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9 Oct 2007 : Column 444Wcontinued
£128,447 allocated for the set-up and operation of its Family Intervention Project, one of 53 projects being established across the country.
£35,000 Respect grant contribution has been allocated to Bournemouths Local Area Agreement pot which can be used flexibly to deliver the Respect programme.
In addition to direct Respect grants, Bournemouth can flexibly use other funds, pooled through Local Area Agreements to tackle antisocial behaviour and implement the Respect programme.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the planned extra expenditure on services aimed at young people will be ring-fenced; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: Aiming High for Young People: A Ten Year Strategy for Positive Activities was launched on 26 July 2007. The strategy announced the DCSF comprehensive spending review (CSR) settlement in relation to services for young people, which provides an additional £184 million alongside continuing funding of £495 million for positive activities over the three year period 2008-09 to 2010-11.
A relatively large proportion (around two thirds) of this proposed £679 million expenditure will be ring-fenced for specific purposes including for: centrally managed schemes; participatory budgeting by young people themselves; and initiatives within the third sector. The remainder of the monies will be pooled within the new area based grants and negotiated via local area agreements.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many youth clubs are funded by his Department. 
Beverley Hughes: Youth centres are delivered locally by local authorities through their youth provision and national and local voluntary youth organisations. Information is not held centrally on the number of youth centres at local, regional or national level.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been spent on youth clubs by his Department in the last 12 months. 
Beverley Hughes: Youth centres are delivered locally by local authorities through their youth provision and national and local voluntary youth organisations. Information is not held centrally on how much has been spent on youth centres at local, regional or national level.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will hold discussions with the Royal Society for Protection of Birds on increasing the number of marine wildlife reserves. 
Jonathan Shaw: As I indicated in a letter of 30 September 2007 to the Royal Society for Protection of Birds' (RSPB) chief executive, I would welcome an opportunity to hold discussions with the RSPB. These discussions could include consideration of marine wildlife reserves and the possibility of increasing their number.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the adequacy of measures to protect the marine environment of the western Solent; whether he has plans to make legislative provision for those measures in a Marine Bill; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Marine waters in England and Wales are assessed regularly by DEFRA and the Environment Agency. The most recent assessment of the state of the UK seas, Charting Progressan Integrated Assessment of the State of the UK Seas (2005), contains a regional assessment of the Eastern English Channel which includes the Western Solent. Measures in place to protect the marine environment in the western Solent include 100 management plans and initiatives, covering all or part of the Solent, that address issues such as nature conservation, coastal defence and emergency planning.
The Marine Bill will enable us to take a significant step forward in the way we plan for and manage activities in the marine area. It will provide us with the tools to deliver better protection for marine life, and integrated planning and management of our seas, coasts and estuaries. DEFRA officials are working closely with organisations in the western Solent to ensure that the Marine Bill proposals are developed in a way that can be beneficial for that, and other, local areas.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the process of applying for and being granted a licence to dredge off the coast of England; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many licences were (a) granted and (b) refused for dredging off the coast of (i) England and (ii) the East Riding of Yorkshire in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how much was received for dredging licences in respect of sites off the coast of (a) England and (b) the East Riding of Yorkshire in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
The hon. Member's questions appear to concern the dredging of marine minerals (the
extraction of sand and gravel from the seabed to be landed for use in construction or beach maintenance) rather than dredging more generally. I will therefore confine my answer to this area.
The Crown Estate, as landowner up to 12 miles offshore and the owner of the rights to non-energy minerals within the UK continental shelf and beyond, issues licences to dredge for marine minerals. Thirteen licences were issued in the last 10 years. The numbers issued in each year are set out in Table 1. No licences were issued for dredging off the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire in this period and no marine minerals dredging is currently licensed there. The closest that any such dredging currently takes place to this coast is to the south of Spurn Head and some 10 kilometres off the coast of Lincolnshire which the Crown Estate refers to as the Humber region for administrative purposes. Two licences were issued in this area, in 2000.
