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19 Feb 2007 : Column 281W—continued

Magistrates Courts: Wales

Jenny Willott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the (a) maintenance, (b) operational, (c) refurbishment and (d) total running costs were for each magistrates court in Wales in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [119905]

Ms Harman: Prior to 1 April 2005 magistrates courts were the responsibility of locally managed magistrates courts committees who were statutorily independent and cost information was not collected centrally. Therefore, the costs for maintenance, operational, refurbishment and total running costs since 1997 can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Detailed in the following table are the maintenance, refurbishment costs and the total operational costs (inclusive of maintenance and refurbishment costs) for 2005-06 broken down by magistrates court and attached satellite courts. These figures have been drawn from HMCS Management accounts.

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Magistrates court Maintenance costs Refurbishment costs Total operating costs (including maintenance and refurbishment)

Gwent Magistrates Courts




Caernarforn Magistrates Court and Satellites




Llundudno Magistrates Court and Satellites




Wrexham Magistrates Court and Satellites




Cardiff Magistrates Court and Satellites




Neath Magistrates Court and Satellites




Pontypridd Magistrates Court and Satellites




Swansea Magistrates Court and Satellites




Aberaeron Magistrates Court and Satellites




Llanelli Magistrates Court and Satellites




Brecon Magistrates Court and Satellites




Welshpool Magistrates Court and Satellites




Haverfordwest Magistrates Court and Satellites








Prisoners: Deportation

Philip Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the (a) policy and (b) procedure is which governs the handing over of defendants by the courts to the immigration authorities where there is a warrant for deportation. [121535]

Ms Harman: Under section 6 of the Immigration Act 1971, the criminal courts have power to make a recommendation for deportation. When they do so, they give written notification to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to enable a decision to be made on whether to deport the offender.

Property: Valuation

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of properties in each local authority area in the UK with a value of more than £1 million. [121094]

Vera Baird: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and represents residential properties registered in England and Wales, sold at open market value of more than £1 million, in each local authority area in 2006. Council tax banding may provide a more detailed estimation of the total number of properties within the requested category.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Avian Influenza: Suffolk

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the use of mobile incineration units to incinerate the turkeys culled during the Suffolk H5N1 outbreak. [121025]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department's disposal plans for avian influenza are set out in DEFRA’s Overview of Emergency Preparedness for Exotic Animal Diseases, which supplements the DEFRA Framework Response Plan for Exotic Animal Diseases. This was laid before Parliament in December 2006 following a formal public consultation. It sets out the agreed hierarchy for
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disposal, which is incineration in an animal by-product approved fixed plant incinerator; rendering; burial in a permitted commercial landfill or on-farm burning or burial.

Most mobile incinerators have a very limited capacity and are only approved to process less than 50 kg per hour and require a site specific licence. Given the quantity of carcass material to be disposed, they were not considered to be a viable disposal solution in this case.

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost has been of the clean up operation at the turkey farm owned by Bernard Matthews. [120662]

Mr. Bradshaw: The clean-up operation and epidemiological investigation are ongoing on the Bernard Matthews turkey farm, in Suffolk, affected by the H5N1 avian influenza outbreak. It is too early to ascertain the exact costs involved.

Climate Change: Nature Conservation

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the impact of climate change on (a) rare and threatened species and (b) the threat posed to wildlife in the UK by invasive species. [120648]

Barry Gardiner: DEFRA published a research report reviewing climate change impacts on migratory species in August 2005. My Department is also currently co-funding research (MONARCH3) to model climate change impacts on selected priority species identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Results of this work are due to be published later this year and these will contribute to a climate change risk assessment currently being undertaken for the UK Biodiversity Partnership Standing Committee. A strategy to address the threat posed by invasive species, including those influenced by climate change, is being developed jointly with the Devolved Administrations. We aim to consult on it shortly.

