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Written Answers

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 20 July 2009

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers did not receive Common Agricultural Policy subsidy payments because of inaccuracies in the maps of their land which they submitted to his Department in the last two years. (284408)

The data required to provide the number of farmers that did not receive CAP subsidy payments because of inaccuracies in the maps of their land is not held in a form that is easily accessible. The process to reconcile such information is resource intensive, time consuming and would cost more than £750 to collate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the new set of maps issued by the Rural Payments Agency in connection with claims for payment under the single payment scheme will seek to prevent claims being submitted by more than one farmer per field. (286069)

Single payment scheme applicants can only claim for land at their disposal for the relevant scheme year. Instances where the same field is being claimed by more than one farmer are identified and resolved through the SPS claim validation process.

The rural land register mapping update exercise will increase the accuracy of the map data used to validate these claims for payment.

Air Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of (a) particulate matter, (b) nitrogen dioxide and (c) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons adjacent to main roads to within the limits prescribed in EU legislation. (285514)

[holding answer 9 July 2009]: EU air quality limits are already met across 99 per cent. of the UK (land area). For the very small parts of the country where limit values are not yet met, including London, roadside locations present the greatest challenge. The UK, like most other member states is using the provisions in EU legislation to secure from the European Commission additional time to meet the limit values for both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. If successful these would extend the compliance deadlines to 2011 for particulate matter and to 2015 for nitrogen dioxide.

The Government submitted in April their application for particulate matter:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/euint/eudirectives/airqualdirectives/notification.htm

and is working with the Mayor of London and relevant local authorities with a view to consulting on the application for nitrogen dioxide early in 2010. Applications need to set out the measures that will be taken to meet the limit values by the extended deadlines. The additional time will allow current and planned measures to take effect.

EU target values for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons do not come into force until 2012. In 2008 all monitoring sites at roadside locations exhibited concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon below the target value. Measures to reduce emissions from traffic source will continue to reduce concentrations at urban sites.

More widely, Government are working to improve the regulation of biomass heating systems to ensure that their rollout minimises any negative impact on air quality.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on his Department's request for a derogation from EU air quality standards in respect of particulate matter; and if he will make a statement. (287840)

EU air quality limits are already met across 99 per cent. of the UK (land area). For the very small parts of the UK where limit values are not yet met, roadside locations present the greatest challenge. The UK, like most other member states, is using the provisions under directive 2008/50/EC to secure additional time from the European Commission to meet the limit values for particulate matter (PM10).

In April, following public consultation, the UK Government submitted a notification to the Commission applying for the additional time available for eight areas across the UK. These are areas where at some point since 2005 exceedences of the PM10 limit values have been reported to the Commission.

Additional information was submitted to the Commission at the beginning of July in response to a request from them following their initial examination of the application. The Commission has indicated that it will conclude its examination in the autumn.

The UK application is available on the DEFRA website at:

www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/eu-int/eu-directives/airqual-directives/notification.htm

The additional information provided to the Commission shall be available on the website shortly.

Animals: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress has been made in reducing levels of live animal exports. (288011)

The export of live animals is a lawful trade and to restrict it would be contrary to free trade rules. Such trade must, though, adhere to the standards set out in health and welfare rules.

The Government would prefer a trade in meat to the long distance transport of live animals to slaughter, whether in the UK, or across borders.

Batteries: Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to increase rates of battery recycling to meet the requirements of the EU batteries directive. (288709)

The Government have introduced new UK regulations to transpose the EU's batteries directive. The regulations make battery producers responsible for collecting, treating and recycling waste batteries.

Most industrial and automotive batteries are already recycled. The regulations seek to ensure that this will continue. However, few portable batteries are currently recycled. The new regulations require portable battery producers to join a Battery Compliance Scheme. The schemes will be responsible for increasing battery collection rates. DEFRA and the schemes will also carry out publicity activities to encourage consumers to recycle their batteries. From February 2010, most shops selling household batteries will collect waste batteries from consumers.

Batteries: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the environmental effects of the disposal of batteries. (286359)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform published an impact assessment on the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 (SI No. 890/2009) in May. This covers environmental effects and can be found at:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/em/uksiem_20090890_en.pdf

Beef: Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will estimate the volume of Brazilian beef imported into the UK which was raised in illegally deforested areas in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (285558)

We do not hold figures on the volume of Brazilian beef imported into the UK which would link across to deforestation.

For animal health purposes, Brazil is split into ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ disease regions, to prevent the arrival of disease into either the UK or EU. The meat imported to the EU must be accompanied by appropriate animal and public health certification and must come from EU approved plants in the exporting country (in this case Brazil).

Any illegal imports of Brazilian meat would be seized, destroyed or re-exported.

We are working hard internationally, including under the UNFCCC to find ways of helping developing countries to address deforestation. The approach aims to provide incentives to reduce deforestation through reflecting the real value of forests, including their role in reducing emissions.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for the introduction of practical steps to reduce levels of bovine tuberculosis in Devon; and what the timescale is of those plans. (287782)

This Government remain committed to working with industry to monitor and enhance TB control measures. Most recently, the TB Eradication Group was set up in November 2008 to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for developing a plan for reducing bovine TB in all parts of England, including Devon, with the ultimate objective of moving towards eventual eradication.

We are also actively pursuing the future use of vaccination of cattle and wildlife, through vaccine research, and the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project (BVDP), alongside our current control measures. Two of the areas for the BVDP are in Devon and the aim is that the vaccination of badgers will commence in summer 2010 and take place for at least five years in each area.

Bovine Tuberculosis: East of England

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms in (a) Essex and (b) the East of England were under bovine tuberculosis restrictions on the latest date for which figures are available. (288111)

DEFRA cannot provide the information in the format requested. DEFRA collects data on the number of herds under restriction because TB measures apply to a herd and not a farm.

We can provide the latest data from Vetnet (1 June) which shows that the number of herds under bovine TB restrictions on 31 March 2009 was (a) 19 herds in Essex, and (b) 636 herds in the East of England region.

Note:

Data downloaded from the Vetnet system is provisional and subject to change as more data becomes available.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccination

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many vaccinations of each badger will be required under the new Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme. (287212)

Badgers only need to be vaccinated with BCG once to confer a protective effect on an individual badger. However, it is unnecessary to vaccinate every individual, although the more badgers vaccinated the better overall.

We do not know how long the protection lasts but an annual vaccination campaign is consistent with published results that BCG protection lasts at least one year in animals. Safety data from the Badger Vaccine Study (BVS) on repeated annual vaccinations will be reported in the final report of the BVS which is expected in March 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how long the temporary tag on badgers as part of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme will last. (287213)

The temporary marks on vaccinated badgers will last for at least several weeks, depending on weather conditions. This is so a marked badger re-trapped in any given trapping session can be released without further vaccination. There is no need for long-term marking as there is no detrimental effect if a badger is injected again in subsequent years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme. (287214)

DEFRA has recently had a series of meetings with key regional representatives and local veterinary practices in each of the proposed deployment areas. The next step is speaking with farmers in these areas, followed by signing-up participants and training contractors, which will begin during the autumn.

Sign-up will be in phases to allow capacity to be built up and early lessons to be implemented. Therefore, during 2010, vaccination will be carried out in a lead demonstration area, where contractors will be trained, and 20 per cent. (20 km2) of the other five areas. The project will be fully rolled out, in all the areas, by the third year (i.e. all areas will have been vaccinated by 2012). Once this initial phase has been completed vaccination across 100 per cent. of the areas will continue each year and each area will be vaccinated for at least five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what mechanisms will be used to assess the effectiveness of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme; (287215)

(2) what estimate has been made of the proportion of farmers and landowners needed to participate in the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme for the results of the programme to be scientifically meaningful.

The Badger Vaccine Deployment Project aims to increase farmer confidence in TB vaccines and develop practical know-how for vaccinating badgers, including how best to deploy vaccines in an area and developing an understanding of training needs and costs. To this end, we will be monitoring levels of take up among farmers and contractors, and training will be assessed and monitored throughout the project. We will also build up an understanding of the costs of injectable badger vaccination. This information will inform plans for future use of both injectable and oral badger vaccines for bovine TB. Possible further measures of success are currently being considered.

The Badger Vaccine Deployment Project is not a scientific trial, but a practical project to develop know how for vaccinating badgers. The project will target cattle farming areas of up to 100km2 (25,000 acres) in each of the six high incidence TB areas for five years vaccination. While the project will be unable to demonstrate a treatment effect of the vaccine in cattle herds, an exploratory analysis of routinely collected cattle disease data will be carried out at the end of the project and independent expert statistical advice has been taken to ensure the project design gives a good chance of detecting any changes in cattle TB trends that may be associated with vaccination. We expect landowner participation in the project to be at least 70 per cent. within the 300km2 catchment areas, which will enable us to reach our 100km2 target in each area. Social science research looking at changes in farmers’ attitudes to vaccination and factors that influence farmer behaviour can provide meaningful results on a smaller scale. The project design has also been discussed and agreed with the TB Science Advisory Body, along with two of its subgroups dealing specifically with TB vaccines and economics and social science, key farming and veterinary stakeholders and the TB Eradication Group for England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps will be taken to prevent unvaccinated badgers entering Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme areas; (287216)

(2) whether all badgers will be treated as part of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme.

