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Aggregates

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on what grounds the Quarry Products Association's proposed preferential purchasing scheme for aggregates was considered incompatible with the green purchasing commitments set out in his Department's publication entitled "Building a better quality of life--a strategy for more sustainable construction". [131094]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The proposals in the Quarry Products Association's Q-mark scheme were carefully considered by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in preparing his Budget Statement. However, the proposed conditions of entry to the Q-mark scheme, which would qualify suppliers for preferential purchasing of aggregate by the public sector were, on the basis of the information provided, felt to be incompatible with UK competition law and EU procurement law. The burden of meeting the Q-mark entry conditions would have borne differentially on different sizes of operators, and in particular could have been harder for the small and medium-sized enterprises in the industry, including those not in QPA membership, to meet.

Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many contractors he expects to use under the New Home Energy Efficiency Scheme; [131310]

Mr. Meacher: Some 100 insulation and heating installation contractors are currently appointed to the New Home Energy Efficiency Scheme, which started in June. The two Scheme Managers for New HEES expect to appoint up to a further 45 contractors. The New HEES scheme, which started in June, provides vulnerable householders with a comprehensive package of insulation, together with efficient central heating for householders over 60 in age, through grants of up to £2,000. The previous scheme provided householders with one insulation measure per household, mainly draughtproofing, with a maximum grant of £315. Funding for the scheme has been increased from about £76 million last year to around £122 million this year and around £153 million next year.

Some 130 insulation contractors were involved in the previous scheme.

The Scheme Managers for New HEES, Eastern Energy and the EAGA Partnership Ltd., were appointed by my Department following UK Public Procurement Rules and

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Regulations. They are contractually required to appoint installers using the same competitive tendering process and following the same Regulations. All existing installers were eligible to tender for appointment to the new scheme. Installers have been chosen on the basis of their technical abilities to deal with the wider range of measures provided through New HEES, their ability to meet the quality standard, and the price tendered.

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many council homes in Shrewsbury and Atcham will benefit from home energy efficiency measures by the end of this year; and if he will make a statement; [131157]

Mr. Meacher: The Government have introduced a wide range of programmes to tackle poor energy efficiency, one of the main causes of fuel poverty. These are as follows.

From 1 June, the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme provides grants of up to £2,000 for comprehensive packages of insulation and heating improvements. The scheme is aimed at those households which are most vulnerable to cold-related ill health: older people and families on low incomes, and the disabled and chronically sick. HEES has a budget of £275 million for the first two years, which is expected to help some 460,000 households. The scheme is focused on the private sector, where nearly 70 per cent. of the fuel poor in England are found. However, limited funds will still be available for social housing in the first two years.

We have released substantial additional funds to help improve our housing stock; in total some £5 billion is being made available over the lifetime of this Parliament for investment in housing. Most of the additional resources are going to local authorities and will be spent according to the needs and priorities identified in their housing strategy. We estimate that around one third of the money is likely to lead directly or indirectly to improvements in energy efficiency.

Government-funded programmes operated by the Energy Saving Trust improve the energy efficiency of both fuel poor households and others. In addition, some of the Government funded regeneration schemes will help to improve home energy efficiency in specific areas.

To support the installation of energy efficiency measures, from 1 July 1998 the Government have reduced VAT from 17.5 per cent. to 5 per cent. for the installation of energy efficiency materials through Government-funded grant schemes such as HEES. The Spring 2000 budget extended the reduced rate of VAT of 5 per cent. to include the installation of energy saving material in "all" homes and the installation of heating measures through Government funded grant schemes.

The Government are also introducing provisions to enable lessors to claim capital allowances on their investment in boilers, radiators and controls installed in residential properties under the Affordable Warmth Programme. The Programme will operate from 2000 to

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2007, with the aim of helping up to 1 million low income households, primarily in the social sector, benefit from improved energy efficiency.

