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25 Apr 2006 : Column 984W—continued

Research Contracts

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the research contracts granted by her Department to research facilities in Wales in each of the last 20 years. [63960]

Mr. Bradshaw: A full response to this question could be made only at disproportionate cost. DEFRA and its predecessor Departments have substantial research programmes. DEFRA currently spends around £160 million annually on research and at any one time has in the order of 1,500 ongoing projects with a large number of contractors.

However, DEFRA proactively publishes large amounts of data on its R and D projects through its website This includes information on live" projects and those completed over recent years. It is also possible to access separate information on research contractors used through this site.

Ring Rot

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the (a) correspondence and (b) meetings the Department has had with representatives from the Royal Netherlands embassy in connection with the outbreak of ring rot of potatoes in 2003 in Wales. [63183]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 18 April 2006]: A list of correspondence between the Department and representatives from the Royal Netherlands embassy, inconnection with the outbreak of potato ring rot in Wales in 2003, is as follows. This includes some correspondence associated with subsequent outbreaks. There have been no meetings between the Department and the Royal Netherlands embassy to discuss this issue.
List of correspondence between DEFRA and Royal NL embassy concerning the 2003 ring rot outbreak

Type of
Letter1 April 2004McIntosh/ThissenInviting contributions to the lessons learned review
e-mail14 May 2004McIntosh/ThissenExtension to lessons learned review
Letter26 May 2004Thissen/McIntoshResponse to lessons learned review
Letter9 June 2004McIntosh/ThissenProviding draft copy of lessons learned report
Letter18 June 2004McIntosh/ThissenWith thanks for contributing to the lessons
e-mail27 August 2004Thissen/McIntoshThanks for copy of draft lessons learned review
Letter8 September 2004Hunter/ThissenState of affairs
Letter13 September 2004McIntosh/ThissenProviding a copy of the final lessons learned review
e-mail12 October 2004Thissen/McIntoshState of affairs
e-mail6 December 2004McIntosh/ThissenState of affairs
e-mail5 January 2005McIntosh/ThissenState of affairs
e-mail17 January 2005Rikken/McIntosh/ThissenState of affairs
e-mail25 January 2005Rikken/McIntosh/ThissenState of affairs
Letter2 February 2005Van Opstal/Thissen/HunterNew notification Regulations
e-mail26 April 2005Rikken/McIntosh/HunterState of affairs

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Single Payment Scheme

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to ensure farmers threatened with bankruptcy proceedings by British banks due to delays with Single Farm Payments are offered a guarantee from the Government to the bank up to the level of the sums owing together with interest; and if she will make a statement. [65020]

Jim Knight [holding answer 24 April 2006]: My noble Friend Lord Bach met the British Bankers' Association and other representatives of the major lending banks on 30 March to discuss the situation of farmers awaiting payment under the Single Payment Scheme. The banks re-emphasised on that occasion that

I am sure that farmers who have not yet received a payment will have joined the leaders of the NFU, CLA and TFA in welcoming the announcement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 19 April 2006, Official Report, column13WS, that partial payments will be made to them as soon as it is operationally possible to do so.

Southern Water

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with Southern Water on the continuing leakage from the two reservoirs at Halfway on the Isle of Sheppey. [65777]

Mr. Morley: Defra has had no discussions with Southern Water concerning leakage from the two reservoirs at Halfway on the Isle of Sheppey.

However, I understand that the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) has been contacted about this issue. CCW advised those concerned to contact Southern Water directly, who has a duty to maintain reservoirs under their ownership. Southern Water responded directly to these individuals' concerns.


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will publish guidance on the definition of waste; and if she will make a statement. [64048]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 35W.

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to raise awareness for waste disposal purposes of hidden batteries which are inbuilt in products. [63520]

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Mr. Bradshaw: Batteries that are inbuilt into products will have to be removed under the requirements of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. The directive requires the selective treatment of WEEE delivered to authorised treatment facilities, and one of the treatments specified is the removal of batteries. Defra has prepared draft WEEE permitting regulations and guidance. We will introduce the regulations before the introduction of the producer responsibility requirements of the DTI WEEE regulations. The DTI expects to consult on draft WEEE regulations later this spring.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons Herefordshire Council has not received funding from the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund; and if she will make a statement. [64601]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund was challenge based, and in each of the three bidding rounds applications were received from a large number of local authorities. Defra considered in full each application against set criteria agreed with an expert advisory panel, comprising key representatives from across the industry.

The panel separately assessed each application and Defra officials took into account their recommendations before final decisions were taken by the Minister of State.

Support was given to the best local authority projects designed to either minimise the amount of household waste generated, or those that aimed to provide more new or improved facilities for re-use and recycling and composting.

Herefordshire council submitted a bid in round 2 of the Fund (2003–04) that was unsuccessful. However, the council did not submit a bid in either the first or third rounds.

The Government's Waste Implementation Programme (WIP) provides a range of support, analysis and assessment work to compliment the funding and help local authorities deliver the best waste minimisation and recycling services.

Herefordshire council has received funding for a number of different projects from Defra, which are detailed in the following table:
Funding typeStart dateEnd dateAmount (£)
Waste Performance and
Efficiency Grant
1 April 200531 March 2006132,415
Household Incentives1 April 200531 March 200661,800
Household Incentives1 April 200531 March 200620,583

In addition, in December 2005, Defra wrote to all local authorities regarding the Waste Performance and
25 Apr 2006 : Column 987W
Efficiency Grant (WPEG). This is a 3-year targeted grant totalling £260 million over 3 years, which is replacing the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund from 2006.

Every English local authority with waste management responsibilities received a portion of the £40 million allocation in 2005–06. The allocations for the next two years were announced at the end of 2005.

Under this grant, Herefordshire Council is set to receive £348,944.18 in 2006–07 and £365,548.83 in 2007–08. Further information, and a full list of allocations to local authorities is available on the Defra website at the following address:

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