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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if the recommendation advanced in the review of the Crown Prosecution Service, Cm 3960, concerning the agreement of statistics, has been achieved. 
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 14 February 2002]: As an interim measure, the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office undertook the publication of the Criminal Justice Business Quarterly Report, bringing together the best available data from existing sources and presenting figures in a revised format agreed by representatives of the Home Office, Lord Chancellor's Department, and Crown Prosecution Service.
The Criminal Justice Joint Planning Unit is taking the lead in developing and testing joint or shared performance measures. This involves examining the current matrix of agency performance measures and targets and making recommendations as to which need amendment and where new inter-agency measures are required. The aim is to develop a cohesive set of indicators on criminal justice system priorities while meeting the needs of individual agencies and services.
Linked to this, the Unit is also developing, with local practitioners, the business requirement for a shared management information system for the criminal justice system. A number of areas, including Merseyside, Northumbria and West Yorkshire, already have access to a web-based management information system that contains performance information from each of the main agencies. The system will be further developed over the coming months both in terms of its technical specification and, more importantly, its content.
None of the above resolves the long-standing problem of incompatibility in agency definitions and counting protocols. However, this issue is being addressed by an independent consultant, guided by a small inter-departmental steering group. This projectThe Review of Statistics on Administration of Criminal Justiceis due to report later this year, and is expected to result in recommendations about both short and long-term improvements in the integrity and availability of our information, including common definitions. Whatever recommendations emerge, further progress will involve agreement between the various agencies to ensure that individual business needs continue to be served.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General what actions have been taken in response to the observations in Cm 3960, Summary of the report, paragraph 24, concerning performance indicators for timeliness, the magistrates' courts and the CPS. 
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The Solicitor-General [holding answer 14 February 2002]: The Government have accepted the need for whole systems targets. Reducing unnecessary delay in the criminal justice system has always been a priority for the Government. The importance of this, and a key achievement to date, is illustrated by cases involving persistent young offenders, in respect of which the Government set a target to halve the time that it took to process persistent young offenders from arrest to sentence from 142 days in 1996 to 71 days, a target systematically met over the summer of last year.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter of the hon. Member for West Derbyshire dated 4 July concerning Mr. and Mrs. Don Holland of Chelmorton, Derbyshire. 
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for West Derbyshire of 3 September and 4 October concerning milk containers and recycling. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the hon. Member for Huntingdon's letter of 5 July on behalf of his constituent, Mrs. June Allen. 
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on sheep annual premiums, dated 29 October 2001, which was transferred to her Department. 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter of 23 October from the hon. Member for Christchurch to the Under-Secretary of State on the use of refrigerants in Government departments. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State or Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will answer the letter to her of 26 November 2001, from the hon. Member for the Vale of York, on the statement in
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the House on 12 November on the number of farmers who opposed the contiguous culls in Thirsk during the foot and mouth epidemic. 
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letters dated 10 December 2001 and 11 January from the hon. Member for Leominster on the Agricultural Land Tribunal. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the environmental impact of the domestic game industry; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 29 January 2002]: The White Paper "Our countryside: the future" published in November 2000 set out the Government's view that activities related to game shooting have a far-reaching influence on landscapes, habitats and wildlife. This statement acknowledged that these activities can have a positive impact on the environment, for example by encouraging biodiversity through the conservation of particular habitats. The Government recognise at the same time the need to ensure that any relevant controls, for example prohibiting illegal methods of gamekeeping, are properly enforced.
This was one of the considerations which led to the setting-up of a working group, in 1995, to review the conflict issues surrounding raptors, their final report was published in March 2000. Illegal persecution was examined. Investigations showed that from 1990 to 1997, there were 720 confirmed incidents of illegal killing of raptors reported to the Agriculture Departments or RSPB, involving a minimum of 834 birds.
We also strongly encourage the application of good environmental and husbandry practice, for example by observance of the Codes of Good Agricultural Practice, for operations such as game farming whether or not in particular cases they fall within the legal definition of agriculture. This will be beneficial for example in maintaining ground cover and shelter areas which encourage wildlife and reduce risks of crop damage and soil erosion.
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We are aware of suggestions that this subject could form part of the Department's future programme of Horizon Scanning research, information on which is available at www.defra.gov.uk/horizonscanning. This will be considered together with other suggestions made in the current consultations on the programme.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many water meters were installed in domestic properties in the London borough of Hillingdon in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Meacher: Each water company reports to the Office of Water Services the number of meters that it fits, but there is no requirement for a more detailed breakdown of where they are fitted within the company's area. Water company areas do not correspond to local authority boundaries. The Hillingdon local authority areas is only a small part within the area of Three Valleys Water. The number of households with meters in the entire area of Three Valleys Water in 200102 is about 205,000.
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