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14 Dec 2004 : Column 988W—continued

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Betting Terminals

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will place in the Library a copy of the research commissioned by the Association of British Bookmakers into fixed-odds betting terminals to which the Minister for Sport referred on 2 December in Standing Committee B, Official Report, column 382. [204207]

Mr. Caborn: It is for the Association of British Bookmakers to decide when and how to publish the results of the research which it has commissioned; but we have drawn this request to their attention.

Children's Play

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will break down the £200 million national funding for children's play announced by her predecessor in June 2001 by (a) financial year and (b) project; how much of the funding has been spent to date; and if she will make a statement. [203549]

Estelle Morris: The announcement to which the hon. Member refers related to round 4 of the New Opportunities Fund, and therefore future funding for play. The new approach to lottery funding with the establishment of the Big Lottery Fund means that the Government will no longer ring fence pots of money for
 
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particular activities such as play. However we still expect £200 million for play (across the UK) to come from the lottery over time.

Free Television Licences

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners aged over 75 years living in Coventry are entitled to a free television licence. [204003]

Estelle Morris: TV Licensing, who administer free television licences for people aged 75 or over as agents for the BBC, are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. It is not therefore possible to estimate take-up of the concession on a local basis. However, the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in the Coventry North East, Coventry North West and Coventry South constituencies in 2003–04 was 17,650, according to Department for Work and Pensions records.

Gambling/Casino Licences

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the guidance to be provided to local authorities on the provision of gambling and casino licences. [204491]

Mr. Caborn: Clause 24 of the Gambling Bill provides for the Gambling Commission to issue guidance to local authorities about the exercise of their functions of the Bill, and to undertake consultation before doing so. We expect the Commission, when it is established, to take consultation forward as an early priority.

Travel Costs

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total travel costs to her Department have been for (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials for each year since 1997. [203772]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 9 December 2004]: All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules contained in the Department's 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 has published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The Government has 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.

Travel costs of special advisers who accompanied the Ministers overseas are included in the annual list the Overseas Travel by Cabinet Ministers. Other travel costs of special advisers are included in the officials' travel costs on the Department's accounting system and can be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost.
 
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The following table shows expenditure on travel and subsistence by Ministers (domestic only) and officials in the Department from 1997–98 to 2003–04.
£

Financial yearMinisters T and S (domestic only)Officials (overseas and domestic T and S)
2003–0419,483.31473,483.91
2002–0324,719.22479,690.78
2001–0217,386.39411,227.86
2000–0131,931.38366,112.06
1999–200024,539.59362,767.76
1998–9922,913.88252,990.17
1997–9811,697.81256,166.64

ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Departmental Advertising

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment in which Muslim newspapers the Department advertises; and what kinds of advertising the Department places in Muslim newspapers. [201709]

Alun Michael: In 2004–5 Defra is placing advertisements in the publications as listed. On this occasion, the department's objective in doing so is to reach and inform specific communities rather than religious groups, but all these publications are acknowledged as having a Muslim readership:

All the advertisements placed have been translated into the languages most appropriate for the readers of these newspapers. The advertising has been planned to promote the latest phase of Defra's personal food imports awareness campaign, 'If in doubt, leave it out!'. This campaign is part of a long-term strategy to increase awareness of the personal imports rules among the UK travelling public and to reduce the quantities of illegal food products being seized at UK ports and airports.

It was developed following independent research, which revealed that the rules relating to personal imports of food were relevant to black and minority ethnic communities within the UK, but that awareness of the legislation within these communities was not widespread. The communications activity is intended to reach and engage with black and minority ethnic communities through communications and media channels relevant to them.
 
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Press advertising is only one communications option which the Department considers when planning a public awareness campaign and is evaluated alongside other paid and non-paid communications activity which may involve outreach work, distribution of bi-lingual printed materials and radio advertisements and/or features.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of refurbishing each ministerial private office was in the last two years. [202355]

Alun Michael: In 2002–03 the four upper floors of 9 Millbank were refurbished at a total cost of £2.5 million. This project included three private offices for ministerial support staff.

No expenditure for refurbishing ministerial private offices was incurred in 2003–04.

Departmental Mail

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many letters were returned to her Department marked as incorrectly addressed in each of the last 12 months; [203719]

(2) if she will place the recent departmental circular on the correct addressing of envelopes in the Library; [203720]

(3) how many recipients received her Department's circular on how to address envelopes; and what its circulation cost. [203721]

Alun Michael: Many items of correspondence are returned to Defra, often because of incorrect or poor addressing by the senders in the first place. We endeavour to keep returned mail to a minimum. That is why an internal memo was issued recently to all Defra staff drawing attention to the need to address envelopes correctly. All Defra staff would have seen the memo in our weekly Office Notice. Drafting and circulating the memo took a couple of minutes and involved significantly less time than answering the hon. Gentleman's questions. Records of incorrectly addressed envelopes are not maintained because of disproportionate costs. As the memo was intended for internal use, there is no reason to place a copy in the House Library, but the text of the note was as follows:

Addressing of envelopes

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Window Envelopes

The message then refers the reader to advice in more detail on the Defra intranet.


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