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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will respond to the written questions of the hon. Member for Vale of York tabled on 27 November, Refs. 20822, 20823, 20825 and 20826. 
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the sugar beet industry; and what steps her Department has taken to ensure that the UK's rhizomania-free status remains. 
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Mr. Morley: The United Kingdom has not been rhizomania-free since 1987, when the first outbreak was found. Since then, the disease has been found in an increasing number of farms, so that 211 are now known to be infected with the disease. The UK was granted Protected Zone status for rhizomania when the Single Market Plant Health legislation was adopted in 1993, at which time only 19 outbreaks had been detected and there was still hope that the disease would not become widely established. Through the containment policy associated with Protected Zone status DEFRA has prohibited the use of outbreak fields for beet production and imposed hygiene requirements, to try to prevent further spread of the disease from those fields. Despite these measures the number of outbreaks has continued to rise. It is likely that the causative organisms for the disease were present in many locations before symptoms of the disease were detected.
Mr. Morley: The payment period for land put into set-aside under the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS) during 2001 began on 16 November and will end on 31 January 2002 (or 31 March 2002 where the set-aside has been used for growing non-food crops).
Mr. Morley: DEFRA has so far issued payments totalling £56,168,779.92 during 2001 in respect of set- aside under the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS). This total includes payments for scheme years before 2001, and agrimonetary compensation.
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utilise an indicative minimum area threshold for the implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive; 
(3) if she will make a statement on her Department's decision to implement the uncultivated and semi-natural areas provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. 
Mr. Morley: The Government gave a commitment in the Rural White Paper in November 2000 and to Parliament to consult on implementing the uncultivated land provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. The Environmental Impact Assessment (Uncultivated Land and Semi-natural Areas) (England) Regulations 2001, S.I. No. 3966, will come into force on 1 February 2002.
In our consultations on the regulations it was agreed that to be as helpful as possible to farmers the Government should provide a working guide to key but undefined terms in the Directive. The resulting guidelines, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House, will set out the categories of land concerned, including to unimproved grassland, heath, moorland, scrubland and wetlands. Unimproved grassland would typically include meadows and grazing pasture, downland or other open or enclosed upland grassland with some tree cover.
The European Court of Justice has established that, even with indicative thresholds, an assessment would still be needed on whether a project was likely to give rise to significant environmental effects. To provide some degree of certainty, the Government decided that each case should be screened, but only those which give rise to significant environmental effects would be considered further under the Regulations.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent assessment she has made of the work of (a) the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, (b) the Lake District NPA and (c) National Parks Authorities in general; 
(3) what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the system of appointments to National Parks Authorities; 
(4) what recent projects have been undertaken by (a) the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and (b) the Lake District National Park Authority; and what role members appointed by her Department have had in supporting such projects; 
(5) what the political affiliations were of those who have been appointed to (a) the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and (b) the Lake District National Park Authority (i) between May 1997 and May 2001 and (ii) since June 2001; 
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(6) what guidance is given to applicants for positions with National Parks Authorities; and what feedback is provided to those whose applications are unsuccessful; 
(7) what criteria are employed when selecting applicants for interview for positions with National Park Authorities; and what plans her Department has to review such procedures; 
(8) which members have been appointed to (a) the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and (b) the Lake District National Park Authority since June; and how many of these members were known to (i) herself and (ii) her ministerial colleagues prior to their appointment. 
Alun Michael: We have looked recently at the work of all the National Park Authorities in order to determine the distribution of National Park Grant for 200203. A wider National Park Authorities review started in August and this will be completed next spring.
We have no plans to publish lists of applicants for appointment by the Secretary of State to National Park Authorities; the effectiveness of the system of appointments is being considered as part of the review.
Applicants for Secretary of State appointments to National Park Authorities are not required to state their political affiliation. They are asked for detail on any political activities, which may be used in the announcement of their post. Neither political activities nor political affiliation is a criterion for or against appointment.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often since 1988 (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) other authorities to whom responsibility for enforcement of health and safety regulations has been transferred, have instigated formal enforcement actions where exposures to substances assigned control limits and maximum exposure limits have not exceeded the relevant limit but where exposures have not been further reduced to as low as was reasonably practicable; and if he will make a statement. 
The Health and Safety Executive does not record information in this way. When it instigates enforcement action it does not differentiate between exposures that are within the relevant limits and those which have not been not further reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often since 1998 notifications with respect to work with asbestos have been lodged with the Health and Safety Executive where such work related to (a) materials containing crocidolite asbestos, (b) materials containing amosite asbestos and (c) materials containing chrysotile asbestos, but not crocidolite or amosite asbestos; and if he will make a statement. 
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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not have this information as there is no legal requirement for notifications to differentiate between the various types of asbestos. The total number of notifications to work with asbestos received by HSE since 1998 is as follows:
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