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10 Nov 2005 : Column 698W—continued

Public Entertainment Licences

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many applications for revocation of public entertainment licences there were in England and Wales in each year since 1994; how many of these were (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful; and if she will make a statement. [24133]

James Purnell: The statistics are not held centrally, but are held by each individual local authority.

Television Licences

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reason the monarch is exempt from the requirement to purchase a television licence; and whether this exemption extends to television sets in staff quarters. [25029]

James Purnell [holding answer 7 November 2005]: The BBC, as licensing authority, has responsibility for interpreting the television licensing legislation and determining licensing requirements in individual cases. However, my understanding is that the monarch is exempt from the television licensing requirements set out in the Communications Act 2003 under the general rule of constitutional law that an Act of Parliament does not bind the Crown unless and to the extent specified in the Act. Crown exemption would extend to servants of the Crown who install and use television on Crown premises for official purposes, but not to sets installed or used for recreational purposes or to sets installed for private use in staff living quarters.

The Royal Household has indicated that, notwithstanding Crown exemption, Her Majesty does in fact purchase licences for each of her official and private residences.
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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much revenue the fines from unpaid television licences generated in the last year for which figures are available; and what happens to the revenue. [25878]

James Purnell: I refer the hon. Member to the answerI gave him on 18 October 2005, Official Report, columns 845–46W.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of people who operated televisions without a licence in each year since 1997. [25879]

James Purnell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 18 October 2005, Official Report, column 846W.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many Chinese tourists have visited the UK in each month since January 2004. [25885]

James Purnell: Monthly data on the number of inbound visits to the UK from China have not been provided because of difficulties over the statistical reliability of results given the small sample size. The following table details total quarterly and annual visits since the start of 2004 from China and Hong Kong.
Total inbound visits from China

Visits (thousand)
Q1 (January-March)18
Q2 (April-June)14
Q3 (July-September)35
Q4 (October-December)28
Q1 (January-March)17
Q2 (April-June)18
2005 (year to date)35
Total inbound visits from Hong Kong
Q1 (January-March)36
Q2 (April-June)25
Q3 (July-September)57
Q4 (October-December)29
Q1 (January-March)32
Q2 (April-June)41
2005 (year to date)73

International Passenger Survey (IPS), ONS

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the number of tourists visiting London before and after the 7 July terror attacks. [25886]

James Purnell: There are no figures available for the total numbers of tourists visiting London. London's tourism sector assesses its success in attracting visitors to the capital using a range of statistical resources including hotel occupancy figures, and the numbers of people visiting major tourist attractions.
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Both hotel occupancy and visits to attractions fell following the bomb attacks in July, when compared both to the preceding months in 2005, and—more relevantly for the industry—with the same months in 2004. While hotel occupancy had recovered to its 2004 rates by September 2005, visits to major central London attractions are still to reach the levels achieved in 2004. Visit London estimates that visits to these attractions were down nearly 21 per cent. for the period July to September 2005, compared to 2004.

The Government, VisitBritain, and Visit London have been co-ordinating recovery work since July through the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group. Economic forecasting commissioned by the group has projected that the negative effect of the bombings on the London economy may be as high as £500 million for the rest of 2005. However, that work also projects that the total turnovers of both the London and the UK tourism industries for the whole of 2005 will still be higher than those achieved in 2004.

Ultra-local Television

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact on the licence fee of BBC plans for the large-scale introduction of ultra-local television in medium-sized cities. [25342]

James Purnell: As stated in the Green Paper published in March of this year, we are currently undertaking a review of BBC funding in order to determine the future level of the licence fee. We will be taking all relevant factors into account and will make an announcement in due course.


Personal Injuries (Small Claims)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment has been made of the likely impact of the proposals to raise the personal injuries limit for small claims from £1,000 to £5,000. [26486]

Bridget Prentice: The Better Regulation Task Force in its report, 'Better Routes to Redress' recommended that research should be carried out into the potential impact of raising the small claims limit for personal injury cases from the current limit of £1,000. The Government indicated that it would carry out this research and would also consider other options for dealing with these claims in a more proportionate and cost effective way. That research is currently underway and consultation will take place on any proposals which may emerge.


3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (Incident)

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the findings were of the Special Investigations Branch investigation of the incident of 13 May involving soldiers of the 3rd Battalion Parachute
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Regiment in the officers' mess at Hyderbad Barracks, Colchester; how many soldiers have subsequently been charged with offences arising from the incident; and how many soldiers have been discharged. [25357]

Mr. Touhig: The Special Investigation Branch conducted a full investigation and found insufficient evidence to support the allegations made. Therefore, no soldiers have been charged with offences or discharged as a result of the investigation.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to modify the CHARM 3 L27 depleted uranium kinetic energy round. [25100]

Mr. Ingram: We have no plans to modify the L27 CHARM 3 round.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 27 October, Official Report, column 518W, on ammunition manufacturers, whether BAE Systems Land Systems (a) manufactures the small arms ammunition in the UK and (b) is on a fixed term contract; what proportion that company's supplies represents of small arms ammunition supplied to British forces; and where the balance comes from. [25289]

Mr. Ingram: Small arms ammunition supplied to the Ministry of Defence by BAE Systems Land Systems (BAES LS) is manufactured in the UK at the Radway Green facility under the terms of the MOD/BAES LS Framework Partner Agreement. This 10 year agreement was signed in 2000.

BAES LS supply approximately 95 per cent. of the MOD's current small arms ammunition requirements. The balance is supplied from companies in Sweden, Israel, Finland, Germany, Canada, Norway and Belgium.

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