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24 Nov 2008 : Column 853Wcontinued
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will discuss with Tesco the outcome of its recent negotiations with its supply chain companies. 
Jane Kennedy: We do not discuss the specifics of negotiations between individual companies as they are for the market to determine within the constraints of competition law. The Department, at both official and ministerial level hold frequent discussions with different sectors of the industry on a range of issues that concern them, including the encouragement of long term sustainable relationships between suppliers and retailers.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much and what percentage of (a) retail and (b) wholesale waste in the UK was re-used or recycled in each of the last three years. 
Jane Kennedy: The most recent figures for retail and wholesale waste arisings and re-use/recycling in England are derived from the Environment Agency's National Waste Production Survey for 2002-03. The total estimated waste for this sector was 12.8 million tonnes and 6.6 million tonnes, or 52 per cent of this was re-used/recycled.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Beckenham of 9 October 2008, Official Report, columns 747-8W, on waste disposal: fees and charges, how the organisations which attended the launch were selected. 
Jane Kennedy: Organisations known to have an interest in this area of policy were selected from DEFRAs Shared Stakeholders Database. Respondents to the Consultation on the Incentives for Recycling by Households in May 2007, were also invited.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether the new schemes for charging for the collection of household waste will allow local authorities to charge Schedule 2 waste producers for the disposal of their waste; 
(2) whether Schedule 2 waste producers will be liable for waste incentive charges where such schemes are in operation. 
Jane Kennedy: Waste incentives pilots will apply to domestic premises, as defined in the Climate Change Bill. They could therefore include households which produce Schedule 2 waste. However, they will not apply to other Schedule 2 producers such as schools and hospitals.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which local authorities responded to consultation on technical guidance on the pilots of charges for the collection of household waste; 
(2) what organisations and individuals responded to the consultation on the guidance on the waste incentive pilots; 
(3) if he will place in the Library copies of each individual response to his Department's most recent consultation on guidance on pilot waste incentive schemes for the collection of household rubbish. 
Jane Kennedy: Six guidance documents have been drafted to provide information for local authorities on the issues they may wish to consider when designing and running a pilot incentive scheme. Comments were invited on draft guidance during the summer. In addition, the guidance documents were made available for comment on the DEFRA website. Details of the responses received will be published alongside the final guidance documents.
We have consulted formally on one of the six pieces of draft guidancethe guidance on the kerbside recycling service which should be in place before a local authority may introduce a pilot scheme. This consultation closed on 14 November and responses will be published, and placed in the Library, in due course.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what records (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme keeps of which waste collection authorities have adopted closed lid collection policies. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has produced on the provision of bins in public places; 
(2) what guidance (a) his Department, (b) the regional improvement efficiency partnerships and (c) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to local authorities on provision of communal bins in urban areas. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA launched Recycle on the Go on 2 June 2008 which aims to put accessible recycling bins in public places. A good practice guide and a voluntary code of practice will help those responsible for public places to make recycling easy and accessible and includes guidance on providing recycling opportunities along with provisions for the correct disposal of non-recyclable waste. The materials, which were developed in collaboration with the Waste and Resources Action programme and ENCAMS, are available on the DEFRA website or at the Recycle Now website:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether private waste contractors will have voting rights on joint waste authorities. 
Jane Kennedy: Private waste contractors will not have voting rights on joint waste authorities. Only elected members of constituent authorities of joint waste authorities will be eligible for voting rights.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the economic downturn on the recycling and waste industry. 
Jane Kennedy: On 11 November DEFRA, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the Environment Agency issued a joint statement about the approach being taken to address the fall in prices for some recyclable materials. This made clear that our priorities are:
to further promote waste minimisation;
to maintain public confidence that recycling is worthwhile to ensure continuity of collection systems for recyclables;
to focus on producing high quality marketable recyclables;
to ensure any storage of recyclables doesn't undermine the environment or public health or the recyclability of those materials;
where the traditional markets for recyclables have contracted, to encourage recovery and disposal options towards the top of the waste hierarchyi.e. landfill as a last resort; and
to avoid actions which exacerbate the situation while markets stabilise.
The Environment Agency, with Government support, has issued guidance on the circumstances in which it will allow extra storage of recyclable materials in the short term. WRAP will continue to monitor markets and prices and make information regularly available. The Government will keep the situation under review to assess what further action may be necessary.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the household recycling rate was in the City of York Council area in
1996-97 and each year since then; what percentage of waste collected by City of York Council was sent to landfill in 1996-97 and each year since then; and how much City of York Council has paid in landfill tax in each year since the tax was introduced. 
