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Heathrow Airport

Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what (a) meetings and (b) correspondence on Heathrow expansion which (i) he, (ii) other Ministers in his Department and (iii) officials in his Department have had with representatives from (A) BAA, (B) trades unions, (C) airlines using Heathrow, (D) other corporate bodies and (E) residents from communities affected by Heathrow expansion since 3 October 2008; when each meeting took place; who attended each meeting; and what the subject of each meeting was. [252766]

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Ian Pearson [holding answer 29 January 2009]: Ministers and officials within the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform have not held meetings specifically on Heathrow expansion. However, they have held a number of meetings with business organisations where Heathrow was discussed as part of a broader conversation.

In addition, between 3 October 2008 and 26 January 2009, the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform received correspondence about Heathrow airport from local residents, businesses and business organisations. This included a letter from the chief executive of BAA on 3 October 2008 to Lord Mandelson.


Bail Accommodation and Support Service

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) when he expects the protocol governing the consultation process between Clearsprings Management Limited and local authorities with regard to its bail accommodation and support service accommodation to be completed; and when he will publish it; [267294]

(2) from which local authorities his Department has received complaints regarding the consultation process used by Clearsprings Management for the selection of properties for its bail accommodation and support service. [267295]

Mr. Hanson: I expect a joint working protocol for use between local authorities and ClearSprings to be finalised and available in April, subject to agreement by the Local Government Association.

ClearSprings operate in 76 local authority areas and 10 London boroughs. No authorities have formally written but letters raising specific points of concern have been received by the Ministry of Justice from individual ward councillors in Enfield, Haringey, Lewisham, Middlesbrough, Pontypridd, St. Helens and Stockton-on-Tees and have been addressed. Local authorities recognise the value and need for accommodation and support in the community for those on bail and home detention curfew.

Latchmere House Prison

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the (a) need for and (b) timing of the installation of in-cell electricity in the residential blocks of HM Prison Latchmere House. [266354]

Mr. Hanson: In-cell electricity is being developed and work is programmed to begin on site in February 2010 and be completed around September 2010. Work to replace alarms will be included in the project.

Political Parties: Finance

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward proposals to change the regulatory system for donating to political parties to encourage smaller donations from a wider range of individuals. [267287]

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Mr. Wills: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1259W.

There are no such plans. The Government believe it is for political parties to decide how to conduct their fundraising activities within the legislative framework. One potential option to change the legislative framework would be to introduce a cap on the level of permissible donations, and an associated increase in the amount of public funding available to parties. This option was put to the major political parties following the review conducted by Sir Hayden Phillips in 2007. However, the inter-party talks that followed that review did not result in agreement to proceed with the wider package of reforms that Sir Hayden recommended to the party funding legislation.

The Government's White Paper, ‘Party finance and expenditure in the United Kingdom’ (CM7329) considered the issues of donation caps and public funding in considerable detail. The Government believe that any arrangements for increased public funding and associated cap on donations would need to be considered carefully as part of a wider public debate. There would need to be clear support from both the public and political parties before such steps could be taken. It is not clear that such a broad consensus of support currently exists. However, the Government stand ready to continue that debate.

Prisons: Bullying

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what protocols and procedures are in operation within prisons to prevent persistent bullying. [267264]

Mr. Hanson: Ministers, the National Offender Management Service and the Prison Officers' Association are collectively committed to ensuring that violence in prisons is not tolerated in any form and since 2004, a national strategy has directed every public sector prison to have in place a local violence reduction strategy. Since 2007 this has been applied to the contracted out estate. Under the national strategy, prisons are instructed to implement a local violence reduction strategy aimed at dealing with all forms of violence in their establishment. Strategies based on reducing violence rather than focusing specifically on bullying help to ensure a more holistic approach to antisocial behaviour that recognises the complexities of managing violence in prisons.

Local strategies to manage violence include identifying problems specific to the establishment, such as bullying between prisoners. Strategies must involve regular analysis of problems such as identifying problem areas, formulating solutions and providing action plans to improve personal safety and reduce violence. All establishments, except open prisons, are required to undertake a cell-sharing risk assessment to inform cell allocation. The violence reduction strategy is due to be reviewed during 2009.

Protest: Video Recordings

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many criminal convictions were obtained on the basis of evidence from film of protests stored by the police in each of the last five years. [266580]

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Maria Eagle: Data held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on court proceedings does not contain information about the circumstances behind each case, other than the description provided in the statute under which convictions are brought.

Wymott Prison: Manpower

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will take steps to increase the number of prison officers at HM Prison Wymott. [264830]

Mr. Hanson: In March 2008 the target staffing figures for all officers, prison officers, health care officers, physical education (PE) officers and dog handlers at Wymott prison was 221. In February 2009 this had risen to 225, which consisted of an additional PE officer and three additional dog handler officers. We keep this under review.


Road Traffic: Accidents

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of accidents on trunk roads caused by vehicles travelling between 50 and 60 miles per hour in the last year for which figures are available. [265128]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Highways Agency uses validated police accident data to inform its analysis and investigation into accidents occurring on the trunk road network. This data tells us that in the three years 2005 to 2007, speed was adjudged to be a contributory factor in 227 out of 1,120 deaths on trunk roads (20 per cent). However, the data does not include details of the travelling speed of vehicles prior to accidents occurring.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Badgers: Vaccination

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost of training personnel to trap and vaccinate badgers under the injectable badger vaccine deployment project. [266959]

Jane Kennedy: Costs for the injectable badger vaccine deployment project have not yet been finalised and will vary depending on the areas in which vaccination will take place, as well as other factors.

