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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2007, Official Report, column 14W, on the responsibility for surface water flooding, what additional tasks the Environment Agency will perform under its responsibilities for maintaining a strategic overview of all forms of flood risk; and what budget will be available for those additional tasks. 
Mr. Woolas: The Reservoirs Act 1975 provides a safety regime for large raised reservoirs and their dams. It is the responsibility of the operators and owners of dams and reservoirs to maintain them in a safe condition in the event of flooding. DEFRA is not involved in making individual assessments of the safety of dams in the event of flooding.
(i) The Environment Agency has permissive powers to undertake works to manage flood risk from rivers legally designated as "main" and from the sea, and undertakes flood forecasting, warning and mapping.
(ii) Internal Drainage Boards exist in areas of special drainage need and have permissive powers to carry out works on watercourses not designated as main.
(iii) Local authorities have permissive powers for watercourses not designated as main and not within an internal drainage board area, and for land use planning.
(iv) Highways authorities (including local authorities) are responsible for the draining of areas within the highway boundary.
(v) Yorkshire Water is the water and sewerage undertaker in North Yorkshire and is responsible for the effectual drainage of foul and surface water arising from the drains of premises connected to its sewerage system.
(vi) Riparian Landowners have various responsibilities for the maintenance and effectiveness of drainage channels and watercourses within and along their property boundary, to maintain the integrity of the river banks and to ensure that water flows without obstruction through their land.
(vii) British Waterways is responsible for managing flood risk from its canals.
(viii) Reservoir undertakers have safety obligations.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) advice and (b) guidance he has given to local authorities along the River Thames on flooding and the prevention of flooding; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Local planning authorities have a major role to play in ensuring flood risk is not increased as a result of inappropriate development. The Department for Communities and Local Government issued strengthened policy guidance on this for planning authorities in December 2006. An accompanying practice guide is being developed as a living draft to provide practical guidance on how to take full account of flood risk when making planning decisions.
The Environment Agency liaises with local authorities, including Thames and London councils, on planning policy and emergency planning including on flood incident contingency planning in local resilience forums.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has (a) initiated and (b) evaluated on the number of game birds (i) reared and (ii) shot by persons who are not members of registered field sport organisations. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 28 November 2007, Official Report, column 537W, on game birds, what steps he took to (a) verify and (b) audit the consultations undertaken by public and corporate economic consultants in relation to the 2006 report referred to. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2007, Official Report, column 740W, on game: non-domestic rates, what his timetable is for consulting the Information Commissioner; and if he will place a copy of the Commissioners reply in the Library when it is received. 
Joan Ruddock: The consultation referred to in my previous answer closes on 5 February 2008. A view will not be formed on whether the supply of personal data to the other Government Departments or non-departmental public bodies is tenable until the full set of consultation responses has been analysed. My previous answer referred to relevant guidance, such as that issued by the Information Commissioner. This is already in the public domain and is accessible from the Information Commissioners website.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his answer of 3 December 2007, Official Report, column 740W, on game: non-domestic rates, what (a) statutory and (b) other obligations his Department is under to report relevant information on valuation and the recovery of taxation to the Valuation Office Agency; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: DEFRA has identified no statutory or other requirement that compels it to report relevant information on valuation and the recovery of taxation to the Valuation Office Agency in respect of data held on the GB Poultry Register.
The personal data held on the GB Poultry Register is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation. Further information about the legal considerations relevant to public authorities ability to share data, such as that contained on the GB Poultry Register, can be found in the Ministry of Justice publication, Public sector data sharing: Guidance on the law, which is available on the Department for Constitutional Affairs website.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to collect recent data on the carbon dioxide emissions from Departments; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Departments are required to report their carbon dioxide emissions data to the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), who report annually. The 2006 Sustainable Development in Government Report is available on the SDC website at:
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to raise the levels of grants available for the Low Carbon building programme; and if he will make a statement. 
