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Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency is responsible for preparing catchment flood management plans in accordance with agreed guidance and they are signed off by the regional director. DEFRA reviews a sample of the plans through its post-approval evaluation process. DEFRA has received a number of representations on this issue from members of the public and MPs over the last six months.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding has been provided by his Department for the protection of native species of wild flowering vegetation in each region in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of fly-tipping in (a) Ashford constituency and (b) Kent were reported in the last five years; and how many people were prosecuted for such offences in each year. 
Jane Kennedy: The number of fly-tipping incidents and enforcement actions taken are recorded by local authorities. Data are available for the last four years. Ashford borough council recorded the following figures:
Prosecution is just one of a range of enforcement actions which may be taken by a local authority. Other actions for which separate figures are recorded include warning letters, serving of statutory notices, fixed penalty notices and formal cautions.
Jane Kennedy: Fly-tipping occurs in both urban and rural areas. The Government, working with local authorities and the Environment Agency, aim to reduce fly-tipping through better prevention, detection and risk-based enforcement. As members of the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group, DEFRA works closely on this issue with large, private landowner organisations, many of whom have strong rural interests. We are funding the Environment Agency to undertake some specific work this year with these organisations, including the National Farmers Union and Country Land and Business Association, to quantify the extent of fly-tipping on private land and identify best practice to tackle the illegal dumping of waste in these areas.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of the Competition Commissions proposed establishment of a new grocery supply code of practice, with particular reference to whether it will provide (a) clarity and (b) protection for primary food producers. 
Jane Kennedy: The Competition Commission recommended that DEFRA and BERR should consider the introduction of appropriate measures, including the extension of the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) and the role of the ombudsman or the introduction of a similar, complementary code and arrangements to cover the intermediaries and primary producers. The Government response to chapter 11 was clear in that they would want to see how any change impacts on the operation of the supply chain before considering whether any further action might be necessary.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has assessed the merits of the proposal in chapter 11 of the Competition Commissions supply of groceries in the UK report in respect of giving primary food producers the right to initiate complaints about the conduct of grocery retailers. 
Jane Kennedy: The Government response to the chapter 11 proposals noted that the Competition Commission would engage with large grocery retailers to implement an ombudsman that could, among other things, consider complaints from primary food producers. If it cannot get agreement the Government will consider establishing the ombudsman itself. The Government would make any assessment based primarily on what would be in consumers best interests.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the Competition Commissions proposed remedies for primary producers following its report into the grocery sector. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Forestry Commission has spent on maintaining its domestic properties in each of the last five years. 
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the Competition Commissions Growing Sector Investigation report published in April. 
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of Chapter 11 of the Competition Commissions Growing Sector Inquiry report in respect of primary producers. 
Jane Kennedy: With respect to primary producers, the CC recommended that DEFRA and BERR should consider the introduction of appropriate measures, including the extension of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) and the role of the ombudsman or the introduction of a similar, complementary code and arrangements to cover the intermediaries and primary producers. The Government response was clear in that it would want to see how any change impacts on the operation of the supply chain before considering whether any further action might be necessary.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential risk to (a) human health and (b) the environment from hydrogen sulphide gases created when gypsum is mixed with biodegradable wastes in landfills. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 November 2008]: The risk to health and the environment from the mixing of gypsum waste in landfills containing biodegradable landfill is well known and should be avoided to minimise the production of hydrogen sulphide gas which is toxic and odorous. The Landfill Directive implemented in 2005 requires gypsum to be landfilled in separate areas from biodegradable waste.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will publish new guidance on the acceptance of waste gypsum to landfill; and when he expects the new guidance to come into force. 
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how new guidance on the acceptance of waste gypsum to landfill will be disseminated to private sector operators within the waste sector; and by what means he will ensure that the new guidance will be enforced. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 November 2008]: The Environment Agency will issue a press release to accompany its revised regulatory position statement. This will be available to industry (including the construction and demolition industry) and waste managers, through their trade associations, and published in the relevant journals. The position statement will be placed on the Environment Agency website.
The Environment Agency will also develop guidance for its staff describing how they should approach compliance assessment over the next few months. This will include awareness raising at relevant sites (landfill and waste transfer stations) leading up to the adoption of its tougher enforcement position from 1 April 2009.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 13 November 2008, Official Report, column 1293W, on horses: conservation, for what reason the Dartmoor Pony Society has temporarily suspended the issuing of Heritage Trust passports; and what advice the Society has sought from his Department. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Dartmoor Pony Society (DPS) informed DEFRA that they had ceased to produce Heritage Trust passports as of 19 October 2008, as they believed that a number of applications they had received were for ponies that had been presented for sale at the Dartmoor sale in Chagford, Devon and for which passports had already been applied for from a different organisation.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what methodology his Department uses to assess the environmental impacts of proposed incineration facilities. 
Jane Kennedy: Under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, operators of proposed incineration installations are required to apply for an operating permit from the regulator (the Environment Agency or, for smaller installations, the local authority). The application must include information relating to the impact of the proposed installation upon the environment, and the regulator will determine the application on that basis using its own methodology.
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 18 November 2008]: DEFRA, through agencies such as Animal Health, the Marine and Fisheries Agency, the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate and the Rural Payments Agency carries out a wide range of inspections throughout the course of a year.
These range from the inspection of fishing vessels at sea, to cattle identification, the inspection of animal by-product sites and horticultural marketing standards. The information you request could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance provided by (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency on the issuing of fixed penalty notices for waste offences to juveniles. 
The Environment Agency have not issued any specific guidance on this issue. However, the Environment Agency's enforcement and prosecution policy and functional guidance provide general guidance on the enforcement of environmental offences, including enforcement in respect of juveniles and the elderly.
Jane Kennedy: I have not had any discussions with the National Farmers' Retail and Markets Association (FARMA). However, in recent years both DEFRA Ministers and officials have met with representatives of FARMA to explore how we can work together on our common goals of reconnecting farmers to their markets and helping them to add value. FARMA have also previously presented to our Regional Food Cross-Cutting Group which includes representatives from all the regional development agencies.
This year, DEFRA officials have been in regular contact with FARMA to ensure they are aware of the documentation required to enable draw down of the first instalment of their Agriculture Development Scheme grant award.
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