Jane Kennedy: The following table shows the percentage of household waste sent to be recycled or composted and the percentage sent to landfill by the City of York council up to the financial year 2007-08.
These figures were reported to the Audit Commission by local authorities under the best value performance regime. Prior to 2000-01 there was no indicator for waste sent to landfill.
|Household recycling and composting rate||Household waste sent to land fill|
WasteDataFlow, best value performance indicators
Local authorities do not record separately the amount spent on landfill tax in the returns which councils submit to the Government.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which sewerage companies charge for surface water drainage; and which of these exempt churches from these charges. 
Jane Kennedy: All sewerage companies charge for surface water drainage. Charging schemes are approved by Ofwat, the independent economic regulator.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the proposed new water charges on places of worship and premises operated by voluntary groups; what assessment he has made of the effects of these new changes on such groups; and what discussions he has had with these groups on the effects of the proposed new changes. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has received a range of representations on water charges for places of worship and other voluntary organisations.
Ofwat, the independent economic regulator of the water industry, is responsible for approving water companies' charging schemes. Where a company makes a change to the way it charges for water or sewerage services, Ofwat challenges the company's proposals to make sure charges are not unduly preferential to one
customer group over another. Groups of customers are defined by the costs they are likely to impose and are independent of the financial or charitable status of individual non-household customers.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment (Hilary Benn) has not held any discussions with places of worship or voluntary groups on the effects of the proposed changes to water charges.
Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to encourage the introduction of smart water meters. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 19 November 2008]: An independent review of charging and metering for water and sewerage services is currently under way. It will look in particular at social, economic and environmental concerns, including the costs and benefits of metering and smart metering. The interim conclusions are expected in spring 2009.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will review the decision not to increase the minimum landing size of bass; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what consideration he has given to the introduction of a system of carcass tagging for bass; 
(3) whether he intends implementing further measures to develop the recreational bass fishery. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea in 2004, and subsequent advice to DEFRA from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, suggests that the bass stock is fished sustainably. In addition to being a prime sports fish for the sea angling sector, bass is a particularly important stock for the inshore fishing fleet. Given the pressures faced by this fleet and the relatively healthy state of the stock, I have no plans to increase the minimum landing size of bass. For the same reasons, I currently have no plans to introduce a system of carcass tagging as a means of controlling exploitation of the bass stock.
However, we announced last year a package of new measures that will provide increased protection for stocks of bass and more widely benefits for anglers. This includes a review of inshore netting restrictions and of 30 restricted areas around the English coast for the protection of juvenile bass. This may result in new protected areas, increased restrictions or extensions to current areas around the coast. We will consult on any proposals relating to these restricted areas in the new year. In addition, we are also funding research exploring the use of restricted areas to benefit recreational bass anglers.
Alongside this work, we are continuing to monitor the state of the bass stock and I do not rule out
returning to an increase in the minimum landing size of bass once the effectiveness of these new measures has been assessed.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in relation to Article 17 of Council Regulation 2371/2002, if he will institute measures governing pair-trawling for bass within 12 nautical miles applicable to foreign vessels fishing with grandfather rights. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: In 2004 we banned pelagic pair trawling for bass by UK vessels within 12 miles of the south-west coast of England (within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) area VIIe) as this fishery was shown to have relatively high levels of cetacean by-catch. The UK asked that the ban on pelagic pair trawling for bass be extended (under Article 9 of Council Regulation EC No 2371/2002) to the vessels of other member states, who are currently permitted to fish between six and 12 miles off the south-west English coast. However, as this request was rejected by the European Commission, we could only take unilateral action in relation to our own vessels out to 12 miles.
The UK report on 2006-07 observed cetacean by-catch levels, as required by Council Regulation (EC) 812/2004, has been submitted to the European Commission, and is available on our website
It is important for us to consider reports provided by those member states which have vessels permitted to fish in our waters in order to understand the overall level of cetacean bycatch. Once we have done this we will consider whether to make further representations to the Commission.
Scientific advice from ICES in 2004, and subsequent advice to DEFRA from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), suggests that the bass stock is fished sustainably. Given this assessment, I currently have no plans to institute any measures governing pair trawling for bass for the purposes of stock conservation.
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