When the Low Carbon Buildings programme household funding stream was re- launched in May 2007, we introduced a grant cap of £2,500 per household and a number of other changes. This was to support a greater number of installations with the limited funds available and to reach a wider audience.
Although we have seen a fall in household applications since the re-launch, we are seeing a much better spread of applications across all technologies, which is a key objective of a demonstration programme such as this.
We will continue to monitor the impact of the £2,500 grant cap on application levels. The household stream will continue until funds run out or March 2009, whichever comes sooner. In the meantime, we are working with industry to promote the programme and encourage take-up.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of (a) set-up and (b) annual running costs of the Green Homes initiative, broken down by main budget heading. 
Mr. Woolas: The exact budget and breakdown of costs is not yet known and will be part of the Government's comprehensive spending review prioritisation process. We have committed to provide over £100 million in the next three years to the Energy Saving Trust to develop the proactive Green Homes Service, based on a regional network of one-stop shops. This will build on the £10 million already provided to trial the service.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of households to be offered energy-saving advice from Government-funded initiatives in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10. 
Mr. Woolas: DEFRA funds the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to promote the sustainable and efficient use of energy in the domestic sector. In 2007-08 EST's target is to achieve 1.5 million customer contacts, through a local advice service and the internet. So far this year, the EST is running ahead of its target by around 18 per cent. The roll-out of EST's sustainable energy network of regional advice centres, covering all aspects of individual emissions, is expected to boost customer contacts to 2.25 million in 2008-09 and 2.5 million in 2009-10.
Since its launch in June 2007, there have also been over 600,000 visits to the Act on CO2 calculator, which provides tailored advice to individuals or households on the size of their carbon footprint.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many illegal immigrants have been discovered working for his Department and its agencies in the last year for which figures are available. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department's contractors and sub-contractors are expected to have robust internal processes for ensuring appropriate personnel are engaged. From information held centrally, the Department is not aware of any illegal immigrants having worked for the core Department. Similar information on DEFRA'S Executive agencies is not held centrally and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
DEFRA expects to comply with the current legislation for the prevention of illegal migrant working (section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996). As a Government Department DEFRA expects to comply with the legislation in this area following guidance set out in the Baseline Security Standard.
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA holds information only for the three major navigation authoritiesBritish Waterways, the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority. It is not possible to disaggregate the figures for Wales from the total for British Waterways and the Environment Agency.
Joan Ruddock: Since DEFRA was formed in 2001, it has provided just over £13.5 million to its Market Transformation Programme over the seven years between 2001 and 2007. Annual expenditure levels are set out as follows:
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the risk of disease transfer arising from the practice of composting meat waste on agricultural holdings where livestock are kept. 
In 2002 DEFRA commissioned an independent risk assessment to look at the possible risks arising from the composting of this material. The aim of the risk assessment was to assess whether the EU composting standard offered sufficient pathogen destruction that the compost could safely be spread to land, and if so, to recommend alternative treatment standards that were at least as effective as the EU standard.
The risk assessment examined conventional pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, as well as major exotic pathogens including foot and mouth disease and classical swine fever. It concluded that the standards for the composting of low-risk catering waste and animal by-products were sufficient subject to certain recommendations; for example, a grazing ban for a period of time after application to land. The risk assessment is available on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the minimum physical requirements are for separating a meat composting facility from a livestock facility on the same agricultural holding. 
Jonathan Shaw: Under the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005, it is an offence to bring animal by-products or catering waste onto a premises where livestock are kept. If, therefore, a livestock farmer wishes to compost animal by-products or catering waste, he must ensure that the composting facility is operated as a separate premises. The precise requirements for separation will be established on a case-by-case basis by the inspecting animal health officer, but typical requirements may include complete fencing off of the composting premises and separate access to the public highway. The inspecting officer will need to be fully satisfied that livestock cannot gain access to the animal by-products or catering waste.
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