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4 July 2006 : Column 913W—continued

The figures quoted for the fleet size include vehicles that are undergoing planned programmed repair and modification, being used for training, with the Design Authority for trials and testing, or in storage.

The operationally deployable figures include vehicles that are undergoing repairs at Unit level and undergoing Bowman conversion.

At any one time a number of the deployable fleet will be undergoing minor repairs in situ at the Unit, and a proportion may be involved in scheduled upgrade programmes, for example Bowman conversion. The number of vehicles available for immediate deployment therefore fluctuates continuously. If a Unit drops below a pre-determined number of deployable vehicles, due to vehicles requiring repair beyond the capability of the Unit and its supporting Battalion, a replacement vehicle is provided.

The Sabre and Scorpion (and variants) have not been included as these vehicles were withdrawn from service in 2004 and 1995 respectively.

Nuclear Deterrent

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is his policy to retain a strategic nuclear deterrent in the long-term. [81534]

Des Browne: The Labour party manifesto at the 2005 general election committed the Government to retaining the United Kingdom's independent nuclear deterrent. We have previously made clear that this commitment effectively applies for the life of the current system. No decisions, either in principle or detail, have yet been taken on the position beyond that point. But as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear in the House on 28 June, these decisions will be taken later this year.

Records Management

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules are established in the Joint Service Defence Records Management Manual concerning the classes or categories of documents that must be retained in the circumstances of a sudden or controversial death; how long these records have to be
4 July 2006 : Column 914W
retained; and what penalties are available following the successful prosecution of a person responsible for the retention of a document or piece of evidence in the event of its destruction. [79839]

Mr. Ingram: The Defence Records Management Manual does not refer specifically to classes or categories of documents relating to sudden or controversial death. Retention of such records may be defined separately: for example, copies of the reports of all Boards of Inquiry into unnatural deaths are required to be held centrally for a minimum of 25 years. Personnel files are preserved in the Department for at least 100 years from the individual's date of birth. The penalties available in the event of any prosecution would depend on the offence that it was alleged had been committed.


Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists have not received bounty payments for training year 2005-06; what the reasons are for the delay; what steps are being taken to compensate reservists for late payments; and what steps his Department is taking to address any impact on the morale of those reservists affected. [80448]

Mr. Watson: Of those reservists who qualified for a bounty in 2005-06, six RNR cases have not yet been paid due to technical queries but they are in the pay system and should be paid in July. In addition, there are 25 members of the RNR who have not fulfilled the strict bounty and eligibility requirements but whose cases are being considered further to see if a waiver is appropriate.

The TA is currently looking into around 27 cases to check that eligibility requirements have been met.

The RAuxAF have paid bounty to all eligible personnel and have no outstanding cases.

SA80 Rifle

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long he expects the SA80 rifle to remain in service in the UK armed forces; and what research is being conducted on a possible replacement. [81110]

Mr. Ingram: The SA80 rifle has an out of service date of 2020. The UK has completed a calibre study to determine the effect required by the next generation of small arms. This research will be continued by the Ministry of Defence.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on reform of the Arts Council. [81232]

4 July 2006 : Column 915W

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 3 July 2006]: The Arts Council underwent a Peer Review in 2005 which identified a number of key areas for reform. These included the role and structure of its national office, how the Arts Council engages with its stakeholders and how it works with Government.

The Arts Council is responding in each of these areas. A new structure and role for the Arts Council's national office will be in place by the autumn. Engagement with its stakeholders will be improved by addressing issues that arise during an extensive consultation exercise with the sector and the public more widely over the coming months. A new Funding Agreement between my Department and the Arts Council will provide a central focus for the way the Arts Council works with Government.


Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether guidance will be issued to local authorities to ensure that new casino licensing regulations are applied consistently. [82537]

Mr. Caborn: The Gambling Commission is responsible for issuing guidance to licensing authorities on the manner in which they exercise their functions under the Act. The Commission published the first part of its “Guidance to Licensing Authorities” in April 2006, and this dealt with the development and preparation of local premises licensing policies, including those in respect of casinos.

The Commission will issue further guidance about the regulation of casinos and other gambling premises in due course. All local authorities must have regard to this guidance when carrying out functions under the Act.

The Department is also developing a training package for local authority councillors and officers.

Commonwealth Institute

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will place in the Library a copy of her correspondence with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the Commonwealth Institute building. [81021]

Mr. Lammy: It is a long standing convention that information relating to internal discussions and advice is not normally disclosed.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the cost of making payments to the victims of terrorism abroad at the level of the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme. [82286]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 3 July 2006]: The Government have announced that they will make a £1 million donation to a charitable fund to offer immediate financial assistance to victims of terrorism abroad.

