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1 Jul 2004 : Column 384W—continued

New Buildings (Regulations)

Bob Russell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he gives to planning authorities regarding the design and construction of new buildings and the capacity to withstand earthquakes. [181756]

Keith Hill: None. However, such issues may be considered as part of compliance with Part A of the Building Regulations, and are therefore not for local planning authorities.

Referendums (Leaflets)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he will be taking to ensure that the content of leaflets distributed to households in regions due to hold a referendum on an elected regional assembly is objective; whether he will be consulting the Electoral Commission on their content; and whether he will consult the yes and no campaigns in each of the regions. [179949]

Mr. Raynsford: As with the rest of the Government's Information Campaign, the leaflets distributed to households will be in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Code, Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service, and the "Referendums on establishing elected regional assemblies: Guidance for civil servants on their role and conduct". The purpose of the leaflet is to explain the proposals for elected regional assemblies to voters to enable them to make an informed choice at the forthcoming referendums.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects that the lead Yes and No campaigns will be appointed by the Electoral Commission in September. The Government will not be showing the leaflet to the Electoral Commission in advance of publication.
 
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SCOTLAND

Departmental Administration Budget

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made towards the 5 per cent. reduction in real terms in his Department's administration budget by 2008 announced by the Chancellor in the House on 17 March 2004, Official Report, column 331. [176508]

Mrs. McGuire: The real terms reduction of 5 per cent. or more will be a central feature of the public spending settlements for 2006–08 to be announced in detail later this year.

Departmental Staff

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the total amount paid by his Department to employment agencies for the supply of temporary staff was in financial year 2003–04. [178918]

Mrs. McGuire: The estimated total paid to employment agencies by the Scotland Office for the supply of temporary staff for 2003–04 was £68,197, of which £14,561 related to costs incurred by the Office of the Advocate-General.

Ministerial Visits

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the travel costs incurred by (a) his Department and its predecessors and (b) each Minister within his Department, for each of the last 10 years. [175654]

Mrs. McGuire: All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules contained in the staff handbook and all ministerial travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the "Ministerial Code" and "Travel by Ministers", copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

In respect of overseas travel by Ministers, since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The Government have also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2003–04 will be published in due course.

The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. The following table shows ministerial and overall expenditure on travel and subsistence since that date.
£

Financial YearOfficeOf which ministerial:
2003–04(8)(9)277,554(10)13,147
2002–03382,23835,865
2001–02382,61852,122
2000–01388,19469,336
1999–2000(11)226,24446,575


(8) Financial year 2003–04 costs are provisional, pending finalisation of Annual Accounts.
(9) Of which £67,170 relates to expenditure incurred by the Office of the Advocate-General. Expenditure by the Office of the Advocate-General for earlier years is not held separately.
(10) Of which £1,552 relates to expenditure incurred by the Office of the Advocate-General.
(11) Part year, the Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999.



 
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David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many journeys were made by helicopter by each Minister in his Department and its predecessors in each of the last 10 years; and what the journey length was in each case. [175734]

Mrs. McGuire: No Scotland Office Minister has travelled by helicopter, at departmental expense, since the Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999.

Working Time Directive

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many employees in his Department have (a) signed a formal opt out from and (b) are exempt from the Working Time Directive; and how many employees in his Department have recorded hours, including any accruing on a flexitime basis, in excess of the maximum allowed under the Working Time Directive in the last month for which figures are available. [178373]

Mrs. McGuire: No staff in the Scotland Office have signed a formal opt out or are exempt from the Working Time Directive.

The Office maintains its awareness of staff who may work close to or surpass the 48-hour per week limit and who are not subject to an opt out agreement. Details of the numbers of hours employees work are monitored locally as part of the flexible working hours system and in line with relevant health and safety legislation. Information on specific hours worked on a monthly basis is not held centrally.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Police

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what progress has been made in merging the Royal Parks Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police; and if she will make a statement; [181715]

(2) for what reason the Royal Parks Constabulary has not merged with the Metropolitan Police; and if she will make a statement. [181714]

Mr. Caborn: The merger of the Royal Parks Constabulary with the Metropolitan Police Service requires primary legislation, and we will be bringing forward the necessary measures as soon as the legislative programme allows. In the meantime, policing of the Royal Parks is being undertaken jointly by the Royal Parks Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police Service under the terms of an agreement between the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Amateur Sports Clubs

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance is issued by her Department to amateur sports clubs on the facility to register with the Inland Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club. [181323]

Mr. Caborn: The Inland Revenue is responsible for administering the Community Amateur Sports Club scheme. Comprehensive information and guidance for
 
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amateur sports clubs that wish to register for the scheme is provided on their website http://www.inlandrevenue. gov.uk/casc/.

British Museum Trustees

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the (a) procedure and (b) criteria applied for the appointment of British Museum trustees are; and what role she has in assessing the performance of trustees appointed by the Government. [179820]

Estelle Morris [holding answer 30 June 2004]: Under the provisions of the British Museum Act 1963, the museum is governed by a board of 25 trustees, 15 of whom are appointed by the Prime Minister, following an open and transparent selection process in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments' Code of Practice. Candidates are assessed against criteria reflecting the role they are to fill and detailed in role and person specifications published on the websites of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office. Of the remaining 10 trustees, one is appointed by HM the Queen, one each by the Royal Academy, Society of Antiquaries, the British Academy and the Royal Society, and five by the trustees themselves. Serving trustees' performance is assessed by the chair and this informs Ministers' decision whether or not to reappoint for a second term.


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