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David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many departmental employees have took retirement due to ill health in each of the past five years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lammy: During the past five years there have been less than five ill health retirements in any one year in the Department for Culture Media and Sport, and therefore figures cannot be released on the grounds of confidentiality.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions since 2001 the Sports Minister has been a guest at a horse race meeting in the UK; who hosted the Minister on each occasion; and what hospitality he received. 
Mr. Caborn [holding answer 2 February 2006]: As the Minister for Sport I have been a guest at horserace meetings on 11 occasions since 2001 (as detailed in the table). Hospitality has been in the form of access to the racecourse, the use of private box facilities, lunch and refreshments.
|Date of meeting||Racecourse||Hospitality provided by|
|15 September 2001||Doncaster||Ladbrokes|
|14 March 2002||Cheltenham||The Horserace Totalisator Board|
|5 April 2003||Aintree||The racecourse management|
|10 July 2003||Newmarket||The racecourse management|
|26 July 2003||Ascot||The racecourse management|
|20 August 2003||York||The Horserace Totalisator Board|
|16 March 2004||Cheltenham||Ladbrokes|
|3 April 2004||Aintree||The racecourse management|
|18 August 2004||York||The Horserace Totalisator Board|
|17 March 2005||Cheltenham||Ladbrokes|
|30 November 2005||Plumpton||British Horseracing Board|
Government support for English folk dance and song is primarily channelled through Arts Council England, which funds a number of organisations who promote and develop these art forms.
6 Feb 2006 : Column 841W
James Purnell: TV Licensing, who administer free television licences for people aged 75 or over as agents for the BBC, are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in the Coventry, South constituency in 200405 was 5,740, according to Department for Work and Pensions records.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what regulations apply to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops; and what plans the Government have for (FOBTs); 
Mr. Caborn: Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are regulated by a code of practice agreed by the Association of British Bookmakers, DCMS and the then Gaming Board of Great Britain (now the Gambling Commission).
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance she has issued to local authorities on whether the extension of a licensed premises' opening hours, without any increase in the licensed premises area or capacity, would count as a material variation for the purposes of a cumulative impact special policy. 
James Purnell: An extension of the hours during which alcohol can be sold might or might not be a material variation, depending upon its effect on the cumulative impact on the licensing objectives being experienced in the area of the special policy.
It is for the local licensing authority, in the first instance, to judge if an application to vary is material", and, if a decision is subject to legal challenge, for the courts to then rule definitively.
6 Feb 2006 : Column 842W
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will grant an exception from the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 in relation to an application for a temporary events licence by small musical or dramatic groups performing for charity; and if she will make a statement. 
We currently have no plans to introduce any further exemptions. The fact that an event is being held for charity does not make it inherently less of a risk to the licensing objectives. Exemptions for charitable events were debated at length during the passage of the Licensing Bill. The temporary event notice regime is very light touch in order to reflect the reduced risk at such small, time limited events and requires no more than a temporary event notice to be submitted to the licensing authority and the police at least 10 working days before the event is due to take place. The fee for giving a notice is set at £21, a level which is sufficient to recover the costs of the regime to licensing authorities.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 18 October 2005, Official Report, column 1008W, on the Licensing Act 2003, to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May), what definition her Department uses of the term material variation. 
James Purnell: Paragraph 3.19 of the guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 refers to, but does not further define, the words material variations". In that context, a material variation is one which is material to the cumulative impact on the licensing objectives being experienced in the area of the special policy. It is for the licensing authority, in the first instance, to judge if an application to vary is material", and, if a decision is subject to legal challenge, for the courts to rule definitively.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many establishments have applied for extended opening hours under provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 in (a) England, (b) West Yorkshire and (c) Huddersfield. 
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many premises licensed to serve alcohol have been granted 24 hour licences; and in what local authority areas they are located. 
Based on a DCMS telephone survey of licensing authorities, we estimate that around 1,000 licences have been granted permitting the sale of alcohol for 24 hours. Of these, approximately 330 have been for pubs and nightclubs, approximately 360 for supermarkets, and approximately 130 for off-licences and convenience stores. Information on the number of 24 hour licences held in each licensing authority area is not currently held centrally.
6 Feb 2006 : Column 843W
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the change in the levels of (a) antisocial and (b) violent behaviour following the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003. 
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.
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
James Purnell: A report entitled 'Implications for noise disturbance arising from liberalisation of Licensing Laws' was produced for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by MCM Research Ltd. and published in October 2003.
The principal aim of the study was to assess the potential impacts of the reform of the licensing laws on noise disturbance related, directly or indirectly, to the operation of licensed premises. The Report is accessible on: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/research/mcm/index.htm
It is too early to assess the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on noise, and so the Government have not conducted or commissioned any formal research. However, any issues around noise are likely to emerge from the Scrutiny Council process. We are working closely with a sample of local authorities to monitor delivery of the 2003 Act and assess the extent to which strategic aims are being achieved. This in turn is part of a wider monitoring and evaluation exercise to assess the practical implementation of the Act.
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