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25 July 2006 : Column 1513W—continued

Trout Farming

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on viral haemorrhagic scepticaemia in trout farms in North Yorkshire. [86079]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has received a wide range of representations on viral haemorrhagic scepticaemia in trout farms in North Yorkshire, from hon. Members and the industry. The representations have taken the form of letters, emails and parliamentary questions. We continue to work closely with interested parties on this issue. I have visited part of the affected area to hear the concerns of Fish farmers at first hand.

Waste Disposal Prosecutions

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) private citizens and (b) businesses in (i) England and (ii) each region have been prosecuted for causing pollution from (A) septic tanks and (B) heating oil tanks in each of the last three years; and what the total amount paid out in fines in each category was in each year. [88150]

Mr. Bradshaw: Based on information from the Environment Agency’s National Enforcement Database, there has been one prosecution for causing pollution from septic tanks and four prosecutions for causing pollution from heating oil in the last three years. Details are set out in the following table:

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Date Region Individual/company Fine (£)

Septic tanks

21 January 2003


Individual defendant


Heating oil

11 November 2004


Other legal entity (district council)


5 January 2005

South West

Individual defendant


17 February 2005




10 May 2005




Waste Volumes

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total volume of (a) domestic, (b) commercial and (c) other waste was in the Peterborough city council area in each year since 1997; what this represents per head of population; and what proportion was (i) sent to landfill, (ii) incinerated and (iii) disposed of by other means in each case. [88196]

Mr. Bradshaw: The amount of municipal waste, collected by Peterborough city council in each year since 1998, is shown in the following table. No figures are available for 1997-98, as the council did not complete a return for the Municipal Waste Management Survey in this year.

Total municipal waste (tonnes) Arisings per head (tonnes) Percentage landfill Percentage recycled, composted




































Source: Defra Municipal Waste Management Survey, 1998-99 to 2003-04. 2004-05 figures are provisional estimates from WasteDataFlow

Municipal waste is that which comes under the control of the local authority and includes both domestic waste and waste collected by the authority from non-household sources. Figures on the amounts of commercial, industrial and other wastes are not available for individual local authority areas.

Water Quality

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the water quality of the (a) River Brent and (b) Welsh Harp reservoir in Brent. [87785]

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Ian Pearson: Water quality data for River Brent is available on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra. Recent figures for 2005 are scheduled for publication in August.

Biological and chemical assessment is based on a three-year rolling period. Therefore, 2004 includes samples taken in 2002-04 inclusive, summarised in the following table:

Total assessed River Brent length which is of: Biological quality Chemical quality

Good quality

Fair quality



Poor quality


Bad quality


The General Quality Assessment (GQA) is a grade D (moderate biological water quality). This equates to 37 per cent. (biological score) and 81.5 per cent. (chemical score) of the River Brent.

The stretch from Wembley to Wyke Stream (13km) has a GQA grade E (poor water quality equates to 63 per cent. of the River Brent. Assuming that grade F is bad quality, this stretch relates to the River Brent into the Welsh Harp. There have been no significant changes to the water quality of the river in recent years. No chemical or biological sampling has yet been undertaken in the Welsh Harp Reservoir.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what methods are being used by the International Whaling Commission to monitor the behaviour of the Western Pacific Gray Whale; and whether changes in the whales’ behaviour have been documented. [87579]

Mr. Bradshaw: A report on the Western North Pacific Gray Whales was presented during this year’s annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and at a seismic pre-meeting of the IWC Scientific Committee.

A variety of surveys, shore-based, aerial and vessel-based, are being undertaken as part of a Russian research programme. In addition, a photo-identification catalogue has been compiled under a joint research programme (between Russia and the USA) to provide an individual numbering scheme and standardised images of Western Gray Whales that can be used for comparison by other research groups and organisations. Research indicates that the overall distribution of Gray Whales in the north-eastern Sakhalin waters was similar to that in 2004.

