Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action the Government are taking to assist the Jubilee Sailing Trust to secure the future of the vessels Lord Nelson and Tenacious; and if she will make a statement. 
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reasons the Ofcom consultation on junk food advertising has been postponed from November 2005 until February 2006. 
James Purnell: The matters raised are the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as independent regulator. Accordingly, my officials have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effects of the Licensing Act 2003 on the Government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The Licensing Act 2003 is an important part of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy which will allow a more responsible attitude to drinking through the removing the artificial and fixed closing times that encouraged people to drink as much as possible before last orders and created flashpoints for conflict through late night queuing for transport and fast food.
The new regime will encourage a more diverse night time economy that is not aimed solely at the younger market and has brought in tough new powers to crack down on problem premises that encourage drunkenness and disorderly behaviour.
While it is too early to measure the real impact of reform, early signs are positive with an unprecedented engagement from local residents, the police and others in influencing licensing decisions and tens of thousands of premises already have new conditions to adhere to which promote the licensing objectives.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2005, Official Report, columns 22289W, on the Licensing Act, if she will make it her policy to revise the guidance to licensing authorities to require them to send details of applications on the register to relevant (a) councillors and (b) hon. Members. 
James Purnell: The guidance cannot be used to place such requirements on licensing authorities: that would be a matter for primary or secondary legislation. We not rule out considering changes to the legislation, but only if a compelling case arose during the review of the Guidance or from other work to evaluate the effectiveness of the new regime, including the requirements for publicising applications. I will take note of my hon. Friend's suggestions, but hope she will understand that it is too early to anticipate the outcome of the current review.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she made of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on those whose only alcoholic product for sale is communion wine before the introduction of the Licensing Bill; and what such assessment she has made since implementation of the Act. 
James Purnell [holding answer 12 December 2005]: Before the introduction of the Licensing Bill, the Government carried out a widespread consultation which offered an opportunity for stakeholders to participate, including the manufacturers and suppliers of communion wine. All responses were carefully considered in framing the new legislation.
The Licensing Act 2003 only came into force on 24 November 2005, and it is still too early to make an assessment of the impact of our reforms in respect of any category of services or premises. However, the Government have made a commitment to monitor the impact of the new laws. This includes Sir Les Elton's on-going independent review of licensing fees. His panel would welcome evidence from any fee payers about the impact of the new regime on their businesses or organisations.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether a councillor who has made a representation on a licensing application on his
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own behalf as a resident is precluded under (a) the Licensing Act 2003 and (b) the Councillors' Code of Conduct from attending and speaking at a licensing committee on that application as (i) a resident and (ii) a representative of other residents. 
James Purnell [holding answer 12 December 2005]: I am not aware of any provision in the Licensing Act 2003 or the Councillors' Code of Conduct which prevents a local councillor who is an interested party and who has made relevant representations from speaking at the licensing committee hearing. Similarly, there is nothing to stop a councillor speaking at a hearing on behalf of other interested parties who have made relevant representations, provided that they have asked him to do so and have notified the licensing authority, as required by the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to licensing authorities on 30 September this year reiterating that there is nothing to prevent a local councillor from making representations if asked to by residents, nor from seeking the views of their residents on licensing matters as they would for any other issues.
Of course, it would be expected that any councillor who is also a member of the licensing committee and who is making a representation as an interested party, or on behalf of another interested party, would disqualify themselves from any involvement in the decision-making process affecting the premises in question.
Following a review of the code of conduct for members by the Standards Board for England, the Government have recently announced its intention to amend the code along the lines proposed by the board. These proposals include changes which would support members' advocacy role.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many establishments she estimates are trading without a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 in (a) total, (b) the Wellingborough local authority area and (c) the East Northamptonshire area; 
(2) how long she expects it will take to process outstanding licence applications under the Licensing Act 2003 in (a) total, (b) the Wellingborough local authority area and (c) the East Northamptonshire local authority area; 
(3) how many licences have been applied for under the Licensing Act 2003; and how many of these have not been processed in (a) total, (b) the Wellingborough local authority area and (c) the East Northamptonshire local authority area. 
Feedback from licensing authorities indicates that around 190,000 applications have been made for premises licences or club premises certificates under the Licensing Act 2003. Of these, we estimate that about 75 per cent. (142,500) were applications made before 6 August 2005 to convert and/or vary licences under the old regime and would have been automatically deemed granted or refused if not processed after two months.
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Applications that have subsequently been made will usually be processed in about a month if there are no representations, or about two months if there are representations and hearings, although the precise position will vary between local authorities.
We believe the vast majority of applications have been processed and, while not all licences have actually been issued, we are confident that licensing authorities have made it clear to licensees the terms under which they can trade. We intend to conduct a formal data gathering exercise in the new year in order to publish comprehensive information about the number of licences granted.
We have no information on the number of premises that are found to be trading without a licence, but we estimate that 98 per cent. of premises that would require a licence had applied before the new regime came into effect. Enforcement of the licensing regime is a matter for licensing authorities and authorised persons, such as the police.
James Purnell: Costs incurred by local authorities in meeting their requirements under the Licensing Act 2003 will, provided that they have been incurred legitimately and efficiently, be fully met by fees within the national fee regime. No additional resources should therefore be necessary.
The Government are keeping fee levels under review and will be working closely with the independent panel set up under Sir Les Elton, and with local government representatives, to ensure that the fees have been set at the right level.