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British Tourist Authority

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made on the review of the British Tourist Authority. [145585]

Janet Anderson: I am pleased to announce that Stage One of the review of the British Tourist Authority (BTA) is being published today and copies are available in the Library of the House.

The Steering Group for the review concluded that there was a continuing need for the services and functions carried out by the BTA and, having looked carefully at all the options, concluded that BTA should remain a non-departmental public body.

The report recommends that the review team should look at some issues in greater depth as part of Stage Two of the review. These include the return on investment as a measurement of BTA's performance; and rate of return issues such as data for individual offices overseas, benchmarking and the quality of measurement techniques.

The report also recommends that BTA should draw up a specific strategy to declare what services it will provide to small and medium businesses and how it will consult them. BTA should review its strategy on the balance between short and long term market investment; should seek further opportunities for partnership working; and should develop an agenda for action to ensure that the aims of Modernising Government are met.

Overall, the report finds the BTA is regarded both by Government and the tourism industry as an effective organisation, which has become more responsive over recent years.

Listed Buildings (Ecclesiastical Exemption)

Mr. Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects to undertake a further review of the ecclesiastical exemption from listed building and conservation area controls. [145586]

Mr. Alan Howarth: We fully accept the need to continue to monitor the ecclesiastical exemption regime and the progress made by exempt denominations in implementing the recommendations of the 1997 Newman review. We currently have in hand a review of policies relating to all aspects of the historic environment, which will culminate in a major policy statement in the spring. Once that review is complete, and against the background

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of its conclusions, we will undertake a further assessment of the exemption.

Physical Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to widen access to good quality physical education and sporting opportunities for young people. [145584]

Mr. Chris Smith: It should not be a matter of chance whether a child will get good sporting opportunities. There are basic opportunities that should be available to all children. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has been working closely with me to develop a range of measures that will bring real improvement. Over the next few years, our aim is to offer children an entitlement to two hours each week spent during and after school on high quality PE and sporting activity. We will consult schools, professional associations and other interested parties to identify how best to make this happen.

To build the capacity to make this entitlement possible, we are also extending the outside help available to schools. We will shortly begin two pilot studies to extend the New Deal into sport and create a new role of sports assistant to work alongside the new sports co-ordinators to help deliver this opportunity in schools. By 2004 there could be as many as 2,000 opportunities--many of which will be offered to suitable people on the New Deal.

Bass Stocks

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what steps are being taken to protect anglers' interests in respect of bass stocks around the UK coastline; and if he will make a statement; [144573]

Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.

Following continued concerns expressed by the sea angling fraternity about the status of bass stocks in UK waters, my officials have arranged a meeting with representatives of angling groups and charter skippers on 16 January to consider whether further conservation measures are appropriate for the species. The meeting will also discuss other areas of mutual concern.

At the same time, in order to gain a better understanding of the various bass stocks, CEFAS scientists will be contributing to the work of a new ICES Study Group on Seabass, under the chairmanship of Dr. Mike Pawson. In accordance with the terms of reference for this Group, data from all countries which catch bass in Area VII and in the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, will be compiled in order to construct the age profile of bass stocks in these areas and, if possible, to carry out an assessment of their status in relation to safe biological limits. The first task will be to compile an inventory of the available data, which will be reviewed by the ICES Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management in May 2001. In the light of this information, the European Commission can be expected to consider whether conservation measures are appropriate at Community level.

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NHS Trusts (Land Sales)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out the rules which govern the use of proceeds from sale of his Department's land by NHS trusts; and if these rules would apply to the sale of land by north Bristol NHS Trust at (a) the Frenchay hospital site and (b) the Southmead hospital site. [141346]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 11 December 2000]: Regional offices of the National Health Service Executive decide whether a trust keeps the proceeds from the sale of an asset. This decision is taken after careful consideration of the competing demands for capital investment within the region. The objective is to use sale proceeds from any sale of trust assets to achieve the maximum benefit for the NHS.

In the south west region capital receipts of less than £1 million are usually retained automatically by the trust. Receipts of more than £1 million are normally retained by the Trust subject to the production of a suitable business case for the use of the money.

The use of any proceeds from the sale of land at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals where the amount exceeds £1 million will be a matter for discussion between north Bristol NHS Trust and the south west regional office.


Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps NICE is taking to monitor (a) the use of and (b) adverse reactions to Ritalin in children; and if he will make a statement. [144486]

Ms Stuart: The National Institute of Clinical Excellence does not itself monitor the use of and adverse reactions to particular medicines. Monitoring the use of medicines is a matter for local clinical governance arrangements. The monitoring of adverse reactions is carried out by the Committee on Safety of Medicines/ Medicines Control Agency (CSM/MCA). Health professionals are encouraged to submit voluntarily to the CSM/MCA reports of suspected adverse drug reactions via the yellow card scheme. These reports, together with data from other sources, are continuously reviewed to identify previously unrecognised hazards or new information on known hazards which might require regulatory action.

Mental Health

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health authorities have agreed protocols with the police to accept into their care those with mental health needs who are detained by the police for their own safety; how many are under negotiation; and how many have no agreed procedures. [144677]

Mr. Hutton: All health authorities should have agreed protocols, the guidelines for which are laid out in Chapter 10 of the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice. The police power to remove to a place of safety

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(section 136) depends on the local social services authority, health authority, trust and the chief constable establishing a clear policy for the use of power. All the professionals involved in the implementation should understand the power and its purpose and the person's other rights and follow the local policy. All local social services authorities, health authorities and trusts should have in place clear policies agreed with chief constables for the removal of people with a mental illness to a place of safety.

Details of individual protocols are not held centrally.

Gogay v.Hertfordshire County Council

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the implications for his Department of the case of Gogay v. Hertfordshire county council. [144740]

Mr. Hutton: This case concerns a care worker in a children's home run by a local authority who was suspended from duty when the local authority began an investigation into child protection concerns. The judgment makes it clear that, in such circumstances, a local authority must consider its obligation not to act in a way which seriously damages the relationship of confidence

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between the authority and one of its employees, unless there is reasonable and proper cause to do so. As the judgment said,

Local authorities need to ensure that the action that they take in relation to employees involved in allegations of abuse are appropriate in the circumstances. As the judgment makes clear, however, local authorities must in no way feel inhibited in making the inquiries that they consider appropriate to safeguard children in their care and, if there is a conflict between the interests of the child and the interests of the employee, the interests of the child should prevail.

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