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Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the merits of a holistic planning overview of planned and scheduled planning applications for telecommunications masts in Northern Ireland. 
Angela E. Smith: Prevailing planning policy, which is set out in Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 10 'Telecommunications', attaches considerable importance to keeping the numbers of radio and telecommunications masts, and the sites for such installations, to a minimum, consistent with the efficient operation of the network. Therefore it has not been considered necessary to conduct a holistic planning overview of planned and scheduled planning applications for telecommunication masts.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the level of illicit dumping of toxic sludge along the border with the Republic of Ireland. 
Angela E. Smith:
The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) investigates all reports of unauthorised waste disposal in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland)
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Order 1997. EHS has not identified, on the basis of these investigations, a widespread problem of illegal disposal of toxic sludge along the border with the Republic of Ireland. There is currently one active investigation into a County Armagh site close to the border. Prosecution files have been prepared regarding two additional sites at which sludge wastes from the Republic of Ireland were deposited. Residues arising from illegal diesel laundering operations are dealt with by local government, or other statutory agencies such PSNI or HM Revenue and Customs. EHS records indicate that 170 tonnes of illegal fuel laundering waste were re-consigned for authorised disposal since January 2003. Most originated from the Armagh, and Newry and Mourne council areas.
Angela E. Smith: The Waste Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 permit the spreading of certain commercial sludges on agricultural land, providing that activity results in benefit to agriculture. These activities are assessed and authorised by the Waste Management and Contaminated Land Unit, of the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) and would not be permitted if there were deemed to be a risk of adverse environmental impact. Any unauthorised disposal of commercial sludge causing environmental damage would be investigated with a view to prosecution. EHS is not aware of a wide-spread problem in this respect, although prosecution files are being prepared regarding four incidents.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the disposal of toxic waste dumped on roads in Northern Ireland has cost in each of the last three years, broken down by constituency. 
Angela E. Smith: The Environment and Heritage Service does not have a statutory duty to remove waste from public roads, and therefore, does not hold information specifically on costs arising from such waste disposal. Such work is carried out by the Department for Regional Development's Roads Service, or, if relating to material in lay-bys or the roadside, by the relevant district council or their contractors.
The Department of the Environment will need to obtain information from Roads Service and each of the 26 district councils. It is expected that it will take several weeks to obtain and collate this information and I shall write to the hon. Gentleman when this has been completed. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with Ministers in the Republic of Ireland regarding illegal dumping in Northern Ireland of waste from the Republic of Ireland. 
As a result of these meetings, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland set up two cross-border working groups covering unauthorised waste activities and the transfrontier shipment of wastes. These seek to stem the flow of unauthorised waste across the border into Northern Ireland through co-ordinated and consistent enforcement. The groups complement each other and have helped to co-ordinate the work of the relevant regulatory bodies in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the (a) total amount and (b) average amount per household of domestic waste produced in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department of the Environment does not hold data prior to 1998. The following table covers the period from 1998 to date, and sets out the total amount of household waste and the average collected. The latter figure incorporates all waste removed from households, including recyclables.
|Total household waste|
|Average household waste collected per household (tonnes/year)|
The bulk of grant aid has been paid through the Waste Management Grant Scheme (WMGS). In addition, grant aid has been provided to support schools recycling initiatives along with support for the disposal of fridges and end of life vehicles.
Direct payments to arc21, the waste management group for the eastern region are shown separately, as up to March 2005 contributions from its 11 participating members were paid directly by the Department from their WMGS allocation.
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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to fund publicity campaigns encouraging the take-up of broadband in (a) East Sussex and (b) England. 
DTI and DEFRA produced a CD-ROM A New Way to Live, Work and Play" last year. It contains hundreds of stories and examples of the benefits people around the UK have gained from broadband. The CD-ROM was sent to parish councils, rural community councils, regional development agencies, devolved administrations, intermediary organisations and other interested parties. The material is also available via the DTI website. There has also been regional activity around the UK promoting broadband and take-up.
Within East Sussex, Broadband East Sussex" has been funded by Government and involves Access East Sussex, BT, The Education Authority, The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Sussex Enterprise, East Sussex Economic Partnership and the Learning and Skills Council.
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