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Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what date she received the responses to consultations about the Arts Council of England's proposals to merge the regional arts boards to create a single organisation for arts funding; and if she will place a copy of the responses in the Library. 
Dr. Howells: The Arts Council of England has submitted a progress report on its proposed reorganisation on 29 November 2001. This includes a summary of responses to the consultation and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will respond to this in due course.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what date she received the business plan supporting the Arts Council of England's proposals to merge the regional arts boards to create a single organisation for arts funding; and if she will place a copy of the plan in the Library. 
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Chairman of the Arts Council of England's handling of the proposals to merge the regional arts boards to create a single organisation for arts funding. 
Dr. Howells: The Government have every confidence in the ability of the Chairman of the Arts Council to deliver a streamlined system for funding the arts in this country. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received a progress report to which she will respond shortly.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will assess the Arts Council of England's proposals to create a single organisation for arts funding against the criteria for new organisations established by her Department. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received a progress report from the Arts Council of England, which she will assess against her original criteria. These are to create a dynamic new organisation which brings regions to the heart of the funding system, delegates decision making, sets challenging targets for administrative savings and is simpler and more consistent for those applying for funding.
Dr. Howells: The Go Digital pilot project, being led by the Independent Television Commission, and comprising Government and industry partners, has been established to trial the conversion of 300 homes to digital television. Its aim is to address technical and social issues related to switchover. We expect the conversion of 30 homes comprising the first phase of the trial to take place early in 2002.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the total spending by her Department in the next 12 months in subsidising (a) live drama, (b) art galleries, (c) ballet, (d) opera and (e) literature. 
Dr. Howells: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport allocates funds to the Arts Council of England, which in turn allocates funds to the regional arts boards as appropriate, and to those arts organisations that it deems most deserving and which meet the criteria set for the various funding programmes. The Department allocated a total of £252.2 million to the Arts Council for 200102 and £297 million to the Arts Council for 200203.
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Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many formal notices his Department has received in the last year from the Parliamentary Ombudsman expressing an intention to carry out an investigation; and in respect of each notice how long it took to respond. 
Ruth Kelly [holding answer 27 November 2001]: Information on the outcome of statutory investigations which were concluded during 200001 are set out in the Parliamentary Ombudsman's Annual Report for 200001, copies of which are available in the Library of the House, or on the Parliamentary Ombudsman's website at www.ombudsman.org.uk/pca/document/par01/index.htm.
Since 1 April 2001, the Treasury has received three new statutory statements of complaint from the Parliamentary Ombudsman. So far, the Treasury has responded to all three of these cases, and the average time taken to respond overall is 24 days.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy not to allow (a) social insurance, (b) a ring-fenced hypothecated tax and (c) additional health user charges as solutions for the future funding mechanism for the national health service; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government have made their commitment to increasing resources over the next three years for the NHS, funded from general taxation and linked to reform. Decisions on taxation and spending will be taken in future Budgets and in the spending review next year.
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Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the latest overhaul of the HM Treasury website cost; and what the breakdown of spending on the website has been in each year since 1997. 
Ruth Kelly: HM Treasury's new website was launched in November this year and replaces the site originally launched in 1994, which was struggling to cope with the levels of traffic it attracted on Budget day.
The new site is designed to cope with the growing demands being placed upon the Treasury's website, to offer a better service to the public, and to ensure that the Treasury is prepared for future technological developments.
On PBR day the new site was accessed by 20,000 visitors who between them downloaded 183,250 separate documents. This represents a 50 per cent. growth in the number of recorded visitors to the site compared with Budget 2001. There were no reports of anyone being unable to access the site.
This new, more robust site employs completely new computer hardware and software so that it can handle both the tens of thousands of visitors that it receives on Budget day and the increasing number of Treasury documents being made available on the site. The latest version of the site includes new services, such as a comprehensive search facility. It is also designed to cope with emergent technologies, such as mobile internet devices and digital television.
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