All trapped badgers will be vaccinated. It is not necessary to trap and vaccinate every individual in a population or to prevent the entry of unvaccinated ones to control a disease. This is because as the proportion of immunised individuals increases, the risk to all individuals, whether vaccinated or not, decreases. The stable social structure of undisturbed badger populations, where there is little mixing of individuals between social groups, lends itself to the generation of this ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated cost is of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme. (287218)

The final business case for the badger vaccine deployment project is still being developed, and cost estimates will be subject to change to reflect, for example, the costs of contractors bidding for the work and the final costs for purchasing the vaccine. We do not propose to release cost estimates until these are more certain.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people will be employed on the Badger Vaccine Deployment Programme. (287219)

We do not know at this stage exactly how many people will be employed on the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project. However, we do know that it takes 10 people (five teams of two) to vaccinate a 100 km2 area in one trapping season. The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), which already has a number of trained staff, will vaccinate badgers in the training area and will train contractors who will work in the remaining five areas.

Dairy Farmers of Britain: Insolvency

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to expedite single farm payments to farmers affected by the taking into receivership of Dairy Farmers of Britain. (287821)

Recently agreed EU legislation provides the possibility for member states to make 70 per cent. advance payments under the 2009 single payment scheme (SPS) from 16 October where full scheme controls have been completed.

We have always said that we would consider the case for advance payments on the basis of an assessment by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on what consequential impacts would be, including on the timetable of full payments for all claimants. We have yet to take a final decision, but DEFRA have spoken to the chief executive on the issue and it is clear that there would be a real risk that making advances would affect the RPA's ability to match last year's performance in making nearly £1 billion of full SPS payments in December.

Whatever the final decision reached on advances, the RPA will continue to address any cases of individual hardship as sympathetically as possible.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) attempts and (b) successful attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (i) database and (ii) ICT system run by his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (286546)

It is not in the interests of the UK’s national security for Departments to confirm information on the number of attempts, successful or otherwise, to gain unauthorised access to departmental systems or databases. Such disclosure could undermine the integrity and security of departmental systems and thereby expose them to potential threats.

DEFRA complies with the mandatory requirements of the Security Policy Framework in relation to information security including managing the risk of unauthorised access to ICT systems.

Departmental Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information databases his Department (a) maintains and (b) uses which do not contain personal information. (284398)

DEFRA maintains and uses a wide range of databases reflecting its diverse policy and regulatory functions. A full list could be provided only at disproportionate cost to the Department.

However, DEFRA’s Information Asset register does provide details of many of the databases managed by the Department. This register is available on the Department’s website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/opengov/defra/available/iar/index.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what categories of personal information on members of the public will be held on each of his Department’s and its agency’s databases expected to become operational in the next five years; what estimate he has made of the likely number of individuals’ details each such database will hold when fully operational; and if he will make a statement. (286496)

Information about the categories of personal information on members of the public that will be held on each of the Department’s and its agency’s databases expected to become operational in the next five years and estimates of the likely number of individual’s details that each dataset will hold when fully operational can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Routine assurance of database developments during the business planning cycle ensures that any planned databases containing personal information are identified before development commences and referred to the departmental data protection team to ensure that they adhere to the Data Protection Act.

Moreover, following the publication of the cross government data handling review in June 2008, staff establishing new projects and programmes that hold significant amounts of personal data are obliged to conduct privacy impact assessments.

Departmental Work Experience

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many interns work in his Department; what terms of reference apply to their appointment; what remuneration they receive; and how long on average an intern appointment lasts. (286822)

Five graduate internships commenced placements with DEFRA on 6 July 2009, three via the Cabinet Office Summer Development programme (ethnic minorities) and two from the summer placement scheme (disability). All interns are engaged on a paid basis at civil service EO level salaries.

These internships consist of a minimum of 12 weeks’ work placement, extendable as required.

The type of work offered to interns will, for example, range from a time-limited project to a more varied programme of work. The aim of such internships is to help internees develop their levels of skill and practical experience, and to increase their employability.

Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to encourage the veterinary profession to work more closely with the medical profession on matters relating to the transmission of diseases between humans and animals; and if he will make a statement. (288963)

DEFRA are fully aware of the need for close collaboration between the veterinary and medical profession in preventing and controlling transmission of diseases between humans and animals. Officials continue to collaborate with their counterparts in the Department of Health, the Health Protection Agency and the devolved Administrations regular inter-departmental meetings are held to assess the risk from diseases, as well as from newly emerging conditions, which might have the potential for inter-species transmission. There is also strong collaboration at the local level where joint assessments and co-ordinated veterinary and medical investigations of disease outbreaks are made.

Domestic Appliances: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the annual level of carbon dioxide emissions resulting from electrical appliances being left in standby mode. (287896)

The most recent analysis of the energy consumption of equipment in households and commercial properties was undertaken by DEFRA's Market Transformation Programme (MTP) in 2006. This estimated that the level of carbon emissions resulting from all the appliances most commonly found in UK homes was at least 7.2 TWh equal to 2.1 per cent. of UK electricity consumption or 0.8 million tonnes of carbon. The MTP is in the process of updating this information for 2008.

The report, ‘Estimated UK Standby Electricity Consumption in 2006 (V2.0) (BNXS36)’, can be found on the MTP website.

Domestic Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the tonnage of (a) aluminium, (b) wood, (c) paper, (d) green waste, (e) glass, (f) steel and (g) textiles in the municipal waste stream in each year since 1997; and how much of each he estimates was (i) recycled, (ii) landfilled and (iii) sent to energy from waste facilities (A) in total and (B) in each local authority area in each such year. (286469)

DEFRA keeps tonnages of municipal waste sent for recycling in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08, broken down into material types. Data on waste sent to landfill or for energy recovery is not broken down into material types, but the totals are available. All this data are available at local authority level and will be placed in the Library shortly.

Municipal waste management statistics back to 1995-96 are available at national level on DEFRA’s website.

Source:

WasteDataFlow and DEFRA's Municipal Waste Management Survey.

Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an estimate of the unit cost to a local authority of the provision of wheeled refuse containers for the collection of household waste. (286529)

It is not feasible to make an estimate of the unit cost to a local authority of the provision of wheelie bins. This will depend on a number of factors including which company the local authority procures the bins from and the number of bins ordered.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to Lord Taylor of Holbeach of 2 July 2009, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA94, on waste management: refuse collection, what proportion of dwellings used wheeled refuse containers for the collection of residual waste in each year for which figures are available. (286812)

The following table shows the percentage of dwellings in England that have been issued with wheeled refuse containers by local authorities for the collection of residual (black bag) waste from 2000-01 to 2007-08.

Data for 2004-05 is unavailable. This is due to partial submission of data by local authorities.

Percentage of dwellings using wheeled refuse containers for residual waste

Percentage

2007-08

63.64

2006-07

61.06

2005-06

57.51

2004-05

n/a

2003-04

58.00

2002-03

55.00

2001-02

52.00

2000-01

51.00

n/a = Not available.

Source:

WasteDataFlow and DEFRA’s Municipal Waste Management Survey.

Environment Agency: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Environment Agency spent on consultants in each of the last five years. (283736)

The Environment Agency delivers major investment programmes through flood risk and civil engineering work. Expenditure includes the feasibility, design and supervision of these projects which are developed through accessing specialist engineering companies.

The following table shows total Environment Agency expenditure on consultants in each of the last five years. This expenditure includes regional and national civil engineering consultants, water management engineering consultants, environmental policy consultants and management consultants.

£

2004-05

20005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Regional civil engineering/environmental consultancy

29,083,263.68

25,391,089.61

27,890,749.09

21,012,252.52

27,757,651.67

NCPMS civil engineering/environmental consultancy

42,162,089.61

36,131,701.10

35,326,920.35

27,134,018.64

41,946,590.04

Water management engineering/environmental consultancy

17,240,988.37

17,019,970.91

17,932,634.73

17,011,410.63

18,944,069.07

Environmental policy consultants

29,619,337.66

22,086,207.51

25,112,247.92

31,655,315.86

30,121,357.01

Management consultants

5,228,346.70

6,006,599.05

4,174,035.10

3,413,657.41

3,306,945.63

Total

123,334,026.02

106,635,568.18

110,436,587.19

100,226,655.06

122,076,613.42

EU Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the statutory obligations upon it provided for in legislation introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available. (283476)

It is very difficult to provide precise figures for the proportion of UK legislation that stems from the European Union.

The administrative burdens measurement exercise carried out by the Government in 2006 put the proportion of administrative burdens stemming from the EU at approximately one third of the total administrative burden.

The important thing is not the origins of a legislation, which could of course be a devolved administration or a local authority, as well as the Government or the EU, but the quality of the regulation. All regulations, irrespective of their origins, should comply with the principles of better regulation. Regulations should be risk based, proportionate and well designed, so as to achieve their objectives while also keeping costs to a minimum. The Government continue to work with European partners to ensure that EU regulations meet these standards.

