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29 Jun 2005 : Column 1534W—continued

Environment Agency Helpline

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many calls the Environment Agency emergency helpline received in each year since 1997, broken down by the type of problem being reported. [7152]

Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency does not record the number of calls to the incident hotline, or keep a central log of those calls by subject. Preparing the information from the manually completed record sheets would could be done only at disproportionate cost.

The following schedule shows an approximation of the number of calls received, based on information supplied by BT concerning the total duration of all calls
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to the hotline, divided by an average duration calculated using figures for April 2005. Unfortunately this information is only available since June 2002.
Number of calls
2002 (June to December)66,322
2005 (January to May)76,417

Flood Defences

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much is budgeted for expenditure on flood defences in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the next five years; and to which projects funding will be allocated. [6547]

Mr. Morley: DEFRA funds most of the Environment Agency's flood management activities in England and provides grant aid on a project by project basis to the other operating authorities (local authorities and internal drainage boards) to support their investment in improvement projects to manage flood and coastal erosion risk. Defra does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.

I understand from the Environment Agency that their budget for expenditure on flood risk management in East Riding of Yorkshire over the next five years is approximately £41 million (at September 2004 prices). This is made up as follows:
Activity/ProjectForecast expenditure (£000)
Ongoing capital investment
Tickton refurbishment300
Number Estuary Coastal Authorities Group SMP Review80
Number Monitoring 2570
Number Estuary Shoreline Management Plan 3260
Number Land Purchase3,760
East Clough-Brough Haven3,130
Little Humber-Thorngumbald240
Reedness Slips at Reedness1,200
Goole Slips-River Ouse (Hook Road)850
Saltmarshe Embankment 2400
Bank House Slips/Saltmarshe800
Airmyn and Rawcliffe2,000
Burstwick Drain630
Capital projects resulting from number strategy
Paull Village3,300
BAe to East Clough2,900
Old Goole500
Erosion Control (Stoning)2,100
Monitoring and maintenance1,100
Further studies1,700
Contingency for urgent work2,100
Asset improvements1,090
Routine maintenance2,800
COW expenditure1,135
Support costs2,325
Grand total41,070

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For local authorities and internal drainage boards, the forward programme is not budgeted at regional level. DEFRA does however hold forecasts of expenditure of individual approved flood risk management improvement projects covering the period from April 2005 to March 2008. These forecasts total approximately £1 million and are made up as follows:


Project name
Forecast expenditure (£000)
Cowick IDBCowick IDB First Five Year Strategy94
Goole and Airmyn IDBHook Clough Pumping Station150
Goole and Airmyn IDBDowns Ground Pumping Station235
Goole and Airmyn IDBDowns Ground Pumping Station Refurbishment300
Market Weighton IDBOxmardyke Pumping Station70
Market Weighton IDBFoss Dyke and Tributaries2
Rawcliffe IDBRawcliffe First Five Year Strategy187

In addition to this list of approved projects for local authorities and internal drainage boards, there are also a number of planned improvement projects that meet the current priority score thresholds but which have not yet been approved for grant aid by the Department.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with the Silkstream Flood Defence scheme, Edgware. [7053]

Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency is promoting this flood alleviation project. I understand that two of the six flood storage areas have been constructed, these being Temple Pond and Prince Edward Playing Fields (Harrow). Construction work is programmed to commence in autumn 2005 for Summerhouse Lake and Stoneywood Lake. Design and land negotiations for the final two sites, Edgwarebury Park and Bury Farm, are being progressed and underpinned by a Compulsory Purchase Order procedure.

The completion of all flood storage areas is still on target for year 2007, subject to securing the necessary funding and successful negotiations with landowners.

Energy-efficient Housing

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many households have been assisted by the Home Energy Efficiency and Warm Front schemes in the borough of Dartford in each year since June 2000; and what the average size of grant was in each financial year. [7904]

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Mr. Morley: Between the launch of the Warm Front Scheme in June 2000 and the end of the March 2005 the number of households assisted in the borough of Dartford were:

The average size of grant in each financial year for the Dartford constituency was:
Scheme yearAverage grant

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken towards implementing the requirements of section 217 of the Housing Act 2004. [7953]

Mr. Morley: We are working across Government and with key stakeholders to implement the policies detailed in our 2004 Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which will lead to economy-wide annual savings of 12.1 million tonnes of carbon by 2010. We are looking at ways to further strengthen our energy efficiency policies through the joint HM Treasury/Defra Energy Efficiency Innovation Review and the Climate Change Programme Review, due to conclude later this year.

Sewerage and Water Bills

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average water sewerage bills are as a proportion of average income in each region. [6293]

Mr. Morley: Information on water and sewerage bills is not available by economic region. The attached table sets out the average water and sewerage bill as a proportion of average household income in each water and sewerage company area.

Bill as a proportion of average income (percentage)
Dwr Cymru1.5
Severn Trent1.1
South West1.8
United Utilities1.2
Industry average1.0

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Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential for the recovery of construction and demolition timber as a renewable energy source. [7282]

Mr. Morley: Information is not available on the amount of construction and timber waste produced each year. Current estimates for all types of wood waste vary from 1.9 to 7.5 million tonnes per annum. This includes municipal, commercial and industrial waste as well as that from construction and demolition. A significant proportion currently goes to landfill, which could be used instead as a valuable energy source. As part of the current review of the renewables obligation, the Government has just consulted on options for incentivising a broader range of mixed waste energy projects. The Biomass Study Task Force, led by Sir Ben Gill, is looking at the barriers to developing biomass energy and will recommend ways to overcome the problems. The use of wood waste as an energy source is one of the areas they are looking at and we will consider the way forward in the light of their recommendations.

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