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15 May 2006 : Column 667W—continued

Millennium Projects

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of24 April 2006, Official Report, columns 1358-59W, on millennium projects, if she will collect information on the performance of each project; and what monitoring of the performance of each project is undertaken. [69888]

Mr. Caborn: Like all lottery distributing bodies, the Millennium Commission takes decisions independently on which projects to support with national lottery proceeds. Under Financial Directions from the Department, the Commission is required to undertake appropriate monitoring and evaluation of projects to make sure that, among other things, lottery funds are being used for the purposes intended, that they represent value for money and that they are delivering the benefits identified in the application to the Commission. Under the Directions, a report on monitoring and evaluation studies carried out by or for the Commission must be included in the Commission's annual report to Parliament.

In view of the Commission's independent status, the Department does not collect information on, or separately monitor the performance of, its projects.

Recruitment

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much (a) her Department and (b) its agencies spent on recruitment, search and selection agencies in each of the last five years. [68346]

Mr. Caborn: The Department and its agency does not separately identify the cost of recruitment, search and selection agencies from other recruitment costs. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Television Licences

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether those who do not have a television set are required to inform Television Licensing that they do not require a TV licence. [69812]

Mr. Woodward: A television licence is required to install or use a television receiver, as defined in regulations made by the Secretary of State, rather than a television
15 May 2006 : Column 668W
set. Members of the public who do not require a television licence are under no obligation to inform TV Licensing of the fact.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions she has had with the (a) Department of Trade and Industry and (b) Department for Work and Pensions on the decision to stop selling television licences through the Post Office; [70335]

(2) if she will make a statement on the BBC's decision to stop selling television licences through the Post Office; [70411]

(3) what discussions her Department has had with the BBC on the decision to stop selling television licences through the Post Office; [70412]

(4) if she will list the different ways that viewers are able to purchase television licences; [70415]

(5) how many and what proportion of television licences were bought through the Post Office in the last period for which figures are available; [70416]

(6) what the average annual cost to the Government of selling television licences through the Post Office has been over the last three years. [70414]

Mr. Woodward: The award of the contract for over the counter sales of television licences is a commercial matter for the BBC as television licensing authority. The Government have no power to intervene in such matters, nor would it be appropriate to comment on the corporation's decision. The Secretary of State has not therefore discussed the matter with Cabinet colleagues but DCMS officials have liaised with the DTI to keep them informed of developments. Officials were informed by the BBC of the proposal to put the contract out to tender and were notified by the corporation prior to the announcement of the award of the contract.

The BBC, as licensing authority, bears the costs of licence fee collection direct. The Government have not incurred any costs relating to the sale of television licences through the Post Office since 1991.

As regards the different ways in which the television licence can be paid and the number and proportion of licences currently brought through the Post Office, I have asked the BBC's head of revenue management to consider the questions raised by the hon. Member and to write to him direct. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Tourism

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to promote tourism in south-east London. [70183]

Mr. Woodward: DCMS supports the tourism industry as a whole. South-east London benefits from my Department's funding for VisitBritain, which for 2006-07 includes £35.5 million for marketing Britain as a tourism destination overseas, and £12.4 million for marketing England to the domestic tourism market.

Responsibility for tourism policy in London has been devolved to the Mayor and the Greater London Authority (GLA), which works with the London Development
15 May 2006 : Column 669W
Agency (LDA) and Visit London. My Department contributes £1.9 million to the GLA in support of this role and the LDA spent a total of around £24 million supporting tourism in 2005-06, including over £11 million on tourism marketing and promotion for London and its sub-regions. In south-east London, this includes working with South London Business and TourEast London to deliver market research and other business support.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much Government funding has been allocated to promote tourism to the south-west in 2006-07; and how much has been allocated to regional development agencies to promote tourism in the south-west in each of the last five years. [70246]

Mr. Woodward: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) supports the tourism industry as a whole. The south-west benefits from my Department's funding for VisitBritain, which for 2006-07 includes £35.5 million for marketing Britain as a tourism destination overseas, and £12.4 million for marketing England to the domestic tourism market.

The regional development agencies (RDAs) took on strategic responsibility for tourism in the regions in 2003. Since then DCMS has contributed £3.6 million each year to the single pot in support of this role, which is allocated to the RDAs according to the Department for Trade and Industry's single pot funding formula.

All RDAs, including the south-west regional development agency (SWRDA), recognise the importance of the visitor economy to their regions. SWRDA has allocated £2.2 million to direct support for the industry in 2006-07, including marketing, as well as a further £500,000 for tourism skills development and £500,000 towards a regional data management system and the development of EnglandNet.

Before 2003-04, DCMS grant in aid passed to the English Tourism Council and was then allocated to the regional tourist boards, including South West Tourism, which was allocated £663,000 in 2002-03, £814,000 in 2001-02 and £563,000 in 2000-01.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total expenditure by Visit Britain was in each of the last five years. [70247]

Mr. Woodward: VisitBritain is responsible for promoting Britain to the rest of the world and England to the British.

Expenditure is funded by grant in aid provided by DCMS and non government funding raised by VisitBritain in relation to its marketing and promotion activities.

Total expenditure
£ million
Grant funded expenditure Non grant funded expenditure Total expenditure

2001-02

49.7

15.7

65.4

2002-03

53.8

21.6

75.4

2003-04

48.4

19.5

67.9

2004-05

48.4

15.5

63.9

2005-06

48.9

21.5

70.4


15 May 2006 : Column 670W

Additional amounts of £14.2 million in 2001-02, and £19 million in 2002-03, were allocated from the reserve to help the tourism sector to recover from the impacts of the foot and mouth outbreak, and the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

International Development

Afghanistan

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress is being made in providing alternative sources of income through humanitarian aid for poppy growers in Afghanistan. [69734]

Hilary Benn: DFID's focus in Afghanistan has changed from mainly humanitarian assistance in 2002 to an approach now looking to secure long-term development.

