Previous Section Index Home Page

31 Oct 2005 : Column 745W—continued

Media Relations

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the Department has spent on external media relations in each month of the last year. [14680]

Mr. Lammy: The information is as follows.

October 2004 to October 2005:

Ofcom (Employee Salaries)

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many employees of Ofcom earn £100,000 or more a year; and what the job title is of each. [22850]

James Purnell: 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. All disclosed remuneration information is contained in Ofcom's Annual Report and Accounts, published in July 2005. Copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Premier League (TV Rights)

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions her Department has had since May with the European Commission on deciding the structure of Premier League television broadcasting rights from season 2007–08 onwards. [20317]

Mr. Caborn: Ministers and officials from this Department are in contact with the European Commission and will continue to remain so in order to facilitate an agreement which is good for football, good for the fans and in the public interest.
 
31 Oct 2005 : Column 746W
 

However, as with all competition matters, these issues are for the independent regulatory authorities and the Government have made clear that this is a competition issue in which the Government have no locus to intervene.

Public Art

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effect on local communities of art displayed in public places. [21941]

Mr. Lammy: The display of public art can play a vital role in urban and rural regeneration helping to foster a sense of local identity and pride, to encourage community collaboration and cohesion, as well as to enhance the physical environment and make places into arts destinations in their own right.

High quality public art brings great benefits, including a sense of place to public spaces, especially in new or regenerated areas. Landmark new public art can be controversial, but given time, as numerous examples demonstrate, it often becomes much loved.

Royal Mail (Rosewall Sculpture)

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on Royal Mail's planned auction of the Rosewall Sculpture. [21938]

Mr. Lammy: Barbara Hepworth is one of the 20th century's most important sculptors and this is a significant work by her. I believe that public art makes a major contribution to the enrichment of a town often attracting visitors and engendering a sense of pride among local residents.

I understand that this local landmark is considered to be a significant part of Chesterfield's cultural and social heritage and I am aware that the Royal Mail is reconsidering whether an auction is the most appropriate course of action.

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussion she has had with the chairman of the Royal Mail Group plc regarding the auction of the Rosewall Sculpture. [21939]

Mr. Lammy: My Department has had no discussions with the chairman regarding the auction of the Rosewall Sculpture.

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the contribution of the public display of the Rosewall Sculpture in Chesterfield toward meeting her Department's aim to improve the quality of life for all through cultural activities. [21940]

Mr. Lammy: My Department has made no specific assessment of the impact of the Rosewall Sculpture on the local area.

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will take steps to prevent Royal Mail's sale of the Rosewall Sculpture and its permanent departure from Chesterfield. [21942]


 
31 Oct 2005 : Column 747W
 

Mr. Lammy: I am aware that the Royal Mail has reconsidered its decision to auction the piece. I understand that Chesterfield borough council is now looking at ways in which it can ensure that the sculpture remains in the town and has been in contact with the Heritage Lottery Fund to discuss funding.

Special Olympic Movement

Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance her Department gives to the Special Olympic Movement. [23169]

Mr. Caborn: At present, Special Olympics Great Britain does not receive direct assistance from DCMS nor the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). However, we are exploring ways in which mainstream disability sport and Mencap Sport (a key partner of EFDS which does receive Exchequer funding through Sport England) can work more closely with the movement.

DCMS has a PSA target of increasing the take-up of sporting opportunities by people aged 16 and above from priority groups by 3 per cent. by 2008. These priority groups include people with a physical or mental disability.

Supermarket Licences

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many 24-hour licences have been (a) granted and (b) refused to supermarkets since implementation of the Licensing Act 2003. [18662]

James Purnell: Such information is not held centrally. Licensing authorities are responsible for administering and enforcing the new licensing regime. Information on licences and applications in each area should be available from them individually.

Sustainable Development

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what account of sustainable development her Department requires to be taken by its (a) executive agencies, (b) advisory non-departmental bodies, (c) executive non-departmental bodies, (d) tribunals, (e) public corporations and (f) other bodies. [21840]

James Purnell: The Department's Sustainable Development Strategy was published in February 2004. This includes the Sustainable Development Policy Statement, which applies to all parts of the Department, its functions, management and staff and is commended to DCMS agencies and Non-Departmental Bodies, as a basis for developing similar statements of their own. Copies of the strategy are available from the Library of the House.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Asian Earthquake

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action his Department is taking to help UK citizens find out whether family members resident in Pakistan, India or Afghanistan have been affected by the recent earthquake in the region. [23074]


 
31 Oct 2005 : Column 748W
 

Dr. Howells: Since the devastating earthquake in Pakistan on 8 October the Government have taken a number of measures to assist British nationals trying to find information on their relatives' whereabouts. A 24-hour helpline was set up at the British High Commission in Islamabad, a reception desk was set up at Islamabad airport, staffed for all incoming international flights until 17 October, and a consular team was dispatched to Muzaffarabad on 9 October to liaise with British nationals and local authorities in the worst affected areas. A consular presence was maintained in Muzaffarabad until 15 October. Since then our Honorary Consul, resident at Mirpur, together with consular staff at the British High Commission in Islamabad continue to pursue any missing person cases with local authorities.

Burma

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he supports the findings of the recent Havel report proposing United Nations Security Council intervention in Burma. [22220]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: We have studied the report entitled Threat to the Peace: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in Burma", commissioned by Vaclav Havel and Desmond Tutu. We fully support any action in the UN Security Council which would help promote reform and positive change in Burma.

We agree that the UN has a vital role to play in Burma. We strongly support the UN Secretary General's efforts to promote national reconciliation in Burma; as well as the work of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Professor Sergio Pinheiro, and the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Burma, Tan Sri Razali.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Burma; [22221]

(2) what steps he is taking to encourage the restoration of democracy in Burma. [22222]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: We remain deeply concerned by the situation in Burma. Serious abuses of human rights continue, particularly in areas where there is still armed conflict. The humanitarian situation is grave. Only a genuinely inclusive process of national reconciliation can solve Burma's many problems.

The EU Troika, including the United Kingdom, expressed concern over the situation in Burma to the Burmese Foreign Minister, Nyan Win, in Kyoto on 6 May as did our ambassador and other EU ambassadors in Rangoon, on 22 August. Most recently, our ambassador in Rangoon raised our concerns with the Burmese Home Minister, Maung Oo, on 26 October. We continue to believe that it is essential for the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to enter into a genuine constructive dialogue with all legitimate representative bodies including Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, and the ethnic groups to promote a peaceful, lasting and democratic outcome.
 
31 Oct 2005 : Column 749W
 

We fully support the efforts of UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Professor Sergio Pinheiro, and the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Burma, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, whom we urge the SPDC to allow to return to Burma.

We remain willing to support a genuine process of national reconciliation, leading to the restoration of democracy and full respect for human rights in Burma and we will respond positively to tangible progress.


Next Section Index Home Page