8 Jan 2002 : Column: 545W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on progress towards meeting the revised Public Service Agreement target for internet connections in public libraries. 
Dr. Howells: All public library authorities have submitted plans to the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) Community Access to Lifelong Learning programme for ICT infrastructure and for staff training. All libraries will have completed network installation by the end of December 2002. Training for 40,000 public library staff is under way. Fifty-four awards have been made under the NOF Digitisation programme totalling £45 million. Projects will be completed by December 2004 with first materials available by December 2002.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the performance target is for the Public Service Agreement target of facilitating and promoting competitiveness in the creative industries. 
Dr. Howells: The Department tracks a range of indicators of the economic performance of the creative industries, baselines for which were established in the creative industries Mapping Document published by DCMS. The Department's 200104 Service Delivery Agreement includes a target comparing the productivity of the creative industries with the all-industry average.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 546W
Dr. Howells: The figure for the first 11 months of 2001 is 7.3 days sickness absence per staff year. The Department will continue to monitor trends and address any particular areas of concern. The Department has recently introduced a revised sick absence policy and will support managers to manage attendance and ensure that the policy is implemented. We will also continue to offer health awareness and health care information to staff.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on progress towards the Public Service Agreement target to promote the competitiveness of UK broadcast-related industries and the early take-up of digital broadcast services. 
Dr. Howells: Results of enhanced Government/ industry co-operation include a better statistical base, improved overseas promotion, a stronger trade association and increased opportunities in new media.
The Government published a draft Digital Television Action Plan on 12 October 2001, setting out a series of actions to be undertaken by Government and industry to achieve switchover from analogue to digital television. Further to this Action Plan, on 11 December, the Government published a consultation paper on planning the digital television spectrum. Nearly eight million UK households (about 30 per cent. of the total) have switched on to digital television since 1998.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reason the Public Service Agreement target for Lottery distributing bodies to develop strategic plans does not apply to the Millennium Commission. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on progress towards the Public Service Agreement target to maintain standards and diversity of broadcasting output and ensure that content is socially inclusive to secure wide access to broadcast material. 
Dr. Howells: The Broadcasting (Subtitling) Order 2001, which increases the target for subtitling on digital terrestrial television to 80 per cent., came into force on 4 July 2001. The targets will be extended to digital cable and digital satellite services as part of the forthcoming Communications Bill. A conference in October 2001 of the Cultural Diversity Network reported on the progress made by the signatory broadcasters in the first year of operation.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 547W
target to develop proposals for a future regulatory system for broadcasting which recognises market and technological developments. 
Dr. Howells: The Office of Communications Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 12 July 2001. The Bill allows for the establishment of the Office of Communications (OFCOM) which will prepare itself to take on the duties proposed to be conferred upon it later as the new single regulator for the media and communications sector. A draft Communications Bill, containing the Government's proposals for the regulatory framework which OFCOM will apply, is to be published in this Session of Parliament.
The figures exclude special services offered by library authorities to members of the public, for example, homes and hospitals. Across England these services have increased from 9,806 in 197980 to 14,617 in 19992000.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many projects have been given grants by the Millennium Commission; what proportion of the projects have been completed on time; how many Millennium Commission projects are yet to be completed; if she will list those projects which are (a) more than 12 months behind schedule and (b) which have been aborted, along with their value; and if she will make a statement; 
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 548W
(3) when she expects the Millennium Bridge to re-open; what the total cost of this project has been; what the cost of repair work carried out on the bridge has been; who is responsible for the extra cost; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) what proportion of total Millennium Commission expenditure has been spent in the Greater London area; and if she will make a statement. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|