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Departmental Staff

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the pay grades are for officials in her Department. [60033]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 10 June 2002]: The pay grades within DCMS are:


Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much and what proportion of the departmental expenditure limit for 2002–03 had been spent by 31 May; what the figures were for 2001–02; and if she will make a statement. [61001]

Dr. Howells: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 June 2002, Official Report, column 130W.

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Millennium Dome

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether revenues from the sale of the Dome will be given to lottery charities; and if she will make a statement. [61472]

Dr. Howells: The latest position on the Dome sale and the future of the Greenwich peninsula is set out in the written answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 1033W by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Housing, Planning and Regeneration. The division of proceeds between the New Millennium Experience Company and English Partnerships has not been finally agreed, but a fair split will be established. Once NMEC's liquidation is complete, the company's share of proceeds will revert to the Millennium Commission.

Entertainments Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost was of the Department's 2001 staff Christmas party; and how many people attended. [61665]

Dr. Howells: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's 2001 staff Christmas party was held at no cost to the public purse.

Disabled People

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what steps her Department has taken to ensure libraries are equipped to help visually impaired people access information; and if she will make a statement; [61982]

Dr. Howells: Although my Department does not have a direct remit in terms of the production of books, we are responsible for policy on libraries and are encouraging them to make books accessible to the widest possible audience.

In 1998 my Department introduced Annual Library Plans (ALPs), a planning framework for the English library authorities. These require library authorities to assess provision needs, and to include discretionary local targets for people with disabilities.

The Department's Public Library Standards include further targets, which are being developed, for materials of use to people with disabilities. The standards also remind library authorities of their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Since 2000 my Department's Public Libraries Challenge Fund has awarded over £234,000 towards the National Library for the Blind's "A Touch of" and "A Touch more" projects to improve services in libraries and Resource, the council for museums, archives and libraries, have published a best practice manual. We are also ensuring that the new People's Network and other government ICT initiatives take full account of opportunities to improve such services.

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Prize Competitions

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) whether the investigation into prize competitions will include (a) Women Empowering Women and (b) other gifting schemes; [62436]

Mr. Caborn: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Vernon Coaker) on 23 May 2002, Official Report, column 521W-522W.

We issued a consultation paper on prize competitions and similar quasi-gambling products, including gifting schemes, on 23 May. It is available in the House Libraries and on our website at www.culture.gov.uk. We intend to reach a view based on this consultation as to whether there is any need for further regulation in this area and, if so, what form it should take.

We are asking for responses to our consultation by 31 August and will announce our conclusions in due course after that.

School Sports

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what proportion of the £1.1 billion recently announced for sport in schools has been previously (a) allocated or (b) announced; [62984]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 18 June 2002]: New investment in school sport announced over the past two years amounts to £1.1 billion. £750 million is being invested by the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) across the UK as part of its PE and sport programme, with a view to bringing about a step change in the provision of sporting facilities for young people and for the community generally. This includes a £25 million contribution to the Space for Sport and Arts and £30 million to the Football Foundation. The deadline for stage one applications from LEAs—who will be responsible for allocating the funds to deserving projects—has passed, and applications are currently being reviewed by NOF. Decisions on these are expected by the end of the year, at which point work on stage two applications can begin. All programme funds will be committed by the end of 2005.

£110 million is being invested in England on the current phase of the school sport co-ordination programme to meet our target of 1,000 co-ordinators by 2004. These co-ordinators will improve the quality and quantity of sport in schools by creating opportunities for children to participate in more sport, linking secondary and primary schools to improve sport at the latter,

19 Jun 2002 : Column 422W

developing links between school and sports clubs and increasing out of school hours activities. Funding is made up of £30 million from the Sport England Lottery Fund (SELF), £60 million of grant in aid from DCMS through Sport England and £20 million in England (with another £5 million in the regions) from the NOF Phase 2 Out of Schools Hours Study Support funding. The programme is being administered by Sport England and there will be 742 co-ordinators in place by September. In addition to this, the DfES has so far designated 142 specialist sports colleges, and has set a target of 250 colleges by 2005. With an average investment of £592,000 per college, this amounts to an investment of £148 million by that time.

The Government is also investing £75 million from the capital modernisation fund in the space for sports and arts (SSA) scheme, with a view to providing greater opportunities for pupils and the wider community in deprived areas to participate in arts based and sporting activities by providing new, or modernising existing, facilities in primary schools. Funding is being made available through a partnership between central Government and lottery distributors, including £25 million from the SELF, £25 million from NOF PE and sport programme, and £5 million from the Arts Council of England, to create a £130 million programme overall. The SSA programme aims to fund around 300 projects. Grant offers were made between October 2001 and March 2002. Completion of the first project is expected shortly, with most of the building work getting under way during the current financial year.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will place in the Library a copy of the guidance for officials in her Department on answering parliamentary questions. [62977]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 18 June 2002]: Guidance to officials on answering House of Commons written parliamentary questions was placed in the Libraries of both Houses on 12 April 2002 in response to a request from the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell).

I am arranging for copies of "Guidance to officials on answering House of Commons oral parliamentary questions" and "House of Lords written and oral parliamentary questions" to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Museums

Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made on the review of the National Museum of Science and Industry. [63658]

Tessa Jowell: My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for the Arts has today published the first stage report of the review of the National Museum of Science and Industry.

The report examines the roles and functions of the NMSI, and how these functions contribute to the delivery of wider DCMS and Governmental objectives. It identifies a number of ways in which NMSI can make a bigger contribution to DfES, DTI and DEFRA objectives.

19 Jun 2002 : Column 423W

The publication of the report marks the end of the first stage of the review. There will be no formal Stage Two process. However, my Department is embarking upon a major study of the collections storage of the DCMS-sponsored museums and galleries which should have implications for NMSI.

A copy of the report has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Mr. Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made on the joint review of the Museum of London, the Horniman Museum and the Geffrye Museum. [63659]

Tessa Jowell: My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for the Arts has today published the first stage report of the joint quinquennial review of the Museum of London, the Horniman Museum and the Geffrye Museum.

The report examines the roles and functions of the museums, and how these functions contribute to the delivery of wider DCMS and Governmental objectives. It confirms that the three museums are contributing strongly to the delivery of the Government's educational and social policy objectives. All three museums have potential to perform a regional or sub-regional role.

The publication of the report marks the end of the first stage of the review. The second stage will take forward the recommendations of the first stage and consider how the museums' services and functions could be provided more efficiently and effectively in the future.

A copy of the report has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


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