In addition to Government energy efficiency programmes, since 1994, public electricity suppliers have, under the Energy Efficiency Standards of Performance, been required to encourage and assist customers with energy efficiency measures. The new Director General of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets has, from this year extended these to also include public gas suppliers and the overall size of the programme has been doubled to £50 million a year. 65 per cent. of this expenditure will be allocated to low income households.

Under the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995, local authorities with housing responsibilities were required to prepare, publish and submit to the Secretary of State an energy conservation report identifying energy conservation measures considered to be practicable, cost-effective and likely to result in a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation in their area.

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In England, authorities are now reporting annually on the progress being made in implementing the measures identified. Furthermore, we have now asked local authorities to report on their policies and achievements specifically in combating fuel poverty, at the same time as they submit their HECA progress reports. The next HECA progress report from local authorities is due by 31 July 2000.

The energy conservation report prepared by Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council, and their most recent progress report, should be available from the Council.

North West Water

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many successful prosecutions the Environment Agency has undertaken against North West Water; and what level of fines have been imposed. [131404]

Mr. Mullin: Listed in the table are details of the successful prosecutions carried out against North West Water by the Environment Agency since October 1991 and the fines imposed:

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DateCourtOffenceFine (£)Cost (£)
16 October 1991Whitehaven magistrates courtOn 19 May 1991 caused trade effluent, namely chlorinated water, to be discharged into Ben Ghyll, a tributary of the River Ehen from Ennerdale Water Treatment Plant. Contrary to Sections 107(i)(c) and 107(6) of the Water Act 19895,000435
29 January 1992Darwen magistrates courtOn 28 May 1991 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Eagley Brook from Belmont Waste Water Treatment Plant. Contrary to Sections 107(1)(c) and 106(6) of the Water Act 19899,0004,815
20 May 1992Chorley magistrates courtOn 4 October 1991 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Brook Lane Stream, Charnock Richard from Brook Lane Pumping Station. Contrary to Sections 107(i)(c) and 107(6) of the Water Act 19896,000400
1 October 1991Huyton magistrates courtOn 28 January 1992 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Court Hey Brook from surface water outfalls at Court Hey Road. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 199110,000420
3 February 1993Ashton Under Lyne magistrates courtOn 21 September 1992 caused trade effluent to be discharged from Lumb Lane Pumping Station, Droylsden. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 199110,000510
2 March 1993Ormskirk magistrates courtOn 23 April 1992 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Hurlston Brook from Smithy Lane Pumping Station, Hurlston Green. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19913,000250
2 March 1993Ormskirk magistrates courtOn 13 August 1992 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Hurlston Brook from Smithy Lane Pumping Station, Hurlston Green. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000250
28 July 1993Reedley magistrates courtOn 21 May 1992 caused a discharge from the storm sewage overflow at Burnley Waste Water Treatment Works, Burnley to Walverden Water. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85 (6) of the Water Resources Act 19912,000989
14 September 1993Leyland magistrates courtOn 27 April 1992 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into the River Lostock at Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge, Preston. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19919,000860
3 November 1993Oldham magistrates courtOn 5 February 1993 caused trade effluent to be discharged into the River Medlock at Waterhead, Oldham. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19913,000515
9 November 1993Leigh magistrates courtOn 9 August 1992 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into a tributary of the River Glaze from Latley Common Pumping Station at Leigh. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19911,000719
25 January 1994Ellesmere Port magistrates courtOn 11 May 1993 caused trade effluent to be discharged into Mill Brook. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19912,000700
25 January 1994Ellesmere Port magistrates courtOn 17 August 1993 caused trade effluent, namely reactivated sewage sludge, to be discharged into Mill Brook from Ellesmere Port Sewage Treatment Works. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19914,000686
3 February 1994Preston magistrates courtOn 3 July 1993 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Savick Brook, Fulwood. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19913,000453
