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Mr. Raynsford: Most planning appeals are transferred to the Planning Inspectorate for Inspectors to decide on behalf of the Secretary of State. Typically between 100 and 150 appeals have been recovered by the Secretary of State for his own determination, out of around 13,000 planning appeals each year. My right hon. Friend's policy for recovering cases is set out in the following guidelines:
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Mr. Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what consultations on the packaging regulations and related matters he plans in 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: A consultation on the charging mechanism for registration fees for compliance scheme members was published in May and the responses to that paper will be considered and decisions announced in due course. I will also shortly be issuing a paper with business recovery and recycling targets that the Government propose for 2001. The Government do not intend to carry out any further consultations in 2000.
In late 1999, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions announced that it intended to carry out a consultation on the accreditation system for reprocessors under the packaging regulations, and related matters. However, earlier this year, an application for Judicial Review was made to the courts of a decision taken by the Environment Agency as to who should and who should not be accredited as a reprocessor for the purposes of the packaging regulations. As the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is a party to this litigation, the proposed consultation will now be deferred until a court ruling has been given.
I was also minded to consult industry on proposals that have been put to me to change the operation of the Packaging Waste Recovery Note (PRN) System, but in view of the need for industry to focus fully at this stage on achieving the packaging directive recovery and recycling targets, which must be met in 2001, I have decided to defer the decision on whether to consult on this matter until after the deadline for meeting the directive targets has been met next year.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list those local authorities which trade in electricity; and if he will make a statement. 
The records of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets show no local authorities as licensed electricity suppliers. As with any other legal person, a local authority which meets the requirements of licence exemption (set out in Statutory Instrument 1997 No. 989) may supply without a licence, and is not required to register with the regulator or the Department.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) of 9 June 2000, Official Report, column 397W, on the Millennium Dome, what average gross yield entrance receipt per visitor was anticipated for the Millennium Dome prior to 1 January. 
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Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of schoolchildren from Wales who have visited the Millennium Dome free of charge. 
Janet Anderson [holding answer 17 July 2000]: There are various ways of purchasing tickets to visit the Dome, from Lottery outlets around the country, from the Dome Ticket Line, from travel and tourism companies and in person at the Dome. With so many possible purchase sources it is impossible to estimate the exact number of visitors from one particular location.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he last met Mr. Robert Bourne of Legacy plc; what representations he has received from (a) Mr. Robert Bourne and (b) Legacy plc; and what discussions he has had with Legacy plc regarding the future use of the Dome site. 
Janet Anderson [holding answer 18 July 2000]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport last met Robert Bourne on 30 March 2000. The future use of the Dome was not discussed. In December 1999 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State took a decision to stand apart from the decision making process in recognition of the contacts which he has had with Robert Bourne of Legacy plc. Since December 1999, he has not received any representations from Robert Bourne or any other member of Legacy plc on the future use of the Dome.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health regarding the use of surplus beds at Osborne convalescent home by recuperating NHS patients. 
Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 22 June 2000]: Osborne House Convalescent Home remains open until the middle of October 2000 to recuperating NHS patients who are serving or retired members of the armed forces or the civil service. There has been no reason to discuss this current facility with the Secretary of State for Health, although note has been taken of the substantial alternative private sector provision available on the Isle of Wight.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the firms of quantity surveyors employed by the New Millennium Experience Company since May 1997, the duration of their contracts and the remuneration paid to them in each case. 
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Janet Anderson [holding answer 22 June 2000]: The New Millennium Experience Company is currently employing Currie & Brown and Always Sayer and have done so since their contracts commenced in August 1997 and July 1998 respectively. As the contracts with both companies are ongoing, details of the fees paid to each are commercially confidential. Additional quantity surveying services have been provided by McAlpine Laing Joint Venture, as part of their construction management duties. The overall fee paid was calculated as a percentage of the construction cost, so it is not possible to separate the figure for the quantity surveying element of their work.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money was committed by the New Millennium Experience Company to underwrite the costs of the firework display on the River Thames on New Year's Eve. 
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list those who have been formally invited to make submissions in respect of the forthcoming White Paper on broadcasting and telecommunications. 
Janet Anderson [holding answer 7 July 2000]: My right hon. Friend has, in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, sought views on the White Paper in a number of ways. The scope of the White Paper was announced to the House on 3 February 2000, Official Report, columns 729W and 668W. On 19 April 2000, Official Report, columns 499W and 548w, my right hon. Friends announced to the House that all views should be submitted in writing or via e-mail by 23 June and officials wrote on the same day inviting submissions from stakeholders in industry and related organisations, identified from those who had contributed to recent consultations on the topic. Details were widely publicised including on the official White Paper website (www.communicationswhitepaper.gov.uk). Further copies of the letter were sent out on request, to a total of 287 organisations and individuals. A list of their names has been placed in the Library.
As my right hon. Friends announced on 17 May 2000, Official Report, columns 125W and 131W, they also invited a number of experts to prepare papers and these were discussed at a seminar on 3 July. The expert team consisted of Sir Quentin Thomas (chair), David Cleevely, Liz Forgan, Andrew Graham, Janice Hughes, Mark Oliver, Damian Tambini and George Yarrow. The papers, with the report of the seminar's Chair, are also posted on the website, and copies have been placed in the Library, as announced on 21 July 2000, Official Report, columns 361W and 343W.
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