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8 Dec 2003 : Column 262W—continued


Licensing Act

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will meet representatives of the licensed trade to discuss fee rates following Royal Assent of the Licensing Act 2003. [141792]

Mr. Caborn: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, and I have met representatives of the licensed trade on many occasions to discuss fee levels to be prescribed under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 and my officials have also been discussing fees with industry representatives since April 2000. We hope to announce shortly the fees that the Secretary of State intends to prescribe under the 2003 Act.

Preventive Health Strategies

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much per head of population has been spent by her Department on preventive health strategies in (a) 2001, (b) 2002 and (c) 2003. [140500]

Mr. Caborn: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Under-secretary of State for Health, Melanie Johnson on 4 December 2003, Official Report, column 182W.

Television Licence

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how much has been spent in each of the last 10 years monitoring and investigating households believed to be avoiding television licence payment; [141736]

Estelle Morris [holding answer 4 December 2003]: The BBC, as Licensing Authority, has indicated that the cost of monitoring and investigating households believed to be evading payment of the television licence fee is not recorded separately from other costs relating to the collection of the licence fee. Total licence fee collection costs for each of the years from 1993–94 to 2002–03 were:

£ million


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There are no formal estimates of future collection costs, but the BBC has indicated that it aims to reduce the cost of collection while continuing to reduce the level of evasion.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people have been successfully prosecuted in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK for failure to own television licences in each of the last 10 years. [141738]

Estelle Morris: The available information for England, Wales and Scotland relates to all offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts of 1949 and 1967, though the great majority of these involve licence fee evasion. Figures for Northern Ireland, provided by TV Licensing, are available only from 1998 onwards and relate specifically to unlicensed use of a television receiver. The number of convictions recorded in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years for which information is available was:

Number of convictions

YearScotlandUnited Kingdom

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost of a television licence was in each financial year since 1996–97. [142271]

Estelle Morris: The television licence fees for each year since 1996–97 were as folows.

YearBlack and white licence feeColour licence fee

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 unable to receive BBC Freeview services. [140963]

Estelle Morris: We understand from the BBC that according to figures calculated in March this year, 76.6 per cent. of East Sussex households are currently unable to receive BBC Freeview services, although this figure does not include Brighton or Hove. Further details are available from the BBC's Freeview website at

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Strangford Lough (Mussels)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Environment and Heritage Service report, The Status of Strangford Lough Modiolus Communities will be published. [142023]

Angela Smith: This report is an interim report by Queen's University of Belfast (QUB) under contract to the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) of the Department of the Environment.

It is part of a wider investigation into the ecological status of Strangford Lough. The report will set out the results of a diving survey of Strangford Lough undertaken in summer 2003.

The report is not yet finalised but it is expected to be published shortly on the EHS internet site ( A copy will be placed in the Library.

Animal Transport

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many horses and ponies have been exported from Northern Ireland in each of the last five years to (a) Great Britain and (b) other European destinations. [141614]

Mr. Pearson: Statistics on the export of horses and ponies to Great Britain are not collected as these animals move freely without any form of certification being required. The European Commission contracts a private company, Eurokom, to collect information on movements of live animals between Member States. They have supplied the following figures for the export of horses from Northern Ireland to European countries other than France and the Republic of Ireland.


Under a tripartite agreement between the UK, Ireland and France no health certification is normally required for movements of horses between these three countries and hence these figures do not include animals which were destined for Ireland and France.

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to implement new EU rules on animal transport; and if he will make a statement on the protection of the welfare of horses, ponies and other animals during transportation and related operations from Northern Ireland to (a) Great Britain and (b) other European destinations. [141615]

Mr. Pearson: The Government welcome the publication of the Commission's proposals for new rules on the welfare of animals during transport, but would stress that these proposals are still at the negotiating stage. Whatever rules are adopted will be implemented in Northern Ireland in parallel with implementation in GB.

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For journeys of less than 50 Kilometres within Northern Ireland no certification is necessary. For a journey over 50 Kilometres but under eight hours duration (whether or not involving export from Northern Ireland), horses, ponies and other animals must have a self-certified Animal Transport Certificate, which is issued by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development under the Welfare of Animals Transport Order. No advance notification of such journeys is required. However, the haulier must be in a position to produce the required documentation on demand.

For journeys over eight hours, transporters must submit a Route Plan in advance of any journey, setting out details of the proposed journey, rest periods etc. Officials check that the haulier is authorised, that the proposed journey times are within the maximum allowable for the species and that all necessary breaks for rest, watering and feeding are included. If assembly centres or staging points are included in the planned journey, staff check that these are EU approved premises. The use of staging points also requires the haulier to provide a statement to the effect that the necessary health requirements will be met there and that the animals are booked into the premises on the dates specified on the Route Plan.

DARD veterinary staff at the ports and airports inspect the animals to ensure that they are fit for their intended journey, that they meet the health requirements of transit and destination countries and that their means of transport and stocking density are compatible with domestic animal welfare legislation and EU requirements.

It is only when DARD is satisfied that all these checks have been satisfactorily completed that the animals would be allowed to start their journey.

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