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James Purnell: My Department makes available grant-in-aid of some £50 million per year to VisitBritain to promote Britain overseas as an attractive tourist destination and to promote England in the domestic market. In addition, DCMS allocates over £1 billion in support of galleries, museums, sport and heritage. This investment benefits tourism throughout the country, including Peterborough.
Since 2003, Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have had strategic responsibility for tourism development in the regions. DCMS makes a contribution of £3.6 million per annum to the RDA Single Pot towards this. The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is taking steps to assist the growth of tourism in Peterborough in three ways: Firstly, it has increased investment in the East of England Tourist Board, with the remit of promoting the region as a whole. Secondly, EEDA will be providing funding for a Greater Cambridgeshire tourism strategy. Thirdly, EEDA seeks to ensure that all relevant economic development work supported by the Agency (including business support, skills and infrastructure development) takes tourism into account.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the acts of vandalism which have been perpetrated (a) inside and (b) on the outside of her Department's buildings in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what was the value of (a) the smallest and (b) the largest grant awarded under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme in each year since 2001. 
The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme returns to faith groups the equivalent of the VAT incurred in making repairs to the fabric of listed church buildings. Information is not available on the smallest and largest grants made in each year since 2001.
27 Feb 2006 : Column 224W
While there is an operational minimum claim of £100, applicants are able to make one claim in relation to a number of invoices spread over time. The largest single claim totalled £252,161.46 and the largest composite payment made was £392,001.49 spread over four financial years.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the number of places of worship in the UK that are not listed as eligible for the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. 
James Purnell: No estimate has been made of the number of places of worship that would be ineligible under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme as there are no central statistics on the number of unlisted church buildings. The scheme returns to faith groups the equivalent of the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed church buildings. Where a church is not listed, but is considered to be of special historic or architectural interest, an application for listing can be made to English Heritage.
James Purnell: The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme returns to faith groups the equivalent of the VAT incurred in making repairs to the fabric of listed places of worship. The scheme applies throughout the United Kingdom and I estimate that approximately 29,000 places of worship would be eligible to make an application.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many places of worship received funding under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme in each year since 2001. 
James Purnell: The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme returns to faith groups the equivalent of the VAT incurred in making repairs to the fabric of listed church buildings. The number of places of worship that have benefited under the scheme each year since 2001 is in the table.
|Financial year||Number of successful applicants|
|200506 to date||2,344|
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the progress of the Ambition pilots for job placement; and what follow-up actions have been taken by (a) Jobcentre Plus and (b) other departmental agencies as a result of the pilots. 
Margaret Hodge: The Ambition programme has demonstrated that working with industry and sector based partners to enhance employment opportunity for disadvantaged people has been very successful. The programme has met its aims of supporting people into employment. At the same time we have developed new approaches to training ensuring that the training better meets the customised needs of employers.
Ambition Retail, IT and Construction have now all come to an end and the final Ambition Energy and Health courses will end in March. A report on the pilots Ambition: identifying best practice for demand led approaches" GHK Consulting, DWP Research Report 264, 2005, is available in the Library. The lessons learned from the Ambition pilots will be embedded in successor programmes.
We are currently in negotiation with partners in the Learning and Skills Council and the Energy and Utilities Sector Skills Council to develop plans for a successor programme within the energy and utilities sector. It is hoped that any developments in this sector can be applied into other occupational areas.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on contracting out the administration of paper-based methods of benefit claims in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of benefit claimants used a paper-based method as their principal method of claiming benefits in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Plaskitt: All benefit claims are paper based with the exception of claims to state pension. Although it is possible to make benefit claims on-line, by telephone and face to face, a hard copy" of the claim requires the signature of the applicant before the claim can be considered in the normal way.
In August 2005 a rolling programme of transformation commenced which allows customers in three geographical locations (London, Dundee and Swansea) to make their claim to state pension over the telephone without the need to sign a claim form. 9,141 claims were made over the telephone between August 2005 and January 2006. This means that 98 per cent. of the 200506 state pension claims received involved a paper-based claim form.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what was the transactional cost of paying benefits into foreign bank accounts of UK citizens resident abroad in (a) EU and (b) non-EU countries for each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The transactional cost to DWP of paying benefits into foreign bank accounts of UK citizens resident abroad in (a) EU and (b) non-EU countries is no more than payments to citizens residing in the UK. Further information is commercial in confidence between the Department and its banks.
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