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6 July 2006 : Column 1274W—continued

BBC World (China)

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what filtering takes place of BBC World programmes in China. [81848]

Mr. Woodward: I understand that BBC World’s programmes in China are not filtered by the BBC but, as part of the channel’s distribution agreement, the channel signal is downlinked in China and, in common with other overseas satellite television broadcasters, is re-uplinked on the Sino satellite. On occasion BBC World’s signal has been interrupted or suspended by the Chinese authorities prior to the re-uplink of the signal on the Sino satellite platform.

Braille/Audio/Large Print Publications

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding her Department has provided for (a) Braille, (b) audio and (c) large print books, newspapers and magazines in each of the last five years. [73657]

Mr. Woodward: My Department has no specific budget to fund Braille, audio and large print publications. However, these publications benefit through Government support for libraries and the publishing industry generally, and more widely, by the way we encourage all industries to make their publications accessible to all. There have also been almost £10 million worth of Lottery projects which have involved publications for the visually impaired.

Broadcast Rights Payments

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the lost revenue to UK
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companies and recording artists from the lack of payments for broadcast rights in the USA; and what estimate has been supplied to her Department by the music industry. [82619]

Mr. Woodward: This Department has not made such an estimate. However, the recording industry has estimated that a change in US law in respect of broadcasting rights would enable it to earn additional revenue of approximately £281 million. Furthermore, in 2001 the European Commission estimated that the US Fairness in Music Licensing Act 1998, had cost composers, songwriters and music publishers some $25 million a year in lost royalties.

Licensing Legislation

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the progress on preparation of the new licensing legislation consultation document. [82673]

Mr. Woodward: We are conducting a review of the guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 in two stages.

Following an initial review, which covered issues where a broad consensus existed among stakeholders, supplementary guidance was tabled in Parliament on 22 June 2006. The supplement is now in force and has been made available to all licensing authorities.

We will conduct a formal public consultation on the fuller review over the summer with a view to tabling any revised guidance in Parliament by the end of 2006.

Listed Buildings

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions since 1997 a previously listed building has been de-listed (a) after English Heritage had advised against de-listing, (b) after English Heritage has advised in favour of de-listing and (c) because the building was fundamentally damaged; and whether any of the buildings de-listed were subsequently demolished. [82681]

Mr. Lammy: Between 1997 and 2005 inclusive, 696 buildings were removed from the statutory list.

We do not hold data on decisions to de-list buildings in the format you request, and to compile it would incur disproportionate costs. Neither DCMS nor English Heritage holds data on whether de-listed buildings were subsequently demolished.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many buildings were (a) listed and (b) de-listed in each year since 1997; and how many had their listing changed (i) from grade I to grade II and (ii) from grade II to grade I. [82682]

Mr. Lammy: The figures for questions (a) and (b) are set out as follows:

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(a) Buildings removed from the list



















(b) Buildings added to the list



















We do not hold a central record of cases in which buildings were upgraded from I to II or downgraded from II to I, and to compile it would incur disproportionate costs.

Radio Licences

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 407W, on radio licences, what factors she took into account when deciding that there was not a case for a review at this time; and if she will make a statement. [82635]

Mr. Woodward: It is a well established principle in the UK that broadcasting is carried out independently of Government. Accordingly, decisions on the licensing of radio stations are made by Ofcom, the independent regulator, free from Government intervention. We are not aware of any evidence which suggests that this principle should be reviewed.

Television Licences

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what information TV Licensing provides about local Paypoint facilities in Swansea to pay for television licences; [81970]

(2) what advice is being given to people by TV Licensing about (a) the withdrawal of television licence stamps and (b) arrangements for their replacement. [82005]

Mr. Woodward: The BBC, as television licensing authority, has responsibility for the administration of the licensing system. TV Licensing operates under contract to the corporation. I have therefore asked the
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BBC’s Head of Revenue Management to reply. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the withdrawal of television licence savings stamps. [81971]

Mr. Woodward: The BBC, as television licensing authority, is replacing television licence savings stamps with a new, card-based savings scheme. This scheme offers similar ease of use to stamps and important advantages, including added security for savers, (with a central record of their credit balances). Savings stamps can be used to purchase a TV licence at a post office until 31 July this year, after which they will be redeemable for cash from TV Licensing, without limit of time.

Ann Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people over 75 years in Brentford and Isleworth constituency receive free television licences. [82433]

Mr. Woodward: TV Licensing, which administer (as agents for the BBC) free television licences for people aged 75 or over are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, according to the Department for Work and Pensions records the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in 2004-05 in the Brentford and Isleworth constituency was 4,865.


Departmental Chief Accounting Officer

Chris Huhne: To ask the Solicitor-General what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the chief accounting officer of each of the Law Officers’ Departments. [76721]

The Solicitor-General: For my Departments the answer is as follows:


Treasury Solicitor



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Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Solicitor-General when he will reply to question number 77183, on looters in Basra, tabled by the hon. Member for Sunderland, South on 8 June. [83235]

The Solicitor-General: I replied to the hon. Member on 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1111W.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Abandoned Cars

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to ensuring that abandoned cars are removed from public highways and council land within a reasonable time period. [82411]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 includes provisions that amend legislation relating to abandoned vehicles, with the effect that from 18 October 2005, all abandoned vehicles can be removed immediately from a road. A ‘road’ is defined in statute but is not restricted to the public highway and includes all roads to which the public have access and will, in many cases, include private roads running through housing estates.

Agricultural Workers

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultations were undertaken with employers of seasonal agricultural workers scheme students on changes to the employment contracts of those students; what discussions he had with the Home Office; and if he will make a statement. [82026]

Barry Gardiner [holding answer 3 July 2006]: The Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme (SAWS) is operated by the Home Office. Defra provides advice to the Home Office on how minimum wage legislation is applied in the agricultural sector and any implications it has for SAWS. This procedure was followed during the drafting of the contract clarification letter issued by the Home Office on 22 June. The Home Office is not involved in drawing up contracts of employment which are a matter for individual employers and their employees.

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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what compensation is available to aquaculture industries in cases where compulsory slaughter is ordered due to an outbreak of a list 2 disease; and what recent discussions he has had with the aquaculture industry on this issue. [82691]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 5 July 2006]: Under successive Governments, compensation has not been available for the compulsory slaughter of fish due to an outbreak of serious fish diseases; this remains my Department's policy.

Following the recent outbreak of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia on a trout farm in the River Ouse catchment area, I have held meetings with farmers in the area and their representative organisations to hear their concerns and consider options for alleviating current difficulties.

Brixham Fish Market

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his answer of 28 June 2006, Official Report, columns 386-87W, on Brixham fish market, why a final decision on the funding of Brixham fish market will only be made when an assessment of the potential impact of a possible restriction of scallop dredging in Lyme Bay is completed. [83297]

Mr. Bradshaw: To take into account all the factors that could affect the economic viability of Brixham fish market, when taking a decision on whether to grant a significant sum of public funding for its redevelopment. These factors include a possible restriction in scallop dredging. Bearing in mind that scallops form a significant part of the value of landings into Brixham, my officials sought further information on the potential effect of a loss of revenue from this source and an assurance from the applicant that this had been considered.

I am pleased to say that following consideration of this further information and receipt of an assurance from Torbay council, officials have approved the application for grant funding of the market, and the council has been informed of this decision.

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