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8 Feb 2007 : Column 1074W—continued


Parking: Coleraine

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the multi-storey car park facilities in Coleraine to be completed. [120229]

Mr. Hanson: The Department for Social Development issued a development brief in respect of the Abbey Street and Mall car park sites in November 2005. One of the objectives of the development brief was to address the parking shortfall in Coleraine town centre. The Department is currently assessing the development proposals which have been submitted in response to the development brief. It is hoped that the Department will be in a position to appoint a preferred developer or developers for these sites by mid 2007. This would allow construction work to commence on one of them by early 2008 and be completed by mid 2009.

Planning Applications

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many planning applications were made for rural-located business projects in each year from 2001-02 to 2005-06; how many of those applications were refused; and what projected job losses in rural locations were cited in them. [118725]

David Cairns: I regret that information on the number of rural-located business projects is not held in a readily
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accessible form. It could only be obtained at disproportionate cost by an examination of approximately 152,000 individual applications made during the period 2001-02 to 2005-06.

Railways: Belfast

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many passengers used (a) the Belfast to Larne railway line and (b) the Belfast to Bangor railway line in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [120431]

David Cairns: Figures are not available by calendar month as information is collected on an operational period basis (either four or five-week periods). This however is broadly representative of calendar months. Patronage information on the Bangor and Larne lines for the last 12 periods is given in the following table.

Period Bangor patronage Larne patronage

2005-06

10 (January)

122,885

110,322

11

159,744

139,821

12

188,927

165,394

2006-07

1

141,396

117,470

2

160,602

134,015

3

187,126

160,773

4

147,864

102,295

5

164,612

118,490

6

187,100

173,400

7

162,678

164,166

8

159,892

152,029

9 (December)

180,016

167,305

Total

1,962,842

1,705,480

Note:
Periods 3, 6, 9 and 12 are five-week periods. All others are four week periods.

Secondary Education

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many post-primary educational facilities there are in Northern Ireland. [119311]

Maria Eagle: There are 228 grant-aided mainstream schools, 38 special schools, 14 independent (non grant-aided) schools, and three hospital schools providing education for children of post primary age.

Post primary education may also be delivered in a number of other settings: Further Education Colleges, Alternative Education Providers, Pupil Referral Units, Juvenile Justice Centres and outreach facilities, at home for those being home educated or getting home tutoring, and via work experience providers.

Translink

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1503-5W, on Translink, if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of the settlement for the former chief executive of Translink. [119876]


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David Cairns: The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company’s Annual Report for the year ending 31 March 2007 will be laid before Parliament in accordance with the prescribed parliamentary procedure.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animals: Clones

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what controls govern the importation of embryos from cloned animals. [117967]

Mr. Bradshaw: Animal health controls on the importation of animals and their genetic material are laid down in European Community law. There are no specific controls relating to cloned animals or their genetic material (for example, embryos), thus there are no requirements to identify any such imported cloned animals or any germplasm deriving from such animals.

Avian Influenza

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what preventative measures his Department is undertaking to restrict the possibility of an outbreak of the H5N1 virus. [119953]

Mr. Bradshaw: Targeted surveillance for high pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza and other avian influenza viruses in wild birds is in place throughout the UK and is ongoing. My Department has issued extensive guidance to bird keepers on biosecurity measures to protect their birds from avian influenza, which is available on the DEFRA website.

On 3 February, DEFRA confirmed highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza on a poultry farm near Lowestoft in Suffolk. My Department has put in place a 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone requiring certain biosecurity measures, the housing of birds, and movement restrictions. We have also put in place a further restricted zone of 2,090 sq km covering North East Suffolk and South East Norfolk. It requires the isolation of poultry from wild birds and permits movements only under licence. In addition, the general licence on bird gatherings has been revoked banning shows and racing.

The Government’s Contingency Plan for Exotic Animal Diseases is available on the DEFRA website. I also refer the hon. Member to the Secretary of State’s statement to the House on 5 February 2007, Official Report, column 573.

