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19 Sept 2002 : Column 297Wcontinued
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 24 July 2002]: We are preparing the Regulations necessary to apply the provisions of the Waste Framework Directive to those types of agricultural waste which are not excluded from control under Article 2. A Regulatory Impact Assessment
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(RIA) is also being prepared. On completion, the draft Regulations and RIA will be issued for consultation with the farming industry and other interested groups. A firm date for publication of the consultation paper has not yet been set but our aim is to publish it in the Autumn. I will ensure that a copy of the consultation paper is sent to the hon. Member when it is issued.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many formal and official inter-ministerial meetings her Department has held with the Scottish Executive since May 1999, broken down by (a) Scottish Executive department, (b) subject and (c) date. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 July 2002]: Information is not available in the form requested. Ministers from the Department have frequent meetings with Ministers from the Scottish Executive, both formal and informal, covering a broad range of topics.
Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what outbreaks of disease in animals in Somerset have been linked to the import of illegal meat products in the past five years. 
Mr. Morley: There have been no outbreaks of exotic notifiable disease in Somerset in the last five years other than Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001. It is not possible to determine the exact route by which that virus entered the country.
Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps (a) have been taken and (b) are planned by her Department to increase the number of trees planted in the South West; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: With support from the Woodland Grant Scheme and Farm Woodland Premium Scheme, private woodland owners in the South West created some 1,300 hectares of woodland last year. This is nearly double the amount planted five years ago. We have also provided extra support in certain parts of the South West through initiatives such as the Community Forest Premium and Challenge Schemes for new native woodland in National Parks and for reversing fragmentation of woodlands. As to the future, we are currently reviewing our grant schemes with a view to achieving, among other things,
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Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the practical implications of the 20-day standstill order on agricultural shows in Somerset. 
Mr. Morley: The current rules already allow animals of all species to move to shows even if there is a standstill in place on their farm of origin, to move from show to show or to return to their farm of origin without triggering a 20-day standstill, provided they are individually identified and kept in approved isolation facilities for 20 days before the first show, between shows and on final return to the farm.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will consult (a) hon. Members whose constituencies have fishing interests, (b) fishermen's organisations and (c) other groups before a decision is made to impose a fishing ban in the vicinity of Lundy Island; 
Mr. Morley: The byelaw to implement a "No Take Zone" around Lundy Island has been proposed by Devon Sea Fisheries Committee (SFC) who are responsible for fisheries management in the area concerned. In proposing the byelaw, the SFC has taken advice from English Nature to comply with the statutory requirement in the case of byelaws proposed on marine environmental grounds. Consultation by the SFC has taken place with local fishing interests and formal public consultation will follow. This will be held in line with the statutory requirements of the Sea Fisheries (Byelaws) Regulations 1985 which require the byelaw to be advertised in publications circulating in the local district and any other publication which the Secretary of State may require.
In confirming the byelaw, this Department will look to ensure that all statutory requirements have been met, any objections received from the publication of the byelaw have been dealt with satisfactorily by the SFC and that the byelaw will not operate in a discriminatory or inequitable way. This Department will also need European Commission approval of the byelaw.
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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent evaluation her Department has carried out on the risk posed to seaside communities by rising sea levels; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The updated National Appraisal of Assets at Risk of Flooding and Coastal Erosion in England and Wales, distributed in September 2001 by DEFRA, provided a revised comprehensive estimate of risks from flooding and coastal erosion, including a preliminary assessment of the potential change of impact associated with climate change. The risk to coastal communities was included in this assessment.
Management of coastal risk from flooding and coastal erosion is informed through the development of Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs). The earliest of the first round of SMPs is now due for revision. Research by DEFRA to improve understanding of coastal erosion processes around the coastline of England and Wales will be made available soon to coastal authorities to assist development of the second round of SMPs. This includes guidance on the likely impact of sea level rise on coastal processes. This improved understanding will allow an assessment of the likely change of risk to coastal communities as a result of sea level rise to be made during review of the local SMP.
DEFRA manages the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) which reported on regional climate change impact earlier this year. Research carried out under UKCIP does not suggest that the sea level rise allowances used in the design of flood and coastal erosion management solutions needs to be changed for the time being.
Mr. Morley: I am advised that the Food Standards Agency has issued a Food Hazard Warning to local authorities and investigations are taking place to establish the source and extent of the illegal importation of meat from China. Any illegally imported meat, and products containing illegally imported meat, are being controlled by local authorities.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Environment Agency will (a) commence and (b) complete the feasibility study into the causes and relief of flooding in Salmon's Brook in the Lea Valley; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 310W, what evaluation has taken place of the effectiveness of the
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Environment Agency in identifying the case for investment in flood alleviation measures following the flooding of October 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency's medium term plans for capital works are produced on an annual basis and in both 2001 and 2002 included proposed improvement works for many conurbations affected by the Autumn 2000 flooding. Works are already in progress at some locations, including Bewdley, Shrewsbury, Malton and Norton, all of which were flooded. The Agency is still investigating the case for other works in areas affected by the 2000 floods. The Department keeps in close touch with the Agency on its plans.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what PSAs have been set for the Environment Agency regarding (a) flood forecasting, (b) flood warning and (c) flood alleviation; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: PSAs are only set for Government Departments. However, in 1999 DEFRA's Flood Management Division developed a series of High Level Targets which require the Environment Agency to report on flood and coastal defence issues on a regular basis. A copy of these Targets was placed in the House Libraries on 23 November 1999. Documents reporting on performance against individual High Level Targets were also placed in the House Libraries on 24 May 2002
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what time scale is set for the Environment Agency to complete the investment in flood alleviation measures arising from a flooding incident; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: There is no set timescale for taking forward work associated with flood alleviation measures as this depends on the severity, duration and complexity of individual flooding events. The Environment Agency routinely investigates all incidents of flooding to determine any lessons learned, and revises its procedures accordingly as well as bringing forward flood alleviation measures if required and justified.
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