Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 7th April 2005.

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Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike Labour, Burnley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Burnley constituency, the effects on Burnley of her Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra publishes a wide range of statistical information relating to its policies and actions and the following web address will take you directly to the service: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/default.asp. In addition the Office of National Statistics also publishes further information that you can access from its website: http://www.statistics.gov.uk

Since its establishment in 2001 Defra has put in place a comprehensive programme of action on issues including sustainable development, climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, natural resource protection, sustainable rural communities, and a sustainable farming and food sector. I am confident that the Burnley constituency will have benefited from these but it is not possible to systematically quantify those benefits to a constituency level. The difficulties of such geographical analyses are set out by the Office of National Statistics at the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/default.asp.

The following information may help provide a word picture" of the way Defra's work benefits Burnley.

Through our national strategy for waste we are committed to delivering a step change to more sustainable waste management, including tough national targets to recycle or compost 17 per cent. of household waste by 2003–04 and 25 per cent. by 2005–06. Since 2001, Defra has established a number of funding mechanisms to help local authorities achieve their targets. As a result of allocations from these funds the residents of Burnley should reap the benefits over the next few years. Since 2001 a total of £1,131,245 has been awarded to the borough to expand kerbside recycling schemes.

In March 2005 1 announced that Lancashire has been selected as the rural pathfinder in the North West—one of eight rural pathfinders in different regions of England. The pathfinder initiative is a key part of Rural Strategy and reflects the Government's commitment to devolve decision-making and resources to the local level. The Lancashire rural pathfinder will ensure greater co-ordination of rural delivery programmes testing new and innovative methods to bring about improvements in the delivery of services to rural communities and businesses.

In terms of specific payments we have been able to isolate expenditure under the common agricultural policy and a list of payments by constituency is available in the Library of the House following the answer I gave to Mr. Howarth on 4 April 2005, Hansard, columns 1149–50W. It is noted in these figures that payments to customers are reported on the basis of requested business address which may differ from the location of farming activity.

Common Agricultural Policy

Payments to farm-based schemes in the Burnley constituency for the 2004 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) accounting year which ran from 16 October 2003 to 15 October 2004 amount to £780,824.36.

The schemes included are the Arable Area Payment, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium, Extensification Premium, Slaughter Premium, Sheep Annual Premium, Over Thirty Months Slaughter, England Rural Development Programme and Structural Funds (which are monies made available by EAGGF to contribute to the economic development of disadvantaged regions within Europe).

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