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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr. Ben Bradshaw): In 200304, North-West Leicestershire district council achieved a household waste recycling and composting rate of 14 per cent. and so narrowly missed its statutory recycling target of 16 per cent. Nevertheless, the council assures me that it is on course to meet its statutory target of 24 per cent. for this financial year, which will be a huge improvement.
David Taylor: I thank the Minister for that reply. Despite limited resources, North-West Leicestershire district council and, indeed, Leicestershire county council have made great progress in recent years. Councillors Frank Straw and Gordon Tacey deserve our thanks for their local leadership, but does the Minister agree that the ubiquity of the recyclable logo on packaging materials is yet to be matched by the availability of markets for such materials? What is being done to bridge the landfill-size void that exists in respect of matching demand to supply?
Considerable resources have been allocated to do exactly what my hon. Friend is calling for, including, I believe, £1 million last year from DEFRA for his own constituency and £13,000 from the waste and resources action programme to help North-West Leicestershire council get its recycling levels up, which it has done very successfully. My hon. Friend is right that we need to increase the markets, but as he knows, his own authority collects plastics for recycling,
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which is not done by all authorities. However, partly because of the high international oil price, the market for plastics and recycling is improving all the time.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Jim Knight): The hon. Member will recall that my hon. Friend the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment met her and the hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) on 11 July to discuss measures to deal with flooding in North Yorkshire following the floods on the North York moors in June 2005. We have received a number of letters from her and the hon. Member for Ryedale and she will also recall that I replied to an Adjournment debate on 19 June and subsequently visited the affected areas in September.
Miss McIntosh: I am most grateful for that reply. The Minister will be aware that the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment has a flood alleviation scheme in his constituency, the like of which we would very much like to see introduced in Vale of York. I certainly urge that that should happen. Has the Minister had time to discuss the matter with his hon. Friend; may we have such a scheme; and has he had time to consider the residual responsibilities on insurance cover that rest with his Department? Those are some of a number of questions to which I have still not received a reply.
Jim Knight: I can chase up any questions that the hon. Lady wants replies to. I know that she has been particularly keen to see a flood alleviation scheme for Thirsk. Hambleton district council previously promoted such a scheme, but has now decided not to continue with that, so the responsibility for the watercourse will transfer to the Environment Agency on 1 April next year. It will then incorporate the scheme into its investment planning programme. I know that the hon. Lady is robust in pursuing these matters and I am sure that she will continue to pursue them robustly with the Environment Agency, as well.
17. Mr. Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): What recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the household waste recycling scheme in (a) Kettering borough and (b) Daventry district. 
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr. Ben Bradshaw):
As a result of Kettering borough council's rather poor performance in the past, my Department recently met its representatives to seek assurances about future progress. Kettering's recent performance is much improved. Daventry has a good recycling record and has been shortlisted for beacon status for its waste and recycling performance.
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Mr. Hollobone: I thank the Minister for his reply and declare my interest as a member of Kettering borough council. Would he like to use this opportunity to congratulate both Conservative-run administrations on making great improvements in their recycling records, following the very poor recycling rates under previous Labour control?
Mr. Bradshaw: It is always good news when local authorities improve their recycling rates, as most have done under this Labour Government. We have trebled recycling since 1997a record that stands in very good contrast with that of the hon. Gentleman's party when in power.
Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell) (Con): While I suspect that this morning's events might give rise to a discussion in the Procedure Committee, will the Leader of the House give us the business for next week?
Tuesday 22 NovemberOpposition Day [10th Allotted Day]. There will be a debate, apparently entitled "Incoherence of Government Policy on Welfare Reform and Incapacity Benefit", followed by a debate on action on climate change. Both debates arise on an Opposition motion.
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