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14 Jan 2004 : Column 770W—continued


Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the merger between the British Tourism Authority and the English Tourist Council. [147249]

Mr. Caborn: On 31 October 2002, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a radical reform of tourism support in Britain aimed at building stronger, more effective and more coherent arrangements through the creation of a single lead body focusing on marketing. Functions of the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourism Council were merged on 1 April 2003 to form VisitBritain, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State appointed Sir Michael Lickiss as Chairman.

VisitBritain restructured its overseas operations during 2003. In addition to promoting Britain overseas as a tourist destination, VisitBritain is taking forward its new role as lead body for the domestic marketing of England. The England Marketing Advisory Board (EMAB), chaired by Hugh Taylor, was established on 1 April 2003 to advise the Board of VisitBritain on domestic marketing, and its domestic marketing strategy was published in November 2003. With EMAB's support, VisitBritain has launched a series of domestic 'Enjoy England' campaigns.

The merger enables VisitBritain to use in the domestic market its expertise in marketing Britain internationally, developing more effective partnerships with private investors to support tourism across Britain and building on the success of the Million Visitor Campaign. It brings economies in terms of overheads and central services and it creates opportunities for private industry and the regions to take a stronger leadership role in setting the marketing agenda.

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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how the tourism satellite accounts will be of assistance to the tourism industry. [147254]

Mr. Caborn: Tourism satellite accounts will deliver both improved and more extensive information on the economic value of the tourism sector. Tourism satellite accounts will facilitate the production of much improved estimates of quantities such as value added and employment in the tourism industry, and its linkages with the wider economy.

The tourism industry will benefit directly from this enhanced source of information to assist their business planning and decision-making, and indirectly from decisions taken by public bodies that are informed by this new substantial information source.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which bodies will be consulted on the implementation of the tourism satellite accounts. [147255]

Mr. Caborn: The management group of the UK Tourism Satellite Account First Steps Project are currently considering a draft consultation plan.

This proposes a list of consultees which includes the Office for National Statistics as well as the following groups of organisations: devolved administrations, international organisations, regional development agencies, tourist boards, and the tourism industry through trade associations.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the estimated cost of implementing the tourism satellite accounts is; [147256]

Mr. Caborn: The cost of the UK Tourism Satellite Account First Steps project, which has just begun, will be £75,000.

As well as providing provisional figures for the main parts of a tourism satellite account, the project will deliver a report describing further work and data collection that would be required to subsequently develop a full tourism satellite account. This will also give an estimate of the costs that this would incur and the expected time-scale. This phase of the work will be completed by early autumn 2004.



Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister for Women what efforts are being made to prevent suicides among the female prison population. [147104]

Ms Hewitt: Reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths and instances of self-harm in prison establishments is a ministerial and Prison Service priority. A proactive three-year programme to develop policies and practices to reduce prisoner suicide and manage self-harm in prisons commenced in April 2001. The main principles of the strategy apply across all types

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of prisons and prisoners whether male or female. An investment of over £21 million through the three-year programme is allowing physical improvements (now 75 per cent. complete) to be made at six 'Safer Local' pilot sites, one of which is the women's prison and YOI Eastwood Park.

The learning resulting from this programme will benefit all prisoners; meanwhile, women prisoners are to benefit from a specifically targeted and separate suicide prevention and self-harm management strategy being developed for them. This builds upon a number of interventions including: internal improvements in handling population pressures; individual crisis counselling for women prisoners who self-harm; the continued development and evaluation of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, which is currently being trialled at Durham, Bullwood Hall and Holloway prisons; investment and planning to ensure progress on the detoxification strategy in the Women's Estate; the development (in collaboration with the University of Newcastle) of a new, three-stage screening process to more effectively detect mental health problems; and the introduction of a new training pack for all staff working with women in custody, which includes a module on the health and well being of women prisoners. £1 million from the Department of Health has been allocated to the Women's Estate to be spent on the recruitment of psychiatric nurses, and 11 out of the 17 prisons for women now have mental health in-reach facilities.

Brockhill, Eastwood Park, Holloway, New Hall and Styal prisons were among the first establishments to have full-time, dedicated Suicide Prevention Coordinators (SPCs); and now all women's prisons have a designated full or part-time SPC. All women's establishments also deliver suicide awareness training to staff and it is an inherent part of all employees' jobs to observe and report behaviour that may indicate a tendency to self-harm.


Brighton and Hove Albion

Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 8 December, Official Report, column 342W, on Brighton and Hove Albion, if he will list the hon. Members with whom (a) he and (b) other ministers have discussed this issue. [143943]

Yvette Cooper: Neither the Deputy Prime Minister, nor any other Minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, has discussed the proposals for a football stadium at Palmer, East Sussex with other hon. Members.

Departmental Relocation

Ms Walley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff in his Department work in (a) the West Midlands and (b) North Staffordshire. [146912]

Yvette Cooper: The number of permanent and casual staff employed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in (a) West Midlands is 140 and (b) Staffordshire as a whole is 41

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Joan Walley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what plans he has to establish procedures for assessing the impact of possible re-location of staff in his Department to the regions; and if he will make a statement; [146927]

Yvette Cooper: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Boateng) on 12 January 2004.

Education Funding

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Cabinet Office's strategy and delivery units on changes in the way money is allocated to schools and the impact this would have on the system of local government financial support. [147149]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, South (Mr. Alexander) on 12 January 2004, Official Report, column 554W.

Fire Service (Radio System)

Mr. Caton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how the Government will ensure that usable spectrum is available to bidders competing to provide a service wide radio replacement scheme for the fire service. [147807]

Mr. Raynsford: In their response to the Invitation to Submit Proposals documentation suppliers have indicated that spectrum is available which is sufficient to meet the needs of their proposed solutions.

Mr. Caton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the national competition for a service-wide radio replacement scheme for the fire service. [147808]

Mr. Raynsford: The competition for a national radio system for the Fire and Rescue Services is progressing to plan, with competition scheduled for December 2007.

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