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6 Dec 2004 : Column 334W—continued

Departmental Mobile Phones

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many departmental mobile telephones were used by Ministers, special advisers and officials in her Department in each year since 1997; at what cost; how many such telephones were lost or stolen in each year since 1997; and what the replacement costs were in each case. [202153]

Mr. Caborn: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Prisk) on 19 October 2004, Official Report, column 605W.

Digital Television

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with (a) the BBC and (b) other analogue television providers about the extension of digital television services in rural Britain. [201768]

Tessa Jowell: Discussions are currently taking place between the Government, Ofcom, the BBC, and the other Public Service Broadcasters on the detailed plans for switchover.

The Government are committed to ensuring that all households who can currently get public service broadcasting channels in analogue form, including those in rural areas, can continue to receive them on digital systems at switchover.

Everest (Sagarmatha) National Park

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will support the proposal that UNESCO place the Everest (Sagarmatha) National Park on the World Heritage Danger List. [201934]

Mr. Caborn: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 1 December 2004, Official Report, column 173W. As a member of the World Heritage Committee we will
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consider the information requested at the 29th session and whether the threats justify recommending that the site be placed on the World Heritage in Danger list.

Gambling Commission

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the budget to set up the proposed Gambling Commission will be found from within the departmental budget for 2005–06. [202062]

Mr. Caborn: Assuming enactment of the Gambling Bill currently before the House, provision will be made from the departmental budget in 2005–06 to enable the Gambling Commission to be established; but additional provision will be needed in the following year to enable the commission to take on all the responsibilities which the Bill gives it.

Museums and Galleries

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Reform and Modernisation Funding Budget for (a) 2005–06 and (b) future years within the National Museum and Galleries division of her Department has been (i) partially and (ii) fully diverted elsewhere. [202063]

Estelle Morris: The Reform and Modernisation budget is a small fund of £10 million held centrally by DCMS. It is not held by the Museums and Galleries Division and it is available to all the Department's funded bodies, although funds have been allocated to Museums and Galleries from this source in 2004–05. The allocation of funds for 2005–06 has yet to be determined. No decision has yet been taken about the size of the fund in future years.

School Sport

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the £750 million pledged by the Prime Minister to school sport has been (a) committed and (b) spent. [202718]

Mr. Caborn: The Government have invested £750 million in the New Opportunities for PE and Sport Programme across the United Kingdom. £581 million was allocated to England, of which £25 million was passed to the Space for Sport and the Arts Programme and £30 million set aside for football projects to be distributed via the Football Foundation. Of the remaining £526 million, £336.9 million had been committed and £22.4 million spent by October 2004. 1,000 awards have been made across all local education authorities.

The programme is ahead of schedule and is on course to have the great majority of new facilities in place by spring 2006, as planned. We expect that the majority of funding will be committed by the end of 2004, ahead of the 2005 deadline set in the Policy Directions.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sportwhat the target for participation in school sport is in (a) the UK, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Spain, (e) Italy, (f) Denmark and (g) Sweden. [202741]

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Mr. Caborn: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education and Skills share a Public Service Agreement target to increase the percentage of 5–16 year olds who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport to 75 per cent. by 2006; and to 85 per cent. by 2008. This Department does not hold information about the targets set in other countries.

Sports and Community Clubs

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sportwhat action she is taking to reduce the costs of compliance with the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 for sports and community clubs. [202719]

Mr. Caborn: The Government's policy is for licensing fees to be set at a level that allows full recovery of the administration, inspection and enforcement costs falling on licensing authorities. It would be wholly wrong for the taxpayer to subsidise the consumption of alcohol, and it would be difficult to argue that the best way to promote sport is through Government subsidising sports club bars. To ensure fair and equitable arrangements, the fees will be in graduated bands based on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises concerned. Most sports and community clubs will fall at the lower end of these variable fee levels. The draft fees for the new licensing regime were published on 4 November and are open to consultation until 23 December. We have invited comments from sports and community clubs as part of that consultation and will carefully consider all responses before the fee levels are finalised.

Swimming Pools

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to prevent closures of (a) indoor and (b) outdoor swimming pools in London. [201772]

Mr. Caborn: There are currently 104 swimming pools in London open to the public.

The Government accept that all sports facilities eventually come to the end of their useful life and need to be closed or replaced. However, it is important that we continue to provide new or replacement swimming facilities where there is a gap in local provision.

In the last ten years Sport England has awarded lottery grants for the construction of 92 swimming pools in this country, and eight of these were London projects.


Anthrax (Gulf War)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the anthrax supplied by the American Type Culture Collection was the same strain as that used to treat United Kingdom service personnel during the first Gulf War. [200077]

Mr. Caplin: As far as we are aware the American Type Culture Collection does not currently hold any strain of anthrax on its catalogue.
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Anthrax is not used and has never been used to treat British Troops.

Army Recruitment

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what control measures on recruitment have been placed on each level of the Army over the past three years. [200015]

Mr. Caplin: Minor adjustments to recruiting are made routinely from time to time, in order to achieve required Army manpower numbers and to ensure a correct balance between individual Arms and Services. Occasionally this results in some individuals who successfully pass through the selection process being given delayed dates to commence their Phase One (basic) training.

Departmental Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost to his Department was for the use of external consultants in each of the last two years. [200813]

Mr. Ingram: Summaries of Ministry of Defence expenditure on external assistance, of which consultancy is a part, are available in the Libraries of both Houses for financial years 1995–96 to 2003–04. However, expenditure on external consultants is not recorded as a specific category, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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