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Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will permit local authorities and private companies to contribute to the costs of flood reduction work in tandem with the Environment Agency when the cost benefit analysis of the project by the Agency is less than one. 
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Mr. Morley: Private companies and local authorities can and do make contributions towards the cost of flood defence projects but it is often incorrect to deduct these contributions from the cost of the project. Generally these contributions only affect the distribution of funding of costs and not the total resources required for the project. Hence an uneconomic project will remain uneconomic no matter the source.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often the property valuations used by the Environment Agency for their cost benefit analysis of flood reduction works are updated. 
Mr. Morley: There are no hard and fast rules as to how often an operating authority should re-evaluate the benefits of a flood alleviation scheme. It is important, however, that in the preparation of a cost benefit analysis that the base year for evaluating cost and benefits should be the same.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department spent in the last three years on (a) food security measures, broken down by type and (b) research on priority threat agents against terrorist action. 
On public water supplies research against potential contamination has been on-going since 2000 and costs about £160,000 per year.
On animal disease research, Defra is spending £16 million on areas such as exotic animal disease detection, diagnosis and control. Details of all the animal disease research programmes are available on the Defra website.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of illegally imported meat have been seized at (a) Heathrow and (b) Gatwick airports since October 2002; from what countries of origin they arrived; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 31 March 2003]: As at 27 March, Defra's ILAPS database has been notified since October 2002 of seizures containing meat and meat products totalling nearly 16 tonnes at Heathrow and nearly 3 tonnes at Gatwick. Some of these seizures are of products in which meat or meat products contribute only part of the total weight. In this period, seizures have been made from most areas of the world, with the majority coming from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
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This picture is consistent with the results of the risk assessment report for the import of foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) into the UK, published on 25 March. Copies have been placed in the House Libraries.
|Internal drainage boards||£|
|Maintenance of watercourses||12,475,084|
|Operating costs of pumping stations||4,531,685|
|Contributions to Environment Agency||7,274,828|
The breakdown above excludes information on 8 boards for whom no information was submitted to DEFRA.
Mr. Morley: There are no definitive criteria for determining that an internal drainage board is a small board. There is a continuum with some boards covering a small area only and turning over a few thousand pounds each year to others covering much larger areas and turning over several million pounds annually.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the Government's conclusions on the Flood and Coastal Defence Funding Review on 12 March 2003, including the intention to address the present number of internal drainage boards. In considering such issues account will be taken of factors such as their efficiency and effectiveness, their area and turnover, as well as the proximity with other boards with which they might merge or form consortia.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the statement made by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury on 3 February 2003, Official Report, column 5WS, on the landfill tax credit scheme, who appointed, and when, the independent panel of assessors to review the operation of the transitional
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funding process in England; who these assessors are; what their remit is; what action was taken to ensure that the appointment of the assessors complied with the Nolan Principles; at what rate and by whom the assessors are remunerated; and whether the assessors include (a) representatives of the waste management industry and (b) persons who are employed by bodies which make decisions relating to spending on (i) Object C and (ii) CC projects under the landfill tax credit scheme. 
Mr. Meacher: On 11 March I wrote to the three people listed as follows and asked them to serve as members of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme Sustainable Waste Management Legacy Fund Independent Assessment Panel. They have agreed to do so; the three members are:
Dr. Tariq Ali from the Imperial College Environment Office.
Professor Chris Coggins an independent waste academic.
Decisions on projects requiring continuing funding under the Legacy Scheme need to be taken very quickly. It was not possible therefore, to run an open competition for panel members. Their appointment has, however, conformed to Nolan Principles to the extent that they are independent of Government, are accepted leaders in their field and represent different elements in society.
The possibility of having a representative of the waste management industry on the panel was considered, but was thought to be inappropriate given the role of the panel. Before appointing the panel members checks were made to ensure as far as possible that they were not connected to (i) Object C and (ii) CC projects that were likely to apply for Legacy Funding. However, as an additional protection the requirement to declare an interest and not take part in the decision was included in the operating procedures.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the marketing budgets were in 200102 of (a) the Meat and Livestock Commission, (b) Food from Britain, (c) the Sea Fish Industry Authority, (d) the Home Grown Cereals Authority, (e) the Milk Development Council and (f) the British Potato Council; and if she will make a statement. 
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|Meat and Livestock Commission||17.034|
|Food from Britain||(20)7.800|
|Sea Fish Industry Authority||2.624|
|Home Grown Cereals Authority||0.623|
|Milk Development Council||(21)0.433|
|British Potato Council||1.470|
(20) This is Food from Britain's entire budget as all their spend is on marketing.
(21) The Milk Development Council's actual spend for 200102 was £288,756.
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