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30 Jun 2005 : Column 1640W—continued

Fish Merchants (Buyer's Licences)

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under what circumstances a buyer's licence can be withdrawn from a UK fish merchant. [8557]

Mr. Bradshaw: Under the terms of the Registration of Fish Buyers and Sellers and Designation of Fish Auction Sites Regulations 2005, the Secretary of State may suspend the registration of a buyer where the registered buyer has not:

In addition, a court may revoke the registration of a buyer either totally or for a specified period upon conviction for the following offences:

Fly Tipping

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reported incidents of fly-tipping there were in each (a) local authority and (b) region in the last period for which figures are available; and what costs were incurred in removing fly-tipped waste. [7217]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of reported incidents of fly-tipping and the cost of clearance and disposal reported between April 2004 and March 2005 are given by (a) waste collection authority and (b) region in tables made available in the Library of the House.

These data are from the Flycapture database, which records fly-tipping incidents dealt with by waste collection authorities and the Environment Agency. The figures are likely to be an underestimate and should increase as authorities improve their data collection and reporting performance.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to commence operation. [7176]

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Jim Knight: The Gangmasters Licensing Authority commenced operation on 1 April 2005. One of the Authority's first tasks will be to establish the conditions to be attached to a licence and the operational aspects of the licensing scheme. These will be set out in rules orders and the Authority will be consulting on these as a matter of urgency.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to extend the provisions of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 to other sectors and industries. [7177]

Jim Knight: The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 applies to gangmasters operating in the agricultural, shellfish gathering and associated food/fish processing and packaging sectors. I have no plans to extend the scope of the Act to other sectors and industries.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her latest assessment is of the number of (a) legally operational and (b) illegal gangmaster organisations in the UK. [7178]

Jim Knight: Based on a DEFRA commissioned study, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) expects to issue 1,000 licences to gangmaster organisations operating legitimately in the agricultural, shellfish gathering and associated food and fish processing and packaging sectors in the UK. The GLA anticipates inviting licence applications from spring 2006.

By its very nature, it is very difficult to quantify illegal gangmaster activity. Once the licensing scheme is operational, the GLA's compliance role and enforcement activities undertaken on behalf of DEFRA will generate more accurate data on the numbers of gangmasters engaged in illegal business practices.

Landfill Sites

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) complaints, (b) court actions and (c) fines against landfill sites for problems related to (i) odours, (ii) water pollutions, (iii) air pollution and (iv) human health impact there were in each year since May 1997, broken down by region. [4603]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answergiven on 7 September 2004, Official Report, column 944W which outline the limitations when producing this data. The following sets of data update the figures previously provided.


Tables 1, 2 and 3 give information of incidents that were reported to the Environment Agency and were recorded on the National Incident Recording System (NIRS). It is important to note that NIRS records incidents and not complaints.
Table 1: Incidents where the pollutant was recorded as landfill odour (categories 1–3)

RegionJuly 2004 to April 2005
North East42
North West55
South West29
EA Wales50

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Table 2: Incidents which had impact to water (categories 1–3)

RegionJuly 2004 to April 2005
North East9
North West2
South west5
EA Wales3

Table 3: Incidents which had impact to air (categories 1–3)

RegionJuly 2004 to April 2005
North East58
North West81
South West21
EA Wales24

The NIRS system has no designated means of recording incidents in terms of their impact on human health. Specific and accurate data concerning complaints against landfill sites for problems related to human health can not therefore be derived from NIRS.

Court actions and fines

Information concerning (b) court actions and (c) fines are kept separately, on the National Enforcement Database. The following prosecutions were taken between 1 July 2004 and 31 May 2004.
Updated figures 1 July 2004 to 31 May 2005
WRA 1991 s.85(1)


EPA 1990 s.33(1)(c)


30 Jun 2005 : Column 1643W

EPA 1990 s.33(6)



Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will instruct her officials to meet the hon. Member for Hereford and residents and landowners in Llancloudy in Hereford constituency before a decision is made on the route for lorries from the farm in Llancloudy to the main road; and if she will make a statement. [5672]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 20 June 2005]: The hon. Member should be aware that there is ongoing litigation between the current owners and occupiers Mrs. Georgina Hawkins and Mr. Kevin Feakins and the Rural Payments Agency and Defra in connection with (1) sums owed by Mr. Feakins to the RPA in respect of the sheep meat clawback scheme; and (2) Defra's activities on the farm during the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak.

My officials are fully aware of the concerns of local residents and they have been in correspondence with the Llancloudy Residents Association over the proposals for the removal of farmyard manure and other seized materials from Hill Farm Llancloudy. The current situation is that Defra has agreed to remove these seized materials and to reinstate the land. However, in order to fulfil this undertaking the Department needs to agree a licence with Mr. Feakins and Mrs. Hawkins, as the owners and occupiers of the land, in order to gain access to the land. This licence will also include detailed method statements for the operations required. Defra's preferred access route is along the main farm access drive, a route which would minimise the impact on the majority of Llancloudy residents—this route has not been agreed by Mr. Feakins and Mrs. Hawkins.

Given the failure to agree access routes, my officials do not believe that an on-site meeting would be helpful, since until the exact access route is agreed, contractors cannot prepare the detailed working protocols and risk assessments that will be required and officials would not be able to address the concerns of residents. However given the understandable concerns of residents, my officials would be pleased to meet with the hon. Member in London, together with a representative of the Llancloudy Residents Association in London to explain the current situation and to outline the steps the Department has taken to agree access and will take to ensure that the impact on residents will be minimised.

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