No licences were refused during this period. Licence proposals that were likely to be refused were either abandoned by the prospective applicant before submission as applications, or withdrawn before any formal decision was made.
|Licences issued for English w aters|
The Crown Estate receives royalties from operators for every tonne of aggregate that is dredged from the seabed that it either owns or controls. Table 2 shows the royalties it has received from English dredging operations over the past 10 years. Net income received by the Crown Estate is paid into the consolidated fund. As there is no aggregate dredging there, no royalties have been received from dredging off the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire.
|Year||Crown Estate royalties for English waters|
The Crown Estate only issues a licence when it has received the consent of central Government to the proposal. In the period in question, Government consent was delivered through the Government View system.
Until 1 April this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government was responsible for keeping the effectiveness of the process for giving Government's consent under review. Since then DEFRA has been responsible.
As a result of ongoing assessment and regular dialogue with stakeholders, the Government concluded that the existing process needed updating to make the system more transparent and efficient, and to reflect relevant European legislation. A new system to do this was introduced by the Environmental Impact Assessment and Natural Habitats (Extraction of Minerals by Marine Dredging) (England and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2007 which came into force on 1 May this year.
The Government are committed to ensuring that decisions on applications are made on the basis of the best possible scientific evidence. In recent years much research has been carried out on understanding coastal processes and the potential impacts of aggregate dredging. DEFRA has recently published a report on this work, funded by the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund (which was set up by DEFRA), entitled Marine Aggregate Dredging: Helping to Determine Good Practice, published 9 July 2007. This work supports the Government's increasingly sophisticated management of aggregate extraction integrated with the protection of resources of conservation and heritage significance. We are not aware of any scientific evidence to indicate that marine minerals dredging, as controlled by the Government since 1968, has had any effect on the coast or significantly affected the marine environment. The Government are satisfied that the regulation of marine minerals dredging is both effective and adequate.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action is being taken under the latest statutory guidelines to control emissions from mushroom farms. 
Mr. Woolas: Statutory guidance note PG6/30(06) specified various improvements to mushroom substrate manufacturing installations for completion in most cases before 1 March 2007. Local authorities are required to have regard to such guidance, but must ultimately decide on pollution control standards in each individual case, taking account of site-specific factors.
I understand that the TunnelTech mushroom composting plant regulated by Bassetlaw district council has been served with an enforcement notice requiring improvements to be made by 30 June 2008 and that the improvements go beyond those specified in the guidance.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which fisheries have closed in each month during 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: UK Fisheries Administrations have closed, in-year, a total of six fisheries to all UK registered vessels. These are set out in the table as follows:
|Fishery||Month of closure|
These closures are kept under review and, if quota becomes available from outside the UK, it is possible that they may be re-opened. Further fishery closures at a UK-level will be undertaken if the UK quota for particular stocks is taken in full.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for quota swaps to increase fishing opportunities for the under-10 metre fleet; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) is exploring all options for acquiring additional fishing opportunities for 10 metre and under vessels, including through quota swaps. This work has been under way throughout 2007 and will continue, particularly for those stocks for which the 10 metre and under vessels have the greatest need. The opportunity to undertake such swaps is limited as those stocks are, in may cases, those under most pressure from other sectors of the UK industry and the fishing industry in other EU member states. A number of swap options are currently being considered. However, it is not possible to provide details at this time as to do so might prejudice the ability of the MFA to bring the negotiations to successful conclusions.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of flood defences and structures owned and maintained by the Environment Agency were in a good or better condition in April 2007. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency does not own all of the flood defence assets that it maintains for the benefit of the general public.
The proportion (by length) of flood defences such as raised walls and embankments, maintained by the Environment Agency that were in good or better condition in April 2007 was 55 per cent., with a further 40 per cent. in fair condition.
The proportion (by number) of flood defence structures such as sluices and outfalls, maintained by the Environment Agency that were in good or better condition in April 2007 was 69 per cent., with a further 26 per cent. in fair condition.
These assessments are based on visual inspections.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to re-examine the planned levels of spending on the flood protection and water drainage infrastructure to meet the effects of climate change. 
Mr. Woolas: Funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management will increase from the current £600 million a year to £800 million a year by 2010-11. This reflects the evidence prepared for the comprehensive spending review and is consistent with the rate of increase suggested by the Foresight Future Flooding study, which took a long-term view of national flooding and coastal erosion risks to 2100.
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