Farmers: Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on levels of bank lending to farmers; and if he will make a statement. (285138)

No recent formal representations have been received on the subject of bank lending to farmers. At the end of March 2009, net lending to agriculture, forestry and hunting in the UK stood at just below £11 billion. This was more than £900 million higher than at the same point in 2008 and some £280 million above the level recorded at the end of 2008. There is strong evidence that the banking sector is continuing to lend to farm businesses with sound business cases but DEFRA will continue to monitor the situation.

Fisheries: Prosecutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions for breaches of fishing quota regulations have been brought in each sea fishery committee area in each of the last five years. (288207)

Sea fisheries committees do not generally prosecute fishing quota offences. Therefore, DEFRA does not record data on prosecutions for breaches of fishing quota regulations by sea fishery committee area.

Flood Control: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the additional £25 million in capital funding for flood defences brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 and 2008-09 on (a) the number of homes receiving earlier flood protection and (b) improvements to British Waterways network infrastructure; and how much of the funding has been spent in each month since it was announced. (286651)

In 2008-09, £5.1 million of funding for flood and coastal risk management was brought forward from 2009-10. In 2009-10, £20 million of funding was brought forward from 2010-11 as part of the fiscal stimulation package announced in the 2009 pre-Budget report to provide early protection for 27,000 homes.

The Environment Agency forecasts full spend of its £349.4 million capital budget (not including funding for implementing the recommendations of the Pitt Review) for 2009-10. At the end of May 2009 it had spent £44 million.

As part of the fiscal stimulation package, £5 million of funding for British Waterways was brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 to be spent on infrastructure projects. This will take place as part of the major works programme which is concentrated during winter months when the waterways are not highly used.

Heating: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will estimate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of patio heaters in the UK in (a) each year since 2000 and (b) each of the next five years. (288430)

DEFRA does not hold the specific estimates requested. The most recent data available that can be used to estimate the carbon emissions of outdoor patio heaters are from 2007.

In spring 2007, the Government's Market Transformation Programme (MTP) produced a briefing note (BNDH18) intended to estimate the CO2 emissions as a result of the use of patio heaters. This note estimated that ‘outdoor heaters’ (both domestic and non-domestic) accounted for around 94.9 GWh of energy being consumed annually, equivalent to 22.2 ktCO2 (thousand tonnes of CO2).

In October 2007, the MTP updated the assumptions in the original study to estimate CO2 emissions from patio heaters as a result of the smoking ban. The report estimated that the annual emissions from patio heaters as a result of the smoking ban would be between 96 and 282 kt CO2, depending on the type of heaters and how they were used.

The MTP estimates are not derived from surveys or detailed research, and should not be interpreted as accurate data on energy consumption and carbon emissions. I am unable to give a prediction of future emissions as we have no way to estimate future sales of patio heaters.

The MTP's Briefing Note ‘BNDH18: Outdoor Heating for Comfort’ is available at:

www.mtprog.com

Landfill

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many landfill sites in each region are expected to close in each year until 2020; and what the combined area of those sites is. (286353)

The Environment Agency does not require landfill operators to specify in what year they will close their site. This depends on the rate of infilling, among other factors. As such I am unable to provide a prediction of the number of sites that will close year on year in the period 2009-20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many landfill sites there were in each region of England in each year since 1997; and what the combined area of the sites was in each of those years. (286354)

The Environment Agency has published the number of permitted operational landfill sites for the period 2005 to 2007 on its website. Prior to 2005, data on the number of landfill sites was included in the Environment Agency’s ‘Strategic Waste Management Information for England and Wales’. The following table provides a summary of the published data.

1998-992002-032004-05200520062007

Region

WML

WML

WML

PPC

WML

PPC

WML

PPC

PPC

East of England

275

116

162

51

201

65

62

East Midlands

275

127

131

50

208

55

65

London

43

10

12

6

30

5

7

North East

371

46

95

21

120

26

28

North West

306

88

174

30

219

38

52

South East

435

158

172

60

293

59

83

South West

400

137

220

35

263

46

57

Wales

162

n/a

66

73

25

160

29

34

West Midlands

269

60

131

24

164

30

43

Yorkshire and Humberside

520

201'

245

38

307

43

70

England and Wales

1,485

2,151

2,894

1,009

1,415

340

1,965

396

501

Note:

WML is an abbreviation for “Waste Management Licence” and PPC for “Pollution Prevention and Control”.

In 1997 all landfill sites required a WML. From 2001 to 2007 all site operators had to apply for a PPC permit, replacing the WML.

The number of permitted landfill sites for 2008 is currently being validated and should be published in the autumn of 2009.

We do not hold information on the combined area of landfill sites.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much hazardous waste was sent to landfill sites in each region in each year since 1997. (286355)

The following tables show the amount of hazardous waste sent to landfill in each year where accurate information is available.

A new hazardous waste management system and database was introduced in July 2005 to coincide with the introduction of the new Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) regulations 2005. Changes in the way hazardous waste was classified and how data was collected caused inconstancies in data for 2005 and it was therefore not published.

Tonnes hazardous waste land filled by region

East Midlands

East of England

London

North East

North West

South East

1998-99

198,620.02

17,567.05

126,745.13

269,888.51

250,708.77

2000

140,493.62

487,629.71

29,463.20

113,682.67

324,279.74

245,221.40

2001

216,198.35

614,982.91

55,484.53

140,831.32

205,831.18

333,314.33

2002

150,701.20

582,250.52

20,509.22

79,381.46

255,360.38

193,601.90

2003

269,808.57

282,875.62

4,049.57

84,253.59

256,779.55

148,236.32

2004

433,513.61

278,377.14

83.83

104,371.63

392,307.95

192,220.67

2005

No data

No data

No data

No data

No data

No data

2006

125,811.23

65,719.19

40,826.66

195,970.24

101,404.25

54,709.71

2007

154,949.14

68,877.55

50,071.87

132,187.43

116,644.22

62,800.07

South West

Wales

West Midlands

Yorkshire and the Humber

Total

1998-99

139,349.15

232,640.53

199,007.60

264,624.02

1,699,150.77

2000

128,977.11

134,590.44

161,892.50

274,992.14

2,041,222.53

2001

149,144.82

146,453.40

174,295.26

270,436.48

2,306,972.58

2002

165,283.90

85,611.96

206,433.08

247,253.50

1,986,387.12

2003

138,142.55

106,998.17

285,770.95

223,990.37

1,800,905.26

2004

118,783.68

230,123.31

228,686.41

315,701.47

2,294,169.70

2005

No data

No data

No data

No data

0.00

2006

136,283.01

3,009.38

42,561.23

107,604.78

873,899.69

2007

133,247.32

662.85

54,074.70

75,706.63

849,221.79

Source:

Environment Agency

In 1997 all landfill sites required a waste management licence. From 2001 to 2007 all site operators had to apply for a pollution prevention and control permit, replacing the WML.

The number of permitted landfill sites for 2008 is currently being validated and should be published in the autumn of 2009.

We do not hold information on the combined area of landfill sites.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to which (a) organisations and (b) purposes revenue from fines due to breaches in landfill targets will be allocated. (287430)

The Waste and Emissions Trading (WET) Act provides for a fine to be imposed on a waste disposal authority for each additional tonne of biodegradable municipal waste that it sends to landfill above the number of allowances the authority holds under the landfill allowance trading scheme in a particular scheme year.

During the passage of the WET Act through Parliament, there was discussion about the destination of penalties. It was agreed that funds raised from penalties would be returned to all local authorities, including waste collection authorities, but would not be ring fenced to waste management options. It would therefore be for a local authority to decide for what purpose any returned funds were used.

Livestock: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) cattle, (b) sheep, (c) goats and (d) poultry were exported in each of the last three years. (284943)

Table 1 gives information on exports in cattle from Great Britain and is taken from the GB cattle tracing system. The system is updated on a daily basis and hence these figures can be subject to amendments.

Table 2 gives the number of live sheep, goats and poultry recorded as exported from the UK in 2006, 2007 and 2008 as in HMRC official overseas trade statistics.

Please note these figures are obtained using VAT records and will exclude some EU trade for businesses which are below the VAT threshold. As a result, actual trade levels may be higher than those given, particularly for trade with mainland Europe. As a result care should be taken not to read too much into the year to year changes shown.

Table 1: GB exports of live bovine, 2006-08

Number

Type

2006

2007

2008

Live cattle and calves

89,567

85,487

51,809

Note: 2008 data is subject to amendments. Source: GB Cattle Tracing System

Table 2: UK exports of live sheep, goats and poultry, 2006-08

Number

Type

2006

2007

2008

Live sheep and lambs

12,915

1,078

44,992

Live goats

528

1

435

Live poultry

29,381,150

31,680,332

28,567,760

1 There were no recorded exports of live goats in 2007. Exports may still have occurred by traders operating below the VAT threshold and therefore will not have been declared in the HMRC official statistics. Note: 2008 data is subject to amendments. Source: H M Revenue and Customs. Data prepared by Trade statistics, ESP, DEFRA.

Marine and Fisheries Agency: Location

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will (a) undertake and (b) publish an equality impact assessment of the relocation of Marine and Fisheries Agency staff out of London. (288015)

DEFRA officials are currently finalising an equality impact assessment (EqIA) on the relocation of the Marine and Fisheries Agency’s HQ office out of London to Tyneside. This will incorporate the impact of the relocation on MFA staff based outside the London HQ office. A copy of the EqIA will be published when completed.

