|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
6 Jan 2004 : Column 304Wcontinued
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent advice he has given to (a) diocesan boards of education and (b) local
6 Jan 2004 : Column 305W
education authorities, regarding the budget for capital works available to voluntary aided schools in 2004/05; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 18 December 2003]: Officials will shortly be writing to all dioceses and local education authorities to confirm to them that final allocations of formulaic allocations for voluntary aided schools will take place in February 2004. Major allocations of capital grant from the Department's Targeted Capital Fund will be announced in January 2004 in the usual way.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action is being taken to promote and support youth and schools councils in the North East; and how many (a) exist and (b) receive departmental support. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: We encourage Connexions Partnerships and local authority Youth Services in all regions to promote the involvement of young people in local decision-making. We are aware of 15 youth councils in the North East. All receive indirect government support through Connexions Partnerships and Youth Services. Some Connexions Partnerships in the region are funding joint events with youth councils and one has dedicated £5,000 for the development of youth councils in three Districts. Youth Services are using some of their Transforming Youth Work Development Fund allocation to support the setting up of youth councils.
The Citizenship programme of study encourages the active participation of young people in the democratic life of their school and the wider community. We do not keep records of the number of school councils by region and such information could not be obtained in the time available without placing an undue burden on schools. Many schools that have councils have found them to be effective ways of involving their pupils directly in decision-making. The Department has funded School Councils UK to produce primary and secondary school toolkits to enable teachers and students to set up effective structures for pupil participation.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in her Department are working solely on the BBC Charter review process. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 5 January 2004]: The Department will have a core team of five people working solely on Charter review. However there are many others in DCMS and other Government Departments contributing significant amounts of their time to what is a complex, crosscutting programme of work.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure that the BBC meets its requirements with regard to the independent productions quotas. 
6 Jan 2004 : Column 306W
Estelle Morris: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently agreed amendments to the formal Agreement with the BBC to enable OFCOM to enforce the quotas from 29 December 2003, with the power to impose fines on the Corporation for failing to meet the quotas or require any deficit to be made up in the subsequent year or years.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the BBC about the BBC Charter review process; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: My Department maintains regular contact with the BBC with frequent discussions on a wide range of issues including Charter review process.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what targets the Department must meet in relation to the employment of people with disabilities; and if she will make a statement on her Department's progress in meeting these targets. 
Mr. Caborn: The Department has set aspirational targets for the representation of people with disabilities.
|Target (%)||Actual (%)|
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has set a target to have 5 per cent. of posts filled by people with disabilities by March 2005. Data on disability are collected on the basis of voluntary self-classification. There are currently no staff filling senior post who have declared a disability. At other grades, the percentage of staff declaring a disability has increased from 2.0 per cent. to 2.8 per cent. over the last 12 months.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in her Department. 
Mr. Caborn: The Department collects data on disability on a voluntary self-declaration basis. There are currently no members of the Department's senor civil service declaring a disability.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent by her Department on mobile phone calls (a) in the last year and (b) since 1997. 
Mr. Caborn: The cost to my Department of mobile phones supplied to ministers and officials was £25,500 in 200001, £21,000 in 200102, £29,000 in 200203 and £30,000 as of the start of January this year. It is not possible to provide figures prior to 2000 save at disproportionate cost.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the Government's policy on the Elgin Marbles. 
6 Jan 2004 : Column 307W
Estelle Morris: The Government have stated that it considers the Parthenon Sculptures to be a matter for the Trustees of the British Museum, who are independent of government.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has received from (a) broadcasters, (b) food manufacturers, (c) advertisers and (d) pressure groups about the regulation of food advertising to children. 
Estelle Morris: In May 2003 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport met representatives of several public health promotion organisations to discuss the regulation of broadcast food advertising to children and has also received correspondence from similar organisations. She also met representatives of the Advertising Association on 16 December about this issue. In addition, Ministers have received correspondence from the commercial broadcasting sector on this matter. The Secretary of State has not received any formal representations from the food and drink industry about the regulation of food advertising to children but is aware of the industry's views.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment the Government has made of whether food advertising contributes to child obesity. 
Estelle Morris: The Department has a responsibility only in relation to broadcast advertising. It has made no separate assessment of the impact of food advertising on childhood obesity but will continue to participate in the Food Standards Agency's consultation on its recent review of the promotion of foods to children.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has also asked Ofcom to examine the adequacy of its codes regulating the content of broadcast advertising of food to children and Ofcom has indicated that it will make its own assessment of the evidence.
The impact of food promotion must be considered in the context of the wide range of factors which may have an influence on the increase in childhood obesity, which the Government are addressing through a number of cross-departmental initiatives.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the Government's policy is on the repatriation of human remains. 
Estelle Morris: The Government have recently published the Human Tissue Bill, which includes a clause giving certain national museums a power to move human remains out of their collection, where they wish to do so.
This will implement the principal recommendation of the Working Group on Human remains. I shall be issuing a consultation document on the rest of the recommendations of the Working Group early in the
6 Jan 2004 : Column 308W
new year. The results of that consultation will inform the Government's wider response to the Working Group Report.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list information technology contracts in her Department and its predecessors with a value of above £20 million in each of the last 10 years; what the inception date for each system was; when it became fully functional; when it became fully debugged; and what the cost of overruns has been. 
Mr. Caborn: My Department has never had an information technology contract to the value of £20 million since its creation in 1992.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|