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Sierra Leone

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what non-governmental organisations and charities her Department supports in Sierra Leone. [12904]

Clare Short: Non-governmental organisations and charities directly supported by DFID in Sierra Leone are listed. This excludes those non-governmental organisations that receive assistance from the international organisations such as the humanitarian agencies of the United Nations, which DFID also supports.




















Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list her Department's spending in Sierra Leone in the last 12 months. [12905]

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Clare Short: Since November 2000, DFID expenditure on the Sierra Leone programme has been as follows:

Sierra Leone programme £ million
Security Sector (includes Police and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programme)11.645
Governance (includes support to Media development, Law Development, Anti-corruption, Governance reform and Elections)1.838
Humanitarian Assistance5.679
Budgetary Support19.500
Other technical cooperation costs1.936
Total40.598

Departmental Publications

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much her Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in the financial years (a) 1995–96, (b) 1996–97, (c) 1997–98, (d) 1998–99 (e) 1999–2000 and (f) 2000–01; and if she will make a statement. [12268]

Clare Short: We have since 1997 published all our major strategy documents, including all country and institutional strategy papers, as well as major consultation papers and speeches. Our publishing output has therefore expanded considerably.

We do not produce anything which we would regard as campaign material. Our spending on publications over the period in question is as follows:

Year£000
1995–96352
1996–97318
1997–98166
1998–99347
1999–2000570
2000–01639

We do not have a specific advertising budget. However, the bulk of our paid advertising is in relation to recruitment advertising in newspapers and journals. This costs between £1 million to £1.2 million annually.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the (a) humanitarian situation and (b) situation of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [12322]

Clare Short: A recent Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) study on food security reported the DRC as having the world's most dramatic rise in malnutrition. This affects nearly two-thirds of the population. Infant and maternal mortality figures also continue to rise. With some progress on the peace process and a gradual improvement in access for humanitarian agencies, we have this year substantially increased the level of support for humanitarian work.

The children of the DRC have a particularly vulnerable status. School enrolment is low and three out of four of these children drop out before they are able to finish their education. We have been particularly concerned about the

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use of child soldiers in the conflict and have repeatedly called on all parties to respect the rights of the child and urge them to initiate disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation programmes for children. We will continue to monitor the situation and call for all parties to respect and promote the rights of the child.

Development Awareness

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what work has been undertaken by her Department with trade unions to promote development awareness. [11832]

Clare Short: Trade unions are one of the groups identified as a priority in our strategy paper on building support for development.

At the level of individual projects, we are supporting the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) to increase awareness and understanding of international development issues among workplace trade union representatives and the TGWU members.

We also support a project administered by Labour and Society International to develop new modules and teaching materials on the theme of international development for officials, educators and members of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union (MSF).

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Lancashire Townscapes

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list those industrial townscapes in Lancashire that are being considered by English Heritage for protection; and if she will make a statement. [10390]

Dr. Howells: English Heritage has proposed that the St. Mary's conservation area in Nelson should be extended and has requested that my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for the Arts use her reserve powers for this purpose. My right hon. Friend is considering the request. I understand that English Heritage is funding a survey of historic and industrial towns in Lancashire to assist local authorities carry out their functions relating to the historic environment, including the designation of conservation areas. However, English Heritage has no current plans to ask my right hon. Friend to designate any further conservation areas.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans have been made by (a) her Department and (b) institutions involved in the preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day 2002. [11275]

Dr. Howells: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle) on 1 November 2001, Official Report, column 851W.

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Television

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the Government's policy in relation to the switchover to digital television. [12382]

Dr. Howells: The Government's policy, as set out in the White Paper "A New Future for Communications" is to complete the switchover to digital terrestrial television as soon as possible, and we believe that it is realistic to aim for the period 2006–10. On 12 October, we issued a draft action plan, which is a technical, consultative document aimed at the key stakeholders who will need to work together to make progress towards switchover. The draft plan sets out the issues on which action needs to be taken, both by the Government and by the industry; to enable and encourage take up of digital television, to identify who should lead on those issues, and to set target dates for delivery. We intend to publish an agreed plan by the end of the year.

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by what date she expects (a) Channel 5, (b) digital terrestrial TV and (c) cable TV services to be available in the High Peak constituency. [12334]

Dr. Howells: (a) I do not expect the availability of analogue Channel 5 services to be increased because the priority is to use available spectrum for the development of digital terrestrial television (DTT). I understand, however, that these services are available in some areas of the High Peak constituency: coverage details can be found on Channel 5's website at: www.channel5.co.uk. (b) The BBC and ITC, who are responsible for the DTT transmission network, are considering, in consultation with Government and stakeholders, how to improve coverage of all DTT multiplexes across the UK and coverage information is available on the Digital Television Group website: www.dtg.org.uk. No date has been set for the provision of DTT throughout High Peak. (c) This is a commercial matter for the cable operators: I am not aware that any operator has plans to supply cable across the High Peak area.

