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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned cars were removed by (a) police and (b) local authorities in each local authority area in
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England in each of the past 10 years, broken down by region in descending order according to the biggest percentage drop in local authority area. 
Mr. Morley: Estimates for numbers of abandoned vehicles removed and destroyed are compiled from the Defra Municipal Waste Management Survey for 200001, 200102 and 200203 and the Defra Abandoned Vehicle Survey for 200203. Estimates for vehicles removed by the police are not available. It is not practicable to sort the estimates due to the non-responses in certain years.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures the Government are taking to prevent criminal behaviour by animal rights organisations against lobster fishermen. 
Joyce Quin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the budget of (a) the Environment Agency, (b) the Countryside Agency and (c) English Nature in the North East region of England was in each of the last three years. 
Alun Michael: The budget for the Environment Agency's North East Region, which comprises the North East Region of England and most of the Yorkshire and Humber Region, was £83.8 million in 200102, £95.9 million in 200203 and £95.2 million in 200304. The Countryside Agency operates on a national rather than a regional basis, and figures for regional expenditure are not readily available. English Nature's budget for the North East Region of England was £1.8 million in 200102, £2.2 million in 200203 and £2.6 million in 200304.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of fishing effort in UK fisheries identified by the EU Bycatch Regulation is conducted by vessels under 12 metres in length. 
The new Council Regulation to address cetacean bycatch requires the use of 'pingers' on vessels of 12 metres and over in ICES divisions VIId, e, f, g, h and j when using bottom-set gillnets or entangling nets. In ICES Area IV and division IIIa, the pinger requirement applies to vessels of 12 metres and over using bottom-set gillnets or entangling nets where the combination of net lengths used does not exceed 400 metres or where the mesh size used is greater than or equal to 220mm. The data is not available to identify the number of vessels falling in or out of the latter
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categories; it is only possible to identify the total number of vessels using bottom-set gillnets and entangling nets in the areas concerned.
Bearing in mind these caveats and using 2003 fishing data, the proportion of UK fishing effort (days at sea) conducted by vessels under 12 metres and exempt from the pinger requirements of the EU bycatch regulation would be approximately 80 per cent.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what decision has been taken by her Department regarding the level of voluntary modulation on agricultural payments. 
Alun Michael: In her written statement to the House on 22 July, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced overall modulation rates for England of 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The overall modulation rate comprises two separate elements: compulsory EU-wide modulation, set at 3 per cent. in 2005 and 4 per cent. in 2006; and an additional national element which has been set at 2 per cent. in 2005 and 6 per cent. in 2006.
|EU rate||Additional national rate||Overall rate|
The proceeds of modulation in 2005 and 2006 will be match funded by the Exchequer and used principally to finance schemes to deliver environmental enhancement and positive management of our countryside.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the pilot projects dealing with fast food and litter partnerships; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: In July 2002, Defra asked ENCAMS (Environmental Campaigns) to devise a voluntary code of practice for the fast food industry aimed at improving local environmental quality, and the instances of fast food waste that becomes litter in rural and urban areas.
In November 2003, McDonald's and the Local Government Association (LGA) formed a pioneer partnership to assist local authorities in improving the quality of local environments and public spaces. The scheme was devised to support the Voluntary Code of Best Environmental Practice for the Fast Food Industry.
The pilot scheme, covering a mix of rural and urban areas, is currently running in Sheffield, Maidstone, and Taunton and Deane. McDonald's and the LGA
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intention is to promote Defra's proposed code within each local authority, targeting all quick service restaurants in the area. The code sets out a framework for joint action between fast food businesses and land managers, and amongst others, encourages "litter patrols", the provision of litter bins and anti-littering signage.
Mr. Morley: Defra published a consultation document entitled the Fly-Tipping Strategy in February 2004. It proposed a range of measures that aimed to ensure that enforcement against fly-tipping is as effective as possible. The strategy proposed to move towards dealing with fly-tipping in a more pro-active preventative manner rather than focusing just on expensive clearance.
The measures proposed in the strategy would give local authorities and the Environment Agency more effective powers for dealing with fly-tipping, which should lead to a better response to the blight of illegally dumped waste. Benefits will also extend to local residents by moving towards cleaner, safer, and greener public spaces and reducing the damaging effects of fly-tipping on the environment.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Environment Agency's (a) procedure and (b) resources will be to ensure that all hazardous waste producers, including those producing small and sporadic quantities of hazardous waste, (i) are aware of and (ii) comply with the requirement to register as a hazardous waste producer. 
Our proposals for new regulations for hazardous waste, including the proposed requirement for hazardous waste producers to notify their premises to the Environment Agency, were issued for consultation on 30 July. The consultation will run until 29 October and during this time, the Environment Agency will consider both how to make producers aware of their obligations and how to ensure compliance. The consultation paper seeks views on a general coming into force date for the regulations of July 2005, with the possibility of sites producing hazardous waste being notified from 1 April 2005.
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