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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will bring forward legislation to allow her Department (a) to intervene in and (b) to review the decisions taken by Ofcom in connection with the granting of radio licences; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what appeals mechanism is available to radio stations which have their request for a radio licence rejected by Ofcom; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what radio licences have been granted in each county in England and Wales since the enactment of the Communications Act 2003; what applications for such licences have been rejected; what the reason for rejection was in each case; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: The matter raised is the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom), as independent regulator for the communications sector. Accordingly my officials have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Woodward: The Department has not made such an assessment. As is appropriate in the case of an independent review, my Department will fully assess the potential impact of any recommendations that Sir Michael Lyons makes in his final report on the function, future role and funding of local government once he has made them.
Following the agreement of a rescue package for the arts organisation The Public Charity Ltd., the artistic content and gallery commissions have been reviewed and work on testing the content for the gallery will begin shortly.
Mr. Lammy: Arts Council England are part of a stakeholder group which currently also includes the other funders, Sandwell metropolitan borough council, Advantage West Midlands and the Government office for the west midlands. The brief for the tendering process was written with the joint agreement of this group. Representatives of Arts Council England were involved in the shortlisting of submissions and were on the interview panel for the shortlisted proposals.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many tourist information centres were (a) in operation, (b) opened and (c) closed in England in each year since 2000; 
Mr. Woodward: Most tourist information centres (TICs) are controlled by local authorities and not funded or managed centrally. The provision of tourism services by local authorities, including TICs, is a discretionary matter for them.
However, VisitBritain has recently conducted a consultation on a strategy for providing national leadership for the tourist information network in England. The proposals, put forward after extensive discussion with the National TIC Steering Group and regional partners, include a range of actions designed to increase efficiency and service standards; increase revenue opportunities; and ensure integration with the Englandnet business support tool.
Until March 2006, VisitBritain part-funded One NorthEast and the Yorkshire Tourist Board (YTB) to
conduct co-ordination of the network. Between 2000 and 2003, this work was carried out by the regional tourist boards, led by the English Tourism Council. The costs of this work centrally were as follows:
Unfortunately, detailed annual records of the number of TICs and their visitor numbers are not held centrally. There were approximately 560 TICs in 2000 and there are about 514 now. YTB made a rough estimate in 2002 that around 75 million visits were made to Englands TICs. The acquisition of improved data on these matters is an important element of VisitBritains current proposals.
Chris Huhne: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the finance director of the Electoral Commission. 
Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it does not have a specific post of finance director, but that the responsibilities of its Director of Corporate Services, Roger Gough, include Finance, as well as Human Resources, IT, Procurement and Facilities. Mr. Gough has a Diploma in Management. Before becoming Director of Corporate Services at the Electoral Commission, Mr. Gough was a Director of Resources in the magistrates courts service for seven years.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of possible inflation of building costs in (a) London, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England as a result of the construction work associated with the 2012 Olympics. 
The Treasury has made no estimate of the possible inflation of building costs as a result of the construction work associated with the 2012 Olympics. As announced in January, the Public Sector Construction Clients Forum, set up by the Office of Government Commerce, is carrying out a project to examine the construction industrys capacity to deliver
planned national capital construction programmes, including the provision of the Olympics infrastructure, in the period 2005 to 2015.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average cost was to his Department of replying to a letter written by (a) an hon. Member, (b) a Member of the House of Lords, (c) a member of the public writing to a Minister at the Department and (d) an internal letter written by another Minister, in the last period for which figures are available; and how much of the cost was accounted for by (i) officials time, (ii) cost of stationery and (iii) postage costs. 
John Healey: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to correspondence from Members of both Houses of Parliament. The report for 2005 was published on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 76-78ws.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 13 June 2006, Official Report, column 5767W, on AK-47s, what UK custom entry clearances have been issued to UK-based companies for the import into the UK from Bosnia of (a) military vehicles and (b) assault rifles since June 2003. 
Dawn Primarolo: Since June 2003 UK Customs have issued six entry clearances to UK companies in respect of imports of military vehicles from Bosnia that have been recorded under Commodity Code heading 871 00000 which covers military vehicles.
Since June 2003 UK Customs have issued nine entry clearances to UK companies in respect of imports under Commodity Code 9301 9000 (other military weapons, other than revolvers, pistols and arms in heading 9307). Entry clearance is issued on the basis that import licenses had been granted prior to importation.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take to ensure that the data on deaths that would be released under clause 11 of the Police and Justice Bill cannot directly or indirectly be misused by commercial organisations; how the activities of commercial organisations will be monitored in relation to the use of such data; and what penalties would be available if the data were misused. 
As Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what steps are to be taken to ensure that data on deaths that would be released under clause 11 of the Police and Justice Bill
cannot directly or indirectly be misused by commercial organisations; how the activities of commercial organisations will be monitored in relation to the use of such data; and what penalties would be available if the data were misused. (80536)
It is the case now that death registration data is in the public domain as soon as any death is registered. The data is, however, difficult to access in bulk in England and Wales and is not accessible using modern technology. The intention of the provision is to reduce the scope for criminal activity arising from the fraudulent use of a dead persons identity, and to do so by making data available more quickly and in a more accessible format than is permitted at present.
It is recognised that provision of the data quickly and in bulk does create a need for additional controls. Any commercial organisation seeking to utilise data on deaths would need to demonstrate clearly that it would be used in such a way as to fulfil the intent of the clause by enabling the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of offences, and no data will be released unless that is the case. A regime is being designed, based on those criteria, to enable rigorous assessment of applications for receipt of the data.
The data will be released subject to strict conditions, and subsequent misuse of it will, lead as a minimum to withdrawal of the supply of data to the organisation concerned; further penalties would depend on the nature of the improper use.
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the most recent death rate from heart disease was in (a) Stoke-on-Trent (b) the West Midlands and (c) England. I am replying in her absence. (80604)
The latest year for which figures are available is 2004 and these are given in the following table.
|Death rates( 1) from coronary heart disease( 2) for Stoke-on-Trent local authority, West Midlands Government Office Region and England( 3) , by sex, 2004( 4)|
|(1 )Rates per 100,000 population standardised to the European Standard Population. (2 )The cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). The codes used are listed below: Coronary heart diseaseICD-10120-125 Deaths were selected using the original underlying cause. (3 )Usual residents of these areas. (4 )Deaths registered in 2004.|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of bills presented by private organisations to (a) HM Treasury and (b) HM Revenue and Customs were paid within (i) 10 days, (ii) 20 days, (iii) 30 days, (iv) 60 days and (v) 90 days in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
The Treasury aims to pay all invoices within contractual conditions or 30 days from the
receipt of goods or service, whichever is the later. We monitor performance against the 30 day target. Further analysis could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.
For the 12 month period ending 31 March 2006, 94.7 per cent. of undisputed Treasury and Debt Management Office invoices and 99.5 per cent. of undisputed Office of Government Commerce invoices were paid within 30 days. HMRC settled 98.8 per cent. of invoices within 30 days of receipt of goods or service.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in (a) Hartlepool constituency, (b) the Tees Valley sub-region and (c) the North East Region were long-term unemployed in each year since 1989. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question about unemployment. (80539)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles statistics of unemployment for local areas from the annual local area Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation definitions.
Table 1 shows the number of long-term unemployed for the Hartlepool parliamentary constituency, the Tees Valley sub-region and the North East region for each 12 months ending February 1999 to February 2004, from the annual LFS, and for the 12 months to December 2004 from the APS. Data are not available for earlier years.
These estimates, as with any from sample surveys, are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Changes in the estimates from year to year should be treated with particular caution.
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