Details of the fund are still being finalised in discussion with the British Red Cross, but it will not be a statutory compensation scheme in the manner of the
4 July 2006 : Column 916W
Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme. Payments made will not be comparable to those of the CICS but will be at a level that ensures that the contributions made to the fund can support all those who need to claim from it.

Further details will be announced in the coming months.

Free TV Licences

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will extend free television licences to those pensioners below the age of 75 years who are in receipt of pension credit; and if she will make a statement. [81123]

Mr. Woodward: No. As indicated in the BBC Charter Review White Paper published in March this year, concessions have been proposed for a wide range of groups during the Charter Review process. However, there was little consensus as to the criteria on which such concessions should be allocated or how they should be funded. The Government do not therefore propose any changes to the existing range of concessions.

Heritage Protection

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to publish the White Paper on heritage protection. [81484]

Mr. Lammy: We hope to publish a White Paper in the autumn 2006.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what Private Members' Bills were drafted by her Department in each session since 1997; and which subsequently received Royal Assent. [77832]

Mr. Lammy: Members will consider a range of possible subjects before introducing their Private Members' Bills.

Government draftsmen do draft some Bills in advance which are available as one of the options for Members to consider before they make their selection.

However, Members may make subsequent amendments or revisions to a Government drafted Bill, or use it as the basis for a Private Members' Bill in the future.

The information requested is therefore not collected.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on Government support for music and music education. [81485]

Mr. Lammy: The Government are committed to supporting music in all its forms. We are achieving this through increased investment—funding for music through Arts Council England has more than doubled since 1997 to over £100 million this year.

4 July 2006 : Column 917W

My Department continues to work very closely with the Department for Education and Skills on the Music Manifesto, which will celebrate its second anniversary this month. This sets out a series of shared aims for music education and has the support of over 550 signatories from across the education, cultural and music sectors.

Responsibility for music within schools falls to the Department for Education and Skills.

Through the Live Music Forum, we are working to ensure that opportunities for the promotion of live music are realised to the full.

Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the likely impact of the removal by Sport England of grant to the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group; and if she will make a statement. [81075]

Mr. Caborn: I am advised that Sport England has supported the work of the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) for a number of years, with a grant of
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£12,000 per annum. This sum was a contribution towards PWTAG's general work in connection with pool water treatment and the preparation of its reference book, “Swimming Pool Water”. Unfortunately, due to budgetary pressures, Sport England is now unable to continue this funding and has had to reluctantly withdraw it.

I have asked Sport England for further background information on this decision.

Select Committee Recommendations

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action has been taken by her Department to implement Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee recommendations since the 2001-02 session; and if she will make a statement. [77835]

Mr. Lammy: The following table lists all the Reports from the Culture, Media and Sport select committee to which the Government have responded since the 2001-02 session. An update on all select committee recommendations could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the Government in their responses to reports make clear whether or not they accept the Committee’s recommendations.

Government response

Session 2005-06

Analogue Switch-off: A signal change in television (HC 650)

Cm 6850

Broadcasting Rights for Cricket (HC 720)

Cm 6772

Session 2004-05

Public Libraries (HC 81)

Cm 6648

A public BBC (HC 82)

Cm 6474

Theatre (HC 254)

Cm 6644

Maritime Heritage and Historic Ships (HC 296)

HC 385 of session 2005-06

Market for Art (HC 414)

Cm 6643

Session 2003-04

Cultural objects: developments since 2000 (HC 59)


Broadcasting in Transition (HC380)

HC 380 of session 2003-04

Reform of the National Lottery (HC 196)

Cm 6232

Arts Development: Dance (HC 587)

Cm 6326

Drugs and role models in sport: making and setting examples (HC 499)

Cm 6347

Work of the Department in 2002-03 (HC 404)

Cm 6242

Session 2002-03

National Museums and Galleries: Funding and Free Admission (HC 85)

Cm 5772

A London Olympic bid for 2012 (HC 268)

Cm 5867

The structure and strategy for supporting tourism (HC 65)

Cm 5790

Privacy and media intrusion (HC 458)

Cm 5985

The British film industry (HC 667)

Cm 6022

Session 2001-02

The Government's proposals for gambling: nothing to lose? (HC 827)

Cm 5622

Communications (HC 539)

Cm 5554

Arts Development (HC 489)

Cm 5533

Testing the waters: the sport of swimming (HC 418)

Cm 5480

Revisiting the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games (HC 842)

Cm 5576

Wembley National Stadium project: into injury time (HC 843)

Cm 5582

Unpicking the Lock: The World Athletics Championships in the UK (HC 264)

Cm 5448

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