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19 Nov 2007 : Column 460Wcontinued
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many items have been lost or misplaced by the Government Mail Service in each year since 1997. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to publish Professor McKinnons report on longer heavier vehicles. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The study by the Transport Research Laboratory and Heriot-Watt university, where Professor McKinnon is Director of the Logistics Research Centre, was expected to report by October; but given the challenging and complex nature of the project, the report has been slightly delayed. We are aiming to publish within the next three months.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will ban heavy goods vehicles from the outside carriageway of the A34. 
Mr. Tom Harris: There are currently no plans to ban heavy goods vehicles from the outside carriageway of the A34.
The Highways Agency has introduced trials at three locations across the strategic road network for HGV overtaking restrictions but is not planning to introduce further trial areas until results from the initial M42 trial have been analysed.
Mr. Clelland: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many registered vehicle owners appeared before a court for failing to comply with the statutory off-road notification declaration in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The exact number of people who appeared before a court for failure to declare a vehicle off the road are not recorded.
Mr. Clelland: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many registered vehicle owners failed to comply with statutory off-road notification declarations in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of people identified as failing to comply with statutory off-road notification legislation and who had enforcement action taken against them(1) is shown in the table.
(1) In the 2003-04 financial year enforcement did not pick up 100 per cent. of those who had failed to comply. Complete figures to answer the question are not available for that year. In all other years all people who were identified as failing to comply were the subject of enforcement action.
Mr. Clelland: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles were declared off road under statutory off-road notification declarations in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In 2003-04 DVLA received 2.65 million statutory off-road notifications. In 2004-05 the figure was 3.66 million, in 2005-06 it was 4.19 million and in 2006-07 it was 4.20 million.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the implications for a ship calling at a port which does not meet the 2004 International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Code requires that a ships own Security Plan sets out the procedures to be followed when it is calling at a port facility that does not meet the Code. A ship may make provision for its own security or where appropriate a master of a ship may request a Declaration of Security. This is a standard form that addresses the security requirements that are to be shared between a port facility and a ship and states the responsibility for each. The Code also requires ships to keep records of their last 10 ports of call prior to arrival in a destination, including details of how security was maintained at ports not meeting the Code. If the ship has at all times met the provisions of the Code there should be no significant implications for the ship.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2007, Official Report, column 43W, on railway stations: Milton Keynes, whether the increase in the number of long distance trains stopping per hour at Milton Keynes applies to both peak and off peak services. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The increase in services calling at Milton Keynes takes place throughout the day at both peak and off peak times.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many long distance trains due to stop at Milton Keynes under the proposed new timetable will only either drop off or pick up passengers during (a) peak and (b) off peak times. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Heading north, one train per hour is currently designated as pick up only. Between 16.42 and 19.42 inclusive, it is proposed that this will apply to all long distance services. In the southbound direction, one train only per hour will be set down only across the course of the traffic day.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport where (a) existing and (b) proposed 20 mph zones are located in County Durham; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (Amendment) Act Order 1999 (SI 1999/1608) removed the requirement for local authorities to obtain consent from the Secretary of State when introducing 20 mph zones and 20 mph speed limits on their roads. Therefore for further information, the hon. Gentleman should contact the local highway authorityin this case Durham county councildirectly. Suggested contact:
Durham County Council
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to (a) finalise and (b) implement a preference service for people to opt-out of receiving unaddressed direct mail. 
Joan Ruddock [holding answer 14 November 2007]: The Direct Marketing Association is developing an opt-out service for unaddressed direct mail. It expects to launch the scheme by the end of the year.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on possible changes to EU labour law exemptions for the fishing sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.
The Government will consider in detail any proposals for changes to EU labour law exemptions for the fishing sector. Any such proposals would need to be considered in the context of the provisions of two recent international conventions agreed in the International Labour Organisation, the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and the Work in Fishing Convention 2007.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to reduce fly-tipping. 
Joan Ruddock: Tackling fly-tipping and wider waste crime is a priority for the Government. The Government's Waste Strategy for England, published in May 2007, sets out a blueprint for increased recycling and reuse of waste, diverting waste from landfill and for preventing it in the first place. The strategy makes it clear that initiatives to boost waste prevention and recycling should be supported by fly-tipping strategies aimed at tackling the illegal dumping of waste.
