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Squirrels

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to permit the use of Warfarin for the control of grey squirrels in areas where there are populations of reds; and if he will make a statement. [25640]

Angela Eagle: There are no plans to permit the use of Warfarin for the control of grey squirrels in any further areas than those which are currently being assessed as part of carefully controlled scientific research. I am aware of no plans to request a change to the current controls on the use of Warfarin for grey squirrel control.

Builders

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he intends to take to tackle the problem of unreliable and ineffective builders. [25649]

Mr. Raynsford: I intend to work with all sections of the construction industry, its customers and consumer bodies, to develop a coherent package of measures aimed at improving consumer protection in this areas. I shall be issuing a discussion document shortly.

Cemfuel

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimates he has made of the percentage of the ingredients of cemfuel which have their source in (a) Lancashire, (b) the rest of the United Kingdom and (c) overseas. [25620]

Angela Eagle: None. It is the role of the Environment Agency, rather than the Secretary of State, to regulate the import and use of waste for secondary liquid fuels. The Agency does this through the Waste Management Licensing and Integrated Pollution Control regimes, and also through UK and EC legislation on the transboundary movement of waste.

The Agency has advised that it does not have the information to provide a breakdown of the geographical origins of secondary liquid fuels.

Cattle Bones

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many tonnes of crushed and carbonised cattle bones for use in water treatment plants were imported from South Asia in the last year for which figures are available. [25834]

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Angela Eagle: During 1997, 243 tonnes of charcoal derived from carbonised cattle bones were used as filter media at water treatment plants in England and Wales.

The charcoal is made from certified processed cattle bones imported only from India and Pakistan. It has been approved for use in the treatment of drinking water under the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989.

Sanctuary Housing

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will commission an inquiry into the running of Sanctuary Housing, with particular relevance to its administration and financial controls; and if he will consult residents currently living in its West Country sheltered housing developments on the conduct of the present management. [25341]

Mr. Raynsford [holding answer 26 January 1998]: As a registered social landlord, Sanctuary Housing Association is regulated by the Housing Corporation which monitors compliance with its regulatory standards.

The Housing Corporation is investigating some matters relating to sheltered housing schemes in North Devon. I have asked the Chairman of the Housing Corporation to write to the hon. Member on completion of these investigations.

Departmental Fuel Costs

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much (a) oil, (b) gas powering of accommodation occupied by his Department within the United Kingdom in each year since 1989-90; and what was the total cost in real terms for (a) to (c) in each year. [25790]

Angela Eagle: The answer is as follows:

Oil Gas Electricity
MWh£000MWh£000MWh£000
1990-9167,96765894,7761,12686,5664,976
1991-9252,54359495,0861,37085,9025,712
1992-9329,393419101,1321,33486,9075,860
1993-9424,971265100,9181,18584,6155,248
1994-9517,52828283,54991165,7744,531
1995-9618,66726083,06384767,6864,422
1996-97(3)17,72925969,57183366,3623,963

(3) Provisional outturn.


The information covers former Departments of Environment and Transport and the Health and Safety Executive.

Staff Travel Costs

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the total real terms value of (a) staff car mileage claims paid and (b) staff rail fares paid by his Department; for what amount of staff car mileage reimbursement was made, and what was the percentage change over the previous year for each year since 1989-90. [25789]

Angela Eagle: I regret that this information is not available.

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Departmental Staff

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many staff were employed by his Department; and what percentage of them were eligible to claim a care mileage allowance on 31 March in each year since 1990. [25792]

Angela Eagle: The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions came into existence on 16 June 1997. Figures for the numbers of staff employed by the former Departments since 1990 are not available, although a breakdown for each year covering the then structures of the former departments was set out in the Departmental Reports, which are available in the Library. All staff may claim car mileage allowance if they are required to travel on official business and otherwise meet the criteria.

Sustainable Development

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what mechanisms he has put in place to ensure the Government's objective of promoting sustainable development is reflected in the outcome of the comprehensive spending reviews for his Department. [25936]

Angela Eagle: The overarching Terms of Reference for DETR's CSRs include a requirement to take particular account of the policy aim of sustainable development. Individual CSRs are reflecting that, and other policy aims, in their work. One of the Department's CSRs is also looking specifically at environment policy.

Green Ministers

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which Government Departments were not represented at Ministerial level at the last meeting of the Green Ministers. [25939]

Mr. Meacher: All Government Departments were represented at the last meeting of Green Ministers on 18 December. Most were represented at Ministerial level, but because of unavoidable other commitments the Lord Chancellor's Departments, the Home Office, the Departments of Trade and Industry and of Social Security and the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food were represented by officials.

Countryside (Access)

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the consultation paper on measures to increase public access to the countryside will be published. [25930]

Mr. Meacher: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Wirral, West (Mr. Hesford) and for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) on 22 January 1998, Official Report, column 614.

Scottish Executive

Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 20 January 1998, Official Report, column 465, (1) when discussions began in his Department concerning

29 Jan 1998 : Column: 325

the non-statutory agreement with the Scottish Executive; on what dates discussions took place; and who was present at such meetings; [25581]

Mr. Prescott [holding answer 27 January 1998]: Discussions are being held between departments, both at official level and Ministerial level, on all matters relating to non-statutory agreements between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive. In most cases, these discussions are in their early stages in the light of the fact that such agreements cannot be finalised until the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive are established. Parliament will be kept informed of progress on these matters.


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