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Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether departmental special advisers have made appearances before parliamentary select committees in their official capacity since May 1997. 
Alun Michael: Details on the names and number of special advisers by pay band by department are published on annual basis. For information for the financial year 200304, I refer the hon. Member to the statement given by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 22 July 2004, Official Report, column 466W.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions between 31 March 2002 and 31 March 2003 her special advisers travelled abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
Alun Michael: All travel by the special advisers has been undertaken in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code. During this period the special advisers have visited, in an official capacity, the following places/countries at a cost of:
|1015 April 2002||USA and Canada||6,062.30|
|38 June 2002||Indonesia||5,142.40|
|2425 June 2002||Luxembourg||875.00|
|27 June 2002||Luxembourg||659.00|
|15 July 2002||Belgium||452.70|
|26 August-4 September 2002||South Africa||3,272.00|
|12 September 2002||Belgium||480.00|
|1617 October 2002||Luxembourg||578.00|
|2122 October 2002||France||450.00|
|26 October-2 November 2002||India||3,438.20|
|910 December 2002||Belgium||542.50|
|24 February 2003||USA||4,202.86|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the review of the State Veterinary Service; when it will end; if she will publish all the evidence collated; and what format the review is taking. 
The review into the State Veterinary Service (SVS) was carried out at the end of 2003 and a full report produced earlier in 2004. The report was issued for public consultation in July. It recommended
10 Jan 2005 : Column 180W
that SVS should become an Executive Agency on 1 April 2005 and that, subsequently, a number of smaller, related Inspectorates might be brought into the new Agency.
On 29 November I announced a decision to proceed with the plan to launch the new Agency subject to Ministers' agreement to the final proposals, which are being put together now. A Chief Executive (Designate) has been appointed and is in post.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many civil servants from her Department have (a) faced disciplinary proceedings as a result of allegations of theft, (b) been charged with theft and (c) been dismissed following theft allegations in each year since 1997. 
|Number of staff who faced disciplinary proceedings as a result of allegations of theft||Number of staff charged with theft||Number of staff dismissed following theft allegations|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her proposals for tenancy reform for agricultural holdings following the recent statement by the Parliamentary Under Secretary at Smithfield Show on the future of its Tenancy Reform Referendum Group. 
Alun Michael: The Government are taking forward all of the recommendations of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group for amendment to the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995. A consultation document on a draft Regulatory Reform Order on tenancy reform was issued at the end of September, which, if adopted, would implement the legislative changes recommended by the Group.
In co-operation with the Tenancy Reform Industry Group, the Government have also published a Code of Good Practice on agri-environment schemes and diversification within agricultural tenancies. The aim of the Code is to increase tenant farmer participation in agri-environment schemes and diversified activities by providing a framework for landlords and tenants to follow when considering these projects. Government are
10 Jan 2005 : Column 181W
providing funding of £60,000 per year over four years for an adjudication scheme to back up the Code of Practice, where landlords and tenants are unable to reach agreement.
The Government have welcomed the valuable role the Tenancy Reform Industry Group has played in advising Government on tenancy issues. We intend to continue to use the experience and knowledge of the Group to steer through our programme of tenancy reform. The Group will also play a role in monitoring the effectiveness of the Code of Good Practice and the impact of the Single Payment on landlord/tenant relationships. There are no plans to disband the Group at present.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the current budget is for the Waste Implementation Programme; how many people are employed by the Programme; and if she will list the achievements of the qualitative and quantative Programme. 
Mr. Morley: Budget 2003 announced that, as part of the reform of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, approximately £84/92/92 million had been allocated to the new Waste Implementation Programme (WIP) in England for the financial years 200304, 200405 and 200506. Currently, 80 people are employed by WIP, of which 55 work for the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which is a key delivery agent for significant elements of the programme.
WIP has been very successful in prioritising close engagement with local authorities and the waste industry to create a stronger understanding of the opportunities and challenges that sustainable waste management presents, and to stimulate the development of essential expertise. Data from the latest Municipal Waste Management Survey show 14.5 per cent. of household waste was collected for recycling in 200203, up from 12.5 per cent. in 200102. Taking account of the growing contribution that WIP is making to improved performance by local authorities in meeting their statutory waste targets, the Government believes that the national 200304 target of 17 per cent. recycling or composting will now be met.
