Previous Section Index Home Page

25 Mar 2008 : Column 88W—continued


25 Mar 2008 : Column 89W

42 (39 per cent.) were UK products when available and in season (27 (25 per cent.) products came predominantly from local Kent and Sussex farms). The remaining 66 (61 per cent.) items were purchased outside the UK because they were either exotic, tropical or seasonal.

(ii) vegetables

187 different fresh vegetable products were purchased—total value £273,000.

152 (81 per cent.) were UK products when available and in season. The remaining 35 (19 per cent.) items were purchased outside the UK because they were either exotic, unavailable in the UK or seasonal.

(iii) bottled water

All bottled water is purchased within the UK where water is bottled at source—total value £44,500.

(iv) food products and (vi) other food products: fish, meat, poultry

59 different fish products (wet, shelled and cured) were purchased—total value £218,000.

Most fish (39 regular purchases—66 per cent.) originate from the colder local waters of the North sea, Irish sea, English channel and around the Scottish coast. The remainder came from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean sea. Fish is purchased from areas of sustainable stocks.

98 per cent. of meat and poultry purchases—total value £495,000, were certified UK origin.

The provenances of other food products are not available—total spend circa £960,000.

(v) alcoholic drinks

119 alcoholic drinks were purchased—total value £474,000.

Beer and cider: seven beer and ale kegs, six (86 per cent.) from the UK under licence and Guinness from RoI; five bottled beers and ciders—2 (40 per cent.) are produced in the UK.

The full wine portfolio (including champagne, sparkling and dessert) is 72 wines, three (4 per cent.) are produced in the UK.

Freedom of Information

Mr. Doran: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether the Corporate Officer of the House of Commons plans to appeal against the decision of the Information Tribunal on 26 February 2008. [194691]

Nick Harvey: The Members Estimate Committee is concerned that the Information Tribunal (in its decision of 26 February in cases 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04 and
25 Mar 2008 : Column 90W
2005/06) misdirected itself in law in deciding that home addresses of Members of Parliament should always be published subject only to limited exceptions. The House will therefore appeal. A second ground will be that the Information Tribunal paid insufficient attention to the reasonable expectations of Members about disclosure of personal information in the statutory publication scheme. The MEC remains committed to reviewing the allowance system and ensuring that there is probity and transparency.

Ipsos MORI

Mr. Pickles: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what payments the House of Commons Commission made to Ipsos MORI in the last 24 months; and for what purposes. [194319]

Nick Harvey: There have been no payments to Ipsos MORI in the last 24 months. The most recent payment to MORI was in connection with the feasibility study into the parliamentary visitor centre. This occurred in January 2006 before the 24-month period requested.

Drinking Water

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what estimate he has made of (a) the carbon footprint associated with the use of bottled water within the House and (b) the likely footprint were only tap water available. [194553]

Nick Harvey: Data are not available on the carbon footprint associated with bottled water supplied to the House. However estimates of the embedded energy of the products, shows (a) bottled water having 5,000 Megajoules and (b) tap water, 10 Megajoules, per 1,000 litres consumed. For bottled water, most of its embedded energy is in the form of fossil fuel use embodied in the glass and plastic materials and their manufacture and for tap water, most of its embedded energy is in the form of electrical energy which is used to pump the water.

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many bottles of water for consumption (a) in restaurants and cafeterias and (b) elsewhere on the parliamentary estate were purchased by the House in each of the last five years; and what the cost was in each year. [194555]

Nick Harvey: It is not possible to answer this question in the precise terms asked by the hon. Member as water was purchased by the former House of Commons Refreshment Department for sale in all its outlets, not just for consumption in its restaurants and cafeterias. In total, the Refreshment Department purchased bottled water in each of the last five years as follows:


25 Mar 2008 : Column 91W

25 Mar 2008 : Column 92W
Table (a): Bottled Water Purchases
Number of b ottles
(a) Refreshment Department outlets 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

330ml bottles

19,176

0

0

0

0

500ml bottles

151,996

159,936

158,712

171,648

164,760

750ml bottles

180

16,716

336

0

0

1 Litre bottles

70,941

53,854

47,435

55,608

71,664

Total (Litres)

153,402

146,359

127,043

141,432

154,044

Total cost (£)

(1)58,832

(1)55,895

47,820

53,188

53,100

(1) Including committee rooms.

The figures for 2002-03 and 2003-04 in table (a) include water issued by the Refreshment Department to the former Serjeant at Arms' Department for use in the committee rooms, as no record of the quantities transferred is available for these two years. Figures for the last three years exclude water supplied to the Serjeant at Arms' Department for use in the committee rooms, as this consumption is listed separately in table (b) as follows.

