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Mr. Morley: We amended legislation on May 2001 to make it easier for local authorities to take action where meat, which could have been imported illegally, is found. With effect from 22 May 2002, enforcement officers' search powers have been extended to include all commercial consignments and personal baggage.
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the French ban of British beef; and what action her Department is taking to encourage the French Government to lift the ban. 
Mr. Morley: The Secretary of State has made it clear that we expect France to lift its ban as soon as possible. It is for the Commission to take action to enforce EU law and it has asked France for an explanation of its failure to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This is the first stage in a process which may lead to a further ECJ case against France and the imposition of penalties for failure to comply with the court's judgment in December 2001 that the French ban on imports of UK beef exported under the data based export scheme is illegal.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the newspapers subscribed to (a) Monday to Saturday and (b) on Sunday by her Department, stating for each subscription (i) the number of copies taken, and (ii) the annual cost. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 26 April 2002]: Centrally managed newspaper subscriptions for the HQ divisions of DEFRA cost £25,212.94 for the financial year 200102. The newspaper titles are shown in the table.
DEFRA regional service centres and agencies undertake local purchasing of newspapers. The information relating to this expenditure is not held centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
|Derby Evening Telegraph||5|||
|The Express (Monday-Friday)||30|||
|The Express (Saturday)||3|||
|Daily Mail (Monday-Friday)||50|||
|Daily Mail (Saturday)||4|||
|Daily Mirror (Monday-Friday)||40|||
|Daily Mirror (Saturday)||3|||
|Daily Star (Monday-Friday)||15|||
|Daily Star (Saturday)||2|||
|Daily Telegraph (Monday-Friday)||80|||
|Daily Telegraph (Saturday)||3|||
|Financial Times (Monday-Friday)||240|||
|Financial Times (Saturday)||10|||
|Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung||5|||
|International Herald Tribune||5|||
|Jewish Chronicle (Friday)||1|||
|Le Figaro (Monday-Friday)||5|||
|Le Figaro (Saturday)||1|||
|Le Monde (Monday-Friday)||10|||
|Mail on Sunday||||2|
|Morning Star (Monday-Saturday)||8|||
|News of the World||||2|
|Police Review (Friday)||4|||
|Wall Street Journal||5|||
|Western Mail (Monday-Friday)||10|||
|Western Morning News||10|||
(48) Three editions per day News Extra, Late Prices, Final
10 Jun 2002 : Column 927W
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidelines have been provided to the Chief Nuclear Inspector in respect of the information the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is permitted to give MEPs in respect of safety at Sellafield. 
No specific guidelines have been provided to the Chief Nuclear Inspector in respect of the information the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is permitted to give MEP's in respect of safety at Sellafield.
All Health and Safety Executive (HSE) staff, including the Chief Inspector, follow the HSE's own published Policy on Openness and the Government's Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. Internal guidance to staff on how to comply with these commitments and with any legal restrictions on disclosure is provided in HSE's General Administrative Procedures 1Disclosure of Information to the Public (GAP 1). This guidance is publicly available.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what formal procedures are in place for consulting the Scottish Executive's Environment and Rural Affairs Department on matters of agricultural policy. 
10 Jun 2002 : Column 928W
Mr. Morley: DEFRA and SEERAD are mutually committed to work together on the application of agricultural policy within their respective responsibilities. This commitment is given expression in a significant two-way flow of information and related discussions between the Departments, which take place within the framework of the "Memorandum of Understanding and supplementary agreements between the United Kingdom Government, Scottish Ministers and the Cabinet of the National Assembly for Wales" (Cm 4444) and a bilateral concordat. In order to ensure effective co-ordination and help resolution of differences, Agriculture Ministers of the devolved Administrations meet regularly, normally in advance of EU Agriculture Councils, under the chairmanship of the DEFRA Secretary of State. In addition, there are regular (monthly or more frequent) meetings at senior official level on matters relating to agricultural policy.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the depreciation policies used in respect of Forest Enterprise capital equipment and vehicles. 
Mr. Morley: The depreciation policy for Forest Enterprise's fixed assets is published each year in the Notes to the Forest Enterprise Accounts within the Forestry Commission's annual reports for Great Britain and England, Scotland, and Wales. Copies of the reports are held in the Library of the House.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether vehicles owned by Forest Enterprise, exempt from vehicle excise duty under section 183 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, are used to service or deliver capital equipment sold to third parties. 
Mr. Morley: Forest Enterprise does not use vehicles which are exempt from vehicle excise duty to deliver capital equipment after it has been sold. These vehicles may, however, be used on service jobs, including instances where Forest Enterprise has agreed to service capital equipment it has sold.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total value of capital equipment owned by Forest Enterprise disposed of by (a) public auction, (b) open tender and (c) other means was in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Morley: The table shows the value of capital equipment disposed of by Forest Enterprise in Great Britain in the last five years, all of which was sold following public auction or open tender. (In a very few instances the expected price was not reached at the auction or tender. In these cases, Forest Enterprise negotiated with bidders to obtain an increased offer.)
|Financial year||Capital equipment sold|
In year 200102, the amount raised by open tender was £602,000 (60 per cent.) while the amount raised from public auction was £401,000 (40 per cent.). The amounts raised from each type of sale in the previous four years are not readily available but it is estimated that the percentage ratio would be similar to year 200102.
10 Jun 2002 : Column 929W
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assistance is available to farmers to facilitate development of potential new markets to be opened by EU enlargement. 
Mr. Morley: The Department offers various forms of assistance to farmers wishing to develop export markets, both in the EU candidate countries and more widely. These include mounting a UK agriculture presence at overseas trade fairs, leading trade missions overseas and organising inward missions of foreign buyers and opinion formers. Events have been organised in two EU candidate countries over the last year, and future events are planned at world fairs to which buyers from the candidate countries are known to go. We are currently considering further options of promoting the UK agriculture industry in these markets.
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