Marine Management Organisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the cost to the public purse of the establishment of the headquarters of the Marine Management Organisation. (287431)

The indicative one-off establishment costs of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), as shown in the impact assessment accompanying the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, are £2.9 million.

Marine Management Organisation: Intellectual Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will assess the effects on the intellectual property rights of members of staff of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), given their change in status as a result of the creation of that organisation; and whether those staff are to be permitted to publish in their own name work produced for the MMO. (288000)

When vested, the MMO will, as any other employer, have the benefits of any work produced by its employees. Employees will not be able to publish works produced for the MMO without the organisation’s permission.

Former employees of the Marine Fisheries Agency, or another Government Department, will transfer to the MMO with their existing terms and conditions of service, which give the intellectual property rights to the employer. New MMO employees from elsewhere will be subject to similar restrictions under an MMO contract of employment.

Nature Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Invasive Non-native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain in tackling invasive species arriving from countries which have no comparable strategies. (287595)

We have made no specific assessment of this. However one of the ongoing actions set out in the implementation plan for the Non-Native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain is to maintain contact with colleagues dealing with invasive non-native species policy issues in other European member states and encourage consistent representation of issues of concern to Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Alongside this, the UK is supporting the European Commission in developing its thinking on proposals for an effective EU Strategy on Invasive Alien Species.

Nitrogen Oxides

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at which locations in England levels of nitrogen oxide (a) exceed 40 micro gm-3 nitrogen oxide annually and (b) exceed 200 micro gm-3 nitrogen oxide hourly more than 18 times per year. (288258)

Under EU legislation, the UK is required to assess ambient air for levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and to report to the European Commission on an annual basis. Detailed reports on the assessments are available from the air quality archive at:

www.airquality.co.uk

For the purpose of implementing EU legislation, the UK is divided up into 43 agglomeration zones (areas with a contiguous population of over 250,000 as specified by the air quality directives) and non-agglomeration zones. There are 28 agglomeration zones and 15 non-agglomeration zones.

There are a number of locations within England where:

(1) annual mean concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are in excess of 40 microgrammes/m3; and/or

(2) there are more than 18 occurrences of hourly mean NO2 >200 microgrammes/m3 in a year.

The locations where points 1 and/or 2 apply have been identified are in the following tables, with reference to both monitored (measured) and modelled (predicted) NO2 data.

Monitoring data for 2008 are given in table 1. The modelling assessment for 2008 is not due to be completed until the end of the summer, so 2007 results are given in table 2.

Table 1: Nitrogen dioxide monitoring data, 2008—AURN sites in England

Site name/location

Site type

Annual mean NO2 (microgrammes/m3)

Number hours NO2> 200 microgrammes/m3

Liverpool Queen's Drive

Roadside

40

6

London Westminster

Urban background

40

1

Cambridge Roadside

Roadside

42

0

Newcastle Cradlewell

Roadside

42

0

Manchester Piccadilly

Urban centre

43

12

London Hillingdon

Suburban

51

1

Oxford Centre Roadside

Roadside

51

3

London Bloomsbury

Urban centre

55

0

Bristol Old Market

Roadside

62

5

Tower Hamlets

Roadside

63

0

Bath Roadside

Roadside

65

10

London Cromwell Road 2

Roadside

67

1

Bury Roadside

Roadside

69

4

Camden Kerbside

Kerbside

76

72

London Marylebone Road

Kerbside

115

822

Table 2: Nitrogen dioxide modelled data—England, 2007

Zone/agglomeration

Road length/km where annual mean NO2 >40 microgrammes/m3 (roadside locations)

Area/km2 where annual mean NO2 > 40 microgrammes/m3 (urban background locations)

Greater London Urban Area

1,600

162

West Midlands Urban Area

385

5

Greater Manchester Urban Area

426

West Yorkshire Urban Area

162

Tyneside

76

Liverpool Urban Area

130

Sheffield Urban Area

105

Nottingham Urban Area

53

Bristol Urban Area

42

Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton

7

Leicester Urban Area

52

Portsmouth Urban Area

24

Teesside Urban Area

18

The Potteries

34

Bournemouth Urban Area

11

Reading/Wokingham Urban Area

19

Coventry/Bedworth

17

Kingston upon Hull

32

Southampton Urban Area

23

1

Birkenhead Urban Area

17

Southend Urban Area

11

Preston Urban Area

6

Eastern

131

6

South West

77

South East

197

3

East Midlands

104

North West and Merseyside

279

Yorkshire and Humberside

260

West Midlands

90

North East

69

North Sea: Fishing Catches

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2009, Official Report, column 1590, on fishing catches, whether the Lithuanian and Polish vessels referred to were entitled to fish in North sea fishing grounds prior to their countries’ accession to the European Union. (287856)

The catch statistics for Polish and Lithuanian landings from the North sea provided in my answer of 22 January 2009, Official Report, column 1590, relate to landings in 2006. Both Poland and Lithuania joined the European Union in 2004 and therefore were members at that time. Access to North sea fish quota is determined by historic rights or else the countries in question would be required to swap in or purchase quota to access the fishery.

Oil: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of oil pollution have been reported in each enumeration area (a) in each year since 1997 and (b) in 2009 to date; and how many of these incidents have resulted in prosecutions. (286299)

The following table shows the number of reported incidents received by the Environment Agency since 1997. The Environment Agency's national incident recording system began to be used in 2001. It is not possible to access information broken down into each enumeration area prior to 2001 without incurring disproportionate cost.

Number of oil pollution incidents (Category 1-4)

1997

5,542

1998

5,308

1999

5,381

2000

6,215

2001

5,684

The following table shows the number of reported incidents received by each Environment Agency region since 2002. This includes incidents from category 1-4. Category 1 incidents are the most serious, category 2 are significant but less severe, category 3 are relatively minor and category 4 are unsubstantiated incidents.

Region

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

20091

Anglian

761

706

687

591

518

502

432

195

Midlands

1217

973

811

605

644

619

609

264

North East

466

520

518

476

347

338

308

161

North West

525

442

333

331

242

235

214

95

Southern

552

539

452

389

361

313

292

125

South West

644

576

613

644

618

540

451

288

Thames

740

590

556

539

452

457

383

174

EA Wales

256

272

285

344

305

287

233

145

Total

5,161

4,618

4,255

3,919

3,487

3,291

2,922

1,447

1 January to June.

The following table shows the number of prosecutions from oil pollution incidents since 2001. This information has been provided by the Environment Agency's national enforcement database in tandem with the information above. On that basis information prior to 2001 is not available.

In cases where a prosecution is not the most appropriate course of action, the alternatives of a caution or warning will be considered. A warning is a written notification that, in the Environment Agency's opinion, an offence has been committed. It will be recorded and may be referred to in subsequent proceedings.

There is a lag between incident and prosecution, which may well be in excess of 12 months depending on the type of offence and its complexity.

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

20091

Anglian

3

0

0

1

6

2

4

4

0

Midlands

3

2

5

4

8

5

5

3

3

North East

0

0

5

3

8

6

4

8

11

North West

1

0

3

2

3

2

4

1

0

South West

4

3

4

4

5

7

10

9

1

Southern

1

0

0

0

1

2

2

0

2

Thames

0

0

5

6

3

5

8

3

0

Wales

0

1

0

2

0

3

4

0

2

Total

12

6

22

22

34

32

41

28

19

1 To date.

Oil: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proposals his Department has for the disposal of residual waste from energy production. (287410)

DEFRA has no plans affecting the disposal of ash or other residual waste from power stations. This is the responsibility of the operators of such facilities.

Origin Marking: Israel

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research into consumer attitudes in respect of country of origin labelling for goods imported into the UK from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. (287155)

The Government are not planning to commission research into consumer attitudes in respect of labelling goods from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Pesticides

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he next plans to revise guidelines to farmers on the spraying of pesticides near schools and residences. (287819)

The Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products includes advice to farmers on spraying pesticides near schools and residences.

Two new pieces of European legislation governing the system for pesticides are likely to come into force in 2011; a Regulation on pesticide authorisations that is largely an updating of the existing European regime, and a directive on the sustainable use of pesticides that will establish a framework to promote best practice in the storage, use and disposal of pesticides.

The Government plan to hold a public consultation this autumn on a range of options for the implementation of this new legislation. Once we have agreed our approach to national legislation and guidance, we will revise the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products.

Pollution: Prosecutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of diffuse pollution have been recorded in each year since 1997; and how many such incidents have resulted in (a) prosecutions and (b) fines for those convicted of such offences. (286464)

The Environment Agency’s national incident recording system (NIRS) records all pollution incidents reported to the Agency since 2001. The Environment Agency does not classify such incidents as point or diffuse pollution. An approximation of the number of “diffuse incidents” can be derived from NIRS by counting incidents that arose from an unregulated site where the cause was not identified. Data are available and provided on this basis for full calendar years from 2001 until 2009.

For prosecution and fines there is often a time lag between the incident being reported and the completion of any enforcement action. Yearly figures in this table therefore may relate to incidents which occurred in the previous year or earlier. This is why some prosecutions have been prosecuted and reported in 2009.

