding, and the plan allows sheep farmers to take susceptibility to scrapie into account in this process. The market provides a return for rams that are removed, and the Government have no plans for a subsidy to top up this return. Decisions on the financial arrangements for any future schemes under the National Scrapie Plan will be taken in full consultation with stakeholders.
Mr. Morley: The National Scrapie Plan is a long- term programme for the eradication of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies from sheep in Great Britain. Funding for future years of the plan will be finalised under the normal spending review process.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received in respect of proposals to change the planning system as they refer to radioactive waste disposal. 
My Department invited views on the proposals to give Parliament an opportunity to approve in principle major infrastructure projects including radioactive waste disposal schemes set out in the consultation paper "New Parliamentary Procedures for Processing Major Infrastructure Projects". Of some 400 responses, 22 referred to radioactive waste disposal. We are currently considering all the replies received in response to the consultation paper.
There were no similar invitations to comment on radioactive waste disposal in the Planning Green Paper: "Planning: Delivering a Fundamental Change" nor the other consultation papers: "Possible Changes to the Use
8 May 2002 : Column 165W
Classes Order and Temporary Uses ProvisionsA Consultation, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation: the Government's Proposals for Change", and "Planning Obligations: Delivering a Fundamental Change".
The project will look at predicted technology and market developments; the importance of Electronic Networks to UK productivity and growth and the regulatory challenges for the next decade. The output of the project will be a report to Government which will assist with the setting of future Government policy and approach, and will contribute to strategic thinking for the new regulator Ofcom.
Responsibility for the current performance, development and economic impact of UK Electronic Networks already lies with groups including the DTI, Oftel, the Office of the e-Envoy, HM Treasury, the Broadband Stakeholders Group and those involved in the Digital TV Action Plan. The PIU has been asked to take a long-term strategic view to complement this existing body of work.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|