Avian Influenza: Birds of Prey

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his oral statement of 5 February 2007, Official Report, columns 573-75, on the avian influenza outbreak, if he will issue guidance to the regional offices of his Department to ensure that public falconry displays are permitted to continue during February. [120226]


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Mr. Bradshaw: As from 3 February, all bird gatherings (including falconry displays, fairs, markets, shows, exhibitions and pigeon races) are banned in England, Scotland and Wales due to the avian influenza situation. All such gatherings planned over the next few weeks must be cancelled.

The ban extends nationwide because of the high risk nature of bird gatherings and the current uncertainty of the epidemiology of this disease. We will keep this ban under review as the disease situation develops.

However, falconry displays and other similar events outside the restricted areas can continue if they only involve a single bird or birds which are normally kept together so do not pose an increased risk of disease spread.

DEFRA’s local animal health offices are being kept informed of the situation through the usual channels.

Bovine TB

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) of 26 January 2007, Official Report, columns 211-13W, on bovine TB, what changes to the tabular systems are under consideration; and how proposals will be consulted on. [118106]

Mr. Bradshaw: In considering possible changes to the current compensation arrangements, discussions within the Cattle Compensation Advisory Group have focused on the industry representatives’ suggestions for enhancing compensation rates (in the identified sectors) for ‘higher quality stock’.

A decision on how we consult interested parties about possible system changes will be made once the different suggestions have been fully evaluated. As noted previously, any changes would need to be justified and fair to farmers and the taxpayer. They would also need to take account of the extensive evidence on the level of over-valuation experienced under the previous system based on individual valuations.

Cellular Phones: Recycling

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage the recycling of mobile phones. [119439]

Mr. Bradshaw: Mobile phones are a good example of widely used products where much has already been done—by producers and consumers—to reduce waste. However, more can and should be done to reduce the impacts of waste disposal at each stage of the product cycle.

DEFRA is working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the implementation of the EU waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive, which, from July this year, will make producers financially responsible for the treatment and recycling of electronic equipment, including mobile phones, when it becomes waste. In particular, DEFRA have made the regulations transposing the treatment and permitting requirements of the directive, which are
8 Feb 2007 : Column 1078W
intended to improve the environmental performance of operators directly involved in the treatment of WEEE.

DEFRA also worked with the DTI on the implementation of the EU RoHS (restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment) directive. Since 1 July 2006, the RoHS regulations have restricted the use of six substances in the manufacture of mobile phones and other electrical and electronic equipment, meaning that they will be easier to treat and recycle when they become waste.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether funding will be provided to access authorities for ongoing costs in relation to part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 in 2008-09; [117592]

(2) what funding his Department has provided for (a) the implementation and (b) ongoing work in relation to part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to each access authority in each year since 2004. [117596]

Barry Gardiner [pursuant to the reply, 1 February 2007, Official Report, c. 444W]: My answer was incomplete, and did not contain the final two paragraphs explaining the figures in the table. The complete answer is as follows.

National Park authorities are access authorities in National Parks. In relation to any other land, the access authority is the local highway authority in whose area the land is situated.

The Department’s funding to National Parks for the preparation and implementation of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 Act (parts I and V) is as follows:

2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Broads

25,000

25,000

Dartmoor

100,000

350,000

350,000

Exmoor

100,000

350,000

350,000

Lake District

400,000

450,000

450,000

New Forest

150,000

Northumberland

150,000

350,000

350,000

North York Moors

300,000

450,000

450,000

Peak District

500,000

450,000

450,000

Yorkshire Dales

300,000

450,000

450,000

Total

1,850,000

2,875,000

3,025,000


These figures include funding for access management (National Parks were unable to participate in the Access Management Grant Scheme) and other responsibilities including that of relevant authority for exclusions and restrictions of access and appointing authority for local access forums (under part V of the Act). From 2006-07 the ongoing funding for the management of open access for National Parks will be embedded within the core grant settlement.

The Department does not provide funding to local highway authorities in respect of their responsibilities as access authorities under part I of the Act. However,
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funding was made available to these access authorities by the Countryside Agency (now Natural England) through the Access Management Grant Scheme and is also provided from the Government in respect of their role as appointing authority for local access forums under part V of the Act.


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