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Mr. Bradshaw: Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia was confirmed in rainbow trout at Nidderdale Trout Farm, Low Laithe, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 4BU on 26 May 2006. No further cases
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of the disease have been detected so far at any other farm during a comprehensive sampling and testing programme.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the incidence and spread of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia among farmed fish populations. [78192]

Mr. Bradshaw: Following the confirmation of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) in farmed rainbow trout on a fish farm in Yorkshire on 26 May 2006, my Department, through its Executive agency CEFAS, commissioned an epizootiological investigation into the source of the infection. This investigation includes the testing of farmed and wild fish populations which may have had contact with the infected stock, as well as all of the other potential pathways of disease transmission.

The Department has acknowledged the seriousness and potential impact of this most important disease on the UK aquaculture industry, and has previously funded research projects on epidemiology and mathematical modelling of disease outbreaks, the pathogenicity and transmission of different strains of the virus, and studies on the detection of the virus in fish and cell cultures.

Fishing Fleets

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much and what proportion of the EU fund for the modernisation of fishing fleets he expects to be allocated to British-owned vessels. [80160]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 26 June 2006]: No decisions have been taken on what will be funded under the new EU fisheries fund (EFF). The UK expects to receive, subject to confirmation, around €112 million from the EU; the overall EU resources available for the fund will be €3,849 million.

The operational programme to implement the EFF will set out priorities for using the fund and we will consult on this later in the year. Modernising the fishing fleet is only part of the range of measures available, and we do not want to fund anything which could increase capacity.

Our over-arching aim is to have a sector which is sustainable and profitable and supports strong local communities, managed effectively as an integral part of coherent policies for the marine environment.

Freshwater Fish

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to introduce a compensation scheme in response to any need for the compulsory slaughter of freshwater fish stocks; and if he will make a statement. [79855]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 26 June 2006]: My Department has no plans to introduce such a scheme.
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Under successive Governments, compensation has not been available for the compulsory slaughter of fish due to an outbreak of serious fish diseases; this remains my Department's policy.

Household Waste

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government has to reduce household waste. [79189]

Mr. Bradshaw: The waste minimisation programme run by the Government-funded Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) is working to stem the growth of household waste. This is part of a package of measures to enable the UK to meet the requirements of the landfill directive and move towards sustainable waste management.

As part of the programme, WRAP is working with 13 major retailers to reduce the amount of waste from supermarkets, including looking for ways to redesign packaging as well as support for research and development into waste minimisation. It is also working with local authorities to establish greater participation in home composting through its targeted National Home Composting Programme.

In its recent consultation on the review of its Waste Strategy, the Government identified the importance of waste prevention for reducing waste, including in the household. So far only limited progress is being made to prevent waste, and so more needs to be done. The revised Waste Strategy, due to be published later this year, will identify what further steps should be taken.

The revised Waste Strategy will also outline what can be done to build on recent improvements in household recycling. The consultation on the review proposed target increases for household waste recycling to 40 per cent. by 2010, 45 per cent. by 2015 and 50 per cent. by 2020.

Local authorities received £45 million in 2005-06, £105 million in 2006-07 and £110 million in 2007-08 under the Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant to help them develop new and more efficient ways to deliver waste reduction and increase recycling and diversion from landfill.

Landfill Directive

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what percentage of the biodegradable waste required to meet the first EU Landfill Directive has been diverted from landfill in the UK; [78529]

(2) whether local authorities will be financially liable for the UK’s compliance in meeting the EU Landfill Directive’s targets. [78535]

Mr. Bradshaw: Article 5(2) of the EC Landfill Directive sets three target years (2006, 2009 and 2016) by which member states must reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill in proportion to the amount produced in 1995.

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The directive also allows member states which landfilled over 80 per cent. of their municipal waste in 1995 to postpone the targets by up to four years. The Government have informed the European Commission of their intention to make use of this four-year derogation, which means the target years for the UK are 2010, 2013 and 2020.

The UK target for 2010 is to reduce biodegradable municipal waste landfilled to no more than 75 per cent. of that produced in 1995. For England, this equates to 11.2 million tones in 2010. It is estimated that in 2003-04, around 14.7 million tonnes was disposed of in this way, with a provisional estimate of a further reduction to around 13.9 million tonnes in 2004-05 (i.e. 124 per cent. of the 2010 target).

In preparation to the first 2010 target year, the UK have already taken steps to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill. The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS), was launched in April 2005, and is one of the Government’s key measures to encourage progressive reductions in the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that disposal authorities are able to send to landfill sites.

Should any waste disposal authority have landfilled more waste than it holds allowances for, it can use the sixth month reconciliation period (from March to the end of September), to trade, borrow or bank allowances to manage their liabilities. Any waste disposal authority which has landfilled biodegradable municipal waste in excess of the allowances it holds at the end of the reconciliation period will be liable to a financial penalty of £150 per tonne (according to section 9(2) of the Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003).

The LATS regulations also provide for supplementary penalties (in addition to any penalties for exceeding allowances) that are proportional to (a) any fines imposed on the UK in respect of obligations under the Landfill Directive and (b) the amount by which an authority exceeds its allowance in a Landfill Directive target year, or subsequent scheme years following Landfill Directive target years.

Due to the nature of a tradable allowances scheme, it is not possible to assess accurately now whether any waste disposal authority is likely to landfill biodegradable municipal waste in excess to that which it holds allowances for until the Environment Agency has completed the reconciliation process for the LATS year 2005-06, expected by the end of September.

