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Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what steps she has taken to press for the establishment of a differentiated rate of VAT for repairs and renovations to listed buildings in the European Commission review of reduced rates of VAT; 
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Dr. Howells: EC law already allows a reduced rate of VAT for works to housing but does not permit a reduced rate to other types of building, whether listed or not. However, in response to representations made by the Government, the European Commission has indicated that it will consider a reduced rate of VAT for listed places of worship in their general review of the reduced rates, which is due to take place in 2003. In the meantime the Government have introduced a grant scheme which will return in grant aid the difference between 5 per cent. and the actual amount spent on eligible repairs and maintenance to listed places of worship. We intend to publish an implementation plan for A Force for Our Future shortly.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the cost was of media advertising in each of the past five parliamentary Sessions including the current Session, for her Department in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland; and for the last two parliamentary Sessions and the current parliamentary Session, what the media advertising expenditure was per month in (i) England, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland; 
Dr. Howells: No media advertising campaigns were run by the Department during this period.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what sources of funding are available from the public sector to cover the cost of overseas international matches for teams representing Great Britain in minority sports. 
Mr. Caborn: My Department provides Lottery and Exchequer funds to UK Sports who in turn make these funds available to governing bodies of sport in recognised activities for the support of teams representing Great Britain.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what rules for the allocation of funding to international minority sports teams representing Great Britain relate to the (a) age and (b) sex of the participants. 
Mr. Caborn: The Sports Councils do not have rules for the allocation of funding to sports teams representing Great Britain relating to either age or sex of the participants.
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Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many overseas visits have been undertaken by parliamentary private secretaries in her Department at departmental expense in each of the last four years; and at what cost to public funds. 
Mr. Caborn: The only overseas visit by a parliamentary private secretary at this Department's expense occurred on 2021 January 2002 when my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Mr. Rammell) attended the MIDEM conference in France on my behalf as I was unable to attend at short notice. We have yet to be invoiced for these costs.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what was the (a) percentage and number of rail journeys undertaken on first class tickets, (b) average cost of a first class journey by rail and (c) total cost of rail travel in each of the past four years broken down by grade of civil servant. 
Dr. Howells: In DCMS travel and subsistence administration is contracted out and there is no electronic record maintained regarding mode of travel. To provide this information would involve a manual check of each travel and subsistence claim which could be undertaken only at disproportionate costs.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what role arts and community-based programmes are playing in helping sectarian and racial problems in divided cities in Northern Ireland. 
Dr. Howells: This question relates to a matter which is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on how lottery money is used to promote regeneration in Northern Ireland; and how much has been given to North Belfast. 
Mr. Caborn: The Government have asked lottery distributors to use lottery funding to encourage regeneration where possible. Revised policy directions issued to lottery distributors in 1998 require them to take into account the scope for reducing economic and social deprivation. As of 15 February 2002, 276 awards have been made to Belfast North worth over £67 million.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of playing fields lost to development in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many were (a) school playing fields, (b) owned by other public bodies and (c) owned privately. 
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Mr. Caborn: The Department for Education and Skills does not collect information on the number of school playing fields lost to development. Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act in October 1998, was brought in to halt the policy of forcing state schools to sell off playing fields. Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools now need to ask consent for the sale of school playing fields from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills. In making her decision my right hon. Friend will take into account a number of criteria including consultation with the community and user groups, whether the proceeds will be used for education or used to enhance sports provision, and whether the remaining playing fields fully meet the needs of local schools and the communities. Since October 1998, My right hon. Friend has approved the following applications to dispose or change the use of school playing fields:
|Year||Sports pitch applications||Areas less than a sports pitch|
No such estimates have been made on the number of playing fields sold to development which are either privately owned or owned by public bodies as this information is not collected. Sport England do however, monitor the number of planning applications concerning playing fields in their role as statutory consultee. The Government intend to publish, with Sport England, detailed national statistics on planning applications concerning playing fields when the data are finalised in the spring.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many days have been lost owing to industrial action by staff in her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. 
Dr. Howells: The information in respect of DCMS and its agencies is contained in the table.
|Number of staff(9)||How many days allocated||Cost to public funds (£)|
(9) In DCMS and agencies receiving paid leave to undertake union duties
The time scale for response to this question does not allow for this information to be obtained for non- departmental public bodies.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies receive paid
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leave to undertake union duties; how many days they are allocated; and what has been the cost to public funds in each of the last four years. 
Dr. Howells: During this period there was no industrial action in the Department or its agencies. The time scale for response to this question does not allow for this information to be obtained for non-departmental public bodies.
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