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3 Dec 2002 : Column 774Wcontinued
3 Dec 2002 : Column 775W
Ms Blears: The information is not available in the format requested. Information on waiting times for screening tests is only available for those areas where the result letters are sent to women directly by the health authorities. Around two thirds of health authorities and primary care trusts do this.
In 200102, 50 per cent., of women in these health authorities received their written cervical screening test result within six weeks. 85 per cent., of women received their written results within 10 weeks.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department makes available to support smoking cessation; and what cost benefit analysis has been conducted of this spending. 
Ms Blears: In 200203 the Department allocated £37 million to support smoking cessation. Drawing on a range of evidence and research findings the Department concludes that smoking cessation services are very cost effective, with a cost per life year saved of less than £1,000.
Ms Blears: All food, including soft drinks, is subject to the same food safety legislation, whether produced in the United Kingdom or imported. This legislation is enforced by local authorities. In addition, soft drinks imported from countries outside the European Union are subject to checks by local port health authorities.
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The number of individuals referred for treatment at Somerset Drug Service is not collected centrally. Again, the strategic health authority has advised me that referrals to the service in 200001 were 248 and in 200102 were 288.
Dr. Evan Harris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action his Department has taken in accordance with Article 7 of the EU Tobacco Directive, to ban the use of texts, names, trademarks and figurative or other signs suggesting that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than others, on the packaging of tobacco products. 
Ms Blears: Following a three month consultation exercise, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will shortly make and lay before Parliament Regulations to transpose the Directive including its requirements under Article 7. These Regulations will ban the use of such terms, which suggest that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than others. The Directive requires this ban to be in effect by 30 September 2003. Article 7 is subject to a challenge in the European Court of Justice and judgement is expected shortly. If necessary, the Regulations will be amended to reflect the judgement.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts have a higher than average tuberculosis level; and how much each trust will receive of the money being made available for tuberculosis. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Data currently available through the statutory notification system collected by the public health laboratory service are not broken down by primary care trust (PCT). Data are currently provided by health authority only.
Ms Blears [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Departmental officials maintain close working contact with the public health laboratory service leads on tuberculosis, who in turn report back to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.
Ms Blears [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Notification data currently available through the statutory notification system, collected bythe public health laboratory service, is not broken down by primary care trust. Data is currently provided by health authority only.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has carried out a regulatory impact analysis of the effect of the proposed changes in the Communications Bill, with specific regard to the introduction of access radio; and what assessment she has made of the impact on existing local commercial radio stations, if (a) access radio is fully funded out of the public purse and (b) access radio is allowed to raise revenue through selling advertising slots. 
The Radio Authority are currently undertaking a pilot study of a number of access radio stations. The purpose of the study is to establish whether access radio is viable and how it might be licensed, regulated, funded, promoted and organised. The Radio Authority evaluation will also seek to assess the possible impact on the commercial radio sector. The completed evaluation is expected to be published next February.
(3) how she expects access radio will be funded; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 2 December 2002]: The Radio Authority are currently undertaking a pilot study of a number of access radio stations. The purpose of the study is to establish whether access radio is viable and how it might be licensed, regulated, funded, promoted and organised. The Radio Authority evaluation will also seek to assess the possible impact on the commercial radio sector. The completed evaluation is expected to be published next February.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions in the last 12 months the BBC has paid goodwill cheques to the victims of maladministration of licence fee collection. 
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Dr. Howells: Neither the BBC nor TV Licensing are subject to the powers of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and there are therefore no formal findings of maladministration against the BBC or TV Licensing. However, TV Licensing operates its own complaints procedures and if a member of the public remains unsatisfied with the outcome the BBC will also consider the complaint. Goodwill payments in relation to the administration of the television licensing system are made by TV Licensing rather than the BBC. Information on the number of such payments is available only for the period since Capita took over the TV Licensing contract in July this year. From July to October 2002, TV Licensing made a total of 825 goodwill payments.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of her Department's role in facilitating and promoting the competitiveness of UK broadcast-related industries and the early take-up of digital broadcast services; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My Department continues to encourage the competitiveness of the UK broadcast-related industries through its wide-ranging support for the creative industries, working in partnership with all stakeholders within Government and the industry to examine ways of enhancing performance at home and overseas. As part of this work, in November 1999 DCMS published the report of the UK Television Exports Inquiry which specifically looked at how Government and the industry could work together to enhance export performance, to lower barriers to investment and to increase the international attractiveness of UK television programmes. DCMS continues to work with the industry and with Skillset in taking forward the recommendations of the Audio Visual Industries Training Group to meet future skills needs.
We are also promoting competitiveness through targets set for BBC commercial income and through the promotion of digital broadcasting, where the UK has maintained world leadership, with 40 per cent. of households having access to digital television across the platforms. We have approved new digital BBC services which enhance the digital proposition. With the Department of Trade and Industry, and in consultation with broadcasters, manufacturers and consumer representatives, we have published the Digital Television Action Plan. This sets out what needs to be done by whom and by when in order to meet the criteria for full switchover. We have also taken steps to encourage digital radio development by aligning the licence period for digital and analogue licences. The Communications Bill provides the framework for enhancing competitiveness further and extending the take-up of digital television.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proposals she has for a future regulatory system for broadcasting which recognises market and technological developments; and if she will make a statement. 
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Dr. Howells: On 19 November, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State introduced the Communications Bill, which will establish the new regulatory framework for broadcasting and the communications industries. This framework recognises, both within Ofcom's general duties and the detail of the regulatory provisions, the importance of competition, of investment and of innovation in delivering the dynamic market for communications services which we want to see in the United Kingdom. A dynamic, competitive market will encourage the development and take-up of new technologies, to the benefit of business, consumers and the UK economy. The proposals in the Bill also address the challenges of technological convergence, in providing for regulation by a single body and for a flexible regime capable of accommodating further change.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of levels of (a) standards and diversity of broadcasting output, (b) broadcasting content being socially inclusive and (c) access to broadcast material; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: It is the responsibility of the broadcasters and the broadcasting regulatory bodies, that is the BBC Governors, Independent Television Commission, Radio Authority and Broadcasting Standards Commission, to ensure that broadcasters meet their obligations for quality, diversity, social inclusion and accessibility, in accordance with the regulatory requirements agreed by Parliament. They report on these in their Annual Reports and, in establishing new regulatory requirements as set out in the Communications Bill, we have also had the benefit of wide-ranging consultation.
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