§ Mr. Matthew Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the Government will support the European Union's draft directive on strategic environmental assessment. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
The Government have decided not to put the proposed directive on environmental assessment of plans and programmes to the Council of Ministers during the UK Presidency. However, we support the principle of environmental appraisal at all stages of decision making. Guidance has been published to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account by Government Departments and agencies and by local authorities, and further work on this is in hand.