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11. Ms Angela C. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to encourage regional development agencies to maximise the commercial benefits to the regions of hosting the 2012 Olympic games. 
Mr. Caborn: We will build on the excellent work carried out by the Nations and Regions Group during the bid phase. The Group will meet in November. We will continue to encourage the support and involvement of the RDAs.
15. Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to undertake appraisals of the facilities in the south-east which may be used as part of hosting the 2012 Olympic games. 
Tessa Jowell: London 2012 undertook a full appraisal of facilities required to stage the Olympics before the bid was submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The proposals reflect the IOC wishes for a compact and secure Olympics Games.
Mr. Caborn: There are a number of ways in which people across the UK can get involved in the Games, as suppliers, volunteers, participants or spectators. In addition, events such as the Olympic torch relay and the Cultural Festival will be UK wide.
The Nations and Regions Group, will meet in November to discuss progress, and I am pleased to note the continued involvement of the Regional
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Development Agencies, the Regional Sports Boards and representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Caborn: At present no Olympic or Paralympic sporting competition is planned to take place in Northern Ireland. If Northern Ireland builds its planned national stadium, we will consider incorporating this venue as a location for the Olympic football competition.
However, the torch relay and other events as part of the cultural Olympiad are planned to take place in Northern Ireland to help ensure the people of Northern Ireland can be part of and share in the excitement of the 2012 games.
12. Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the role of art in economic regeneration, with particular reference to Crosby. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department has long been an advocate for the power of artand culture in generalto regenerate areas, not just economically, but socially and environmentally. And I applaud the wonderful work that Antony Gormley has created in Crosby with the Another Place" installation, in the north-east with the Angel of the North and on a local level in areas such as the Bellenden Renewal Area in Peckham, South London.
Mr. Caborn: The distribution of Lottery money to the good causes is carried out in accordance with the provisions of Part II of the National Lottery etc Act 1993, as amended by the National Lottery Act 1998.
Directions provide that Lottery funding must be accessible to all sections of the population and all areas of the country, especially those at risk of social exclusion. In order to ensure that Lottery money is allocated fairly and equitably, in the light of need across the whole of the United Kingdom and between different groups in society, distributors are required to show how they will achieve this in their strategic plans.
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ACE directly funds 93 art galleries and 59 touring art galleries. It also funds 143 gallery spaces. These include museum galleries, independent galleries, artist studio galleries, new media spaces, live art photography and moving images galleries through its grants for the arts programme.
Mr. Lammy: I refer the hon. Member to the figures contained in the annual report Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service published by the Cabinet Office. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based on. The most recent report for the calendar year 2003 was published on 1 November 2004, copies of which are available in the Library. This report and those for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are available on the Cabinet Office website at:
James Purnell: The independent regulator, Ofcom, is responsible for planning frequencies for independent radio in the UK. Ofcom is the independent regulator for the communications sector, deriving its main powers and duties directly from statute rather than by delegation from the Secretary of State, and accountable to Parliament in its own right. Accordingly, my officials have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member and to send me a copy of his response. Copies of the chief executive's letter will also be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
(ii) The Government are currently running a campaign, targeted towards consumers who do not yet have digital television, to help inform them of the
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benefits of digital television and why switchover is happening. To help make digital television options clear to consumers, the Government launched the digital switchover Certification Mark in 2004. It certifies information, goods and services that are designed to help consumers through switchover. This is helping to raise the awareness of digital switchover, and is now visible in retailers across the UK and also on TV and recording equipment of most leading brands.
(b) Ofcom supports the overall planning for digital switchover through a mixture of research, analysis and policy initiatives. Ofcom is also committed to help drive digital switchover as it would ensure a more technically and economically efficient use of spectrum, encourage investment in new digital services and would promote competition in broadcasting, all of which are key responsibilities for Ofcom. Ofcom wholeheartedly supports the development of DAB digital radio.
Additionally two independent not-for-profit organisations, the Digital Radio Development Bureau and Digital UK, have been set up to promote the take-up of digital radio and co-ordinate the UK's switch to digital television respectively.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) people and (b) households in the (i) United Kingdom and (ii) Forest of Dean constituency receive analogue but cannot receive digital, television signals. 
We do not have a breakdown of coverage by constituency but the Government are committed to ensuring that at digital switchover everyone in the UK who can currently get the main public service broadcasting channels in analogue form (BBC1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4/S4C and Five) can receive them on digital systems.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number and percentage of households in the (a) United Kingdom and (b) Forest of Dean constituency that can receive (i) publicly and (ii) commercially funded digital radio by means other than the internet. 
James Purnell: Digital radio is carried across the UK on a number of platforms. We do not have precise estimates of the number and percentage of households who can receive digital radio in the form you have asked. However, the overwhelming majority of households in the UK can receive both publicly and commercially funded digital radio by platforms other than the internet. This would also be true for households in the Forest of Dean constituency.
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