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Departmental Communications

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will calculate (a) how many and (b) at what total cost circulars were issued by her Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [33381]

Mr. Morley: DEFRA was created in June 2001. Obtaining information prior to this date would incur disproportionate cost.

Records show that up to the end of the 2001 financial year the departmental publicity and publications section produced 418 circulars/information documents, 225 forms targeted at the farming community and ancillary organisations and 38 consultation papers. The total cost of this was £2,012,886 of which £831,049 covered the cost of delivery of these items by mail.

Affordable Homes

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many affordable homes (a) were built and (b) are estimated to be built in (i) deep rural and (ii) mixed rural areas in each year from 1996 to 2016. [58931]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

Available information on affordable housing units completed by social landlords since 1996–97 in local authority districts classified as either "deep" or "mixed" rural are presented in the following table.

New affordable housing units completed: England

Deep rural authorities
Local authority37161182n/a
Registered Social Landlords8512,0221,5411,4621,2801,121
Total new affordable housing units8882,0381,5421,4801,282n/a
Mixed Rural authorities
Local authority845736162n/a
Registered Social Landlords3,0476,5995,9454,8494,7223,965
Total new affordable housing units3,1316,6565,9814,8504,784n/a
All Rural authorities
Local authority12173371964n/a
Registered Social Landlords3,8988,6217,4866,3116,0025,086
Total new affordable housing units4,0198,6947,5236,3306,066n/a


Registered Social Landlord (RSL) completions represent units funded through the Housing Corporation's Approved Development Programme and/or via local authorities with Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LASHG).

Affordable housing schemes by RSLs comprise those for rent (including Tariff, and Mixed Funded schemes); temporary social housing schemes (including MiniHag, and short-life housing); and shared or outright ownership schemes (including leasehold for the elderly). RSL schemes will include "off-the-shelf" purchases from private developers, and other

additions to RSL stock through acquisition and refurbishment.


LA new-build from DTLR housing activity monthly P2 returns.

RSL provision from Housing Corporation returns.

4 Jul 2002 : Column 601W

No precise information on affordable homes constructed without public funding is available. Provisional data covering 2000–01 were collected as part of the Housing Investment Programme Statistical Appendices for the first time last year, but returns were incomplete. We have made changes to this year's return to encourage more complete reporting.

Central Government does not make long-term forecasts of affordable housing build. We expect local authorities to plan to meet the housing requirements of the whole community including those in need of affordable housing.

The Government recognise the importance of affordable housing in maintaining balanced and successful rural communities, and is doubling the size of the Housing Corporation's programme to deliver affordable housing in small rural settlements (with a population of 3,000 or less), from 800 in 2000–01 to 1,600 homes a year by 2003–04. We expect to deliver around 9,000 affordable homes annually in rural areas by 2003–04, including the 1,600 in small rural settlements.

Hazardous Freight

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) hazardous and (b) radioactive material has been transported through the Portsmouth, South constituency by road on a regular basis in the last year; and if she will make a statement. [66481]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

Information of this nature is not held by the Department.

Illegal Waste

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advertising campaigns (a) have taken place and (b) are planned by (i) her Department, (ii) the Environment Agency and (iii) other Government bodies in relation to tackling problems from (A) litter, (B) fly tipping, (C) abandoned

4 Jul 2002 : Column 602W

vehicles and (D) other waste disposed by illegal means; how much these have cost; what assessment has been made of their effect; and if she will make a statement. [64738]

Mr. Meacher: The Department grant funds the environmental charity, Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), which runs the Keep Britain Tidy campaign. Last year ENCAMS ran anti-litter advertising campaigns targeted at drivers who throw litter from cars, and adolescents. The latter campaign used pop stars, soap personalities and footballers to convey the message that it is not "cool" to litter. ENCAMS also initiated a clean up campaign targeted at those who drop litter in and around football grounds using Michael Owen and other famous footballers to get the message across—so far campaigns have been launched at Liverpool and Arsenal football grounds. This year ENCAMS will be launching a campaign directed at fast food litter. This campaign will run in August in cinemas throughout the country. ENCAMS also runs a number of Keep Britain Tidy campaigns throughout the year which get local communities cleaning up their local environment.

It is primarily the responsibility of local authorities and the Environment Agency to instigate advertising campaigns in relation to fly tipping and waste disposed of by illegal means. While there is no central list of campaigns by local authorities, the Environment Agency has worked to establish the fly tipping forum which has helped to raise awareness and the profile of the issue. The forum is proposing to organise a seminar specifically relating to fly tipping and waste related crime in the future. In addition, information about fly tipping and advice on what to do in relation to a fly tipping incident can be found on the agency's website at: business/wasteman/flytip/. The agency has also produced a fly tipping leaflet which gives details of how to report fly tipping incidents.

DEFRA has not carried out any advertising campaigns in relation to abandoned vehicles, nor is any planned.

4 Jul 2002 : Column 603W

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) advice and guidance has been given by her Department and (b) legislation is in place with relation to tackling problems from (i) litter, (ii) fly tipping, (iii) abandoned vehicles and (iv) other waste disposed by illegal means; and if she will make a statement. [64737]

Mr. Meacher: Guidance for dealing with litter is contained in the 1999 DETR Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. This sets out reasonable and acceptable standards of cleanliness for local authorities and Duty Bodies which they can be expected to meet. Advice for the general public is published by the Tidy Britain Group in their leaflet entitled "Litter and the Law". This explains the litter laws and how the public can help to achieve a litter-free local environment.

The current legislation in place to deal with litter and refuse is contained in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This makes Duty Bodies responsible for keeping their land clear of litter and refuse. It also gives both local authorities and citizens the right to take legal action to get areas cleaned up.

The Environment Agency, in conjunction with the fly tipping forum has put together a comprehensive pack of guidance to help various sectors of society to deal with fly tipping. This guidance is available on the Environment Agency website at: business/wasteman/flytip/.

Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 makes it a criminal offence to dispose of waste outside the terms of a Waste Management Licence or a registered exemption from licensing. Section 59 of the same act gives the Environment Agency and local authorities the power to serve notice on the perpetrators of fly tipping, requiring them to remove the waste and pay for the clean up. Local authorities and the Environment Agency are also empowered to effect the removal of fly tipped waste and to recover the costs from those responsible.

The Department has not given any advice or guidance with relation to tackling problems from abandoned vehicles. The legislation covering abandoned vehicles is contained in the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986 and the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002.

There is no advice given by the Department in relation to waste disposed by illegal means—other than fly tipping. The Environment Agency can also take action to revoke or amend a waste management licence, if waste is deposited outside the conditions of that licence. These provisions are detailed in the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.

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