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19 Jan 2005 : Column 948W—continued


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what sanctions can be used against local authorities which have failed to test private water supplies for pesticides since 1991. [208310]

Mr. Morley: Local authorities have a duty in section 77 Water Industry Act 1991, to keep themselves informed of the wholesomeness and sufficiency of public and private water supplies to premises in their areas.

In addition, authorities have a duty in the Private Water Supplies Regulations 1991 to monitor at prescribed frequencies for pesticides in larger supplies, and to monitor for pesticides in smaller supplies from time to time in order to ascertain and record the extent to which pesticides are present.
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The Drinking Water Inspectorate have inspected some local authorities' arrangements for monitoring private water supplies, including collation of information gathered about monitoring for pesticides.

Local authorities are subject to the courts' judicial control. It is for an individual affected to bring proceedings in appropriate circumstances.

An individual can also apply to the Local Government Ombudsman if he or she has an unresolved complaint.

Stray Dog Service

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has recently (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the ability of local authorities (i) to fund and (ii) to manage a 24 hour stray dog service, with particular reference to setting the level of fines for breaches of dog control orders. [208336]

Alun Michael: The Local Government Association is currently evaluating the cost to local authorities of assuming sole responsibility for stray dogs, and any transfer of responsibility for dealing with stray dogs at night from the police to local authorities will be accompanied by an appropriate transfer of resources. Local authorities will not be expected to fund additional responsibilities for stray dogs from receipts from fixed penalties issued for breach of dog control orders.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much correspondence and of what nature, the Department has received in each of the last three years for which figures are available from producers and suppliers in respect of their relationship with large supermarket companies, with particular reference to contracts and the relationships throughout the supply chain. [208806]

Alun Michael: Over the last three years the Department has received various pieces of correspondence from producers and suppliers on a range of subjects that will have mentioned in various context matters to do with their relations with large supermarket companies. However, the Department does not maintain a record of the amount of such correspondence received.


Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress on the Government programme for use of timber products which are legal and sustainably grown. [209377]

Mr. Morley: In July 2000 the Government made a commitment that its central Departments and their executive agencies would seek to purchase their timber and timber products from legal and sustainable sources. Since then the Government has commissioned research and advice on implementing this policy, undertaken consultation with stakeholders, raised the awareness of central Departments, promoted the policy to the wider
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public sector, published guidance and commenced the development of a central point of expertise on timber (CPET).

The Sustainable Development in Government Reports provide an indication of the progress being made by central Departments in England. The Third Annual Report 2004 reveals that certified products accounted for 71 per cent. of the money spent on construction timber and 78 per cent. of the money spent on manufactured timber products during the financial year 2003–04. Much of the uncertified timber purchased was supplied with some evidence of legal and sustainable sources. For the preceding financial year 2002–03 Departments reported that certified products accounted for approximately 50 per cent. of their spend on all timber products and that there was some evidence that much of the uncertified timber came from legal and sustainable sources.

The CPET is being developed in phases. Phase 1 was completed in November 2004 and provided an assessment of the extent to which five forest certification schemes provide Government buyers with assurance that legal and sustainable timber has been procured. Phase 2 of CPET will provide a help line service for public sector buyers and their suppliers. A pilot scheme is currently in operation and will provide information that will assist the Government in developing a full service. The Government expects the Phase 2 Help Line service to be operational before autumn 2005.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will incorporate social criteria involving impacts on indigenous forest people into official programmes for responsible timber use. [209378]

Mr. Morley: The Government's timber procurement policy is aimed, in part, at helping to improve the well being of forest dependent peoples throughout the world. The Government is asking its timber suppliers to provide independent verification that their timber was legally harvested and preferably grown in well-managed forests. In many producing countries the forest laws will help to protect indigenous people's rights, customs and livelihoods. The application of certification scheme standards and equivalent standards that provide assurance of sustainable forest management will add to that protection in many instances.

The Government does not place contractual obligations on its suppliers to take direct action to protect indigenous people because the Government understands that to do so would be in contravention of EU procurement directives. EU procurement law prohibits the specification of criteria that are not strictly relevant to the performance of a contract. Specifications must relate to what is being procured rather than to the people or undertakings that produce what is being procured.


Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion
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of municipal waste was (a) composted, (b) recycled and (c) sent to incineration facilities in (i) 2000–2001, (ii) 2001–02 and (iii) 2002–03; and what the equivalent figures were for (A) France, (B) Denmark, (C) the Netherlands, (D) Germany and (E) Austria. [206827]

Mr. Morley: The available data are shown as follows.
Municipal waste

Percentage of municipal waste sent for:
United Kingdom387
United Kingdom387
United Kingdom4118

n/a = Not available.
Waste statistics on EU countries are from the Eurostat website which can be accessed through

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on average, how many kilograms of waste were (a) recycled, (b) diverted from landfill and (c) sent to energy from waste facilities per household in (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) Austria, (iii) Germany, (iv) Denmark and (v) Sweden in the last year for which figures are available. [206843]

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Mr. Morley: The latest available data are shown as follows:
Kilograms of municipal waste per capita
Recycled/compostedEnergy from wasteDiverted from landfill
2002–03United Kingdom8746120

1. Figures are shown per capita which is the usual basis for international comparisons.
2. Waste statistics on EU countries are available from the Eurostat website which can be accessed through

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will make an announcement on the operation of the Waste Performance Reward Grant for 2005–06. [209154]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 January 2005]: On 9 December 2004 Defra announced a three-year targeted waste performance and efficiency grant of £260 million to support new and more efficient ways to deliver waste reduction, increase recycling and diversion from landfill. As announced in Defra's five year strategy on 8 December 2004, £5 million of the 2005–06 allocation will focus specifically on local authority incentives for households to recycle and reduce waste. This Grant replaces the waste performance reward grant. Details of the grant, including allocations to individual local authorities, were made available on 9 December, and no further announcements are planned.

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