The strategy includes the Government's Illegal Waste Activity Action Plan which sets out what action is being taken and proposed in this area. This includes:
(i) Reviewing legislation on the controls that are in place to deal with correct management and carriage of waste. The review aims to reduce levels of fly-tipping, make it easier for businesses to understand and comply with the regulations and make regulations easier for local authorities to use. Second consultation is planned for 2008.
(ii) Developing legislation that will give local authorities and the Environment Agency the powers to stop, search and instantly seize vehicles being used to commit fly-tipping offences. Consultation is planned for 2008.
(iii) Introducing mandatory Site Waste Management Plans for construction and demolition projects above a certain value. This is planned for completion in April 2008.
(iv) Working to better understand how small businesses and householders deal with waste and the types of awareness raising campaigns that would most effectively reach these groups and change their behaviour. This work will be carried out by March 2008.
(v) Funding the Environment Agency's targeted campaigns to disseminate good practice to businesses and raise awareness of good waste management practices.
(vi) Delivering Flycapture Enforcement, a training programme aimed at local authority officers and their legal teams to increase knowledge of the relevant legislation and to develop skills in effective enforcement and prosecution of fly-tippers.
(vii) Working with stakeholders to consider how the Flycapture database can be enhanced or improved to enable local authorities to better use data to implement fly-tipping interventions.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of fly-tipping on farmland; and what plans he has to require contractors to produce site waste management plans to prevent fly tipping. 
Joan Ruddock: DEFRA does not hold data on the number of fly-tipping incidents, or cost of clear-up, of fly-tipping on private land, including farmland. However, a report conducted on behalf of the Environment Agency in 2005-06 estimated the cost of clearing fly-tipping from agricultural land to be around £47 million.
We have recently consulted on proposals to make Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) a requirement for construction, demolition and excavation work above a certain size. Following the consultation and further research on the costs and benefits of producing and implementing SWMPs, it is proposed to set the threshold level for SWMPs at a project cost of £300,000.
SWMPs will help ensure that all waste on construction sites is managed responsibly and in accordance with waste management controls. Plans will record or make reference to the waste carrier's registration and waste transfer notes to ensure an audit trail of all waste leaving sites to reduce the likelihood of it being fly-tipped. The construction project client will be required to produce the plan before work begins on site. Responsibility for updating and implementing it will then transfer to the principal contractor.
Site Waste Management Plan Regulations are expected to come into force in April 2008 and will apply in England only.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff the Gangmasters Licensing Authority employs to cover Wales. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has 29 field officers throughout GB and NI. Field officers either check that licensed gangmasters are complying with their licence conditions or enforce the offences established by the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. While no officers are permanently based in Wales, all field officers may be deployed to conduct operations in that country.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to encourage Departments and local authorities to publish their annual greenhouse gas emissions. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 15 November 2007]: DEFRA currently publishes the annual emissions of carbon dioxide for local authority areas. In addition, following the introduction of a new local government performance framework in April 2008, local authorities will be required to report annually the reductions in the CO2 produced as a result of their own operations. The Sustainable Development Commission publishes information on CO2 emissions from central Government Departments in its Sustainable Development in Government Report. CO2 emissions comprise over 80 per cent. of greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average individual financial contribution was to the cost of works quoted for by Eaga approved contractors for the purpose of a Home Energy Efficiency Grant required of those to whom a grant has been offered in (a) England, (b) rural areas and (c) urban areas in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Woolas: [holding answer 15 November 2007]: From 1 June 2005 to 31 October 2007, the average individual financial contribution of all Warm Front applicants in England was £85.40. The financial contributions of those living in rural and urban areas, for the same time period, were £140.71 and £76.12 respectively.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on best practice in the implementation of the EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC. 
Joan Ruddock: My officials meet regularly with their counterparts in other member states, as well as the European Commission, to discuss implementation of this directive.
In May, the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (David Miliband) wrote to EU Environment Commissioner Dimas calling for a review of aspects of the directive so that member states could take more effective action against clear cases of over packaging. The Commission has since indicated its intention to review the implementation and enforcement of these provisions over the coming months.
I will continue to keep this matter under review and intend to discuss it with packaging industry representatives in early 2008.
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