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Dr. Ladyman: Through its productivity strand the Transport Innovation Fund will support national, inter-regional, regional, inter-urban (and exceptionally local) transport schemes which are expected to make a substantial and sustainable contribution to national productivity.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what guidelines his Department has issued to (a) police constabularies and (b) the Highways Agency regarding the movement of wide loads on roads; 
We have published a code of practice on the self-escorting of abnormal loads, prepared jointly by the Department, the Highways Agency, the police and haulage associations. It encourages scheduling movements at off-peak times when there is less traffic.
The Highways Agency and the police would normally restrict the movement of wide loads that have a significant impact on other road users to times which cause minimum disruption. However, disruption to other road users is not the only consideration. Other factors, such as safety, security and environmental issues (such as noise and disturbance in residential areas) can influence the timetabling of movements.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria he has agreed with the greyhound racing industry in order to allow it to self-regulate in terms of animal welfare; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA has set up a Greyhound Working Group to examine the welfare aspects of greyhound racing and to offer advice to Ministers and officials on future regulations and a code of practice.
The group has yet to make any recommendations. Our preference is that, whenever possible, welfare standards should be regulated by the industry. Self-regulation must be open and auditable, with the standards set and the effectiveness of the enforcers monitored by central Government.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on the Countryside Agencys Diversity Review; how much he expects the consultation Outdoors for All? draft diversity action plan will cost; and how much has been allocated to the running costs of the diversity action plan for each year of its planned duration. 
Barry Gardiner: Between 2002 and 2005 the Countryside Agency spent some £1.74 million on the diversity review. In 2006-07 spending on the consultation exercise on the draft diversity action plan is expected to be in the region of £1 million.
No firm figures are available on costs from 2007 onwards. A draft action plan is currently the subject of a public consultation exercise, and until that has been completed no conclusions can be reached about the activities to be undertaken during the 10-year life of the plan or their cost. The agency has estimated that the cost of pursuing the draft action plan might be in the region of £25 million over its 10-year life.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the effect on energy consumption of energy efficiency measures over the last 10 years. 
Ian Pearson: Figures for the effect on energy consumption within the UK by energy-saving measures for this particular period are not readily available. However, for the climate change programme review, we prepared estimates of the effects on carbon emissions for the household sector in the 1990s and separately for the present decade.
The Government estimate that energy efficiency improvements in the household sector in the 1990s would have contributed around 4.5 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) of emissions reductions, that is, some 12 per cent. of 1990 emissions. At the same time, growth in demand for underlying energy serviceswarmer homes, hot waterwould have increased emissions by 11.5 MtC; the increase in the use of gas for generating electricity instead of coal in the 1990s, which reduced emissions from power stations, and so reduced the associated emissions from electricity use in homes, businesses, etc, would have decreased emissions by 8 MtC; and smaller factors, mainly fuel switching by householders and changes to external temperatures, would have contributed a further 1 MtC of reductions. The overall effect on emissions was a net reduction of around 2.5 MtC.
In the present decade, before the effects of policies are included, we estimate that background energy efficiency would save a further 4.5 MtC. Increasing demand for energy services, together with the effects of the other factors described earlier, means that the net overall reduction in this period would be approximately 0.3 MtC.
The estimated effect of all the energy efficiency policies for households set out in the new UK climate change programme 2006, is an additional reduction of 4.8 MtC by 2010. Most of these savings are expected to be delivered between 2005 and 2010, through tighter building regulations and further activity under the energy efficiency commitment.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Environment Agency's outstanding borrowing is under sections 48 to 50 of the Environment Act 1995; and how much of that borrowing is in relation to meeting obligations related to its navigation responsibilities. 
Barry Gardiner: The Environment Agency has no outstanding borrowing. Its financial memorandum is very restrictive as to the circumstances under which its borrowing powers can be exercised and those powers have not been exercised. Therefore, there is no outstanding borrowing relating to the agency's navigation function.
Mr. Bradshaw: The fisheries grant in aid was increased by £3 million a year from 2002, and since 1997 the Government have given around £60 million to the Environment Agency to support its fisheries activities. At present, every Government Department is under instructions to make efficiency savings. This generally involves a fundamental review of the work to be done, and a reprioritisation of our responsibilities and how we manage them. Consequently, the Environment Agency GIA was reduced this year by £400,000.
Of the £5.8 million in GIA, £600,000 is spent on compliance checking and enforcement of fish movements. A reduction in GIA therefore necessitated a reduction in funding for work in this area by £150,000. If sales of rod licences are above target this year the agency may be able to make good part or all of this cut.
Mr. Bradshaw: The fisheries grant in aid was increased by £3 million a year from 2002, and since 1997 the Government have given around £60 million to the Environment Agency to support its fisheries activities. At present every Government Department is under instructions to make efficiency savings. This generally involves a fundamental review of the work to be done, and a reprioritisation of our responsibilities and how we manage them. As a result the Environment Agency has had its fisheries grant in aid (GIA) reduced this year by £400,000.
Consequently, since the majority of the £5.8 million GIA is spent on salmonid work, a reduction in GIA necessitated a reduction in work in this area and the agency reduced its salmonid improvement project by half, to £250,000.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which recreational users receive services provided by the Environment Agency on its inland and coastal waterways. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance he has issued to the Environment Agency concerning
the enforcement of the Waste Incineration Directive in relation to the burning of tallow; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the projected rate of return on capital allowed under agreed plans for 2005-10 with Ofwat is for each water company; and what rate of return on capital was achieved by each company in each of the last five years. 
Ian Pearson: Ofwat publishes pre-tax rates of returnmeasured as operating profit as a percentage of regulatory capital valuein its annual report Financial performance and expenditure of the water companies in England and Wales. Post-tax returns have not previously been published. The figures in the table have been calculated as operating profit less current tax, as a percentage of regulatory capital value.
At the 2004 price review, Ofwat set a real terms post-tax return of 5.1 per cent. When comparing this to actual returns the comparable rate is the Vanilla WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital). This is on a real basis and assumes a pre-tax cost of debt and post-tax cost of equityon this basis the return that Ofwat set was 5.8 per cent.
|Post tax return|
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