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18 Apr 2007 : Column 647W—continued

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to call for an earlier disclosure of farm payments made by the EU prior to the scheduled date of 2009. [130540]

Barry Gardiner: Details of payments made to beneficiaries of common agricultural policy funding in England are already publicly available. The Government welcome the European Commission’s proposals to extend this principle across the EU, but will wish to consider the detailed implementation requirements carefully, including the administrative burdens on paying agencies.

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Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when guidance on soil values for asbestos is expected to be published. [131206]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 16 April 2007]: The Environment Agency (EA) is working closely with the Health and Safety Laboratory on a number of work streams aimed at overcoming some of the scientific and technical problems associated with assessing the risk to human health posed by asbestos in soils. Work is also ongoing to develop an appropriate health criteria value for asbestos in soils. The end product will be detailed qualitative and quantitative technical guidance which can be used in assessing individual sites against the definition of “contaminated land” established under part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The EA expects to have the material ready for publication by the end of 2007, subject to the outcome of current proposals for other improvements to existing technical guidance in the contaminated land field.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why a certificate is needed to purchase Azurlox. [131711]

Ian Pearson: The Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986 requires anyone who sells, supplies or uses a pesticide to have a certificate of competence. There is no obligation for a user to be in possession of a certificate of competence in order to purchase a pesticide product. If a supplier chooses not to sell a pesticide to a person who cannot prove competence to use that product this is entirely at their discretion.

Carbon Emissions

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the UK’s carbon emissions were in 2005; and what percentage change they represented from the level in 1990. [131410]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 16 April 2007]: Total net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2005 were reported in the 2005 UK climate change sustainable development indicator and greenhouse gas emissions final figures on 29 January 2007. These data show that CO2 emissions were 554.2 million tonnes, a decrease of 6.4 per cent. between 1990 and 2005.

Eaga Partnership: Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what rating system the Eaga Partnership uses for inspection of the work of firms undertaking work on the Warm Front scheme; and what score was given to each installer on the scheme following the most recent inspection. [127848]

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Ian Pearson: The Warm Front scheme manager, Eaga plc, inspects work carried out under the scheme against an established technical specification for each measure installed. These technical specifications are regularly reviewed by Eaga plc and DEFRA, and updated in line with amendments to legislation and best practice.

In the event that any measure installed under the Warm Front scheme fails an inspection, Eaga plc have robust processes in place for the identification and completion of all required remedial work by the initial contractor. A proportion of these works are then re-inspected to ensure full compliance.

Any installer whose performance under the scheme falls below agreed standards has their work allocation reduced or suspended until such a time that they can demonstrate improvement to the required standard.


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what definition his Department uses of free-range eggs; and if he will make a statement. [131322]

Barry Gardiner: “Free range”, on an egg or poultry meat product, is a special marketing term (SMT) indicating that the product has been produced in compliance with the criteria set-out in the respective marketing regulations.

All EU requirements for free range systems can be found in Council Directive 1999/74/EC, Commission Regulation 2295/2003/EC, as amended by Commission Regulation 1515/2004/EC, and the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002.

Energy: Conservation

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assistance is provided to the owners of mobile homes to improve their energy efficiency. [131055]

Ian Pearson: Details of grants and offers for energy efficiency measures are available, by postcode, on the Energy Saving Trust website, which is funded by my Department to promote and support energy efficiency in the household sector. The trust’s Innovation Programme has included two projects relating to the use of energy efficiency measures in mobile homes.

All households eligible under the Government’s Warm Front scheme, regardless of property type, are entitled to a package of measures from the full range available under the scheme. These include, for example, central heating, the repair or replacement of an existing heating system, wall or storage heaters and insulation measures including hot water tank jackets, cavity wall, loft insulation and draught-proofing.

As with all properties, the exact package of measures provided is dependent upon a range of factors. These include property size and construction, utility supply, existing heating and insulation measures and customer preference, with the most suitable combination of measures being recommended at assessment.

