§ Mr. Clifton-Brown
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evaluation his Department has carried out of set-aside policy.
§ Mr. Gummer
In accordance with my Department's standard practice, studies of both the five-year and one-year set-aside schemes were commissioned from independent bodies. I have today placed in the Library of this House a copy of the report by Reading university of its socio-economic study of the first year of the five-year scheme in England, which my Department commissioned in 1989. A copy of the report of a similar evaluation of the scheme in Scotland by the Scottish agricultural colleges was recently placed in the Library by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. I am also placing in the Library today a copy of the report by Wye college, university of London, of its socio-economic evaluation of the one-year set-aside scheme in England, also commissioned by my Department. In addition, I have placed in the Library a summary of the report of monitoring of the public access provisions of the countryside premium scheme, carried out for my Department by independent consultants. I have given all these studies careful consideration, although clearly the European Community's set-aside policy has developed significantly since they were carried out.