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10 Jun 2003 : Column 758W—continued

Sports Funding

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding the Government has given to sport in each of the last five years, excluding lottery money. [116999]

Mr. Caborn: The funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport directly to sport and the Capital Modernisation Funding on Space for Sports and Arts is shown in the following table.


Space for Sports and Arts1357950,460

(12) Outturn

(13) Plans

In addition to this the Department for Education and Skills has been investing the following resources into specialist sports colleges:


Specialist Sports Colleges3,6844,8229,52714,64123,500

(14) Outturn

(15) Plans

Sport also receives significant funding from Central Government mainly through local government block grant, as noted in 'Game Plan: a strategy for delivering the Government's sport and physical activity objectives', a joint Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Strategy Unit Report published in December 2002, page 33. This spending is not centrally recorded on a consistent basis, but 'Game Plan' suggested that in 1999–2000 £1,015 million was spent on sport and physical activity by local government as part of their block grant.


Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what evaluation she has made of the practicability of establishing a regulatory regime and targets for closed caption television subtitling; and if she will make a statement. [117348]

Dr. Howells: A regulatory regime and targets for subtitling on analogue television were established in the 1990 Broadcasting Act. Further requirements were introduced in the 1996 Broadcasting Act, including subtitling on digital terrestrial television (DTT) services. The Communications Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament, will extend the requirements for DTT services to digital cable and digital satellite services for the first time.

Television Licences

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many times, and at what frequency, it is the policy of TV Licensing to send letters to a property for which no TV licence is recorded where such letters go unanswered; [117378]

Dr. Howells: TV Licensing carries out the administration of the television licensing system as agent for the BBC, which has statutory responsibility for administering the licensing requirements. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is not involved in policy decisions relating to the day-to-day management of the system, nor does it hold information of the kind requested. I have therefore asked the BBC's Head of Revenue Management to consider the questions raised by the hon. Member and to write to him direct, placing a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

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Mine Water Discharges

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken since May 2001 to prevent the discharges of mine water from abandoned mines. [117484]

Mr. Wilson: Following its establishment in 1994, the Coal Authority, enabled by grant in-aid funding from DTI, has pursued a programme to treat and prevent water discharges from abandoned coal mines. 20 schemes are now in operation, of which four are preventive schemes.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations she has received concerning the prevention of discharges of mine water from abandoned mines in England and Wales. [117485]

Mr. Wilson: I have received no recent representations on this subject.

English Garages

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many rural filling stations and garages there were in England in 1992; how many there are now; and if she will make a statement. [117519]

Mr. Wilson: Historical and current data on rural filling stations numbers is not collected.

However, as part of my Downstream Oil Industry Forum initiative I have set up a rural task force, which is currently developing a working definition of a rural filling station in order that numbers can be determined, and appropriate measures agreed.

Fossil Fuels

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate the Government have made of the global economically recoverable reserves of fossil fuels. [117830]

Mr. Wilson: Estimates of economically recoverable reserves of fossil fuels are inevitably uncertain since they depend on energy prices, technical and economic progress and the extent of yet-to-find reserves. With that caveat, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published reserves estimates in their World Energy Outlook 2002 publication. The IEA estimated that proven global reserves (discovered and expected to economically producible) of conventional crude oil and natural gas liquids are 959 billion barrels. In addition, the IEA estimated undiscovered resources (thought to exist and expected to become economically recoverable) of conventional crude oil and natural gas liquids to be 939 billion barrels and recoverable non-conventional reserves, such as oil shales, to be 580 billion barrels. Based on US Geological Survey data, the World Energy Outlook notes that remaining gas resources, including proven reserves, reserve growth (defined as the increase in known volumes that commonly occur as gas fields are developed and produced) and undiscovered resources,

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were estimated to be 386 trillion cubic metres. The IEA also estimate economically recoverable coal reserves to be close to one trillion tonnes.

Gas Order

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will publish the letter of 1 April 1999 between Ofgem and Transco concerning the Gas Order. [116994]

Mr. Wilson: I am advised by Ofgem that the letter in question is already available to view on Ofgem's public register.

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what Ofgem employees are authorised to sign documents altering the terms of the Gas Order. [116996]

Mr. Wilson: The authority may delegate authority to any Ofgem employee to sign documents.

Miners' Pension Funds

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with the trustees of the miners' pension funds. [118026]

Mr. Wilson: I have had no recent discussions with the trustees of the miners pension funds.

Sustainable Development

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what remit relating to sustainable development is required by her Department's (a) executive agencies, (b) advisory non-departmental bodies, (c) executive non-departmental bodies, (d) tribunals, (e) public corporations and (f) other bodies. [116671]

Mr. Wilson: The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate and the targets and reporting requirements it contains applies to DTI's Executive Agencies; Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) and other associate bodies are outside its scope.

The Cabinet Office guide, "NDPBs: A Guide for Departments", makes clear that associate bodies should consider their role in helping the UK move towards sustainable development. The Government are committed to keeping under review progress in adding sustainable development as an objective for existing associate bodies and to assess whether sustainable development should be included in the remit of all new public bodies.

Accreditation Service

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the complaint by the Chinese authorities in 2002 about the conduct of UK Accreditation Service accredited certification bodies operating in that country; and what steps UKAS took to allay those concerns. [116754]

Nigel Griffiths: Since no formal complaint has been received by the Government this is a matter for UKAS. However, I understand that in April 2002, the Chinese

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authorities expressed their concerns through the International Accreditation Forum about the activities of a number of overseas certification bodies operating in China. Five of the 11 bodies investigated by the Chinese authorities were accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). UKAS took immediate and robust action by imposing a moratorium on new accreditations for certification carried out outside of the United Kingdom whilst it carried out its own investigation into the activities of the named UKAS-accredited certification bodies. The Government support this approach.

The moratorium was subsequently lifted on 31 July 2002. UKAS found that those UKAS-accredited bodies that were the subject of the Chinese concerns had been operating through agents and that there were some weaknesses, at the UK headquarter offices, in the control of these agents which needed to be addressed. There were though no indications that such deficiencies in procedures applied in the case of other accredited certification bodies. However, in recognition that the certification sector had become more international in nature, UKAS implemented further changes in the way that it assesses certification bodies. These changes require certification bodies to: submit full details of all agency/sub-contracting, etc. arrangements that they have in place; declare all the locations where critical activities are carried out; and list all the countries where UKAS-accredited certificates have been issued. UKAS itself has also made some changes to its internal procedures as a result of its investigation into the Chinese concerns.

We consider that UKAS acted positively and expeditiously in this case and that the changes implemented by UKAS were necessary and sufficient to safeguard the credibility of the accreditation process.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the results of the Accreditation Awareness Campaign run by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service from November 2000 to December 2002. [116755]

Nigel Griffiths: The United Kingdom Accreditation Service's (UKAS) Accreditation Awareness Campaign was launched by my noble friend, Lord Sainsbury, on 27 November 2000. Initially expected to last for 18 months, the campaign continues because of the recognition that awareness in this area can only be achieved via the regular flow of information to the market. The Government fully support the campaign and contribute towards some of its costs.

The campaign is in two parts, one aimed at raising awareness within government and the other aimed at business (particularly small businesses) so that, within government, potential customers (scheme/standard developers, etc.) of UKAS can make informed choices about their accreditation needs, and businesses can recognise the value of accreditation to the competitiveness of their companies and to risk management.

The campaign has been largely successful to date although UKAS has had more success delivering its message to various parts of government than it has to business. Nevertheless, UKAS is determined to make further progress raising the awareness of their services

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with business and is developing its current strategy to make the business element of the campaign more successful.

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