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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 June 2007, Official Report, column 1361W, on departments: manpower, what the estimated annual cost to the public purse is of the 136 staff on the Priority Movers List. 
Jonathan Shaw: It is not possible to estimate an annual cost for staff on the Priority Movers List. It should be noted that many of the staff on the list are engaged on short term project work and other tasks which means that a significant proportion of the related cost contributes to delivery of departmental objectives.
DEFRA makes every effort to redeploy staff on the Priority Movers list. Those on the list are given priority access to all internal vacancies and are given first consideration for posts at the appropriate grade.
Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs does not keep records of the number of its staff using public transport to commute and is therefore unable to make an estimate on this.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) amount and (b) likely future change in the amount of exported domestic waste, broken down by category. 
Joan Ruddock: The UK only exports waste that is suitable for recovery or recycling. Based on HM Revenue and Customs figures, it is estimated that in 2006, the UK exported some 8 million tonnes of metal scrap, 4 million tonnes of paper, 441,000 tonnes of plastic and 136,000 tonnes of glass cullet.
The Government have not made any estimate of the likely future growth in the amount of exported waste, but the Government sponsored Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has undertaken research to assess the international markets for key recyclable wastes: plastic, paper and glass, and these papers are available on WRAPs website.
Future trends on exports will depend largely on the success of the range of initiatives under way to increase provision of domestic recycling capacity as part of the implementation of Waste Strategy 2007.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how the increase in spending across Government of £200 million on flood-risk management and defences will be allocated (a) within his Department and (b) to other Government departments; 
Mr. Woolas: No final decisions have been taken on the allocation between Departments of the £200 million increased spending in 2010-11. Funding for individual flood risk management projects will be decided through the prioritisation process which is being developed to reflect the new Outcome Measures.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for future funding for the Environment Agency for flood defences; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The Secretary of State confirmed on 2 July that spending on flood risk management and defences will rise from around £600 million in 2007-08 to £800 million by 2010-11. No final decisions have been taken on the allocation of the £200 million increased spending.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of (a) the savings which will be generated by and (b) the sum to be paid in redundancies resulting from the closure of the Worthing office of the Environment Agency. 
Mr. Woolas: The scheme to move from three to two areas in the southern region has yet to be approved by the Environment Agency Board. The proposed scheme will improve operational delivery, technical resilience and save £2.75 million by April 2012.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his oral statement of 2 July 2007, Official Report, columns 689-93, on floods (England), what additional funding he plans to make available to Wales for flood and coastal defence. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the flood defence budget was directed to controlling surface water flooding in each of the last five years; and through which agencies and schemes it was allocated. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency has principal responsibility for management of flood risk in England from designated main rivers and the sea and, since April 2004, has been responsible for the whole operational flood management budget provided by DEFRA. The prime focus of this work is on the management of floodwater in river systems and the avoidance of coastal inundation. Such works will often involve an element of provision for surface water drainage but this is not separately identified in funding allocations.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the criteria are for awarding monies under the small scale small business recovery scheme for flooded areas; to which areas the scheme will apply; and if he will make a statement. 
The regional development agencies have responded rapidly to provide support and assistance to businesses affected by the recent flooding. Yorkshire Forward has set up a £2 million Small Business Recovery Scheme to assist businesses. To be eligible for funding to assist with immediate recovery needs, businesses must be in a recognised flooded area; be a business entity operating in the Yorkshire and Humber region and must have fewer than 250 employees. The East Midlands Development Agency has established a £500,000 Flood Recovery Fund to help support affected SMEs. To be
eligible for funding, businesses have to demonstrate impact of flooding on the income of the business; that it has taken all reasonable actions to mitigate this; that the business is temporarily trading at a loss or experiencing severe cash flow difficulties which could lead to failure of the business; and it can present evidence of past and future viability.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of properties which are deemed uninsurable due to high risk of flooding. 
Mr. Woolas: Under the Statement of Principles agreed between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), insurers will provide cover to existing policyholders if they estimate the risk of flooding as less than once in every 75 years or defences are planned to reduce the risk to this level within five years. If the risk is more than once in 75 years, and no defences are planned, insurers will examine the risk case-by-case and work with owners to see whether the property can be made insurable.
In their report to the Government last autumn, the ABI noted that their members continued to provide flood cover as standard to virtually all households. Following the recent flood events, ministerial colleagues and I met with the ABI on 10 July. The ABI stressed their commitment to make flood cover widely available as standard and we will hold a meeting to review the implementation of the Statement of Principles in the autumn.
