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Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of Creative Partnerships; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 30 November 2001]: Creative Partnerships will be launched in April 2002, when funding of £40 million becomes available. This is a new initiative which will give young people opportunities to work alongside arts and cultural organisations and individuals to develop their artistic and creative skills. Alongside the initiative, the Arts Council of England will undertake an extensive evaluation and research programme.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will publish the constituency deprivation criteria for bids to the new opportunities fund for sport bids; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: Under the new opportunities for PE and sport programme, the new opportunities fund has allocated funding to each local education authority (LEA) area. The allocations have been determined on the basis of the size of the school population and the number of people living in deprived wards in the area.
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It is for local partnerships, led by LEAs, to decide what the needs and priorities are in local areas, within the context of the new opportunities fund's programme guidance. A key criterion in the assessment of bids will be that projects meet the aim of promoting social inclusion.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many indemnity undertakings were given under section 16 of the National Heritage Act 1986 for the six month period ended 30 September; and what the value was of (a) any contingent liabilities in respect of such undertakings given at any time under that section which remain outstanding as at 30 September, (b) non- statutory Government indemnities in respect of loans handled by the Government art collection which remain outstanding as at 30 September and (c) non-statutory undertakings to Her Majesty in respect of loans from the royal collection which remain outstanding as at 30 September. 
Dr. Howells: The provision for the Government indemnity scheme is made by the National Heritage Act 1980. The scheme facilitates public access to loans of works of art and other objects for public display made to museums, galleries and other such institutions by private owners and non-national institutions. It does this by indemnifying lenders against loss or damage to their loan. Loans covered by the scheme must be for public benefit. The scheme also covers loans of such objects for study purposes within borrowing institutions where this would contribute materially to the public's understanding or appreciation of the loan. Examples of this are enhancing interpretation or explanation to the public of objects or bringing into the public domain the conclusions of any study.
In the six month period ended 30 September, the following undertakings to indemnify were given under section 16 by the relevant Departments for objects on loan to national and non-national institutions:
|Department for Culture, Media and Sport||601|
|Scottish Executive Education Department||238|
|The National Assembly for Wales||111|
The value of contingent liabilities in respect of undertakings given at any time under section 16 and which remained outstanding as at 30 September is:
|Department for Culture, Media and Sport||2,935,420,221|
|Scottish Executive Education Department||455,246,280|
|The National Assembly for Wales||50.621,348|
The value of non-statutory Government indemnities to cover loans handled by the Government Art Collection and which remained outstanding as at 30 September is:
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5. Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on drug misuse in Scotland. 
7. John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has had with the Home Office on drug-related matters. 
Mrs. Liddell: We continue to work closely with the Scottish Executive and with the Home Office on the UK strategies to tackle drug misuse. In particular my hon. Friend the Minister of State is playing a direct role in the legislation currently before the House to strengthen court powers to confiscate assets of drug dealers and other criminals.
6. Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations she has received in respect of the Skye toll bridge. 
Mr. Foulkes: I have received four representations on this issue since August 2001.
Issues related to the Skye bridge project are a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive.
8. Mr. Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement about the number of children living in poverty in Scotland since 1997. 
Mr. Foulkes: We are making good progress on child poverty. Detailed information can be found in "Opportunity for All", published by the Government, and in the Scottish Executive's Annual Social Justice Report, a Scotland where everyone matters.
9. Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she will next meet officials from Railtrack to discuss Scotrail and Railtrack. 
Mrs. Liddell: I hope to meet with Railtrack senior management shortly to discuss a range of matters.
10. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations she has made to the Boundary Commission for Scotland on the distribution of seats for the Scottish Parliament. 
Mrs. Liddell: None. However I wrote to Lady Cosgrove, Deputy Chairman of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, on 6 November to inform her that I would shortly be launching a consultation on the size of the Scottish Parliament.
11. Anne Picking: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the coal industry in Scotland on the status of coal in the PIU energy review. 
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Mr. Foulkes: I represent the Scotland Office on the PIU Energy Review Advisory Group. I have met with a wide variety of individuals and organisations with an interest in energy issues, including representatives of the coal industry in Scotland, to discuss their views on the matters covered by the review.
12. Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on the state of manufacturing industry in Scotland. 
Mrs. Liddell: Manufacturing industry continues to be very important to the economy of Scotland employing some 300,000 in June 2001 and supporting a further 185,000 jobs in the Scottish economy. Manufacturing exports amounted to £19.3 billion in the year to 200102 according to Scottish Executive figures, an increase of 8.6 per cent. compared with the previous four quarters. The sound policies of economic management, which this Government are pursuing, continue to deliver the best platform for the manufacturing sector to deal with current difficult global trading conditions.
13. Mr. Savidge: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many pensioners in Scotland will receive the winter fuel payment in this financial year. 
Mr. Foulkes: We expect almost one million people aged 60 and over to receive a winter fuel payment in Scotland this financial year. The estimated total expenditure in Scotland in this area is around £150 million.
14. Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken to confiscate the assets of drug dealers in Scotland. 
Mr. Foulkes: My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department and I are working closely together on the Proceeds of Crime Bill. This legislation, which is currently before the House, will strengthen court powers to confiscate the assets of drug dealers and other criminals.
15. Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive concerning the re-structuring of Visit Scotland. 
Mr. Foulkes: I am in regular contact with ministerial colleagues in the Scottish Executive about a range of issues. The re-structuring of Visit Scotland is a matter for the Visit Scotland Board and the Scottish Executive.
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