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31 Jan 2006 : Column 323W—continued

Licensed Premises

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many licensed premises there were in (a) 1994 and (b) 2004. [45880]

James Purnell: The number of premises licensed for the retail sale of intoxicating liquor and registered clubs in England and Wales as at 30 June in each year was as follows:
19942004
On-licence111,212113,370
Off-licence47,73546,582
Registered clubs24,23919,913



Source:
DCMS Statistical Bulletin. Liquor Licensing, October 2004.


Statistics for theatres are not available for 1994 and 2004, but in 1995 there were 272 licensed theatres, and in 2001 there were 218.

Licensing Act

Mr. Jim Cunningham: 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 levels of crime and disorder in Coventry South. [44629]

James Purnell [holding answer 25 January 2006]: It is too early to draw any firm conclusions about the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on the level of crime and disorder, either across the country or in any one area.

The Government will continue to monitor the impact of the new legislation closely, including a programme of evaluation being conducted by the Home Office into the impact of the licensing reforms on crime and disorder.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what total revenue has been raised from sports and community clubs as a result of the Licensing Act 2003; and if she will make a statement. [45810]

James Purnell: The Department does not currently hold that information.

The level of fees under the Licensing Act 2003 is currently being reviewed by the Independent Licensing Fees Review Panel, chaired by Sir Les Elton. The Government published the Panel's Interim Report on 5 December. In their report, the Panel have identified nine areas of activity that they wish to consider further
 
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during the next stage of their work. Two of those areas are licensing authority income and costs and the consequence of the new fees regime on not-for-profit groups. The full Interim Report can be accessed at: http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/monitoring_and_evaluation/ifreview.htm. The Panel have recently written to all Licensing Authorities in England and Wales to request details of the income they have received under the new licensing regime from different licensed sectors, including sports clubs and village and community halls, which they believe they require in order to support them in the next stage of their work. The Panel are due to present their Final Report and recommendations to Government in the autumn.

Media Company Relocation (Manchester)

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the North West Regional Development Agency on location of media companies in Manchester; and whether public funding will be made available to such companies to relocate. [45001]

James Purnell [holding answer 24 January 2006]: I have corresponded with the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), regarding the BBC's Out of London initiative. Officials have also had contact with the agency. The NWDA, with other public sector partners, is supporting the relocation of media companies to the Northwest and has committed, in principle, up to £50 million, covering areas such as infrastructure and skills development. North West Vision, the regional screen agency sponsored by the NWDA, also operates the Regional Attraction Fund and the Merseyside Film and Television Fund for this purpose.

Public Houses

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will commission research into the role played by public houses in the culture of the United Kingdom. [45878]

James Purnell: I have no plans to commission specific research in this area, although my Department will be carrying out research into the provision of live music across all venues, including pubs, during 2006. My Department is also discussing issues around live music with the 10 Scrutiny Councils.

The Government recognises the cultural importance of public houses in the UK, as centres of entertainment, as hubs for local communities, as a diverse and vibrant part of the hospitality industry and as a unique British institution that helps make our country so attractive to overseas visitors. The reforms introduced by the Licensing Act 2003 will offer pubs greater flexibility to meet the demands of customers and to broaden their already important cultural role.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of rural pubs which have closed in each of the last 10 years. [45879]


 
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James Purnell: The Department does not hold information specifically on rural pub closures. However, the Government recognise that access to local pubs, as well as other services, is essential to ensuring that rural communities thrive and helps combat social exclusion. That is why, in settlements of less than 3,000 people, the Government have extended 50 per cent. rate relief to pubs, as well as village shops, petrol stations and small scale, non-agricultural enterprises on farms.

Also, the Countryside Agency has been a key partner in supporting the 'pub is the hub' initiative which is encouraging diversification by rural pubs to further enhance their contribution and help sustain them as businesses. In the longer term, licensing reform will cut costs for such businesses and allow them to use the flexibility offered to better meet the needs of local people and visitors.

Sports Governance

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will implement an inquiry into the governance of rugby union; and if she will make a statement. [46900]

Mr. Caborn: It is not for the Government to implement an inquiry into the governance of rugby union.

However, by working with Sport England and UK Sport, the Government are keen to ensure that sporting national governing bodies are fit for purpose in the 21st century. As a result we have supported a number of sporting governing bodies as they have undergone the process of reviewing and modernising their governance structures.

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has received on (a) governance, (b) regulation and (c) trading practices of association football. [46898]

Mr. Caborn: I have had numerous representations about the governance, regulation and trading practices of football.

I continue to urge the Football Association to implement the Burns Review recommendations.

The FA must use this review to ensure they are fit for purpose in the 21st century and make the necessary changes without delay.

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will implement an inquiry into sports governance; and if she will make a statement. [46901]

Mr. Caborn: Working with UK Sport and Sport England, the Government have supported a number of reviews into the governance of our sporting national governing bodies to ensure that these bodies are fit for purpose in the 21st century.

While it is not for Government to implement reviews into governance, we continue to encourage best practice in governance, and UK Sport and Sport England monitor each sport as part of their funding agreements.
 
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TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Business Start-ups

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new business start-ups there were in (a) Swindon, (b) Wiltshire and (c) the South-West in (i) 2004 and (ii) 2005. [46825]

Alun Michael: According to Barclays Bank's latest survey of business creation, which includes non-VAT registered firms, there were 1,800 business start-ups in Swindon Unitary Authority in 2004.

Barclays data show that there were 4,800 business start-ups in the county of Wiltshire—that is, not including the Swindon Unitary Authority in 2004 and 48,100 business start-ups in the whole of the South West. Data for 2005 will be available in spring 2006.

DTI figures based solely on VAT registrations for Swindon Unitary Authority, Wiltshire County 1 and the South West Government Office Region are shown in the table for 2004. Data for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006.
VAT registrations, 2004

Swindon UA495
Wiltshire County1,450
South West GOR15,310



Source:
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2004, Small Business Service, available from the Library of the House and also at http://www.sbs.gov.uk/vats


VAT registrations do not capture all start-up activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2004.


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