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New Deal

20. Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to extend the new deal to the over-40s. [101238]

Mr. Wilson: New Deal 50 Plus pathfinders commenced in October and will be rolled out across the whole country in April 2000. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his pre-Budget Report announced a package of measures to improve significantly New Deal 25 Plus.

Border Communities

21. Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the First Secretary about ensuring the establishment of procedures for the co-ordination of policy and its implementation affecting communities on the English/Scottish border. [101239]

Dr. Reid: I regularly discuss a range of matters with the First Minister. Liaison arrangements established under the Memorandum of Understanding apply to all matters where co-ordination between the Administrations is sensible.

Higher Education

22. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has made to the Scottish Executive regarding its review of higher education policy. [101240]

Dr. Reid: The Scottish Executive is not reviewing higher education policy.

Anti-drugs Strategy

24. Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has held with the First Minister on co-ordination of the Government's anti-drugs strategy. [101242]

Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friend meets regularly with the First Minister and discusses a range of topics. The Government's anti-drugs strategy is on the agenda for their next meeting.

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Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with HM Treasury on the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit in Scotland. [101225]

Dr. Reid: I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Chancellor on the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit, which could benefit up to 140,000 families in Scotland.

Barnett Formula

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Treasury about the operation of the Barnett formula; and if he will make a statement. [101218]

Dr. Reid: I have had no discussions with the Treasury about the Barnett formula. The formula continues to provide a fair deal for Scotland within a United Kingdom framework and I have no plans to re-visit the underlying principles.

SOLICITOR-GENERAL

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. David Davis: To ask the Solicitor-General what arrangements (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have put in place for the taking and keeping of minutes of meetings between Ministers and people outside his Department. [102364]

The Solicitor-General: Decisions on the format of minutes of meetings will depend on the nature of the discussions.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Burundi

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on conditions in Burundi and the humanitarian response of the international community. [101523]

Clare Short: The UN estimates that over 800,000 people are currently internally displaced inside Burundi. This figure includes around 300,000 people forcibly regrouped into sites around the capital, Bujumbura, since September 1999. In addition, approximately 300,000 Burundians still live in neighbouring countries (mainly Tanzania) as refugees.

UN humanitarian operations in Burundi have been suspended since the killing of UN staff on 12 October. It is intended that humanitarian activities will resume as soon as effective security measures are assured.

Departmental Buildings

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development for each of the buildings under her Department's control how many rooms are set aside for (a) ethnic minority religious use, (b) pregnant and nursing mothers and (c) smokers. [102336]

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Clare Short: One room in 94 Victoria Street and four rooms in Abercrombie House, East Kilbride are set aside for smokers. No rooms are allocated exclusively for religious or nursing mothers use although a rest room in 94 Victoria Street is available for these purposes as required.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what arrangements (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department have put in place for the taking and keeping of minutes of meetings between Ministers and people outside her Department. [102371]

Clare Short: Decisions on the format of minutes of meetings will depend on the nature of the discussion.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Millennium Dome

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidelines determine the prominence or otherwise of sponsors branding within the Millennium Dome. [99319]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 24 November 1999]: On 17 December 1998, my right hon. Friend the then Minister without Portfolio placed in the House Libraries the New Millennium Experience Company's (NMEC) "Outline Approach to Official Sponsors of the Dome". This document made clear that the NMEC at all times retains the ultimate right of control over the design, content and format of the exhibit zones in order to protect and maintain the integrity of the Millennium Experience and the company. This underpins NMEC's approach to sponsor branding and to the branding guidelines adopted and applied by NMEC. I have placed in the Libraries today a copy of NMEC's summary pamphlet "Sponsor Identity and branding related to zones" as an example of the company's approach.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many sponsors of the Millennium Dome have yet to sign binding contracts in respect of their announced sponsorship. [99339]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 1 December 1999]: Final contractual documents for seven of the Millennium Experience's announced sponsors await signature. All issues of substance have been resolved and, subject to completion of formalities, the New Millennium Experience Company expects the documentation to be signed over the next couple of weeks. All remain fully committed at Board level. The sponsors concerned are BSkyB, which is a particularly complex agreement covering their sponsorship of Skyscape and a wide range of broadcast issues; Boots; Manpower; the Corporation of London (who as an indication of their commitment have made an advance payment of their sponsorship); Coca Cola; Mars Confectionary; and Thames Water.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent to date on promoting the sale of the Millennium Dome to potential purchasers; and what form these promotions are taking. [101617]

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Janet Anderson [holding answer 7 December 1999]: The competition to find a sustainable use for the Dome beyond the Millennium Experience is being managed on behalf of the Government by English Partnerships, the urban regeneration agency for England, in co-operation with the New Millennium Experience Company. Total spend to date on all aspects of the competition is £474,000. Promotion has taken the form of initial advertising; detailed information for potential bidders; and the public display of outline proposals.

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many overseas visitors his Department estimates will visit Britain in 2000 for the main purpose of visiting the Millennium Dome; [101626]

Janet Anderson: The British Tourist Authority (BTA) has estimated the number of overseas visits to the UK in 2000 as 27.5 million. Of these NMEC foresee that 2.5 million will visit the Dome. The BTA has also suggested that as a direct result of the Millennium Experience an additional £300 million to £500 million of overseas tourist revenue will be brought into the UK economy. The "halo" effect could double this figure. The BTA have further estimated that 15,000-30,000 new tourism related jobs will be created.

Digital Television

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of a digital television licence fee on the take-up of digital television services; [102416]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 13 December 1999]: The Government will consider all the arguments for and against a digital licence supplement, including the responses to the public consultation and the wider policy implications, before reaching any decision on the recommendation of the Davies report. We shall announce our conclusions in January.

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