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18 Dec 2003 : Column 1014W—continued

CABINET OFFICE

Civil Service

Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether members of the Senior Civil Service are required to report an invitation to take up an external appointment in industry and commerce received whilst serving, and to whom; what restrictions they are subject to; and what obligations there are with regard to appointments in industry and commerce taken up once they have retired from their civil service posts. [143688]

Mr. Alexander: All civil servants are subject to rules on the acceptance of outside appointments. These rules are set out in Section 4.3 annexes A & B of the Civil Service Management Code, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

Mr. Flight: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many new recruits there were to the civil service in each year since 1997. [144657]

Mr. Alexander: The number of new recruits to the civil service between 1996–97 and 2001–02 are shown in the following table. The figures shown are on a headcount basis and apply to non-industrial civil servants only. The figures cover information on 98 per cent. of civil servants, based on data collected on individuals and held in a central database. Information on the remainder is only collected in aggregate form.

More detailed information on entrants to the civil service is published annually in 'Civil Service Statistics', copies of which are laid in the Libraries of both Houses. The last edition, based on April 2002 data, was published in July 2003.

Entrants to the civil service 1996–97 to 2001–02
Non-industrials

Of which
Total recruitsNew recruitmentRe-instatement tothe civil service
1996–9729,00027,9101,090
1997–9826,64025,970670
1998–9929,77029,230540
1999–200038,70037,900800
2000–0131,53030,4501,080
2001–0238,80038,290510

Notes:

Figures are on a headcount basis and apply to non-industrials only.

Source:

Civil Service Statistics


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ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Landfill

Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether, following the reform of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the resulting funds are to be made available to the community waste and recycling sector. [143987]

Mr. Morley: A sustainable waste delivery public spending programme, administered by Defra, has been established following the reform of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme (LTCS) in April 2003, to ensure that sustainable alternatives to landfill disposal are widely available. The funds are being administered by the Waste Implementation Programme.

Plans for expenditure under the Programme are at various stages of development and execution. So far, for example, a review has been commissioned to identify any former LTCS projects which, if continued with Defra funding, would support the Programme's objectives. Similarly, the Programme will fund relevant waste research and community groups will be able to bid for those funds.

Warm Front Initiative

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average length of time taken to supply equipment to households under the Warm Front initiative has been; and if she will make a statement. [141941]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has contracts with two scheme managers, Eaga Partnership and Powergen Warm Front Ltd. for the delivery of Warm Front. Heating materials are provided under separate contracts with two suppliers who have sub-contracts with a number of manufacturers.

Following survey of a property, the average time taken to install measures ranges between 4 to 6 months for heating and 2 to 3 months for insulation.

30-month Scheme

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to lift the market restrictions on beef from cattle over 30 months old. [143610]

Mr. Bradshaw: Ministers are still considering the FSA advice on replacing the OTM Rule and the OTM Scheme with testing. Defra has commissioned a study co-ordinated by the MLC (involving all sectors of the meat chain) to investigate the impact on the beef market of any changes to the OTM rule and OTMS exit. The Government are also investigating with the EU Commission the possibility of introducing an underpinning temporary market support measure to insure against any disruption to the market.

Abandoned Cars

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of abandoned cars were set alight in the UK in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [143843]

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Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

In England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) conducted a Municipal Waste Management Survey in 2001–02 which estimated that 292,900 abandoned vehicles were removed and destroyed by local authorities. No data are available for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for that year.

An analysis of national fire statistics shows that in 2001–02 an estimated 22,700 fires occurred in vehicles that had previously been abandoned. This estimate represents 8 per cent. of all abandoned vehicles removed and destroyed, as recorded by the Defra survey.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many vehicles she expects to be abandoned in each year before the End of Life Vehicles Directive is fully enforced. [143957]

Mr. Morley: It is not possible to estimate how many vehicles will be abandoned in the period leading up to January 2007, from which time producers will be required to take back end of life vehicles at no cost to the owner.

Vehicle abandonment rates will be dependent on a number of factors, including the price of scrap metal.

The Government have introduced a range of measures, including the advent of continuous registration in January 2004, which will enable local authorities to tackle abandoned vehicles effectively and make it much harder for last owners to evade responsibility for their vehicles.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total average cost per car was of disposal of end of life vehicles in the last 12 months for which figures are available [143955]

Mr. Morley: Based on estimated disposal costs of between £30 and £50 per vehicle, the total cost of disposal for end of life vehicles in the financial year 2001–02 was between £8.79 million and £14.65 million.

Air Quality

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action her Department is undertaking to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide around Heathrow airport. [143793]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Air Quality Strategy sets out the Government's policies and measures to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide and other key air pollution throughout the UK in general. Various emissions sources may contribute to levels of nitrogen dioxide in the Heathrow area. The Department is working with other departments, local authorities and other organisations concerned to secure improvements.

Emissions arising in mainland Europe can contribute significantly to concentrations in London and the South East. Reductions agreed under the National Emission Ceiling Directive in UK and in other member states will cut emissions of oxide of nitrogen and other air pollutants at source.

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Measures to cut emissions from transport include tighter vehicle emission and fuel standards, fuel duty differentials and schemes to promote the wider use of greener fuels and vehicles. The 10-year transport plan sets out measures to improve public transport, to cut congestion and to reduce air pollution. The UK is working through the International Civil Aviation Organisation to reduce emissions from aviation. Under a condition in the planning permission for the Fifth Terminal at Heathrow BAA plc are required to produce and review an action plan to minimise emissions—their Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan was published in April 2002 and is currently being reviewed.

Under their statutory duties for air quality, the three local authorities adjacent to Heathrow have declared Air Quality Management Areas in the vicinity of the airport and are now developing action plans in order to improve local air quality.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets her Department has set to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide by (a) 2005 and (b) 2010. [143823]

Mr. Bradshaw: The national Air Quality Strategy, published in 2000, sets a one hour mean air quality objective for nitrogen dioxide of 200 micrograms per cubic metre not be exceeded more than 18 times per year and an annual mean of 40 micrograms per cubic metre, both to be achieved by 31 December 2005. These objectives, together with objectives for six other air pollutants, are prescribed in the Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000. Local authorities are required to review and assess the objectives and, where these are unlikely to be met, to work towards the achievement. European Council Directive 99/30/EC sets similar limit values for nitrogen dioxide which members states are required to achieve by 2010. The limit values have been implemented by the Air Quality Limit Values Regulations 2003.


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