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6 Mar 2008 : Column 2720W—continued


6 Mar 2008 : Column 2721W

Drinking Water

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume of bottled water was consumed in his Department in the last 12 months. [187971]

Mr. Woolas: From information held centrally, the core-Department consumed 1,969 litres of bottled water in 2007.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many litres of bottled water were purchased by his Department in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [188265]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 22 February 2008]: From information held centrally the core-Department has purchased the following amounts of bottled water in each of the last three years:

Litres

2005

9,848

2006

12,948

2007

1,969


Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on bottled water in the latest year for which figures are available. [189790]

Jonathan Shaw: From information held centrally, £3,392 was spent by the core-Department on bottled water in 2007.

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on mineral water in each of the last three years. [187665]

Jonathan Shaw: From information held centrally, the core-Department has spent the following sums on mineral water in each of the last three years.

£

2005

18,699

2006

24,744

2007

3,392


Energy-using Products Directive

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the likely effects of the Energy-using Products Directive’s provisions on supply system bundles on levels of waste from 2013. [190932]

Joan Ruddock: The Government’s Market Transformation Programme is currently assessing the full range of possible impacts of the implementation of the Energy Using Products Directive, based on the Commission’s current proposals.


6 Mar 2008 : Column 2722W

Environment Protection

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1101W, on environmental protection, how much of the funding received by the Environment Agency has been spent on purposes related to the detection and prosecution of environmental offences, including fly-tipping in each of these years; and what the projected allocation is of future business resource efficiency and waste funding to the Environment Agency (a) in total and (b) for these purposes in the next three years. [189804]

Joan Ruddock: From April 2008, the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme will be amalgamated into a single, more focused approach of allocating DEFRA funding to increase resource efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Funding to delivery bodies working on business resource efficiency will continue in the next spending period, beginning in 2008-09. The following table shows the allocation of BREW funding to the Environment Agency between 2005 and 2008 and the comparable amount of funding allocated to similar projects in 2008-09.

The table also shows how much of the money that was received by the Environment Agency under the BREW Programme was allocated to the detection and prosecution of environmental crime, with the comparable amount of funding allocated to similar projects in 2008-09 shown alongside.

£ million
Budget Funding allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) Funding allocated by EA to tackling environmental waste crime

2005-06

(1)2.0

2.0

2006-07

(1)4.454

2.0

2007-08

(1)4.454

2.0

2008-09

(2)2.75

(3)1.5

2009-10

(4)

(5)

2010-11

(4)

(5)

(1) BREW.
(2) Former BREW.
(3) Indicative only.
(4) Indicative budget to be confirmed.
(5) To be confirmed.

DEFRA is still in discussion with the Environment Agency to finalise the use of funding that it is receiving in 2008-09 for activities formerly funded by the BREW Programme. The full indicative allocations for 2008-09 are as follows:

In recent years, the Environment Agency has typically spent approximately £14 million per annum on the enforcement and prosecution of illegal waste activity. This figure represents the full costs incurred by the Environment Agency and does not take into account any costs they may recover through the courts.


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Fairtrade Initiative

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department’s policy is on the use of fair trade goods (a) in staff catering facilities and (b) at official departmental functions and meetings; and if he will make a statement. [183853]

Jonathan Shaw: Guidance on the use of fairtrade goods is set out on the “fairtrade” page of the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI) website at:

Departmental policy is to promote fairtrade goods through voluntary non-contractual means. From information held centrally, 100 per cent. of the tea, coffee and chocolate provided for hospitality functions is free trade. Members of staff have the option of buying fairtrade products in staff catering facilities and have been encouraged to purchase fairtrade products through awareness raising campaigns.

DEFRA’s ‘Catering Services Food Procurement Toolkit’

covers fairtrade products at pages 6, 16, 37, 38, 79, 93 and 123.

Fishing Vessels

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2008, Official Report, column 1624W, what the number of vessels he has identified for decommissioning is; and if he will make a statement; [191734]

(2) what his estimate is of the cost of decommissioning; and if he will make a statement; [191735]

(3) if he will use European Fisheries Fund monies to fund the decommissioning of 10 metre and under vessels; and if he will make a statement. [191736]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA officials are currently working on the form of a potential decommissioning scheme for under 10 metre vessels. If I decide that a decommissioning scheme is appropriate, I would expect to be in a position to formally consult on the details of such a scheme in the summer of this year. Until then, it is not possible to say whether vessels will be “identified for decommissioning”. Previous schemes have not identified vessels, but set parameters within which certain vessels would be eligible.

