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Mr. Morley: Operational responsibility for flood alleviation measures rests with the local operating authorities, namely the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Boards and local councils. DEFRA provides grant for flood defence capital works, and associated studies, which meet essential technical, economic and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score.
I understand that the Environment Agency is considering the feasibility of capital works in the Brewers Wharf area of Newark, but has yet to make plans for the timing of any such works. The Agency will be developing a strategy for the River Trent within the next 12 to 18 months. The completed strategy will inform the
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agency's plans for flood management between Stoke on Trent and Newark. A similar strategy will be prepared for the tidal reach of the river in due course.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of flood defence preparations for those properties most at risk in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement. 
Defences that were damaged in last year's floods have been repaired and reinstated so that communities are now at least as well defended as, and often better than, they were before the flooding. Work on long-term improvement to flood defences is under way using the increased funding that DEFRA has made available to the flood and coastal defence operating authorities, including provision for accelerating river flood defence works. Tried and tested arrangements remain in place for responding to flooding emergencies. The effectiveness of these arrangements were demonstrated by the response to last year's flooding which were underpinned by emergency exercises carried out in previous months, the requirement for which was contained in this Department's high level targets for flood and coastal defence.
My Department has commissioned independent research on those assets at risk from flooding and coastal erosion. The outcome was included in a report on "National assessment of assets at risk from Flooding and Coastal Erosion" in September. One output was a set of maps showing current flood defence standards. This report will inform the assessment by operating authorities of local flood risk.
Another of our high level targets requires operating authorities to carry out inspections of flood and coastal defences; the Environment Agency is required to collect these assessments into a national report which assesses flood risk. I will publish this report when complete.
My Department, in partnership with the Environment Agency, is establishing a national flood and coastal defence database which will contain information on defences and assets at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The database will start to become operational in spring 2002 but full operability depends on completion of information gathering, validation and electronic recording for the vast number of flood and coastal defences.
At the end of our 10-year campaign to improve energy consumption by 20 per cent., last year we set a target of reducing our CO 2 emissions by 1 per cent. against 19992000 levels. We will report on our first year's performance against this next year. We are also developing new realistic but challenging targets for
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reducing our energy consumption. These will be based on an assessment of the estate's performance against national standards, which will be available next year.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much money has been spent on HFC driven machinery in Government buildings in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Morley: No central record is kept of plant and equipment installed in the Department. The Department is, though, well aware that in October 2000 regulations came into force which confirmed the total ban on the use of CFCs (Chloro Fluoro Carbons) and introduced a ban on HCFCs (Hydro Chloro Fluoro Carbons) in new equipment from 1 January 2001. New mediums have been introduced including HFCs (Hydro Fluoro Carbons). We modify our plant to accept this new medium when major maintenance work is undertaken or at other appropriate points in their life cycles. Our facility manager and design consultants are well aware of the regulations and specify new equipment accordingly.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the consultation on the combined heat and power strategy will be completed; and when the final combined heat and power strategy will be (a) published and (b) implemented; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: We will be issuing a draft Government strategy for consultation around the turn of the year. The statutory consultation will run for the full 12-week period with the final CHP strategy document to be published soon after that. A timetable for implementation of the key measures will be set out in the strategy subject to consultation.
Mr. Meacher: The Department is developing, in close collaboration with DTI and other Departments, a draft CHP strategy, which will set out the measures needed to achieve the CHP target of at least 10,000 mega watts of Good Quality CHP by 2010. We aim to issue the strategy for consultation around the turn of the year.
Mr. Morley: There are no statistics available on the amount of letters received by the Secretary of State from members of the public on a constituency basis. However, this Department has received 26 letters about animal welfare from residents of Buckinghamshire.
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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the amount of illegal meat imports which entered the UK in each of the last three years. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the tonnage of meat that was imported into the UK (a) legally and (b) illegally in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Morley: The table sets out the tonnage of all meat legally imported into the UK in the last three years for which figures are available. We have no reliable estimate of the amount of meat illegally imported.
(15) EU data: January to August, Non-EU data: January to September
HM Customs and Excise
Mr. Morley: Following a quinquennial review of the board's operation, the Government announced on 20 September 2000 their intention to keep the Agricultural Wages Board for a further five years. The announcement also confirmed that the Government would be considering detailed changes to modernise aspects of the board's operation.
Consideration is now being given to the use of a Regulatory Reform Order to streamline and modernise the regulatory framework under which the board operates. An essential part of this process is extensive consultation with interested parties. As a first step my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Lord Whitty, will be meeting the chairman of the board and the leaders of the two sides.
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