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16 Jun 2005 : Column 564W—continued

National Enforcement Database

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions resulted in (a) convictions and (b) custodial sentences in each year since 1 May 1997 for offences related to (i) water resources, (ii) flood defences, (iii) fisheries, (iv) navigation, (v) process industry regulation, (vi) radioactive substances, (vii) waste and (viii) water quality as recorded in the national enforcement database; and what the average fines were where custodial sentences were awarded (A) in total and (B) broken down by region. [4602]

Mr. Morley: The information requested is provided in the following tables. The figures commence in April of 1999 because that is when national enforcement statistics were first recorded on the national enforcement database.

As regards what the average fines were where custodial sentences were awarded: fines and custodial sentences are not awarded against the same offence but are, in fact, mutually exclusive. It has therefore not been possible to provide any data in answer to this.
1999 (from 1 April)
Water resources00210
Flood Defence4010
Process industry
Radioactive substances3030
Water quality22002290

Water resources100110
Flood Defence2010
Process industry
Radioactive substances11010
Water quality23704080

16 Jun 2005 : Column 566W

2005 (to 31 May)
Water resources6019080
Flood Defence509030
Process industry regulation5014060
Radioactive substances302010
Water quality17501871910

National Fruit Collection Contract

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2005, Official Report, column 259W, on the National Fruit Collection, whether it is the Department's intention to advertise the contract on the open market once the two-year contract has expired on 31 March 2007. [3287]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 13 June 2005]: Defra's contract with the Brogdale Horticultural Trust for the maintenance of the National Fruit Collections (NFC) runs until 31 March 2007. Defra is currently undertaking a strategic review of the future of the National Fruit Collections which is expected to report later this year. In the meantime we have no plans to put the work to open competition.

Oil Spills

Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will introduce a requirement for an annual inspection of domestic oil tanks to check the risk of oil spills. [4252]

Mr. Morley: I understand that a voluntary Tank Safety Scheme is under development by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers and the Oil Firing Technical Association (Oftec), with support from the Environment Agency. This will combine the regular observations made by delivery drivers with the expertise of specialist registered technicians. Before considering the need for enforcement and statutory measures, this voluntary initiative needs to be given time to demonstrate that it can be effective.


Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding (a) councils in England, (b) Guildford borough council and (c) Waverley borough council have received to support recycling in each year since 1997. [3380]

Mr. Bradshaw: The main source of funding for local authorities' waste management services is the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS) block of annual Government grant. It is for the local authorities to decide what proportion of the block is invested in waste management services, including recycling.

Funding is also being provided from a variety of other sources to help authorities improve recycling rates. The Waste Minimisation and Recycling (Challenge) Fund has made available funding totalling £275 million over the four years from 2002–03 to 2005–06 for specific projects to expand recycling operations.

Through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), credits worth £355 million have been made available over the same period as an extra source of funding, with a further £535 million available in 2006–07 and 2007–08.

In January 2004 the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment announced that a further £20 million would be given to local authorities with responsibility for waste in England to reduce spending pressures in 2004–05.

In December 2004 the Government announced a targeted local authority Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant totalling £260 million over the three years between 2005–6 and 2007–08. A full list of allocations to each authority in England in 2005–06 is available on the Defra website. Authorities will receive further allocations in 2006–07 and 2007–08.

The amounts received by Guildford and Waverley borough councils from Defra funds to support recycling are shown in the following tables:
A: Waverley borough council

National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund101,970229,809
Grant to relieve spending pressures in the waste area47,117
Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant41,055

16 Jun 2005 : Column 567W

B: Guildford borough council

National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund182,775191,505
Grant to relieve spending pressures in the waste area30,780
Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant46,648


David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she is taking to promote (a) best practice and (b) observance of the law in relation to snaring. [4836]

Jim Knight: The Government support the legal use of snares and are committed to improving standards. An informal consultation on snares and traps and their use under UK legislation was carried out in 2003. One of the outcomes of the consultation was the convening of an independent snares working group. The aim of the working group is to agree good practice guidelines, produce a code of practice and advise DEFRA on any further work which needs to be undertaken to further improve the correct use of snares. The group is due to report by the autumn.

The illegal use of snares is irresponsible and can have a serious impact on the welfare of individual animals. If anyone suspects that snares are being used illegally they should report the matter to the police.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what condition each site of special scientific interest (SSSI) has been in each year since 1997; and what the total land areas of SSSIs was in each category (a) in England and (b) broken down by (i) region and (ii) location in each year. [4453]

Jim Knight: Under the Joint Nature Conservation Committee's Common Standards for Monitoring, SSSI condition is assessed only on a six year cycle. In England, the first cycle, completed in March 2003, showed 56.9 per cent. in favourable or recovering condition, from a total area of 1,051,498 hectares. Full results for December 2003 were published by English Nature in The Condition of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England in 2003".

According to the latest assessment carried out on each unit of SSSI land by 31 March 2004, 62.8 per cent. from a total of 1,076,704 hectares of SSSI land was in favourable or recovering condition at that time. The equivalent figure for 31 March 2005 was 67.4 per cent. from a total area of 1,072,538 hectares.

Information on the current condition of each SSSI in England and a summary of SSSI condition in each Government region is available on the English Nature website at

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