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Kettering Station

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many passengers travelling (a) north and (b) south on the Midland Mainline (i) boarded and (ii) alighted from trains at Kettering station on each day since 27 April 2009. [291064]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport does not hold this information. Although there is no readily available breakdown of north/south journeys, a table of the number of passengers originating and terminating their journey at Kettering each day since 27 April 2009 has been placed in the Library of the House.

London Midland: Standards

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the minimum level of service required to be delivered on any particular day of the week is for London Midland to fulfil its rail franchise agreement. [291078]

Chris Mole: London Midland is required to provide levels of services which are consistent with the minimum specification which is detailed in the Service Level Commitment which forms part of the Franchise Agreement. A copy of the Service Level Commitment for London Midland can be found on the Department for Transport's website at:

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment has been made of whether the level of service provided by London Midland on 6 September 2009 was in compliance with the terms of its franchise. [291083]

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Chris Mole: London Midland is required to report to the Department for Transport their performance after the end of each railway reporting period. The current rail industry period ends on Saturday 19 September. London Midland will then submit their performance reports to the Department for review. This will include data for Sunday 6 September and this will enable an assessment to be made of London Midland's performance.

Motor Vehicles: Fuels

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what information his Department holds on the effects of the ethanol and bio content of some modern fuels on fibreglass fuel tanks and bonding glue; if he will issue guidance to motorists on the matter; and if he will make a statement. [291147]

Chris Mole: Fibreglass fuel tanks and aftermarket sealing agents are not used on modern road vehicles. Consequently, potential impacts of bioethanol on these materials do not pose a problem for motorists in general.

There is evidence from other countries that petrol with 10 per cent. ethanol content can have a deleterious effect upon some older fibreglass fuel tanks, depending upon the type of resin that was used in their construction. This issue has primarily affected fuel tanks on leisure marine vessels, although some older road vehicles may also have been affected. However, ethanol content of UK petrol is not expected to exceed 5 per cent. in the next few years. We do not at present have robust evidence of whether or not these issues could occur at the 5 per cent. ethanol content level.

We are currently discussing these issues with stakeholders, in the context of plans to implement the EU fuel quality directive 2009/30/EC. The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs in particular has raised concerns about the potential impacts of petrol containing ethanol on fibreglass fuel tanks and products used to reseal fuel tanks on older vehicles. We plan to let research to assess this issue over the next few months.

The only detailed information we hold on specific materials incompatible with ethanol is fuel industry guidance on materials used in storing petrol containing up to 10 per cent. ethanol content at filling stations and fuel terminals etc. This indicates that fibreglass using polyester and epoxy resins are not compatible with this fuel.

Railways: Construction

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the estimated cost to the public purse is of the work (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned by Network Rail into possible new high-speed rail routes from London to other major cities. [291167]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport does not hold the information requested. This is an operational matter for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's chief executive at the following address for a response to his questions:

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Railways: West Midlands

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the estimated cost to the public purse is of High Speed Two's work to produce a report on a possible new rail link between London and the West Midlands. [291168]

Chris Mole: The estimated cost of High Speed Two's work is £8.5 million.

Rescue Services: Hope Cove

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1272W, on rescue services: Hope Cove, what the basis is of the operational restrictions upon the Hope Cove lifeboat prior to the consultation process taking place. [291082]

Chris Mole: The operational restrictions placed on the MCA boat at Hope Cove are for the safety of its volunteer crew and the public.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Waste Disposal

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects on human health of odours from agricultural muck-spreading. [290985]

Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA, or MAFF as it was previously, has not undertaken any research specifically into the effects on human health of odours from agricultural muck spreading.

MAFF carried out a programme of research in the late 1980s/early 1990s to assess what factors affected the emissions of odours from the application (spreading) of agricultural manures to land to identify means of minimising emissions. As a result of this research, guidance on good practice was produced for the agricultural industry in the MAFF/DEFRA Code of Good Agricultural Practice. A copy of the code is available at:

The code has provided the agricultural industry with guidance on the best equipment and techniques to use to minimise emissions while applying manures. It has also provided advice about the timing of manure applications, with respect to weather, days of the week and holidays etc., to minimise the impact on surrounding residents.

Local authority environmental health departments are responsible for investigating and abating statutory nuisances under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. One of the statutory nuisances in the Act is. [...] smell [...] arising from industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance'. Agricultural manure spreading activities have
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the potential to give rise to odours which may cause a statutory nuisance if not properly managed. There is no UK research at present which would conclusively demonstrate any adverse effects from agricultural odours on health. Therefore, in statutory nuisance investigations, proceeding under the nuisance limb of statutory nuisance is the more likely path.

There is also no evidence, as far as DEFRA is aware, of workers in the agricultural industry suffering adverse health effects from manure odours, despite the fact that they are inevitably exposed to higher concentrations of odours during the loading, transporting and spreading of agricultural manures than off-site receptors or residents.

