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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made
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in the adoption of a national play strategy; what resources have been allocated towards it; and if she will make a statement. 
Estelle Morris: We will shortly be responding to the review of children's play carried out by the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) last year, and over the course of the coming year we will build on this in developing Government play policy.
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the (a) purpose and (b) future of the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint. 
Mr. Caborn: The National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont is primarily a facility for rowing and canoeing. It is a training camp for many of the country's leading watersportsmen and women and it is the main venue for national competitions.
Nottinghamshire county council and Sport England are discussing the future role and development of the site because many of the facilities and the current operating model date back to the 1970s. Discussions are at a very early stage and no timescales for development have yet been set.
In the event of a successful 2012 Olympic bid, the site could serve as a preparation base for visiting, or British teams, in the run-up to the Games; but this would be a matter for the teams in question to consider.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what salary is paid to the (a) chair, (b) chief executive and (c) board members of the Office of Communications; and how many days' work a week each is expected to undertake. 
Details of the remuneration paid to Office of Communications board members are published in the Ofcom Annual Report 200304 (section E), a copy of which is in the Library and on the Ofcom website: www.ofcom.org.uk <http://www.ofcom.org.uk>. The time commitment of non-executive board members is a maximum of four days a week for the chair and two days a week for others. The Chief Executive and other Executive Members of Ofcom's Board are full-time employees of Ofcom.
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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pay television subscriptions the Department had in each year since 1997; and what the cost was in each year. 
Mr. Caborn: Sport England funds the Amateur Rowing Association (ARA) through both the Lottery and the Exchequer to support its development and world class plans. Since 1997, the ARA has received £15.5 million of funding. Amongst other programmes, this has allowed it to develop Project Oarsome and Go Row, both aimed at increasing junior participation. The ARA has also received an allocation of £1,216,500 from the Community Club Development Programme for distribution amongst rowing clubs. On top of this, since 1997 community rowing clubs have benefited from Sport England awards totalling £19.8 million.
In 2003 rowing was identified as one of the thirty sports to receive prioritised investment from Sport England's new national funding stream. The ARA has submitted a Whole Sport Plan for the sport to cover the period April 200509. This plan is currently under review by Sport England's national investment panel and a decision on future funding levels will be made shortly.
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding her Department has provided to Project Oarsome since its inception; and if she will make a statement on the outcome. 
The project, which aims to attract, support and retain young people in rowing, has seen 110 schools linked with 51 rowing clubs, involving some 30,000 Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils. There are currently over 500 club coaches working in schools.
Over the course of the project there has been a 104 per cent. increase in junior club membership, a 35 per cent. increase in club membership overall and a 145 per cent.
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increase in active qualified coaches. A survey of the project found that 94 per cent. of the children involved considered the scheme to be 'excellent or very good'.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has been informed of breaches of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers in her Department since its implementation. 
Mr. Caborn: Paragraph 22 of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers states that any civil servant who believes that action of a special adviser goes beyond that adviser's authority or breeches the Civil Service Code should raise the matter immediately with the Secretary of the Cabinet or the First Civil Commissioner, directly or through a senior civil servant.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether departmental special advisers have attended meetings with external (a) bodies and (b) individuals, in their official capacity and without Ministers, since May 1997. 
Mr. Caborn: Special advisers attend meetings with a wide range of external representatives in their official capacity. All such meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether departmental special advisers have been responsible for authorising instances of departmental spending since May 1997. 
Mr. Caborn: The terms and conditions under which special advisers are appointed are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers and the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. The special advisers who work at DCMS do not have executive powers allowing them to authorise departmental expenditure.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether departmental special advisers have given instructions to permanent civil servants without the explicit authorisation of Ministers since May 1997. 
The terms and conditions under which special advisers are appointed are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers and the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. Neither of the DCMS special advisers has executive powers authorising them to give instructions to civil servants.
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Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether departmental special advisers have written to external (a) bodies and (b) individuals in their official capacity since May 1997. 
Mr. Caborn: Details on the names and number of special advisers by pay band by Department are published on annual basis. For information for the financial year 200304, I refer the hon. Member to the statement given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 22 July 2004, Official Report, column 466W.
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