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8 Nov 2005 : Column 324W—continued

Nuclear Plants (Coastal Erosion)

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the impact of coastal erosion on (a) each coastally-sited nuclear plant, (b) Sellafield and (c) the low level radioactive disposal site at Drigg. [23555]

Mr. Morley: Operational responsibility for managing the risk from coastal erosion in England rests with maritime district councils who, in partnership with the Environment Agency and other bodies with coastal defence responsibilities, take an integrated and long-term view of managing coastlines through Shoreline Management Plans. These plans, in line with Government policy, consider the implications of coastal processes, including erosion. More detailed coastal strategies are then developed, taking into account economic, social and environmental matters. These detailed strategies consider the specific needs of key coastal installations, such as nuclear power stations, Sellafield and the Low-level Waste Repository (LLWR) at Drigg.

The safety of nuclear installations in the UK is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which requires operators to produce safety cases which address a range of internal and external hazards, including flooding. Safety cases are periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changing conditions.

HSE, the Environment Agency, maritime district councils and operators ensure, through consultation on the development of Shoreline Management Plans, that the plans do not compromise the needs of nuclear sites.

The impact of coastal erosion on the LLWR has also been considered as part of a Post-Closure Safety Case for the site, submitted to the Environment Agency by British Nuclear Group Sellafield Limited (BNGSL) in September 2002. BNGSL's assessment predicts that the LLWR could be destroyed by coastal erosion in 500 to 5,000 years if no action were taken to maintain the coastline.

The Environment Agency will shortly issue its decision on future regulation of the LLWR, and is proposing to require BNGSL to consider a number of options to reduce predicted impacts.

Poultry Numbers

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of poultry kept by individuals other than farmers; and what mechanisms are in place to enable advice to be made available to them. [20948]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 24 October 2005]: The number of poultry keepers is unknown. However the Government have put in place legislation to set up a
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register of poultry keepers and are proceeding to collect data from all those who keep 50 or more birds. The Government have used its website, information sent to all veterinary practices, information sent to stakeholder representative organisations to cascade to their members and advertisements placed in interest journals and media to distribute advice to all keepers including backyard keepers.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress she has made towards re-starting the collection and recycling of farm-use black plastic wrap; and if she will seek to legislate to introduce a statutory levy. [24407]

Mr. Bradshaw: In December 2004, the Government issued a consultation paper on the Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations, which will apply waste management controls to agricultural waste. Included in this consultation paper was a chapter proposing that a Producer Responsibility scheme should be introduced, under which the producers of non-packaging farm plastics, such as silage wrap and crop covers, would be obligated to pay for their collection and recovery or disposal. The main question posed was whether such a system should be voluntary or mandatory.

I am now considering the way forward together with ministerial colleagues in light of the responses to the consultation.

Packaging plastics are already covered by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended). However, it is envisaged that any producer responsibility scheme that is introduced will be developed to enable the collection of both packaging and non-packaging waste plastics from farms.

I have recently awarded the Agricultural Waste Stakeholders Forum (AWSF) £1 million of Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) funding to establish a programme of work to investigate the challenges of collecting and recycling farm plastics, including how best to collect packaging and non-packaging plastics together, and to identify potential solutions to the problems associated with the collection of this waste stream.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of (a) paper and (b) other recyclable waste were recycled by the Department in 2004–05. [25461]

Jim Knight: During 2004–05, the most recent full year for which figures are available, Defra and its executive agencies recycled

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Television Sets

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date she plans to publish guidance for local authorities on the disposal of discarded television sets. [25006]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive aims to prevent WEEE arisings and to encourage reuse, recycling and recovery of WEEE. Article 6(1) and annex II of the directive introduce requirements for the treatment of collected items of WEEE to remove certain substances, preparations and components to avoid the dispersion of pollutants into the recycled material or waste stream. We intend to publish guidance on compliance with these requirements by those treating WEEE when regulations are made to transpose this provision.

If local authorities register their civic amenity sites as designated collection facilities, producers will be responsible for the costs of treatment and recycling of separately collected WEEE, including televisions, from June 2006.

In order to obtain better information on the potential hazardous nature of WEEE, Defra have commissioned a project to identify hazardous components in specified items of household WEEE. This project will assist Defra in drawing up guidance for local authorities, recyclers, treatment facilities and other interested parties to enable the identification of hazardous WEEE. Defra aim to publish guidance in spring 2006.

The Environment Agency has published frequently asked questions (FAQs) on hazardous waste issues and guidance on the management of specific waste streams including cathode ray tubes, commonly found in televisions. This information is available on the Environment Agency's website at: and the FAQs are also available on the Defra website

Warm Front Scheme

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many residents in the Hemel Hempstead constituency were (a) eligible for and (b) received grants under the warm front scheme in each of the last five years. [25812]

Mr. Morley: Information on the exact number of residents in Hemel Hempstead 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 5,250 households in Hemel Hempstead 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 numbers of households assisted in each year in Hemel Hempstead constituency are as follows:
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Number of households assisted


Energy Consumption (Parliamentary Estate)

Norman Lamb: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much energy has been consumed by the Parliamentary Estate in each of the last five years; and how much was spent on energy in each year. [26149]

Nick Harvey: The information is as follows:

(a) The total energy consumption of the Parliamentary Estate in each of the last five years is as follows:

(b) Cash expenditure on energy in each of the last five years is as follows:

The figures do not include energy used in 7 Millbank which is paid through a service charge, and show cash spent without any accruals.

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