|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
30 Apr 2007 : Column 1428Wcontinued
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra resources and planning were made for the introduction of indeterminate public protection sentences; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Criminal Justice Act 2003 created new indeterminate public protection sentences aimed specifically at sexual and violent offenders. This was part of an overall rebalancing of the system to maximise public protection:
the Government believe serious and dangerous offenders should be kept in prison for as long as is necessary to protect the public;
other offenders should normally be punished in the community.
No additional resources were allocated specifically for IPP but correctional services budgets take into account the overall work load demanded of them, including all the measures in the 2003 Act.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to introduce new terrorism legislation to Parliament this Session; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: Yes, we will let Parliament know when as soon as possible.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent in supporting education on the Holocaust in (a) schools and (b) the community in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: I have been asked to reply.
Data on expenditure by schools to support education on the Holocaust are not collected centrally. However a grant of £3 million, administered by the Department, has been made to subsidise the Holocaust Educational Trusts Lessons from Auschwitz programme between April 2006 and March 2008. The programme aims to achieve the participation of two post-16 students from every school and Sixth form college in visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Other Departments also fund activities relating to Holocaust education.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will estimate the carbon savings resulting from the growing of biofuels on land which had previously been (a) used to grow food crops and (b) set aside or unused; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Government have funded a number of studies to consider environmental impacts and benefits of biofuels, including Life Cycle Assessments. Carbon savings vary depending on a number of factors including the crop used and the way it is cultivated, previous land use, the transport used and the processing and conversion process.
A DEFRA-funded project is currently under way to develop a software tool to address the main environmental issues associated with bio-energy technologies. This will include a quantitative assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings by using a land use reference system which includes set-aside and food cropland. The tool will be available later this year.
The Government are also developing a comprehensive carbon and sustainability reporting scheme under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. This will require suppliers wishing to claim credits for their biofuels to provide information on the GHG saving and wider sustainability characteristics of those fuels. The GHG calculation methodology includes previous land use in addition to emissions from cultivation, transportation and processing and conversion.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals were slaughtered under the cull of animals owned by Mr. Davis Dobbin of Backford, Chester, broken down by (a) sex and (b) age group; what the cost was of the cull for his Department; how many animals appeared not to be correctly identified; and how many appeared to have irregularities in their passports. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 26 April 2007]: I cannot comment on this case as there are criminal proceedings pending.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times he has (a) spoken at and (b) attended meetings at the Smith Institute in an official capacity; and how many of those occasions were in the last 12 months in each case. 
Barry Gardiner: In the last 12 months, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (David Miliband) has visited the Smith Institute in an official capacity on 17 October 2006 and 7 February 2007.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, columns 77-80W, on domestic waste, on what basis the borough council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk was included in the list. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 27 April 2007]: In a recent survey commissioned by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the response received from Kings Lynn and West Norfolk borough council indicated that the council operates an alternate week refuse and recycling service.
However, on clarification, it appears the council misunderstood the use of the terms alternate weekly collection.
WRAP are currently reviewing their list of authorities providing an alternate weekly collection service and will be publishing an amended version shortly.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what share of total UK fishing quotas he allocated to the under-10 metre fleet in (a) the UK and (b) England in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In 2006, 2 per cent. of the UKs opening quota was allocated to the 10 metre and under fleet. However, such an analysis is misleading because the total UK quota includes quota for stocks which are of no interest to inshore vessels, such as deep sea species and stocks fished in external waters. In addition, many of these vessels catch types of fish, such as crabs and scallops, which are not subject to quotas.
Fishing opportunities for the 10 metre and under fleet are boosted by Fishing Administrations acquiring additional quota in-year for their use.
Results for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate costs.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many over-10 metre vessels from (a) producer organisations and (b) the non-sector have moved into the under-10 metre fleet in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: An over 10 metre vessel cannot join the 10 metre and under fleet. However, owners of over 10 metre vessels are able to sell their quota and licence and acquire a licence in the 10 metre and under fleet. Central data systems record all changes in ownership as a result of a sale or an agreed transfer. While these systems record details of the owners of vessels and licences, they are not designed to allow the details of the vessels and licences held by any individual owner to be tracked over time. As such, information on the movement of owners from over 10 metre vessels to 10 metre and under vessels could be produced only at a disproportionate cost.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the implication of the new funding arrangements for the European Rural Development Fund on (a) flood defences overall, (b) the Thirsk Flood Alleviation Scheme and (c) coastal flood defences in Filey. 
Ian Pearson: Flood defence expenditure is generally not covered by the Rural Development Programme for England. Funding for flood defence is a matter for the Environment Agency (EA).
The Rural Development Programme for England provides funding to safeguard and enhance our rural environment and to foster competitive and sustainable businesses and thriving rural communities. There is some limited funding available under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme for the creation of wildlife habitats which may also have flood risk management benefits.
