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Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if his Department will take steps to enable the classification of reprocessed fuel oil as a product rather than waste. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Whether or not a substance is waste within the meaning of Article 1(a) of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (2006/12/EC) is a matter that must be determined on the facts of the case and the interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts. It is not a function of the Government to classify or to declassify any particular substance as waste or non-waste.
The Environment Agency is designated as a competent authority for the purpose of implementing the WFD in England and Wales and is
required to give effect to the directive's definition of waste, as interpreted by the European Court of Justice and our national courts.
Guidance available on the Departments website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/lapc/aqnotes/pdf/aqi04-06.pdf confirms that, on the facts of the case and taking account of case law by the courts, the Environment Agency's view is that recovered fuel oil (RFO) has not been fully recovered within the meaning of the WFD and does not cease to be waste until used as a means to generate energy.
Nevertheless, organisations are free to present to the Environment Agency any significant, new information about RFO which would satisfy the Agency that it falls within the very limited circumstances in which waste may cease to be waste before being used as fuel.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints regarding the entry level stewardship scheme have been received, broken down by (a) subject of complaint and (b) region. 
|Region||Rural land register or mapping delays||ELS application delays||Policy||Payment delays|
It is important to note that there is an overlap between the first two categories of complaint, with the first often leading to the second. Where mapping delays have been specified, the complaint has been allocated to that column. Otherwise application delays have been allocated to column 2. No individual complaint has been recorded more than once.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what proportion of farmers have been paid (a) on time and (b) late under the entry level stewardship scheme in each month for which records are available. 
|Payments made||Not selected for payment|
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much and what proportion of the budget allocated for farm payments has been disbursed under the entry level stewardship scheme. 
Barry Gardiner: At 11 May 2006 the value of payments made under entry level stewardship was some £15.5 million. This represents 28 per cent. of the budget available for entry level stewardship for the year 2006-07. In 2006-07, over £55 million has been allocated to ELS, including the organic ELS, to cover the cost of signed agreements that will be accounted for in this financial year.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will re-assess agreements reached by his predecessor on the price of sugar beet to enable sugar beet farmers to develop a sustainable sector. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Under the European Unions common agricultural policy, minimum prices paid to beet growers are determined by qualified majority decision of the Council of Ministers. Agreement on prices in the 2006 to 2010 period was a key element in the sugar reform package negotiated under the UK presidency in November 2005 and formally adopted in
February this year. An unreformed sugar sector would have been completely unsustainable, and the measures due to come into effect from 1 July will provide a viable basis for efficient industries in the future.
As the law currently stands, the burning of waste tallow is also subject to the Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC) which imposes strict operating and monitoring conditions on any plant incinerating or co-incinerating waste. My Department consulted in 2002 on draft legislation to transpose those requirements. The consultation paper contains a regulatory impact assessment of the implementation of those requirements and is available on the DEFRA website:
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding was made available by English Nature through management agreements to (a) farmers and (b) commoners to assist in the management of upland areas and commons in each year since 2001. 
Barry Gardiner: English Nature has provided funding for land managers in the uplands, primarily, through the Wildlife Enhancement Scheme. In addition, additional funds were provided through the Sheep and Wildlife Enhancement Scheme. This was a special two-year project that commenced in 2004, and targeted the particular problems in the uplands arising from overgrazing by sheep.
|Total amount (£)|
|Financial year||Upland||Upland commons|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of allowing water companies discretion in selecting households for water metering. 
Ian Pearson: The Government examined the effects of metering in its review of water charging in 1997-99.
The findings informed the development of the Water Industry Act 1999, which provides domestic customers with the option of a measured water bill or to remain on an unmeasured charging basis for water used only for normal household purposes in their present home.
DEFRA is currently leading work on metering in the context of the Water Saving Group. This involves targeted action to increase metering in water stressed areas, and to improve the understanding and delivery of metering generally. As part of this work, DEFRA is assessing how the balance between company discretion and customer choice should be struck.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many White Papers were published by his Department in 2005; how many included an animal health or welfare component; and if he will make a statement. 
Draft BillModernising Rural Delivery;
New UK Sustainable Development;
Government Rule of Strategy and draft Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill;
Government Response to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Inquiry to the International Challenge to Climate Change;
Government Response to EFRA Report on Waste Policy and the Landfill Directive;
Autumn Performance Report;
Annual Review: Controls on Imports of Animal Products: April 2004March 2005 (this Command Paper included an animal health or welfare component).
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) daily and (b) annual volume of hon. Members post dispatched from the House; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The volume of mail dispatched from the House daily or annually is not recorded as there is no business need to do so. The best available estimate is that around five van loads of mail a day are dispatched from the House, suggesting around 18,000 items a working day.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to his answer of 10 May 2006, Official Report, columns 291-92W, on House mail services, what percentage reduction on the normal price of first and second class postage is given by the
Royal Mail for Parliaments mail service; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: No percentage reduction is offered to commercial customers by Royal Mail using standard tariff letters. Reductions are available only if bulk posting arrangements are followed or if mail is meter franked.
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