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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what basis he has set the charges to farmers to comply with the Integration Pollution Prevention and Control Directive; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his Ministerial colleagues in (a) Denmark, (b) France and (c) other EU countries on how they set their charges under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the value was of beef imported into the UK from Zimbabwe under EU import licensing in the last year for which figures are available. 
|Import type||Description||Value (£)|
These figures do not include re-exported products that come into the UK from Zimbabwe via another EU member state, as these are recorded only as imports from that country. There have been no imports of beef or beef products into the UK from Zimbabwe recorded so far in 2006(1).
(1) 2006 data are subject to amendments.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee in (a) achieving its strategic objectives and (b) communicating its proposals and actions to relevant stakeholders in the North East region. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Strategic objectives and communications with stakeholders are essentially matters for individual Sea Fisheries Committees to consider. The role of DEFRA in these areas is limited to ensuring that SFCs comply with the statutory requirements for consultation on fisheries byelaws, as laid down in the Sea Fisheries (Byelaws) Regulation 1985 (SI 1985/1785). I am not aware of a breach of these requirements in any recent consultations conducted by the North Eastern SFC.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what central Government support is available to local authorities to help them reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. 
Ian Pearson: Carbon Management, which is part of the Carbon Trust, looks strategically at how carbon impacts upon public sector organisations by identifying the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. There is a specialist tailored programme for local authorities.
Salix, which is a not-for-profit company set up by the Carbon Trust in 2004, uses Government funding of around £20 million to set up ring-fenced recycled loan funds in public sector organisations. Funding from Salix is matched by each organisation to support investment in cost-effective, long-term energy saving projects such as insulation, heating and lighting. Salix continues to accelerate its activities. Its local authority programme has doubled from 20 to 45 authorities, with more in the pipeline.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from Nirex on the transfer of responsibility for disposal of radioactive waste to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority since 25 October; and if he will place copies of those representations in the Library. 
Ian Pearson: Ministers have received no direct representations from Nirex following the announcement of 25 October. We have been copied in, for information purposes, to some of the initial correspondence between United Kingdom Nirex Limited (Nirex) and Nirex CLG Limited (the Company Limited by Guarantee). The correspondence concerned the commercial, contractual and timing aspects of the transfer of Nirex ownership to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), through share sale. This was proposed in the statement given by the Secretary of State to the House on the 25 October.
Consultation on the share sale continued from the date of that statement until its completion and approval by the Nirex board on 29 November. This was announced in a statement I gave to the House on 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 114WS.
(i) a period of at least three months to discuss future organisational integration arrangements;
(ii) set in place of a reconstituted Nirex board and a Transition Team consisting of both Nirex and NDA representatives to oversee these arrangements;
It was also agreed that the Nirex chair would continue to chair the reconstituted board for this transitional period. An addendum in the sale and purchase agreement covered staff issues. In addition I have met and discussed the arrangements with Prospect union representatives. I have also met the Nirex chair and spoken to the chair of the NDA.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the effect will be of the conclusions of his Departments summer budget review on funds available for sustainable food and farming research. 
These figures refer to the highest ten claims in value that have not received any money at all, either in the form of a partial or full payment. They are all in the priority one category, namely claimants who have received no money and are owed over €1,000 or £682, to whom the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has assigned individual case workers in order to have direct contact with the customers and expedite their claims. All these top 10 claims are being held up for probate reasons. Such claims have historically proved difficult to resolve speedily and despite the best and continuing efforts of RPA are outside their direct control. There are 41 priority one cases in all.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) who is on the Task Force looking at soil guideline values; how often it has met; what its main priorities are; and what the timetable is for publication of the values for substances being reviewed; 
(2) what steps have been taken to ensure that soil guideline values are an effective way of measuring significant possibility of significant harm under part 2 (a) section 78(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; 
(3) what definition the Task Force looking at soil guidance values is using of the term significant possibility of significant harm set out in section 78(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 
Barry Gardiner: The Soil Guideline Values (SGVs) Task Force was set up by the Government in 2003. It was expanded in 2004 through involving representative bodies in the contaminated land field, relevant Departments and agencies. The Task Force met on 16 occasions.
