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Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice the Local Authority Support Direct Consultancy Service has given to waste collection authorities on household rubbish collections. 
Joan Ruddock: 67 waste projects have been resourced by the DEFRA, Waste Implementation Programme, Direct Consultancy Support for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 financial years, involving 327 local authorities. The projects were broken down into the following categories:
Waste composition: 22 projects involving 116 local authorities.
Waste strategies: 27 projects involving 105 local authorities.
Waste procurement: nine projects involving 61 local authorities.
Waste planning: nine projects involving 45 local authorities.
The focus for 2006-07 and 2007-08 financial years was to assist local authorities in their decision-making process in planning, strategy, procurement, and waste composition analysis. Applications for the final year of Direct Consultancy Support for the financial year 2007-08 closed in October 2006.
In 2005-06, 120 Direct Consultancy Support projects were resourced involving 316 authorities. In total 372 (94.4 per cent.) of the 394 local authorities in England received Direct Consultancy Support in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 869W, on waste disposal: domestic waste, what means local authorities will use to recover debts arising from non-payment of charges of the collection of household waste. 
Joan Ruddock: As I said in my reply to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 869W, it is envisaged that local authorities would be able to recover any money owed by residents through the courts as a civil debt.
The Government have also tabled an amendment to the waste provisions in the Climate Change Bill. This would allow the Secretary of State to make regulations enabling authorities to recover more efficiently any charges owed.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to announce the arrangements for aerial surveillance coverage for fisheries protection and enforcement that will be put in place after the contract with Directflight expires in 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Marine and Fisheries Agency is responsible for aerial surveillance coverage for fisheries protection and enforcement. The agency anticipate making a decision in the next six months on the future arrangements for aerial surveillance after the present contract with Directflight expires in March 2009.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what internal drainage boards are operating in the east of England; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Internal drainage boards (IDBs) are independent statutory bodies responsible for land drainage in areas of special drainage need that extends to 1.2 million hectares of lowland England. They are long established bodies operating predominantly under the Land Drainage Act 1991 and have permissive powers to undertake work to secure drainage and water level management of their districts. They may also undertake flood defence works on ordinary watercourses within their districts (i.e. watercourses other than main river).
Alconbury and Ellington IDB
Alderton, Hollesey and Bawdsey IDB
Bedfordshire and River Ivel IDB
Black Sluice IDB
Buckingham and River Ouzel IDB
Burnt Fen IDB
Cawdle Fen IDB
Churchfield and Plawfield IDB
Conington and Holme IDB
Curf and Wimblington Combined IDB
Downham and Stow Bardolph IDB
East Marling IDB
East of the Ouse, Polver and Nar IDB
Fromus, Aide and Thorpeness IDB
Haddenham Level DC
Holmewood and District DB
Hundred Foot Washes IDB
Hundred of Wisbech IDB
Kings Lynn IDB
Lindsey Marsh DB
Littleport and Downham IDB
Lower Aide IDB
Manea and Welney DDC
March and Whittlesey IDB
March East IDB
March Fifth DDC
March Sixth DDC
March Third DDC
Middle Fen and Mere IDB
Middle Level Commissioners
Needham Burial and Birdbeck DB
Nene Washlands Commissioners
Norfolk Rivers IDB
North East Lindsey DB
North Level District IDB
Old West IDB
Over and Willingham IDB
Padnal and Waterden IDB
Ramsey First IDB
Ramsey Fourth IDB
Ramsey, Upwood and Great Raveley IDB
River Blyth IDB
River Deben IDB
River Gipping IDB
South Holland IDB
Southery and District IDB
Stoke Ferry IDB
Sutton and Mepal IDB
Upper Aide IDB
Upper Witham IDB
Warboys, Somersham and Pidley IDB
Waterbeach Level IDB
Waveney, Lower Yare and Lothingland IDB
Welland and Deepings IDB
White Fen DDC
Witham First District IDB
Witham Fourth District IDB
Witham Third District IDB
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding his Department is planning to provide for the International Environmental Transformation Fund in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The UK's £800 million International Environmental Transformation Fund, announced in the 2007 budget, is for reducing poverty through environmental protection and helping developing countries respond to climate change.
The International Environmental Transformation Fund has been divided equally between the Department for International Development and DEFRA. The DEFRA allocation is £50 million in 2008-09, £100 million in 2009-10 and £250 million in 2010-11.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage UK businesses to use recycled paper when sending out unsolicited mail. 
Joan Ruddock: The Government-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme's (WRAP) Recycled Paper Advocacy Team has carried out work to increase demand for recycled paper, which will help encourage all companies, including those which send unsolicited mail, to move towards using recovered paper.
The Government also have a voluntary agreement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) on direct mail under which they have agreed to maximise the use of recycled material. The DMA also agreed to raise recycling of direct mail to 30 per cent. by the end of 2005, 55 per cent. by the end of 2009, and 70 per cent. by the end of 2013. The DMA is currently working with BSI British Standards to develop an environmental standard for direct marketing. This is likely to include specific requirements in relation to the use of recycled paper.
(i) the duty to inspect its area from time to time to detect any statutory nuisances which ought to be dealt with;
(ii) the duty to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to investigate a complaint of a statutory nuisance made by a person living in its area;
(iii) the duty to serve an abatement notice where the local authority is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists or is likely or occur or recur within the area of the authority.
Night noise (11 pm to 7 am) from dwellings and licensed premises can be addressed under the Noise Act 1996, as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. The night noise offence for licensed premises was introduced by section 84 and Schedule 1 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, which came into force in England on 1 October 2006. We have revised the directions for permitted noise levels and an approval for devices measuring noise levels, which came into force on the 28 February 2008.
Offenders who exceed the permitted level for night time noise as measured from within a complainant's dwelling can be issued with a fixed penalty notice under the Noise Act 1996. Alternatively, the local authority can prosecute under the Noise Act 1996 or consider issuing an abatement order under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which also allows for immediate confiscation of equipment responsible for the noise.
The new permitted level is 34 dB(A) where the underlying level does not exceed 24 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the underlying level where this exceeds 24 dB(A). This permitted level applies to both domestic and licensed premises.
The Environmental Noise Directive applies to environmental noise from sources including agglomerations and major airports, roads and rail. The Directive requires member states to produce strategic noise maps and action plans to manage and reduce noise from these sources where necessary. English local authorities will be encouraged to participate in the process of drawing up action plans for agglomerations. Where action plans identify a local authority as responsible for a particular action, the authority is required to treat the action plans as its policy insofar as it relates to that action.
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