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15 Jan 2003 : Column 617W—continued

Radioactive Waste Management

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what participation her Department plans to have in the European Commission's Net.excel network of EU-based organisations responsible for radioactive waste management. [86139]

Mr. Meacher: Net.excel is an existing thematic network of excellence in nuclear waste management and disposal set up under the Euratom fifth framework programme for nuclear research and training. The consortium consists of eight radioactive waste management organisations from across Europe—Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Nirex from the UK. This Department has no direct participation, but we will be kept informed of the work leading to the report to the Commission towards the end of 2003.


Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the ERM consultations on Government timber procurement has been completed; and if she will place a copy in the Library. [89672]

Mr. Meacher: The consultants have completed the timber scoping study that was commissioned by my officials in October 2001. Summaries of the open discussions held with stakeholders on 25 March and 2 September 2002 can be found at the Tropical Forest Forum website at: It also holds a copy of the consultant's report of the study giving their recommendations for implementing more fully our commitment on timber procurement. A copy of the various documents will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures have been taken by her Department since April 2002 to ensure full implementation of Government policy on timber; and if she will make a statement. [89673]

Mr. Meacher: Since April 2002 the Government have concentrated on raising awareness of its timber procurement policy among central departments and the

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wider public sector and has begun to take action following completion of the scoping study undertaken by consultants. Some of the key measures taken are:

Waste Recycling

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how (1) much his Department has allocated for waste recycling projects undertaken by (a) local authorities, (b) non-profit making organisations and (c) industry in financial years (i) 2002–03 and (ii) 2003–04; [90450]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 January 2003]: I have been asked to reply.

The main source of funding for local authority waste services is through the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS) Standard Spending Assessment (SSA).

The EPCS SSA provides for a wide range of local authority services including libraries, local transport and flood defence, as well as waste. In total, the provision for the block is:

Provision for waste services is not separately identified within the total.

We have provided #50 million additional funding for 2002–03 and #90 million for 2003–04 through a #140 million Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund to encourage local authorities to expand recycling operations in their area.

A high proportion of our PFI funding supports recycling as set out in the criteria of September 2000. #220 million was allocated to PFI in Spending Review 2000 for the three years up to 2003–04. #70 million was allocated in the financial year 2002–03 and #100 million in 2003–04. These represent capital sums and not the revenue payments associated with them.

We have provided funding for two projects from the Environmental Action Fund (EAF) in 2002–03 under the 'Understanding and Awareness' heading. #200,000 has been awarded to the Community Recycling

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Network and #30,750 to the Recycling Consortium in 2002–03. The funding allocation through the EAF for 2003–04 has not yet been announced.

Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), a non-profit making organisation funded by DEFRA, spent #210,000 in 2002–03 on waste recycling projects: (#150,000 on textile recycling and #60,000 through its Pathfinder programme). ENCAMS do not have any waste recycling projects scheduled for 2003–04.

DEFRA contribute #10,225 million for each of the years 2002–03 and 2003–04 to the Waste and Resources Action Programme to work with the commercial and industrial sectors to create stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and products and removing the barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.


Industry Haulage

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with European colleagues regarding European road and rail haulage and drivers. [90370]

Mr. Jamieson: Discussions have taken place on the Commission's proposed Second Railway Package of legislative measures published in January 2002. This package aims to complete the liberalisation of the rail freight market, and to progress technical harmonisation of the EU rail network—including the processes to be followed to ensure the safety competence of train operators' staff.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals there are to reform the EU Working Time Directive for drivers on long distance haulage to cut out dead time and to recast drivers' duties; and if he will make a statement. [90369]

Mr. Jamieson: There are two directives that will affect the working time of long distance haulage drivers. The most important is called the Xorganisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities" (2002/15/EC). This is due to be implemented into UK law by 23 March 2005. It will introduce an average 48 hour working week, a limit of 60 hours for a single week and a 10 hour daily limit for night workers. Both sides of industry are being consulted on how this directive should be implemented into UK law and we plan to launch a wider consultation exercise later this year.

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The Department of Trade and Industry plan to implement an amending directive (2000/34/EC) to the original working time directive (93/104/EC) later this year. This will extend working time legislation into previously excluded sectors, including transport. Under this directive, all drivers will be entitled to four weeks paid annual leave and night workers will get regular health assessments.

Avia Solutions

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 7 January, ref 88280, (1) what payments have been made to Avia Solutions in connection with work undertaken in relation to his consultation on the future development of air transport in the United Kingdom; and what future payments to Avia Solutions his Department has contracted for; [90481]

Mr. Jamieson: Avia Solutions are contracted to manage the analysis of the consultation responses received in respect of all areas of the United Kingdom, including that from Redhill Aerodrome Limited, as part of the ongoing air transport consultation. The analysis will be carried out by a team comprising civil servants and retained consultants with expertise in a range of relevant areas. The contract value is around #550,000.

To date Avia Solutions have been paid about #700,000 for earlier work in support of the air transport consultation.

The Department has not contracted Avia Solutions to undertake any other work in respect of possible development of Redhill Aerodrome.

Capita Group

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the contracts that have been awarded to the Capita Group by his Department. [89975]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department currently has the following contract with the Capita Group:

In addition to the above the following contracts have been placed with Capita by DfT Agencies:

Driving Standards AgencyDesign, build, installation and operation of a computer system for the booking of the Practical Driving Test and associated services, and the supply and maintenance of the Agency's IT/IS infrastructure.
Highways AgencyConsultancy Services Framework for the provision of Human Resources advice and professional services.
Consultancy Framework for the provision of construction and design services.
Provision of safety engineering professional services.
Traffic monitoring services.
Framework Agreement for audit and measurement services.
Design and supervision of A66 Stainburn to Great Clifton Bypass trunk road contract.

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