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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital trusts in England have received new radiotherapy equipment in the last two years paid for predominantly out of public funds. [7593]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Investment through the New Opportunities Fund and the NHS Plan will provide public funds for 102 linear accelerators for treating cancer. In the last two years 30 linear accelerators have been delivered to 20 National Health Service trusts and are expected to be treating patients by the end of the year.

In addition as part of the planned investment announced in this period, public funding has been allocated for radiotherapy treatment planning computers and simulation equipment to support these. By 2004 all of this radiotherapy equipment will be in place. In total we expect 41 of the 48 hospitals delivering radiotherapy in England to have received equipment through central funding.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what investment has taken place in radiotherapy equipment in the NHS in each of the last four years; and what percentage of this was funded from NHS rather than voluntary sector sources. [7592]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Investment in radiotherapy equipment by the National Health Service in the last four years will have come from a number of sources and will not always have been made through central purchasing channels. Radiotherapy equipment may include linear accelerators, remote afterloading equipment, superficial treatment machines,

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and treatment planning computers and simulation equipment. Provision has been through traditional capital purchasing and through leasing arrangements.

New Opportunities Fund funding of £44 million has been allocated to radiotherapy equipment over this period and further funding will be made available centrally for linear accelerators, simulation equipment and treatment planning computers, as announced in the NHS Plan.

Combined Heat and Power

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many combined heat and power projects have been installed in NHS properties since 1997. [7615]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Department supports the Government's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as detailed in the current climate change programme, and in the Government's target for 10,000 megawatts of electricity (Mwe) installed combined heat and power (CHP) by the year 2010. Installing CHP in National Health Service premises is an effective means of achieving the energy/carbon efficiencies required as part of this agenda for action.

Since 1990 the NHS has been working towards energy efficiency savings and successfully achieved the Government's previous target of a 20 per cent. reduction in energy use from 1990 to 2000. The new target is a 15 per cent. energy, 0.15 million tonnes carbon efficiency saving from a base year of March 2000 to March 2010. Ways of meeting this target will continue to include the introduction, where appropriate, of CHP plant.

Heart Transplants

Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place a copy of the Royal College of Surgeons' report into the effectiveness of heart transplant procedures in the Library. [7150]

Mr. Hutton: A copy of the Royal College of Surgeons of England's report entitled "The Report of the Working Party to Review Organ Transplantation", published in January 1999, will be placed in the Library.

Health Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what figure he uses as the EU average expenditure on health to form the basis of his target of meeting this figure in the UK; and by when he expects to achieve that target. [7792]

Mr. Hutton: We aim to increase health expenditure in the United Kingdom up to the average of the countries of the European Union, which is around 8 per cent. of gross domestic product. By the end of the present spending review period (2003–04), we expect that total United Kingdom expenditure on health will have reached 7.7 per cent. of gross domestic product. Public sector spending beyond this period will be decided in future spending reviews.

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Waste Plans

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the inspector appointed by the Government to oversee the consultation exercise during the drawing up of the recent Essex waste plan forbade Essex county council from specifically excluding incinerators from the plan. [5196]

Ms Keeble [holding answer 19 July 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

The inspector did not forbid Essex county council from specifically excluding incinerators from the plan. The deposit draft plan itself, which was before the inspector at the inquiry, did not exclude incinerators. It set out a policy, W7K, which provided criteria for considering planning applications for incinerators, and at policy W8A it identified sites for major waste management facilities, which explicitly might include incinerators. In response to objections, the inspector recommended retention of these policies subject to modifications.

In a schedule of proposed changes put to the inquiry by the county council, it was proposed to delete policy W7K. But this did not amount to excluding incinerators from the plan, as the relevant criteria were proposed to be transferred, with amendments, to policy W8A. The inspector recommended against such a change for reasons set out in his report, principally that it confused the criteria to be applied to proposed incinerators with those to be applied to major waste management sites, which might not necessarily be developed for incinerators.

It would not in any case have been possible for the Inspector to have forbidden the county council for excluding incinerators. His role was to make recommendations to the county as to how they should respond to the objections made. It remained for the county council to decide whether or not to accept those recommendations.

The reasons why the Inspector did not recommend the council to exclude incinerators from the plan as some objectors would have wished are set out in his report, especially paras 27.11–27.14 and 27.36–27.39. To get the full picture these paragraphs should be read in the context of other parts of the report, especially the remainder of part 27 and parts 5 and 34. In summary the main reasons are:

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Attention is drawn to the modified versions of policies W7K and W8A which were recommended by the Inspector (report paras 27.49, last bullet, and 34.49, last bullet). The criteria recommended they address objectors' concerns about incineration and for these to be taken into account if planning applications for incinerators are submitted.

The paragraphs of the Inspector's report are as follows:

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Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers inspectors appointed to oversee the drawing up of county waste plans have to overrule decisions of the councils concerned. [5197]

Ms Keeble [holding answer 19 July 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

The role of a Local Plan Inspector is prescribed in the Town and Country Planning (Development Plan) (England) Regulations 1999 and set out more informally in the Green Book, "Local Plans and Unitary Development Plans: A Guide to Procedures". Essentially it is to hold the inquiry and report to the council with recommendations as to the action they should take with respect to each of the objections. The council must decide whether or not to accept the Inspector's recommendations. They may decide not to do so but must give their reasons for this. The council will normally propose modifications to the Plan in accordance with their decisions on the Inspector's recommendations, prior to adopting the Plan.

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