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24 Nov 2011 : Column WA271



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Written Answers

Thursday 24 November 2011

Agriculture: Eggs

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): All member states were

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recently asked by the Commission to provide the level of conversion as at 27 September 2011. Likely levels of non-compliance were discussed at a recent meeting in Brussels; to date, the Commission has not published this information.

However, at a European Parliament debate in October, the Commission acknowledged for the first time that Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Poland, Portugal and Romania did not expect to be fully compliant. Another five member states had failed to provide any data to the Commission.

Discussions on finding a practical solution to the large-scale non-compliance from 1 January 2012 are ongoing in Brussels and we are working hard to ensure that any solution is as tight as possible to protect UK producers. In parallel, we are working with the egg industry, food manufacturers, the food service industry and retailers to look at what we in the UK can do to protect our compliant producers.

Data on shell egg and egg products imported into the UK from each EU member state are provided in the below table below:



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24 Nov 2011 : Column WA274

Year 2010Year 2011 (Jan-Sep)
FlowMonthly report descriptionEU Country(Tonnes)(£000s)(Tonnes)(£000s)

EU Total Imports

Shell eggs for consumption

Austria

18

19

Belgium

353

556

118

148

Denmark

312

394

159

166

France

4,037

6,391

2,136

2,929

Germany

3,360

1,923

4,834

5,195

Greece

0

13

Irish Republic

4,053

3,000

4,184

2,999

Italy

222

541

36

137

Netherlands

11,228

17,530

3,471

5,065

Poland

881

845

598

541

Portugal

104

112

69

82

Spain

9,284

12,032

6,260

8,704

Sweden

0

42

Finland

167

146

Shell eggs for consumption Total

34,001

43,470

21,883

26,040

Egg Products for human consumption

Austria

165

842

303

619

Belgium

3,118

4,629

2,069

2,772

Cyprus

234

34

Czech Republic

2

8

Denmark

1,166

7,144

1,135

7,142

France

3,659

12,871

2,563

9,932

Germany

1,479

4,735

1,349

3,993

Greece

1

7

Hungary

3

36

Irish Republic

60

115

55

103

Italy

1,098

5,292

754

3,430

Luxembourg

84

339

48

194

Netherlands

19,119

30,785

12,049

19,932

Poland

140

648

61

252

Portugal

0

1

Spain

6,051

4,824

3,136

2,682

Sweden

466

1,580

23

154

Egg Products for human consumption Total

36,607

73,813

23,783

51,282

Total Imports

EU Total

70,608

117,283

45,666

77,322

Armed Forces: Medals

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals is responsible for considering any departmental recommendations relating to medals policy.

Energy: Green Deal

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

Baroness Stowell of Beeston: I am pleased to announce that the Green Deal draft secondary legislation was published alongside the consultation document on 23 November. Both Ministers and officials would be pleased to meet interested parliamentarians to discuss the details of this legislation before the consultation closes on 18 January 2012.

Fishing

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Improving the ecomanagement of fisheries is inherently linked to reform of the European common fisheries policy (CFP). The UK is seeking genuine and radical change to the CFP through the current reform process. We want to end the wasteful practice of discarding fish and have made a commitment to fish, where possible, all fish stocks at their maximum sustainable yield by 2015.

A reformed CFP should integrate fisheries management with other marine environmental policies, and this is to support the delivery of good environmental status by 2020 through the European marine strategy framework directive (MSFD). The CFP will be a key tool for delivering many of the measures necessary to achieve GES under the MSFD, such as improving the condition of fish populations and reducing impacts on habitats and sensitive species. We are leading in this area, as the UK is ahead of most member states in developing national targets and indicators for GES.

In addition, the UK is committed to protecting important marine habitats through developing an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas. These may require the management of fishing activities to conserve or improve the UK marine environment and protect a range of representative features.

We have also taken a strong position on the protection of sensitive species from fishing activities. The UK is a leading international voice for the protection of vulnerable sharks, and both in our waters and internationally we look to ensure sustainable fisheries, trade and the protection of all endangered shark species. We have also completely prohibited the removal of shark fins at sea (shark finning), and are pushing for this to be adopted Europe-wide. We also oppose all forms of whaling, other than limited whaling operations by indigenous people for clearly defined subsistence needs. Furthermore, we are working with fishermen to develop technologies that reduce cetacean by-catch in fishing gears to the lowest possible level.

