Previous Section Index Home Page

Waste Management

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many and what type of composting facilities are in operation in each local authority; and if she will make a statement; [54598]

Mr. Meacher: This information is not collected centrally; however indications are that an increasing number of local authorities see composting in all its forms as an integral part of their waste management strategy.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if catering waste as defined in the Animal By-Products Order 1999 includes waste from domestic kitchens; and if she will make a statement. [56036]

Margaret Beckett [holding answer 13 May 2002]: Catering waste as defined in the Animal By-Products Order 1999 includes domestic kitchen waste. Following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the order was amended in May 2001 to make it an offence to allow livestock and poultry to have access to any catering waste which contains meat or most other products of animal origin, or which originates from premises which handle such products. The aim was to prevent livestock and poultry from having access to material which might introduce or spread animal diseases.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice and funds her Department is making available to local authorities to (a) devise and (b) implement zero waste strategies. [54159]

Mr. Meacher: "Zero waste" is a term that is used in different ways in different countries. Some use it to mean no waste to landfill; others use it to mean that no waste is sent to any form of final disposal. Some claim that in nature there is no such thing as waste; that what is waste for one species is a resource for another. They believe humans should emulate nature and build a society in which all "wastes" can be reused as resources.

This Government have not adopted a goal of zero waste, but many of the policies and actions necessary to achieve zero waste are outlined in 'Waste Strategy 20'. The challenge is to develop policies that reduce the waste we generate, while at the same time ensuring the safe disposal of wastes for which efficient re-use, recycling or recovery solutions have not yet been found.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 949W

Under the Best Value regime local authorities should set targets for waste reduction and produce Municipal Waste Management Strategies, in line with the national waste strategy, which prioritise waste minimisation wherever practicable. Each Municipal Waste Management Strategy should clearly set out the local authority's proposals for collection, treatment and disposal of waste, its plans for achieving the statutory recycling and composting targets and its proposals to meet waste reduction targets.

In March last year DETR issued guidance to local authorities on the development of Municipal Waste Management Strategies. This guidance contained a section on implementing the Waste Minimisation Act 1998 and included a case study on a waste reduction project.

The principal means for funding local authority waste management functions, including waste reduction, is through general grant. This is distributed through Standard Spending Assessments (SSAs). Waste management is within the Environmental Protection and Cultural Services (EPCS) SSA. The EPCS SSA increases over the three years of the Spending Review from 2001–02 to 2003–04 by £1.1 billion. Consistent with the general local authority financial framework, it is for individual local authorities to decide the proportion of their budget that should be directed to waste management work.

Local councils in England also have access to a £140 million household waste minimisation and recycling fund to help them meet their recycling and composting statutory targets. The Government hope the money will help move local authorities away from traditional landfill dumping in favour of recycling/recovery and as a result minimise the amount of waste generated.

Future funding for local authority waste management will be determined by the outcomes of the 2002 spending review.

Farm Animals

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will give farmers in England an option to apply the 20 day standstill only to animals brought onto the farm and to animals to be moved off, and not to the rest of the animals on the farm, on condition that they are kept separate and that laid down biosecurity measures are observed. [59279]

Mr. Morley: This and other possible variations to the 20-day standstill provisions which currently apply in England and Wales under the interim livestock movement rules are being reviewed from a veterinary and economic standpoint. No decisions have yet been taken. Whatever changes may be made to the interim rules this summer, the Government intend to take full account of any relevant findings from the FMD inquiries before they reach a final view on the role that a 20day standstill might play in the longer term.

EU Habitats Directive

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the letter signed by the hon. Member for Scunthorpe of 7 April 2002, what progress is being made in the drafting of regulations that will apply the EU Habitats Directive

10 Jun 2002 : Column 950W

beyond 12 nautical miles, with particular reference to the situation of the Darwin Mounds and coral reef off Rockall. [57132]

Mr. Meacher: Preparation of legislation is continuing with the intention of public consultation this summer. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee has just reported to my Department on possible selection criteria for sites to be identified for protection under these regulations once they are made. The proposed selection criteria address reef habitats as well as sandbanks, submerged sea-caves and gaseous vents, plus numerous species. A copy of the report is being placed in the House Library.

