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Mr. Willis: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what the policy is of the Church Commissioners on the division of costs arising from an ecclesiastical court hearing into a planning application to site a mobile phone mast in a church spire. 
Mr. Bell: The Church Commissioners have no involvement in decisions made in parishes about whether or not to site an aerial within a church building, or in determining responsibility for related costs.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures her Department has taken to organise support for the built heritage sector; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, together with the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, published its policy on the built heritage in XA Force for our Future" in December 2001. This was informed by XPower of Place", a review of the historic environment by the sector. We are now working closely with the sector to deliver this challenging agenda.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the performance of the funding councils for the performing and visual arts and for film; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with the Chairman of the Arts Council, Gerry Robinson, and Baroness Blackstone as Minister of State for the Arts, has regular meetings with the Chief Executive, Peter Hewitt. In July the Secretary of State announced additional funding for the Arts Council reflecting her confidence in the restructuring of the Arts funding system currently taking place.
When the Film Council was established in April 2000, it was set 13 goals for film which had been identified in the course of the Film Policy Review (1998). These goals have formed the basis of the Film Council's funding agreement with the Department. Progress against the funding agreement is reviewed regularly. In addition,
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both the Secretary of State and I, as Minister for film, have met the Chair and Chief Executive of the Film Council on other occasions to discuss performance.
The Film Council has already made significant progress in delivering many of its goals, and I warmly welcome Sir Alan Parker's speech given earlier this month setting out the Film Council's vision for the future of the British film industry.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost of production was of the annual report 2002 of the National Endowment for Science and Technology; how many reports were produced; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: This is a matter for the Arts Council of England who have been administering the programme since its inception. The programme does not finish until the end of this year and a full evaluation will be made by ACE in 2003.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of her Department's contribution to enabling access to the performing arts in (a) 199899, (b) 19992000, (c) 200001 and (d) 200102; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The grant-in-aid figures for the Arts Council for each of the above years was as follows: 199899 £189.9 million; 19992000 £228.2 million; 200001 £237.2 million and 200102 £252.2 million. In July this year my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a further substantial increase in my Department's funding for the arts for 200405 to 200506. As a result of this Government funding for the arts will be £412 million in 200506, or 73 per cent. higher in real terms than in 199798.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to her statement on 15 November, Official Report, column 336, what the basis was of her statement that 5,000 school playing fields were sold off between 1979 and 1997; and how many school playing fields have been sold since 1997. 
Tessa Jowell: No data were collected centrally on how many school playing fields there were in either 1979 or 1997. My estimate of about 5,000 playing fields comes from two sources. First, the Central Council of Physical Recreation published a paper in 1984 "Sports Fields at Risk", which indicated that some 3,630 areas of recreation land recorded on Land Registers were at risk
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of disposal. A more meaningful way of quantifying the area under threat at that time is to translate this figure into about 5,000 school playing fields of sports pitch size.
Second, the then Department for Education and Employment estimated that an average 40 playing fields a month were sold subsequent to the previous Government encouraging the disposal of playing fields in April 1996 by relaxing the Local Authority Capital Finance Regulations. Even if disposals had been running at only half this rate from 19791997, the total would have approached 5,000 disposals.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many internet connections there were in public libraries in the UK in (a) 1998 and (b) 2002; what proportion of public libraries in the UK had internet connections in June 2002; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The £120 million lottery funded programme to connect public libraries in the UK to the Internet and provide ICT training for all library staff is proceeding well. In June 2002 there were 2,909 libraries connected to the internet and offering public access compared to just 215 libraries in 1998. This means that 70 per cent. of all UK libraries were online as of June 2002. The programme is expected to fulfil its original target of connecting libraries, wherever practical, to the internet by the end of 2002.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact which the UK's retention of the pound in preference to entering the Eurozone has had on tourist revenue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have taken place with US and British companies on the design and procurement of the aircraft carrier in relation to the carrier-borne aircraft. 
Dr. Moonie: During the course of normal project development for the United Kingdom's Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) and Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) programmes, numerous discussions have taken place between British and American companies. Lockheed Martin, the contractor for the United States Joint Strike Fighter programme, is also a member of both teams
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Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost is to his Department of the Central London Road User Charging Scheme for (a) 17 February 2003 to 31 March 2003, and (b) 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 19 November 2002]: Any additional costs to the Ministry of Defence as a result of the congestion charging scheme will be just one element within wider costs which have to be met from budgets for official travelling and other costs.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will write to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South, regarding his answer of 5 November 2002, Official Report, column 168W, concerning the disposal of the Gunwharf and HMS Vernon site in Portsmouth to Barclay Homes. 
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