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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many employees of (a) her Department and (b) agencies sponsored by her Department work in (i) London, (ii) areas benefiting from EU objective 1 status, (iii) areas with objective 2 status and (iv) other areas. 
Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will make an announcement on the recommendations of the Gaming Board for Great Britain on the maximum stakes and prizes in gaming machines. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many older people will receive free television licences (a) in the UK and (b) in Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East. 
Dr. Howells: Approximately 3.2 million people who previously paid the full television licence fee and 475,000 people who previously paid a £5 concessionary licence fee currently benefit from free television licences for the over-75s. TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 4,800 people aged 75 or over in the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if she will place in the Library for each year since 1995 the average response time for providing a substantive answer to (a) hon. Members' correspondence,
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(b) correspondence from members of the public and (c) written parliamentary questions in the (i) Commons and (ii) Lords; 
General information on the volumes of correspondence received across Whitehall and on overall performance is published by the Cabinet Office. Figures for 2000 were published on 6 April 2001, Official Report, columns 32428W and on 19 July 2001, Official Report, columns 45456W.
The time limits for answering written parliamentary questions vary considerably and the calculation of an average response time would not, therefore, provide a reliable indication of the timeliness of answers.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the total amount of spending by her Department was in each nation and region of the UK, in the last year for which figures are available; what proportion of her Department's total spending this constitutes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs. Liddell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) on 15 October 2001, Official Report, columns 45456W.
Mrs. Liddell: The Royal Commission on House of Lords reform recommended a minority elected element to represent the nations and regions. It found no appetite for direct representation of the devolved institutions in the House of Lords and recommended against it. The Government have pledged to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission in the most
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive on the operation of the Scotland Act 1998 concerning the reduction of the number of MSPs as a consequence of a reduction in the number of hon. Members from Scottish constituencies. 
Mrs. Liddell: I have regular discussions with the Executive on a range of issues. I announced to the House on 6 November that I will be consulting widely on the size of the Scottish Parliament and expect to receive the views of Scottish Ministers and others on this matter.
Margaret Beckett: The Environment Agency's navigation responsibilities were considered during Stage 1 of the Financial, Management and Policy Review (FMPR) which has recently been completed. The review team considered a wide range of views on the subject, including responses to public consultation, reports such as that of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Select Committee, and an independent consultant's study.
The Stage 1 report concluded that there were no compelling operational reasons for a transfer of functions from the Environment Agency to British Waterways, but nor were there insuperable barriers to such a transfer. The report also concluded that there was an underlying policy issue to be resolved, which was beyond the scope of the FMPR to address. Essentially, that was whether the institutional arrangements for the waterways should be structured to promote navigation and regeneration benefits, with flood defence and conservation accommodated within the structure, or vice versa. In this respect British Waterways and the Environment Agency offer different advantages.
I have considered carefully the FMPR report, and information and views provided subsequently by the Environment Agency and British Waterways. This has not been a straightforward decision. I am attracted by the potential regeneration benefits a transfer to British Waterways could bring, and I accept the FMPR report's conclusion that flood defence issues do not pose an insuperable barrier to transfer, given British Waterways' safety record on its own rivers. However, any change needs to be justified by clear and objective evidence. On
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balance I do not judge there is sufficiently robust evidence on which to justify a transfer. I have therefore decided that current responsibilities should continue.
The Environment Agency will be set challenging new targets to deliver the improved service on navigation and regeneration being developed through initiatives like "Thames Ahead", working with local authorities and other partners. I look forward to positive results from this exercise, and to renewed goodwill and partnership with British Waterways in serving our important inland waterways.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish all correspondence (a) between her Department and (i) the Institute of Animal Health, (ii) the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, (iii) the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, (iv) the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee, (v) the Food Standards Agency and (vi) the Department of Health, and (b) between those agencies which are the responsibility of her Department, regarding tests to establish whether BSE was present in sheep in the early 1990s. 
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