Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has evaluated on the effects of the consumption of genetically modified maize MON863 on the health of (a) rats and (b) humans. 
The advisory committee on animal feedingstuffs examined a rat feeding study concerning MON863 and concluded that it did not indicate any adverse effects.
14 Jun 2005 : Column 242W
The European Food Safety Authority also reviewed the application for genetically modified maize MON863, including a critique of a rat feeding study, and concluded that MON863 would not have any adverse affect on human health.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of incinerators that will be constructed over the next five years in (a) England and (b) South East England. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are no data held centrally on the estimated number of incinerators that will be built in future years. The choice of waste management options is for individual local authorities to make.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the private finance initiative and public private partnership projects her Department is undertaking; and what the status of each is. 
There are, however, a number of other PFI and PPP projects being undertaken by Defra's sponsored public bodies ie its Executive agencies, NDPBs, and public corporations. The details are listed as follows:
|Broadland (Norfolk) Flood Defence Scheme
|Pevensey Bay Sea Defences
|'SPIRIT IT' System
|Pub Partnershipdevelopment and management of canal side pub estate
|Partnership is operational
|'Isis'development of river and canal side property
|Partnership is operational
|Wood Wharf (London) redevelopment
|Partnership is operational
|Watergridwater supply network
|Partnership is dormant
In addition, although they are not Defra projects, the Department also provides support in the form of PFI credits to allow local authorities to enter into PFI contracts to provide waste recycling and management facilities. Information about these local authority projects can be found on the database of approved projects on HM Treasury's website.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage
14 Jun 2005 : Column 243W
of (a) domestic, (b) commercial and (c) industrial waste has been recycled in the UK in each year since 2001. 
(a) and (b) Estimates based on an Environment Agency survey of England and Wales in 199899 show that 45 per cent. of industrial and 26 per cent. of commercial waste was recycled or reused . Results from a further survey for 200203 will be published shortly.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what communication activities are planned in relation to the policy areas covered by her Department during the UK presidency of the EU; and what budget has been allocated for these activities. 
Jim Knight: External communications activity for the presidency is being co-ordinated centrally by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Defra is engaged with FCO and other Government Departments on presidency communications activity.
Defra's presidency communications activity has been developed to be sustainable and accessible and to address both public interest in the EU in general and the priorities, programme and progress of Defra's parts of the EU agenda.
Ministers will undertake a range of activities, including briefings for media and stakeholders, and explanatory information will be placed in public areas of Defra buildings. Currently we have £20,000 set aside for publicity materials. We will also work with stakeholders, other Departments and the Commission on joined-up communications activity as appropriate.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further steps she intends to take following the decision of the Japanese authorities to (a) increase the quota of minke whale taking and (b) begin hunting the humpback whale. 
With colleagues from 14 other countries HM ambassador in Tokyo delivered a Demarche to the Government of Japan on 2 June 2005, protesting in the strongest terms on Japan's plans to expand its so-called 'scientific' whaling activities. We are working to ensure that the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee takes no action which could possibly be read by Japan as an
14 Jun 2005 : Column 244W
'endorsement' of their plans, and will make further protest during the annual meeting of the Commission which takes place later this month.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of car-sharing within schools as a means of reducing congestion associated with the school run. 
Ms Buck: The Government want to make it possible for more children to walk, cycle or use the bus to get to and from school. Where these are not feasible, we would like as many parents as possible to have the option of car-sharing. Many families already make their own informal arrangements but formal car-sharing schemes for school journeys are only just starting to be developed.
The impact of car-sharing on traffic levels is included in a major research report published by the Department last JulySmarter ChoicesChanging the Way We Travel". Based on the evidence provided by this report, we are encouraging local authorities to consider including initiatives such as car-sharing in their new transport strategies.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much funding has been given by his Department, and its predecessors, in each year since 1997 towards the (a) development and (b) promotion of (i) car clubs, (ii) car sharing and (iii) the Carplus scheme; 
In general, revenue funding provided to local authorities is not dedicated for specific purposes. We did, however, provide some ring-fenced funding to local authorities through our bursary scheme for the
14 Jun 2005 : Column 245W
employment of school and workplace travel plan co-ordinators at a cost of £3 million per annum for three years from April 2001 to March 2004. Both car-sharing and car clubs are measures that could be included in travel plans.
Since October 2003, the focus has been on promoting school travel plans through the Travel to School Initiative. This is a joint project with the Department for Education and Skills. A budget of £50 million has been allocated for the two years up to March 2006. The aim is for every school in England to have a travel plan by the end of the decade and through this to boost walking, cycling and bus use. The funding is being used to support around 250 local-authority based school travel advisers to assist schools with developing their plans.
14 Jun 2005 : Column 246W
There are also capital grants for schools with approved travel plans to pay for infrastructure such as improved cycle storage facilities. This is typically £5,000 for a junior school and £10,000 for a senior. £14 million was spent on these capital grants in 200405 and £20 million is expected for this and each subsequent year up to and including 2008.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the total reduction in vehicle kilometres that would result from a (a) 10 per cent. (b) 20 per cent. and (c) 50 per cent. increase in average vehicle occupancy. 
|Vehicle kilometres by cars, taxis and vans (billion)
|Increase in vehicle occupancy
|Resultant percentage change in vehicle kilometres
|Following decrease in occupancy
|10 per cent.
|20 per cent.
|50 per cent.
This assumes that the occupancy increase is a result of increased trip sharing and therefore fewer trips, and not, for example, from a shift of passengers from other modes of transport. It is also assumed that an increase in occupancy does not result in an