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19 Jan 2007 : Column 1397W—continued

Unauthorised Absences

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many and what proportion of children with (a) statements and (b) non-statemented special educational needs in mainstream (i) maintained schools and (ii) maintained special schools took unauthorised absence from school in each year between 1997 and 2006; [114549]

(2) how many and what proportion of pupils taking unauthorised absence from mainstream maintained schools between 1997 and 2006 had (a) statemented and (b) non-statemented special educational needs. [114550]

Jim Knight: The information required to answer the questions for 2006 is not yet available. The information required to answer the questions for previous years is unavailable.

The Department started to collect pupil level absence data for the first time from secondary schools in January 2006. Detailed absence statistics for 2005-06 will be available in a Statistical First Release provisionally scheduled for publication in March 2007. An analysis of absence by Special Education Needs in secondary schools will be available once the Statistical First Release has been published.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent on repairing damage to schools caused by vandalism in each local education authority in each year from 2000 to 2006. [116959]

Jim Knight: The Department does not hold information on the costs of vandalism in schools. To collect it, we would need to ask every school in England to provide us with figures which is an unacceptable burden on schools.

Young Carers

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance he has issued
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relating to local authority support for young carers which requires input from children’s services and from adult social services. [117003]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has not issued separate guidance which isolates this issue.

Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need in their area, through the provision of services appropriate to the needs of such children, and as far as is consistent with this, to promote the upbringing of children within their families. Young carers will often be children in need.

The assessment of a child’s needs, and the capacity of their parents to respond appropriately to those needs within their family context, should follow the statutory guidance, “A Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families”. The “Framework” provides, however, that with any child or family referral, children’s social care should check whether a person with parenting responsibility has needs independent of their child’s needs, which may call for the provision of adult community care services. If so, those needs should be further assessed in accordance with the Department of Health guidance, “Fair Access to Care Services”.

Correspondingly, with any adult referral, social services should check whether the person has parenting responsibility for a child under 18. If so, the initial assessment should explore any parenting and child related issues in accordance with the “Framework for Assessment”.

Electoral Commission Committee

Committee on Standards in Public Life

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, if he will make a statement on the outcome of the review of the Electoral Commission by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. [110855]

Peter Viggers: The Speaker’s Committee supported the Committee on Standards in Public Life in undertaking this review of the role and governance of the Electoral Commission. It is grateful to Sir Alistair Graham and his colleagues for their thorough inquiry, and will give careful consideration to the recommendations set out in the Committee’s report, a number of which are specifically addressed to the Speaker’s Committee.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Carbon Emissions

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government projects the total carbon emissions of the UK will be for (a) domestic consumption, (b) (i) domestic and (ii) international aviation, (c) road
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transport and (d) power generation in (A) 2030 and (B) 2050. [115441]

Ian Pearson: The Department of Trade and Industry produced updated energy projections in July 2006. Projections for the residential and transport sectors are shown in the table. These projections are made on an end-user, rather than source basis, meaning emissions due to electricity are attributed to the user, rather than to the power generating sector.

Projections for the power generation sector are not available at this time. Aviation projections are given in the final column of the table. The aviation data are consistent with the central case emission forecast in the January 2004 White Paper, Aviation and Global Warming. These data include emissions from both domestic and international aviation.

Projected sectoral CO 2 emissions from Updated Energy Projections number 26 (million tonnes of CO 2 )—aviation projections taken from 2004 White Paper, “Aviation and Global Warming” (central case emission forecast)
2030 2050

Residential sector (Mt CO2)



UK transport sector (Mt CO2)



Domestic and international aviation (Mt CO2)



Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what factor within the range of estimates for radiative forcing from aircraft carbon emissions the Government applies; and if he will make a statement. [115622]

Ian Pearson: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated in 1999 that the total climate change impact of aviation is between two and four times greater than that of its CO2 emissions alone. More recent research in 2000 by the European Commission’s TRADEOFF project suggested that the total climate change impact of aviation up to 2000 was 1.9 times greater than its CO2 impact alone. This is known as the radiative forcing index. The non-CO2 effect is caused by some of the other emissions released by aircraft, including nitrous oxides, particulates and water vapour, and their specific effects at altitude.

For the purposes of the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund, DEFRA has decided to recognise the more recent TRADEOFF work and use a multiplier of two when calculating the climate impacts of aviation, to reflect the most recent and robust scientific evidence currently available. This decision will be kept under review as further scientific evidence becomes available. DEFRA’s recommendations were developed in collaboration with DfT and have been adopted by other Government Departments through their participation in the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund.

The multiplier is designed to attempt to capture the non-CO2 effects that aviation has on average and does not imply a precise radiative forcing relationship on a flight by flight basis.