Marine Bill

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to bring forward a draft Marine Bill; and if he will make a statement. [78416]

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish a draft Marine Bill; what steps are being taken to ensure that the Marine Bill is introduced and passed at the earliest opportunity; and how the Marine Bill will protect the marine environment of the UK. [78619]

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Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government expect to publish the draft Marine Bill. [79057]

Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA published a consultation document on 29 March 2006 setting out the Government’s thinking in a number of key areas to be addressed by a Marine Bill. These include marine spatial planning, nature conservation, licensing reform, and the possibility of setting up a new marine organisation. We had already undertaken initial consultation on some fisheries issues that will also be dealt with in the Bill.

The final scope of our proposals for a Marine Bill, including the strategic direction we should take, will not be decided until we have fully considered the responses to the consultation exercise. The consultation period ended on 23 June 2006. We will publish a summary of the responses within three months.

We will need to take these responses into account before any decision is made on the timing of further consultation on detailed proposals for a draft Bill. Introduction of a Marine Bill will follow later in this Parliament, subject to the availability of parliamentary time. We want to move forward swiftly, but this is a complex area and we must make sure that we take sufficient time to consult effectively and get our proposals right.

The Government’s primary purpose for a new Marine Bill is to introduce a stronger framework for the seas, based on marine spatial planning, that balances conservation, energy and resource needs. Together with a planning system for the marine area, we have proposed a number of possible approaches for the reform of marine nature conservation legislation. These include new mechanisms for the conservation of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, including protected areas for important species and habitats.

Marine Conservation

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to promote marine conservation. [79399]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government are committed to a Marine Bill which will introduce a new framework, based on marine spatial planning, that balances conservation, energy and resource needs. The aim is to obtain best value from different uses of our valuable marine resources by maintaining and protecting the ecosystems on which they depend. We are developing integrated criteria for the selection of marine protected areas (MPAs), including those for wider nature conservation.

We are also considering how many additional protected areas might be needed to protect marine ecosystems and biodiversity and fulfil the international commitments we have made in this area.

Poultry Industry

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent
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discussions he has had within the EU on the provision of financial support to the poultry industry (a) in the UK and (b) other member states. [79587]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 26 June 2006]: A number of recent discussions involving the Commission and member states took place, between 7 April 2006 and 21 June 2006. These culminated in the adoption of an amendment to Article 14 of Council Regulations 2777/75 and 2771/75 on the Common Organisation of the Market in Eggs and Poultrymeat, respectively.

The amendment provides legal powers to make special support measures available to member states in the event of significant evaporation of consumer confidence in poultry products as a direct result of avian influenza, causing the market to collapse.

Radon Gas

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice the Government have issued on the account which should be taken of levels of radon gas in decisions on building new schools. [77686]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

Resistance to contaminants, including radon, is covered by requirement C1 (2) of the Building Regulations. This requirement applies to all buildings including schools.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations he has received from local authorities on the recycling of televisions and computer monitors containing cathode ray tubes; [78442]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the national operational capacity for the recycling of televisions and computer monitors containing cathode ray tubes; [78440]

(3) how many (a) televisions and (b) monitors containing cathode ray tubes have been recycled from local authority civic amenity sites since July 2005. [78452]

Mr. Bradshaw: No such representations from local authorities have been received. The majority of inquiries on the recycling of televisions and computer monitors received by DEFRA officials have been referred to the Department of Trade and Industry, who lead on implementation of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive.

There are an increasing number of WEEE recovery plants opening in anticipation of the UK’s implementation of the WEEE directive that are capable of dealing with waste televisions and computer monitors. These plants are regulated by the Environment Agency under a waste management licence.

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Information on the number of televisions and monitors which have been recycled from local authority civic amenity sites is not currently gathered by the Department.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many public recycling bins are available in London; and what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) maintaining, (b) emptying and (c) replacing these bins in 2006-07. [79373]

Mr. Bradshaw: Latest available data show that London has 38 civic amenity sites and 2,715 recycling sites. A recycling site usually consists of more than one bin and, therefore, data are not available for numbers of public recycling bins in London. No estimate has been made centrally regarding costs.

A range of information and statistics on waste and recycling in London is available from Capitalwastefacts (an online fact-file developed by the Greater London Authority and London Remade), which is available at the following address:

Rubbish Collection (Charging)

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect of variable charging for rubbish collection on levels of fly-tipping. [78244]

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of the introduction of variable charging for household waste. [78538]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have no current plans to introduce charging for household waste. The Government are considering what further steps are needed to tackle household waste as part of the review of the Waste Strategy, which will be published later this year. We are also looking at the spending pressures local authorities face, with regard to waste management, ahead of the comprehensive spending review.

Variable charging is one of a number of tools that could be used to encourage waste minimisation and recycling of household waste. Local authorities already have powers to run incentive schemes or require householders to separate their waste for recycling. Recent research shows that at least half of English local authorities have run, or are running, some form of incentive scheme and some, such as Barnet, require householders to separate their recycling.

Many countries, including some in the European Union, have introduced successful household waste charging schemes, achieving reductions in waste and increases in the separation of waste for recycling. (Evidence from studies of this international experience shows a small increase in fly-tipping incidents when schemes are introduced, but this quickly tails off where schemes are well designed and effective enforcement action is taken.)

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Rural Enterprise Scheme

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to continue to process all applications for the Rural Enterprise Scheme, Processing and Marketing grant that are received up until 30 June; what the status is of the bid from Perry’s Cider of Dowlish Wake, Ilminster; and if he will make a statement. [80008]

Barry Gardiner [holding answer 27 June 2006]: All applications that are received by the closing date of 30 June and which meet the eligibility requirements for the Rural Enterprise Scheme and Processing and Marketing Grant will be processed and given due consideration for funding.

The bids from Perry’s Cider of Dowlish Wake, Ilminster are currently undergoing technical assessment and, subject to meeting eligibility requirements, will be considered for funding by the RDS South West Regional Appraisal Panel at their final meeting on 25 and 26 July.

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