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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the outcome was of the meeting of the inter-departmental ministerial group on biodiversity on 11 May 2009. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The meeting of the inter-departmental ministerial group on biodiversity (IDMGB) on 11 May 2009 was the final meeting of Ministers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and led to agreement of the Government's Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories. The Strategy was approved by ministerial correspondence between the three Departments in July.
Among other things, the Strategy establishes an official-level group comprising the three Departments mentioned above, and additional Government and non-governmental organisations as necessary. The first meeting of this group took place on 29 September.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with waste authorities on the creation of further joint waste authorities. 
Dan Norris: No joint waste authorities have yet been established, though several groups of authorities are exploring the creation of advanced waste partnerships in their areas. DEFRA Ministers have had no discussions with waste authorities on this subject.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent assessment he has made of progress towards meeting the 2010 targets for waste management set under EU Landfill Directive; and what recent steps his Department has taken to meet these targets; 
Dan Norris: England is making good progress towards meeting its share of the UK's landfill diversion targets for biodegradable municipal waste set in the EU landfill directive. Overall considerable progress has been made in recent years and England sent less to landfill in 2007-08 than its 2010 target.
The targets to reduce biodegradable municipal waste to landfill have required local authorities to find more sustainable ways to deal with the waste they collect. They have made substantial progress and should be congratulated on their efforts. DEFRA continues to offer advice and support to their efforts, including providing £2.5 billion in PFI credits to date to promote the procurement of waste treatment infrastructure.
These figures include the number and weight of seizures made from non-European Union (EU) countries by the United Kingdom Border Agency at points of entry in Great Britain, those made by inland local/port health authorities where they were able to establish that the illegal products came from non-EU countries and those made by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland (DARDNI) at points of entry in Northern Ireland.
|1 April to 31 March each year||Number of seizures||Weight (kg)|
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Minister of State will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 8 June 2009, on single supplements levied by hotels. 
Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will defer making regulations to implement the review of waste exemptions from environmental permitting until planning guidance relating to the metals recycling sector has been put in place. 
Dan Norris: We will not defer making regulations to implement the review of waste exemptions from environmental permitting. We propose to lay regulations to come into force in April 2010 that will provide new and amended waste exemptions from the need for an environmental permit for a range of waste operations that pose a low environmental risk. Exemptions provide 'lighter touch' regulation and will encourage more businesses to take up waste recycling and recovery. At the same time, we will limit the extent of the exemptions for some higher risk waste operations that will in the future be subject to increased controls through an environmental permit.
The Government response to the consultation on the review of waste exemptions from environmental permitting, published on 11 September 2009, provides a commitment to work with industry and others to identify the scale of the potential impact on the metal recycling sector and we will take forward a range of measures to assist legitimate operators to establish their planning status for the purposes of obtaining an environmental permit. We are also proposing a three and a half year transitional period for existing metal recycling operators to obtain a permit where they will no longer benefit from an exemption.
Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding his Department has allocated to the targeted species recovery component of the new framework for delivering priority habitats and species in England launched by Natural England in November 2008. 
DEFRA, including its agencies, Natural England and the Environment Agency, allocated £2,170,000 in 2008-09 to the targeted recovery of species
afforded conservation priority in England by the new delivery framework. It is anticipated that £2,586,000 will be allocated in 2009-10.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish guidance to retailers on the labelling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank; and what organisations and individuals he has consulted on the matter in the last 12 months. 
Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will publish the voluntary guidelines issued to UK supermarkets in March 2009 on the labelling of goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank occupied Palestinian Territories; 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government have been exploring the possibility of improving the clarity of labelling of produce from the West Bank. Earlier this year, the Cabinet Office held a meeting with a group of interested parties to discuss the possibility of introducing some voluntary guidance, so that consumers could better understand which products came from occupied Palestinian territories. The Government are considering the next steps following that discussion.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The act of abandoning an animal is an example of failing to provide for its welfare needs and so is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Punishment for such an offence is a fine of up to £5,000 or six months' imprisonment, or both.
Dan Norris: A voluntary agreement between the Government and Britain's leading supermarkets (represented by the British Retail Consortium (BRC)) aimed to cut the number of single -use carrier bags they provided by 50 per cent. by the end of May 2009, against 2006 levels.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which has been monitoring the agreement, reported that retailers only narrowly missed the target, achieving a reduction of 48 per cent. across the UK. These are significant results achieved solely on a voluntary basis, and the Government, BRC and the retailers it represents are working to continue reducing the number of bags distributed with a shared goal for a long-term reduction of 70 per cent. As part of the agreement, the Government, the BRC and WRAP launched a publicity campaign earlier this year encouraging consumers to 'Get A Bag Habit'-and remember to reuse their carrier bags when shopping.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many local authorities have (a) applied for and (b) obtained the private finance initiative credits announced in Budget 2009. 
(a) One project consisting of three waste disposal authorities namely, Coventry City Council in partnership with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council under the name "Project Transform". This project received approval from HM Treasury's Project Review Group in May 2009.
(b) One project, Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority's waste Private Finance Initiative (PFI) awarded credits in April 2009 by DEFRA. The Authority submitted a claim form for PFI annuity grant (PFI Revenue Support payments) in August 2009.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of waste arising from each local authority area in the East of England was recycled in each of the last five years. 
Dan Norris: The table shows the municipal recycling rate for all local authorities in the East of England for the financial years 2003-04 through to 2007-08. This includes waste sent for recycling, composting and reuse.
|Municipal recycling rate|
WasteDataFlow and DEFRA's Municipal Waste Management Survey.
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