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Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on away days in the last 12 months; and what the (i) subject and (ii) location of each away day was. 
All public expenditure has to be incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on regularity and propriety. Subject to those principles business areas have discretion whether or not to hold away days having regard to the evaluation of alternative options and, value for money considerations.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many questions tabled for answer on a named day his Department received in each of the last 12 months; and to how many such questions his Department provided a substantive answer on the day named. 
In the response to the Procedure Committee Report on written parliamentary questions, the Government accepted the Committee's recommendation that departments be required to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum setting out any factors affecting their performance. This will be taken forward as soon as possible.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what percentage of Parliamentary Questions tabled for written answer by his Department on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive answer on that day. 
In the response to the Procedure Committee Report on written parliamentary questions, the Government accepted the Committee's recommendation that Departments be required to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions, accompanied
by an explanatory memorandum setting out any factors affecting their performance. This will be taken forward as soon as possible.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent (a) discussions he has had with and (b) representations he has received from (i) his EU counterparts and (ii) representatives of the European Commission on reward schemes for people recycling waste; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what steps his Department (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to develop a framework to reward people for recycling waste; what recent representations he has received on this matter; and if he will make a statement; 
Dan Norris: Schemes which reward people for recycling more and minimising waste are provided for by powers introduced in the Climate Change Act. The Act allows up to five local authorities in England to pilot waste incentive schemes to encourage household waste minimisation and recycling, which will have real environmental benefits. Reward-only and voucher-based schemes are included within the scope of the powers. It is up to local authorities to make a proposal to the Secretary of State for permission to run a pilot, in line with local needs. None have yet done so. I have not had any discussions with or received any representations or reports from EU counterparts or representatives from the EU Commission on reward schemes for recycling waste.
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 Meriden of 26 October 2009, Official Report, column 47W, on domestic waste: waste disposal, what the piece of research on landfill bans is which has been published; what the (a) timetable, (b) reference number, (c) commissioned institution, (d) terms of reference and (e) title is of the other piece of research; and what the timetable is for the consultation referred to. 
Dan Norris: The first piece of research entitled "Landfill bans and restrictions in the EU and US" was prepared by Green Alliance and published on the DEFRA website in September 2009 (reference number WR1202).
The second piece of research has been jointly commissioned by DEFRA and the devolved Administrations through the Waste and Resources Action Programme. The research investigates the environmental, economic and practical impact of landfill bans. The report is expected to be published early in 2010.
As previously announced, it is our intention to consult publicly on the case for introducing further restrictions on the landfilling of certain wastes. The consultation will be launched early in 2010.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 19 May 2009, Official Report, column 1282W, on domestic waste: waste disposal, whether the WR1205 research report has been provided to his Department. 
Dan Norris: WR1205 is a project that has not yet begun. Research report WR1204, referenced in the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 19 May 2009, Official Report, column 1282W, has been completed and is available from DEFRA's website at:
Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which (i) his Department and (ii) one of its Executive agencies is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties for (A) his Department and (B) one of its Executive agencies have valid driving licences and insurance; what guidance is issued to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties; what steps are taken to monitor compliance with that guidance; what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties; and whether such reports are investigated. 
Dan Norris: The core-Department's Driving Policy and Guidance applies to all driving and travel by staff on official DEFRA business. It covers the Marine Fisheries Agency and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate also. Other DEFRA departmental bodies should have their own equivalent arrangements in place in line with DEFRA's Safety Policy signed off by the permanent secretary.
(i) a full valid UK driving licence for a properly taxed vehicle and appropriate motor insurance;
(ii) obtained a driving permit from the relevant official vehicle manager if using a DEFRA owned vehicle or, hiring a car from a car hire company;
(iii) submit their driving licence, insurance, MOT documents and proof of vehicle tax details to their manager on request annually as part of the risk assessment process applicable to driving on official business. Managers are responsible for ensuring compliance with this risk assessment requirement; and
(iv) report motoring convictions, offences, accidents and incidents.
Senior managers must, in accordance with the DEFRA Safety Policy, ensure compliance with this policy in areas within their span of control. This includes provision of budget for appropriate training where identified and nominating a named person or persons to co-ordinate risk assessments for driving and travel activities within their control. They are required to ensure the safe and efficient operation of vehicles used on official business.
Drivers must observe all legal requirements with regard to reporting accidents. All incidents and accidents (including near misses) that occur on an official journey must be reported to the departmental health and safety unit (DHSU). Accidents or incidents involving a pool or Private Use Scheme car must also be reported to core-DEFRA's travel liaison unit and the contracted supplier for accidents and breakdowns.
Managers must ensure reporting of all accidents, injuries or near misses, monitor the effectiveness of preventative measures by investigating accidents and near misses, carry out initial investigations, and review local risk assessments, following accidents, incidents and near misses, keep appropriate records of documentation checks, and request copies of vehicle check lists from individual drivers at regular intervals.
