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Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the Government decided not to introduce a tax levy on the price of chewing gum as part of its proposals for tackling chewing gum litter. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Taxation is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am however, not convinced that a levy on gum, which would be paid by those who dispose of their gum correctly as well as those that do not, would be a fair way of funding the costs of cleaning discarded gum from the streets.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan dated 27 August 2005 regarding his constituents Mr. and Mrs. W. Ritchie (DEFRA ref 223198). 
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2005, Official Report, column 2376W, on departmental transport, if she will place a copy of the revised Travel Plan for her Department in the Library. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets she has set for energy efficiency gains under the Energy
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End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive by (a) 30 June 2007, (b) 30 June 2011 and (c) 30 June 2014. 
Mr. Morley: The Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive is expected to enter into force in May this year following publication in the Official Journal. Member states will then have two years to transpose the Directive's requirements into domestic legislation. The Directive provides for an indicative energy-savings target for every member states of 9 per cent. over the nine-year period from 1 January 2008. Within that period member states must set one intermediate target for the third year of application consistent with achievement of the overall target. The decision about what that intermediate target should be in the UK has not yet been made and will be determined during the implementation process.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what formal approaches she has made to the Government of the Republic of Ireland about the effect on UK salmon stocks of drift netting off the coast of Ireland. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I have discussed this issue with the Irish Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on a number of occasions. I have urged on him the need to take steps to reduce the impact of the salmon driftnet fishery on salmon returning to English and Welsh rivers.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent (a) in England and (b) in the Ouse catchment area on flood protection and alleviation measures by (i) the Government and (ii) City of York council in each year since 199697. 
Mr. Morley: Defra funds most of the Environment Agency's flood related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and, in low-lying areas, internal drainage boards. The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities; Defra does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on what specific projects to undertake.
Prior to April 2004 most of the Environment Agency's flood defence funding came from levies paid by local authorities. These levies have now largely been replaced by direct funding from Defra. Local authorities still pay some levies to the agency and also continue to fund other flood defence related work; such expenditure is supported by the local government funding mechanisms operated by what is now ODPM.
Table 1 shows total central and local government expenditure on flood protection and alleviation measures in (a) England and (b) the Ouse catchment area. This includes expenditure on flood defences, flood warning, research and development etc. but excludes expenditure on measures primarily to reduce risk of coastal erosion (which can also sometimes help reduce flood risk).
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|Defra grant and other expenditure||Local authority expenditure||Ouse catchment(1)|
Table 2 shows revenue (i.e. non-capital) spend by City of York council on their own flood defence measures and on special levies to internal drainage boards. The Council's expenditure is limited to investment in the Ouse catchment area.
|Flood defence revenue expenditure|
IDB special levies
Landfills are a major source of emissions of methanea powerful greenhouse gasand also a potential pollution hazard requiring careful management. For this reason landfill lies at the bottom of the waste hierarchy, and thus represents the least
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favourable management route for most wastes. The Government has targets under the EU Landfill Directive to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill to 75 per cent. of 1995 figures by 2010 and to 35 per cent. by 2020. The Government seeks to discourage all landfillincluding that of commercial wastethrough the landfill tax escalator. Landfill remains, however, the best management route for certain wastes in certain circumstances and, indeed, the only available option for some others (such as heavy sludges from industrial processes).
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the Government plan to dispose of the nuclear waste stored in the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Under the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Programme, jointly sponsored by UK Government and the devolved Administrations, the independent Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRAWM) has been established to advise on the best option, or combination of options, for the safe long-term management of the UK's higher activity radioactive waste. The committee is due to deliver its recommendation in July 2006. Low level radioactive waste is already disposed of in various ways, most notably to the national disposal facility close to the village of Drigg in Cumbria.
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