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27 Jan 2005 : Column 453W—continued

External Suppliers

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tenders were let by her Department to external suppliers in the financial year 2003–04; and what the value was. [209100]

Alun Michael: From information held centrally, and for the financial year 2003–04, the Department let 761 tenders to external suppliers with a financial value of £296 million.

Farm Payments

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from what budget she plans to make good the shortfall between the compensation for the foot and mouth outbreak requested from the EU and the amount received in order to make the necessary compensation payments to farmers. [208106]

Mr. Bradshaw: The control and eradication of foot and mouth disease in 2001 was paid for out of HM Treasury's reserve. The cost of lower than anticipated EU receipts will be borne by the Exchequer.

Flood Prevention

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research
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her officials have undertaken into the preparation and implementation of the 2004 German flood protection legislation. [210852]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 January 2005]: My officials have not undertaken any direct research into the 2004 German Flood Control Act. However the Five-Point Programme, the framework upon which the legislation is based, adopts a similar approach to that taken in England on flood risk management. In particular:

Joint Federal Government/Lander flood defence programme.

This includes measures such as 'letting rivers spread out more' and controlling settlement development. In England we have recently consulted on a new strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management—'Making Space for Water', and have Planning Policy Guidance (PPG 25) to inform development decisions in flood risk areas.

Transnational Action Plans.

In particular this emphasises the need for flood defence measures to be progressed on a catchment area basis. Catchment Flood Management Plans are already well under way for the whole of England.

Progressing European co-operation.

The UK welcomes closer co-operation with Europe on such things as sharing information and best practice and undertaking joint research. Along with all member states, the UK adopted the European Flood Action Plan in 2004.

Immediate measures to improve flood defences.

The Five Point Programme includes a commitment to increase funding on flood defences, the appraisal of emergency planning arrangements and improved flood warning systems. Following the 2000 floods in England the Government increased funding significantly, from £310 million in 1996–97 up to a provision of £570 million in 2005–06; revised the Lead Department Plan on flooding and tested its effectiveness in June 2004 as part of Exercise Triton; and has recently approved the Environment Agency's new £226 million Flood Warning Strategy.

Growth Antibiotics

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her policy to seek to ban the use of antibiotics where the object is to promote farm animal growth. [210846]

Mr. Bradshaw: Article 11.2 or Regulation (EC) 1831/2003 introduces a ban on the sale and use of antibiotic growth promoters from 1 January 2006.

Oil Contamination

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many oil-related pollution incidents have occurred in each year since 1995 that were caused by leakage or spillage (a) from domestic oil tanks and (b) on industrial, commercial, agricultural or institutional premises. [210633]

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Mr. Morley: A table showing oil pollution incidents by premises type for the years 2001–03 is shown. Data for 2004 is not yet available and it is not possible to provide this breakdown for the period 1995–2000. However, overall figures for all oil pollution incidents show a significant decline since 2000 as follows:

Incidents in 2001 and 2002 where pollutant is Oils and Fuelsby premise type

Total incidents
Premises type200120022003
Incidents that had an impact on water (either Cat 1, 2 or 3)
Domestic and residential184311231
Other source104136120
Power generation and supply183521
Premises type not identified485330
Public administration152124
Retail sector788880
Service sector107170123
Waste management184338
Water industry364963
Category 1 incidents to water
Domestic and residential023
Other source010
Power generation and supply001
Not identified100
Public administration010
Retail sector202
Service sector041
Waste management100
Water industry014
Category 2 incidents to water
Domestic and residential15911
Other source5106
Power generation and supply021
Not identified200
Public administration426
Retail sector937
Service sector111913
Waste management043
Water industry052
Number of incidents where premises not known1,4891,879
(Cat 1=5,
Cat 2 =40)
(Cat 1=3,
Cat 2 =41)

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PM Group plc

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Minister of State for the Environment and Agri-Environment has visited the Bradford-based manufacturing facility of PM Group plc. [211203]

Mr. Morley: In the answer given to the hon. Member on 16 September 2004, Official Report, column 1678W, I noted that I had accepted an invitation to visit the PM Group plc's manufacturing facility. Owing to other commitments, that visit has not taken place. Instead, I will be meeting shortly in London, with representatives of the group for a demonstration of their waste weighing systems.


Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with (a) local authorities and (b) other stakeholders on how to encourage businesses to recycle their waste. [210089]

Mr. Morley: Ministers hold regular discussions with local authorities and other stakeholders on the whole range of waste issues, including the recycling of business waste.

For example I recently met the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Packaging (a group representing the packaging industry) and representatives from material organisations, trade associations, packaging compliance schemes and individual businesses.

Currently, the Government are consulting on new draft guidance for local authorities on the preparation of municipal waste management strategies. This guidance makes clear that local authorities, in their role as community leaders, may be able to encourage more sustainable management of waste in other sectors and should consider, in drafting their strategy, where there may be benefits from aligning municipal waste management services with the treatment of waste from other sectors.

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures her Department has taken to encourage the recycling of commercial waste. [210127]

Mr. Morley: The Government are taking a number of measures to encourage the recycling of commercial waste.

From 2005–06, landfill tax for active waste will increase by a minimum of £3 a tonne, to a medium to long-term rate of £35 per tonne. This will make recycling financially more attractive.

Additional revenue generated from the landfill tax will be redistributed to business through the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme to encourage and support resource efficiency, waste minimisation and diversion of waste away from landfill.

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) require producers to recover and recycle specified tonnages of
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packaging waste each year, so a significant amount of commercial waste is already being recycled to meet packaging targets.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) promotes resource efficiency, with a particular focus on creating stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and products and removing the barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.

The forthcoming batteries directive will require all types of waste batteries, including those in the commercial waste stream, to undergo a recycling process.

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