Number of “Diffuse” incidents

Number of prosecutions

Fines (£)

2001

3,233

9

28,850

2002

4,518

7

13,700

2003

3,866

7

19,225

2004

3,506

3

5,000

2005

3,360

8

28,033

2006

3,023

2

1,350

2007

2,686

3

6,000

2008

2,379

10

24,250

2009 (to date)

0

6

7,750

Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of waste collected in the City of York was recycled in each year since 2003-04; what funding his Department provided to City of York council to increase recycling rates in that period; and what recent steps his Department has taken to encourage local authorities to increase waste recycling rates. (285866)

Recycling is strongly promoted by a range of Government measures in recognition of its environmental benefits. This includes the introduction of three national indicators within the local government performance framework to encourage local authorities to reduce waste, recycle more and send less household waste to landfill. This is in line with DEFRA's belief that local authorities are best placed to make decisions on the waste management strategy for their communities. 85 per cent. of authorities have negotiated at least one waste-related national indicator target with the Government Office in their region.

DEFRA has provided the City of York council £359,838.71 in 2008-09 and £361,122.65 for 2009-10 as part of Waste Infrastructure Capital Grant (WICG). This funding is provided to help authorities get waste management facilities on the ground in time to help England meet landfill targets.

The following table shows York city council's municipal recycling rates from 2003-04 to 2007-08. 2004-05 is not available due to data not being submitted.

York city council's municipal recycling rate

Percentage

2003-04

19.01

2004-05

1

2005-06

25.71

2006-07

39.36

2007-08

42.28

1Data not available

Source:

WasteDataFlow and DEFRA's Municipal Waste Survey

Reservoirs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the capacity of reservoirs owned by the water industry in England was (a) in 1989 and (b) on the latest date for which figures are available. (286785)

A reservoir capacity figure for 1989 is unavailable.

The total capacity of reservoirs owned by water companies in England which fall under the Reservoirs Act 1975 (large raised reservoirs with a capacity of 25,000 m3 or more above natural ground level) was 1,855,244,628 m3 on 14 July 2009.

River Thames: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the likely effects of the recent raw sewage spillage in the Thames in the Mogden area on river usage and wildlife. (288784)

The Environment Agency measured the chemical quality of the river using a series of water quality monitoring stations located at strategic points along the estuary. Readings taken indicated a significant decline in the oxygen saturation of the river.

Environment Agency officers were deployed to assess the extent of the incident by monitoring the river in the upper reaches to record the impact on fish at low water. Approximately 200 dead fish, mostly flounder, were found around the Kew area. Other inspections did not identify notable amounts of dead fish.

The monitoring network indicated the river returned to a near normal condition by the afternoon of 5 July.

Rivers: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of significant non-water industrial discharges to rivers in each region was reviewed by the Environment Agency in each year since 1997. (286463)

This information is not readily available. It will be placed in the Library of the House as soon as possible.

Television: Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of daily energy consumption resulting from the use of stand-by units on televisions. (287897)

The Government's Market Transformation Programme (MTP) estimates that in 2008 the 66 million television sets in use in UK homes consumed an average of just over 600 Watt hours each per day. Of this an average of 30 watt hours (5 per cent.) was consumed while the television was in stand-by mode.

MTP evidence indicates that the on average a new television consumes 2.5 watts while in stand-by. This will be reduced to one watt from January 2010 as a result of new EU legislation under the ecodesign for energy using products framework directive and falling further to 0.3 watts in 2012.

Thundersley Common

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will assess the effect on mammalian wildlife of the removal of trees from Thundersley Common. (287868)

While negotiating a higher level stewardship agreement with Castle Point borough council to support the council's heathland restoration work on Thundersley Great Common site of special scientific interest (SSSI), Natural England assessed the overall impact on the mammalian fauna as neutral or beneficial, for the following reasons:

(1) The common is small and heavily used by the public, and so does not support a rich mammal fauna, though both bats and badgers do occur;

(2) The restoration only affects part of the common and the wooded part of the common outside the SSSI will not be affected;

(3) The result of the restoration will be a mosaic of open heath, scrub and trees which should be at least as favourable for mammal and bird species as the common is now. The mosaic will also support a range of more unusual heathland plants and animals and provide an open greenspace for the public to enjoy.

Before issuing a felling licence for the removal of some trees, the Forestry Commission assessed the selected trees individually. The commission considered one to be of potential value for roosting bats so Castle Point borough council agreed that this tree should be left and an alternative one removed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has had with (a) Essex County Council and (b) Castle Point Borough Council in respect of Thundersley Common in the last five years. (287870)

My Department has had no substantive discussion with either local authority about Thundersley Common in the last five years. However, Natural England (non-departmental public body sponsored by DEFRA) has had discussions with Castle Point borough council.

Natural England’s purpose is to ensure England’s natural environment is conserved, enhanced and managed for current and future generations. An important part of Natural England’s remit is the protection of sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs)—the country’s best sites for wildlife and geology.

Castle Point borough council owns and manages Thundersley Common, which includes Thundersley Great Common SSSI. Within the last five years, discussions in respect of this SSSI between Natural England and the borough council have included several on-site and office meetings and regular discussions by phone, e-mail and letter. Natural England has offered consistent advice to the council on the conservation management of the site, aimed at restoring the heathland habitats for which the SSSI is notified. Since 2007, council staff have negotiated a higher level stewardship agreement with Natural England to support the council’s restoration of the SSSI to favourable condition.

Within the last five years, Natural England has not held discussions with Essex county council specifically on this SSSI, because the county council does not own or manage it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what public consultations have been held in respect of the removal of trees from Thundersley Common; and if he will make a statement. (287872)

Natural England does not have any information on public consultations held in respect of the removal of trees from Thundersley Great Common site of special scientific interest (SSSI), or in respect of the other essential components of the heathland restoration work being undertaken by Castle Point borough council. These works have the full support of Natural England, in fulfilling the council’s statutory duties to protect and enhance the special interest features for which this SSSI is notified.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date responsibility for Thundersley Common was transferred to Natural England; and if he will make a statement. (287888)

Thundersley Great Common (14.8 hectares) is owned and managed by Castle Point borough council. In 1987, 8.9 hectares of the common were notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 by English Nature (one of Natural England's predecessor bodies): the ownership remains with the borough council. Both Castle Point borough council and Natural England have statutory responsibilities to conserve and enhance the special interest features of the SSSI.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many oak trees have been removed from Thundersley Common in the last five years; and for what reasons the trees were removed. (287889)

The notified special interest features of Thundersley Common Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are its dry heath, wet heath and acid grassland plant communities. It is one of the best remaining fragments of heathland in Essex.

Natural England's records show that five oak trees, and one birch, have been removed from Thundersley Great Common SSSI since 2004. These trees were felled during the 2008-9 winter by Castle Point borough council with the assent and support of Natural England. The work was done as part of a higher level stewardship agreement to restore the special interest features of the SSSI—namely its rare heathland habitats—to favourable condition. Some tree removal is essential as part of this restoration work because many oaks became established on the heathland in the second half of the last century when the site was less actively managed. There are now over 100 trees on the northern half of the SSSI which are rapidly shading out the remaining patches of heathland vegetation. If these are all left to mature a large part of the SSSI will soon be dense woodland and the heathland will be lost.

Waste Disposal: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what responses his Department has received from (a) the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, (b) Wastematters, (c) the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers, (d) the Chartered Institute of Waste Management, (e) the Association of Public Service Excellence, (f) the County Surveyors Society Waste Panel and (g) Keep Britain Tidy on consultations which his Department has conducted on waste incentive schemes in the last two years. (286646)

The Department received written responses on consultations from these bodies detailed as follows:

Consultation on the Incentives for Recycling by Households, May 2007:

(a) the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee

(d) Chartered Institute of Waste Management

(e) Association of Public Service Excellence

(f) County Surveyors Society

Informal consultation on draft guidance, June 2008:

(a) the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee

(d) Chartered Institute of Waste Management

(f) County Surveyors Society

Formal consultation on statutory Good Recycling Service guidance, September 2008:

(e) Association of Public Service Excellence

Responses were not received on any consultation from (b) Wastematters, (c) the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers or (g) Keep Britain Tidy.

Waste Disposal: Hazardous Substances

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what waste products have been classified as (a) inert and (b) toxic waste in the last 18 months. (286964)

The Environment Agency does not classify individual waste arisings. While it does collect data on all wastes received at sites that it regulates, this information describes the waste using the European waste catalogue codes and as such would not allow the Environment Agency to state which individual waste products have been classified as either inert or 'toxic' (a hazardous property that could make a waste hazardous).

Waste Disposal: Inspections

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many inspections were carried out at industrial and waste sites by staff of each Environment Agency office in each year since 1997. (286369)

The following table shows the total number of inspections of industrial and waste sites carried out in each Environment Agency region in each year since 1997. Environment Agency records do not provide an office by office breakdown. Inspections include visits and audits for processes regulated under six regimes: Integrated Pollution Control, Pollution Prevention and Control, Waste management licensing, Environmental Permitting Regulation, Special (Hazardous) Waste, and Waste Producers.

