Mr. Brian Jenkins (Tamworth) (Lab): My hon. Friend will realise that we all pay for household collection through the council tax. Does he recognise that improving recycling is one the main contributory factors to reducing household waste? Will he re-emphasise that and send out one of his circulars to each council saying that it is up to them to decide their policies, and not this Government?
Mr. Dhanda: We want to work with local authorities and, as I say, it is up to them if they want to be among the five pilots. The mood that we sense among local authorities is that this process is a positive way of reducing waste, increasing recycling and having more money to return as rebate. This will not be a profit-making exercise. All revenues raised through charges under a scheme have to be paid back as rebates.
Mr. Bone: ...Given that 52,000 new homes are to be built in north Northamptonshire over the next few years, 30 per cent. of which will be for migrant workers, and that no infrastructure programmes are being planned, will she come to my constituency and explain to the protest groups why no such infrastructure plans exist for Wellingborough as part of the growth strategy?
We have put substantial investment into infrastructure and we are going further. We have set out proposals for £1.7 billion of additional infrastructure investment over the next three years from our Department alone. That is in addition to the investment from the Department for Transport and so on. Also, we are today publishing the Planning Reform Bill, which includes proposals for a community infrastructure levy. I would
encourage people in the hon. Gentlemans constituency to look properly at that and at other ways of raising additional infrastructure funding for his area.
The draft south-east plan presented to the Government in March 2006 proposed the creation of 28,900 new homes per year. I do not sniff at thatthere is a need for new housingbut the plan added the rider that the creation of new homes should be closely related to the availability of infrastructure and associated services. Now that the Governments panel of planning inspectors has said that it does not accept that new home levels should be contingent on infrastructure, I eagerly anticipate discovering on which side of the argument the Minister falls.
Yvette Cooper: The hon. Gentleman knows that I obviously cannot comment on the details of the south-east plan, which is still going through the planning process. However, he will be aware of my frequently stated view that at a time when we face growing pressure from first-time buyers and rising demand for new housing the South East England regional assembly's proposal to cut the level of new housing in the south-east is bonkers. It is not an appropriate position for that regional assembly to have adopted. We need more housing, but I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we need more investment in infrastructure. From my Department alone, we set out proposals to increase the level of infrastructure to £1.7 billion over the next few years; there are proposals from other Departments, too. Today, as part of the Planning Bill, we published details of the community infrastructure levy that will allow local councils to raise additional resources for local infrastructure. I urge the hon. Gentleman and his party to support that proposal so that we have the parks and play areas as well as the new transport systems we need to support new homes for the future.
Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) grant-in-aid and (b) National Lottery funding was allocated to the Arts Council England (ACE) in each of the last five years; and how much ACE awarded to brass bands in the same period. 
|Grant in a id (revenue) allocated to ACE||National Lottery allocated to ACE||Awards made by ACE to brass bands( 1)|
|(1 )Figures include both Grant in Aid and National Lottery funding.|
Meg Munn: Mice have been identified as the main predator of seabirds on Gough Island. The Overseas Territories Environment Programme, a joint FCO and DFID funded programme, has provided £54,954 to the Tristan da Cunha administration, with technical support being provided by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, to assess the potential for the eradication of these rodents from Gough Island.