28 March 1994Barrow in Furness magistrates courtOn 19 September 1993 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into the River Leven Estuary from Ulverston Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Section 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19916,000764
7 April 1994Chorley magistrates courtOn 31 August 1993 caused trade effluent, namely surface water containing Chlorine, to be discharged into the River Douglas from Rivington Water Treatment Plant, Bolton Road, Horwich. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000898
25 May 1994Chorley magistrates courtOn 21 September 1993 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into the River Chor diversion from Outlet 3A at Chorley Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Sections 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19912,000596
7 June 1994Leyland magistrates courtOn 11 January 1994 caused sewage effluent to be discharged to the River Darwen from premises known as Blackburn Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19914,000736
26 August 1994Lytham magistrates courtOn 30 November 1993 caused polluting matter to enter Main Dyke from Western Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19914,000744
13 September 1994Ellesmere Port magistrates courtOn 31 January 1994 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Thornton Brook at Ellesmere Port which did not comply with a Condition of the Company's Consent to Discharge. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19913,000319
21 September 1994Liverpool magistrates courtOn 23 September 1993 caused sewage effluent to enter Courthey Brook. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 199110,000495
21 September 1994Liverpool magistrates courtOn 8 July 1993 caused sewage effluent to enter Courthey Brook. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 199110,000484
3 October 1994Huyton magistrates courtOn 9 March 1994 failed to take reasonable steps to ensure water discharge as a result of aeration tank cleaning into Knowsley Brook from Knowsley Water Treatment Works was free as reasonable possible from solids and polluting substances. Contrary to Section 165(3)(b) of the Water Industry Act 1991500903
18 November 1994Penrith magistrates courtOn 1 July 1994 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Shap Beck from premises at Shap Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19913,0001,292
7 February 1995Leyland magistrates courtOn 28 May 1994 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Black Brook at Hoghton near Blackburn. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19912,500922
15 February 1995Preston magistrates courtBetween 8 August 1994 and 15 August 1994 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Eaves Brook from Victoria Road CSO, Preston. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000721
18 March 1995Oldham magistrates courtOn 23 November 1994 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Wince Brook from Brookside Business Park, Chadderton. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000699
10 November 1995Barrow in Furness magistrates courtIn the one year period from 27 July 1994 to 26 July 1995 caused sewage effluent to be discharges into Blea Beck from Askam Waste Water Treatment Works contrary to Condition C1 of Consent. Contrary to 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19917,500490
18 January 1996Blackburn magistrates courtOn 30 April 1995 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into Sheet Bridge Brook from Morris Brow Pumping Station, Tock Holes Road, Blackburn. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19915,0001,889
7 March 1996Windermere magistrates courtOn 6 May 1995 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into the River Rothay from Ambleside Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19914,0001,931
21 January 1998Stockport magistrates courtOn or about 17 July 1997 caused polluting matter namely sewage sludge to enter Torkington Brook from land at Lower Barnfold Farm, Hawk Green near Marple. Contrary to Sections 85(1) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000560
21 January 1998Stockport magistrates courtOn 4 August 1997 caused polluting matter namely sewage sludge run-off to enter Norbury Brook. Contrary to Section 85(1) of the Water Resources Act 19916,000531
2 March 1998Preston magistrates courtOn 4 February 1997 caused sewage effluent to be discharged into the River Ribble from land at Riversway Docks. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19913,000834
16 March 1998Preston magistrates courtOn 18 April 1997 caused polluting matter namely silt to enter Eaves Brook and Savick Brook from a water supply main at Deepdale, Fulwood. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 19911,5001,183
1 July 1999Leyland magistrates courtOn 8 July 1998 caused polluting matter to enter Holes Brook from Blackburn Waste Water Treatment Works. Contrary to Section 85(1) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000793
28 October 1999Bury magistrates courtOn 7 December 1998 caused sewage effluent to be discharges into the River Irwell. Contrary to Sections 85(3)(a) of the Water Resources Act 19915,000810

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