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29 Mar 2004 : Column 1205Wcontinued
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many roads used as public paths, as introduced under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, have been reclassified as byways open to all traffic in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 on the basis of (a) conclusive evidence of dedication as a public carriage road by the landowner and (b) circumstantial evidence of deemed dedication as a public carriage road by the landowner; and in each case, how many were inspected to ensure compliance with standards set out in Part 10 of the Highways Act 1980. 
Alun Michael: Information relating to the basis on which roads used as public paths have been reclassified is not held by local highway authorities in a form in which it can be readily retrieved. The requirement is for highway authorities to maintain byways open to all traffic (BOATS) in a condition that is fit for purpose rather than to meet a fixed statutory standard.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to ensure that the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management does not duplicate work already undertaken by other organisations. 
Mr. Morley: CoRWM has clearly stated terms of reference that require it to provide recommendations to UK Government and devolved Administrations on how best to manage the UK's higher activity radioactive waste in the long-term under the "Managing Radioactive Waste Safely" programme. These terms of reference may be viewed on the Committee's website, http://www.open.gov.uk/rwmac.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on long-term radioactive waste management of (a) the continued ownership of Nirex by the nuclear industry, (b) the ownership of Nirex by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and (c) making Nirex independent of the nuclear industry. 
Mr. Morley: We have asked the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) to provide the Government with recommendations on the best form of long-term management for the UK's higher activity radioactive waste. Government have stated their intent to make Nirex independent of industry and under greater Government control to allow an effective contribution to CoRWM's work. We are continuing to give consideration to the possibilities for this; when we are ready, an announcement will be made. In the meantime we are working to ensure Nirex continues to discharge its functions for the benefit of the public as well as its shareholders.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which 10 local authorities in England achieved the (a) highest and (b) lowest rates for household recycling in 200203. 
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Mr. Morley: The percentage of household waste recycled and composted by the 10 highest and lowest performing local authorities in England, for which the most recent data available are 200203, is presented in the following table:
|Local authority||Percentage of household waste recycled and composted in 200203(21)|
|Daventry district council||44|
|Lichfield district council||43|
|Wyre district council||33|
|Melton district council||31|
|Isle of Wight district council||31|
|St. Edmundsbury district council||30|
|Windsor and Maidenhead borough council29|
|Forest Heath district council||28|
|Chiltern district council(22)||27|
|Dorset county council(22)||27|
|Kettering district council||4|
|North Tyneside council||4|
|Rochdale metropolitan borough council||4|
|Corby district council||4|
|Tower Hamlets London borough||3|
|Bolsover district council||3|
|Hackney London borough||3|
|Sunderland city council||2|
|Barking and Dagenham London borough||2|
|Liverpool Metropolitan borough council||2|
(21) These data are published by ODPM and are available at www.bvpi.gov.uk. The level of household waste recycling in local authorities is the sum of Best Value Performance Indicator 82a and 82b (percentage of household waste sent for recycling and composting respectively).
(22) Joint tenth place.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what level of household recycling was achieved in each London borough in the latest year for which figures are available. 
|Local authority||Percentage of household waste recycled and composted in 200203(23)|
|City of London||14.5|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||8.5|
|Kensington and Chelsea||7.9|
|Barking and Dagenham||2.2|
(23) These data are published by ODPM and are available at www.bvpi.gov.uk. The level of household waste recycling in local authorities equates to the addition of BV82a (sent for recycling) and BV82b (sent for composting).
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Mr. Morley: The Secretary of State has powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to act where authorities are failing to deliver best value. She may consider using these powers to require an authority to make the necessary arrangements to ensure that Statutory Performance Standards for recycling and composting are met.
The starting point would be to invite the authority to submit an action plan setting out how it proposed to meet the standard by a given deadline. If the plan were considered unsatisfactory, follow-up action could range from inviting consultants to provide advice to the authority, to the Secretary of State taking over the waste management duties of the authority until such time as sufficient improvement is secured and can be sustainably maintained by the authority. Any of these steps is likely to have financial consequences for the authority.
We have, however, made clear that we will only use intervention powers as a last resort, and have established a Local Authority Support Unit in Defra's Waste Implementation Programme to assist local authorities in meeting their targets.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action her Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have sufficient funds to promote home-based waste separation for recycling. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 March 2004]: Local authority waste management services are funded through the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS) block. Spending Review 2002 increased provision by £671 million over the three years to 200506 and we will again be considering the quantum of funding as part of Spending Review 2004. In addition, on 6 January I announced that Defra will be
29 Mar 2004 : Column 1208W
distributing a share of a £20 million grant to all local authorities in England to address the pressure each faces to invest in waste management services in 200405.
Within Defra we have also established the Waste Implementation Programme (WIP), investing in strategic measures to help authorities to divert waste from landfill. Through the Waste Minimisation and Recycling ('Challenge') Fund, WIP provides funds for local authorities to implement projects that improve recycling infrastructure in their area. Many of these projects improve the design and coverage of kerbside recycling schemes, including household separation. In 200304 the Challenge Fund has distributed £62.5 million to 14 big-ticket 'partnership' projects, and £43.3 million to 51 smaller projects.
WIP has made £30 million available to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) for communications and awareness work directly focused on increasing participation in recycling and waste minimisation initiatives. A significant proportion has been allocated to a new fund, targeted at communications projects delivered at local level, primarily by local authorities, including:
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action her Department is taking to ensure that local authorities meet their objectives for home based waste separation for recycling within the EU timeframe. 
In England, the Household Waste Recycling Act requires that waste collection authorities, except in certain circumstances, collect at least two types of recyclable material separate from the residual waste by December 2010.
In addition, local authorities in England have statutory targets in place to ensure that the national targets for increasing the recycling or composting rate to 25 per cent. by 2005, 30 per cent. by 2010 and 33 per cent. by 2015, are met. The Government-funded Waste Resources Action Programme is establishing a programme of advice and training for local authorities to improve collection systems for recyclable materials and organic wastes.
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