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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultations she has had with the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions in respect of the implications of the Planning Reform White Paper for her Department's White Paper on radioactive waste management. 
Mr. Meacher: The Department has had several contacts with the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on this issue. That Department's 12 December paper "Planning: delivering a fundamental change" proposes reforms to the planning system, and its consultation paper of 17 December sets out new parliamentary procedures for processing major infrastructure projects. Radioactive waste facilities are among the projects to which these procedures could apply.
Our 12 September consultation paper "Managing radioactive waste safely" asks the public for comments, by 12 March 2002, on a proposed programme for reaching decisions on managing solid radioactive waste over thousands of years. Each Department consulted the other before publishing its paper. The Department's paper is not a White Paper as such and does not itself propose any infrastructure projects, but such proposals may one day result from our decision-making process. Our Departments will therefore continue to discuss planning and radioactive waste policy issues.
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Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which schemes give financial assistance to local authorities in England and Wales to encourage waste management and recycling of waste; and which schemes give financial assistance to local authorities in the county of Essex for this purpose. 
Mr. Meacher: The Spending Review 2000 announced the framework for the Government's support to local authorities for the next three years up to 200304. This included an annual increase in the revenue support to local authorities for Environmental Protection and Cultural Services (EPCS), which includes waste management services. By 200304 this support will have risen by £1.1 billion over the 200001 provision. Consistent with the general local authority financial framework, it is for Essex county council to decide the proportion of their budget that should be directed to waste management work.
In addition to general support to local authority revenue expenditure, the spending review provided £140 million of Government grant for waste management work and £220 million for Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) resources, for waste projects. We are currently in consultation on how the £140 million fund should be distributed. At this stage it is not possible to identify what funding Essex county council might receive from this source.
The next tranche of lottery funding from the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) will include a £159 million fund for transforming communities, of which £49.5 million will be directed towards community sector reuse, recycling and composting schemes across the UK. This will benefit local authorities seeking to work in partnership with local community groups.
Mr. Meacher: All local authorities in England and Wales have been set statutory performance standards, under the best value regime, for recycling and composting household waste. It is up to individual authorities to decide how best to meet these standards, according to local circumstances. However, guidance was issued in March 2001, by the then DETR, on the development of joint Municipal Waste Management Strategies (MWMS) for waste collection and waste disposal authorities to encourage all authorities to set out integrated plans for meeting their recycling/composting targets. This guidance contains some case studies of local authority waste management schemes.
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The Department also encourages the pooling of local authority experience and the promotion of best practice schemes, through the Beacon Council scheme, local Public Service Agreements and Best Value Networks.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is currently preparing a pilot training scheme, to begin in March this year, for local authority recycling officers, and for waste managers within the private and community sector. This scheme will aim to provide information on best practice from the UK and from around the world, information on the costs of recycling schemes, and advice on tools and techniques. Those involved will also be encouraged to identify and address areas where existing schemes could be improved, for example by looking at other recyclable materials or by targeting in other sectors of the community.
WRAP hopes to make this training scheme available across the UK from September this year and intends to provide further training and development for chief officers and elected members in local authorities to raise their awareness of recycling issues. Collection operators, who come into direct contact with the public, will also be given further training so that they are better able to deal with public inquiries.
Dr. Howells: I am delighted that Derwent Valley Mills, Saltaire and New Lanark, three outstanding examples of UK industrial heritage, and Dorset and East Devon coast were awarded World Heritage status last month.
Many of the UK's World Heritage Sites are world renowned and feature prominently in BTA's overseas' campaigns. My Department takes an active role in establishing comprehensive Management Plans for UK World Heritage sites which include sustainable tourism policies.
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Dr. Howells: Support for English tourism is set to increase from £10 million in 200102 to £12 million in 200203 and to £12.5 million in 200304. In addition, £3.8 million has also been made available to the English Tourism Council this financial year in response to the foot and mouth outbreak.
Mr. Caborn: As I stated earlier today to the hon. Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton (Mr. Gibb), we published the report of the independent Gambling Review Body in July last year. We are now considering all the comments which we have received on it since then, and we will announce our conclusions as soon as possible.
Tessa Jowell: Funding for theatre remains a matter for the Arts Council of England and the Regional Arts Boards. In March last year, the Arts Council announced a significant increase in funding for theatre in 200203 and 200304, including a 51 per cent. increase for subsidised theatre throughout the west midlands by the end of the period.
Tessa Jowell: This is a matter for the Arts Council of England in collaboration with South East Arts as the regional arts board for Brighton. The Arts Council's theatre review published last year allocated flexible funding of £150,000 to Brighton Production Development with the aim of developing the new city as a hub of theatre activity, benefiting audiences and theatre practitioners
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throughout the region. Komedia, based in Brighton, will also see its funding increased by £95,000 over the next two years.
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