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Free Television Licenses

Mr. Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will estimate the cost of giving free TV licences to all pensioners aged over (a) 65 and (b) 70 years. [156239]

Janet Anderson: The estimated cost of providing free television licences for everyone aged 65 years or over is £714 million a year, while providing free television licences for everyone aged 70 years or over would cost an estimated £529 million a year, excluding administrative costs in both cases.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which overseas countries are being targeted most extensively with Come to Britain publicity since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [156333]

Janet Anderson: The British Tourist Authority (BTA) has identified the following nine key markets as the focus for its most intensive campaign of reassurance and information for prospective visitors to Britain: USA, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland and Canada.

The BTA is also offering additional information in all 27 of its key markets and on its '' website.

Regional Tourist Boards

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) male and (b) female members there are on each regional tourist board. [156232]

Janet Anderson: The answer is set out in the table:

Regional Tourist BoardMale Board MembersFemale Board Members
East of England142
North West383
South East93
South West54
Heart of England131

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Regional Cultural Consortia

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) male and (b) female members there are on each of the regional cultural consortia. [156230]

Mr. Alan Howarth: The information is in the table.

Region Cultural ConsortiumMaleFemale
Living East88
East Midlands Cultural Consortium177
Culture North East910
North West Cultural Consortium146
South East England Cultural Consortium107
Culture South West96
West Midlands Life167
Yorkshire Cultural Consortium127


These figures include the Chairs of the Consortiums.

Listed Events

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on paragraph 9 of the ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events, regarding live transmission coverage of listed events. [156240]

Janet Anderson: Listing an event seeks to ensure that live rights are made available to free to air terrestrial broadcasters on fair and reasonable terms. As paragraph 9 of the ITC code explains, it does not guarantee that the event will be broadcast live. Rights holders are not obliged to sell live rights and broadcasters are not obliged to purchase them or to show the events. However, any UK broadcaster that obtains the rights to live coverage of the whole or part of a listed event cannot broadcast exclusively live in the UK without first seeking the consent of the ITC.

Departmental Policies (Stroud)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on the Stroud constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [152403]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 6 March 2001]: Since May 1997 my Department has introduced and developed a variety of initiatives which will impact on my hon. Friend's constituency which promote our objectives of access, excellence, education, and creativity and employment. We have published our strategies to take this forward in "Tomorrow's Tourism" and "A Sporting Future for All", which was recently followed up by the Government's Plan for Sport. We have tackled the issue of social inclusion taking forward the recommendations of Policy Action Team 10 on Arts and Sport and developing social inclusion policies across all our areas which is recognised within the most recent progress report Building on PAT10.

We have given more support to the cultural and sporting infrastructure. The Spending Review 2000 secured a doubling of the budget for sport and the largest ever increase for the arts: an increase of 80 per cent. from £186 million in 1997-98 to £336 million in 2003-4. In taking forward our aim to develop the educational

2 Apr 2001 : Column: 59W

potential of culture and sport £40 million has been allocated to developing Creative Partnerships; we have established through lottery funding, the £30 million National Foundation for Youth Music; and secured an additional £130 million for primary schools sports and arts facilities through the Space for Sport and the Arts programme. With £120 million of central Government and Lottery funding we will be providing a school sports co-ordinator in one in four secondary schools to work with local primary and special schools to improve sporting provision and physical education for children in the most deprived areas. We have delivered free access to national museums for children and the over 60s and additional money will be provided to allow this to be extended to everyone in December 2001. We have commissioned a Task Force which is currently considering the issues facing non-national museums in the regions.

We have made improvements in the way the Lottery is spent to ensure a fairer distribution. The introduction of the New Opportunities Fund for spending on health, education and the environment has made a real difference to communities everywhere. For instance it has invested £120 million to support the People's Network, which will enable all 4,300 public libraries to offer free public Internet access through UK online learning centres; and a further £50 million to stimulate development of content to support the Network.

We have set up a Regional Cultural Consortium in each of the English regions outside London to champion culture and creativity, including heritage, sport and tourism, and to draw up regional cultural strategies identifying regional objectives and priorities.

We have published a Green Paper "Culture and Creativity: The Next Ten Years", setting out how individual creative talent can be given the support it needs from childhood to flourish; how artists and cultural institutions can be freed from bureaucratic controls; and how the freedom to explore and enjoy creativity and culture can be made available to all.

Through their commitment to public service broadcasting, the Government have helped to foster an environment in which a creative, commercially successful broadcasting industry provides a wide range of UK-made, high quality, original programmes catering for all viewers and listeners. We have ensured a secure funding base for the BBC and S4C, while giving them the freedom to develop commercial operations which complement and support their public service remit. We have made clear in the Communications White Paper that public service broadcasting will continue to have a key role to play in the digital future. The Government have introduced free television licences for people aged 75 or over from 1 November last year.

My Department sponsors the British Tourist Authority (BTA) which continues to promote Britain effectively as an attractive tourist destination for overseas visitors. The BTA's successful marketing activities are aimed at bringing benefits to all parts of the UK, including Stroud.

In delivering these initiatives we aim to make cultural and sporting activities inclusive ones, boosting participation and improving the quality of life for all.

2 Apr 2001 : Column: 60W


According to the information supplied to us by the distributing bodies for the national lottery awards database, there have been 137 national lottery awards to Stroud, totalling £2,287,534.

Twenty Millennium Award Winners have been identified from Stroud and between them they have received grants totalling £55,981.

Information on the number of beneficiaries of free television licences by constituency is not available, but estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 7,500 people aged 75 or over living in the Stroud constituency.

English Heritage (EH) have offered repairs grants to Frampton Manor Barn--£140,000 and Tanhouse Farm Barn--£146,456 (no payment has yet been made). They have also approved a Heritage Lottery Fund grant under the Joint Places of Worship Scheme to St George's Church, Nailsworth--£150,300; and awarded Stroud Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme £50,000 in 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

Stroud is a partner in the Gloucestershire Active Sports Partnership. The County benefits from £31,000 of Exchequer funding for this programme per annum. I understand that a total of £1.53 million of Lottery funding spread over seven years is the planned investment figure for the Active Sports Partnership for the County.

South West Arts Board has received an additional £1,778,000 from the Arts Council this year to support arts and cultural activity across the region.

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