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11 Mar 2004 : Column 1633Wcontinued
Mr. Bradshaw: We have recently stepped up inspections of imported plants, doubled checks on nurseries, increased surveys of woodland and heathland around outbreaks. We are also taking special measures to deal with the most worrying outbreaks in two historic gardens in Cornwall.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what incentives are in place in the UK to discourage the (a) production and (b) handing out of plastic bags. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 March 2004]: None at present. Under the Packaging Regulations, businesses have tonnage obligations and they can reduce these, and their costs, by reducing the amount of packaging they handle.
While there are no formal measures in place targeted specifically at plastic bags, the Government fully support the retailers in the introduction of 'bag for life', reusable bags and plastic bag recycling schemes.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to include radon testing in CON29 within the proposed Housing Investment Programme. 
There are no such plans. Under our proposals for home information packs, the pack is likely to include information on whether the property is located within a radon affected area. Issues of practicality and cost suggest that it would not be appropriate to require radon testing as part of a statutory home information pack scheme. However, this will be considered further by specialist working groups that are being set up to consider the contents of the pack before any final decisions are taken.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many refrigerators were disposed of in each year since 1997 in the United Kingdom; what quantity of ozone depleting substances were on average contained in the coolant and foam from refrigerators being destroyed; and whether these ozone depleting substances are controlled substances within the remit of Article 16 (1) and (2) of Regulation (EC) No. 2037/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council. 
Mr. Morley: As EC Regulation 2037/2000 only applied to domestic refrigeration units containing ODS from the 1 January 2002, the Environment Agency does not have accurate figures for fridges disposed of prior to that date.
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|Number of fridges||2002||2003|
|Disposed (units) in England and Wales||299,000||979,336|
|Exported for treatment to Germany and the Netherlands and Denmark (units)||418,000||377,168|
The average quantities of ozone depleting substances contained in the coolant and foam from fridges being destroyed are not collected through the current reporting mechanism. However, the average quantity of controlled substances recovered from the refrigerant and blowing agent that was subsequently destroyed in England and Wales for 2003 was 236.63g per fridge.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance is issued to Government purchasing staff on requesting from potential supplier companies information about the number of people they employ. 
Procurement Guidance does not recommend that Departments request information from potential suppliers on the number of people they employ. However there is provision under the EC Services Directive (92/50/EEC) for Departments should they wish to do so, to request a
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) has revolutionised the treatment of infertility, allowing couples to have children they would otherwise have been denied. The success rate of IVF has continually increased over the years, as techniques have been refined. Currently the live birth rate per treatment cycle started in the United Kingdom is 22 per cent, (all women) and 25 per cent. (woman under 38).
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is expected to publish its guideline on the provision of National Health Service infertility services, including IVF, shortly. The Department of Health will consider issues of implementation in light of the recommendations in the NICE guideline.
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26. Hugh Bayley: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what representations the Church Commissioners have made to the Government about the draft Charities Bill. 
Sir Stuart Bell: The Church Commissioners and the Archbishops' Council both responded to the Strategy Unit's report on charity law reform and remain in discussion with the Home Office about the likely implications of the proposed legislation for the various parts of the Church of England.
Sir Stuart Bell: The Church Commissioners have, in consultation with the other National Institutions of the Church of England, instigated a review of the arrangements for housing and conserving the documentary heritage held by those institutions, and this will consider Lambeth Palace and other libraries. Extensive consultation has taken place and responses are being collated.
Sir Stuart Bell: In 1996 the total stipend cost for parochial clergy (not including Employer's National Insurance contributions) was approximately £130.5 million. In 2003 the figure was approximately £151.8 million.
Sir Stuart Bell: Such information is not held centrally. Responsibility for maintenance of churchyards lies with the Parochial Church Council. Grants may be available from local authorities, since they have a special power to contribute to maintenance. Where a churchyard has been closed by Order in Council, the PCC may transfer the maintenance burden to the local authority.
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Mr. Gareth Thomas: Rebuilding Afghanistan's road networks is key to promoting regional trade and revitalising the Afghan economy. The UK contributes to road construction through our funding of the European Commission and the Asia Development bank, both of which are actively involved in major road building in Afghanistan. The Asia Development bank is engaged in several priority road projects, including the rehabilitation of the critically important Kabul-Kandahar-Spin Boldak road. The European Commission has undertaken the reconstruction of the Kabul-Jalalabad-Torkham road, another very important transport route. The travel times on this road have now been cut from six to three hours.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which companies have contracts for furniture provision for his Department; and what measures have been implemented to ensure that when a product contains wood, it can be shown to come from legal and sustainable sources. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID does not have contracts for the supply of furniture, but makes use of Office of Government Commerce (OGC) arrangements for pre-tendered goods and services. However, all suppliers used are provided with model specification clauses which set out Government procurement policies and so ensure that all timber used is from legal and sustainable sources. The two main suppliers used are both certified as operating systems that meet the standards set by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what construction and refurbishment his Department is undertaking; at what locations; and what measures are being implemented to ensure that all timber used (a) on the construction sites and (b) in the final projects will come from legal and sustainable sources. 
Throughout the project the contractor and the project managers have been informed of Government policy regarding procurement of timber used, and DFID has issued a model specification clause in accordance with the guidelines as issued by Defra. Documentation to support the sourcing of timber from the lead contractor, and also all relevant sub-contractors, is being obtained and independently verified.
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