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Feature: MP profiles

Ben Bradshaw MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

Ben Bradshaw will be opening the second day of the conference with a keynote address on Government policy and the responsibilities of local authorities.

Born: 1960.

Educated: Thorpe St Andrew School, Norwich. Studied German and Italian at Sussex University and the Freiburg University, Germany.

Parliamentary career: MP for Exeter since May 1997. During the 1997-2001 Parliament, he was a member of the European scrutiny committee and the ecclesiastical committee. He piloted the Pesticides Bill through the House, which became law in 1998.

In 2001, Labour held Exeter and Bradshaw was made Junior Foreign Office Minister. In the May 2002 reshuffle he became Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.

Between June 2003 and May 2005, he was Minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Political interests: Bradshaw is a member of several organisations including the Labour Campaign for -Electoral Reform, SERA (the Labour Party's environmental group), the Christian Socialist Movement, the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights, Stonewall and the Campaign for Real Ale.

Other employment: Bradshaw trained as a journalist on the Express & Echo in Exeter before working for BBC Radio Devon for three years. In 1989 he was appointed the BBC's Berlin correspondent and in 1991 returned to Britain to work as a reporter and presenter for Radio 4's World at One and World This Weekend.

"Labour is taking action to reduce waste and increase recycling, and to enable individual householders to recycle their waste through doorstep recycling through innovative schemes such as the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme, enabling good recycling councils to gain financially from penalties paid by the bad ones, and by a revenue-neutral but significant increase in the landfill tax, to divert waste away from landfill.

"For the first time in recent years, last year the growth in waste arisings went down, meaning that we are starting to achieve our objective of decoupling it from economic growth."

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Oliver Letwin MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Oliver Letwin will attend the conference on October 25 to brief delegates on the Conservative Party's views on recycling.

Born: 1956.

Educated: Trinity College, Cambridge and London -Business School.

Parliamentary career: Member of the Prime Min-ister's Policy Unit from 1983-1986, after being a Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1982-1983).

Letwin was elected MP for West Dorset in 1997. He was made Frontbench Spokesman for Constitutional Affairs in June 1998. In September 2001, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs and in June 2002 was made a member of the Privy Council. &l

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