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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which Government targets for recycling provision local authorities must meet over the next five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will review the use of weight-based targets for local authorities in respect of their recycling activities. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In response to recommendation 9 of the strategy unit report Waste not, Want not", the Government are currently undertaking a review of recycling and composting targets in the light of performance against 200304 targets. The review is considering the efficacy of the existing suite of targets, and the value in setting future targets. It will take into account the fact that there are already a number of policy levers designed to drive the management of waste up the hierarchy. The targets review will inform decisions by Ministersas soon as possibleon any adjustment to existing targets and on any new sustainable waste targets to be set at national or local level aimed at driving up performance. Both reviews will take full account of stakeholders' and the public's views.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the collection practices of local authorities for recycling purposes arising from the use of weight-based targets, with particular reference to the relationship between material collected and available in UK markets for that material. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have not conducted an assessment of collection practices rising from the use of weight based targets. However, given the large increases in the amounts of recyclates targeted for collection, we have tasked the Waste and Resources Action Programme to develop markets for recycled materials and products. Six core materials streams have been identified as priorities for market development purposes, four of which (glass, organics, paper and plastics) arise both in the household and the commercial waste streams. WRAP is targeting the creation of an additional 4,225,000 tonnes of market capacity per year for these six materials in the course of their 200406 business plan.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of non-motor vehicle batteries were recycled in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Less than 2 per cent. of spent portable batteries were collected in the UK for recycling. We believe the level of collection of industrial batteries for recycling is higher, but we do not have precise figures. The Government plan to undertake work to establish the collection and recycling levels being achieved for industrial batteries.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate how many primates (a) are being kept as pets and (b) were imported in each of the last five years in order to satisfy the demand for pets. 
Jim Knight: In answer to point (a) , we do not keep definitive figures of the total number of primates kept as pets in the UK but a study in 2000, commissioned by my Department, indicated that 655 primates were kept in England and Wales under Dangerous Wild Animals Act licences (this Act regulates many, but not all, primate species).
In answer to point (b) , an import permit issued in accordance with EU Regulations implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is required for the import of all primates into EU and may only be issued when certain conditions have been met. It is our view that primates are not suitable for the general pet trade and permits are therefore limited to zoos, scientific institutions, or specialised private keepers. It is not possible to provide information on how many primates are imported each year to satisfy the demand for pets because the internationally agreed import purpose codes do not break the figures down in this way.
Last week I announced the Government's intention to go out to public consultation regarding the use of the powers under Article 8.2 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 by the end of July. The Regulation is essentially a conservation measure but we shall certainly consider whether it would be appropriate to use these powers to restrict the keeping of primates as pets.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) mobile phones and (b) printer cartridges were (i) recycled, (ii) reused overseas and (iii) disposed of within the UK waste stream in each of the last five years. 
The Government will be collecting data on the amounts of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), including IT and telecoms equipment, reused and recycled to report to the European Commission when the producer responsibility obligations of the WEEE Directive come into force from January 2006.
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to set a commencement date for the provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act concerning the introduction of restricted byways; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Government are proposing to use the new category of right of way, restricted byway, to put into effect its proposals to curtail claims for mechanically propelled vehicle rights, as set out in Part 6 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill. This will be achieved by enabling rights acquired by non mechanically propelled vehicles to be recorded as restricted byways rather than byways open to all traffic.
The regulations necessary to implement the restricted byway provisions have already been drafted. However, before laying the regulations and commencing the relevant provisions we will need to ensure that the final terms of Part 6 of the Bill are compatible with these regulations.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the EU investigations into whether the UK is failing to fulfil its obligations under Article 3(1) and Annex IA and Articles 5(2), 5(3), 10 and Annex I.B of Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste water treatment. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 June 2005]: I can confirm the European Commission is conducting an investigation into UK compliance with the provisions of the Directive cited in the question. The detail and outcome of the investigation are a matter for the European Commission to comment on.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will reply to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Report on Waste Policy and the Landfill Directive. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total expenditure by the Waste Resources and Action Programme was in 200304; and how many tonnes of waste were recycled in that year. 
The total amount of municipal waste collected in the UK for recycling in that year was 6.4m tonnes, of which 5.2m tonnes was household waste. The equivalent England-only figures are 5.5m tonnes and 4.5m tonnes.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of (a) the current level and (b) the future level of noise pollution emanating from the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency do not have specific details of: (a) the current level and (b) the future level of noise pollution emanating from the proposed A21 Flimwell to Robertsbridge Improvement as it has not yet entered the Government's Targeted Programme of Improvements. However, initial work done to support the Preferred Route Announcement would indicate that a moderate improvement for those people living close to the existing road could be expected. A detailed noise assessment will be carried out at the next design stage.
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has carried out localised assessments of traffic speed on the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge and noted that speed was a contributory factor to the accident record on this section. It has responded to these safety concerns in several ways, one of which is to reduce the speed limit through the Flimwell crossroads, along the Flimwell dual carriageway and at the Northbridge Street pedestrian crossing.
Dr. Ladyman: We announced in December 2004 that our decisions on schemes on trunk roads categorised as predominantly of regional importance, and which would not be starting works until after 200708, will be taken after advice from the regions. Each region will consider such schemes alongside other proposed transport investment in their region. We are currently considering the arrangements, including timescales, for obtaining regional advice in the light of the responses to our consultation on these proposals.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has to carry out further consultation into the proposed improvement of the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge. 
Dr. Ladyman: We have no plans to undertake further formal consultation into the proposed improvement of the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge. The Highways Agency published the preferred route for the scheme in February 2005. This followed consultation with the public, local authorities and other interested organisations who were invited to express their views on the proposed route.
Average annual daily traffic levels for the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge for the year 2003, the last year for which figures are published, were 17,900 vehicles per day. The average annual weekday traffic was 18,100 vehicles per day, 6 per cent. of which were HGVs.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and others about effects on (a) the economy and (b) regeneration of the local area of upgrading the A21. 
The impact of improvements to the A21 on the Hastings's economy were considered as part of the Access to Hastings Multi Modal Study and the Highways Agency were asked to examine the viability of such improvements.
In addition following the Multi Modal Study the Secretary of State asked SEEDA (South East England Regional Development Agency) to prepare a regeneration package for the Bexhill Hastings area. The resulting taskforce produced a five point regeneration plan which includes a transport theme. Improvements to the A21 are an identified priority in this plan.
The Department's Appraisal Methodology for new road schemes takes into account, among other things, the impact a scheme would have on the regeneration of the immediate areas. Since the inception of the five point plan, the A21 Lamberhurst bypass has been opened and the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury, and A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst have both been added to the Highways Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of road safety on the single carriageway section of the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge during (a) peak and (b) off-peak times. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency carried out two assessments of road safety on this section of the A21 in the period of 200304 but these assessments make no distinction between peak and off-peak accident records.
The safety reports have identified accident clusters and at one specific site, where speed has been a factor, the Highways Agency has already introduced a new
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pedestrian crossing at Northbridge street. The Agency is looking at further safety improvements that could be carried out in the future.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of traffic speeds on the single carriageway section of the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge during (a) peak and (b) off-peak times. 
Dr. Ladyman: Localised assessments of traffic speed have been undertaken but not specifically for either the peak or off-peak times. The Highways Agency's assessment is that the existing speed limit was a contributory factor to the accident record on this section of the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge.
The Highways Agency has responded to the safety record on this route and the concern of the local community by introducing a new pedestrian crossing at Northbridge street and a reduced speed limit of 40 mph on the approach to the crossing.
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