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13 Feb 2006 : Column 1521W—continued

Online Gambling

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what regulation is applicable to companies who are registered abroad, pay no tax in the UK, but advertise their online gambling and betting services in this country. [50740]

Mr. Caborn: Gambling companies that are based abroad but advertise on-line gambling in the UK are regulated by Section 42 of the Gaming Act 1968, which restricts the content of advertising relating to gaming, and by section 9 of the Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981 which prohibits, with some exceptions, advertising by off-shore betting operators.

Playing Fields

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many playing fields are listed on the Sport England Domesday Book of Sports Facilities, Active Places; and how many of the sports grounds are owned by (a) the Ministry of Defence, (b) health authorities and (c) universities and colleges of higher education. [50924]

Mr. Caborn: Sport England advise that there are approximately 50,000 grass pitches on the Active Places database, of which (a) 252 (across 97 sites) are owned by the Ministry of Defence, (b) 31 (across 20 sites) belong to health authorities and (c) 1,182 (across 166 sites) are owned by higher education institutions. The majority of sites on the database are owned by educational establishments and local authorities. The number of grass pitches listed will increase as more information is added to the database.

Press Coverage

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions since 1 April 2003 she has complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the coverage in the press of (a) Ministers or officials and (b) her Department; and how many of these complaints were upheld. [47077]

James Purnell: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not made any complaints to the PCC. It is for individuals to decide whether they wish to make a complaint. She is not, generally, in a position to determine whether an article about others has breached the editors' Code of Practice; the PCC exists to make that determination. Moreover, she would not presume to make a complaint on behalf of anyone else, particularly as everyone has equal access to the PCC.
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Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the value of artefacts on shipwrecks around the coast of the British Isles. [50976]

Mr. Lammy: The concept of value is difficult to define when applied to cultural property. Intrinsic value is only one factor alongside aesthetic, community, evidential and historical values.

58 historic wrecks have been designated in the UK under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. These and their artefacts are considered to be of historical, archaeological, or artistic importance, and therefore worthy of protection.

The total number of wrecks around the coast of the British Isles, and therefore the number and value of artefacts, is not known.

English Heritage is currently developing a framework to assess heritage value as part of the stage one consultation on their Conservation Principles, which began on 9 February 2006. English Heritage has also supported the On the Importance of Shipwrecks research project under the Aggregates Levy Fund. The aim of the project is to develop a framework and methodology to assess the 'importance' of physical remains of wrecks on the seabed.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department has taken to protect valuable artefacts and items of historical value on shipwrecks around the British Isles from theft. [50977]

Mr. Lammy: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has power under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 to designate wreck sites which she is satisfied ought to be protected from unauthorised interference on account of their archaeological, historical or artistic importance. Once a site is designated, it is a criminal offence for a person to interfere with the site except under the authority of a licence. In addition any artefacts recovered from wrecks of over 50 years of age in UK territorial waters require an export licence if they were to leave the UK.

Allegations of illegally excavated material are investigated in conjunction with the Receiver of Wreck, police and heritage agencies. Enforcement action is then taken in accordance with the severity of the offence.

Sport Participation

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effect on participation levels in sport of the staging of major sporting events in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [50923]

Mr. Caborn: We believe that staging major sporting events in the UK has the potential to drive up participation levels in sport.

Research for UK Sport found that 7 per cent. of the adult UK population believed that the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 had resulted in a positive impact on their participation in sport. Among children, the reported effect was greater. Household
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surveys conducted in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Blackburn and Congleton in summer 2003 found that in each area, at least 19 per cent. of children aged 6 to 15 said that the Games had had a positive effect on the amount of sport they were playing.

Sports Grounds

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what period of time sports grounds must remain unused before she can dispose of them without permission. [50925]

Mr. Caborn: I have no statutory role in the disposal of sports grounds. Sport England is a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting playing fields, land used as playing fields, or land allocated for use as playing fields in a current development plan. This includes being consulted on applications affecting any land that has been used as a playing field in the last five years and any replacement of a grass pitch with a synthetic surface.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has published planning guidance for open space, sport and recreation (PPG 17), which requires local planning authorities to protect all open space which communities need. In preparing their plans and policies, authorities should undertake assessments of need for open space and recreation in their areas. In advance of an assessment of need, local authorities should give very careful consideration to any planning applications involving development on playing fields.

Youth Hostels Association

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what grants have been given by (a) her Department and (b) lottery distributors to the Youth Hostels Association since 1997. [50147]

Mr. Caborn: The Youth Hostels Association has received no funding from the Department but has been awarded £5,263,378 by the lottery distributors.

This information is derived from the Department's lottery awards database, searchable at, which uses information supplied by the lottery distributors.


24/27 Framework

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the cost to each education board area of implementing the 24/27 entitlement framework. [49622]

Angela E. Smith: The arrangements necessary to ensure that all pupils have access to the range of academic and vocational courses under the new curricular entitlement framework will be developed locally by schools and colleges working together, taking account of local needs and circumstances.
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Schools have been encouraged to carry out an audit of their existing provision against the requirements of the entitlement framework and to consider future provision in the context of what is available within the local area. Until proposals are developed, it is not possible to determine what changes will be involved in a locality or any associated costs.

£24.7 million has been allocated for the implementation of the new arrangements across Northern Ireland over the period 2005–06 to 2007–08, including work on piloting arrangements for cooperation and collaboration among schools and between schools and the further education sector.

The pilots and any early proposals emerging will assist the Department of Education to estimate the future costs beyond March 2008 and will be the subject of further consideration during the next spending review.

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