Tourism Industry

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the outcome of her recent meeting with senior leaders of the tourism industry. [13126]

Tessa Jowell: I, together with my hon. Friend the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting, met leading figures from the tourism industry on 10 and 11 October at Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire. This meeting was convened to discuss the immediate difficulties facing the industry in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak and the terrorist attacks of 11 September, but also to agree the necessary programme for long term strategic reform of the industry to achieve more consistent high standards and better value for money.

The main conclusions for action from the meeting include: the urgent need for tourism bodies to review their programmes so as best to meet the needs of the current difficulties; the importance of acting in the new spirit of

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partnership between industry and Government; the creation of the CBI chaired voice for tourism, the Tourism Alliance; the need to focus public sector resources on improving co-ordination of marketing, rationalising tourism data collection so that it is more useful, improving

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the quality of product, strengthening service through improved training and skills and developing better tourist information, including through the use of the internet.

The following table sets these conclusions out in more detail.

Tourism Industry Seminar—Outcomes

Who to leadTimescale
Immediate short term action(2)
The London Tourist Board and the English Tourism Council have been asked to review their programmes, working with the industry, to meet the new circumstances. DCMS Ministers are ready to see more than £60 million already available directed to marketing to the domestic market. The hotel and major attractions industry are creating packages to offer to the domestic market. DCMS will chase progress and encourage and support co-operation of this sort.Industry and associations, LTB, ETC, DCMSImmediate
The British Tourist Authority is re-designing its overseas marketing campaign, in close consultation with key industry partners in the UK and overseasBTAEnd of October
Other measures which might provide effective assistance are being examined. The Industry has made a number of proposals.DCMSOctober
Ministers are strong advocates of and for the industry.DCMSOctober
Ministers and officials are in constant discussion with the tourism industry about the impact of the events in America. DCMSOngoing
Medium term action(3)
We will create a voice for the tourism sector which reflects the diversity of its main core industries and ensures a coherent view is put to Government on key opportunities and issues of common concern.CBI-supported Tourism AllianceLaunched October, starts November 2001
Ministers are ready to develop strong and more co-ordinated arrangements for the marketing of English tourism to the domestic market in response to the views of the industry. We are ready to concentrate public sector resources on three areas—marketing coordination, data gathering, and quality assessment. This will mean reducing support on other areas. Marketing co-ordination should have a strong private sector lead and embrace regional and local government spending.DCMS, ETC and the industry to develop new arrangements.First discussion at November Tourism Forum. New plan within six months.
We will strengthen regional arrangements. We are committed to closer marketing co-ordination at regional level, development of strong sub-regional brands, and implementation of TIC modernisation.RDAs, RTBs and local authoritiesProposals to Secretary of State by end of November.
We are ready to develop a "Fitness for purpose" approach to better regulation of hotels and restaurants. The aim is to bring together the many regulatory controls, and make them into a basic and strong assurance to customers. Premises not meeting the standard would be improved or closed. Arrangements for modernising alcohol and entertainment licensing, and gaming, will go ahead in parallel.DCMS with key Department and Local Government Association.Report to Secretary of State by end December.
We will bring together the many sources of public sector data on tourism performance and trends and create a partnership with the private sector to give the industry and Ministers the information which is needed to decide policy, make investments, and improve service to the customer. The first step is to rationalise what is there at present and improve coherence and leadership. One objective will be to undertake a public attitude survey, and another to report annually. There will be a regional and local dimension to this but the first phase will look at national information and data.DCMS, ETC, BTAPrepare remit for Secretary of State's approval within one month.
We will follow a fresh approach to training and skills. Our ambition is to create a major new skills body embracing the major industries of the sector. It will drive an improvement in service quality and career opportunities. Ministers will back it strongly within Government and ensure a fair share of resources is available to support effective new arrangements.Industry to convene, Ministers to back it in Government.To be set up and seek recognition by Government by December.
We will ensure wide adoption of the productivity and performance improvement techniques emerging for the Government supported "Productivity for Profit" initiative.IndustryLaunched. Review in 2002.
We will build on the EnglandNet and other e-tourism initiatives to create a strong network of tourist information services and to encourage the take up by small and micro-businesses of electronic means of communication and booking.ETC, DCMS, Industry, RDAs.First stage by April 2002.

(2) Our approach will be to ensure Government and industry understands and appraises the impact of current challenges, co-ordinate public sector and private sector responses to those challenges, and for the public sector to make a direct contribution where that is justified.

(3) We will take this action in a new spirit of partnership between industry and Government. The industry will take the lead in modernising, improving quality and product development. Government will support where better regulation and co-ordination of public services is needed. Ministers will review in three months whether the current distribution of responsibilities supporting the joint programme is working well enough and will meet with industry again in six months to review the progress of the whole programme. All the initial action is to be taken within six months and further assignments then agreed at a further joint meeting with industry leaders.


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