Cod: Fishing Catches

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much cod has been landed and recorded on the Department's computer system since 1 January 2007. [120900]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Marine Fisheries Agency maintains statistics on the total quantity of whitefish landed by UK fishing vessels and recorded on UK fisheries departments’ systems. These statistics are released on their website, and the following data reflect the position as at 7 February 2007.

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Cod statistics: total landings (tonnes live weight) in 2007
Landings into:
Stock Scotland England, Wales and Northern Ireland Abroad Total landings by UK vessels

North Sea





West of Scotland





Area VII











Energy Efficiency

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of properties in (a) local council and (b) housing association ownership covered by district heating schemes; what assessment he has made of the energy use per inhabitant of such properties in comparison with other forms of housing; what plans he has to take steps (i) to improve and (ii) to promote the energy efficiency of such properties; and if he will make a statement. [114194]

Yvette Cooper: I have been asked to reply.

The 2004 English House Condition Survey estimated that district or communal heating systems supply heating to 250,000 homes in the social sector, around 150,000 of these being local authority stock, the rest registered social landlord stock. These homes have an average energy efficiency rating of 75 compared to 58 for the two sectors as a whole (homes rated using the SAP 2001 methodology).

We do not have information on actual energy use by the occupants. The average SAP suggests district heating systems are generally very efficient. The decent homes standards require homes to provide thermal comfort through having both efficient heating and effective insulation. Our guidance for delivering decent homes sets out the means by which landlords can meet this thermal comfort criterion, and also recommends that they seek to go further to improve energy efficiency, for example by replacing inefficient boilers, or installing extra insulation or double glazing.

Under the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC), electricity and gas suppliers are required to achieve targets for the promotion of improvements in domestic energy efficiency which includes social sector homes.

Livestock: Disease Control

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will introduce a requirement that all keepers of livestock, including hobby farmers, take measures to reduce the possibility of animal disease breakdowns and transmission. [120888]

Mr. Bradshaw: All keepers of livestock, throughout the UK, should continue their efforts to maintain high levels of biosecurity.

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DEFRA has issued extensive guidance to livestock and bird keepers. This includes guidance to hobby farmers on biosecurity measures to protect their birds from avian influenza, which is also available on the DEFRA website. It is crucial that keepers follow these measures at all times, not just during a disease outbreak. We have stressed to the industry that they should take a major share of the responsibility for improving animal health standards.

In particular, we have impressed on poultry keepers that they should plan how they will manage any free range birds if there is a need to house or otherwise isolate them from wild birds (as is currently in place in the restricted zone in parts of Norfolk and Suffolk). We have also issued guidance on methods of keeping domestic birds separate from wild birds, if housing is not practical, by feeding and watering domestic birds under cover where possible. Bird feed and any standing water should be kept free from contamination by wild birds and other animals. Poultry owners should make sure that hands, clothes and footwear are clean before and after contact with birds. Owners need to be vigilant and monitor their birds frequently.

DEFRA are running advertising campaigns in trade and specialist publications to raise awareness of biosecurity and avian influenza.

The Animal Gatherings (England) Order 2006 lists a number of requirements that people attending an animal gathering must comply with such as cleansing and disinfecting vehicles, footwear, clothing, etc. Additionally, the Transport of Animals (Cleaning and Disinfection) (England) Order 2003 requires vehicles transporting animals are cleansed and disinfected within 24 hours or before they are used again to carry animals.

Meat: Smuggling

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many seizures of illegal meat imports there were in each of the last five years. [121160]

Mr. Bradshaw: Since April 2001, seizures of illegal meat imported into the UK have been recorded and are shown in the following table:

As at 1 April to 31 March each year: Total number of seizures Seizures (kilograms)
















The table includes seizures made by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at points of entry (and by staff funded by DEFRA until 11 April 2003), those made by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland (DARDNI) at points of entry in Northern Ireland and those made by inland local/port health authorities.

HMRC have been responsible for anti-smuggling controls on products of animal origin (POAO) into Great Britain since 11 April 2003.

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