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Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the total cost of the interest to be paid to farmers as a result of late payment of single farm payments for the period July to December 2006. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the predicted annual number of days of snowfall is for (a) London, (b) Edinburgh, (c) Bristol and (d) Inverness in (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030 and (iv) 2050. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the authors of the Stern report on implementation of the recommendations of the report. 
Ian Pearson: During the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Sir Nicholas Stern had regular meetings with the Secretary of State to keep him updated on the reviews likely findings. However, the Stern Review was an independent report to Government, so the authors were not responsible for its implementation.
The key policy conclusions set out by the Stern Reviews final report were in line with the UKs existing climate change policy measures and the work being taken forward following our Energy Review, in the DfID White Paper, and the forthcoming Energy White Paper.
Our response to the Stern reportsome of which was announced at the reports launch and some in the pre-Budget reporthas two main focuses. First, we want to integrate the Stern reports recommendations about international climate change into the UKs own international climate change policy. For example, the report set out the key role of carbon pricing to ensure that the costs of climate change are factored into all economic decisions. The Chancellor, the Environment Secretary and the Trade and Industry Secretary subsequently published the Governments vision to ensure that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme works to become the centre of a global carbon market.
Second, we are committed to taking action at home that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions without reducing economic growth. For example, the Stern report suggests a credible long-term framework is crucial to ensure effective low-carbon investment decisions and thus enhance competitiveness. In this respect, we announced a new Climate Change Bill, which will put into statute the Governments long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent. by 2050 and set out a framework for achieving this. This will also strengthen our ability to be global leaders in a future international framework for climate change.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the policy was of the UK Government in the negotiations prior to the recent decision of the European Commission not to appeal against the World Trade Organisations verdict on the US-EU biotechnology dispute. 
Ian Pearson: The Government agree with the European Commission that the World Trade Organisations verdict does not call into question the current EU regulatory regime on genetically modified organisms (GMO) and will not result in any relaxation of the existing rules. GM products will only be approved for marketing within the EU if they pass a detailed case-by-case risk assessment and are considered safe for human health and the environment.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average performance against best value performance indicator 82 (a) a and (b) b for household waste recycling and composting performance was of (i) waste collection authorities, (ii) waste disposal authorities and (iii) unitary waste authorities in (A) London and (B) England in 2004-05. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 8 January 2007]: Average local authority household recycling and composting rates for London and England for each type of authority based on their 2004-05 best value performance indicators are shown in the following table. The average rates are weighted according to population within each local authority area and overall estimates for London and England are based on performance by unitary authorities and waste disposal authorities.
|2004-5||Dry recycling rate (82a)||Green recycling rate (82b)||82a+b|
| Source: Best Value Performance Indicators 20045|
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of whether each London waste disposal authority is on track to achieve its landfill allowance trading scheme allocations for 2010. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 8 January 2007]: On 12 October 2006 I publicly congratulated all waste authorities in England for complying with their obligations during 2005-06. England's total allocation of allowances for that period was set at 15.2 million tonnes, and the calculated amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill was 12.4 million tonnes. That surplus is available to local authorities in 2006-07.
In 2009-10, the amount of BMW which can go to landfill will fall to 11.2 million tonnes. Waste disposal authorities will have to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill by about 1.2 million tonnes compared to 2005-06. England is making good progress to meet this target, assuming that current trends continue.
The flexibilities provided by the landfill allowances trading scheme (LATS) will enable waste disposal authorities to meet their obligations under the scheme in the most cost effective way. It is up to each authority to plan how to comply with its duties in any scheme year. It is not possible to predict how any individual authority will choose to comply with the requirements of the scheme in 2009-10.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to prevent local authorities from meeting their landfill allowance trading scheme allocations by moving waste off the municipal balance sheet by selling off their commercial waste portfolios. 
Section 45 (1) (b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on the local authority to make arrangements for the collection of commercial waste in
its area, if requested by the holder of the waste to collect it. Therefore in order to fulfil this duty, the authority must have arrangements in place to deal with waste from commercial sources. Irrespective of whether it provides the service itself or contracts some other body to do the work, the local authority is still in control of the waste.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the basis was for his Department's decision not to adopt a proposal to prohibit the import of wild birds during the passage of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill in 2005. 
Barry Gardiner: The temporary EU ban on the import of wild birds, imposed in October 2005 in light of the threat from avian influenza, is still in place with the latest extension until 31 March 2007. During the passage of the NERC Bill there were calls for the UK to permanently ban imports of wild birds. At that time the European Commission had been asked to consider whether there were grounds for extending the ban on a more permanent basis and we felt it would be premature for the UK to introduce any stricter measures pending the development of a wider EU position. We expect a decision from the Commission on this issue soon.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether areas of Winsford are eligible for grants for rural recovery; if he will make available the relevant guidelines on bids for rural recovery; what rural recovery grants have been made in Winsford; and how much has been spent on administration in Warrington in total and as a percentage of grants made. 
Barry Gardiner: Cheshire Rural Recovery (now renamed Cheshire Rural Enterprise) was formed in 2003 as a five-year, £10 million scheme to assist in delivering improvements to Cheshires rural economy. The scheme manages a number of projects such as the Rural Small Building Scheme, which aims to refurbish under-used rural buildings, and Saddle Up which supports the equestrian sector. The exact criteria for the different areas of support can vary depending on the grant. The guidelines for applicants are available on the Cheshire Rural Enterprise website at:
(i) As part of the Rural Business Development programme managed through Business Link, TCR Irrigation were supported to purchase specialist equipment. A £15,300 grant was offered of a £51,000 total project cost.
(ii) Support has been provided to develop a new radio station to be based in Winsford but covering a large area of rural Cheshire. A £18,980 grant was offered of a £71,470 total project cost.
As a rule, the urban areas of Winsford are not eligible for rural recovery grant support as the town has not been classed as a market town. The surrounding rural hinterland of the town would be eligible.
The administration costs for Cheshire Rural Enterprise are not managed at borough council level but are administered for the scheme as a whole. The administration costs for the whole scheme are set at 6.5 per cent. of the total approved.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2006, Official Report, column 961W, on woodland, if he will make an assessment of the environmental effects of tax relief and exemptions for woodland where there is no requirement to manage, fell and replant. 
Barry Gardiner: We have no plans to make an assessment. It would be very difficult to carry out an assessment of just one of the factors that can influence woodland management decisions. In addition the cost of such an assessment, if possible, would far exceed any likely benefit that could be gained.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of households that will qualify for assistance in switching over to digital television in each parliamentary constituency in Scotland; what steps she is taking to ensure that those households which qualify for assistance will receive it; and if she will make a statement. 
The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill was introduced on the 16 November. The Bill would enable the scheme to receive social security information in order to target those eligible for assistance and so help increase take-up amongst those eligible. There will also be extensive communications to raise awareness of the assistance available from the help scheme.
|Constituency||Households (defined as eligible benefit units)|
1. Rounded to the nearest thousand.
2. Eligibility for help from the digital switchover help scheme will be by benefit unit rather than the whole household definition used by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Office to forecast future household growth.
3. The definition of a benefit unit is a couple and any dependent children. It excludes adults deemed to be non-dependents who, if eligible, will be able to claim assistance from the help scheme in their own right.
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