|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the most recent television licence fee evasion rates are for the United Kingdom; and what plans she has to publish a regional breakdown of evasion rates. 
Estelle Morris: The estimated television licence evasion rate as at the end of March 2004 was 5.7 per cent. The BBC, who produce the evasion estimates and maintain the statistical model on which they are based, have indicated that the data required to produce accurate estimates, much of which relies on external sources, are not available at regional and local levels. The Government therefore have no plans to publish estimates of regional evasion rates.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the running costs of the Department were in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) electricity, (b) water, (c) gas, (d) telephones, (e) mobile telephones and (f) televisions. 
Mr. Lammy: The running costs of the Department, which covers costs for the Court Service, the Public Guardianship Office and DCA Headquarters, for (a) electricity, (b) water, (c) gas, (d) telephones and (e) mobile phones are set out in the following table:
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will make a statement on his Department's policy regarding the retention of e-mails in electronic form (a) after and (b) up to 1 January 2005; and what instructions have been given regarding the deletion of e-mails prior to 1 January 2005. 
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the balance of political affiliations is on each of the magistrates benches in (a) England and Wales and (b) Northern Ireland. 
Political affiliation has not been used as an indicator for balance on the magistrates bench since November 2003 in England and Wales and has never been recorded in Northern Ireland.
20 Jan 2005 : Column 1054W
Mr. Lammy: This response relates to the DCA HQ estate and associated offices only since the Court Service does not hold any records on this centrally and would have to incur a disproportionate cost to collect the information.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) how many non-geographic 0870 telephone numbers are in use by his Department; and what services can be accessed by calling each of them; 
Mr. Lammy: The Department has 481 0870 numbers on its Goldfax system. This system allows network PC users to receive faxes direct to their desktops in the form of gif files. No revenue is produced from these calls.
The Department's central recruitment unit uses 41 0870 numbers for its recruitment campaigns. The revenue produced from these calls from when the system was set up in December 2003, until 7 October 2004, was £2,615.07
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the progress made at the African Union summit in Gabon on the issues of (a) Cote d'Ivoire, (b) Sudan and (c) the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if he will make a statement. 
We welcome the African Union's (AU) endorsement of President Mbeki's peace plan for Cote d'Ivoire, which focuses on the adoption of all texts emanating from the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement; the implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintergration (DDR) programme; the effective functioning of the National Transitional Government; and the establishment, throughout the country, of a climate conducive to the restoration of peace and stability in Cote d'Ivoire. We hope that the AU's commitment will encourage all sides to work together to bring about a sustainable peace.
20 Jan 2005 : Column 1055W
We support the conclusions of the African Union Peace and Security Council on Sudan. In particular, we condemn the violations of the ceasefire by both sides and have made clear to the parties that they must stop the fighting and co-operate fully with the African Union and the rest of the international community.
Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on UK relations with the Republic of Taiwan of approval by the United Kingdom Government of the lifting of the EU's embargo on the sale of armaments to the People's Republic of China. 
We take every appropriate opportunity to convey to the Taiwanese authorities, through informal channels, and to the Chinese Government our strong opposition to the use of force or to any action that raises cross-straits tensions.
As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary pointed out to the Quadrapite Committee on 12 January, the European Council meeting in December 2004 emphasised that the result of any decision on the lifting of the EU arms embargo should not be an increase in arms exports to China either in quantitative or qualitative terms.
Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects on the level of threat to the security of the People's Republic of China of the lifting of the EU's embargo on the sale of armaments. 
Mr. Rammell: The arms embargo review, announced by the December 2003 European Council, is ongoing. Until the review process is complete, the Government continues to implement the arms embargo as set out by the then Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the late Derek Fatchett, in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) on 3 June 1998 Official Report, columns 24041.
The Government do not believe that a decision to lift the embargo would affect the security of the People's Republic of China or any country or territory in the region since arms exports would remain covered by the EU code of conduct.
Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the US Government on lifting the EU's embargo on the sale of armaments to the People's Republic of China. 
Mr. Rammell: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary told the Committee on Strategic Export Controls on 12 January 2005, the US has a legitimate and understandable interest both in the effectiveness of the EU's system of arms control and in the stability of the east Asian region. Representatives of the UK and US Governments, at all levels, have therefore discussed the issue. However, the review of the EU arms embargo and any decisions arising from it are to be undertaken by the EU only. The EU will take all relevant factors into account in the review.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|