The final cost of any decommissioning scheme is related to the scheme design, the monies available, and the number of vessel owners that apply to decommission their vessels. For planning purposes, I have set aside up to £5 million and would draw on funds both from the EU and national sources.


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Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the change in the number of vulnerable households that will receive new central heating as a result of the 20 per cent. reduction in the Warm Front budget. [188598]

Mr. Woolas: The Warm Front budget has not been reduced by 20 per cent.

Import Controls: Expenditure

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on border security and enforcement in each of the last three financial years. [186424]

Jonathan Shaw: A number of DEFRA agencies undertake a range of activities at the border, including the Environment Agency, Animal Health and the Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate. However, disaggregated costs for security and enforcement are not available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Rural Areas: Housing

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that funding will be available for (a) rural community council and (b) local measures to aid the supply of affordable rural housing to continue when Rural Social and Community Programme funding ends in March. [191430]

Jonathan Shaw: The Rural Social and Community Programme (RSCP) was always intended to be a time-limited, two-year programme. It also included a specific requirement that beneficiaries’ plans should include preparations for the closure of the scheme in March 2008. The Government recently recognised the importance of the rural community councils (RCCs) by announcing new funding worth over £10 million to the network over the next three years.

In addition, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1869-70W.

Sea

Possible reefs in the mid-Irish Sea

Spring 2007

Possible reefs in the central and western English Channel

Summer 2006

Possible reefs in the eastern Irish Sea

Summer 2005

Sandbank in the northern Irish Sea

Winter 2005, summer 2005

Reefs west of the Hebrides

Summer and autumn 2004

Submarine canyons in the south-west Approaches

Summer 2007


Further areas of search for “reefs” and “submarine structures made by leaking gases” will be surveyed by JNCC in 2008, 2009 and 2010 on the Scottish Continental Shelf, the offshore area in the North West of Scotland and the Irish Sea.


6 Mar 2008 : Column 2725W

Seas and Oceans: Nature Conservation

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the loss of marine biodiversity to be halted; what progress is being made to achieve this; and if he will make a statement. [191615]

Jonathan Shaw: The Government are committed to halting the decline of marine biodiversity by 2010.

The establishment of an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas will help us to meet this goal. Currently we have 151 protected sites with marine features in the UK. This includes 76 Special Protections Areas with marine habitats for birds, 72 Special Areas of Conservation with marine habitats or species, and three statutory marine nature reserves.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee has been consulting on seven initial offshore sites since December 2007. The consultation is due to close on 14 March 2008.

The forthcoming Marine Bill will give us the powers to designate Marine Conservation Zones for nationally rare, threatened and representative marine features.

To help us to understand the state of our marine biodiversity, we are currently developing indicators to report on ‘marine ecosystem integrity’. This will contribute to the UK’s reporting on the progress being made towards the commitment made under the Convention on Biological Diversity to

Trends from the indicator will help us to understand what changes are occurring in the marine environment and where management should be focussed most to prevent further decline.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has identified any potential multi-purpose marine protected areas; and if he will make a statement. [191733]

Jonathan Shaw: We will be considering multi-purpose sites as part of the development of a network of marine protected areas. No such sites have yet been formally identified.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes have been made to the Marine Strategy Directive since the original draft was published; whether any of these changes reflect the Government’s position as stated in the European Standing Committee on the Strategy for the Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment on 14 February 2006; what representations his Department made to the European Commission and EU counterparts following that European Standing Committee meeting; what the Government’s current policy on the Directive is; and if he will make a statement. [191738]

Jonathan Shaw: Agreement has been reached on the terms of a draft Marine Strategy Directive following its Second Reading at the European Parliament in December 2007. The draft directive is due to be presented to council shortly for adoption.


6 Mar 2008 : Column 2726W

The outcome fully reflects the Government’s priorities, and incorporates important changes from the first draft in relation to cost effectiveness and risk-based management (Article 14), co-operation through the regional seas conventions, and the role of the European Commission. The UK was also closely involved in drafting an acceptable definition of ‘good environmental status’ (GES) and ensuring that the descriptors of GES in Annex I are based on the status of the environment rather than the reduction in certain human pressures. The UK Government made substantive representations on the draft directive in the normal way, through council working groups and at council.

The directive will require member states to take the necessary measures to achieve and maintain good environmental status of their waters by 2020 at the latest. This is challenging, but achievable, with sensible safeguards on cost effectiveness and will help member states deliver better protection for their waters. We are already establishing the measures necessary to assess our waters. The Marine Bill will enable the UK to take a leading role in implementing the directive in a way which reflects UK needs and priorities.


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