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

00-01

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

05-06

06-07

07-08

08-09

Total

Anglian

18,523

20,947

17,496

16,540

15,001

13,557

15,379

14,060

11,144

6,758

6,386

5,847

161,638

Midlands

25,827

24,692

21,492

19,636

18,050

14,823

16,687

16,466

11,236

8,722

8,607

8,759

194,997

North East

25,017

27,971

25,922

23,320

19,714

19,605

18,832

17,225

10,413

7,749

6,545

4,931

207,244

North West

21,688

21,858

19,270

18,531

15,158

12,962

13,997

13,352

10,325

7,593

6,732

4,914

166,380

Southern

11,965

13,488

12,568

12,632

10,130

8,134

8,911

8,109

6,189

4,480

4,546

3,255

104,407

South West

15,958

16,734

14,104

13,283

10,837

10,352

11,282

10,752

8,316

5,677

4,618

3,559

125,472

Thames

19,642

19,799

15,117

14,246

13,386

12,679

11,958

11,917

8,647

6,445

7,386

5,701

146,923

EA Wales

8,835

9,790

9,009

7,957

7,445

6,893

8,285

7,201

4,435

4,056

3,923

3,178

81,007

Total

147,455

155,279

134,978

126,145

109,721

99,005

105,331

99,082

70,706

51,480

48,743

40,144

1,188,069

Waste Disposal: Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the credit crunch on schemes for waste disposal plants under the private finance initiative. (286795)

DEFRA continually assesses the relevant finance and construction markets to maintain an up to date understanding of the effect that conditions in credit markets may have on the private finance initiative waste projects. This includes meeting with banks, contractors and waste companies as well as individual local authorities.

Our findings show that while tightening credit conditions since 2008 have had an effect on the availability of finance, commercial lenders are maintaining strong interest in financing waste private finance initiative projects. We also continue to see good evidence of new entrant interest from contractors in recent bid lists.

Waste Management: Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the waste industry on the effects on waste disposal plants operated under private finance initiatives of the economic downturn. (287703)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recently attended the Futuresource conference with representatives of the waste industry, at which a number of issues affecting the waste industry were discussed.

Commercial lenders are maintaining strong interest in financing waste private finance initiative projects and we continue to see good evidence of new interest from contractors in recent bid lists.

The granting of PFI credits for waste projects continues, the most recent being awarded to a partnership between Coventry city council, Solihull metropolitan borough council and Warwickshire county council under their umbrella-title ‘Project Transform’ in June this year.

Water Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the effect of universal water metering on (a) the net income of the water industry and (b) the rate of consumption of water by domestic consumers. (286786)

No estimate has been made of the effect of universal metering on the net income on the water industry.

Research shows that, on average, the rate of consumption by household customers is reduced by about 10 per cent. when metered.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what definition his Department uses of a permeable surface in relation to surface water drainage charges. (288074)

Government guidance to Ofwat does not define permeable surfaces. It is generally accepted that they include, for example, burial grounds, grass sports fields and school playing fields. These drain naturally rather than into public sewers. Permeable areas should not count towards the chargeable area under site area charging for surface water drainage.

Water Charges: Voluntary Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in which water company areas voluntary groups are affected by the new system of surface water charges; and what assessment has been made of the likelihood of such systems being taken up in other such areas. (288981)

Four of the 10 water and sewerage companies in England and Wales have switched to site area charging for surface water drainage: Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water.

While Ofwat is recommending that other companies switch to site area charging for surface water drainage, it is for companies to decide whether to make the switch and for Ofwat, as the independent economic regulator of the water industry, to approve charging schemes.

Water Supply

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the volume of water lost through leakage from (a) company supply pipes and (b) piping between the water company connection point and a householder’s tap in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2008. (286471)

Water companies report annual leakage figures to Ofwat as part of their annual regulatory returns. Ofwat publishes leakage performance annually in the service and delivery report.

Leakage performance for the water company distribution network excluding customer supply pipes, and for customer supply pipes only for the years 1996-97 and 2007-08 were as follows:

Performance (megalitres/day)

1996-97

2007-08

Water company leakage excluding customer supply pipes

3,274

2,468

Customer supply pipe leakage

1,230

823

Water: Meters

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many water meters were installed by water supply companies in homes in (a) north-west Cambridgeshire, (b) Huntingdonshire, (c) Peterborough and (d) Cambridgeshire in each of the last five years. (287201)

Ofwat, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry, holds information by water company area only.

Tabled as follows are the figures showing how many water meters Anglian Water and Cambridge Water installed in each of the last five years. Anglian Water and Cambridge Water are the companies that supply the areas listed in the question.

The Anglian Water figures also include Hartlepool Water (HPL) as Anglian Water took over Hartlepool Water in 1998 and they now report their figures together.

Total household meters

Number

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Anglian and HPL

23,013

19,374

25,516

28,586

33,222

Cambridge

1,428

1,180

1,466

1,381

1,432

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many water meters were installed in homes in Castle Point by water supply companies in each of the last five years. (287503)

Ofwat, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry, does not hold data on how many meters are installed in individual constituencies.

The following figures show how many water meters Essex and Suffolk Water has installed in each of the last five years. Essex and Suffolk Water is the company that serves Castle Point.

Essex and Suffolk

Total household meters

2004-05

9,101

2005-06

11,939

2006-07

22,051

2007-08

16,788

2008-09

12,837

House of Commons Commission

East of England Grand Committee

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what (a) broadcasting and (b) other facilities will be available at the venue for the meeting of the East of England Regional Grand Committee at Bedford on 8 September 2009; and if he will make a statement. (287559)

The broadcasting of Committees meeting away from Westminster is usually undertaken by local broadcasters themselves, if they wish to do so. The coverage is pooled and they provide copies to the parliamentary recording unit for archive purposes. Guidelines for broadcasters undertaking coverage is available to ensure that compliance with the rules of coverage is maintained. Audio coverage of the meeting will be supplied by Westminster Sound. This will be webcast live on the

www.parliamentlive.tv

and Parliament websites, and will be available for 12 months in the searchable audio-visual archive.

Facilities for Members and for members of the public attending the meeting will be provided in the Borough hall, Bedford, by arrangement with Bedford borough council. I understand that the Clerks of the East of England Regional Grand Committee will be writing to members of the Committee shortly with information about the arrangements, and the hon. Member may wish to address any further enquiries to them.

Members: Allowances

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many editions of the Green Book have been issued since 2000; in which year each edition was published; how many copies of each edition were printed; what the cost was of publishing each edition; what consultation there was with hon. Members in respect of the changes made in the edition; by what processes such consultation were held; and which editions were distributed in hard copy to all hon. Members automatically. (287929)

Since 2000, revised editions of the Green Book were published as follows. Where known, information is included on the number of copies produced and the cost of production.

Copies

Cost (£)

February 2001

n/a

n/a

April 2002

n/a

n/a

June 2003

2,000

13,135

June 2003 updated December 2003

1

n/a

June 2003 updated July 2004

1

n/a

April 2005

3,000

3,745

July 2006

3,000

n/a

March 2009

3,000

7,290

July 2009

2,000

1,936

1 Intranet only

All copies except the two intranet only editions shown were sent direct to Members.

Since 2004 the Members Estimate Committee has been responsible for the Green Book and given authority for each edition. Since January 2009, responsibility for advising the MEC of changes to the Green Book has rested with the Members' Allowances Committee.

In respect of the Green Book agreed by the House published in March 2009, this was prepared by the then Advisory Panel on Members' Allowances in consultation with independent advisers and other hon. Members. It was approved by the MEC and agreed by the House in January 2009 prior to publication.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission for what reasons the council tax banding of hon. Members' properties was redacted before publication of information relating to hon. Members' expenses. (288259)

In July 2008, by order, Parliament agreed an amendment to the FOIA to the effect that any information that relates to the residential address of a member of either House of Parliament fell outside of the scope of that Act.

Taking account of this, editing of the claims-based allowances was done on the principle that the following information would be made available and all other information would be removed:

Name of Member

Allowance type

Date of claim

Value of claim

Goods or services purchased

Identity of supplier providing goods or services to offices (subject to certain rules).

Members: Offices

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the House of Commons Commission will discuss with the appropriate authorities in the House of Lords the compilation of information on the number of (a) offices occupied by and (b) computers provided for members of each House in the Palace of Westminster. (286951)

Parliament: Internet

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps the Commission (a) is taking and (b) plans to take over the next two years to provide greater electronic access for the public to parliamentary material; and if he will make a statement. (287824)

There are a number of strands of work under way as part of the parliamentary Web and Intranet Programme that will provide greater electronic access for the public to parliamentary material. These include changes to the format of information on the website so that it conforms to accessible data standards and can be accessed and reused by the public, as well as improvements to the presentation to make the information more user friendly and an improved search engine that will enable website visitors to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily.

Portcullis House: Fire Alarms

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commissions how many times the fire alarm in Portcullis house has been activated (a) for fire drill purposes, (b) for testing, (c) because of a fire or smoke, (d) because of a defect in the system and (e) for other reasons in (i) each year since 2005 and (ii) 2009 to date. (288030)

The information requested is as follows:

Cause of evacuation alarm actuation

May 2005 to December 2007

January to December 2008

January to June 2009

Fire

4

0

1

Smoke

0

0

1

Fire drills

3

1

1

Alarm testing

0

0

1

Working on alarm system

4

0

0

System defect

11

1

0

Other1

10

2

2

Total

32

4

6

1 Includes operation of manual call points for no obvious reason, construction (hot) works and contractors and staff disturbing detection beams.

