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Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on animal welfare problems associated with intensive broiler chicken production; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 5 December 2007]: I am pleased to say that the European Commission directive on the welfare of broiler chickens gained political agreement at Agriculture Council on 7 May 2007, after two years of negotiations. The UK worked hard with the Commission and other animal welfare-conscious member states to get the dossier agreed.
The directive will deliver real welfare benefits for broilers, while balancing economic, social and environmental impacts. It takes into account a range of factors including the latest scientific evidence, veterinary advice, consumer concerns and industry practice.
Throughout the negotiations we held extensive discussions with a range of stakeholders, both through a formal consultation on the proposals as well as through meetings and correspondence. We will continue to involve stakeholders during our transposition of the new directive into domestic legislation, and this will include a full 12-week public consultation period.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the role of the UK policy custodian for the marine and aquatic environment is, as stated in his Departments Marine and Fisheries Business Plan 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA is the UK policy custodian for the marine and aquatic environment. The purpose of the role is to seek to deliver clean, safe, healthy, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas through the Departments marine programme.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to report on the review of the marine emergency contingency plan; and if he will make a statement. 
The current National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations, agreed by Ministers, was published in November 2006. This plan ensures that there is a timely, measured and effective response to the threat of, or actual pollution
of UK waters from ships or offshore installations. A copy of this plan is available on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's website at
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which inshore sites he has identified to become special areas of conservation over the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: Currently, there are 28 Special Areas of Conservation with marine habitats or species in English inshore waters. Natural England are in the process of carrying out a programme of further data collection and survey work for seven additional inshore areas. This should lead to the selection of further Special Areas of Conservation.
The areas involved include: Outer Wash sandbanks; Greater Thames estuary; Lyme Bay to Poole Bay; Salcombe to Yealm and Eddystone; Lizard Point; Lands End and Cape Bank; and Outer Morecombe Bay, Shell Flat and Lune Deep.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which offshore sites he has identified to become special areas of conservation over the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: We are completing our Natura 2000 network of sites in the marine area, which we hope to have substantially finalised by 2012. We expect to send an initial tranche of candidate offshore special areas of conservation to the European Commission before September 2008.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee will be consulting on seven initial sites later this month. These include: Braemar Pockmarks, Darwin Mounds, Haig Fras, North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef, Scanner Pockmark, Stanton Banks and Wyville Thomson Ridge.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 23 October 2007, Official Report, column 168W, on Turtles: conservation, if he will list the UK wildlife crime priorities for 2007-08; and with respect to the illegal trade in CITES species, what the five species threatened by illegal trade are that are being focused on. 
Joan Ruddock: The five UK wildlife crime priorities for 2007-08, agreed by senior Government and enforcement officers, are offences against bats and freshwater pearl mussels, the illegal trade in CITES species, the illegal killing of hen harriers, and poaching.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of waste facilities required to meet the commitments entered into under the European Landfill Directive; how many such waste facilities exist; how many new ones are (a) under construction and (b) planned; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: No specific estimate has been made by my Department on the number of waste facilities needed. However, DEFRAs Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme (WIDP) is maintaining a national overview of existing and planned residual treatment capacity to ensure that resources are applied in the most effective manner. It is the responsibility of local authorities, working on their own or in partnership with neighbouring authorities, to procure waste management facilities suited to local needs.
While we are confident that we have enough infrastructure in place to meet our 2010 EU Landfill Directive target, current estimates suggest that we still require an increase in diversion capacity to allow us to meet the 2013 and 2020 targets. This infrastructure will help to facilitate an increase in both recycling and composting and diversion from landfill. The number of facilities required will depend upon the nature of waste delivery authority procurements, the technology selected and the size of individual plants.
We are currently aware of 81 plants across England (covering a range of treatment and disposal technologies) that are scheduled to become operational from 2008 onwards. These will potentially provide the capacity to treat an extra 10.3 million tonnes of municipal waste. With the ongoing engagement WIDP is undertaking with authorities, the combination of authorities ambitions and the utilisation of the £2 billion private finance initiative credits recently announced in the comprehensive spending review, the Government believe sufficient infrastructure can be delivered to meet our obligations under the Landfill Directive.
It remains vital that regional spatial strategies and local development documents look forward and make adequate provision for the appropriate types and scales of infrastructure and waste treatment facilities needed. It is also important for specific and suitable sites to be identified in local plans.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average cost per capita of collecting waste in predominantly (a) rural and (b) urban local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: Local authorities report the cost of waste collection per head as best value performance indicator (BVPI) 86. Data for local authorities in England for 2006-07 are available on the DEFRA website.
No specific assessment has been made of the average cost of collecting waste in rural compared to urban areas. However, it is possible to calculate the total per capita cost of household waste collection from the BVPI data. This shows that the average cost per head for predominantly rural authorities is £49.82 compared to £48.73 in urban authorities. Analysis of the individual local authority data shows that there is variability within these average costs.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration has been given to bringing the responsibility for drainage matters in a particular area under one statutory authority. 
Mr. Woolas: We are aiming to improve management of flood risk nationally and to clarify responsibilities by giving the Environment Agency a strategic overview of all forms of flooding in a close partnership with local authorities and the water companies in long term planning and strategic risk management.
The Government is currently examining approaches to the management of surface water drainage. As part of the upcoming Government Water Strategy, Future Water, due to be published early in 2008, we will review the institutional arrangements for those bodies responsible for surface water. This work will take on board recommendations from Sir Michael Pitts interim report, due shortly, and the 15 pilot projects we are funding to identify improvements to the management of urban drainage.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those meetings he has helped to arrange between ministerial colleagues across Government and Welsh business representatives over the last 12 months. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department and its agencies have spent on Christmas (a) cards, (b) parties and (c) decorations in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hain: Details of the cost of overseas travel, including the cost of travel and accommodation are contained in the Overseas Travel by Cabinet Ministers list. The latest list for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 was published on 25 July 2007. Details for the 2007-08 financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. All travel is made in accordance with the ministerial code.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when the Government first received the draft legislative competence order on the supervision of the right to buy from the Welsh Assembly Government. 
Mr. Hain: While discussions between the Welsh Assembly government and the UK Government concerning this proposal began at the end of June, the draft order that was published in the National Assembly on 4 December was first received by the Government on 29 November.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality for what reasons responsibilities for administering the provisions of the Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates Act) 2002, Civil Partnerships Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2006 are divided between Departments. 
Barbara Follett: Responsibility for administering these provisions is not divided between different Departments. The Government Equalities Office is responsible for maintaining these pieces of legislation, working closely with a range of Departments which have a strong interest, including Communities and Local Government and the Ministry of Justice.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what changes have been made to ministerial responsibility for each equality strand in the last year; and how these changes have been communicated to (a) staff and (b) stakeholders. 
All changes to ministerial responsibility are reported to staff by senior officials within relevant Departments. Changes to ministerial responsibility were communicated to those stakeholders with whom there are regular contacts by correspondence or by telephone.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what proportion of the working week of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Government Equalities Office, is allocated to (a) her role supporting the Minister for Women and Equalities and (b) her role as Minister for the East of England. 
Tessa Jowell: We are committed to ensuring that everyone in the UK can be part of the 2012 gamesthrough cultural events across the country, more opportunities to take part in sport and be physically active, and a wealth of volunteering, jobs and skills training initiatives. The five legacy promises that I published in June encapsulate these objectives, and I will be publishing an action plan in the new year making clear how these promises will be delivered. These aims apply to every nation and region of the UK, including Southend.
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