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Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which local authorities (a) used and (b) did not use doorstep canvassers to compile the 2007 electoral register. 
Bridget Prentice: This information is not held centrally. Section 9 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 placed a new duty on electoral registration officers to take all necessary steps to maintain the electoral register, which includes making on one or more occasions house to house inquiries. Section 67 of the Act requires the Electoral Commission to set and monitor performance standards for electoral services and this will help to provide more information about activity in this area in the future.
Bridget Prentice: Provision for the registration of voters is provided through the local authority formula grant, which is not ring-fenced. Spending decisions are made by local authorities, taking into account their statutory responsibilities and local needs. Under the Electoral Administration Act, the Electoral Commission has the power to require financial information from authorities that will show the level of funding. This, coupled with the introduction of performance indicators for registration, will increase transparency in this area.
£19.9 million has been transferred to English local authorities in 2006-07 and £1.2 million will be transferred to the National Assembly for Wales in 2006-07, to cover the new burdens arising from the Electoral Administration Act 2006; notably the new duty on electoral registration officers to maximise the register. The same level of funding will be transferred in 2007-08.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much of the funding allocated to local authorities for registration for elections taking place in 2006-07 has been spent on registration. 
Bridget Prentice: Funding for registration activities is included in the local authority formula grant issued by central Government. Once these funds are allocated, the decision on how they are utilised is a matter for the local authorities concerned.
Barry Gardiner: The food industry has a major environmental impact, accounting for 14 per cent. of energy consumption by UK business and 7 million tonnes of carbon a year. I am pleased that the sector is responding positively to the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy, published last year.
David Miliband: Detailed analysis of all the payments made under the 2005 single payment scheme is not yet available. Once the remaining 2005 scheme payments have been completed, a decision will be taken on the level of detail that will be published.
Mr. Bradshaw: Recovering energy from burning waste is significantly better in environmental terms than landfill. The UK still has high levels of landfill and low levels of recovering energy from waste. We want to see more energy recovery and less landfill.
I visited New Delhi and Mumbai from 21 to 24 January 2007 where I met with Minister Raja, Minister of Environment and Forests. We
discussed how to strengthen our bilateral co-operation on climate change and issues relating to future climate change agreements.
21. Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in international negotiations for action on climate change after 2012; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: In December 2005, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal, negotiations started on new commitments for developed countries after 2012. The momentum initiated in Montreal was continued at Nairobi in November 2006, but 2007 will be an important year and at the December Bali Climate Change Conference we will be pressing for a decision that a post-2012 framework should be agreed by 2009 at the latest.
17. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of low energy light bulbs; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: We are taking a number of steps to encourage more use of energy efficient bulbs, including energy labelling, and promoting the most energy efficient bulbs. The Energy Efficiency Commitment and Warm Front Scheme are reducing the price consumers pay.
However, we are concerned about ozone and particulates which remain a problem in some locations because of transport emissions. We are also concerned about the impact of climate change on air quality.
Mr. Bradshaw: Monitoring by scientists at Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the Environment Agency and Natural England has not shown any adverse effects, although seabirds have been affected by some leaking oil.
20. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the application of the polluter pays principle in the EU Environmental Liability Directive to the release of genetically modified organisms. 
Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on a range of issues. The Government are currently consulting on its policy on implementation of the directive, which will strengthen application of the polluter pays principle in respect of a number of forms of environmental damage including potentially from activities related to the release of GMOs.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the transposition of the EC Environmental Liability on the capacity of environmental protection to deliver overall benefit. 
Ian Pearson: The Environmental Liability Directive is concerned with the prevention and remedying of narrowly-defined environmental damage. A consultation seeking views on options for implementing the Environmental Liability Directive was launched in December 2006. It includes a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) which estimates, on the best information available, the cost benefits associated with the different options.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the transposition of the EC Environmental Liability Directive conforms with the Government's policy that the polluter should pay. 
Ian Pearson: The Environmental Liability Directive is founded on the polluter pays principle. The Government wishes to encourage a change in behaviours so as to bring about reductions in the risks of serious environmental damage occurring and more effective application of the polluter pay principle where such damage does occur. The options in the consultation document launched in December, including the Governments preference, would reinforce the polluter pays principle.
22. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the contribution of the transportation of food and food-related products to carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. 
The transportation of food and food-related products and its contribution to carbon dioxide emissions in the UK was assessed in a research report commissioned by DEFRA and published in July 2005. The figures for carbon dioxide emissions due to
food transportation in the UK are updated annually. Both the report and the update in 2006 are on DEFRAs website.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which access authorities have received funding via the Access Management Grant Scheme since 2004; and how much each received in each year. 
|Payments made 2004-05|
|Payments made 2005-06|
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