Joan Ruddock: The primary mechanism for advice and support is from the Forestry Commission whose role includes giving practical advice to woodland owners, and producing a range of woodland and forestry related publications. The Forestry Commissions research agency, Forest Research, provides specialist technical advice directly and through publications and seminars which are open to all in the forestry and woodland sector.
Individuals, commercial companies, professional bodies and other organisations also offer advice training and support. Nationally these include the Small Woods Association, the Royal Forestry Society and the Institute of Chartered Foresters. There are also a number of local and regional woodland initiatives and projects that provide assistance in various ways.
LANTRA the sector skills council for the environmental and land based sector includes forestry and arboriculture in their remit. It runs formal accredited training schemes, as do the National Proficiency Test Council.
There are proposals in the Regional Implementation Plans for the new Rural Development Programme for England, which if approved, will aid the provision of advice, training and support for local and small woodland businesses.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Iran ahead of the next Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species conference on preserving the North Persian leopard. 
Joan Ruddock: The whole of the Leopard (Panthera pardus) taxon, which includes the north Persian leopard, is listed in CITES Appendix I. The 14(th) CITES Conference of Parties took place in The Hague between 2 and 15 June. No discussions were held with the Government of Iran on preserving the north Persian leopard either ahead of the CITES Conference, or since.
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA is developing draft guidance on light pollution and planning, and is working closely with Communities and Local Government, which has policy responsibility for planning. The timing of a public consultation on the guidance is partly dependent on the on-going review of the national planning policy framework, announced in the Planning White Paper published in May this year.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 9 July 2007]: Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was first reported to have been isolated from animals in Europe in 1972 and over the subsequent years there have been a limited number of other reports from various parts of the world. Some early reports of MRSA in animals in the scientific literature did not use molecular or other appropriate techniques to confirm definitively the identity of the suspect MRSA organisms and these reports may not be comparable with current reports.
MRSA has been recovered from a number of different animal species and from a number of different parts of the world. The animal species involved include dogs (USA, Korea and the Netherlands), pigs (Netherlands, Denmark and Germany), horses (USA and Japan), dairy cows and chickens (Korea) and cats (Brazil). The scientific papers describing the detection
of MRSA in animals from these (and some other countries; the list is not exhaustive) are readily available in the scientific literature.
In the UK, since 1999, published reports have indicated that MRSA has been isolated from a small number of companion animals and from horses. There have been no reports of MRSA from food-producing animals in the UK. The current UK position relating to MRSA in animals has also been summarised on the DEFRA website and has been available for some time.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether regulations are in place to oblige retailers (a) to take back and (b) to take back and recycle the packaging of products sold in their own stores; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: No regulations are currently in place specifically obliging retailers to take back, and take back and recycle, packaging sold in their own stores. However, we have not ruled out regulating on this in the future, and if we wished to do so, powers are available in sections 93-95 of the Environment Act 1995.
The level of a business' obligation is determined, in part, by the amount of packaging they handle. Once they have calculated their obligation, the business has to ensure that the specified amount of packaging waste is recovered or recycled. This is an equivalent amount of waste, so does not have to be waste from the very same products handled by the business.
At present, the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 encourage businesses to reduce the amount of packaging they use. In addition, the Government are encouraging supermarkets to take greater responsibility for the waste they place on the market and for producers to reduce their waste. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is currently working with retailers through the Courtauld Commitment, a voluntary agreement which aims to halt packaging growth by 2008 and make absolute reductions in packaging waste by 2010. 13 major retailers, representing 92 per cent. of the UK grocery sector, have already signed the agreement, as well as three major brands.
In addition, DEFRA, working with WRAP and the devolved administrations, has recently secured the agreement of UK retailers to reduce the overall environmental impact of their carrier bags by 25 per cent. by the end of 2008.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps were taken to establish a protocol for reporting the progress made by signatories to the Courtauld Commitment on packaging waste when it was established in 2005. 
[holding answer 9 July 2007]: Each of the signatories to the Courtauld Commitment is an obligated company for the purposes of the Packaging
Regulations and declares their total packaging use each year to the relevant regulators. This has been the case since it was established in 2005.
The Courtauld Commitment objectives relate to primary packaging taken home by consumers. When my predecessor met the signatories last November, he asked them to agree a protocol with the Waste and Resources Action Programme for reporting progress in a consistent and transparent way. A draft protocol is currently being consulted on, with a view to it being agreed and implemented in this reporting year.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the annual total packaging use of each of the signatories to the Courtauld Commitment was in each year for which figures are available. 
As obligated companies for the purposes of the Packaging Regulations, the signatories to the Courtauld Commitment submit data to the Environment Agency. However, as some signatories are companies, and others are brands, it is not possible to extract the data in the form requested. Additionally the data are commercially sensitive.
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