Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2009, Official Report, columns 697-8W, on air pollution, if he will indicate the increased morbidity and mortality levels assumed behind each of the six monetised social health costs in 2020 listed in the table. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [h olding answer 27 October 2009]: The six scenarios discussed in the answer of 26 March 2009 were compared with a 'business as usual' scenario, during the development of the Renewable Energy Strategy to assess the additional air quality impacts of possible approaches to biomass heat uptake. It was found that the impact on concentrations of nitrogen dioxide was negligible on a national basis.
The initial analysis of mortality for scenario 1 and 2 used an alternative approach to valuing the air quality impact which was not directly comparable in its intermediate assessment of mortality although the resulting monetise health costs are comparable.
An intermediate stage in the analysis of scenarios 3 to 6 was the calculation of the mortality resulting from the increment in particulate matter (PM10) concentrations in ambient air. The results of this stage of the analysis are shown in the following table. The analysis is subject to considerable uncertainty in the underlying assumptions. Including the time delay between the exposure to the air pollution and the resulting health impact. The values presented for Scenarios 3 to 6 represent the central case within this uncertainty. Other uncertainties include the biomass emissions, the spatial distribution of biomass uptake and the valuation methodology. The results presented are for the whole of the UK and are given in their raw output form.
|Scenario||Life years lost over a 100 year period||Life years lost in 2020||Annualised health costs (£ million)|
Dan Norris [holding answer 12 October 2009]: The core-department and its catering services provider has not supplied bottled water for meetings since 19 February 2007. In the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 the core-Department purchased 9848, 12948, and 1969 litres respectively of bottled water at an average price of £1.72 per litre, a total cost of £42,595.80.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on first class rail travel for officials in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Travel by civil servants is undertaken in accordance with Section 8 of the Civil Service Management Code and the principles set out in Managing Public Money. Staff are expected to use the most efficient and economic means of travel.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the formulation of the Courtauld Commitment Mark II; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Norris: During the past year the Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP) has worked closely with Government and signatories on the development of a successor to the original Courtauld Commitment, which finishes in spring 2010. The 'next phase' of the Courtauld Commitment, or 'Courtauld 2' (it has yet to be officially named), which includes more sophisticated and ambitious targets on packaging and food waste, is due to be launched in the new year. WRAP is currently discussing the shape of the targets with the four UK Administrations and signatories and is not yet in a position to release further information.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on the environment of the operation of lorries weighing over 44 tonnes; and if he will make a statement. 
In order to be better informed about the likely consequences of allowing longer and/or heavier goods vehicles on the English road network, the Department for Transport commissioned a study which reported in 2008. The report of this study: "Longer and/or Longer and Heavier Goods Vehicles (LHVs) - A study of the likely effects if permitted in the UK" (reference: TRL Report PPR 285), concluded that allowing longer and/or heavier vehicles onto the network could lead to an increase in CO2 emissions. The report also concluded that there would be a limited impact on the structural performance of pavements and bridges but did not cover the specific issue of the likely effect on the annual cost of maintaining the road network.
Dan Norris: The National Bee Unit (NBU) is part of the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) where approximately 150 staff comprising bee inspectors, scientists, policy specialists and other staff have an input into the bee health programme. Many of these staff have post graduate degrees in subjects related to, but not specifically in, bee biology. For bee inspectors, practical knowledge of beekeeping is an essential requirement of FERA's job specification and some Inspectors have over 30 years experience in this field.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the environmental effects of the separated refuse recycling scheme in use in Leeds; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Norris: No such assessment has been made by DEFRA. The Government believes that local authorities are best placed to make decisions on the waste management strategy for their communities and therefore DEFRA does not interfere in these matters.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has issued on the use of mobile advertising billboards in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Guidance on advertisements alongside motorways and trunk roads, including guidance on advertisements on vehicles parked in fields, verges or in lay-bys is provided in paragraphs 147-148 of CLG Circular 03/2007, "Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007".
Outdoor advertisements are controlled by these regulations. Generally, mobile advertising billboards will require the express consent of the local planning authority before they can be displayed. It will be for the relevant local planning authority to determine whether
a particular advertisement should be permitted and the most appropriate course of action to take when an advertisement is displayed in contravention of the regulations.
Dan Norris: Building on the success of the original zero waste places initiative, which developed innovative best practice in sustainable waste management, the Government have developed a new Zero Waste Standard. This seeks to provide recognition of, and stimulation to, the work of local authorities in their efforts to minimise waste and maximise the use of resources in their communities.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidelines his Department has issued on the construction of wind turbines on flood plains. 
The Government's spatial planning policies relevant to new wind turbines are set out in Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22), 'Renewable Energy', while policies on development in flood risk areas are contained in Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25), 'Development and Flood Risk'.
On 11 August 2009, Communities and Local Government issued for consultation proposals to amend PPS25 to clarify certain aspects of the policy. This includes clarification of how the policy should be applied to proposals for new wind turbines in flood risk areas, including flood plains, taking account of the policy in PPS22. The proposed amendment would clarify that wind turbines can be constructed in flood risk areas, subject to demonstrating that the turbines would be safe, without increasing flood risk elsewhere and, if proposed for a functional flood plain, would be designed to remain operational during a flood, result in no net loss of flood plain storage and not impede water flows.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the need for new pylons to service the wind turbines across the Somerset Levels proposed by EDF Energy. 
I understand that the hon. Member's question relates to the proposed wind farm at Withy Farm, Puriton near Bridgwater. I have been asked to respond as renewable energy falls within my Department's responsibilities.
As you may be aware, I am unable to comment on any aspect of a wind farm proposal that is currently in the planning system as that is a matter for the relevant local planning authority. This would include any assessment of the need for new pylons.
A report by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group(1) 'Our Electricity Transmission Network: A Vision for 2020' published in March 2009, set out the potential transmission investments needed to connect large volumes of onshore and offshore wind generation across the UK required to meet the 2020 renewables target, while, at the same time, facilitating the connection of other essential new low carbon generation.
(1) The Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) is a senior industry group chaired by DECC and Ofgem
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect the proposed construction of nine wind turbines on the Somerset Levels as proposed by EDF Energy would have on the environment; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government have made clear that wind farms should be located in appropriate places and that local concerns should be listened to. We recognise the need to ensure that all renewable energy developments take place within the formal planning procedure, which allows all relevant stakeholders, including members of the public, to put forward their views on the likely impact of any proposal on the environment and the local community.
Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 22 on renewable energy highlights the need to take account of environmental impacts in terms of landscape and visual effects, which will vary on a case by case basis according to the type of development, its location and landscape setting.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much the smoking shelter constructed between Norman Shaw North and Portcullis House is expected to cost.  [Official Report, 12 November 2009, Vol. 499, c. 9MC.]
Mr. Hayes: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what process the House of Commons Service follows to establish salaries for new posts; and which new posts have been established at each pay band since 1997. 
Nick Harvey: New posts are evaluated using the House of Commons pay band guidance which sets out the criteria for allocating posts in the pay band structure and gives examples of the typical tasks and demands of the work expected at each pay band level. New posts within the Senior Commons Structure are reviewed using the Job Evaluation for Senior Posts (JESP) methodology. Each pay band has a defined salary range.
The House of Commons Service manages its workforce numbers by budget and not by complement. Staffing levels are controlled through the annual business planning process and monitored on the basis of actual headcount and full-time equivalency, not in terms of a number of established posts. Records reflecting the number of new posts created over the period requested are therefore not maintained and cannot be produced retrospectively for the period requested. Staff figures are published each year in the Commission's annual report, which is available in the Library and at
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