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9 July 2007 : Column 1196W—continued

Ports: Planning

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what objections were lodged by statutory consultees to port applications in respect of (a) London Gateway, (b) Dibden Bay, (c) Liverpool and (d) Harwich; and which of these objections were withdrawn during the application process. [148037]

Jim Fitzpatrick: None. There are no statutory consultees in respect of harbour revision and harbour empowerment orders for ports. Statutory organisations have the opportunity to make objections to draft harbour orders on the same basis as any other objector.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many objections from local residents and third parties were submitted in respect of port applications in respect of (a) London Gateway, (b) Dibden Bay, (c) Liverpool and (d) Harwich. [148038]

Jim Fitzpatrick: It is not possible to disaggregate precise figures for numbers of objections made in each case. The approximate numbers of objections made to the applications for harbour orders, including those by statutory organisations as well as local residents and third parties, were (a) 225 for London Gateway, (b) 6,140 for Dibden Bay, (c) 36 for Seaforth River Terminal at Liverpool and (d) 500 for Bathside Bay, Harwich.

Railways: South Wales

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations her Department has received on the train services operated by Great Western between London and south Wales. [147221]

Mr. Tom Harris: Department for Transport has received approximately 30 letters and e-mails on First Great Western rail services between London and south Wales since January 2007.

South West Trains: Fares

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the terms of South West Trains’ franchise are on penalty fares; what assessment she has made of the company’s compliance with its franchise on penalty fares; and if she will make a statement. [147834]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Railways Act 1993 Section 130 is the basis for charging penalty fares on National Rail. The subsequent (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994 allowed for by the 1993 Act in turn provided for the creation of Penalty Fares Rules. These Rules were last revised in 2002 and under them any operator wishing to charge penalty fares must submit a scheme for the approval of the Secretary of State. South West Trains currently have an approved penalty fares scheme.


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Tankers: Oil

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the potential for pollution along the east coast arising from the transfer at sea of oil from small carriers to bulk ocean-going tankers. [147797]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has not made any recent assessment of the potential for pollution along the east coast of Great Britain arising from the transfer at sea of oil from smaller tankers to larger tankers.

Town and Country Planning Order 1995

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Highways Agency has used powers under Article 14 of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995 on her behalf; and if she will place in the Library a list of these instances. [147088]

Mr. Tom Harris: With the sole exception of proposals for advertisements, all of the Highways Agency's responses to planning applications are issued under Article 14 of the General Development Procedure Order 1995. From May 2006 to May 2007 (last full year available) 2,672 article 14 responses were issued by the Agency to the local planning authorities. Details of each case can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Bass: Conservation

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to increase the minimum landing size for bass. [146910]

Jonathan Shaw: I plan to make an announcement shortly on whether and when to introduce an increased minimum landing size for bass.

Biodiversity: Cooperation

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether a partnership body has been established to coordinate work between the Forestry Strategy and the Biodiversity Action Plan. [148093]

Joan Ruddock: I have asked the Forestry Commission and Natural England to prepare a joint action plan for implementing the recently published “Strategy for England's Trees, Woods and Forests”. No new body is being created, but this partnership will ensure good coordination with the Biodiversity Action Plan.

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Woodland Trust and Natural England on the potential loss of European woodland to bio-fuels production. [147691]

Joan Ruddock: No specific meetings have been arranged to discuss this topic. However, both bodies responded to the Department for Transport’s recent consultation on the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation Order and were reasonably supportive of it,
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provided there were strong sustainability safeguards. Although both organisations were concerned about deforestation in a global context, they did not specifically mention European woodland. The Woodland Trust, in particular, saw the increased demand for bio-fuels as providing an opportunity to regenerate ancient woodlands.

Views from these two organisations will continue to be taken into account when developing policy in this area.

