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Film Industry

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support the Government is offering the UK film industry. [208455]

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Estelle Morris: The Government is committed to creating a sustainable, stable and successful film industry. The UK Film Council, our strategic body for film, allocates Lottery money for film-making, and works with Government support to promote the widest possible enjoyment and understanding of cinema throughout the UK. The Government itself continues to make available generous and appropriately-targeted tax relief for filmmakers, and is working to create the best possible framework for increased and improved co-productions between UK filmmakers and their counterparts abroad.

Football Club Debts

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the consequences for public policy making of the debts of UK professional football clubs; and what estimate she has made of the total debt level of professional football clubs. [207880]

Mr. Caborn: Deloitte's Annual Review of Football Finance, published in August 2004, estimates that the net debt of Premiership clubs was £704 million and the total borrowing of Division One clubs was £281 million at the end of season 2002–03.

The Government continue to encourage and support the football authorities in ensuring excellence in the governance and financial management of football clubs. While there is a long way to go, there has been some encouraging progress, such as the work of the FA Financial Advisory Unit who provide advice and assistance to clubs to avoid running into serious financial difficulties.

However, each year the Premier League and its clubs redistribute almost £70 million to good causes and reach £3.7 million participants on community projects.

Live Music

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the state of live music in England and Wales. [208451]

Mr. Caborn: Last year's MORI research indicated there were an estimated 1.7 million live music events in England and Wales in the previous 12 months. The Government recognises the cultural and economic importance of a vibrant live music scene is committed to ensuring that live music of all genres flourishes. I am confident that the reforms included in the Licensing Act 2003, supplemented by the work of the Live Music Forum, will help live music continue to thrive.


Anderson Inquiry

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the Northumberland Trading Standards video of Burnside Farm at the time of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak was not submitted to the Anderson Inquiry. [202764]

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Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 6 December 2004]: Defra has no record of being sent a copy of the video by Northumberland county council before February 2003. The report of the FMD 2001: Lessons to be Learned Inquiry, chaired by Dr. Iain Anderson, was published on 22 July 2002. The council did not release any copies of the video before the trial of Mr. Waugh in May 2002, after Dr. Anderson had stopped receiving evidence for his Lessons to be Learned Inquiry. Reports based on the eye witness evidence of Defra, Institute for Animal Health and local authority officials, who were present on Burnside Farm when the video was recorded, were submitted to the Anderson Inquiry.

Common Agricultural Policy

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. [207867]

Alun Michael: The Government played a leading role in securing major reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy in 2003 and 2004. They break the link between the bulk of farm subsidy and levels of production, make subsidy dependent on meeting environmental and animal welfare standards, and redirect a greater proportion of EU subsidy to environmental and rural development schemes. As a result, the CAP will now be less environmentally damaging and trade distorting and enable farmers to become more market focused.

The Government welcomes EU plans for further reform of the sugar sector and the Rural Development Regulation and will be looking to maximise other opportunities to reform the CAP further.


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many conferences were (a) attended by officials from her Department, (b) cancelled by and (c) facilitated by her Department in each year since 1997; and what the (i) cost to the Department and (ii) location was in each case. [205765]

Alun Michael: Conferences organised by the Communications Directorate of Defra in the last three years for which figures are available are as follows. The answer covers the time from the formation of the Department on the 8 June 2001 to 20 December 2004. Records of all conferences carried out by the Department are not held centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Event nameCost
Farm Business Recovery—July 2001, Scotch Corner13,920
Farm Business Recovery—July 2001, Oakhampton13,860
Farm Business Recovery—July 2001, Carlisle14,095
Farm Business Recovery—July 2001, Darlington14,045
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Carlisle13,870
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Hexham14,045
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Gloucester13,860
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Bishop Auckland14,045
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Penrith13,870
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Stafford13,860
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Bromsgrove13,860
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Barnstable13,860
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Broughtone13,870
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Hereford14,170
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Skipton14,045
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Carlisle13,870
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Penrith13,870
Farm Business Recovery—August 2001, Gisbum13,870
Farm Business Recovery—October 2001, Middlesbrough14,045
Waste Management Seminar—November 200113,131
Chemicals Stakeholder Forum—20024,690
Rural Revival Seminar—June 20021,105
SEAC Open Meeting—200237,255
Defra Hunting Hearings (three days)—200218,143
Eight Regional Events on Sustainable Food and Farming—200224,240
Noise Forum Conference—2002313
Countryside Stewardship Campaign, 10th Anniversary Conference—20022,158
GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Foundation workshop—200378,500
GMO Organised meetings (radio)—20035,000
GMO Organised meetings (material)—20038,250
GMO Organised meetings (facilitation)—20039,600
GMO Organised meetings (launch)—200342,344
GMO Reconvened focus groups—200355,000
GMO Second tier meetings—200323,176
Additional GMO launch meetings—200329,176
Flood and Coastal Management Conference—20031,360
E-nabling Defra Conference—20033,900
England Bio-Diversity Conference—2003900
Information Management Division Open day—20031,405
Better Buildings Summit—200326,325
Animal Health and Welfare Stakeholder Event—2003622
Ethnic Minority Network Conference—20037,000
Flood Management Conference—20032,022
Rural Services Standard—2003614
Darwin Lecture—London 20031,050
Growing Media Forum Seminar—20038,621
Science and Innovation Open Meeting—20038,971
Eight Regional TB events—200452,000
Sustainable Development Consultation Launch— London 200488,154
Anti-Microbial Resistance Abattoir Survey Meeting— Weybridge 2004Awaiting final
Regional Climate Change Conference—Buxton 2004Awaiting final
Climate Change Review Launch—London 2004Awaiting final
Chemical Consultation Review Launch—London 20043,220

1. No conferences were cancelled.
2. The costs do not include the cost of departmental staff, details of which are not recorded against each conference.

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