Warm Front is constantly evaluating the range of measures it provides. In particular, a number of low
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carbon alternative technologies are under consideration for inclusion under the scheme. Several of these technologies will be applicable to mobile homes and will enhance the assistance provided to ‘hard to treat’ properties.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what standards have been set for local emissions of oxides of nitrogen in the (a) UK and (b) European Union; and how many UK (i) sites and (ii) airport sites exceed those standards. [131728]

Ian Pearson: There are controls on both emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in ambient air, through European legislation.

The National Emissions Ceiling Directive 2001/81/EC (NECD) sets ceilings for each member state for emissions of NOx, ammonia (NH3), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These four pollutants are primarily responsible for acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone. The ceilings must be met by 2010.

Since 1970, there has been a reduction in total NOx emissions of 47 per cent. The main contributors to UK NOx emissions currently are the transport, power generation and industry sectors. The total NOx emission for the UK in 2004 was 1,621 kilotonnes (kt).

The UK ceiling for NOx under the NECD is set at 1167kt. The UK expects to meet the obligations for complying with the NECD ceilings in 2010.

In terms of ambient concentrations, at a national level there are two provisional Air Quality Strategy Objectives for NO2 for the protection of human health: (i) a one-hour mean concentration of 200 micrograms per metre cubed (micro g.m(-3)) not to be exceeded more than 18 times per year and (ii) an annual mean concentration of 40 micro g.m(-3). The target date for both of these to be achieved was 31 December 2005. There are two EU air quality Limit Values for NO2 for the protection of human health: (a) a one-hour

mean concentration of 200micro g.m(-3)( )cubed not to be exceeded more than 18 times per year and (b) an annual mean concentration of 40 micro g.m(-3). The target date for both of these to be achieved is 1 January 2010. There is a further EU air quality limit value for NOx for the protection of vegetation and ecosystems set at 30micro g.m(-3)( )to be met by 19 July 2001.

In 2006, two out of 110 operational monitoring sites measured exceedences of the one-hour mean EU Limit Value and Air Quality Strategy objectives. These sites were in London and both were within five metres of roads. The national monitoring network has two sites close to airports: London Harlington and Manchester South. In 2006, there were two exceedences of the one-hour mean nitrogen dioxide concentration of 200micro g.m(-3)( )at London Harlington (one kilometre (km) from Heathrow airport perimeter road), and none at Manchester South (2.9 km from Manchester airport).

Also in 2006, 24 out of 110 operational monitoring sites measured exceedences of the annual mean EU
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Limit Value and Air Quality Strategy objectives. Of these, 14 were in London and the majority were within 10 metres of roads. The 2006 annual mean at London Harlington was 37micro g.m(-3)( )and at Manchester South it was 16micro g.m(-3).

Data and information from the national air quality monitoring networks are freely available from the National Air Quality Information Archive at:


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library copies of the documents on which the decision to prohibit the use of isoproturon and trifluralin was based; and what consultation the Pesticides Safety Directorate carried out on this matter. [130538]

Ian Pearson: Isoproturon and trifluralin have been considered as part of a European Community (EC) review of the safety of active substances used in agricultural pesticides under Council Directive 91/414/EEC.

Isoproturon was approved under the review in 2001, on condition that member states ensure the adequate protection of aquatic organisms when authorising products which contain it. Following an evaluation of data presented by applicants for such products in the UK, the Pesticides Safety Directorate identified an unacceptable risk to aquatic life. The independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides concluded that this risk could not be satisfactorily managed and all authorised uses of isoproturon in the UK should therefore be withdrawn. I have arranged for the draft minutes of the Committee’s 323rd meeting to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

A decision was taken, in March 2007, not to approve trifluralin under the review, in particular because of concerns about its toxicity to aquatic organisms, its high persistence in soil, and its potential for long-range transport in air. All authorised uses of trifluralin in the EC will therefore be withdrawn. I have arranged for a summary of the conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority, on which this decision was based, to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

The Pesticides Safety Directorate does not consult on individual decisions made under the review. Decisions about safety are determined on the basis of scientific data presented by applicants and evaluated to agreed European standards. Applicants may submit further applications supported by additional data if they believe they can demonstrate that there are no unacceptable risks to the environment.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Drugs

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the British Government received a list containing the names of Afghan politicians and Government officials alleged to be involved in the heroin trade from a senior Afghan minister in late 2005; and if she will make a statement. [130318]

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Dr. Howells [holding answer 27 March 2007]: We can find no evidence that such a list has been received by the Government.

