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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the revised version of the Environment Agency report Life Cycle Assessment of Disposable and Reusable Nappies in the UK, May 2005, will be published. [142520]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency expects to publish a further report on nappies by the end of the year.

Waste Disposal

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evidence he has examined on whether there has been a causal link between the rate of growth of gross domestic product and the rate of growth of (a) municipal waste and (b) business waste in the UK. [142612]

Mr. Bradshaw: The most recent statistics(1) show that since 2000, waste (business and municipal) has grown significantly less than the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP). This equates to average growth in waste of less than 0.5 per cent. per year, over the last five years. The average municipal waste growth up to the millennium
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was around 3.5 per cent. per year, indicating a significant step change in the UK’s waste management. Data for 2006-07, expected in autumn 2007, will provide further useful evidence on whether the trends of recent years have been sustained.

Between 1998-99 and 2002-03, the amount of waste produced by businesses in England fell from 69 million tonnes to 68 million tonnes per year(2), while GDP increased by about 10 per cent. In this period, industrial waste fell by 6 per cent. (2.5 million tonnes), declining faster than industrial gross value added (GVA)(3), which fell by 3.5 per cent. Commercial waste increased by 6 per cent. (1.7 million tonnes), compared with the 29 per cent. increase in commercial GVA. These changes mainly reflect increased employment in the service sectors and a decrease in industrial activity, along with increasing reliance on imports.

The overall aim of waste prevention is to decouple waste growth from increases in GDP. The recently published Waste Strategy 2007 renews the Government’s commitment to breaking the link between economic growth and waste growth, by placing more emphasis on waste prevention and re-use.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what statistics his Department keeps on levels of (a) household waste, (b) commercial waste, (c) industrial waste and (d) other waste in the UK; and how these statistics are used to measure the UK's progress in reducing the amount of waste it produces. [142618]

Mr. Bradshaw: Waste statistics kept by my Department are available from the DEFRA website at the following address:

The recently published Waste Strategy contains a series of national level performance indicators, including on household waste per head after reuse, recycling and composting and waste arisings by key sectors (municipal, commercial and industrial, and construction and demolition waste). These indicators will be used to track progress in delivering the objectives of the strategy.

Waste Management

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has given to (a) manufacturers and (b) commercial enterprises on methods by which they can reduce their waste arisings. [142615]

Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA’s Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme has been established to provide targeted guidance and support
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to businesses to improve their resource efficiency and to minimise the levels of waste that are unnecessarily sent to landfill. For example, the BREW Programme funds the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP). NISP matches one operator’s waste with another’s raw material needs. In the first two years of its operation, in the region of 1.7 million tonnes of material have been diverted from landfill, with £70 million of cost savings.

An early assessment of selected BREW activities suggests that the programme has made a good start in returning landfill tax receipts to businesses and helping them improve their resource efficiency. Around £4 has been saved by business for each £1 of BREW-funded advice and support. There were also reductions in water use, waste sent to landfill and the amounts of raw materials used by businesses. Many of the benefits will be seen beyond 2005-06, and work is currently under way to assess the impact of programme spending in 2006-07. More details about the BREW Programme can be found on the DEFRA website.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is also working across a range of industry sectors to reduce waste arisings. For example, WRAP is working with retailers and their supply chains towards its 2006-08 business plan target to secure reductions in packaging waste of 80,000 tonnes a year. WRAP has specific programmes with the construction and manufacturing sectors.

My Department has also produced the publication “Saving money by reducing waste”, which gives practical guidance on waste minimisation for farmers and growers and is available from the DEFRA website.

Apart from guidance and support offered by DEFRA, there are also two sets of regulations in place to encourage producers (including retailers) to minimise, recycle and recover packaging and reduce packaging waste. We have asked the Advisory Committee on Packaging to work with industry to find further solutions to the challenge of minimising packaging, and recommend ways of encouraging businesses to further reduce the amount of packaging they use.

The Food Industry Sustainability Strategy (FISS), which was published in April 2006, also challenged the food manufacturing sector to reduce its own waste by 15-20 per cent. by 2010. Thirteen major grocery retailers (representing 92 per cent. of the UK grocery sector) have signed up to a voluntary agreement, the “Courtauld Commitment”, and are working with WRAP to:


Council Tax: Valuation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 4W, on council tax: valuation, what change there was in council tax receipts as a result of revaluation (a) between 2004-05 and 2005-06 and (b) in subsequent years. [141649]

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Mr. Hain: The revaluation and rebanding exercise was intended to be revenue-neutral. Year-to-year changes in the level of council tax receipts are the result of local authority budget decisions.

The increase in Band D council tax was 3.8 per cent. between 2004-05 and 2005-06; 4.5 per cent. between 2005-06 and 2006-07, and 4.4 per cent. between 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Additional Learning Needs Order

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what (a) procedures and (b) schedule for all forms of consideration and agreement of the Legislative Competence Order on Additional Learning Needs he is seeking to establish by both Houses of Parliament. [143764]

Mr. Hain: The Government intend to present all proposed draft Orders in Council to Parliament for pre-legislative scrutiny in all but exceptional circumstances.