Through these policies we are continuing to influence and work with others, including other member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission, to agree the necessary changes to deliver a sustainable fisheries and marine environment.



24 Nov 2011 : Column WA275

Fluoridation

Questions

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) view that the presence of fluoride in toothpaste does not, in itself, make the product a medicinal product. Oral hygiene products are permitted by the cosmetics directive to contain fluoride to a maximum strength of 0.15 per cent. Accordingly, the MHRA considers that a toothpaste containing more than 0.15 per cent of fluoride falls within the definition of a medicine, but those with lower concentrations do not.

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Earl Howe: There is currently no clear evidence to show that, in temperate climate zones, increasing the fluoride content of drinking water to 1 milligram part per litre imposes any risk to general health. It has been suggested that if people are using more fluoride supplements such as mouthwashes, tablets and drops the concentration in water can be reduced. However we are waiting to see if any new evidence is identified in the course of the consultation that the United States Department of Health and Human Services is undertaking on reducing its target concentration to 0.7 milligram per litre.

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Earl Howe: The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency considers that neither fluoride added to drinking water nor the resulting fluoridated water is a medicinal product which requires marketing authorisations as medicines.

The case law of the European Court of Justice indicates that it is for the national authorities of each member state, subject to review by the national courts, to determine whether either limb of the definition of

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the term "medicinal product" is satisfied. In particular, in the European Court of Justice, in the Commissioner of the European Communities v the Federal Republic of Germany [Case C290/90], the Court reviewed precedent and said:

"It is for the national authorities to determine, subject to review by the courts, for each product, whether or not it constitutes a medicinal product, having regard to all its characteristics, in particular its composition, its pharmacological properties as they may be ascertained in the current state of scientific knowledge, the way in which it is used, the extent to which it is sold, its familiarity to consumers and the risks which its use may entail".

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

Question

Asked by Lord Naseby

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The current chair of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was first appointed in March 1999. The total period in office that the chair can normally serve is 10 years but this may be exceeded with the agreement of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Responsibility for appointing the chair of NICE has been delegated by the Secretary of State to the Appointments Commission, which has recently announced the reappointment of the current chair for a further year to the end of March 2013.

The current chief executive of NICE was also appointed to the role in March 1999. The chief executive is appointed by the NICE board, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State, and there is no time limit on this appointment.

Railways: Fares

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: The Government fully recognise the concern felt about rail fare levels. Despite the huge pressure on budgets, the Government have taken the decision to prioritise rail because of the economic benefits it generates and passenger concerns about overcrowding.

We have announced a significant programme of investment in rail. Our long-term policy aspiration, if the requisite savings are found, is that we may finally be able to put the era of above-inflation fare increases behind us.



24 Nov 2011 : Column WA277

Railways: Procurement

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: Crossrail Ltd is delivering the procurement of Crossrail rolling stock and depot on behalf of Rail for London-the future operator of Crossrail services.

As co-sponsors of the project, the Department for Transport continues to work closely with Transport for London to ensure Crossrail Ltd's procurement proceeds in line with the requirements of the scheme as a whole.

Railways: Rolling Stock

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: National Express East Anglia procured 188 additional vehicles between 2009 and 2011. Abellio will deploy all these vehicles in the new franchise. However, it will not be renewing the leases on 36 older, low-capacity (ex-Stansted Express) vehicles. The future deployment of these vehicles is a matter for their owner (Angel Trains).

Railways: Value for Money

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: The study made recommendations for achieving up to £1 billion savings per year by 2018-19, none of which assumed the closure of any railway stations. In due course, the Government will set out its proposals for rail reform, taking the recommendations of the rail value-for-money study into account.

Shipping: Armed Guards

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



24 Nov 2011 : Column WA278

Earl Attlee: The Prime Minister confirmed last month that the Government now recognise the engagement of private armed guards as an option to protect human life onboard UK-registered ships in exceptional circumstances.

The Department for Transport is working with other government departments to finalise national guidance to ship owners and an interim process by which private security companies can lawfully possess prohibited firearms on board UK ships in these exceptional circumstances. It is expected that the guidance will be published later this month and a Written Ministerial Statement will be placed before the House at this time.

