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18. Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on her policy regarding development of the arts as a means of regenerating deprived areas. 
Estelle Morris: The arts have an important part to play in regenerating areas of urban and rural deprivation. My Department is currently examining evidence of the contribution of the arts to regeneration, and we will publish a policy statement in the spring.
Estelle Morris: The Chancellor's commitment to consider the extension of fiscal support for the film industry through the tax system is very good news for the industry. It reinforces this Government's commitment to the development of a flourishing and sustainable film industry which brings with it huge cultural and economic benefits for the UK. Over the next few months, DCMS will be working closely with the industry and with the Treasury to identify the best means of delivering the support.
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Tessa Jowell: The Olympic bid company, London 2012 Ltd., is making excellent progress, working closely with the Government, the Mayor of London and the British Olympic Association. The reply to the International Olympic Committee's Applicant Questionnaire, which is the first stage of the bidding process, will be delivered on 15 January.
Estelle Morris: The Communications Act 2003 sets audio description targets for broadcasters. 10 per cent. of non-excluded programmes are to be audio described for the blind and partially sighted by the tenth anniversary of the start of the service. The Act extends this requirement to digital cable and satellite broadcasters for the first time.
At present, the widespread availability of audio description modules needed to receive the service has been delayed owing to technical, manufacturing and distribution difficulties. However, we understand from discussions with manufacturers that receivers compatible with audio description on the digital terrestrial platform have recently come onto the market. We hope this will increase the take-up of the audio description service.
Tessa Jowell: No estimate for the total cost for the BBC Charter review process is currently available. The final cost of the review will depend, among other factors, on the scale of the public's engagement with the process and on the issues that emerge from public consultation.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in each financial year since 200001. 
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(30) budgeted outturn
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total departmental budget was for each year since 1997; and what the projected figures are for the next five years. 
Mr. Caborn: Information on the departmental budget for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport from 199899 to 200506 is published in Volume 1 of the Departmental Report 2003, (CM 5920). Copies were laid before Parliament on 15 May 2003. Updated figures will be published in the spring.
|200304 to date||295.35|
Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of staff employed within her Department are over 55 years of age; and what (a) number and (b) percentage of staff recruited over the last 12 months are over 55 years of age. 
Mr. Caborn: The percentage of staff currently employed over 55 years of age is 5.8 per cent. The number of staff recruited over the last 12 months over 55 years of age is 4 which represents 4.2 per cent. of staff recruited.
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Mr. Caborn: In DCMS travel and subsistence administration is contracted out and there is no electronic record maintained regarding mode of travel. To provide this information would involve a manual check of each travel and subsistence claim, which could only be undertaken at disproportionate costs.
Mr. Caborn: In DCMS travel and subsistence administration is contracted out and there is no electronic record maintained regarding mode of travel. To provide this information would involve a manual check of each travel and subsistence claim, which could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.
Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what information she has collated about the take-up of digital television broadcasting in (a) Dudley North, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and if she will make a statement. 
Estelle Morris: Take-up statistics are not presently collected for these areas. The ITC produces quarterly reports on take-up for the UK. Their most recent report stated that 45.5 per cent. of the UK had digital television as of 30 June 2003. OFCOM will now produce these reports.
Estelle Morris: The criteria set for switchover are that: everyone who can currently get the main public service broadcasting channels in analogue form must be able to receive them on digital systems; switching to digital is an affordable option for the vast majority of people; and as a target indicator of affordability, 95 per cent. of consumers must have access to digital equipment. The objective of the Digital Television Action Plan Project is to ensure these criteria are met so that we can, if we choose, take the decision to proceed to full switchover by ordering the switching off by 2010 of analogue terrestrial transmissions.
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Estelle Morris: Since digital television services were first launched in 1998, nearly 50 per cent. of households have switched at least one set to receive digital television broadcasts. The Government are working closely with broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers, consumer groups and other stakeholders through the Digital Television Action Plan to determine a firm timetable for digital switchover.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will estimate (a) the number of households that have access to digital television, (b) the total number of television sets in use and (c) the proportion of television sets in use that have access to digital services. 
(c) Indications are that around 30 per cent. of all televisions are converted to digital television, but no assessment has been made as to how many of those not yet converted are in use as a monitor (e.g. with a games console, VCR, DVD player) and not to receive broadcasts.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which organisations have paid for the conversion of analogue transmitters; and how much each has spent in the last 10 years. 
Estelle Morris: The transmission companies ntl and Crown Castle (who own the transmitter sites and provide transmission services to the broadcasters) have paid for the development of the current network of digital terrestrial transmitters around the UK. The digital multiplex operators (BBC, Digital 3 and 4, SDN and Crown Castle) pay these operators an annual fee for the use of these facilities. The exact amount paid both to develop the network and in broadcasters fees are commercially confidential.
|June 2003||11,286,961||ITC Multichannel Quarterly|
|December 2002||10,232,829||ITC Multichannel Quarterly|
(31) Figures up to December 2002 are estimates from information on subscriber figures from platform operators to give an indication of the take up figures of digital pay television for different platforms, and from sales of terrestrial non-subscription reception equipment.
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