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Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the various potential uses of compost produced from household waste. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government have set up and are funding the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to promote sustainable waste management by working to create stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and products and removing barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling. Part of this work is to tackle issues relating to composting waste. Currently WRAP is working with the Composting Association to develop the existing industry standard for compost, to
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Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the cost to local authorities of dealing with stray dogs in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Meacher: This information is not collected centrally. The most recent information on the cost to local authorities of dealing with stray dogs dates from a 1997 MORI poll. The assessment of cost to local authorities then was £11.3 million per year.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people have been taken on by the State Veterinary Service since the end of the foot and mouth outbreak; and how this has affected the establishment figure. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 7 May 2002]: FMD related work still continues, however, for the purpose of my response, figures have been calculated from 22 January 2002. This is when FMD status (without vaccination), for the purpose of international trade was restored by the OIE.
At the start of the outbreak a total figure of 1,064.4 veterinary, technical and support staff were employed by the field service element of the State Veterinary Service (SVS), compared with 1,247.66 at the end of January 2002. This indicates an increase of 183.26.
A high proportion of this increase relates to the creation of an enhanced personnel and IT unit, the creation of the National Scrapie Administration Centre at Worcester along with recruitment of fixed term veterinary appointees and other staff at most levels.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to encourage the development of a market for recovered waste electrical and electronic equipment. 
Markets already exist for a range of waste electrical equipment such as mobile telephones and large household appliances where there is a high metal or precious metal content. The Government are encouraging the development of new recyclate markets through the not-for-profit company the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). WRAP is jointly funded by the DEFRA, DTI and the devolved Administrations. The budget for the three years commencing 1 April 2001 is £40 million.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the statistics for waste recovery in the United Kingdom for the categories of WEEE as outlined in Annexe I of the common position on WEEE (2000/0158(COD), Doc 11304/1/01 + ADD1). 
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In the UK, waste electrical equipment is not currently separated into the categories defined in the draft WEEE Directive. These statistics are not therefore available. To establish current recovery rates for a selection of individual products DTI has commissioned work from PriceWaterhouseCoopers. This can be viewed on the departmental website.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultations she has had with producer and sectoral groups about the practical implications and likely cost of compliance with the EU WEEE directive; and if she will make a statement. 
DTI carried out a formal consultation on the Commission's proposal in autumn 2000. There were 70 responses representing over 340,000 organisations. A summary of the results was published on the website. There has been a regular on-going dialogue with stakeholders from all sectors. A new partial regulatory impact assessment that considers costs in detail was placed on to the DTI website in April 2002. Over 700 organisations, including major trade associations and local authorities were alerted to this by letter this month. A small business consultation group and informal retailer group have also been established.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department intends to make use of the optional five-year exemption for SMEs from the provisions of the EU WEEE directive relating to producer responsibility. 
The Common Position text allows member states the option of exempting SME manufacturers from the financing requirements of Articles 7 and 8 for a period of up to 30 months after the commencement of this obligation for other producers. The Government support this flexibility and will wish to take up this opportunity to exempt SME manufacturers if this is permitted under the directive finally adopted and if practicable within the implementing legislation developed.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the derogations granted to Greece and Ireland in Article 15.4(a) of the Common Position on WEEE (2000/0158(COD), Doc 11304/1/01+ ADD1). 
The Common Position text would allow Greece or Ireland up to a further 24 months in which to reach the recovery and recycling targets set out in Article 6 and the collection target specified in Article 4. They are required to notify the Commission of their intention to use these derogations by the time required for completion of the transposition process.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what strategies her Department intends to adopt to communicate to the public the need to sort and recover WEEE. 
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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to increase the uptake of affordable housing in rural areas by key sector workers; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: Our overall strategy is: to ensure that the housing needs of people in rural area, including key workers, are properly identified; to increase investment in new social housing; to maximise delivery of affordable housing through the planning system; and to make the best use of existing property. We expect to deliver around 9,000 affordable homes annually in rural areas by 200304 through these measures as announced in the Rural White Paper. This should provide greater opportunities for key workers in rural areas where local authorities have identified affordable key worker housing as a priority need.
Our Starter Home Initiative (SHI) is specifically helping key workers in England to buy a home in urban and rural areas where the high cost of housing is undermining recruitment and retention. £230 million SHI funding was allocated to local scheme providers in September 2001, including some £8.7 million to help around 360 key workers to buy homes in rural settlements with a population of 3,000 or less. We expect to announce the allocation of a further £20 million SHI funding to successful bidders later this month.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the impact on carbon dioxide emissions of the exemption from the climate change levy of electricity from combined heat and power plants sold through licensed electricity suppliers; 
Granting Good Quality Combined Heat and Power (GQCHP) a full exemption from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) will encourage the use of this energy-efficient technology, and support the achievement of the Government's target of at least 10 gigawatts (GWe) of GQCHP by 2010. GQCHP achieves a 25 to 35 per cent. reduction in primary energy use relative to traditional forms of electricity generation, and therefore produces less carbon emissions per GWe. The amount of carbon saved depends on which technologies and fuels are displaced by GQCHP.
The DTI and DEFRA are assessing the economic and environmental potential of GQCHP under various energy price and policy scenarios, including the full exemption from CCL. This work will be published shortly, alongside the Government's CHP Strategy.
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