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4 Jun 2003 : Column 409W—continued


Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) the carcasses of all deer found and (b) deer culled on the Baronsdown Deer Sanctuary will have to be disposed of at an appropriate plant under the EU Animal By-Products Regulation. [115251]

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Mr. Morley: The carcases, or parts of carcases, of wild animals, including wild deer, are exempt from the scope of the Regulation unless they are thought to be diseased or are used to produce game trophies. However, the carcases from other deer would have to be disposed of via a disposal route permitted under the Regulation e.g. by rendering or incineration.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether her Department is carrying out a welfare study of the deer at the Baronsdown Deer Sanctuary; [115254]

Mr. Morley: The Baronsdown Deer Sanctuary was inspected by officials of the State Veterinary Service on 1 April 2003. The detailed findings of the inspection are confidential to the managers of the Sanctuary.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the State Veterinary Service has required that all deer carcases found or deer culled on the Baronsdown Deer Sanctuary be subject to post mortem examination by a qualified veterinary surgeon. [115258]

Mr. Morley: The State Veterinary Service has not required all deer carcases found at Baronsdown Deer Sanctuary to be subject to a post mortem. The deer at Baronsdown are wild animals and it would not be usual for the State Veterinary Service to arrange post mortems on wild deer (these would not normally be examined unless they were intended for sale for human consumption). A veterinary inquiry pursuant to the provisions of article 6 of the Tuberculosis (Deer) Order 1989 would be undertaken only if the information received indicated that this was appropriate.

Environmental Protection

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to make large industrial companies responsible for their immediate environmental surroundings; and what plans she has to strengthen regulations. [115151]

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Mr. Meacher: Many industrial activities in Great Britain are currently regulated under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This introduced the systems of Integrated Pollution Control, which controlled releases to all environmental media, and Local Air Pollution Control, which controlled releases to air only.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 were made under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 and will eventually replace Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Regulations implement the European Community (EC) Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) in so far as it relates to installations in England and Wales.

The IPPC regime applies an integrated environmental approach to the regulation of certain industrial activities. This means that emissions to air, water (including discharges to sewer) and land, plus a range of other environmental effects, must be considered together. It also means that regulators must set permit conditions so as to achieve a high level of protection for the environment as a whole. These conditions are based on the use of the 'Best Available Techniques' (BAT), which balances the costs to the operator against the benefits to the environment. IPPC aims to prevent emissions and waste production and where that is not practicable, reduce them to acceptable levels. IPPC also takes the integrated approach beyond the initial task of permitting, through to the restoration of sites when industrial activities cease.

Separate systems have been introduced to apply the IPPC Directive to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the offshore oil and gas industries. Regulation of industrial pollution in Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the appropriate Ministers in these devolved administrations.

Fish Stocks

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment has been made of the (a) size and (b) future of fish stocks in UK waters; which European countries have permission to have fishing fleets in UK waters; and what recent discussions she has had with representatives from these countries regarding conserving fish supply. [115155]

Mr. Morley: The International Council for Exploration of the Sea's Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management produces advice every year on the state of a range of fish stocks in EU waters and the waters of third countries, as well as international waters. The most recent advice was produced last October.

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany have limited access to fish in UK waters in the six to 12 mile zone, in line with their historic rights. The Faroe Islands and Norway also have access to certain UK waters under the terms of the bilateral fisheries agreements with the EU.

I regularly speak to these and other EU member states , and last did so at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 26 May 2003.

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Flood Defence

Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) total remuneration and (b) benefits will be received by the Chairman of the Wessex Flood Control Committee. [115596]

Mr. Morley: The Chairman will receive £15,195 per annum based on a time input of five days per month. This payment is not pensionable.

He may in addition claim travel and subsistence expenses incurred away from his normal place of work, and any other expenses necessarily incurred on business in line with the expenses guidance for Committee Chairmen issued by the Environment Agency.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the job description is of the chairman of the Wessex Flood Defence Committee; and how many hours per week he is contracted for. [115597]

Mr. Morley: The specification sent to applicants stated as follows:

The Chairman of the Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committee is appointed on the basis of five days input per month.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what safeguards there are to prevent conflicts of interest by Flood Defence Committee chairmen. [115598]

Mr. Morley: This is explored at interview with candidates, who are asked to make sure that there are no conflicts of interest.

Chairmen are issued with various guidance documents along with their formal instrument of appointment, including: Cabinet Office Guidance on Codes of Practice for Members of Public Bodies; and guidance on political activities.

Their letter of appointment specifically says that they "should avoid situations in which their official duties and private interests conflict or where there would be a

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suspicion of conflict. Relevant interests should be entered in the Register of Interests maintained by the Environment Agency and the entry kept up to date. Guidance on conflicts of interest will be provided by the Environment Agency and should be adhered to". The letter also informs them of the provisions of the House of Commons Disqualification Act.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people applied for the post of Wessex Flood Defence Committee Chairman. [115600]

Mr. Morley: Twenty.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) employment and (b) membership of political parties was declared by the new chairman of the Wessex Flood Defence Committee. [115601]

Mr. Morley: Humphrey Temperley declared that he is currently Executive Director of the European Nature Trust. He was at the time of application Chair of the Parrett Catchment Project Management Group. Since then he has informed us that he has resigned the position with a replacement chair taking over from 7 May 2003. He has also informed us that he will be terminating his consultancy contract with the Group from 30 June 2003.

Other positions declared by Mr. Temperley were: Executive Chair of Somerset Flood Defence Committee since July 2000, following membership of the committee since 1985; Corporate Performance Assessor (Part-time) for the Audit Commission 2002–03; self employed consultant providing environmental policy advice; Chair of Exmoor National Park Authority 1993–2001; Chair of Somerset County Council 2000–01; CountyCouncillor 1985–2001; District Councillor 1983–1999. Current voluntary interests: Chair Corporate Forum for National Parks; Co-opted Council member, Council for National Parks; Trustee of two small charitable environmental trusts; Member, Exmoor Consultative Forum and the Exmoor Society; Member, England Forestry Forum; Member, SWRDA rural policy advisory group.

In relation to political involvement, Mr Temperley stated that he was an elected County and District Councillor 1983–2001; Yeovil Constituency Chair for two years; Parliamentary candidate for Wells, 1992; and politically inactive since 2000. Mr. Temperley said that his activity was undertaken for the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Chairman of the Wessex Flood Defence Committee will take up his post. [115602]

Mr. Morley: On 1 July 2003, for a three year period.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the need to increase the Thames flood defence measures as part of the planning for the Thames Gateway project; and if she will make a statement. [115797]

Mr. Morley: The government recognises that flood risk management is crucial to the successful development of the Thames Gateway. In order to

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improve understanding of the likely effect of the Thames Gateway construction on existing and future flood management arrangements, my department has consulted with the Environment Agency. As a result, the Agency has accelerated plans for a strategic flood risk assessment of the Thames Gateway Zones of Change.

This study is scheduled for completion at the end of May 2003, but early indications are that cost effective and sustainable flood risk management within the Thames Gateway, can be achieved by creative and intelligent planning and design. This will require close partnership working between the government and all agencies and developers involved. This strategic approach also opens up opportunities for significant enhancement of the environment that would not be possible if development is undertaken in an uncoordinated way. There are financial and environmental benefits to be gained from developing the Thames Gateway in a careful and sustainable way, including building flood defences at the time of development rather than later, or by allowing sufficient space for future defence construction in the development.

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