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19 May 2004 : Column 1067W—continued

Trafficked Children

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) advice and (b) information he has issued to local authorities about the use of the trafficked children's resource operated by Integrated Care. [173796]

Margaret Hodge: I am aware that a new independent safehouse, run by Integrated Care Ltd., opened in April 2004. I understand it is open to referrals from local authorities throughout the UK. We have not issued any guidance about this resource.

It is for local authorities to decide how best to provide support and services for children in need in its area, including those who are the victims of trafficking. When a child enters the country alone and claims asylum or there are concerns that he or she may have been trafficked, the immigration service should immediately refer the child to the relevant local authority's social services department. The social services department will undertake a needs assessment and will provide services in the light of the outcome of that assessment. These services should be tailored to the individual needs of the child, just as they should be for any child in need.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Children's Diet

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her assessment of the effect of food promotion on children's health takes into account the (a) quantity, (b) frequency and (c) scheduling of food and drink advertisements in addition to their content. [173745]

Estelle Morris: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has a responsibility only in relation to broadcast advertising. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has made no separate assessment of the effect of food promotion on children's health but the Department continues to participate in the consultation being undertaken by the Food Standards Agency on the possible impact of broadcast advertising on childhood obesity.

The Secretary of State has also asked Ofcom to examine the adequacy of its codes regulating broadcast advertising of food to children and Ofcom has indicated that it will make its own assessment of the evidence.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has accepted the conclusions of the Food Standards Agency research, "Does Food Promotion Influence Children? A Systematic Review of the Evidence", conducted by the University of Strathclyde. [173801]


 
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Estelle Morris: The University of Strathclyde review was prepared for the Food Standards Agency (FSA). It is an important contribution to the debate and has therefore informed the FSA's development of its recommendations to Government and others about the promotion of food to children, on which the FSA is currently consulting. It is those recommendations which will be considered by Government and other stakeholders in the context of our commitment to reduce levels of obesity.

Local Authority Leisure Facilities

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has had with representatives of the private sector on the contribution it can make to investing in local authority leisure facilities. [174055]

Mr. Caborn: The Department continues to explore ways to increase investment in our sports facilities working with partners in the voluntary, public and private sectors.

One of the key routes for DCMS to invest in the delivery of local authority leisure facilities is through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). This is one of a range of Government policies designed to increase private sector involvement in the provision of public services. DCMS is currently supporting 21 local authority PFI projects nationwide, 12 of which include the provision of new or refurbished sports and leisure facilities.

DCMS has participated in various cross-government initiatives aimed at informing both the public and private sector about the PFI process. However, DCMS does not directly enter into discussions with the private sector on individual PFI projects since it is a matter for local authorities to negotiate the specific terms by which they might contribute to the provision of their leisure facilities.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her Department's assessment is of the impact of trusts on provision of local authority leisure facilities; and if she will make a statement. [174058]

Mr. Caborn: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not made a formal assessment of the impact of trusts on the provision of local authority leisure facilities. The Department is, however, aware that there are a significant number of trusts operating sports and leisure facilities in partnership with local authorities and will monitor their development.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her Department's policy is on ensuring that operators of public sector leisure facilities which have been contracted out invest in the long-term future of the facility. [174059]

Mr. Caborn: Whilst the provision of public leisure facilities is not a statutory duty, local authorities do have a duty to ensure that public services are responsive to the needs of their citizens, efficient and of high quality. Under the Local Government Acts (1999 and 2000) all services purchased or provided by local authorities are subject to the duty of best value which
 
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requires them to improve services year on year. Depending on the length of the contract, this would include long-term investments.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what standards the Government set for the acceptable standard of sports and leisure facilities offered by a local authority. [174060]

Mr. Caborn: The provision of sports and leisure facilities is not a statutory duty for local authorities and therefore there are no mandatory standards. However, my Department and its non-departmental public bodies offer extensive and detailed advice on standards; for instance, Sport England offers guidance notes, technical advice and standards for the design and development of sports facilities and Quest, a national quality accreditation scheme for sports facilities and sports development. By December 2003, 430 sports and leisure facilities had achieved a pass or higher in the Quest facility management scheme. The Department is also working with Sport England and other partners to develop "Towards an Excellent Service", a performance management framework for sport.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the cost of bringing local authority leisure facilities up to what Sport England considers (a) a good and (b) an acceptable standard. [174061]

Mr. Caborn: The most comprehensive picture of the condition of the existing stock of public sector sports facilities available to the Department is Sport England's report "Condition and Refurbishment of Public Sector Sports Facilities", published January 2003. The report estimates that it would cost £550 million over five years to bring sports centres owned by local authorities in England up to a safe and acceptable standard. The capital cost of maintaining the stock thereafter is estimated at between £144 million and £151 million per annum. These costs are at mid-2002 prices and exclude VAT.

New Opportunities Fund

Albert Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money from the New Opportunities Fund was allocated to Ynys Môn in each year since 1997. [174071]

Estelle Morris: The New Opportunities Fund began making grants in 1999. The awards to Ynys Môn are shown in the table.
Financial YearAmount (£)
1999–20000
2000–0134,336
2001–02616,125
2002–03137,704
2003–04295,923

The information is freely available from the Department's searchable Lottery award database at: www.lottery.culture.gsi.gov.uk which uses information supplied by the Lottery distributors.
 
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Physical Activity

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has had with the private sector on the contribution it can make to raising participation in sport and physical activity to 70 per cent. [174056]

Mr. Caborn: The Department has had a number of discussions with the private, public and voluntary sectors on the role they can play in increasing participation in sport and physical activity across the population. The Government are also keen to engage employers, including the private sector, in encouraging physical activity in the workplace.

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of the target increase in participation in sport and physical activity between now and 2020 is expected to come through membership of private gym facilities. [174057]

Mr. Caborn: It is not known what proportion of the target increase in participation in sport and physical activity will be met through the use of private gym facilities. The Chief Medical Officer's recommendation of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day on five days of the week can be achieved through both lifestyle activity and/or structured exercise or sport.


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