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Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2009, Official Report, column 380W, on fluoride: drinking water, what assessment the Drinking Water Inspectorate made of the adequacy of the remedial action taken by Hartlepool Water following the addition of excessive levels of fluoride to the water supply in 2000. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The failure of a sample taken by Hartlepool Water to meet the prescribed standard for fluoride arose in 2004 when two boreholes containing water having naturally occurring fluoride in excess of the standard were pumped simultaneously. This was not a situation where fluoride was being added to the water. Normally water from these boreholes would have been blended with water from other boreholes with a lower natural fluoride concentration. The Inspectorate was satisfied that the change in pumping arrangements put in place by the company after the incident was effective in preventing a recurrence of excessive levels of fluoride. Since this time, all further tests by Hartlepool Water for fluoride have met the required standard.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department provides (a) financial and (b) other support to the RSPCA in respect of its Freedom Food Initiative. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA has not provided ongoing financial support to RSPCA for its Freedom Foods initiative but did award a grant of £139,000 in February 2002 under the Agriculture Development Scheme to support the development of the scheme.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average farm gate price of lamb was in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In June 2009 the average farm gate price of UK lambs was 383 pence per kilogram deadweight. This was 25 pence per kilogram higher than the average for June 2008. Monthly average prices from January 2008 onwards are shown in the following table. The seasonal nature of lamb prices can been seen in the 2008 figures.
|Average UK farm gate lamb price (pence per kilogram deadweight)|
AHDB Meat Services (EU Market Report, sheep meat reference prices).
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the presentation and handouts delivered by representatives of (a) the Environment Agency, (b) Waste and Resources Action Programme and (c) his Department on (i) municipal waste issues and policy, (ii) household waste prevention and (iii) principles of a good collection service at the Futuresource Conference held in London between 9 to 11 June 2009. 
Dan Norris: I am arranging for copies of the presentations and the handout delivered at the Futuresource Conference by representatives of the Waste and Resources Action Programme and DEFRA to be placed in the Library of the House. The Chairman of the Environment Agency delivered his speech from bullet points and as such, there is no copy of his presentation.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 12 February 2009, Official Report, column 2152W, on the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme, if he will introduce a mechanism to determine the amount of waste diverted by home composting in order to allow such composting to count towards the landfill allowance trading scheme. 
Dan Norris: DEFRA is working with the Environment Agency and the DEFRA funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to consider whether a robust mechanism for calculating the amount of waste diverted by home composting can be developed. This work is ongoing.
In response to the operational review of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme, DEFRA agreed to review again the position of home composting in relation to the scheme after the first target year in 2010.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made an estimate of the likely amount of compensation payable if the provisions of Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Bill relating to the English coastal route were given effect under existing legislation. 
There are no provisions in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill to pay compensation. The Bill requires Natural England and the Secretary of State to aim to strike a fair balance between the interests of landowners and the interests of the general public. The careful and considered identification of the route in consultation with landowners and others will allow
Natural England to avoid creating situations where compensation would be required and will mean that any impacts on business and property will be minimised.
The Bill was amended during its passage through the House of Lords to introduce a procedure for an appointed person to review objections to a proposal in a report by Natural England. This will provide additional safeguards for landowners and occupiers.
Natural England will also consult with landowners when deciding any conditions or restrictions on access, for example for land management purposes. Natural England will also be able to revisit decisions about alignment and the need for restrictions in the light of experience of actual impacts or changes to the situation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his contribution of 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 700, on the Marine and Coastal Access Bill [Lords], what criteria he plans to use in deciding whether to approve changes to terms and conditions for staff of the Marine and Fisheries Agency. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Staff transferring to the Marine Management Organisation from the Marine and Fisheries Agency will do so under the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice, following the principles contained in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. There will be no detriment to them in relation to pay or terms and conditions of employment at the point of transfer. Any future changes to terms and conditions would only happen following proper consultation with the relevant trade unions and would be on the condition that there would not be any detriment to their current terms and conditions.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the monthly (a) staffing, (b) travel and (c) accommodation costs for the operation of the Marine and Fisheries Agency offices in London and Tyneside. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Broad estimates of the costs of a coastal location as opposed to a London headquarters formed part of the business case for relocation. Cost savings are not the primary driver for locating the Marine and Fisheries Agency at a coastal location. However, operating in Tyneside as opposed to London will offer savings on staff costs, by virtue of paying national rather than London rates for new staff recruited there, and accommodation costs by virtue of lower rental costs outside London. Travel costs are not expected to differ significantly.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which organisations proposed that the Marine Management Organisation should be a non-departmental public body in their responses to his Department's consultation on the creation of that body. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Marine Bill consultation in 2006 set out options for the status of the Marine Management Organisation. The 'Summary of Responses' to that consultation, which is available on the departmental website, states that only a few responses made specific comments on the status that would be appropriate for the Marine Management Organisation. However, a large number of responses took the general opportunity to insist that the Marine Management Organisation should be neutral and independent from Government.
Careful consideration was given to the most appropriate status for the MMO, and responses to that consultation were taken into account. Final agreement on non-departmental public body status for the MMO was reached at a cross-departmental meeting in January 2007.
Non-departmental public body status was considered to be the most appropriate given the functions that the Marine Management Organisation is designed to deliver, together with the fact that those services will be delivered by the Marine Management Organisation on behalf of a number of Government Departments.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been levied in fines by the Environment Agency against (a) companies, (b) local authorities and (c) individuals with regard to incidences of each type of pollution (i) in total and (ii) in each region in each year since 1997; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of fines so levied in preventing further incidences of pollution by (A) those upon whom such fines have been levied and (B) others; and if he will make a statement. 
The relevant Environment Agency national enforcement database reports have been placed in the Library of the House. The national enforcement database came online in April 1999. Data are therefore not available for 1997, 1998 and the first three months of 1999.
The national enforcement database has categories for individuals and companies, but local authorities are classified with "other legal entities". The reports provided here titled "other" therefore include local authorities along with other non-commercial corporate entities.
The Environment Agency will prosecute a serious pollution offence only when prosecution is considered to be in the public interest. The level of fine imposed is a matter for the sentencing court. All aggravating and mitigating factors and the defendant's ability to pay will be taken into account.
Prosecution is only one of a number of interventions that the Environment Agency employs and other enforcement tools will also have some effect. The Environment Agency publishes an annual Spotlight report which provides the relevant enforcement action taken. The 2008 report can be viewed at:
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell) of 4 November 2008, Official Report, column 399W, on rats: Greater London, whether the further report on rodent presence in domestic premises has been completed. 
Dan Norris: The latest report on rodent presence in domestic properties as revealed by the English House Condition Survey data for 2002-03 and 2003-04 is available on DEFRA's website. The next report covering the period up to 2006 should be available this year, although at present there is no set date for publication.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reptiles of each species (a) listed and (b) not listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were recorded as being imported into the EU on the Trade Control and Expert System database in each year since 2000. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reptiles of each species (a) listed and (b) not listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were recorded on the Trade Control and Expert System as being imported into the UK from (i) EU member states and (ii) other countries in each year since 2000. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reptiles were seized by HM Revenue and Customs under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in each year since 2000. 
|Reptiles||Number of specimens seized|
These reptiles were seized using customs enforcement powers in relation to live animals listed as endangered species under Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora.
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