On conclusion of pre-legislative scrutiny, the Welsh Assembly Government, in consultation with the UK Government will consider the recommendations made by Parliament and prepare a draft Order in Council.

The draft Order in Council will then be formally laid before Parliament and will be subject to affirmative resolution by both Houses. If approved by Parliament the Order in Council will be submitted to Her Majesty for approval.

The Government envisage a similar procedure for proposed draft Orders in Council that are put forward by Assembly committees or Back-Bench Members.

The Government expect the proposed draft Order in Council on Additional Learning Needs to follow the procedure set out.


Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will bring forward proposals to provide for all proposed legislative competence orders laid before the National Assembly for Wales to be referred automatically to the Welsh Affairs Committee and an appropriate committee in the House of Lords for pre-legislative scrutiny. [143352]

Mr. Hain: The Government gave assurances about pre-legislative scrutiny for proposed Orders in Council during the passage of the Government of Wales Bill, 24 January 2006, Official Report, column 1329. Both the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee and the House of Lords Constitution Committee have announced that they will conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of proposed draft orders in Council and the Government very much welcome this approach.

Leader of the House

House of Lords: Reform

Mark Williams: To ask the Leader of the House if he will undertake a formal public consultation on the electoral system for the House of Lords. [142122]

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Mr. Straw: The Government will listen carefully and consider the issues raised during the debates earlier this year on the electoral system for the House of Lords. As I have indicated, I will return to Parliament to make a statement outlining the Government's approach on the way forward.

Members: Costs

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Leader of the House what the annual cost per hon. Member of the House is on the public purse. [142448]

Mr. Straw: The overall costs of the House of Commons are the sum of the Estimates for House of Commons: Administration and House of Commons: Members. A range of the costs within the Administration Estimate (and also within the Members Estimate) do not relate solely to Members. Information for recent years is given in the table.

£ million
Financial year Total cost( 1) Total per Member( 2)

2006-07 (provisional)






(1) In accordance with the principles on which the accounts are prepared, the information is in resource rather than cash terms. (2) Using a figure of 646 members for 2005-06 and 2006-07. (3) Expenditure on the Administration Estimate for 2005-06 included a technical accounting adjustment for pension liabilities (£116 million) and the General Election in that year involved payment of Resettlement Grants and Winding Up Allowance to retiring Members on the Members Estimate (£9 million); adjusted for these elements, the per member figure would be £0.55 million.

Oral Questions

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Leader of the House what consideration he has given to the amount of time allocated for oral questions to (a) the Home Department and (b) the Ministry of Justice. [143156]

Mr. Straw: The allocation of time within the oral question rota for the Home Office and for the Ministry of Justice is being reviewed and announcements will be made in due course.

Northern Ireland

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) off sale outlets and (b) licensed premises were prosecuted for serving alcohol to individuals under the age of 18 years old in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years. [142639]

Maria Eagle: The following table gives the number of prosecutions and convictions for the offences of “selling intoxicating liquor to a minor” and “permitting minor to consume alcohol on licensed premises” For the former, it is not possible to identify separately those proceedings brought against off sale outlets and licensed premises.

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Data cover the calendar years 2003 to 2005 and are collated on the principal offence rule; thus only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Number of prosecutions and convictions for the offences of ‘selling intoxicating liquor to a minor’ and ‘permitting minor to consume alcohol on licensed premises’ 2003-05
Selling intoxicating liquor to a minor Permitting minor to consume alcohol on licensed premises
Prosecutions Convictions Prosecutions Convictions
















Departments: Official Residences

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the official ministerial residences allocated to Ministers in his Department; and what the total annual cost is of running each. [141963]

Mr. Hain: When in Northern Ireland I stay at Hillsborough castle. As well as providing overnight accommodation for me, the facilities at Hillsborough castle are also used to provide official hospitality and overnight accommodation for members of the Royal Family, visiting dignitaries and diplomats. Other activities at the castle include departmental meetings, the Annual Garden Party and Citizenship Ceremonies. In addition to its use by the Northern Ireland Office and other Government Departments, charities and local community groups can request to use the facilities, generally for fund raising purposes, and the castle and grounds are open at certain times of the year for guided tours.

The costs associated with my overnight accommodation at Hillsborough castle cannot be separated from the overall cost. The cost of running Hillsborough castle for the 2005-06 financial year was £4,948,666.27. As custodians of this listed building the NIO takes seriously the need to preserve, maintain and refurbish the fabric of the building. This cost includes the maintenance of the buildings and grounds, and the security of the castle, the grounds, and that of Ministers, officials and visitors while present at the castle. It also includes the cost of catering, hospitality and administration. £3,165,938.56 is included in this amount in respect of cost of capital and depreciation.

Departments: Public Relations

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent by his Department on public relations in each of the last five years. [139420]

Mr. Hain: In each of the last five years the Department and its agencies has spent the following on public relations:

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