Mr. Straw: Following the vote in the House of Lords on 14 March 2007 on composition of a reformed House, I propose to reconvene the cross-party talks, which I chair, to assess the outcome of the debates in both Houses. The Government will consider the next move and I will return to this House to make a detailed statement on the way forward.
(2) what estimate he has made of the (a) percentage and (b) actual change in running costs likely to arise from a reformed House of Lords under each option outlined in the Motions debated on 6 and 7 March in the House. 
Mr. Straw: Detailed analysis will be provided once the proposals for a reformed House of Lords are much firmer. I propose to reconvene the cross-party group, which I chair, to assess the outcome of the debates in both Houses. I will discuss the issue within Government and will return to this House to make a detailed statement on the way forward.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many cattle were compulsorily slaughtered owing to bovine tuberculosis in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) home country and (b) county; 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) creating natural wetlands, (b) the restoration of natural flood plains and (c) the use of vegetation and planting to trap and direct flood water; and what steps he is taking to encourage such methods; 
(2) what area his Department added to existing (a) natural wetland, (b) restoration of natural flood plains and (c) flood defence walls to prevent flooding in populated areas in each of the last three years for which records are available; 
(3) how much his Department spent on the (a) creation of natural wetland, (b) restoration of natural flood plains and (c) flood defence walls to prevent flooding in populated areas in each of the last three years for which records are available. 
Ian Pearson: In 2004-05 and 2005-06 the Environment Agency spent £17.7 million on wetland habitat and species conservation in England and this included the creation of 943 hectares of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat, of which 809 hectares were floodplain habitats.
From their records, the Environment Agencys direct expenditure on flood walls in each of the years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 in completed major capital projects was £10.5 million, £13.7 million and £35 million respectively. The total construction cost of projects which included these walls was £31 million in 2003-04, £37.3 million in 2004-05 and £81.9 million in 2005-06.
One of the aims of Making Space for Water, the Government's strategy for flood and costal erosion risk management, is to work with natural processes and develop multiple objective approaches that deliver flood risk management and, where possible, other benefits such as environmental, amenity or regeneration.
Making Space for Water provides the policy framework for more holistic approaches to flood and coastal erosion risk management. It is drawing on the lessons learnt within the regions at numerous freshwater and saline wetland creation sites. The creation of new targets (Outcome Measures), for all operating authorities, will ensure that habitat creation and the restoration of natural flood plains form a central part of future investment decision making.
While there is no single, national energy efficiency scheme, we do have a UK Energy Efficiency Action Plan (published in 2004). This brings together all of our separate funding streams and associated policies into a framework for improving energy
efficiency across the business, public and household sectors. Energy efficiency policies deliver about half the carbon savings in our Climate Change Programme. Details on the funding for these various schemes is provided in the following table:
|Carbon Trust formed 2001||Energy Saving Trust||Warm front 2000 inception||Climate change communication||Community energy||UK emissions trading scheme|
|(1) Total expenditure since 2000 now over £1.2 billion. (2) £207 million total expenditure from 2001-02 to 2005-06. (3) £215 million for five year programme. (4) For three year programme.|
The funding information provided in the table is not the end of the story as our policies also help generate additional investment. For example, the Energy Efficiency Commitment, our key household policy lever, generated £600 million worth of energy efficiency investment in households in the first three year phase to 2005 alone. We are committed to an obligation on energy suppliers to at least 2020.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the average percentage of (a) net profits and (b) turnover for (i) small farms and (ii) large farms which is represented by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Regulation charges of (A) £1,471 and (B) £1,844. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Regulation charges quoted are the pro rata charges which the Environment Agency would apply in respect of permits for intensive livestock installations issued in August 2007 covering the period to March 2008. The annual permit charges thereafter are currently set at £2,229 and £2,794 for small and large installations respectively.
IPPC applies to intensive poultry rearing installations with places for more than 40,000 birds, and to intensive pig rearing installations with places for more than 2,000 production pigs or 750 sows. For charging purposes, any installation with places more than 10 times these thresholds is regarded as large.
Information on profits and turnover is held on a basis in which large farm businesses are those considered sufficient to occupy two or more standard labour requirements. Standard labour requirement (SLR) for a farm business represents the labour requirement (in full-time equivalents) for all the agricultural activities on the farm. All intensive livestock installations subject to IPPC are large in these terms.
For poultry installations, annual charges for IPPC permits represent on average 0.2 per cent. of turnover and 5.0 per cent. of net profits, or 0.3 per Cent. and 6.2 per cent. respectively if it is a large installation for IPPC purposes. For pig installations, the corresponding figures are 0.4 per cent. and 3.5 per cent, or 0.5 per cent and 4.4 per cent.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government has made of the potential (a) environmental and (b) public health consequences of (i) storm-related and (ii) sea-related flooding of a (A) nuclear power plant and (B) radioactive waste storage site. 
The safety of nuclear installations in the UK is regulated by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), which is part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Nuclear installations include all UK nuclear power plants and the Low Level Radioactive Waste Repository (LLWR) near to Drigg in Cumbria. Such installations must be licensed under the Nuclear Installations Act (1965). The safety of a nuclear plant is the responsibility of the licensee, who is required to submit to the NII a written demonstration of safety, the safety case.
NII requires that operators safety cases address internal and external hazards, including various types of flooding. NII assesses the operators safety cases to establish whether they are adequate. Safety cases are living documents which are periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changing conditions. Changes in flood risk, whether due to changes in natural phenomena or man-made, are taken into account during such reviews.
The environment agencies (the Environment Agency in England and Wales, and the Scottish Environment
Protection Agency in Scotland) regulate disposals of radioactive waste. The environment agencies would require any applicant wishing to develop a proposed disposal facility to assess impacts from a wide range of events and processes including those such as coastal erosion. This is in order to demonstrate that risks associated with radioactivity and other potential hazards would be acceptably low. Impacts from coastal erosion were considered in some detail during a recent review of the radioactive waste disposal authorisation for the LLWR near to Drigg in Cumbria.
The Solicitor-General: Since I last updated the House, Mr. Scott has received a further 28 lever-arch files of documentation, bringing the total to 41 files. Most of the documents comprise the files maintained contemporaneously by the two departments concerned, and require careful scrutiny to identify those which are central to the matters which Mr. Scott is investigating.
Mr. Scott has sent questionnaires to 17 potential witnesses and received responses from 14 of them to date. He expects to receive the outstanding responses by the middle of this month. There may be one or two other witnesses whom he will also want to question in due course.
When he has completed his scrutiny of the documentation, Mr. Scott will interview any witness of whom he requires further information or clarification of their statement. Some of those interviews will take place in Belfast later this month and the remainder in London, probably in April and May. He will submit his report to the Attorney-General as soon as possible after completing those interviews and taking any steps which may emerge from them and are necessary to complete his report.
Robert Key: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she expects (a) construction to start on the new courthouses in Salisbury and (b) the new courts to come into service. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|