Carbon Emissions: Pollution Control

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received since the launch of the Act on CO2 calculator; and what assessment he has made of the impact that the calculator will have on people’s long-term energy habits. [147156]

Mr. Woolas: There were 86,104 visitors to the Act on CO2 calculator during its first week. We have asked people to comment on how to improve the current public trial version of the calculator and have had more than 300 e-mail responses from members of the public. We will take these suggestions on board as we introduce improvements to the calculator over the next few months.

The Action Plan at the end of the calculator gives tailored recommendations to users on how to reduce their overall carbon footprint by 20 per cent. The recommendations include looking at energy consumption in the home and cover both one-off and habitual behaviour changes.

Coastal Erosion: Bournemouth

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether additional funds will be allocated to Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth for coastal protection. [147898]

Mr. Woolas: DEFRA has overall policy responsibility for flood and coastal erosion risk management in England. It funds most of the Environment Agency’s flood-related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and internal drainage boards. DEFRA does not carry out works, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.

Bournemouth borough council are the coast protection authority responsible for Hengistbury Head and they have been monitoring coastal erosion at this location. The Environment Agency has asked all operating authorities for their medium term plans for 2008-09 onwards. It is for Bournemouth borough council to decide on the inclusion of this, or other works, in their response to the Agency.

We will use new Outcome Measures from next year to set out more clearly what we wish our overall programme to achieve. Ministers will set targets and the Agency will make decisions on how best to deliver these by applying a prioritisation system agreed with DEFRA. Any scheme at Hengistbury Head will have
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to be considered as part of this prioritisation system and against the many other worthwhile coastal schemes.

English Nature: Judicial Review

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many judicial reviews brought against English Nature between 1997 and 2007 in the (a) High Court, (b) Court of Appeal and (c) House of Lords (i) were successful and (ii) resulted in an order for costs being made against English Nature; and what costs were awarded in each case. [146956]

Jonathan Shaw: There were no judicial reviews brought against English Nature between 1997 and 2007 in the High Court, Court of Appeal or the House of Lords.

Farms: Land Drainage

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what statutory duties relating to surface water drainage are placed upon farmers. [148335]

Mr. Woolas: There are no such statutory duties placed upon farmers with regard to surface water drainage.

Landowners with frontages along a watercourse have a number of rights and responsibilities in relation to watercourses which flow through their land. These include a responsibility to ensure that water flows without obstruction through their land.

Fisheries: Conservation

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his (a) Belgian, (b) Dutch, (c) German, (d) Norwegian and (e) Danish counterparts on the management of fishing stocks in the North Sea. [147004]

Jonathan Shaw: UK Fisheries Ministers have regular discussions with their EU partners at Agriculture and Fisheries Council on matters relating to the management of stocks in the North sea. Occasional meetings also take place with Norwegian Ministers on areas of mutual interest.

Fly Tipping: South Eastern Region

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of fly-tipping were reported in each local authority in the South East of England in each of the last four years for which figures are available; what the estimated cost was of dealing with such incidents; and how many (a) prosecutions and (b) successful prosecutions there were for fly-tipping in each local authority in the South East of England in each year for which figures are available. [147094]


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Jonathan Shaw: As it is quite lengthy, I have arranged for the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House.

Ivory: Trade

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking on the international trade of ivory; and what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the (a) Chadian, (b) Kenyan and (c) Indian governments on the matter. [147142]

Joan Ruddock: The UK continues to take very seriously the threat to elephant conservation posed by ivory poaching. In recent years the UK, along with EU partners, has supported the establishment of baseline data to monitor illegal killing and trade in elephants and their ivory by providing funds to support the MIKE and ETIS programmes under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). During the preparations for the 55(th) CITES Standing Committee on 2 June 2007, where approval of the stockpile sale was agreed in line with previously set criteria, the UK played an active role in considering the evidence.