Genetic samples have now been collected from 124 individuals. The total of known reproductively active females remains at only 23 individuals. 14 (15.2 per cent.) of the 92 whales identified in 2005 were recorded as ‘skinny’, considerably more than the three and five recorded in 2003 and 2004, respectively. An updated population assessment, based upon these surveys, is more optimistic than last year, mainly due to reduced calving intervals observed in recent years, implying a higher reproductive rate.

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Trade and Industry

Access to Work Scheme

Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many disabled staff in his Department received support through the Access to Work scheme (a) in each of the last five years and (b) in 2006-07. [82232]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department does not keep central records of disabled staff receiving adaptations, equipment or other support through the Access to Work scheme. Details could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Animals (Inhumane Killings)

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department has done to ensure that people who put down animals without a licence dispose of the dead animals appropriately; and if he will make a statement. [87511]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have been asked to reply.

Dead animals must be disposed of in accordance with the EU Animal By-Products Regulation 1774/2002. In addition, environmental controls are imposed on the operators of the installations used for their disposal, through an appropriate environmental permit issued to the operator by the relevant local authority or the Environment Agency. Producers and others handling waste are also subject to a statutory duty of care which requires them to take all reasonable measures in the circumstances to ensure, among other things, that the waste is recovered or disposed of properly.

Area Assistance

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects the Government will submit its final UK Assisted Areas map to the European Commission following the closure of the consultation on 7 August. [87357]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 24 July 2006]: The European Commission require two months to consider our proposed map and we will need to ensure that there is sufficient time for the new Assisted Areas map to be considered by Parliament through the secondary legislation proceeding. Stage two of the consultation on the draft Assisted Areas map will close on 7 August. The Government will then consider all responses received. The Government are working to ensure a new map is in place when the present map expires on 31 December 2006.


Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people declared themselves bankrupt in (a) South East Cambridgeshire constituency, (b) Cambridgeshire and (c) the Eastern Region in each of the last five years. [88736]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: Regional insolvency statistics are only available on the basis of the locations of Official Receivers offices, each of which cover a group of county courts where the cases are heard and the courts having jurisdiction over these. It is not possible to provide bankruptcy statistics by constituency, county or Government Office Region. The following table provides the bankruptcy order statistics considered to be closest to those of interest, but they should not be treated as reliable estimates for the administrative geographies requested.

Cambridge County Court Cambridge OR's Office( 1) Anglia Region (OR-based)





















(1) Cambridge OR's Office covers the following county courts: Cambridge, Hertford, Huntingdon and Peterborough


Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of how many (a) people and (b) households in (i) England, (ii) Sunderland City Council area and (iii) Houghton and Washington East constituency are unable to gain access to broadband in their homes. [87223]

Margaret Hodge: Government do not hold this information but BT has supplied the following:

Broadband availability is estimated by telephone line not by individual or household. The ability to provide broadband is based on a number of factors such as the quality of the telephone line and distance from the exchange although conclusive proof comes by actual use and experience of the service.

Information on the number of lines unable to carry broadband is by ward or city is not collected, but the national average for lines unable to carry broadband is estimated at 0.4 per cent. of all telephone lines. There are other technologies such as cable, wireless, satellite, mobile, which can enable households to access broadband in those few places where BT does not have a suitable infrastructure.

BT's best estimates, within the Houghton and Washington East constituency, are that there are 39,551 lines, and of these Openreach(1) estimates that approximately 150-200 lines will be unsuitable because of loss of signal due to distance from the exchange or interference from electrical noise, and a further 150 because of incompatible technologies. These figures represent approximately 0.5 per cent. and 0.4 per cent. of the available lines.

Within the Sunderland District Unitary Authority area there are 119,431 lines, and of these Openreach(1) estimate that approximately 300-450 lines will be unsuitable for broadband because of loss of signal due to distance from the exchange, and a further 300 because of incompatible technologies. This represents approximately 0.4 per cent. and 0.25 per cent. of the available lines.

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