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4 Dec 2006 : Column 56W—continued

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of household waste intended for landfill were exported to countries in (a) the EU and (b) developing countries in the last year for which figures are available; and what the cost was of such exports. [106405]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 30 November 2006]: It is illegal to export waste from the UK to other countries other than for its reuse or for recycling. Landfill is a disposal operation, and waste may not be exported from the UK for this purpose.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of household rubbish in each region is recycled in the last period for which figures are available. [107013]

Mr. Bradshaw: The percentage of household waste, which was recycled or composted in each English region in 2005-06, is provided in the table as follows.

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Region Percentage of waste recycled or composted



East Midlands


South West


South East


West Midlands


North West


Yorkshire and Humberside


North East






Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Government gave to local authorities to help with recycling schemes in each of the last three years. [107014]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 1 November 2006, Official Report, column 464W.

Water Bills

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average domestic water bill (including sewerage) in England was in each year since 1996-97. [104075]

Ian Pearson: Ofwat is the economic regulator for the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales. In December 2004, it set price limits for the period 2005-10.

The following table sets out the average household water and sewerage bill for all household customers, both metered and unmetered, in England and Wales since 1996-97 (in today's prices). As some water companies' boundaries include customers in both England and Wales average bills tabulated have been provided for both countries.

Individual bills can be more or less than the average. More information can be found in Ofwat's “Water and sewerage charges 2006-07 report” which is available on their website at:

Average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales
Amount (£)( 1)























(1) Today's prices. Note: Bills for 2005-06 and 2006-07 are estimates based on provisional and forecast data provided by each company, for the years ending 31 March.

Water/Sewerage Systems

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) carbon dioxide and (b) carbon equivalent including other gases was emitted from water treatment and
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sewerage systems in (i) 1990, (ii) 1997 and (iii) 2005, broken down by sewerage company region. [103237]

Ian Pearson: The following table shows the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from treatment of waste water as recorded in the 2004 Greenhouse Gas Inventory. More detailed data showing emissions from each sewerage company region are not yet available.

GHG emissions from treatment of waste water 1990-2005
GHG emissions (million tonnes carbon equivalent)
































Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations his Department (a) has made and (b) intends to make to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Animals Committee on fin whales in the Central Atlantic. [106210]

Barry Gardiner: The Animals Committee to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), has undertaken to conduct a periodic review of the appendix I listing of the central stock of North Atlantic fin whales. DEFRA was not consulted as part of these considerations.

The aim of the periodic review is to determine whether the listings continue to be appropriate and the species are afforded the correct level of protection.

Range states of the species selected for periodic review are currently being consulted. The CITES secretariat has requested comments on the need to review the fin whale listing by 31 December 2006. We are currently considering how to respond. As a range state, comments made by the UK will then be passed to the Animals Committee for its consideration.

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the retention of large whale species on Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. [106211]

Barry Gardiner: The UK Government works closely with other parties in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to ensure that endangered species are protected from the effects of international trade. In line with the International
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Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling, introduced in 1982, all whale species (except the West Greenland population of minke whales) were listed on Appendix I of CITES in 1986. This, in effect, prohibited all commercial trade in whale products. Our policy is to continue to support the current Appendix I CITES listings for whale species.

Woodchip Burners

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage councils to use carbon neutral woodchip burners in council premises. [104250]

Ian Pearson: Advice on biomass-derived fuels and associated conversion technologies is available from the Biomass Energy Centre:

The Centre is supported by the Government and aims to draw together information from existing sources into one easy to use service based around a website and an information inquiry service. Where local authorities wish to install woodchip boilers and/or other renewable forms of energy, they can apply for grants under the Department of Trade and Industry's Low Carbon Buildings programme.

International Development

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff were employed through employment agencies in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest time was for which these temporary workers were employed in each year. [102959]

Mr. Thomas: DFID periodically engages temporary staff, both administrative and specialist, through employment agencies. The maximum period for which they are engaged is 11 months. DFID does not hold information centrally on all temporary staff and this could be secured only at disproportionate cost.

From 1 January 2007, DFID will be joining an existing framework arrangement, set up by the Prison Service, for the provision of temporary staff. Once the new arrangements come into force, information on the numbers of temporary staff engaged by DFID, together with the duration of their appointments, will be available from a central source.

Development Assistance

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much development assistance which was not provided to contribute to a reduction in poverty has been provided to British overseas territories in each of the last three financial
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years under section 2 of the International Development Act 2002; and if he will make a statement. [106195]

Mr. Thomas: DFID expenditure for the Overseas Territories for the last three financial years is:

£ million







This largely comprises budgetary and development aid for the three poorest Territories, St. Helena, Montserrat and Pitcairn. It also includes modest development assistance for Anguilla and Turks and Caicos Islands and emergency assistance for Cayman following hurricane Ivan in 2004. In addition to this bilateral assistance, the expenditure includes support through a number of regional programmes to help all the Overseas Territories address a range of common issues: disaster management, HIV/AIDS, child protection, the environment and governance.

Gender Equality

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to ensure that private organisations contracted to work (a) in his Department and (b) for non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies for which his Department is responsible are aware of their duties under gender equality legislation when exercising public functions on behalf of public bodies. [101512]

Mr. Thomas: All DFID contracts include as part of their general conditions the following clauses:

Additionally, our Invitation to Tender instructions detail DFID values including our commitment to diversity, and state that we wish to work with suppliers who embrace these values and demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility.

From 6 April 2007, private sector organisations, when carrying out functions of a public nature on behalf of public authorities, will be required to comply with the general gender equality duty which is to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between women and men. We will refer to the Equal Opportunity Commission’s (EOC) Code of Practice of the Gender Equality Duty and any further EOC guidance when available.

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Genetically Modified Crops

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the implications for developing countries of genetically modified crops containing terminator technology. [106305]

Mr. Thomas: Terminator technology (genetic use restriction technologies or GURTs) involves a wide range of complex issues that are evolving rapidly. While the Government monitor the impact of this technology, DFID has not undertaken an assessment of the impact of a specific genetic use restriction technology in a developing country. As a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UK Government will continue to review research into the possible impact of GURTs. DFID is willing to consider funding assessments of the potential impact of GURTs in developing countries.

DFID takes genetic modification in crops and foods and its potential impacts on poor people, including small-scale farmers, in developing countries very seriously. Our approach is based on the principle that the health of people and their environment is of primary concern. We consider that biotechnology, including gene technology, if managed responsibly and applied to those crops on which the poor rely, has the potential to make a contribution to development and poverty reduction.

Recognising that there are both potential benefits and risks associated with gene technologies and GM crops, developing countries should be able to make their own informed choices. To this end, DFID has worked with DEFRA, other HMG Departments and the international community to establish the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, under the CBD. The protocol adopts a strong precautionary approach and aims to ensure that countries are provided with the information necessary to make informed decisions before agreeing to the import of genetically modified organisms. It also facilitates the exchange of information on living modified organisms and assists countries in the implementation of the protocol.

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