Fly Tipping: Prosecutions

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 858W, on fly-tipping: prosecutions, if he will provide equivalent figures for 2007-08. [262159]

Jane Kennedy: In 2007-08, local authorities and the Environment Agency reported 1,285,300 fly-tipping incidents on the Flycapture system ranging from single black bags to “significant multiple loads”.

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1,969 prosecutions were taken against fly-tippers in 2007-08, 1,865 (95 per cent.) of which were successful.

Prosecution figures only represent cases taken through the court system and do not reflect the wider range of enforcement actions available to local authorities.

In 2007-08, local authorities also took an additional 179,122 enforcement actions against fly-tippers, consisting of warning letters, statutory notices, fixed penalty notices, formal cautions and injunctions.

Inland Waterways

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to assist British Waterways to encourage use of the canal network for (a) leisure and (b) freight transport in the summer months of 2009. [265200]

Huw Irranca-Davies: I support British Waterways in promoting the use of their waterways which deliver considerable public benefit. British Waterways’ national marketing campaign “Yours to Enjoy” highlights the easy accessibility of the waterways to deliver a wide range of public benefits related to recreation.

For example, the Kennet and Avon Canal which runs through the hon. Member's constituency, supports 1,000 leisure and tourism jobs. In addition to sustainable tourism such as hire-boating, the waterways also offer opportunities for green recreation close to home. Use of the towpaths for walking and cycling not only improves health but offers a viable and sustainable transport option which is sometimes overlooked.

Later this month it will be my privilege to reopen the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, following a major programme of repairs by British Waterways. This canal plays a significant role in the local economy and together with the leisure businesses it supports it is a major tourism asset for Wales.

Freight is more complex, relying as it does on the availability of both sources and destinations by water, the availability of suitable carriers and other considerations of costs and benefits specific to each traffic and waterway. I support British Waterways' efforts to develop niche freight opportunities on appropriate waterways, such as the larger rivers in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, and London's Olympic Park. I also support British Waterways' other activities to harness the network's potential to help us adapt to climate change, such as generating green renewable energy from wind and water.

For the longer term British Waterways is intending to consult on its future strategy this summer and the Government are intending to consult on a new updated version of “Waterways for Tomorrow” later in the year.

Livestock: Disease Control

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research into public attitudes towards the use of livestock vaccination as a means of reducing the incidence of animal disease. [266046]

Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has no current plans to commission research into public attitudes towards the use of livestock vaccination. We do, however, have
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access to reports produced by other organisations. A recent survey carried out by The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) on behalf of NOAH (The National Office of Animal Health) reveals an increased consumer awareness of animal medicines. The survey also found that consumers have confidence in those working in the food chain to use animal medicines appropriately and produce safe food.

Further details are available at the NOAH website.

Natural Gas: Canvey Island

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps the Environment Agency is taking to investigate the circumstances of the spillage at the Canvey Island Calor Gas site on 15 October 2008; and if he will make a statement; [265451]

(2) what discussions the Environment Agency has had with Calor Gas following recent spillages at Calor Gas's Canvey Island site. [265700]

Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the joint competent authority for the site. The incident on the 15 October 2008 involved the spillage of liquid petroleum gas following the failure of pipework. The Environment Agency and the HSE agreed that the HSE would lead the investigation with assistance from the Environment Agency if required.

As a result of the HSE led investigation, the Environment Agency has not entered into discussions with the company concerning the specific circumstances surrounding the spillage. However, the Environment Agency continues to undertake its normal regulatory activities at the site.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an estimate of changes in the wild rabbit population in the last five years. [265483]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Rabbit populations can fluctuate widely from year to year especially at the local level. However, the most recent mammal data from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust National Gamebag Census indicates that the trend for the UK rabbit population is a decline of 19 per cent. for the period 2002-07.

Renewable Energy: Waste

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what circumstances (a) commercial and (b) household waste is regarded as a source of energy; what proportion of such waste streams were regarded as energy sources in 2008; and what assessment he has made of the effect of classification of waste as an energy source on (i) waste collection authorities, (ii) private sector waste contractors and (iii) commercial waste producers. [265747]

Jane Kennedy: The Government do not classify waste in this way. Many types of waste, including paper, wood and plastics, are capable of being either recycled or used
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to generate energy. Recycling is the generally preferred option because the energy saved from avoiding the use of virgin material is greater than that contained in the waste, although there are some exceptions. Residual waste for which no practical re-use or recycling opportunities exist will therefore be a candidate for energy from waste treatment. In 2007, 5,172,000 tonnes of waste were incinerated for energy recovery purposes. These figures are not available for 2008.


Olympic Games 2012: Construction

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many people are employed on (a) construction and (b) development of Olympic venues (i) in London and (ii) elsewhere. [263714]

Tessa Jowell: The latest figures published in January 2009 showed that there are 3,315 people working on the Olympic Park in London. The Olympic Delivery Authority expects that 30,000 people in total will be employed on the Olympic Park and the Village over the life of the project. This number will peak at 11,000 in 2010.

The construction of the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy (WPSNA) is already complete. Work to enhance the WPSNA began in March 2008 and was completed in November 2008—the first venue completed for the London 2012 Olympic games and Paralympic games. During this period 115 people were employed in construction on the site.

Eton Dorney, Broxbourne and the shooting venue at Woolwich are yet to be constructed and will provide further employment opportunities.

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