Previous Section Index Home Page


Milk in Schools

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent discussions he has had with (a) his ministerial colleagues and (b) representatives of the dairy farming sector concerning the policy of promoting milk in schools. [134401]

Ms Quin: School milk is an issue which Ministers discuss from time to time. No representatives of the dairy farming sector have requested a meeting specifically on this subject although I have met and continue to meet other interests which are directly involved.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Millennium Dome

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what due diligence procedures were undertaken by the Millennium Commission prior to the award of each of the additional grants to the New Millennium Experience Company; [134494]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 26 October 2000]: This is a matter for the Millennium Commission. I will write to the hon. Member in my capacity as Chairman of the Commission, and place copies of my replies in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the occasions on which he has issued a ministerial direction order relating to the Millennium Commission since 1 January; and if he will give details of each such order. [134619]

1 Nov 2000 : Column: 476W

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 26 October 2000]: This is a matter for the Millennium Commission. I will write to the hon. Member in my capacity as Chairman of the Commission, and place copies of my reply in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he last visited the Dome in his official capacity. [134603]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 26 October 2000]: The last visit I made to the Dome in an official capacity was on 4 July 2000.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money he expects the Millennium Commission to receive from the sale of the Millennium Dome. [134485]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 26 October 2000]: The Millennium Commission grants made to the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) are repayable from any operational surplus or asset disposal, including the sale of the Dome itself, achieved after the organisation has met it other contractual liabilities. Any decision on the division of proceeds from any future sale of the Dome will be made with regard to the way in which the bid is structured and the land which is required, and the need to ensure that the Lottery investment in Greenwich and English Partnerships' contribution is recognised.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what undertakings he has received from the Minister of State, the Cabinet Office regarding further requests for Millennium Commission funds for the Dome. [135414]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 30 October 2000]: I have received no undertakings from my hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office, regarding further requests for Millennium Commission funds for the Dome.

Culture Online Service

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the BBC and other broadcasting companies regarding the establishment of a culture online service. [134491]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 26 October 2000]: My Department is consulting a wide range of organisations, including the BBC and other broadcasters, as part of the process of developing the proposal for a new service provisionally entitled Culture Online.

Index of Multiple Deprivation

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if his Department uses the Index of Multiple Deprivation in the allocation of funding. [134568]

Mr. Chris Smith: In general terms, the Department allocates funding according to the policy priorities encapsulated in its Public Service Agreement objectives, which include economic regeneration and social inclusion.

1 Nov 2000 : Column: 477W

Both the Department and its sponsored bodies are planning to use the Index of Multiple Deprivation in relation to certain specific funding programmes. For example, the index will be one of the sources of information used by the Department to determine the location of the Creative Partnerships that will bring new cultural and creative opportunities to schoolchildren in deprived areas. The New Opportunities Fund will also use the index to help determine which local projects should be supported with National Lottery money. Spaces for Sport and the Arts, a capital programme to improve provision in primary schools, financed jointly by the Department, its lottery distributors and the Department for Education and Employment, has used the index as one means of targeting funding on particular local authorities.

Petrol Costs (Ministerial Cars)

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost was in each of the past three years of petrol for his Department's fleet of ministerial cars; and how many vehicles there are in that fleet. [135036]

Mr. Chris Smith: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport leases four ministerial cars from the Government Car and Despatch Agency. It is that Agency which maintains records of operating costs, including fuel costs, for the vehicles.

BBC Director General

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many meetings with the Director General of the BBC (a) he had from the general election until the appointment of Mr. Greg Dyke as Director General and (b) he has had since Mr. Dyke's appointment; and on what dates. [134828]

Janet Anderson: This information is available only from 1 January 1998. Since then, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had the following meetings with Lord Birt and Mr. Dyke:













Free Television Licence

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his answer of 25 July 2000, Official Report, column 598W, what evidence the BBC has provided to show how money is spent on administering the free television licence scheme. [134772]

Janet Anderson: The BBC has not yet recharged any costs incurred in administering the scheme for free licences for those aged 75 or over, as the Department of

1 Nov 2000 : Column: 478W

Social Security does not have the legal authority to reimburse the BBC until 1 November. It is the intention of the BBC to issue the first invoice to DSS within the next calendar month. All costs recharged will be supported by copy invoices of the charges incurred by the BBC.

KPMG, the BBC's external auditor, will be providing audit reports after the end of this financial year and will express an opinion on the robustness of the costs recharged, based on a sample review of the underlying documents.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners who are eligible for the concessionary television licence scheme have purchased a short-term television licence and are eligible for a refund on their existing television licence. [134659]

Janet Anderson: Of the 2.78 million applications received by 20 October for free licences in November, 1.06 million people are due a refund on the unexpired portion of their previous television licence. 1.72 million are due no refunds because they purchased a short-term licence, or their licence was due to expire at the end of October, or adjustments were made to their easy payment scheme instalments.

Hotels and Restaurants

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will publish the Government's formal response to the better regulation taskforce's report on "The Impact of Increasing Regulation--a Case Study of Hotels and Restaurants". [135829]

Janet Anderson: The Government's response to the report was published on 26 September. Copies of the response were deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.


Next Section Index Home Page