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4 Dec 2003 : Column 162W—continued

Shipping

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to protect the shipping industry from terrorist attack. [140667]

Mr. Jamieson: Maritime issues continue to be high on the Government's security agenda. Mandatory maritime security requirements were first introduced under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, and the industry has been subject to security regulation since then. Inspectors carry out monitoring and compliance inspections, both in the UK and overseas, to ensure that security measures are properly implemented.

Following the events of 11 September 2001 all transport security programmes were reviewed and enhanced and they are kept under continuous review in light of the prevailing threat. While we can never be complacent, we believe that the core policies, baseline measures and the current levels of security required are appropriate to the current situation. For obvious reasons, it is not our practice to detail the required security measures.

The national regime will be augmented next year with the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) global maritime security regime. The security assessments and security plans that are required by the IMO's International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) are designed to identify and address existing vulnerabilities.

The UK's existing maritime security regime, the ISPS Code requirements and a forthcoming EU Regulation are being drawn together to form the basis of a new National Maritime Security Programme. This programme will include both mandatory security measures and industry best practice guidelines and will provide a consistent, holistic approach to further enhance the security of the maritime sector.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Answer of 1 December 2003, Official Report, column 7W, on shipping, which flags are flown by the ships that use the tonnage tax scheme but do not fly the red ensign; and what requirements these ships are required to meet to qualify for this tax scheme. [142405]

Mr. Jamieson: The following flags, other than Red Ensign, have ships in tonnage tax:


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To qualify for the tonnage tax scheme ships must be seagoing, at least 100 gross tons, and used for:


They must also be operated by companies within corporation tax that are "strategically and commercially" managed in the UK.

Single-hulled Tankers

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to provide compensation to ship owners phasing out single-hulled tankers. [140665]

Mr. Jamieson: None.

Speeding

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers were disqualified from driving as a consequence of accumulation of points on their driving licence for speeding in (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002. [141464]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

Information collected centrally on the Home Office Court Proceedings database does not separately identify the individual motoring offence by which a driver is disqualified as a result of "totting up" of points on their driving licence under s.35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Broadcasting (Children)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what measures her Department has put in place to safeguard children's radio; and if she will make a statement; [141406]

Estelle Morris: The licensing of commercial radio services is a matter for the Radio Authority and, from 29 December, Ofcom. This Department has therefore had no discussions about establishing a designated children's radio channel. The authority as already licensed a number of digital radio services for children and one of the community radio pilot services is a children's service. In the case of the BBC, Charter Review will provide the occasion for an examination of all aspects of the Corporation's activities, including its role in relation to children and young people.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has held with Ofcom on the (a) rights and (b) needs of children in broadcasting. [141408]

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Estelle Morris: Ofcom is due to assume the majority of its regulatory functions only on 29 December. To date, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to the Chairman of Ofcom asking him to consider proposals for strengthening the existing code on advertising food to children and to inform her of Ofcom's plans to promote greater media literacy among children.

Digital Television

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether BBC Freeview digital television transmitted from English transmission sites to Wales will automatically carry Welsh regional channels. [140816]

Estelle Morris: Digital Terrestrial signals from English sites do not carry Welsh regional channels at present. The BBC broadcasts Welsh regional variations to all parts of the UK on digital satellite.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many digital television transmitters are operating in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland; and how many people have access to digital television (i) in the UK and (ii) in Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. [141505]

Estelle Morris: There are 80 Digital transmitters serving the UK as a whole. In Leicestershire, there is one digital transmitter in Waltham, serving much of the central, north and east of the county. Some parts of the west of the county are also served by signals from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter.

In the UK, 98 per cent. of households have access to digital television by one platform or another and this figure is representative of the coverage in Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. The Independent Television Commission are not able to provide area-by-area figures of total digital coverage.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans has she to increase free access to digital television in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. [141506]

Estelle Morris: The Government are committed to ensuring that everyone who can currently receive analogue television signals will be able to receive them digitally after switchover. A Digital Television Action plan has been produced jointly with broadcasters and other stakeholders. This sets out a series of specific actions for Government and the stakeholders collectively to work towards to achieve the switchover criteria.

According to the Independent Television Commission (ITC), around 73.1 per cent. of households are currently able to receive all of the free-to-view channels available on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network. Broadcasters are committed to increasing DTT coverage, but cannot do so until digital switchover.

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Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of pensioners over 75 who will be charged for the new viewing card. [141914]

Estelle Morris: This information is not available as these figures are not currently collected.

Legislation

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pages of (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation her Department put through Parliament in 2002–03. [141125]

Mr. Caborn: The information is as follows:

(a) My Department sponsored two Bills (one jointly with the Department of Trade and Industry) during the 2002–03 session, which made a total of 765 pages once enacted. (This answer excludes Private Members' Bills.)

(b) In the case of secondary legislation, my Department was responsible, during the 2002–03 session, for the making of 13 General Statutory Instruments, which would have been considered by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. These instruments made a total of 33 pages.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation sponsored by her Department in 2002–03 was to implement EU requirements. [141172]

Mr. Caborn: The information is as follows:

(a) As regards primary legislation sponsored by my Department during the 2002–03 session, none of the provisions for which my Department was responsible implemented EU requirements. This answer excludes the provisions in the Communications Act which were the responsibility of the Department of Trade and Industry. It also excludes provisions in that Act which were the responsibility of my Department, but which re-enacted previous provisions implementing EC requirements.

(b) As regards secondary legislation for which my Department was responsible during the 2002–03 session, one statutory instrument of four pages implemented EC requirements. This equated roughly to 12 per cent. of the secondary legislation which my Department was responsible for making during the period (calculated by reference to the total number of pages of such secondary legislation).


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