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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 16 July 2009

Wales

Public Expenditure

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether the draw-down by the National Assembly for Wales of its allocation under EU structural funds on top of its Barnett-determined budget resulted in a reconciliation deduction in the overall block grant for Wales in each year since 2005. [287273]

Mr. Hain: Until 2005-06 departmental expenditure limits only included the expenditure element of EU structural funds and additions were made to the Wales departmental expenditure limit beyond the Barnett Formula. The receipts were paid separately to the National Assembly for Wales and were therefore identified separately in the calculation of the block grant.

From 2006-07 the budgeting arrangements for EU receipts changed and departmental expenditure limits were expressed net of EU receipts. Thus no deduction is now necessary. The receipts continue to be paid into the Welsh Consolidated Fund and are additional to the block grant.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average length of the growing season was in each county of England in (a) 1978, (b) 1988, (c) 1998 and (d) 2008. [286363]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The growing season is the period of time each year during which plants can grow. The thermal growing season length is defined as beginning when the temperature on five consecutive days exceeds 5° C and ending when the temperature on five consecutive days is below that threshold.

Meteorological Office information shows that the average length of growing season in central England was (a) 223 days in 1978 (249 days on average 1969 to 1978) (b) 258 days in 1988 (248 days on average 1979 to 1988) (c) 213 days in 1998 (270 days on average 1989 to 1998) and (d) 249 days in 2008 (279 days on average 1999 to 2008). It should be noted that there can be considerable variation from year to year. Data on the length of growing season at county level are not available.

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to (a) assess and (b) tackle the environmental and social effects of intensive meat and dairy industries; and if he will make a statement. [286770]


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Jim Fitzpatrick: We constantly strive to maximise the positive and mitigate the negative effects of all agricultural production by working closely with industry to ensure our food is produced in a sustainable and affordable way. We are also keen to maintain a thriving farming and food sector which can improve its net impact on a healthy, resilient, productive and diverse natural environment.

For example, in addition to ensuring compliance with new environmental regulations, DEFRA is working with the agricultural industry to deliver improvements through the Milk Roadmap and the industry led Beef and Lamb Roadmap, as well as stimulating initiatives on enhancing environmental performance in the pig industry through the work of the Pigmeat Supply Chain Task Force. Each activity aims to target the reduction of environmental and climate change impacts and assess the positive benefits to the landscape and biodiversity of animal husbandry while also highlighting any areas for further research and improvement.

Batteries: Recycling

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate he has made of the percentage of batteries were recycled in each year since 1997; [286351]

(2) how many (a) car batteries and (b) alkaline batteries were purchased in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many such batteries were (i) disposed of by (A) landfill, (B) incineration and (C) other means were (ii) recycled and (iii) reused in the last year for which figures are available; [286360]

(3) how many spent batteries other than vehicle batteries entered the waste stream in the last 12 months; what mass of each heavy metal was used in those batteries; and what percentage of such batteries were recycled. [286361]

Dan Norris: This information has not been collected centrally in the past. The new Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations (SI 890/2009) will provide such data in the future. Our best estimates for the quantity of batteries on the UK market and recycled are contained in the Impact Assessment published with the Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009:

We estimate that the annual UK market for. portable batteries is around 30,000 tonnes. Market reports suggest that more than 70 per cent. of retail sales are alkaline batteries. Only about 3 per cent. of waste portable batteries are thought to be recycled currently.

The most recent estimate of the car batteries market is that about 131,000 tonnes of car batteries were placed on the market in 2006. This is thought to be rising annually.

About 143,000 tonnes of waste arise from car batteries annually. About 60 per cent. of a lead-acid battery-the type typically used in cars-is lead. We estimate that about 99 per cent. of this is recycled annually.

The amount of industrial batteries sold in the UK in 2006 is estimated to be about 69,000 tonnes.

About 34,000 tonnes of waste arises from industrial batteries annually and it is estimated that about 32,000 tonnes are recycled. We do not have estimates of the amount of heavy metals in industrial or portable batteries.