The UK is playing a major role in supporting the development of legal livelihood opportunities in Afghanistan. In 2005-06, DFID spent almost£50 million for this purpose. In 2006-07 the level of spending is expected to continue at similar levels.

DFID is a major supporter to the National Solidarity Programme, which has helped nearly 7,000 villages prioritise their own development needs, and to plan and implement community-led small scale infrastructure projects. The UK is providing £20 million to the Micro-Finance Investment Support Facility of Afghanistan (MISFA) to provide small loans to the rural poor, particularly women. By funding the National Rural Access Programme (NRAP) the UK is helping those currently dependent on illegal production and processing of drugs, to gain productive employment constructing and repairing essential infrastructure such as roads.

These projects are complemented by a £3 million fund to develop and promote alternative livelihood options for rural Afghans currently economically dependent on opium poppy. The fund is helping to identify local, national and international market opportunities for alternative crop varieties. Under our support for alternative agricultural livelihoods, 26,500 Afghan farmers have received important agricultural inputs.

Burma

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received about providing assistance and support for (a) women's networks, (b) civil society groups, (c) democracy groups and (d) organisations working with refugees and internally displaced peoples in Burma. [68235]

Mr. Thomas: DFID regularly receives representations about providing assistance and support in Burma to each of these four groups and considers each seriously. For example, in planning a new fund to tackle HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in Burma we are carrying out extensive and detailed discussions
15 May 2006 : Column 671W
with opposition groups, civil society groups and other non-governmental organisations. Representations have recently been made at meetings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Burma on 28 February, 19 and 26 April, and the Burma Forum in Brussels on 29 March on behalf of all of these groups, with the greatest emphasis on organisations working with refugees and internally displaced peoples.

In Rangoon, the regular representations we receive from a wide range of groups are most frequently concerned with providing support to civil society in Burma. I have also recently received representations from a number of members of the House of Commons arguing for increased support to organisations working with refugees and internally displaced people living near the Thai-Burma border. In response to the increased vulnerability of those internally displaced people, DFID is, with the UN and local community leaders, currently assessing the possibility of providing assistance to these internally displaced people through local community mechanisms. Subsequently, DFID will be carrying out a fundamental review of the level and means of our support to internally displaced people and refugees in Burma.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received about providing aid and support for (a) Burmese refugees living in Thailand, (b) internally displaced people living on the Thai-Burma border and (c) vulnerable groups living in Burma. [68241]

Mr. Thomas: DFID regularly receives representations about providing assistance and support in Burma to each of these groups and considers each seriously. For example, DFID's support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (£500,000 in each of the past two years) is intended to provide vital support to those in prison or in conflict-affected areas and our support to the Thai-Burma Border Consortium (£1,838,705 over three years) is intended to assist Burmese refugees living in Thailand. Representations have recently been made at meetings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Burma on 28 February, 19 and 26 April, and the Burma Forum in Brussels on 29 March on behalf of all of these groups, with the greatest emphasis on internally displaced people living on the Thai-Burma border.

In Rangoon, the regular representations we receive from a wide range of groups are most frequently concerned with vulnerable groups living in Burma. I have also received recently representations from a number of honourable members arguing for increased support to organisations working with refugees and internally displaced people living near the Thai-Burma border.

In response to the increased vulnerability of those internally displaced people, DFID is, with the UN and local community leaders, currently assessing the possibility of providing assistance to these internally displaced people through local community mechanisms. Subsequently, DFID will be carrying out a fundamental review of the level and means of our support to internally displaced people and refugees in Burma.


15 May 2006 : Column 672W

Ethiopia

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to ensure that development funding for basic services in Ethiopia is channelled through non-governmental organisations. [70036]

Hilary Benn: We provide aid through non-governmental organisations in Ethiopia and are identifying ways to increase this. But NGOs in Ethiopia do not have the capacity to absorb the amounts of aid required to make significant progress on health and education and the other Millennium Development Goals; only the Government have sufficient reach to provide essential basic services for the entire country. For this reason we are also working with the Government of Ethiopia and other donors to develop a Protection of Basic Services Grant to deliver basic services such as education, health and water to the poor, with appropriate monitoring safeguards.

Malaria

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received on the use of DDT to tackle malaria; and what recent discussions he has had with international bodies on this matter. [69988]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has received no recent representations and has not had any recent discussions with international bodies on the use of DDT to tackle malaria. However DFID does look to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide updated technical information on the most appropriate strategies to control malaria.

Current WHO guidance is that DDT may be used for mosquito control provided that it is used only for indoor residual spraying (IRS); it is effective; the material is manufactured according to WHO specifications, and the necessary safety precautions are taken for its use and disposal.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of the use of DDT on rates of malaria in South Africa. [69989]

Hilary Benn: Data for the number of cases of Malaria is available from the South African Department of Health's website (http://www.doh.gov.za/). The following are the official annual figures for the number of malaria cases, the number of deaths and the case fatality rate in South Africa.

Total cases Total deaths Case fatality rate

1999

51,444

406

0.8

2000

64,622

458

0.7

2001

26,506

119

0.4

2002

15,649

96

0.6

2003

13,459

142

1

2004

13,399

89

0.6

2005

5,351

40

0.7



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