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Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects the Gambling Commission (a) to issue new casino licences and (b) to publish the Codes of Conduct which will be a condition of the new licences. 
Mr. Caborn: The detailed timetable for implementation of the Gambling Act 2005 is still being finalised. The current expectation is that the Gambling Commission will publish licence conditions and codes of practice by around June 2006, and that it will start to accept advance applications for casino operating and personal licences by January 2007. These will come into effect from autumn 2007.
Mr. Caborn: The timetable for the implementation of the Gambling Act 2005 is still being finalised. No cut off date has yet been set for applications for gaming licences under the 1968 Act. A further announcement will be made in due course.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance will be issued to local authorities to ensure a consistent approach to the issuing of casino licences once the Gambling Act 2005 becomes fully operational. 
Under Section 25 of the Gambling Act 2005, the Gambling Commission is required to issue guidance to local authorities on the exercise of their functions under the Act and the principles they should apply when exercising those functions. The issuing of casino premises licences will form part of this guidance and will be made available to local authorities before the
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new licensing regime begins. All local authorities must have regard to this guidance when carrying out functions under the Act.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the advisory panel recommendations on location of casinos will relate to (a) local authority areas and (b) specific sites within a local authority. 
Mr. Caborn: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will ask the casino advisory panel to assist her in the exercise of her order making powers under Section 175(4) of the Gambling Act 2005 to determine the geographical distribution of casino premises licences. For this purpose, she is required to specify in the order which local authorities should be permitted to issue casino premises licences of a specified kind, and how many of each type of casino premises licence each specified local authority should be permitted to issue. The casino advisory panel's role will be to provide the Secretary of State with advice on these issues, and it will not be required to recommend specific sites.
Mr. Caborn: The casino advisory panel will consider submissions from local authorities wishing to issue premises licences for regional, large or small casinos. The criteria against which the panel will assess these submissions were set out in the Government's national policy statement on casinos published on 16 December 2004. The primary consideration will be to ensure that locations provide the best possible test of social impact. Subject to this, the criteria will also be:
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether there will be a right of appeal against (a) the advisory panel's recommendation and (b) the Secretary of State's decision on the locationof new (a) small, (b) large and (c) regional casinos. 
The Secretary of State's order making powers under Section 175(4) of the Gambling Act 2005 are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. Both Houses of Parliament will have to approve her order before it takes effect.
The panel is a purely advisory body to provide advice to the Secretary of State on the exercise of her powers, and as such it would be inappropriate for there to be a right of appeal.
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Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to announce her decision concerning the statutory listing of the Commonwealth Institute Building in Kensington. 
Mr. Lammy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will announce her decision once she has considered advice from English Heritage, statutory advisers on the historic environment, and intends to do so shortly.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she will take to encourage private sector landlords to upgrade their digital reception systems in the run up to digital switchover; and if she will make a statement. 
James Purnell: We are working with a number of housing bodies including representatives of private landlords to develop communications for landlords. We will shortly publish, in association with the Chartered Institute of Housing, guidance for the housing sector on how to prepare for digital switchover.
James Purnell: The form to be completed by pubs and other establishments wishing to convert their present licences is 21 pages long. However, this allows for variations in the terms of licences. Those establishments wishing only to convert their licences need to complete only 7 pages of the form.
James Purnell: The Licensing Act 2003 makes no distinction between pubs and other establishments which are licensed to sell alcohol on the premises. The Government's estimates of the costs and benefits of the Act cover the whole spectrum of businesses and other establishments which will be affected by the new licensing regimean estimated total of some 200,000 premises.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what steps her Department is taking to ensure that those individuals
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and businesses that have been brought into the licensing regime are aware of the 24 November deadline for applications for all licences; 
(3) what steps her Department is taking to ensure that those individuals and businesses who need to convert their licences in order to retain existing rights are aware of the 6 August deadline. 
James Purnell: My Department is making every effort to make all affected individuals and businesses aware of their responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003, including the 6 August and 24 November deadlines. These efforts have included:
The progress of this information campaign is being monitored closely through the High Level Group, which includes my Department, the Local Government Association, the Local Authorities' Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Home Office, and representatives of the hospitality industry.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 and related regulations requiring a single individual to take legal responsibility for all licensed events at a particular village hall during a 12-month period; and what representations she has received concerning this issue. 
James Purnell: Concern has been expressed to DCMS by village halls as to the duties of an individual who is specified on a premises licence as the designated premises supervisor (DPS). The role of a DPS only applies when a premises licence authorises the supply of alcohol. It is not relevant in respect of other licensable activities such as regulated entertainment. While the DPS has certain responsibilities under the 2003 Act, it is important that this is kept in perspective. The main purpose of having a DPS is to provide a primary point of contact for authorities investigating problems, and to ensure that any necessary preventative measures are taken to promote the licensing objectives.
For example, we have clarified that the DPS does not have to be physically present at the premises for sales of alcohol to take place there. In addition, regular users can take out their own premises licence with their own named DPS or other hirers could be asked to use temporary event notices and there would therefore be no need to have a DPS for those events.
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These arrangements are important in the interests of those living near village halls. It is vital that there is a proper balance between the needs of local residents and of those conducting licensable activities at such halls. We believe that the Act strikes the correct balance, but we continue to discuss with representatives of village halls the ways in which the burdens involved can be best managed.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of licence applications under the Licensing Act 2003 which have been received to date by local councils. 
James Purnell: My Department estimates that 20 per cent. of all licensed premises have so far submitted applications to their licensing authorities. This percentage is expected to increase rapidly as the 6 August deadline for converting existing licences approaches.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will grant automatic extensions of existing public house licences which do not seek a variation on the terms of the licence. 
James Purnell: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will not be granting automatic extensions to licence holders who do not seek variations in the terms of their licences. All applications for the conversion of existing licences, whether variation is sought or not, must be made to licensing authorities by 6 August.
The Government are aware of the possible pressures on licensing authorities that may arise during the transition period, and the Licensing Act 2003 includes appropriate safeguards. Where a licensing authority is unable to complete its consideration of an application for conversion (without variation) within two months, that application is deemed to have been granted.
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