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Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions have taken place between her Department, Ofcom and ITV on maintaining regional news and current affairs programmes in the north-west. 
ITV is not established by a Royal Charter, but holds broadcasting licences for its channels, including certain of the regional Channel 3 licences which contain public service broadcasting obligations. Under the Communications Act 2003 there is a range of sanctions available to Ofcom for breaches of licence conditions which depend upon the nature of the breach, for example requirements to broadcast statements of findings, to impose more detailed regulation, fines or licence variation or termination.
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Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions have taken place between her Department and Ofcom on the (a) quantity and (b) quality of ITV news and current affairs programming in the North West. 
Estelle Morris: These are matters principally for decision by Ofcom and ITV, who have briefed the Department on them in connection with Ofcom's review of public service broadcasting and as background to the debate on 2 March.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what arrangements have been put in place for major sporting events to obtain a licence under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003. 
Mr. Caborn: No special arrangements have been put in place for those organising major sporting events where they wish to conduct licensable activities. They will be subject to the same provisions under the Licensing Act 2003 with regard to applying for permissions as other organisations or individuals. Of course, outdoor sporting events (with the exception of boxing and wrestling entertainment) are not in themselves licensable activities under the 2003 Act.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what grants have been paid by her Department to each National Museum in the last eight years; and what grants are planned for 200506. 
|Imperial War Museum||10.97||10.57||12.15||11.74||13.12|
|Museum of London||4.31||4.21||4.36||4.48||4.95|
|Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester||2.23||2.18||2.72||2.68||2.74|
|National Maritime Museum||10.48||10.18||10.92||11.66||12.59|
|National Museums Liverpool||13.13||12.70||13.71||14.01||15.47|
|National Museum of Science and Industry||21.08||20.28||23.76||24.08||26.68|
|National Portrait Gallery||4.81||5.00||5.12||5.14||5.46|
|Natural History Museum||27.66||26.96||29.58||30.41||32.38|
|Sir John Soane's Museum||0.59||0.57||0.63||0.59||0.70|
|Victoria and Albert Museum||29.90||29.15||30.03||30.45||32.34|
|Imperial War Museum||16.35||16.54||17.49||18.54|
|Museum of London||6.29||6.57||6.51||6.58|
|Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester||3.41||3.30||3.51||3.74|
|National Maritime Museum||13.68||14.01||15.73||15.24|
|National Museums Liverpool||16.57||17.33||17.33||18.16|
|National Museum of Science and Industry||31.25||34.75||33.12||34.09|
|National Portrait Gallery||5.73||5.71||6.11||6.39|
|Natural History Museum||38.09||39.60||39.65||41.47|
|Sir John Soane's Museum||0.70||1.05||0.78||0.81|
|Victoria and Albert Museum||34.77||34.84||36.19||37.73|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what research her Department has commissioned regarding a possible link between the incidence of alcohol-related deaths and licensing hours of nightclubs. 
Mr. Caborn: The Government intend to monitor the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 but have not commissioned, and do not intend to commission at this time, any specific research relating to a possible link between the incidence of alcohol-related deaths and the licensing hours of nightclubs. However, the evaluation which we will be conducting into the impact of licensing reform on crime and disorder will seek to establish whether levels of violence and disorder occurring in and around licensed premises have changed as a result of flexible opening hours.
Estelle Morris: Following discussions with DCMS, the Trustees of the Science Museum have informed DCMS that they have decided for the time being, to continue the Science Museum Library's presence in the Imperial College building, South Kensington. This will enable the Trustees to give further consideration to the options, taking into account the feedback received from a wide range of interested parties.
Good progress has been made on the establishment of Switchco. Stakeholders are now working on the structure and remit of the switchover implementation body, and expect it to be in place in the second quarter of this year.
17 Mar 2005 : Column 374W
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of steps taken by the Indian Government to ensure tsunami relief aid reaches the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: The geographical position of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and related security considerations, meant that the initial Government of India (GoI) response to the relief and rehabilitation requirements of the area took longer than that for affected mainland areas. The GoI has allocated around £100 million pounds in financial assistance to the islands following the tsunami. Considerable support has also been committed in terms of military personnel and logistical support. The GoI has also allowed NGOs (including international NGOs) access to a number of the islands to undertake relief and rehabilitation work. UNICEF and the United Nations Development Programme have a presence in the islands, and DFID is providing £476,000 support to the Voluntary Health association of India (VHAI) to undertake relief work and livelihoods rehabilitation in Little Andaman.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much aid has been contributed by the UK Government to relief and reconstruction work in the Maldives since the tsunami disaster; 
Mr. Gareth Thomas:
DFID channelled £2 million through the regional appeal of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which are present and meeting needs in the Maldives, though it is not possible at this stage to say how much of our regional support went to a specific country. Likewise, DFID has committed $40 million to
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the United Nations Flash Appeal for the region. Part of our Flash Appeal commitment does include support specifically earmarked for the Maldives. £3,305,057 channelled through the World Health Organisation included assistance to the Maldives, as did £4,000,000 channelled through the United Nations Children's Fund. £500,000 channelled through the United Nations Development Programme was entirely for activities in the Maldives, to help restore livelihoods, including assistance to households involved in agriculture, tourism, fishing, light manufacturing and other sectors.
In addition to support to United Nations programmes, DFID also financed a flight for International Health Partners carrying donated drugs from the pharmaceutical industry to the Maldives. This was at a cost of £5,221.
Other in-kind assistance to the Maldives included a flight chartered by DFID at a cost of £81,000, to deliver water donated by Scottish Water. DFID also airlifted two landing craft and plant machinery, along with training support, at a total cost of £550,000. In addition, DFID seconded a water and sanitation engineer to the United Nations Children Fund for three months to support its work in the Maldives, at a cost of £28,000.
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