Fire alarm activation records for 2005 to 2007 are archived off site and it has not been possible to break down the figures for that period by year.

Standing Committees: Internet

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps the Commission is (a) taking and (b) plans to take over the next two years to make available on the Parliamentary website the transcript of Standing Committee debates held prior to 1997; and if he will make a statement. (287823)

421 volumes of Standing Committee debates, covering the period 1919 to 2004-05, have been digitised. The data will now go through a process of quality assurance with the aim of making them available online in January 2010. They will be published alongside the digitised Hansard.

Trade Unions

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2009, Official Report, column 841W, on trade unions, what steps the Commission takes to ensure that facilities given to trade unions are not used for political activity or political campaigning. (287288)

Political impartiality is a requirement for the majority of House of Commons employees. The staff handbook requires that staff seek permission from their manager before engaging in political activity and that if permission is granted, the activity must not be undertaken in circumstances where it could be reasonably be assumed that they were acting as a representative of the House of Commons. This restriction applies to employees who are accredited representatives or members of unions recognised by the House of Commons service when using facilities provided to them on the parliamentary estate.

The House of Commons service does not directly monitor the use of facilities made available to employees who are accredited representatives or members of recognised unions. If evidence of misuse of facilities is presented, it will be investigated.

Transport

A127: Speed Limits

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many fines have been issued to motorists for exceeding the new speed limits on the A127 in each of the last six months; and how many of those fines resulted in prosecution. (288110)

This information is not held by the Department for Transport. The speed limit on the A127 is enforced by average speed cameras. Since 1 April 2007 the deployment of safety cameras has been the responsibility of individual local partnerships. The number of fines issued and prosecutions will therefore be a matter for the Essex road safety partnership.

Airports: Noise

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the area was inside the (a) 57dB LAeq daytime summer contour and (b) 48dB LAeq nighttime contour for each major airport in England in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006, (iii) 2007, (iv) 2008 and (v) 2009; and what estimate he has made of the size of each such area if the planned expansion of (A) Heathrow and (B) Stansted takes place. (284704)

The Department for Transport produces annual ‘daytime’ aircraft noise contours (16 Hour 57dBA Leq) for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted—these airports have been designated for noise control purposes under section 80 and section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Elsewhere it is the responsibility of the airport operator to decide upon the timing and form of any contours.

Information on noise contours around Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted for 2005 to 2007 is available on the Department's website:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/environmentalissues/nec/

The 2008 contours are expected to be published shortly.

Information about future projections is available in ERCD 0705 ‘Revised Future Aircraft Noise Exposure Estimates for Heathrow Airport’—also available on the Department's website. Additionally ERCD 0308 ‘Revised Future Aircraft Noise Exposure Estimates for UK Airports’—published at the time of ‘The Future of Air Transport’ White Paper in 2003—contained future projections for Stansted.

In terms of night time contours, the current night flying restrictions regime at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted set the following specific noise abatement objectives for each airport:

At Heathrow, to limit the 6.5 hour 48 dBA Leq contour (the winter and summer seasons combined) to 55 sq km by 2011-12;

At Stansted, to limit the 6.5 hour 48 dBA Leq contour (the winter and summer seasons combined) to 38 sq km by 2011-12.

As regards other airports, the European Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC, (END) requires member states to produce strategic noise maps every five years for major airports (with 50,000 and above movements). The maps are required to represent annual average noise values and use of four different parameters daytime (7 am to 7 pm); evening (7 pm to 11 pm); night (11 pm to 7 am) as well as an estimated annual 24-hour period. The range of contours extend—in five dB steps—for 50 to 70 dBA. Airports produced noise maps for 2007 and these are available on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' noise mapping website:

http://services.defra.gov.uk/wps/portal/noise

Airports: South East

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what forecast he has made of the number of passengers using each airport in the south-east in 2030 on the basis of the most recent gross domestic product forecasts from HM Treasury. (288044)

The Department for Transport’s latest forecasts of the number of passengers using each airport in the south-east in 2030 are given in table G3, page 135 of “UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts”, published in January 2009. This is available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/atf/co2forecasts09

No update of these forecasts is currently available. The Department aims to publish updated forecasts when there is a policy need, as it did alongside the announcement of policy decisions on the future development of Heathrow airport.

Aviation

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport to how many airlines his Department has granted fifth freedoms in respect of a regional airport since October 2005. (287732)

Since October 2005, the Department for Transport has issued operating permits to 267 different airlines allowing them to exercise fifth freedom rights from UK regional airports.

Aviation: Disabled

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what obligations apply to air carriers to make available to passengers copies of the rules and regulations which apply to them in respect of the carriage of disabled people and the provision of supplementary oxygen to passengers who require it in flight. (287167)

Airlines are not obliged under the regulation to make available the rules and regulations as set out. However, many airlines do lay out their policies on carrying medical oxygen on their websites.

The rules themselves are widely available. EU regulation 1107/2006 is published on the EU Commission website. Its obligations are explained in the Department for Transport code of practice, “Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility”. The Department for Transport and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have also published a step by step guide called "Your rights to fly—what you need to know":

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/your-rights/rights-in-different-settings/air-travel/your-rights-to-fly-step-by-step-guide/

http://www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/aviation shipping/yourrightstofly

Free copies of these documents are available from the Department and the Equality and Human Rights Commission website. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what obligations apply to air carriers based in countries outside the EU in respect of the provision of mobility assistance to passengers on flights into the UK. (287168)

Airlines based in countries outside the EU are governed by the laws of the state in which they are registered. Passengers needing assistance once they reach the UK should notify the airport where they will arrive 48 hours in advance of their requirements, either through their airline or travel agent. Passengers should always check before they buy a ticket whether the air carrier they choose to fly on offers them the service they want.

Bus Services: Concessions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who (a) are entitled to and (b) hold a concessionary bus pass in (i) Test Valley borough and (ii) the City of Southampton. (288398)

During preparations for the introduction for concessionary travel, the Department for Transport used census data to estimate the number of older people eligible for a concessionary bus pass. The figure for Test Valley was 24,402 and for Southampton unitary authority was 40,145.

The Department is not responsible for issuing passes and so does not maintain records of how many passes individual authorities have issued. The last information held by the Department was that as of April 2009 Southampton had issued approximately 37,000 new smartcard concessionary passes. Test Valley is part of the Hampshire Countywide scheme who had issued approximately 184,000 passes. This includes passes issued to disabled people as well as those aged 60 and over.

Channel Tunnel Railway Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2009, Official Report, column 1161W, on the Channel Tunnel railway line, whether the (a) Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission and (b) Office of Rail Regulation has powers to hear appeals in respect of Channel Tunnel access charges. (288054)

A railway undertaking may appeal in relation to infrastructure charges to the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission under article 12.1 of the schedule to the Channel Tunnel (International Arrangements) Order 2005 (SI No. 2005/3207, as amended).

The Office of Rail Regulation has no powers to hear such appeals in respect of the Channel Tunnel, but may be called upon to assist the Intergovernmental Commission in dealing with them, under article 4A(1) of the same instrument.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2009, Official Report, column 1161W, on the Channel Tunnel railway line, what assistance the Government plan to give new rail operators to obtain the necessary safety and access approvals to use the Channel Tunnel. (288055)

The Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission has issued guidance to assist railway operators in making applications for part B safety certificates, which they issue in respect of the Channel Tunnel.

In addition, the Intergovernmental Commission expects to consult shortly on the specific safety rules that apply to the transit of passenger trains through the Tunnel. After 15 years of operation it is necessary to consider whether the rules that were originally put in place remain valid and to ensure that they do not act as an unnecessary obstacle to the free movement of traffic, while at the same time ensuring that existing levels of safety are maintained.

The Government believe that existing legislation do contain, and the new legislation covering Channel Tunnel access to infrastructure for international rail passenger services will contain, clearly specified requirements, so that new rail operators will not need assistance when making an application.

Cycling: Hampshire

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many qualified instructors of cycle safety training there were in (a) Test Valley borough and (b) Southampton in each of the last five years. (287763)

We do not hold this information.

There are over 3,000 national standard trainers in the country and over 170 organisations registered to deliver Bikeability training, the name under which the national standard is promoted in England.

This includes 10 organisations operating in Hampshire. Four of these, including the city council operate in Southampton. We do not hold details of how many national standard trainers each training organisation employs.

We have no information on the number of people who may deliver other forms of cycle training which does not meet the national standard in the Test Valley, Southampton or nationally.

Damian McBride

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on what date the Secretary of State last met Mr. Damian McBride in the course of his official duties. (287406)

The Secretary of State for Transport has never met Mr. McBride in the course of his official duties.