the allocation of over £100 million in challenge funding to local authorities, paving the way for new investment in recycling infrastructure, and approval of a number of major waste PFI projects capable of exceeding EU Landfill Directive targets;
the successful launch of a pilot scheme for new sustainable waste management technologies for dealing with those wastes which are not readily reduced, reused or recycled (with industry partners to take forward the development of the first phase of pilot plants now clearly identified);
the award of £1.36 million worth of funding for research focused on new ways to divert biodegradable municipal waste from landfill under a Technologies Research and Innovation Fund, which is part of WIP's New Technologies programme;
provision of extra funding to local authorities for specialist consultancy supportworth approximately £3 millionto help in tackling specific local barriers to improved recycling performance. Nearly 300 authorities will receive support under this scheme;
the launch of a new national recycling campaign, aimed at raising public awareness about recycling and pushing England's recycling rate to a higher level. WIP is also supporting over 100 local authority campaigns being delivered this year and in 2005, which are focused directly on increasing participation in local recycling facilities;
ongoing delivery of a comprehensive and responsive programme of centrally co-ordinated support to local authorities that helps them to deliver their targets and other sustainable waste management objectives, including the launch of web-based advice and best practice guidance. Action at a local level is also being delivered through WRAP'S Recycling and Organics Technical Advisory Team, which provides a free advisory service to support English local authorities in the implementation and improvement of kerbside collection systems;
the launch of a Waste Minimisation Innovation Fund, aimed at providing support for retailer-led innovation projects. The fund will provide resources (research, pilot programmes, professional services) for projects leading to a reduction in household food and packaging waste originating from the retail sector; and,
providing increased support for local authorities to deliver around £300 million worth of efficiency gains on waste services mainly by more effective joint working, promoting best practice, and standardisation of procurement operations.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of commercial and industrial waste were produced in (a) 19992000, (b) 200001, (c) 200102 and (d) 200203; and how much of this was recycled. 
Mr. Morley: The last survey of industrial and commercial waste was 199899 so no data are available for years requested. The Environment Agency have undertaken another and results for 200203 will be available early in 2005.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of agricultural waste were produced in each of (a) 1999, (b) 2000, (c) 2001, (d) 2002 and (e) 2003. 
On 9 December I announced that the Government had published for consultation the draft Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, Official Report, column 106WS. One of the main purposes of the draft regulations is to repeal the current
10 Jan 2005 : Column 183W
exclusion in section 75(7)(c) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and to apply to agricultural waste the national controls that are already in place to comply with the Waste Framework Directive and the Landfill Directive. The consultation paper is available in the Library of the House and on my Department's website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/agwaste-regs/index.htm.
Because agricultural waste is currently excluded from waste management controls the data requested are not available. However, the consultation paper includes a Regulatory Impact Assessment which estimates agricultural waste arisings in England and Wales to be about 355,304 tonnes per annum; and provides the source of that estimate.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of construction and demolition waste were produced in (a) 19992000, (b) 200001, (c) 200102 and (d) 200203; and how much of this was recycled. 
Mr. Morley: Information on construction and demolition waste is collected in an ODPM survey and published on the website at: http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/grouDS/odpm planning/documents/page/odpm plan 032244.pdf
|Recycled through crushers/screens||24.4||43.3||44.4|
|Spread on exempt sites||19.0||22.4||16.4|
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the household waste stream was hazardous in the last period for which figures are available; and how much of it was sent to landfill. 
Mr. Morley: The household hazardous waste forum has estimated that hazardous waste comprises some 1 per cent. of the household waste stream. The most recent municipal waste management survey, which is available on the Defra website, records that 75 per cent. of municipal waste was sent to landfill in 200203 in England.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the merits of extending producer responsibility to waste streams not currently covered by producer responsibility legislation. 
Negotiations are underway with the Periodical Publishers Association for a voluntary producer responsibility (PR) agreement to increase the
10 Jan 2005 : Column 184W
recycling of post-consumer magazines. This agreement will be similar to the voluntary agreements that the Department has already signed with the Newspaper Publishers Association and the Direct Marketing Association.
We also have it in mind to develop a producer responsibility agreement to increase the collection and recycling of non-packaging farm plastics once the current consultation is completed on the draft Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 Official Report, column 106WS. The consultation paper is available in the Library of the House and on my Department's website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/aqwaste-regs/index.htm.
Chapter 8 of the consultation paper discusses the introduction of a voluntary or statutory producer responsibly scheme for the collection and recovery of non-packaging plastic waste from farms. Views are invited by 18 March 2005. Plastic packaging waste from farms and elsewhere is already the subject of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulatons 1997 (as amended).
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what thresholds she has set for determining the amounts of different types of hazardous waste which may be present in the municipal waste stream while still allowing it to be classified as non-hazardous municipal waste. 
Mr. Morley: Mixed municipal waste is classified on the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) under the code 20 03 01. This is a non-hazardous entry, and the use of thresholds does not apply. However, if the components of municipal waste are separately collected, some of these separately collected fractions will be classed as hazardous waste under chapter 20 01 of the EWC, and will be marked with an asterisk to distinguish them from the non-hazardous entries. The use of threshold concentrations for dangerous substances will be relevant to some of these waste streams. Further guidance is given in the Environment Agency's comprehensive guide to the classification of hazardous waste (WM2) available at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/444217/590750/590821/502174/496498/?lang=e
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