Scottish Executive

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations the Scottish Executive has made to her Department since May 1999, broken down by (a) Scottish Executive Department, (b) subject and (c) date. [59523]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Prime Minister on 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 601W.

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times her Office has made representations to the Scottish Executive since May 1999, broken down by (a) department approached, (b) subject and (c) date. [59524]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 601W. DEFRA was formed only in June 2001. Since then DEFRA Ministers have had regular meetings with their counterparts in the Scottish Executive. There has also been frequent contact at Private Office level by telephone and in writing.

Scotland Office

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to transfer the administration of reserved powers and functions of her Department, its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies within its remit from her Department to the Scotland Office. [59522]

Mr. Morley: None.

Ministerial Accommodation

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what publicly owned accommodation is made available to her in her official role; how many nights she has been in residence at each of these properties in the last 12 months; and what the total cost was of maintaining each of these properties in the last 12 months. [55095]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), on 28 February 2002, Official Report, column 1443W and by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Collins), on 21 January 2002, Official Report, column 599 and on 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 91W.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 951W

Departmental Policies (Wycombe)

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the activities pursued by her Department that have had a particular impact on the Wycombe constituency since 7 June 2001. [58625]

Mr. Morley: FMD Signposts to Recovery conference, held in Berkshire end of June 2001, which covered the Wycombe District. This was one of two seminars held in the region. This was to assist businesses in the recovery process from foot and mouth disease and any precautionary measures. The conference was targeted at advisers and advisory organisations in public and private sectors that regularly provide support, advice or information to rural businesses, e.g. SEEDA, CA, SE Tourist Board, NFU and Farm Crisis Network. Information was provided from a variety of Government sponsored agencies and partner organisations, Rural Business Recovery Fund, Farm Business Advisory Service, Countryside Agency Grants.

A planning seminar was held in January 2002 to cover the three counties of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Wycombe District Council as the planning authority was invited to attend. There were four seminars held in total across the region, in a series resulting from the Government's Action Plan for Farming. The seminar focused on farm diversification and rural business development issues and brought together relevant partners at the regional and local level, to take account of regional needs and variations.

Wycombe district is currently making changes to its deposit draft of its local plan to be adopted and run until 2011. The policies within this deposit draft have been assessed with regard to PPG7, by DEFRA representatives in the Government Office for the South East, which sets out how the Government's objectives for rural areas should be reflected in land use planning. Specific policies have been commented on and suggestions for appropriate wording given.

Wycombe District Council has held a Rural Affairs Seminar, which was attended by DEFRA regional representation, on 23 November 2001 at which James Ellis MEP gave a presentation on the Reform of the CAP. Representatives from the parishes within the Wycombe constituency were present as well as interest groups and local farmers, which provided an opportunity for networking between rural partners.

The South East Rural Affairs Forum has been successfully set up, by DEFRA in the GOSE following recommendations in the Rural White Paper. The first meeting of the group was on 15 April in Guildford. This forum gives the opportunity for rural stakeholders across the south east to give their views on how rural policy is being delivered in the region. Councillor Bill Lidgate is representative on the forum covering Buckinghamshire's area. He is a member of the county council, and South Buckinghamshire district council with extensive knowledge of issues facing rural communities. He is a farmer who runs diversified rural enterprises including pedigree herd and retail farm shop. Chair of the Royal South Bucks Agricultural Association.

The Countryside Agency, English Nature and Forestry Commission have been actively working with the Chilterns AONB which covers a major area of the

10 Jun 2002 : Column 952W

constituency, and other partners to develop sustainable approaches to ensuring the long-term prospects for the chalk grasslands and beech woodlands that contribute to the unique characteristic of the Chiltern landscape. This involves developing support mechanisms and incentives for the farming and forestry practices that will perpetuate these features, working with producers through to the marketing of end products.

Applications for the England rural development programme have been received from within Wycombe constituency. There has been one successful rural enterprise scheme project to date and there are currently two Countryside Stewardship Scheme agreements covering collectively approximately 8ha. In addition 97ha are currently being managed under the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme.

In addition to the ERDP there are continuing CAP payments for most farms in the constituency.

Next Section Index Home Page