Mr. Wills: To ask the Leader of the House what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) his Office and (b) the Privy Council Office of monitoring the time spent processing requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the purposes of the proposed fees regulations. 
Mr. Straw: In spring 2006 the Department for Constitutional Affairs conducted an exercise across central Government Departments to assess the time taken to process freedom of information requests received in a monitored period.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of monitoring the time spent processing requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the purposes of the proposed fees regulations. 
Mr. Hain: In spring 2006, the Department for Constitutional Affairs conducted an exercise across central Government Departments to assess the time taken to process freedom of information requests received in a monitored period. The Wales Office undertook no special exercise to make its estimate, and incurred no discernible extra cost.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the challenges of effective methods of preventing the spread of the H5N1 virus across the country. 
Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA's priority is to eradicate the outbreak of avian influenza as quickly and effectively as possible using a tried and tested contingency plan. In a domestic poultry flock high pathogenic avian influenza is generally lethal and fast moving. Therefore, slaughter of the infected flock and any dangerous contacts, together with stringent movement and other controls around the infected premises, is the best way of dealing rapidly with this disease. We have eradicated previous outbreaks of avian influenza in domestic birds without further spread using this method as have many other member states.
DEFRA has put in place a three kilometre protection zone, a 10 kilometre surveillance zone and a further restricted zone, covering North East Suffolk and South East Norfolk, around the infected premises. The restricted zone has been defined to include significant populations of wild birds in the immediate area. Poultry owners within the restricted zone are required to house or otherwise isolate their birds. Movement restrictions have also been put in place.
Elsewhere in the country, we will continue to pursue our existing wild bird surveillance programme on live and dead wild birds which is targeted to those areas likely to be at greatest risk, including the restricted zone in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of poultry products were moved from the poultry farm in Suffolk infected with avian influenza after the disease was identified; and to which location they were removed. 
Mr. Bradshaw: 159,000 turkeys were killed as part of the disease control operation on the farm. In order to complete the control operation safely and efficiently 586 tonnes of carcases were moved from the farm to a site in Staffordshire for rendering.
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which Hungarian plants were involved in the slaughter and processing of poultry products imported into the UK prior to the outbreak of avian influenza at the Bernard Matthews plant in Suffolk; and at what distance they were located from the Hungarian farm at which there was an outbreak of avian influenza in January. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The only products imported from Hungary by Bernard Matthews Ltd Foods to the Holton premises during the risk period are turkey breasts. The products came from two turkey slaughterhouses in Hungary:
Saga Foods Zrt.
Soprani u. 15
Approval No. HU109
Gallfood Pulykafeldogozo es
Cegledi ut 11
Approval No. HU106
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of vehicle movements in and out of Holton on a typical day before the H5N1 outbreak; how many take place on a typical day now; and how many such movements are of vehicles from (a) abroad and (b) Hungary. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to restrict imports from countries which have experienced outbreaks of the H5N1 virus. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Import restrictions are decided at the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, effectively the EU Veterinary Committee. The committee, on which DEFRA veterinarians are able to vote, discusses disease outbreaks and preventative measures that will be applied.
Such measures can involve placing restrictions on imports from regions within countries, or on whole countries. If necessary, DEFRA transposes these restrictions into UK legislation. The DEFRA website has a list of current restrictions.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2007, Official Report, column 1637W, on birds and habitats directives, for what reasons the designation process for the Akrotiri peninsula and Episkopi cliffs important bird area under British Sovereign base area law as a special protection zone is expected to last until 2009; and what considerations are taken into account in such designations other than scientific criteria. 
The designation of the Akrotiri peninsula and Episkopi cliffs as special protection
zones is expected to last until 2009 to enable the development of a robust and scientifically justifiable dataset, which will ensure they receive the highest possible protection. Botanical and faunal surveys will need to be undertaken and existing datasets will need to go through a quality assurance process. There will be no other criteria used in the designation process except scientific criteria. However, the local authorities (British Sovereign base area) will also need to consult stakeholders, consider their responses and work closely with the Republic of Cyprus authorities.
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 19 February 2007]: The Department does not have a specific budget for heritage support. However, it recognises the close relationship between the natural and man-made environments and the importance heritage sites can have for rural communities and the economy. A number of funding streams make a contribution to the historic environment, particularly in rural areas where agri-environment schemes provide support for the renovation of traditional farm buildings, protection of archaeology on farmland, landscape enhancement, and the restoration of historic parks.
The amounts my Department has spent on heritage-related schemes since its inception, through schemes funded by the Rural Development Programme for England, such as the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme, the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, and the Rural Enterprise Scheme, and through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund are as follows:
Other DEFRA-related bodies, such as the National Park Authorities, the Broads Authority, English Nature and the Countryside Agency also provided support towards heritage objectives over this period. Natural England, the successor to the latter two bodies, has similar powers to fund heritage projects.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to implement the Environmental Liability Directive; and what progress has been made against the 30 April 2007 deadline for transposing the directive into UK law. 
The Government wish to implement the Environmental Liability Directive as soon as possible, and we are undertaking two planned
consultations to achieve that aim. The first of these consultations is already under way and closes at the end of February: it involves policy options for transposing the directive. The second exercise, involving draft legislation, is planned to take place later this year.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent assessment he has made of the impact of kerbside collection of recyclables on the rate of recycling in England; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what proportion of households were served by some form of kerbside collection of material to be recycled in (a) the North West, (b) the North East, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber, (d) the East Midlands, (e) the West Midlands, (f) the East, (g) London, (h) the South East, (i) the South West and (j) the whole of England in each year since 1996-97; and if he will make a statement. 
The increase in provision of a quality kerbside collection service has undoubtedly made it easier for households to recycle and contributed to the increase in household recycling/composting rates, which have trebled in the last eight years and nearly quadrupled since 1997.
Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) data on the percentage of households served by a kerbside collection of recyclables are only available from 2002-03 onwards and the regional estimates are shown in the following table.
|Percentage of households served by kerbside collection of recyclables|
Estimates based on Audit Commission, Best Value Performance indicator 91a.
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