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Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2007, Official Report, column 1068W, on street works, what assessment she has made of the ability of local authorities to implement street works regulations from 1 April. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: A large majority of local authorities consider that they can implement the new street works regulations, laid in July 2007, from 1April 2008. It is the responsibility of authorities and undertakers to ensure that they are compliant with legislation.
Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the conclusions of the Wildlife Law Enforcement Working Group meeting in July 2007 were on the illegal trade in falcons; and whether these conclusions were taken into account in deciding whether to retain the (a) peregrine falcon and (b) merlin in the bird registration scheme. 
The meeting noted that although research indicated that illegal trade in falcons is occurring, it is likely to involve single offenders and not organised crime groups. The Wildlife Law Enforcement Working Group considered that the level of criminality may increase if significant changes to Schedule 4 to the
Wildlife and Countryside Act were introduced (i.e. a significant reduction in the number of birds required to be registered) and once Animal Health move to recover the full cost of registering Schedule 4 species and issuing CITES paperwork.
The meeting's conclusions, which did not specifically cover the peregrine falcon or merlin, were taken into account by the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in its strategic assessment of UK wildlife crime. This, in turn, informed the development of wildlife crime priorities for 2007-08.
The NWCU indicated in its strategic assessment that the persecution of birds of prey occurs across the majority of the UK. The persecution of birds of prey (of which the taking of birds for the commercial market is a small component) is an area where the NWCU is collecting and analysing intelligence.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of total UK carbon emissions was estimated to be produced in (a) Ribble Valley constituency and (b) Lancashire County Council area in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 25 January 2008]: The most recent estimates available show that in 2005 (a) Ribble Valley local authority area accounted for 0.3 per cent. and (b) Lancashire county council area accounted for 2.0 per cent. of end user carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. It is not possible to provide consistent estimates for years prior to this.
Estimates of carbon dioxide emissions which relate specifically to Ribble Valley constituency are not available, and figures covering the Ribble Valley local authority area have been provided as a close approximation. Lancashire county council area includes the following local government districtsBurnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, the Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action the Government is taking to ensure that the Energy Using Products Directive does not have an adverse impact upon UK plants manufacturing control systems. 
[holding answer 18 February 2008]: The Eco-design for Energy Using Products Framework Directive (EuP) aims to deliver EU objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the negative environmental impacts of products and to ensure free
trade in energy-using products. It is a Single Market Directive brought forward under article 95 of the EU treaty.
The EuP framework has involved a wide range of consultation and interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the Commissions initial proposals at the EU consultation forum on 29 February or in writing up to three weeks after that.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the current and proposed budget of the Environment Agency with regard to planned expenditure in (a) capital and (b) revenue schemes. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency budget for flood risk management in England in 2007-08 is £265 million revenue and £192 million capital. This is funded largely by direct grant in aid from DEFRA and by precepts on internal drainage boards, beneficiary contributions and other miscellaneous income. Additionally some 26 million will be raised and spent locally through Regional Flood Defence Committee levies on local authorities.
DEFRA grant to all operating authorities for flood and coastal erosion risk management in 2008-09 will be £559 million. This comprises £251 million for Environment Agency revenue expenditure and £308 million capital to be divided between the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards. The capital budget has yet to be allocated to individual projects by the agency and it is not possible therefore to say how much will be spent on agency projects. These figures do not include agency income from other sources, but local levies are planned to raise a further £27 million in 2008-09.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the operational budget of the Environment Agency was spent on staff salaries in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what flood defences have been built in each of the last 10 years; and what the (a) final construction costs and (b) original contract prices were in each case. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the steps taken to reduce the risk of flooding in Gloucestershire since the floods of summer 2007. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency's estimated annual spend in Gloucestershire on controlling development, flood warning and awareness, flood risk mapping, maintenance of flood defences and watercourses is £1.5 million. The Environment Agency has spent an extra £400,000 estimated in Gloucestershire since the summer floods of 2007 on flood recovery, data collection, watercourse maintenance and repairs to flood defence assets.
At the Government's request, Sir Michael Pitt is carrying out an independent review of last summer's floods and published an interim report in December. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has stated that the Government agree with all 15 of the urgent recommendations in this report and will work with other organisations involved in implementing them.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals for incentives to companies proposing to invest in innovative plastics reprocessing facilities in England. 
The Waste and Resources Action Programme's (WRAP) current manufacturing programme is developing major projects that switch significant manufacturing processes from virgin material to recycled material input. This includes projects to incorporate up to 30 per cent. of recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) in the manufacture of one-quarter of the UK's plastic milk bottle production. This work involves capital support for new equipment and work with local authorities to increase collection of plastic bottles. The new demand created by the project is encouraging the development of plastics reprocessing facilities. Furthermore, WRAP is providing direct support through its business growth programme to develop the recycling sector.
WRAP is also undertaking trials with a number of technologies with the aim of understanding the best ways to handle mixed plastics from an environmental, economical and technological perspective. The programme is investigating three main areas: collection, reprocessing, and end markets. Different recycling and recovery options are being considered as part of this work, including reprocessing mixed plastics into new plastics, incineration, chemical treatment and even turning them into diesel. WRAP's focus on mixed plastics follows on from the successful uptake of plastic bottle recycling.
