|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the recommended concentration of Bixtrex animal deterrent is in slug pellets sold in the UK; what the concentration of such deterrent is in Duff Slugoids slug pellets as sold in the UK; and what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the content of such deterrent in those pellets. 
Mr. Morley: The concentration of the animal deterrent Bitrex in slug pellet products sold in the UK varies, depending on the product concerned. For all these products, including Doff Slugoids, the range is 100300mg for each 100g of product.
All pesticide products sold in the UK are subject to an approval. The regulatory authority is the Pesticide Safety Directorate (PSD). Approvals, such as that held
2 Nov 2005 : Column 1050W
by Doff Slugoids, are issued on the basis of PSD's assessment of experimental safety and efficacy data. This assessment includes an evaluation of the need for a deterrent in the product under consideration and at what level.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons Southern Water Services Limited have reported customer billing inconsistencies to the Serious Fraud Office; what assessment she has made of the implications for customers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Southern Water Services Limited reported irregularities in the handling and reporting of customer inquiries and complaints to the Office of Water Services and to the Serious Fraud Office.
Southern Water has given the Office of Water Services an assurance that customers who have been disadvantaged will be reimbursed. The Office of Water Services will conduct an investigation and report on its conclusions in due course.
The company has asked the Serious Fraud Office whether or not this is a suitable matter for it to investigate. It is for the Serious Fraud Office to decide whether to investigate further.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many households in (a) Hartlepool constituency and (b) the Tees Valley sub-region have received assistance under the Warm Front Scheme in each year since the scheme began. 
Mr. Morley: Between the launch of the Warm Front Scheme in June 2000 and the end of March 2005, the number of households assisted in each year in Hartlepool constituency are as follows:
|Number of households assisted|
During the same period, the number of households assisted in the Tees Valley sub-region (that is including the areas of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton on Tees) are as follows:
|Number of households assisted|
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many residents in the Kettering constituency were (a) eligible for and (b) received grants under the Warm Front Scheme in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Morley: Information on the exact number of residents in Kettering eligible for Warm Front is not available. However, on the basis of the statistical modelling used by the Warm Front Scheme Manager it is estimated that around 11,000 households in Kettering could currently be eligible for assistance from the Scheme.
Between the launch of the Warm Front Scheme in June 2000 and the end of March 2005, the number of households assisted in each year in Kettering are as follows:
|Number of households assisted|
Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to align local authorities' waste collection targets with those set for packaging manufacturers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: On 26 October I launched a consultation on options for local authority recycling and composting targets for household waste in 200708. This consultation is due to end on Friday 20 January, 2005.
The current review of waste strategy 2000 is considering a longer term vision, looking more broadly at the future direction of local authorities, wider waste streams and the role of statutory targets. The review is taking into account the fact that there are already a number of policy levers designed to drive the management of waste up the hierarchy such as the landfill allowance trading scheme, the landfill tax escalator as well as the obligations imposed on the producers of waste, including in relation to the recycling of packaging materials and of waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many water desalination plants are (a) in operation, (b) under construction and (c) planned, broken down by location; and what company is involved in each case. 
[holding answer 31 October 2005]: Water companies' proposals for resource developments, including proposed desalination plants, in fulfilment of their duties to maintain adequate supplies of water are set out in the 25 year water resources plans they prepared in 2004. The Environment Agency has advised Ministers about the appropriateness of these proposals
2 Nov 2005 : Column 1052W
and other measures to ensure security of supply, in its report Maintaining water supply", which was published in July 2004.
No water company yet has a desalination plant in operation though South East Water has one under construction at Newhaven and is testing a pilot plant at this site.
Thames Water is presently seeking planning permission for a major desalination plant at Beckton in the Thames estuary. Thames Water's water resources plan identifies a second plant in the 2020s. Folkestone and Dover Water and Southern Water also propose the development of desalination plants in the 2020s. The location of these proposed plants will be a matter for the companies concerned to determine.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to oblige banks (a) to consult customers and local residents and (b) to offer support and adequate alternative banking arrangements, in the event of branch closures in small rural communities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government have no plans to introduce legislation in this area. However, all of the main high street banks and building societies are signed up to the Banking Code, which has recently been subject to an independent review. Through the Banking Code there is now an obligation for subscribers to:
give customers extended notice of branch closure if the road distance of the nearest alternative branch is more than one mile in urban areas or more than four miles in rural areas;
explain how they continue to provide services after the branch has been closed in a way that is specific to local provision; and,
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of bank branch closures on social exclusion in small rural communities, with particular reference to (a) local residents and (b) small local businesses. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Work is under way through the Financial Inclusion Taskforce to explore how the financially excluded individuals access their cash and transmit money. Among other things, this work will identity the mechanisms for accessing banking services that are used by the financially excluded. The results of this work are due next year.
In addition, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs works closely with other Departments to ensure that when developing and implementing policy they consider the needs of rural residents, and particularly the most disadvantaged.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|