The Task Force was established to look at issues around the production and usefulness of SGVs and related technical materials. These are non-statutory guidelines and information which can help with risk assessments of land affected by contamination, and establishing the need for any remedial action.
At the end of 2005, the chair of the Task Force indicated that a number of issues needed to be resolved by my Department. Further work has been taken forward with her assistance and that of the Task Force, particularly through the paper Soil Guideline Values: The Way Forward. This paper outlines a number of issues and emerging conclusions relating to the production of SGVs, although it is not a review of individual substances. It also envisages a number of updates and improvements that respond to and build on the Task Force work. The term significant possibility of significant harm is elaborated in the statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 78A(5) of the 1990 Act, and the words dealing with human health effects arising from intake or exposure to contaminants have underpinned the development work of the paper.
I have arranged for a copy of the paper to be placed in the Library of the House. Task Force organisations are now considering it, although the Task Force itself
has now been wound up. The paper indicates that our aim is to have completed improvements to current technical guidance by the end of 2007, with some key changes being available well before then.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will assess the likely effect of the decision of Essex County Council to switch off the majority of street lights during the hours of midnight to 5am on energy efficiency. 
Gillian Merron: Government scientists have been investigating a wide range of techniques for the analysis of liquids for the presence of explosives. Quasi-static electrical analysis is one potential technique, but given currently available technologies it is not a technique suitable for operational use.
Gillian Merron: Section 4 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 gives the operator of any non-designated civil aerodrome the power to establish and enforce noise controls on aircraft using their facilities. This provision therefore currently applies to every civil aerodrome in Great Britain except Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. We have no plans to bring forward any further legislation on aircraft noise at this time.
Operational noise complaints (as distinct from representations about policy) are properly a matter for individual airports, many of which regularly publish their own summary statistics of complaints or enquiries. Most complaints are directed to the airports or to the Civil Aviation Authority; and some to National Air Traffic Services, to airport consultative committees or to local authorities.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) technical and financial contracts, (b) technical consultants used on a call-off basis and (c) financial consultants used on a call-off basis by (i) his Department and (ii) agencies of his Department since 1 April 2005; what the nature of the assignment for each consultant was; and what the value of work carried out by each consultant was. 
Gillian Merron: Lists showing the technical and financial contracts awarded by the Department since 1 April 2005 for the central Department and its Executive Agencies have been placed in the Libraries of the House. These lists show the formally tendered contracts awarded for both specific assignments and the framework arrangements which the Department may place orders against on a call-off basis. The lists show the nature of the work and a contract award value.
However the central Department and its Agencies accounting systems, which hold information about purchase orders raised, do not provide information in the format necessary to be able to separately identify the orders placed against call-off and framework contracts. Actual expenditure incurred against such contracts could therefore only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which contractors based in (a) EU member states and (b) other states have provided services to (i) his Department and (ii) each executive agency of his Department since 31 August 2005; and what the (A) nature and (B) cost of the work was in each case. 
Gillian Merron: Providing details of the nature and cost of contracts and orders placed on contractors based in all EU member states (including the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and other states would entail the analysis of all purchase orders placed by the Department since 31 August 2005. This could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
However the smaller sub-set of information containing details of contracts and orders placed with other EU member states (excluding the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and non-EU states can be provided and lists containing the information have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will publish (a) updated guidance on cycle friendly infrastructures and (b) local transport notes on walking and cycling. 
Mr. Tom Harris:
We aim to publish the updated guidance, and two Local Transport Notes, Policy, Planning and Design for Walking and Cycling and Adjacent and Shared Use Facilities for Pedestrians and Cyclists in autumn 2007. We expect to publish a draft
of the guidance for consultation in the spring. A third Local Transport Note, Signs and Markings for Cycle Routes, is programmed to be published at the end of 2007.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the electricity used by his Department was generated from (a) renewable sources and (b) on-site microgeneration facilities in the last period for which figures are available. 
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