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Few if any batteries will be reused when they become waste because common practice is to dispose of batteries when they are spent.

Birds: Imports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many birds were seized by HM Revenue and Customs under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species in each year since 2000. [284513]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

The following table provides data, from HM Revenue and Customs central records, for specimens seized for years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Birds

Number of specimens seized

2005-06

310

2006-07

3

2007-08

0


These birds 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.

For the years 2000 to 2004-05 information on all CITES specimens seized by the former HM Customs and Excise can be found on the DEFRA website at:

Further breakdown of the 2000 to 2004-05 figures can be achieved only at a disproportionate cost.

Coastal Areas: Flood Control

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's policy is on the procurement of timber for use in sea defence projects; and if he will make a statement. [286476]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Since 2000, UK Government Departments have sought to procure products made from timber that is legally harvested and grown in sustainably managed forests or plantations. From April 2009, UK Government departments will now only accept timber that has been verified as legal and sustainable, or licensed under Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreements.

Most of the work on sea defences is undertaken by the Environment Agency and they purchase all timber in accordance with the Government's timber procurement policy. In addition, timber is purchased whenever available, from one of the five Category A accredited certification scheme sources recognised by the Central Point of Expertise on Timber. Limited evidence prohibits this approach being used for tropical hardwood, here, in line with Government policy; the Environment Agency obtain evidence demonstrating legality, sustainability and traceability through the supply chain (Category B evidence).

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what sea defence projects involving the use of timber for construction his Department plans to fund in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2011-12. [286479]


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Huw Irranca-Davies: The following table shows coastal defence projects on which authorities are likely to incur expenditure in any of the years 2009-11, 2010-11 and 2011-12 and where timber is likely to form a significant part of the works. The table is based on forward planning project information, so should be regarded as indicative rather than definitive.


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Project Title Lead a uthority Estimated c onstruction s tart

East Clough

Environment Agency

2010-11

Brightlingsea Tidal Defences Phase 2

Environment Agency

2011-12

Broadland

Environment Agency

Ongoing

Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence Scheme

Environment Agency

2011-12

Denge

Environment Agency

2009-10

Denver Little Eyes Sluice

Environment Agency

2008-09

Donna Nook

Environment Agency

2010-11

Dymchurch

Environment Agency

2011-12

Folkestone To Cliff End Schemes Package

Environment Agency

2011-12

Great Yarmouth

Environment Agency

2010-11

Happisburgh/Winterton 3B Works

Environment Agency

2011-12

High Knocke to Dymchurch Sea Defence

Environment Agency

2009-10

Hunstanton/Heacham Beach Management

Environment Agency

2007-08

Lancing Brook Outfall Reconstruction

Environment Agency

2010-11

Lincshore 2005 to 2010

Environment Agency

2005-06

Lincshore 2010 to 2015

Environment Agency

2010-11

Med merry Managed Realignment

Environment Agency

2011-12

Pett Shingle Renourishment Phase 2-6

Environment Agency

2011-12

Pevensey Bay Outfalls

Environment Agency

2010-11

Pevensey Bay

Environment Agency

Ongoing

Redcar

Environment Agency

2010-11

Sandwich Bay Sea Defences (Deal) (Note start may be early 2012-13)

Environment Agency

2011-12

Seasalter

Environment Agency

2010-11

Shaldon and Ringmore

Environment Agency

2010-11

Stanah Sea Defences

Environment Agency

2008-09

Steart Managed Realignment

Environment Agency

2011-12

Swinefleet

Environment Agency

2009-10

Teignmouth Estuary (Back Beach)

Environment Agency

2011-12

Thornton - Cleveleys (Local Authority led scheme with Environment Agency Contribution)

Environment Agency

2011-12

Walberswick to Dunwich Frontage

Environment Agency

2010-11

Ageing Groynes - Selsey - 9-10

Chichester Council

2009-10

Worthing

Worthing Council

2009-10


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