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Rural Taskforce

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions the Rural Taskforce has had on support for the racing industry during the foot and mouth outbreak. [155441]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The Rural Taskforce has discussed measures to alleviate the impact of foot and mouth on all affected rural businesses

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including the racing industry. The Taskforce welcomes constructive suggestions. I announced to the House on 20 March 2001, Official Report, columns 191-210, a preliminary package of measures which the Taskforce had discussed earlier that day.

Supported Housing Places

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many supported housing places will be needed to meet the 2003 target set for the Government's Teenage Pregnancy Programme; how many such places have already been and are in the process of being provided; how many applications to provide new places have been received; and how many have been funded. [155786]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: Although precise data are not available, we estimate that around 1,500 units of supported accommodation will be needed to meet the Government target that by 2003 all teenage lone parents under 18 who cannot live with their family or partner should be placed in supervised semi-independent housing with support rather than in an independent tenancy.

An audit of existing provision of supported accommodation for housing teenage parents undertaken by local authorities as part of the 2000 Housing Investment Programme identified between 4,000 and 5,000 units of accommodation as available for lone parents with onsite or floating support, of which around two thirds (2,749 units) was available for teenage parents under 18 years of age. However, it is doubtful whether all of this accommodation is located in line with need or is of sufficient quality to meet the support requirements of teenage parents.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing the need for additional accommodation for teenage parents within their areas. Currently 128 new units of accommodation for teenage parents are being funded through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme (ADP). Next year's Approved Development Programme includes 205 new units of accommodation. In addition under the new Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund, £4 million has been allocated to provide 134 new units of accommodation for teenage parents and bids have been received to provide floating support for nearly 200 units of accommodation. The Housing Corporation will be announcing shortly the number of floating support bids, which it will be approving for funding in 2001-02.


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what performance targets have been set for Encams for waste awareness as a condition of funding. [155763]

Mr. Meacher: Encams' flagship waste awareness initiative is the Waste Theme Month that it co-ordinates each October. This year DETR grant of £30,000 funded its entire costs: promotional activity that included leaflets, newspapers, a theme month pack and a national seminar, all of which Encams evaluated through a questionnaire.

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The programme met all three targets set for it in the 2000-01 Corporate Plan agreed with DETR Ministers, which were:

(i) to increase the action generated by 10 per cent. on that for the previous year;
(ii) to distribute information to 500 organisations; and
(iii) to have 25 per cent. of evaluation questionnaires returned.

Waste and litter awareness and action feature across a range of Encams' grant funded activities, notably the Just Bin It campaign (formerly called National Spring Clean), and People and Places programme and the Seaside Awards. We are currently negotiating a Corporate Plan with Encams Ltd. which will set out performance targets for all its 2001-02 grant-aided work, including work to promote waste awareness. When we agree this Plan later in the year I will deposit a copy in the Libraries of the House.


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if the "Are you doing your bit" and "Use it: Recycle it" campaigns are active; [155917]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The "Are you doing your bit" campaign, which promotes water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency and transport messages, has been running since 1998. My hon. Friend also mentions "Use it: Recycle it", which is a reference to the "Are you doing your bit" campaign's "Use it again" waste and recycling website.

Research into awareness, motivation and actions by individuals, has been commissioned to assess the campaign's impact and inform its strategic approach.

Research conducted in December 2000, a month after the most recent advertising, showed high levels of campaign recognition: nine out of 10 people recognised the campaign; seven out of 10 said that the advertising made them think they should be doing their bit; over six out of 10 say they had started or increased campaign actions in the last 12 months.

The campaign's success in 2000-01 also included more than 48,000 visitors to the interactive roadshow in 24 locations and approximately 1,060 pieces of media coverage generated on campaign messages. In addition, there have been almost 70,000 visitors to the campaign websites and since their launch in May 1999 and April 2000 respectively.

National Waste Strategy

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what funding sources will be used in order to deliver the National Waste Strategy. [155765]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: In the National Waste Strategy, the Government have set out their objectives for sustainable waste management over the next 20 years. The Spending Review 2000 provided substantial extra

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resources for waste and recycling over the next three years to begin to deliver these objectives, as set out in the reply to the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Green) on 14 December 2000, Official Report, column 200W.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much his Department estimates it will cost to deliver the National Waste Strategy. [155767]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Government's Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for the National Waste Strategy is set out in "Waste Strategy 2000" (Cm 4693-2, Annexe C). The RIA models differing assumptions about the growth in waste arisings and the development of different waste treatments over this period and suggests additional costs ranging from £3.4 to £7.7 billion (present value of costs from 2000 to 2020).

Trunk Road Improvements

Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to add to the targeted programme of trunk road improvements. [156106]

Mr. Hill: The regional planning bodies brought forward proposals for 30 schemes which could be separately progressed from the Multi Modal Studies (which are currently looking at solutions to problems within main trunk road corridors). These schemes have been assessed using the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) and I have arranged for copies of the appraisal summary tables to be placed in the Library. We have also sought the views of the Government's statutory advisers (English Nature, the Countryside Agency, English Heritage and the Environment Agency) on the proposed schemes. Having considered the NATA appraisals and comments from the statutory advisers we have decided to add the following schemes to the targeted programme of improvements:

These schemes will now be taken forward by the Highways Agency in consultation with the statutory advisory bodies to ensure that any concerns which they might have are properly addressed in developing detailed designs for the schemes. Every effort will be made to minimise impacts on sensitive sites.

In addition, I am also able to announce today that, after further studies undertaken since the 1998 Roads Review, the following schemes are being added to the targeted programme of improvements:

We believe these eight major schemes will be widely welcomed. They will benefit road users by reducing congestion and improving safety, create safer and healthier environments for local communities by the removal of through traffic and, in some cases, contribute

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to regeneration initiatives. Close co-operation with the statutory advisory bodies in developing scheme designs will ensure that important sensitive sites are protected.

The Highways Agency will also take forward the following smaller schemes recommended by the regional planning bodies as part of the recent consultation exercise and costing less than £5 million as part of their programme of local network management schemes.

We are informing the regional planning bodies about our decisions.

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