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4 Dec 2003 : Column 165W—continued

Meridian TV

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the Regulator on Meridian TV's intention of moving its Maidstone operations to Southampton. [141932]

Estelle Morris: This is an issue for the Independent Television Commission.

Nosterfield (Prehistoric Remains)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what representations she has received on the complex of prehistoric remains near

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Nosterfield in North Yorkshire, which include three large henges; and whether the henges are scheduled ancient monuments; [141444]

Mr. Caborn: A number of representations have been received both at DCMS and at English Heritage from a diverse range of organisations.

Most important megalithic monuments are scheduled as ancient monuments and as such are protected from uncontrolled disturbance by the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Additional protection is provided by the Government's Planning Policy Guidance on Archaeology and Planning (PPG 16).

The site is Scheduled as an Ancient Monument under the title of "Earth circles, cursus, pit alignments and burial sites near Nosterfield and Thornborough, including Centre Hill round barrow, Hambleton, North Yorkshire—County Monument No. 36".

English Heritage is concerned about the wider landscape setting of the henge monuments and is currently funding a project by Newcastle University to undertake extensive archaeological research in this area. My Officials are supporting English Heritage's firm opposition to any further gravel extraction in the vicinity of the scheduled site until the research is completed, and the archaeology is better understood.

Rugby League

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support the Government are offering to Rugby League in (a) St. Helens and (b) Merseyside. [141293]

Mr. Caborn: Since 1995, Rugby League in St. Helens has received one Community Capital award for changing rooms at Portico and Grange Park Junior Amateur RLFC of £8,720, one Safer Sports Ground award to St. Helens RLFC for £30,876 and over £39,200 in Awards for All grants for 10 projects.

In addition to this, Rugby League in Merseyside has received two Awards for All grants totalling £9,800.

Sports Expenditure

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how much per head of population has been spent by the Government on promoting and facilitating sport and physical activity in (a) 2001, (b) 2002 and (c) 2003; [140496]

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Mr. Caborn: The following table sets out the total government funding directly attributable for sport per capita in England.

Exchequer funding(£ million)Population totals (million)Exchequer funding per capita (£)

The Department for Culture Media and Sport's funding for sport and physical activity in 2000–01 was £39.8 million, in 2001–02 was £47.7 million and in 2002–03 was £103.5 million. These figures do not reflect the grant in aid funding which the Department provides to UK Sport.

The Department for Education and Skills investment in specialist sports colleges for 2000–01 was £9.5 million, in 2001–02 was £14.6 million and on 2002–03 was £23.4 million. However this funding is for the provision of sport and also contributes to raising standards across the curriculum.

The information for the Department of Health is not available. The amount spent by Primary Care Trusts on the promotion of physical activity from the devolved Department of Health budgets is not known centrally.

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.

Television Reception

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the proportion of the population of East Sussex who are able to receive (a) Channel 4 and (b) Channel 5 through terrestrial television. [140964]

Estelle Morris: Terrestrial coverage for Channel 4 and Five has not been calculated on the basis of county boundaries. However, coverage figures for the whole of the UK are 99.4 per cent. for Channel 4 and 80 per cent. for Five. In Sussex, neither of the main transmitters at Dover and Heathfield are able to transmit Five and coverage is therefore very limited.


Government Grant (Havering)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much central Government money the London Borough of Havering received per citizen in 2002–03. [141722]

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Phil Hope: The London Borough of Havering received £722.46 per head in central Government grant in 2002–03.

This includes the 2002–03 Revenue Support Grant (RSG) and Redistributed Business Rates (NNDR) distributed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and information on special and specific grants within AEF supplied by the London Borough of Havering to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on their Revenue Summary form (RS 2002/03).

The mid-2000 population estimates for Havering have then been used to work out the amount of grant per head. These population estimates were those used in the calculation of the 2002/03 RSG and NNDR.

Home Ownership Task Force

Martin Linton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when the Home Ownership Task Force will report on the range of programmes helping people into home ownership. [141311]

Keith Hill: The Home Ownership Task Force's report, "A Home of My Own", was published on 13 November 2003. Copies of the report and executive summary are available on the Housing Corporation's website at:

The Task Force looked at the whole range of programmes aimed at helping social tenants and others into home ownership and has put forward 45 recommendations to assist in the delivery of affordable housing to those on modest incomes. These include advising on new frameworks for a low cost home ownership programme, how to provide better information and advice and sustainable home ownership.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is taking forward four of the recommendations relating to the Right to Buy in the Housing Bill. We will be considering the other recommendations in more detail and responding in the New Year.

Learning and Skills Councils

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions his Department has held with the Department for Education and Skills on the possible transfer of responsibilities and funding from learning and skills councils to regional development agencies. [141255]

Jacqui Smith: I have been asked to reply.

Sponsorship of the Regional Development Agencies transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry in June 2001. The Department has had no discussions with the Department for Education and Skills on the possible transfer of responsibilities and funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). It is not the Government's intention to transfer responsibilities and funding from one body to another, as the approach set out in the Government's Skills Strategy published in July this year makes clear. Instead we have made it clear that we expect RDAs and local LSCs to work together.

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RDAs and local LSCs have been working together in a number of areas on regional skills pilots, which are looking at pooling and co-ordinating funding.

Further, as part of the Skills Strategy, the Government has asked RDAs and their partners to work up proposals for Regional Skills Partnerships which will enable RDAs, local LSCs, and other stakeholders with an interest in skills, to work more effectively together to deliver employment, skills and business support, and to improve flexibility and responsiveness to the skills needs of employers and individuals.

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