Departmental Conditions of Employment

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport for what reasons his Department’s new probation policy does not make provision for women to take maternity leave during the probation period. (287209)

[holding answer 16 July 2009]: The Department for Transport’s (central Department) staff handbook contains employees’ contractual entitlements to maternity leave. These entitlements are unaffected by the Department’s new probationary policy, which applies only to the central Department and not its agencies. In practical terms, new employees are unlikely to be taking maternity leave during their probationary period. If, however, the situation did arise, the employee would be entitled to take maternity leave in accordance with the maternity leave provisions in the staff handbook. In such a case, the employee’s probationary period would be frozen and recommenced upon the employee’s return from maternity leave.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) attempts and (b) successful attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (i) database and (ii) ICT system run by his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (286540)

It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for Departments to confirm information on the number of attempts, successful or otherwise, to gain unauthorised access to departmental systems or databases. Such disclosure could undermine the integrity and security of departmental systems and thereby expose them to potential threats.

The Department for Transport complies with the mandatory requirements of the security policy framework in relation to information security including managing the risk of unauthorised access to ICT systems.

Departmental Electronic Equipment

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) photocopiers, (b) scanning devices and (c) fax machines, excluding multi-function devices, there are in his Department; how many there were in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (286165)

The figures for the Department for Transport and its Agencies for photocopiers, scanning devices (SDs) and fax machines (FMs), excluding multi-function devices (MFDs), are given in the following table. The Department's policy is to gradually replace photocopiers and scanners with MFDs in accordance with the ‘Greening Government ICT Strategy’ published in July 2008:

2006

2007

2008

2009

Comments

Department for Transport (central)

n/a

25 copiers

25 copiers

25 copiers

2007 figures produced by a specific audit. 2008 and 2009 figures not readily available but estimated to be similar to 2007.

42 SDs

42 SDs

42 SDs

56 FMs

56 FMs (estimated)

56 FMs (estimated)

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

n/a

202 copiers

174 copiers

171 copiers

All figures unavailable for 2006, and SD and FM figures for earlier three years unavailable.

86 SDs

353 FMs

Highways Agency

n/a

n/a

n/a

0 copiers

Figures for first three years unavailable. HA began phasing out standalone machines in 2005 and replacing with MFDs. 2009 figures are just a residue.

2 SDs

7 FMs

Driving Standards Agency

0 copiers

0 copiers

0 copiers

0 copiers

All copiers are MFDs.

12 SDs

12 SDs

13 SDs

13 SDs

462 FMs

459 FMs

447 FMs

445 FMs

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

148 SDs

148 SDs

148 SDs

148 SDs

No central record of copiers kept. SD and FM figures constant over last few years.

205 FMs

205 FMs

205 FMs

205 FMs

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

n/a

n/a

n/a

12 SDs

All copiers are MFDs. Scanning device figures are only available for 2009. Fax machine figures unavailable.

Vehicle Certification Agency

4 copiers

4 copiers

4 copiers

4 copiers

Review due this year with a view to replacing with MFDs.

5 SDs

6 SDs

7 SDs

8 SDs

6 FMs

6 FMs

6 FMs

6 FMs

Government Car and Despatch Agency

4 copiers

4 copiers

4 copiers

4 copiers

3 SDs

3 SDs

3 SDs

3 SDs

Have had the same equipment for several years.

8 FMs

8 FMs

8 FMs

8 FMs

Departmental Procurement

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what progress his Department has made in implementing the recommendations of the Glover report in its procurement processes. (287144)

The Department for Transport is working with the Office of Government Commerce on the “Access for All” programme which is the specific response to the Glover report. This programme is currently developing a detailed programme of work in response to each of the 12 key Glover recommendations.

First Great Western

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 14 July 2009, Official Report, column 14WS, on the First Great Western franchise, how much of the £29 million funding for passenger benefits has been (a) spent and (b) allocated for expenditure; and what system will be used to monitor the performance of First Great Western in meeting its franchise agreement in the future. (288083)

Benefits have been delivered to passengers since last year, but the relevant dates by which the £29 million must be spent have not yet been reached. The Department for Transport will seek written evidence of compliance with the spending obligations.

Galileo

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he expects the Galileo satellite navigation system to become fully functional. (287733)

The European Commission envisages the deployment of the Galileo satellite constellation and the establishment of the ground-based infrastructure to run until 2013 and for initial operations to commence in that time frame. Operational capability will be confirmed when the certification of the system, and standard operational measures have been assured and the technical performance and stability of the system have met the mission and performance requirements. This is expected to take place during the exploitation phase of the programme starting from 2014.

Great North Eastern Railway: Connex

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of (a) GNER and (b) Connex surrendering their franchise. (283039)

The only franchise that has failed is Connex South Eastern. The Strategic Rail Authority incurred costs of £3.8 million, over and above those recovered from Connex. The details can be found in the National Audit Office's report of December 2005, available on their website at:

http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/0506/the_south_eastern passenger_ra.aspx

The former GNER franchise was not surrendered, but was converted to a management contract before being re-let. The costs incurred by the Department for Transport were covered from the franchisee.

Heathrow Airport

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what mechanisms his Department has planned for the determination of planning applications in respect of the expansion of Heathrow airport in circumstances in which his Department’s proposed special administration regime for major airports is in use. (287905)

The preparation and timing of any planning application for a third runway and associated terminal facilities at Heathrow airport are a matter for the airport operator. Such a development would be likely to meet the 2008 Planning Act’s threshold for a nationally significant airport infrastructure project. The planning application would therefore be subject to consideration by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission if received after March 2010 when the relevant threshold in the Planning Act is due to be commenced.

As part of a recent consultation on proposals to reform the economic regulation of airports, the Department for Transport sought views on a package of proposed measures to strengthen the financial resilience of airports in order to protect consumers. We are currently considering responses to the consultation and will announce our decision in due course.

Helicopters

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what legislative provisions govern the landing of helicopters on private land. (287790)

A helicopter landing on private land must comply at all times with relevant aviation safety legislation, including the rules governing low flying set out in the rules of the air 2007.

There are no planning rules in England specifically governing the landing of helicopters on private land. It is for local planning authorities to determine, in the first instance, whether planning permission would be required, taking into account the individual circumstances of each case.

Invalid Vehicles

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how responsibility for enforcement of Class 2/3 weight and speed restrictions for powered mobility products is exercised; and by whom. (287991)

Class 2 and class 3 powered mobility scooters have to comply with specific speed and weight requirements which are set down in the Use of Invalid Carriages on Highways Regulations 1988. There is currently no official body that routinely checks that class 2 and class 3 scooters conform to these requirements. Local enforcement bodies, including the police, do take an interest in their use and will take action when they are misused.

In addition the Department for Health and Medical and Health Regulatory Authority work with British manufacturers to ensure that the safety and construction standards for mobility scooters are met.

National Express

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the joint letter of 1 May signed by Dr. Mike Mitchell of his Department and Ray O’Toole of National Express. (288050)

National Express East Coast

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps he is taking to prevent service disruption on the East Coast Main Line prior to the anticipated default by National Express. (288053)

The Government have established a publicly owned company, which will take over the management of the franchise when National Express East Coast ceases to operate. The Department for Transport is working with National Express to ensure and orderly handover of operations.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the statement of 1 July 2009, Official Report, columns 424-26, on National Express east coast franchise, what assessment he has made of the effect on his Department’s budget for rail Control Period Four, 2009-14, of changes to the National Express east coast franchise. (288189)

The Department for Transport has sufficient budget cover to fund any shortfall for the operation of services on the East Coast Main Line at the point that National Express East Coast ceases to operate under their current franchise agreement. The Government intend to re-let the franchise in due course; the requirement for public support thereafter will depend upon the terms of the winning bid awarded by a competitive process.

North London Railway Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport by what date his Department expects to be able to quantify the savings made under the North London Line Camden Road freight scheme announced last year. (288058)

The cost and final specification of the scheme are being assessed by Network Rail which is taking the scheme through its project development process. The final cost will be determined by the scheme design of which Network Rail will have a preliminary indication in spring 2010.

Ports: Non-domestic Rates

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent representations his Department has received on the effect on firms located in ports of the application of retrospective business rates in the last six months. (288521)

Since 1 January 2009 the Department for Transport has received several such representations from a cargo services business in Grimsby and I have answered a parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mr. Crabb), on 25 June 2009, Official Report, column 1078W.

Railways: Finance

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department plans to spend on subsidy to train operators in 2009-10. (286306)

The Department for Transport maintains financial forecasts of anticipated subsidy payable to train operating companies. However, this information is commercially confidential and market sensitive.

Historic subsidy payments are published in National Rail Trends which is available on the Office of Rail Regulation's website at:

www.rail-reg.gov.uk

Copies are also available in the Library of the House.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of the privatisation of the rail network. (286593)

The historic costs associated with the privatisation of the railway have been published in the annual reports of the various bodies involved in the process. The following table sets out the reported costs of those organisations between 1991-92 and 1996-97:

£ million

Department of Transport

93.2

Office of Rail Passenger Franchising

93.5

Office of Rail Regulation

27.3

British Rail

332.2

Railtrack

78.0

Total

624.2

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many rail franchises other than the East Coast Main Line are at red on his Department’s financial risk scale. (288052)

The Department for Transport reviews the operational and financial performance of train operating companies on a regular basis, as part of its routine monitoring of the contractual arrangements between the Department and its franchise holders. That internal analysis is commercially confidential.

Railways: Franchises

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which existing rail franchises he expects to return a premium to his Department by the end of the franchise period. (286074)