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9 Feb 2006 : Column 1378W—continued


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish his Department's report on Shell's oil and gas reserves. [49720]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has not made a report on Shell's oil and gas reserves. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is responsible for regulating the financial services industry and investigating potential cases of market abuse. The FSA formally investigated various issues surrounding the oil and gas reserves announcements made by Shell leading up to Shell's announcement in January 2004 in which it restated its hydrocarbon reserves. The FSA's Final Notice setting out its findings in relation to Shell is available on the FSA website ( Shell also published the conclusions of its own inquiry in April 2004.
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Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy to negotiate a free trade agreement with Singapore. [47768]

Ian Pearson: The European Commission has competence for trade policy, and conducts all trade negotiations on behalf of EU member states.

The UK and the EU's number one trade priority remains a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The multilateral rules-based system, under the WTO, is the most effective means of managing and expanding trade relations. However, the EU has not ruled out a possible expansion to its network of bilateral and regional trade agreements once the DDA negotiations have been completed and will evaluate the merits of any future proposals on a case-by-case basis.

Zirconium Silicate (Iran)

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry with which company his Department had discussions about the export of zirconium silicate to Iran (a) before its shipment in September and (b) subsequent to this shipment's interception by the Bulgarian authorities; whether the company informed the Department (i) to whom they were supplying this material and (ii) what its end use was; and if he will make a statement. [34698]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 6 December 2005]: The DTI did not discuss the export in question with any company prior to its shipment. The goods were not controlled for export from the UK and the exporter was not therefore required to submit an export licence application when he would have been required to provide details of the end-use and end-user of the goods. Subsequent to its interception by the Bulgarian authorities however, DTI was in contact with the exporter who provided full information about the consignment, including its end-user and expected end-use.



Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many households are unable to receive (a) Channel 5 and (b) Freeview, broken down by Government office region; whether her Department plans to offer these households a reduction in their licence fee; and if she will make a statement. [50072]

James Purnell: Information on the availability of television services by Government office region is not held centrally. For the United Kingdom as a whole, the Channel 5 analogue service is available to an estimated 80 per cent. of households and Freeview services to 73 per cent.

The Government have no plans to offer households unable to receive these services a reduction in their television licence fee. The level of the licence fee has never varied according to the range of services that can be received. The vast majority of UK households can,
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with the right equipment, access the free to view digital channels, including Channel 5, via either terrestrial, satellite or cable platforms.

Following digital switchover the coverage of digital terrestrial television will match current analogue levels, all of whom will also be able to watch the BBC's digital channels.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was spent on advertising by (a) her Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which her Department is responsible and (c) each independent statutory body, organisation and body financially sponsored by her Department in each year since May 1997. [39104]

Mr. Lammy: The Department had a zero spend on advertising from 1997 to 2002. The expenditure on advertising from 2003 has been as follows:
Spend (£)

(5) BBC Charter
(6) Licensing

Information on advertising spend by non-departmental public bodies, executive agencies and independent statutory bodies is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Library Closures

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment the Government have made of the causes of public library closure for those due to do so in (a) 2005–06 and (b) 2006–07. [51056]

Mr. Lammy: Public libraries are delivered by local authorities. Of those authorities who are reported to be considering library closures currently, I understand that the rationale ranges from service restructuring following review processes to budget-setting considerations. I recognise that locally elected representatives are best placed to judge the needs of the people they serve.

However, I also believe that public libraries are valuable community assets and local decision makers should think carefully about what might be lost through closures.

London Olympics

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Warley of 8 December 2005, Official Report, column 1469W, on the London Olympics, when her Department expects the Local Employment and Training Framework for the London Olympic and Paralympic games to be published; and if she will make a statement. [49226]

Mr. Caborn: The Government are committed to using the London 2012 Olympic games and Paralympic games to maximise the potential for job creation, training and
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business growth so that the games leave a lasting social and economic, as well as physical, legacy for London and the rest of the UK. The Government and the Mayor for London have supported the setting up of the London 2012 Employment and Skills Task Force. It will work to ensure effective support for both local people, and those drawn from across London, in accessing direct and indirect employment opportunities arising from the games.

The London Development Agency (LDA), together with the local boroughs and other partners, is working to ensure that communities located in and around the Olympic park are well placed to benefit from the opportunities offered by the games. The Local Employment and Training Framework (LETF), a condition of the Olympic planning permissions, is a first step in this process.

A draft LETF document has been submitted by the LDA to the Joint Planning Authorities Team (JPAT) as a basis for negotiation. These negotiations will be concluded in the next few weeks with the submission of a final revised document to JPAT for formal consultation. At the conclusion of this consultation process the four local planning authorities of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Hackney, in conjunction with Greenwich council, will then make a decision regarding the framework. The precise date of this decision is for the local authorities themselves to determine and, as such, is not yet known.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2006, Official Report, column 50W, on the Olympic games, if she will list the occasions on which (a) the Inter-Departmental Steering Group and (b) the network of Olympic co-ordinators have met; and if she will make a statement. [49380]

Mr. Caborn: As I explained to the hon. Member on 2 February 2006, Official Report, column 640W the inter-departmental steering group and the network of Olympic co-ordinators will meet on a quarterly basis.

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the 2012 London Olympic Games will use renewable energy derived from fuel cell technology. [50068]

Mr. Caborn: Renewable energy will play a vital role in fulfilling the commitment to host 'low carbon Games' in 2012. While plans for energy provision at the Games are, as yet, at an early stage, fuel cell technology will certainly be one of the techniques considered as the programme moves forward.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will place in the Library a copy of the local government finance data and methodology used to calculate how much the proposed Olympics precept on London council tax bills would rise over 10 and 12 years. [47891]

Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.

Council tax is one element of a public funding package, which has been put in place to cover the cost of hosting the Games. This package includes provision for up to £1.5 billion of lottery funding and up to £625 million from London council tax.
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The council tax element of the funding package is a matter for the Mayor and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

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