Surveillance: Telecommunications

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The Prime Minister's Office has not received any correspondence from Simon Davies of Privacy International. If correspondence is received it will be dealt with appropriately.

Transport: Judicial Review

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: During the past five years-that is, the financial year 2007-08 to this point in the current financial year-89 new judicial review cases were opened against the Department for Transport and its seven executive agencies.

To provide all of the information requested about the outcome of each judicial review case for the period in question would, I regret, incur a disproportionate cost. However, the following information about decided cases in the superior courts (High Court; Court of Appeal and the Court of Justice of the EU) is readily available.



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24 Nov 2011 : Column WA280

YearCaseOutcome

2007

(Centro) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2007] EWHC 2729 (Admin) (21 November 2007)

Permission to seek judicial review was refused.

2008

R (on the application of London Borough of Wandsworth) v Secretary of State for Transport [2008] EWHC 1292 (Admin) (23 May 2008)

The Claimant's application for judicial review was dismissed.

2009

R (First Essex Buses Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2009] EWHC 3024 (Admin) (25 November 2009)

The Claimant's application for judicial review was dismissed.

2009

Barbone & Anor (on behalf of Stop Stansted Expansion) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2009] EWHC 463 (Admin) (13 March 2009)

The Claimants' application for judicial review was dismissed.

2009

R (Yollari & Anor) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2009] EWHC 1918 (Admin) (28 July 2009)

The Claimants' application for judicial review was dismissed.

2009

R (Paul Bryant) v Secretary of State for Transport [2009] EWHC 3586 (Admin) (21 August 2009)

Permission to seek judicial review was refused.

2009

R (Wiltshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England & Geoff Yates) v Swindon Borough Council (Defendant) and Taylor Wimpey, Wiltshire County Council & the Highways Agency (Interested Parties) [2009] EWHC 1586 (Admin) (26 June 2009)

The Claimants' application for judicial review was dismissed.

2010

Afton Chemical Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport [2010] All ER (D) 73 (Jul) (8 July 2010)

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on a preliminary issue relating to a reference for a ruling on whether permission to allow a judicial review application should be granted.

2010

R (London Borough of Hillingdon & Ors) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2010] EWHC 626 (Admin) (26 March 2010)

Judgment in the judicial review application that, until a national policy statement under the Planning Act 2008 was concluded, the Secretary of State could not limit the scope of the permissible debate about airport expansion.

2010

Certain Bus Operating Companies in the Stagecoach Group & Ors v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2010] EWHC 223 (Admin) (16 February 2010)

Against the wider context of multiple judicial review applications, the court's judgment was that the Secretary of State's interpretation of the applicable legislation was to be preferred. In the light of this judgment, the judicial review applications were not continued.

2010

R (Yollari & Anor) v Secretary of State for Transport & Anor [2010] EWCA Civ 1093 (12 October 2010)

The Claimants' appeal against refusal of judicial review application was dismissed.

2010

Beckley Parish Council v Secretary of State for Transport & Ors [2010] EWHC 606 (Admin) (05 March 2010)

The original judicial review application (9 January 2009) related to a grant of planning permission and was dismissed. This judgment relates to the Secretary of State's discretion under the planning legislation. The court upheld the exercise of the discretion.

2010

Global Knafaim Leasing Ltd & CGTSN Ltd v Civil Aviation Authority & BAA Ltd (Defendants) & Eurocontrol, NATS (En Route) plc, NATS (Services) Ltd & Secretary Of State for Transport (Interested Parties) (5) Aviation Working Group (Intervener) [2010] EWHC 1348 (Admin) (11 June 2010)

The Claimants' application for judicial review was dismissed.

2010

Neil Herron & Parking Appeals Ltd (Claimants) v Parking Adjudicator (Defendant) & Sunderland City Council, Parking & Traffic Appeals, Traffic Penalty Tribunal, NCP Service Ltd & Secretary of State for Transport (Interested Parties) [2010] EWHC 1161 (Admin) (25 May 2010)

The Claimants' application for judicial review was dismissed.

War Memorials

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Rawlings: The Government do not make assessments of precisely the type suggested, but we contribute to the wide-ranging plan of work being delivered by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Metal Theft Working Group to tackle metal theft. Discussions are under way across government on whether legislative changes are needed to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 to tackle metal theft.


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