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21 June 2006
12 July 2006
Barry Gardiner: The total cost of implementing the Single Payment scheme (SPS) in England, including associated business processes and systems, was £105.4 million. This expenditure includes the cost of establishing entitlements; processing, validating, inspecting, paying and accounting for claims; populating new rural land and customer registers; creating a document management unit and communicating with customers via scheme literature, seminars and advertising. These systems will underpin the delivery of SPS and other schemes to 2012 and beyond.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of his Departments sustainable food and farming research budget has been spent in research establishments based in (a) Wales, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The proportion expressed as percentages of the Departments sustainable farming and food research spent in research establishments i.e. research institutes in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland is given in the following table.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of his Departments research and development budget has been spent on research establishments based in (a) Wales, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The proportion expressed as percentages of the Departments research and development budget for research establishments i.e. research institutes in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland is shown in the following table.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much (a) garden and (b) kitchen waste was collected by local authorities in each year since 2000; 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answers 24 July 2006]: Local authorities in England collected an estimated 798 thousand tonnes of organic material (kitchen and garden waste) for composting in 2000-01, 940 thousand tonnes in 2001-02, 1.2 million tonnes in 2002-03 and 1.4 million tonnes in 2003-04. It is provisionally estimated that this has increased to around two million tonnes in 2004-05. This organic waste is collected for centralised composting schemes from households via kerbside schemes or taken by householders to Civic Amenity sites.
Composting is high up the waste hierarchy and is supported by a range of policies that promote sustainable waste management. Composting, including home composting of kitchen and garden waste, is also likely to play an increasingly important role in diverting biodegradable waste from landfill in line with the Governments waste strategy objectives and obligations under the Landfill Directive.
The Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP) indicate that over 34 per cent. households participate in home composting schemes, with 23 per cent. of British households composting both kitchen and garden waste. WRAP is working with local authorities and other partners to improve the uptake of home composting through the distribution of one million home composting bins to households across the country.
No estimate has been made by the Department on the level of use of food waste digesters for kitchen
waste, nor has any assessment been made of the use, (or barriers to the use) of these, or home composters. Advice and best practice for home composting is available from a range of organisations including WRAP: http://www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people in (a) England and (b) each region have been prosecuted for the illegal (i) transport, (ii) deposit and (iii) storage of waste in each of the last three years; and what total amount was paid in fines in each year. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency records the numbers of prosecutions it takes nationally for illegal waste disposal. The number of prosecutions taken for the illegal deposit of waste and the average fines paid for illegal dumping of waste, are shown in the following tables.
|For section 33(1)a Environmental Protection Act 1990illegal deposit|
|Average fines for illegal dumping|
Flycapture, the national fly-tipping database, was set up in 2004. Data held on Flycapture indicate local authorities are taking a wide range of enforcement action. Prior to April 2005 the actions taken page of the Flycapture database was not mandatory and therefore the picture is patchy. However, data from 2005-06 indicate that local authorities reported 1,479 prosecutions for illegal dumping. The total amount paid in fines for this period is reported to be £268,243.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what sanctions Ofwat can impose on water companies which fail to meet leakage targets; and whether he has discussed possible sanctions against Thames Water with Ofwat. 
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what penalties are in place for water companies which fail to meet their leakage reduction target; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent to which the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) is adequately fulfilling its statutory remit in respect of all water companies, with particular reference to Thames Water; what measures he is able to take to ensure that it does so; and if he will make a statement. 
Should Ofwat conclude that the failure of a water company to manage leakage constitutes a failure of the duty under section 37 of the Water Industry Act to maintain an efficient water supply system, it has two options for regulatory action. It has powers to initiate enforcement action under section 18 of the Water Industry Act to require the water company to take specified steps to reduce the level of leakage. Since April 2005, it also has powers to impose a financial penalty under section 22A of the Water Industry Act.
Following Thames Waters failure to meet its leakage, Ofwat announced it has secured a legally binding undertaking, committing Thames Water to £150 million of additional investment in replacing leaking mains. This is more than double the maximum imposable fine and will come from the shareholder, not the bill payer. Ofwat has also set revised leakage targets for the period up to 2010 to get the companys leakage reduction back on track and to take leakage down to 720 megalitres/day by 2009-10 rather than the old target of 725 megalitres/day. It is right that the consumer does not bear the burden of the increased investment needed for Thames Water to deal with its failure to meet its leakage targets.
Ofwat will closely monitor the companys progress. Subsequent failures will lead to further enforcement action, including fines if appropriate, from 2007. Ofwat will not hesitate to use its tough powers against any company that clearly fails to meet its responsibilities to consumers.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2006, Official Report, column 1858W, on water companies, what the evidential basis is in each region for the improvement in (a) efficiency, (b) drinking water quality and (c) water environment, broken down by region; and what the leakage rates have been in each region in each year since 1980. 
Ian Pearson: Ofwat sets demanding efficiency targets at each price review. The companies judged to be least efficient by Ofwat must make the biggest reductions in costs. In addition, there are incentives for companies to beat Ofwats efficiency assumptions, which reward the companies in the short term (up to five years) and customers, through lower bills in the longer term.
Ofwat estimates that savings from efficiency improvements between privatisation and 1 April 2005 have resulted in bills £90 lower than they otherwise
would have been. The price limits set by Ofwat in 2004 assume further savings in bills of at least £16 in the five years up to 2009-10.
The impact of past efficiency savings on the average household bill along with a reduction for future efficiency improvements are published at each price review in Ofwats Final Determinations publication.
Drinking water in England and Wales is of a very high quality. Between 1994 and 2003 tests were taken according to the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 that arose from the 1980 Drinking Water Directive. Table 1 shows a year-on-year improvement in compliance with the standards. Table 2 shows the reduction in the numbers of samples failing to meet standards.
|Table 1: Drinking Water Quality|
|Overall compliance with Regulatory standards (Percentage)|
|(1) New regulations applied from 2004|
|Table 2: Drinking Water Quality|
|Total number of breaches of standard|
|(1 )New regulations applied from 2004|
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