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14 Dec 2005 : Column 2054W—continued


BBC Charter

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make it a requirement of BBC Charter renewal that (a) BBC websites and (b) BBC radio channels made available on-line are available free of charge only to licence payers. [34510]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 5 December 2005]: The Government have no plans to make the renewal of the BBC Charter conditional on the Corporation restricting access to BBC online content to licence fee payers or to United Kingdom residents.

However, the grant received by the BBC World Service from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office already includes an element towards the cost of making BBC online services available outside the UK.

Iraqi Heritage Sites

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will raise the issue of the protection of Iraqi heritage sites with other EU Ministers during her chairmanship of the Education Youth and Culture Council. [34372]

Tessa Jowell: The Education Youth and Cultural Council was held on 14 November. The subject of the protection of Iraqi heritage sites would not have been an appropriate agenda item for this meeting, which is concerned with EU business only.

However, when I have been made aware of potential damage to the heritage of Iraq, I have written to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary requesting that he bring these concerns to the attention of those countries who had troops serving in the area, under the auspices of the multi national force, and emphasising that we should impress upon others the importance of caring properly for Iraq's heritage and the urgent need to protect its sites. As a result, the Foreign Office has raised these concerns with the relevant countries concerned.

The UK takes very seriously the need to respect Iraq's cultural heritage. The Iraq (United Nations Sanctions) Order 2003, introduced in response to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546, makes it an offence to be in possession of illegally removed Iraqi cultural property, or to knowingly trade in such material.

Public Bodies/Agencies

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff were employed by non-departmental public bodies and agencies for which she has responsibility in 2004–05 in (a) total and (b) each (i) nation and (ii) region of the UK and (c) London. [35943]

Mr. Lammy: Total Executive NDPB staff numbers by department as at 31 March 2005 are recorded in table 2 of Public Bodies 2005, a copy of which is in the House Libraries, and which is available online at: s/publicbodies2005.pdf.
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The number of staff in individual executive agencies as at 1 April 2004, including a regional analysis, is available in Civil Service Statistics 2004 which was published in February 2005, a copy of which is in House Libraries. It is also available online at: or_civil_service_statistics_2004_report/number_of_civi l_servants/index.asp.

However, the NDPB data do not detail the regional breakdowns requested. This information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Disabled People (Life Chances)

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the initial activity undertaken by his Department in response to those recommendations in the Prime Minister's strategy unit report improving the life chances of disabled people where lead responsibility was assigned to all Government departments. [37074]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Since publication of the report in January 2005 the Department launched the 10-point plan—Delivering a diverse civil service—on 1 November 2005 that included a target for 3.2 percent., of the senior civil service to be people with disabilities. The plan includes a number of actions that will promote the recruitment and retention and career development of people with disabilities.

The Better Regulation Executive and the e-Government Unit provide guidance about consulting with diverse groups in policy development and service delivery.

The Cabinet Office will be developing plans to meet the new public sector duty to promote disability equality. The department will also work with the new Office for Disability Issues in delivering the strategy unit report recommendations that are assigned to all departments.

EU Presidency Team

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many staff work in the EU Presidency Team within the Cabinet Office; what the (a) civil service grade and (b) job description is of each; and how many are agency or contract staff; [35744]

(2) what the (a) total and (b) staff budget is for the EU Presidency Team within the Cabinet Office; if he will break this down by individual budget line; what the purpose of the team is; and when it was created. [35796]

Mr. Jim Murphy: There are three full-time staff in the EU Presidency Team located within the European Secretariat which is based within the Cabinet Office, one at Band A (formerly known as Grade 7 or Principal), one at B2 (Faststream), and one at C2 (formerly known as Administrative or Clerical Officer). None are agency staff. The pay budget for this team in 2005–06 is approximately £100,000. Other costs for this team were £13,464. The Band A worked on the Presidency part-time from January 2004, and was joined by the B2 in August 2004 and the C2 in January 2005. The objective of the team was to coordinate the planning, preparation
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and delivery of the UK Presidency of the EU across Whitehall and the devolved Administrations. The team will be wound up in the first few months of 2006.

Hampton Report

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the oral answer of 6 December 2005, Official Report, columns 737–38, on the Hampton Report, how many (a) annual inspections of and (b) forms sent to businesses he expects will be undertaken when the recommendations of the Hampton Report are fully implemented. [36621]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government's better regulation agenda, which includes the implementation of both 'Less is More' and Philip Hampton's recommendations, is focused on lighter-touch regulation, concentrating on cases where action is needed. The Government have no specific numerical target for the number of forms or inspections carried out following the implementation of these reports, but reducing the number of unnecessary forms and inspections is a central part of its agenda.

As set out in the better regulation action plan announced in May this year, Departments and regulators have been asked to publish simplification plans, containing information about the number of forms they send to businesses and the measures being taken to reduce their burden. All plans will be published by Pre-Budget Report 2006.

Philip Hampton's report recommended that regulators act proportionately, in accordance with an open and transparent risk assessment process. The principles of proportionality and openness are to be included in the forthcoming Regulatory Reform Bill, and have already been incorporated into the regulatory impact assessment process that Departments have to follow.

The implementation of 'Less is More', which will in due course lead to a target for the reduction of administrative burdens, will also drive this work forward.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the total cost of congestion charges paid for ministerial travel has been since the charge was introduced; and how much of that total is accounted for by travel by the Prime Minister. [36285]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The responsibility for the provision of ministerial cars and drivers has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car Despatch Agency. I have asked its chief executive Mr. Roy Burke to write to the hon. Member. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library.

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