It should also be noted that the figures in table (a) include water sold to meetings and conferences held on the first floor of Portcullis House, which was supplied by the Refreshment Department. No separate figure is available for this consumption.

In addition to water supplied to the committee rooms by the Serjeant at Arms' Department, a number of House of Commons departments purchased bottled water for dispensers located in staff offices and communal areas. The number of bottles purchased for offices has been estimated on the basis of the annual expenditure cost, taking an average unit price to calculate the approximate number of bottles.

Table (b): Bottled Water Purchases
Number of b ottles
(b) Other areas 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Committee Rooms: 1 Litre bottles

(1)

(1)

32,432

23,557

33,502

Cost (£)

12,000

8,716

12,395

Offices: 18.5 Litre bottles (estimated)

n/a

430

620

507

581

Cost (£)

5,165

7,449

6,095

6,988

Total cost (£)

n/a

(2)5,165

15,806

14,811

19,383

(1) Included in table (a). (2) Plus committee rooms.

The figures quoted in the table exclude any purchases of bottled water made by the House of Lords for consumption on the parliamentary estate.

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many bottles of water were purchased by Departments of the House for consumption other than in restaurants and cafeterias in the last 12 months; what the cost was; and if the Commission will make it their policy to replace bottled water with tap water in (a) Westminster Hall, (b) committee rooms and (c) other meeting rooms. [194559]

Nick Harvey: In the last complete financial year, 2006-07, approximately 44,250 litres of water (33,502 x one litre bottles and 581 x 18.5 litre bottles) were purchased by the House for consumption other than in restaurants and cafeterias, at a cost of £19,383. The Administration Committee last considered the issue of the provision of drinking water in Committee and meeting rooms on 13 March 2007 and agreed to recommend that the current practice of supplying bottled mineral water to Committee rooms should continue. I understand that the Department of Facilities is re-examining the issue with the intention of offering further advice to the Committee.

Transport

A358: M5

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials from her Department and its agencies have had with representatives from Somerset county council to discuss the proposed loop road to link the A358 and the M5 at Blackbrook; [193977]

(2) when her Department or its agencies first discussed the proposed loop road between the A358 and the M5 at Blackbrook with Somerset county council; [193978]

(3) when she expects work to commence on the loop road joining the A358 and M5 at Blackbrook. [193979]

Mr. Tom Harris: Highways Agency records show that between December 2005 and March 2007 agency officials met with representatives of Somerset county council on at least nine occasions at regular intervals to discuss progress with the general design and layout of the A303/A358 South Petherton to Taunton M5 scheme.

The loop road at Blackbrook was first identified as an option for the M5 northbound off-slip by the Highways Agency in February 2006 and discussed with Somerset county officials early in the summer of 2006.


25 Mar 2008 : Column 93W

Work on the scheme is currently on hold while my Department and the South West region discuss the implications of the recent Stonehenge announcement for the wider strategy for improving the A303/A358 corridor to the M5 at Taunton. It is too early to say what the outcome of these discussions will be.

A47

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any proposals for sound attenuation in respect of traffic and carriageway noise on the A47 in the Peterborough area exist; and if she will make a statement. [196340]

Mr. Tom Harris: There are currently no specific plans for sound attenuation in respect of traffic and carriageway noise on the A47 in the Peterborough area. However, resurfacing of sections of the A47 in the Peterborough area are planned for 2008-09, and low noise surfacing material will be used.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Highways Agency intends to utilise whisper quiet sound attenuation technology as part of resurfacing in respect of (a) its planned maintenance programme and ( b) any discrete projects, on the A47 in the Peterborough area; and if she will make a statement. [196341]

Mr. Tom Harris: Since 1999, it has been the Highways Agency’s policy to use low-noise surfacing materials for all new roads and when resurfacing existing roads.

Planned re-surfacing works for 2008-09 include sections of the A47 between J16-J15 west-bound and sections of the A47 from J15 west-bound towards Castor.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent measurements of sound levels from traffic noise and carriageway have been undertaken on the A47 by the Highways Agency between Milton Park and Eye in the Peterborough area; and if she will make a statement. [196342]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency has not recently undertaken any measurements of noise levels between Milton Park and Eye in the Peterborough area.

After local complaints a study was undertaken by Peterborough city council in 2005 near the A47 Trunk Road. This was deemed to be unsuitable by the Agency as it omitted certain essential information for determining its status as a Hazard site.

In October/November 2005, the Highways Agency’s Managing Agent took noise readings at Eye on the A47. This section of the A47 in Peterborough was identified due to a number of complaints of excessive traffic noise received from the local residents associations. A roadside decibel level of 79.12 was recorded. This location therefore did not meet the required roadside decibel threshold of 80, and no further study work was undertaken.


Next Section Index Home Page