It is not possible for the EA to apply for funding from this programme to fund flood defence works at Thirsk and Filey.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to decide on whether to prosecute Bernard Matthews for lapses of bio-security concerning the storage of food waste. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A Food Standards Agency investigation examined the possibility that food waste at the Bernard Matthews cutting plant at Holton may have been stored inappropriately.
The investigation concluded there was no evidence of any offences under the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005, for which DEFRA is the enforcement authority.
The Food Standards Agency also considered whether there was sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution under the Animal By-Products (Identification) Regulations 1995 or the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, for which the agency is the enforcement authority. The agency concluded there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and decided not to proceed to a prosecution in this case.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when his Department plans to complete its review of the Warm Front grant maxima for England; 
(2) when the latest Warm Front price review undertaken by White, Young and Green is expected to be published. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 27 April 200 7 ]: These reviews are still continuing, and I expect to make further statements by the end of June.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many households in each parliamentary constituency were assisted through the Warm Front scheme in each year since the scheme was introduced. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 27 April 2007]: Since its launch in June 2000, the Warm Front scheme has assisted over 1.2 million households in fuel poverty in England, mainly through energy efficiency measures, including loft and cavity wall insulation.
Data on the number of households assisted in each constituency in each year since the start of the scheme could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, MPs can now access a personal micro site on the Eaga Group website that will update them on work undertaken in their area. The website also provides other information and resources to help MPs to raise awareness of the Warm Front scheme in their constituencies.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many zero carbon homes he expects to be built in each year for which his Department has made such an estimate. 
Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.
The Government do not collect this information centrally, but are aware of a small number of low and zero carbon homes currently built. The Code for Sustainable Homes and the draft Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change are designed to cut carbon emissions from new homes and promote low and zero carbon homes in the period up to 2016, when the Government have proposed that all new homes will be zero carbon. We would therefore expect an increasing proportion of new housing built over the next 10 years to be zero carbon, but no exact estimates have been made.
Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider exempting people with light sensitivity conditions from proposals to phase out the sale of incandescent light bulbs. 
Ian Pearson: The Government are exploring how various groups may be affected by the phasing out of inefficient lightbulbs. It is important that any unintended impacts are mitigated.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of plastic bag use in supermarkets. 
The Environment Agency is carrying out a study of the environmental impacts of a range of carrier bags, including disposable plastic carrier bags and bio-degradable alternatives. The study will look at
their entire life-cycle from raw material extraction through to product manufacture. To date, the evidence suggests there would be no benefit in reducing the number of plastic bags in use if this encourages the use of alternative packaging or materials which are even more environmentally damaging.
The National Non-Food Crops Centre has also started work on Life Cycle Analysis comparisons of plastic, oxodegradable and biodegradable bags. The centre has established a Thematic Working Group on Biopolymers, which aims to promote and encourage the expansion of such materials. Biopolymers are derived from renewable sources and can be used in a range of products, including bags, which helps to develop a sustainable supply chain.
DEFRA continues to work closely with the devolved administrations, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the British Retail Consortium, retailers and the plastics industry to develop a voluntary approach for reducing the environmental impact of carrier bags. Earlier this year, UK retailers agreed to reduce the overall environmental impact of their carrier bags by 25 per cent. by the end of 2008.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on planning procedures for (a) existing and (b) new agricultural polytunnels; what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on such procedures; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: While Communities and Local Government (CLG) has overall responsibility for planning policy in England, the interpretation of planning regulations is a matter for the local planning authority in the first instance.
Polytunnels are important to the horticultural sector for helping growers to supply a wide range of high-quality produce over a full season. Crops, especially soft fruit such as strawberries, need to be protected and polytunnels provide an ideal, cost-effective solution. Growing fruit in polytunnels is in line with DEFRAs Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food in that it meets demand for home grown fruit all the year round. However, extensive polytunnels can have a significant impact on the landscape and the local planning authority must consider each case on its merits.
I have had no discussions with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the question of planning policy for polytunnels, but DEFRA and CLG officials work closely together on this issue.
Mr. Jamie Reed:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what change there has been in carbon dioxide emissions from power generation since the programmed closure of older nuclear power stations began; how the power generated by those stations has been replaced; and what net
change there has been in carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the replacement generation. 
Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.
Since 2000, six older nuclear power stations with a total generation capacity of approximately 2 GW have closed. Total carbon dioxide emissions from the power generation sector over the same period (2000-05) have increased by nearly 5 million tonnes of carbon. The level of carbon emissions from the power sector depends on a number of factors, including the level of demand and the wholesale electricity price, which is underpinned by the price of fossil fuels and the price of carbon in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
The impact of the closure of nuclear power stations on emissions will depend on the assumptions about the stations which have replaced them. If the capacity has been replaced by generation technologies that emit carbon (such as gas-fired generation, for example) then it is likely that the closure of the older nuclear capacity will have contributed to the rise in carbon emissions from the power sector between 2000 and 2005.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|