Holidays Abroad: Death

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British holidaymakers died abroad in 2006. [132022]

Dr. Howells: In the financial year (FY) 2005-06, there were 4,071 deaths abroad of British nationals requiring action by our consular staff. This figure is derived from our Consular Annual Return (CAR) and the CAR does not provide a breakdown of their status, i.e. visitor or resident. Details for FY 2005-06 are provided as the information from the CAR is captured by FY and not calendar year.

Sudan: War Crimes

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications for British foreign policy of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) indictment of Ahmad Muhammad Ali-Al-Rahman (Ali Kushayb), Janjaweed militia leader, for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004; and whether she plans further to support the work of the ICC in seeking accountability for crimes committed in Darfur. [132026]

Dr. Howells: On 27 February, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor asked the court’s pre-trial chamber to issue summonses for Kushayb and another individual as a result of investigations into the situation in Darfur. It is a positive sign that the ICC investigation has reached this point. It is now for the ICC judges to decide whether to approve the prosecutor’s request.

The ICC will continue to have our full support for its activities, both in Darfur and elsewhere. It must also have the full and unconditional co-operation of the Government of Sudan. We have made this clear to the authorities in Khartoum and will be monitoring their actions carefully.

Progress in the ICC’s investigations further consolidate the court as a key part of the international community’s efforts to combat impunity for the alleged perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The UK remains at the forefront of those crimes.


Ambulance Services: Emergency Calls

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2007, Official Report, column 1189W, on ambulance services: emergency calls, if she will break down the figures by primary care trust. [132308]

Andy Burnham: This information is not held centrally by primary care trust. Information on
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emergency calls received by each national health service ambulance trust is available in the Library in “Ambulance Services, England: 2005-06”, as well as at:

Care Services

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to encourage the NHS and social services to increase provision of intermediate (a) care services and (b) beds. [112614]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: As part of the intermediate care funding announced in the NHS Plan, £66 million capital funding was made available to strategic health authorities in 2002-03 and 2003-04 to expand capacity and to support the development of intermediate care services and in particular a growth in bed numbers.

As at 30 September 2006, there were almost 33,000 intermediate care beds and places. Compared to 1999-2000 the number of intermediate care beds has more than doubled, the number of intermediate care places in non-residential settings has trebled and almost three times as many people benefit from intermediate care.

Centrally Funded Initiatives Services and Special Allocations

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the planned Centrally Funded Initiatives Services and Special Allocations budget is for 2006-07; when those budgets were given to primary care trusts; what flexibility there is for changing plans in-year, and what advice she has given to primary care trusts on in-year changes. [129885]

Andy Burnham: Full year 2006-07 information on centrally funded initiatives services and special allocations (CFISSA) is not yet available but the 2006-07 departmental report that has an estimated publishing date of May 2007 will provide a breakdown of the main budget lines. For the 2006-07 departmental report it is proposed to refer to this area simply as the central national health service programme.

The vast majority of the 2006-07 CFISSA allocations were notified to strategic health authorities’ (SHAs) directors of finance on 26 July 2006. The aim has always been to allocate the funding as early as possible, but there is always a small proportion allocated late in the financial year. The residual items were issued on 19 January 2007.

To give SHAs the maximum possible flexibility, the funding for the central budget programme was allocated as a single bundle allocation to SHAs. One of the key objectives of the bundle is to enable local decision making by the NHS. Each SHA is responsible and accountable for its agreed share of the bundle, and in consultation with local stakeholders will agree how best to deploy their resources and manage in year changes.

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