WRAP is also currently finalising its business plan for the three-year period April 2008 to March 2011. This is likely to build on its present work on plastics
collection, reprocessing and end markets, with the intention of incentivising further investment in each of these areas.
We also support industrial symbiosis via the UK wide National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP). With over 10,000 members, NISP employs industrial symbiosis to bring together companies from all business sectors with the aim of improving cross industry resource efficiency through the commercial trading of materials, energy and water and sharing of assets, logistics and expertise.
Over the last three years, NISP has helped industry release over £16.2 million in private investment in plastics reprocessing facilities across the UK. Working with over 70 companies nationwide specifically on plastic reprocessing, NISP has helped recover almost 60,000 tonnes of plastics through landfill diversion, whilst actively helping to safeguard over 90 jobs and generating a further 39 new jobs in the plastics reprocessing industry through increased sales and cost savings of over £32 million.
For example, NISP has been working with Chem Polymer Ltd. to secure private investment of over £1 million which has led to the generation of over £10 million in increased sales. Working on landfill diversion of plastic wastes, NISP has helped Petlon Polymers Ltd. generate sales in excess of £10 million as a result of increased plant throughput.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to publish (a) the letter to be sent to local authorities in respect of volunteer communities for the prospective hosting of a nuclear waste repository and (b) the local authority recipients to whom the letter is to be sent. 
Mr. Woolas: Responses to the recent consultation document A Framework for Implementing Geological Disposal are still being considered. Once that process has been completed, we will publish a White Paper setting out the next steps. This will happen later in the year. At that stage, we expect to invite communities to express an interest in entering into discussions about the siting process, and in finding out more about what hosting a facility might involve. Decisions on how this invitation is to be made and publicised have yet to be taken.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much recyclable waste was (a) landfilled, (b) incinerated and (c) sent overseas for disposal in each year since 1997. 
Joan Ruddock [holding answer 18 February 2008]: The UK Plan for Shipments of Waste, which sets out Government policy on shipments of waste, prohibits the export of waste from the UK for disposal with very few exceptions. Waste may be exported for recovery, including recycling.
DEFRA does not have available data on the amount of recyclable waste that is sent abroad for recycling. However, based on HM Revenue and Customs export data, it is estimated that in 2006, the UK exported some 8 million tonnes of metal scrap, 4 million tonnes of paper, 441,000 tonnes of plastic and 136,000 tonnes of glass cullet for recycling. These figures will include recyclable materials collected from all sources including households, commerce and industry.
Statistics for waste arisings and disposal are available only for 1998-99 and 2002-03. In 1998-99, 51 per cent. of household, business and construction/demolition waste in the UK was sent to landfill and 32 per cent. was recycled, with the rest being sent to other recovery or disposal routes, including incineration. In 2002-03, the amount landfilled decreased to 43 per cent., with the amount recycled increasing to 43 per cent.
It is difficult to give a precise estimate of the proportion of the wastes not recycled which could have been recycled in a cost-effective manner, but the Government believe their target for average recycling of municipal waste of 50 per cent. (compared with 31 per cent. in 2007) by 2020 is realistic.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research and opinion polling his Department has commissioned on introducing variable charging for household waste in the last 12 months. 
Joan Ruddock: My Department commissioned the 2007 Survey of Public Attitudes and Behaviours towards the environment, undertaken by the British Market Research Bureau, which included a section on attitudes to recycling and sought views on whether individuals would favour a system that rewarded them if they recycled everything they could and penalised them if they didnt. 52 per cent. of residents were in favour of this statement with 23 per cent. not in favour.
In addition, Eunomia Research and Consulting Ltd. produced a report for DEFRA on the project Modelling the Impact of Household Charging for Waste in England. This report is published on DEFRAs website.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Environment Agency has undertaken of the noise produced by the WS 1200 wind turbine; when that assessment will be published; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the Microgeneration Certification scheme, the Government are working with key stakeholders, including industry, to develop installation and product standards for micro wind turbines. These standards will address issues to do with airborne and structural vibration noise.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Mastiff availability has never dropped below the critical 85 per cent. availability rate. We work hard to ensure that sufficient spares are delivered to our forces; in the vast majority of cases adequate re-supply to theatre takes place in a timely fashion. A number of measures are being introduced to improve the operational availability of the Mastiff fleet on operations in both theatres. In particular we have put in place an agreement with the US manufacturer to allow the UK Integrator to manufacture, and also to be able to procure spares direct from source. In addition we have established a spares handling warehouse within the US, exclusively to meet UK requirements.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I am withholding the precise number of Mastiff vehicles currently deployed in Afghanistan as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
The Ministry of Defence continually reviews the requirements for protected mobility and where necessary deploys additional resources. As the Prime Minister announced on 8 October 2007, another 140 Mastiff are being purchased by the Ministry of Defence to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I am withholding the precise number of Viking vehicles currently deployed in Afghanistan as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
The Ministry of Defence continually reviews the requirements for protected mobility and where necessary deploys additional resources. There are no current plans to deploy additional Viking vehicles to support operations in Afghanistan.
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