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Rural Poverty

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: Poverty and social exclusion are complex multi-dimensional issues, affecting many aspects of people's lives--their income, health, housing, the quality of the environment, their opportunities to work and to learn, and their access to services. There is no single measure that can capture the complex problems of rural poverty which need to be overcome.

Regional Policy

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The Government's regional policy is set out in the 1997 Labour Party General Election Manifesto, Because Britain Deserves Better and the 1997 White Paper, Building Partnerships for Prosperity.

Hedgerows

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Whitty: This information is not held centrally. However, a survey of hedgerow stock is being undertaken as part of the Countryside Survey 2000. This will provide estimates of the length of hedgerow removed since previous surveys in 1990 and 1993, and a baseline for monitoring future changes.

Bypass Construction

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many new bypasses were started on English trunk roads in each of the last 10 years: and how many are to be started in the next three years.[HL75]

Lord Whitty: On coming into office, the new administration started a roads review which considered all the road schemes in the previous programme that were capable of being started within seven years. This was completed in July last year and A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England set out our strategic programme. This included the Targeted Programme of Improvements. Twenty of the 37 schemes in the Government's Targeted Programme of Improvements will provide bypasses for local communities. Of these, three are schemes that were withdrawn by the previous administration in 1996 and have now been reinstated. The Stonehenge environmental enhancement scheme includes a bypass of Winterbourne Stoke.

In the next three years we plan to start work on 16 of the bypasses.

Starts on the remaining four schemes, including Stonehenge, are subject to the completion of statutory procedures.

In addition, 23 bypass schemes have been referred to be considered by regional planning bodies, local authorities or through roads-based or multi-modal studies. Only two bypass schemes, Salisbury and Hereford, have been cancelled for environmental reasons.

The pattern of bypass starts has fluctuated over the past 10 years. In the early nineties, following a major expansion of the road programme, bypass starts in each year were:

Year
1989/9012
1990/9111
1991/9218
1992/93 5
1993/9412

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In 1993/94 the last administration began to progressively cut the roads programme and starts fell as follows:

Year
1994/954
1995/963
1996/971
1997/982
1998/990

Discrimination: Directive Proposal

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they support the proposal of the European Commission for a directive prohibiting discrimination in employment on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.[HL252]

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The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): We are keen to ensure that the protection enjoyed by citizens in this country applies throughout the European Union and we will support the Commission in bringing forward effective action to combat discrimination in Europe as a whole.

Secondary School Pupils in Independent Schools

Lord Peston asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each year 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990 and 1995 and the latest available year, what are the numbers of pupils in fee-paying secondary education as a percentage of all pupils in secondary education (maintained and fee paying), both in total and gender.[HL168]

Baroness Blackstone: The information available is shown in the following table.

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Number and percentage of pupils of secondary school age in independent schools by gender1: 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995 and 1999. Position as at January

Boys Girls All
NumberPercentageNumberPercentageNumberPercentage
1998/99 2151,1598.9138,3068.4289,4658.6
1994/95 2158,0009.7139,4308.8297,4309.2
1989/90 2168,91210.8144,3139.5313,22510.2
1979/80 2174,7988.8139,6727.3314,4708.0
1974/75 3181,1878.7159,3408.0340,5278.3
1969/70 3172,35710.0152,2739.3324,6309.7
1964/65 3182,29111.2166,69410.9348,98511.0

1 Number and percentage of pupils aged 11 to 19 years of age in independent schools expressed as a proportion of pupils aged 11 to 19 years of age in all secondary schools.

2 For the academic years 1979/80 to 1998/99, ages are as at 31 August.

3 For the academic years 1964/65 to 1974/75, ages are as at 1 January and include pupils in schools in Wales.


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MAFF: Environment Group

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list by grade the number of persons working in the Environment Group of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, broken down into their respective divisions and branches, with a short description of the function of each branch and the total cost of employing the personnel in each branch.[HL218]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The Ministry's Environment Group currently consists of the following divisions and branches. Head of Group

Financial and IT co-ordination for the Group. Conservation Management Division

Branch A--policy management of the Environmentally Sensitive Areas scheme.

Branch B--policy management of the Countryside Stewardship scheme and financial and IT co-ordination for Environment Group.

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Branch C--general policy on conservation of wildlife, landscape and historic features and on countryside access. Rural Division

Branch A--policy for vertebrate pest control.

Branch B--policy and implementation of rural development planning.

Branch C--policy on woodlands and financial co-ordination for Rural Division.

Branch D--EU structures policy, the rural economy and the proposed Rural White Paper. Rural and Marine Environment Division

Branch A--policy on sustainable agriculture and greening government.

Branch B--policy on land use planning and landlord/tenant issues.

Branch C--policy on the use of nutrients in agriculture and control of nutrient pollution.

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Branch D--support for conversion to organic farming and maintenance of organic food standards.

Branch E--scientific advice and policy on air pollution and climate change.

Branch F--licensing of deposits in the sea and marine environment policy.

The schemes for which the group has policy responsibility are operated by the Ministry's regional organisation and the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency. MAFF is also represented separately in the joint DETR/MAFF Rural White Paper team located in the DETR.

The table below sets out the staff numbers in each unit and the monthly costs. Staff in post as at 1 December 1999.

Head of Group and Co-ordination

BranchGradeNumberTotal monthly cost (pay and attributable non pay) £
SCS1
SPS1
SEO1
HEO1
EO3
AO1
AA228,138

Conservation Management Division

BranchGradeNumberTotal monthly cost (pay and attributable non pay) £
SCS1
PS18,127
A71
HEO2
EO2
AO1
AA115,597
B71
SEO4
HEO3
EO4
AO1
AA136,149
C71
HEO2
EO1
AO112,951

Rural Division

BranchGradeNumberTotal monthly cost (pay and attributable non pay) £
SCS1
61
PS216,595
A71
HEO1
EO1
AO110,673
B71
HEO2
EO2
AO1
AA115,972
C71
HEO1
EO19,719
D71
HEO1
EO2
AO1
AA214,945

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Rural & Marine Environment Division

BranchGradeNumberTotal monthly cost (pay and attributable non pay) £
SCS1
61
PS215,952
A71
HEO3
EO3
AT1
AO1
AA222,575
B71
SEO1
HEO2
EO2
AO2
AA120,056
C72
HEO2
EO2
AO2
AA120,047
D71
SEO1
HEO2
EO2
AO2
AA223,545
E71
HEO1
AA1
SO Cas111,312
F71
SEO3
HEO3
EO4
AO4
AA438,159

Total monthly cost for the Environment Group: £320,512.

The figures in the table include five staff who are being paid but are on maternity or long-term sick leave.

The costs do not include common services costs, notably for office accommodation.


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