Energy Services Directive

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent
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progress has been made on the implementation of the Energy Services Directive. [116302]

Ian Pearson: Along with the cross-government team set up to implement the Energy Services Directive, DEFRA continues to make the progress necessary to meet the implementation deadline of 17 May 2008. The Department of Trade and Industry is currently consulting stakeholders on the billing and metering provisions of the Directive. DEFRA expects to consult stakeholders further on implementation plans later this year.

English Nature

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much English Nature spent on programme expenditure in Ashford local authority area in the most recent year for which figures are available. [117008]

Barry Gardiner: English Nature’s finance systems did not permit the recording of expenditure by local authority area and therefore this information is not available.

Environment Agency

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Environment Agency spent on programme expenditure in Ashford local authority area in the most recent year for which figures are available. [117010]

Ian Pearson: The Environment Agency (EA) has been working as the lead organisation for the development of the Ashford Integrated Water Management Strategy. The primary purpose of the strategy is to co-ordinate the actions of each party through their existing funding and implementation processes and provide a focus for collaboration and innovation.

The EA is currently managing projects to the value of £500,000 over two years, jointly funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). These projects address the priorities identified in the strategy such as the Sustainable Urban Drainage System and Integrated Catchment Management. Another project involves undertaking research into the use of bio-fuel coppice as a final treatment for sewage effluent.

Other projects include the Ashford Water Festival, and “Savings on Tap” (a collaboration between Kent county council, Mid Kent Water and Hillread Homes to trial variable tariffs and water efficient fittings in new homes).

The day-to-day operations of the EA’s operational officers are co-ordinated through the Ashford Water Quality Programme. This programme covers the breadth of the EA’s activities including Flood Risk Management, Fisheries and the assessment of compliance with permits and licences.

However, to provide an indication of the level of expenditure by the EA an estimation of the cost of
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project related work in the year 2006-07, in addition to the DCLG funded work, is provided in the following table:

Activity Estimated value (£)

Flood Risk Management


Water Resources


Water Quality


Environment Monitoring






This total excludes the salary costs of officers undertaking routine activities.

Hazardous Waste

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the (a) fire and (b) environmental health services share common addresses for storage sites of hazardous waste. [116307]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA does not hold the specific information requested. However, the Environment Agency (EA) works closely with a range of professional partners, including the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), in relation to emergencies involving hazardous waste. This is on both a statutory and non-statutory basis.

With regard to the EA’s statutory obligations, various regulatory duties require close multi-agency working on emergency planning issues, for example, the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. The latter requires Category 1 Partners (which include the EA, local authorities and the emergency services) to share information on emergency planning and response. This liaison is primarily undertaken through Local Resilience Forums.

As far as its non-statutory obligations are concerned, the EA shares intelligence with the FRS and working on joint planning such as the development of FRS Operational Response Plans, which accommodate environmental issues.


Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of tonnes of plastic waste exported to China for recycling in each of the last five years. [115802]

Mr. Bradshaw: There is a control framework for the shipment of waste to and from the UK. However, where non-hazardous waste (such as separated recyclables) are exported, they are generally subject only to commercial controls, not to the prior notification and consent procedures which apply to exports of hazardous waste. Therefore, they are not notified to anyone. However, it is possible to estimate based on trade data which suggest that large quantities of plastic, paper and metal, from municipal and commercial sources, are being exported to countries
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such as China and India. We are unable to provide exact figures for individual countries.

Estimates of waste plastics exported from the UK over each of the last five years are set out in the table as follows:

Exports (tonnes)











UK trade statistics website and DEFRA

Smarter Metering

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) officials in the Department for Trade and Industry and (b) suppliers about the minimum level of functionality of smarter metering systems. [116288]

Ian Pearson: My officials are working closely with their Department of Trade and Industry counterparts in taking forward the measures in last year’s Energy Review and the transposition of the EC Directive on Energy End Use Efficiency and Energy Services. These measures include meters that provide information on actual time of energy use. Ofgem, which is responsible for gas and electricity regulation, has established a Metering Inter-operability Steering Group to oversee the development of interoperability arrangements to promote and support the introduction of smart metering.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on EU voluntary partnerships on the timber trade; and if he will make a statement. [116934]

Barry Gardiner: No specific representations have been received recently on Voluntary Partnership Agreements under the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade licensing scheme for timber imports. Stakeholders continue to show a general interest in the Government’s continued work, through bilateral and multi-lateral processes, to develop restrictions upon the import of illegally harvested timber.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Citizens: Convictions Abroad

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether consulates abroad record the (a) offence and (b) sentence of British prisoners convicted abroad. [116226]

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