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Joint Environment and Transport Council, 17 June

Lord Gregson asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister chaired the joint Transport and Environment Council in Luxembourg on 17 June. This was a historic occasion, as it was the first time the Councils of EU Transport and Environment Ministers had come together formally to discuss a wide range of issues. We are happy to report a successful outcome, taking forward the mandate on the Environment from the Cardiff European Council the previous day. We are also pleased that Cardiff gave an impetus to environmental integration, and that the Transport, Agriculture and Energy Councils were invited to start the process.

The joint Council unanimously agreed Conclusions which recognise the vital social and economic role of transport but agree that there are adverse environmental effects which mean that current trends in traffic growth are unsustainable. The Conclusions emphasise the importance of an integrated approach, and call for a wide range of policies and measures at Community and member state level, including national action plans, to promote sustainable mobility. The Conclusions also establish a process for the future, providing for the Commission to report to the Council

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on developments in the integration of environment and transport, and for the Council to meet again in joint session from time to time, to take stock of progress.

Housing: Improving Accessibility

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the result of the investigation promised by Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton (H.L. Deb., col. 86) into the possibility of including within guidance to local authorities the improvement of accessibility of housing for disabled people through renovation funded by the Capital Receipts Initiative.[HL2351]

Baroness Hayman: My noble friend's remarks did not refer to guidance relating to the Capital Receipts Initiative but were more generally about guidance on how access might be improved during housing renovation. Part M of the Building Regulations does not apply to alterations and recent consultation on extending Part M to new housing retained this limit on application. Resources made available made under the Capital Receipts Initiative may be used to improve the accessibility of housing to disabled people where that is a local priority.

Fish Farms, Scotland

Lord Nickson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish planning guidelines for Scottish local authorities on the location and regulation of fish farms in Scotland; and how long a period will be allowed for consultation on these guidelines once they are published.[HL2317]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): Draft guidance on marine fish farms is currently at an advanced stage of preparation. It is envisaged that it will be issued for consultation later in the summer. A consultation period of at least two months will apply.

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