At the subsequent 14(th) Convention of the Parties to CITES which took place in the Hague in June, a longer term agreement was reached among African range states on ivory trade. Following a one-off sale of an amount of stockpiled ivory increased to take account of the passage of time, the proceeds of which are to be used for conservation purposes, it is now agreed that there will be a nine year resting period on any further sales of ivory. This will allow the effects of the one-off stockpile sale to be properly assessed. The agreement also includes the establishment of an African elephant Trust Fund to address elephant conservation issues across the continent. The UK fully supported this proposal when it was presented to the CITES Parties, and will be looking to monitor the reported impacts of the stockpiled ivory sales, and broader elephant conservation measures, particularly in its newly elected position as a member of the CITES Standing Committee.

There have been no bi-lateral meetings at a Ministerial level with Chad, Kenya or India specifically on this issue although my predecessor spoke to Julius Kipng’etich (the Head of the Kenyan Wildlife Services) and Prof. Kivutha Kibwana (the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources) in the margins of the Ministerial event at the Conference in June to assure them of our support for elephant conservation and to agree to meet later in the year to discuss this further.

Lighting: Waste Disposal

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans he has made for the safe disposal of mercury-containing energy-efficient light bulbs when the changeover from filament bulbs occurs in 2009; [148374]

(2) what provisions he has made to encourage householders to dispose of energy efficient light bulbs in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner. [148375]


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Joan Ruddock: In the UK, we have agreed an ambition with manufacturers and retailers to phase out the sale of inefficient light bulbs by 2011. The UK will be one of the first European countries to remove inefficient bulbs from stores; saving approximately 1.2 million tonnes of carbon by 2012, as well as saving consumers money on their energy bills. We also continue to support the European Commission in working towards regulating against inefficient bulbs by 2010, with a phase out over the following years.

There is no requirement for waste energy efficient light bulbs to be separately collected from households. However, since 1 July, energy efficient light bulbs have been required to be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations. Householders will be able to take waste energy efficient light bulbs to designated collection facilities, in the main local authority civic amenity sites. From this point, producers will be financially responsible for their onward collection, treatment and recycling, where most of the mercury can be recovered.

Retailers have obligations under the WEEE Regulations to provide consumers with information on:

Under the WEEE Permitting Regulations, mercury must be removed from energy efficient light-bulbs where they are collected separately. A minimum of 80 per cent. by weight of the materials must be recycled or recovered.

Energy efficient light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury (less than 5 milligrams per lamp) and should be disposed of responsibly. There is increasing evidence that the mercury in each energy efficient bulb is considerably outweighed by the mercury put into the atmosphere through the additional electricity generation required to operate a traditional bulb.

Nappies

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the revised life cycle assessment (LCA) for disposable and reusable nappies in the UK will be published; and what plans his Department has for publicising the revised LCA on nappies. [146504]

Joan Ruddock: The Environment Agency expects to publish a further report on nappies by the end of the year. This study is part of the Agency’s science programme and will be published on their website in the same way as other scientific reports. Any further publicity will be considered jointly with DEFRA and the Waste and Resources Action Programme, who are jointly funding the study.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if his Department will reassess the adequacy of financial support for the promotion of reusable nappies following the conclusion of the revised life cycle assessment; [147206]


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(2) what progress has been made in setting up a stand-alone organisation to take over running of WRAP's Real Nappy Campaign; and what financial contribution his Department will provide to it. [147207]

Joan Ruddock: The Real Nappy Programme budget for the April 2003 to March 2006 period was £2.3 million, with some funding continuing in 2006-07 to allow the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to meet existing commitments. No further direct funding is planned over 2007-08.

WRAP intends to hand over the work on real nappies to other interested parties during the course of this financial year. WRAP is currently discussing with a range of interested parties the possible arrangements for the future management of the Real Nappy Programme. Once WRAP has established the options, including funding needs, for taking forward this work, it will discuss them with DEFRA. It is, therefore, not yet possible to state DEFRA's future financial contribution, if any, to the Real Nappy Programme.


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