Some odour emissions are inevitable from the application of agricultural manures, but with good management the impact and duration of these odours can be minimised. The use of agricultural manures is an important means of recycling plant nutrients into food production in a sustainable manner, and thereby reducing fossil fuel inputs and greenhouse gas emissions. These benefits have to be balanced against the potential for some short-term localised impact during seasonal peaks of manure application activities.

Animal Welfare Act 2006

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress has been made on the implementation of codes of practice for animal welfare under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. [291116]

Huw Irranca-Davies: During the last 12 months, we completed public consultation exercise on four draft codes-for the keeping of cats, dogs, equines and regulations and a code for meat chicken welfare. We are also consulting on the welfare of non-human primates in private ownership. We have been considering the many responses we had to the consultation on each draft code and have held discussions with key stakeholders. Once the draft codes have been finalised we will then ask Parliament to approve them.

Countryside: Access

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he had on his recent visit to Ilam Hall Youth Hostel on the role of the Youth Hostels Association in providing access to the countryside for young people from towns and cities. [291002]

Huw Irranca-Davies: When speaking at the formal opening of the Ilam Youth Hostel, Hilary Benn stated the important role which institutions such as the Youth Hostels Association play in not only enabling visitors to enjoy the benefits of our National Parks, but also in helping the next generation appreciate the invaluable role the National Parks play in combating climate change.

European Fisheries Fund

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to seek funding from the European Fisheries Fund to assist the fishing industry following the agreement of the days-at-sea limit in December 2008. [291041]

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Huw Irranca-Davies: The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) can provide assistance to UK fisheries to adapt to conservation measures by improving their sustainability, for example in marketing and technology fields. Regulatory and regional selection criteria apply and applicants should first make contact with the Fisheries Department within their operational area for direct advice on application procedures.


Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development on UK fisheries. [291042]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Constructive discussions with ministerial colleagues in the devolved administrations, including Northern Ireland, has culminated in the establishment of a Joint Ministerial Working Group to deliver proposals for quota management and licensing reforms. That work is now ongoing.

I was also pleased to be able visit Northern Ireland recently, to discuss with Michelle Gildernew and industry representatives the economic situation, the future of effort control/days at sea, the prospects for the autumn negotiations and other issues of importance to the local fleet.

Floods: Finance

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's plans are for expenditure on flood defences in 2010-11; and how much it spent in 2009-10. [291117]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The Government are committed to effective management of flood and coastal erosion risk. It stands by its previous forecast of spending a record £2.15 billion on flood and coastal erosion risk management over three years and its commitment to spend £780 million in the 2010-11 financial year, with £20 million of the original £800 million moved forward into 2009-10 budgets to provide early protection for 27,000 homes.

Within the Government's previously announced figures for 2010-11, £659 million is going to the Environment Agency, local authorities' own expenditure will be an estimated £87 million and the remainder retained by DEFRA to implement the Pitt Review findings and help communities to adapt to climate change.

In August, the Secretary of State announced which local authorities will benefit from funding set aside to implement the findings of the Pitt Review.

Food Supply

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to increase the UK's self-sufficiency in food. [291017]

Huw Irranca-Davies: One of DEFRA's departmental strategic objectives is to ensure a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply. We want to see a British farming sector that is competitive, and producing food that
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consumers want in a way that is sustainable, so as not to jeopardise the ability of future generations to exploit and enjoy our natural resources and landscapes.

The UK is currently 60 per cent. self-sufficient in all food, a higher proportion than in the 1950s. However, this figure tells us very little about UK food security. We need to maintain a range of supply sources for our food to spread the risk that might entail from over-reliance on one or a few supply sources, and to lower the impacts of any unforeseen disruptions involving any particular trading partner or from within our domestic food sector.

The Department does not have targets for self-sufficiency in food. Government's role is to support the industry to improve its performance through better self-assessment of the relative economic performance of individual businesses, more effective take-up of new technology and better management skills. We are also working with stakeholders to identify measures by which the agricultural sector can sustainably increase its resilience and productivity, strengthening food security within the UK.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the percentage of food consumed in the UK which was grown in the UK in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [291018]

Huw Irranca-Davies: In 2008, 53 per cent. of food consumed in the UK was produced in the UK. This figure is a provisional estimate.

Please note that this percentage should not be confused with the measure of UK self-sufficiency in all food, which in 2008 was 60 per cent. (provisional figure), since self-sufficiency shows the percentage of all UK food production, including UK exports, as a percentage of consumption. Both measures are based on the value of unprocessed food.


Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many waste incinerators were operational in England at the latest date for which figures are available. [291090]

Dan Norris: There are 18 municipal waste incinerators operating in England, generating over 200 MW of electricity.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the percentage of waste arisings incinerated in each year since 1997. [291091]

Dan Norris: The table shows the percentage of municipal waste sent for incineration in England from 1997-98 to 2007-08. This includes both waste incinerated with, and without, energy recovery. The majority is incinerated with energy recovery.

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Percentage of municipal waste sent for incineration in England























WasteDataFlow and DEFRA's Municipal Waste Management Survey

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