The DHSU monitor accident/incident reports to identify trends, advise managers where requested and investigate accidents and incidents if so requested, arrange training as necessary, keep a central log of completed risk assessments and regularly audit completed risk assessments.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effects of zero exemption fees and small scale activities relating to environmental permit exemptions and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Norris: We have just completed a fundamental review of exemptions from the need for an environmental permit for waste operations. Revised regulations will come into force on 6 April 2010. One of the aspects of the review was funding the recovery of the Environment Agency's costs of registering exempt waste operations and carrying out appropriate periodic inspection. Currently, some exemptions from permitting are subject to annual registration fees, while the majority are not. We consulted on proposals to introduce a £50 fee for the registration of most exemptions. The majority of those who responded to this consultation were against the introduction of fees.
The Government concluded that in the current economic climate, imposing charges may discourage the take-up of small-scale waste recycling and recovery operations and have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. The Government therefore decided not to prescribe charges for the registration of exempt waste operations or to provide the Environment Agency with powers to introduce charges under its scheme of charging, agreed each year with the Secretary of State.
The exception to this is the exemption for the treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which is already subject to a registration fee to recover the costs of the mandatory annual inspection required under the WEEE Directive, 2002/96/EC. Under the revised regulations, the level of the registration fee for the WEEE exemption for the new three-year registration period will be in line with the current charges for annual registration and will be set out in the scheme of charges for 2010.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume of waste he estimates was illegally fly-tipped in each year from 2004 to date, broken down by (a) the nature of this waste and (b) local authority area. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) monetary value and (b) volume of imports of (i) wheat, (ii) barley, (iii) fresh vegetables, (iv) potatoes, (v) fresh fruit, (vi) beef and veal, (vii) pork, (viii) bacon and ham, (ix) mutton and lamb, (x) poultry meat, (xi) eggs and (xii) liquid milk from each country of dispatch in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) monetary value and (b) volume of exports of (i) wheat, (ii) barley, (iii) fresh vegetables, (iv) potatoes, (v) fresh fruit, (vi) beef and veal, (vii) pork, (viii) bacon and ham, (ix) mutton and lamb, (x) poultry meat, (xi) eggs and (xii) liquid milk to each country of destination in each year since 1997. 
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for food wastage; what his estimate is of the amount and proportion of food which was wasted in the latest period for which information is available; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce such waste. 
Dan Norris: The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published the findings of new research into the quantity of household food and drink waste in November 2009 which revealed that 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away by households each year, most of which (5.3 million tonnes) could have been consumed. This avoidable food and drink waste is worth £12 billion, on average costing around £480 for every household a year, increasing to £680 a year for households with children.
In the study, three reasons for avoidable food waste were identified; cooked, prepared or served too much; not used in time and other. Just over half of avoidable food and drink waste is classified as 'not used in time', with a value of approximately £250 per household per year, and a further 40 per cent. falling into the category of 'cooked, prepared or served too much'.
Much of the food and drink that is wasted is unnecessary and can usually be avoided, and we are now focusing on how to change people's behaviour, and incentivise retailers
to play a more active role. The Government are doing this through their ongoing work with WRAP to cut significantly the amount of food wasted in the supply chain and in the home. This requires a twin-track approach-working closely with retailers and manufacturers, and also directly with householders.
DEFRA funds WRAP to deliver the Love Food Hate Waste campaign which is aimed at helping consumers more effectively manage their shopping and food storage and usage to help cut down on food waste and save money, through providing a number of pieces of advice and information via various media.
The Government are also collaborating with WRAP and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on a project which will help prevent consumer food waste through the application and increased understanding of date labelling (use by, best before, sell by, display until etc.), and food storage and use guidance.
The Courtauld Commitment between Government (represented by WRAP) and the grocery sector also includes a target to reduce household food waste by 155,000 tonnes over a three-year period (ending in March 2010), which places an onus on the industry to implement means of helping consumers to reduce waste-such as clearer and more informative storage and usage guidance and new ranges of product sizes more in line with contemporary consumer demand.
Charitable organisations are also working to minimise food waste by providing the food industry, including supermarkets and restaurants, with an outlet for good quality surplus food by redistributing it to vulnerable people in the community.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 19 May 2009, Official Report, column 1284W, on geographical information systems, whether the definition of cadastral parcels has been finalised for the purposes of implementation of the INSPIRE Directive. 
Dan Norris: The draft INSPIRE Implementing Rule for Annex I Data Specifications (including Cadastral Parcels) was unanimously passed by the INSPIRE Comitology Committee on 14 December 2009. This document will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union later in 2010 as a Regulation.
The Implementing Rule does not further define the scope beyond the INSPIRE Directive statement as "Areas defined by cadastral registers or equivalent." The INSPIRE Feature Concept Dictionary extends that definition and this is also developed in the INSPIRE Cadastral Parcels Data Specification Guidelines at:
From this it can be inferred, that the minimum requirement for the United Kingdom, is the legal property land parcel data, recorded as vector data, by the Land Registries in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Those data are dependent on Ordnance Survey data in Great Britain and Land and Property Services data in Northern Ireland.
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