|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
NESTA was created by Act of Parliament in 1998, to support UK creativity and innovation. NESTA is working towards transforming the UKs capacity for innovation. It invests in all stages of the innovation process, backing new ideas and funding ventures that
stimulate entrepreneurship. It aims to be the single most important catalyst for innovation in the UK.
Its total expenditure in 1998-99 was £909,000, rising to £25,332,000 in 2005-06. The number of awards made in 1999-2000 totalled 31, rising to 273 in 2005-06. Finally the number of applicants rejected in 2000-01 totalled 244, rising to 1,460 in 2005-06.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the Amateur Swimming Association on classification of school swimming pools not included in the category of supplementary net agenda; and if she will make a statement. 
Indoor swimming pools are normally classified as supplementary net area, as set out in DfES Building Bulletin 98: Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects. This is because they are usually an enhancement to school facilities, not part of the core provision that we expect all schools to have. Outdoor pools are not included in either the net or gross floor area of school buildings.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many interviews of the 1,000 per local authority have been conducted so far for Sport England's active people survey; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: 266,883 interviews have been conducted so far for Sport England's active people survey which is on track to meet the target of at least 1,000 interviews per local authority in England by October 2006.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the likely impact of the shortlisted options for the A303 at Stonehenge in the first year after their construction on (a) visitor numbers and (b) income generated from visitors to Stonehenge. 
Mr. Lammy: The specific impact of each A303 option on commercial performance at Stonehenge has not been modelled. However, should English Heritage's plans for a new visitor centre and access arrangements at Stonehenge go ahead, along with the published scheme for improvements to the A303, it is estimated that visitor numbers are likely to stay the same as at present. Any increase in visitor spending is likely to be balanced by the cost of operating the new facilities.
|(1) Decline in income in years 2000-01 and 2001-02 reflects the decline in visitors during the foot and mouth crisis and the aftermath of 9/11.|
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the number of visitors to heritage sites in the vicinity of Stonehenge in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Lammy: The only English Heritage site in the vicinity of Stonehenge is Old Sarum. Other key sites in the area are Salisbury Cathedral and Wilton House. The visitor figures from 1997 for Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral are given in the table. Visitor figures for Wilton House will follow shortly:
|Old Sarum||Salisbury Cathedral( 1)|
|(1) Salisbury Cathedral does not charge entry fees, therefore figures are approximate and do not include people attending services, concerts or visiting the Close generally.|
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate her Department has made of the likely effect on the number of visitors to heritage sites in the vicinity of Stonehenge of each of the shortlisted options for the A303 at Stonehenge in the first year after construction. 
However, South West Tourism has identified Stonehenge and Salisbury as a key destination for regional tourism. Should the published road scheme be
approved, it will enable English Heritage to make major improvements to the visitor experience at Stonehenge, encourage a longer stay in the region and potentially benefit attractions such as Salisbury Cathedral and other local heritage sites and museums.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will take steps to improve the provision of swimming facilities in Peterborough; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: Access to good quality sporting provision, including swimming pools, is essential if we are to encourage people to lead healthier, more active lives. There has been significant public investment in sports facilities in recent yearsby 2006 over £1 billion of Exchequer and lottery funding will have been committed to develop over 4,000 new or refurbished facilities. Swimming has been the single greatest beneficiary of sport lottery funding, having received some £249 million since 1997. Peterborough has benefited from 31 awards totalling £699,823.
Provision for sport and leisure is currently a discretionary service for local authorities. Decisions on such provision are therefore a matter for local government. However, Sport England are encouraging and helping local authorities through the development of swimming strategies and toolkits to aid strategic planning. According to the Active Places database (available at www.activeplaces.com) there are 14 swimming pools within a 10 mile radius of Peterborough.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which event organisers of music festivals in the summer of 2006 have signed up to her Department's code of practice on ticket touting; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: DCMS have been working with many of the organisers of summer music festivals including those representing the organisers of T in the Park, the Reading and Leeds festivals and the V festival as well as other representatives covering music, sport and the arts as well as secondary sellers and EBay.
All of these parties were involved in the production of the statement of principles (copies of which I have now placed in the Libraries of both Houses, which was first presented at a meeting) hosted by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in April. The statement of principles sets out the broad guidelines which we expected all parties involved in the commercial selling of tickets to follow. Since that meeting DCMS officials have had continued meetings with these representatives to aid their sectors in the production of sector specific codes of practice, which puts the rights of the consumer at the forefront.
Mr. Caborn: On 3 July, Multiplex announced publicly that it remained confident that substantial completion of the stadium would be achieved in July 2006 sufficient to enable practical completion of its work at the end of September 2006.
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what progress the Commission has made in considering the proposal by the National Audit Office for the refurbishment of its headquarters building in London. 
Mr. Alan Williams: At its meeting in December 2005 the Commission gave outline approval to the NAO's proposed refurbishment of its headquarters building in Buckingham Palace Road, London, subject, however, to three conditions. First, that the NAO should produce a detailed, fully costed business case for the project. Second, that the NAO should carry out a cost-benefit analysis of an alternative approach to its accommodation requirements, namely moving its headquarters to a North of England location. And third, that the NAO should provide a fuller explanation of its decision to rule out the possibility of acquiring alternative accommodation in London as part of the Government estate.
The business case produced by the NAO gives the total cost of the project as £77.44 million, spread over five years starting in 2006-07. In the longer term, there will be a small increase in annual resource costs to the NAO, resulting from higher business rates, capital charges and depreciation, partially offset by reduced running costs through greater building efficiency. Since submitting its original proposals the NAO has revised its approach to the decanting of staff which will be necessary while the building work is in progress. It is now hoped to carry this out in a single rather than a two or three stage process, depending on the availability of suitable decant accommodation. On the basis of the business case, the NAO made a persuasive argument in support of refurbishment as the most cost-effective way of avoiding what would otherwise bebecause of the building's current deficienciesan unacceptable risk to the Office's continued ability to function efficiently. The Commission was, however,
conscious of the sensitivity surrounding the timing of the project, since, under the NAO's plans, the bulk of the expenditure would occur in the years covered by the next, and potentially difficult, comprehensive spending review. We therefore pressed the NAO on the implications of deferring the project (which, because of the need to avoid coinciding with the competing demands on the construction industry from Olympics-related activity, would entail a delay until 2013). The NAO satisfied the Commission that, given the deteriorating condition of the current building, waiting a further seven years before undertaking remedial work would pose an unacceptable risk to the NAO's operations and therefore to the service it provides to Parliament.
In response to the Commission's request, the NAO examined Manchester as a possible location for a provincial headquarters building. Of a number of cities considered, Manchester was judged to come nearest to meeting the Office's principal requirements: good transport connections; and a sufficiently large local pool of qualified accountants to enable the NAO to recruit and retain key professional staff. On the latter count, the available pool in Manchester, though large in comparison with other provincial cities, is much smaller than London's and is insufficient to support the NAO's requirements. The cost-benefit analysis carried out by the NAO indicated that the basic costs associated with relocating would be broadly similar to those for the option of staying on in a refurbished Buckingham Palace Road. On the other hand, the analysis suggested that the uncertainty over the number of staff who would be willing to relocate posed a risk both of additional, but unquantifiable costs of redundancy and resettlement packages, and of disruption of core business activity. The Commission was satisfied that, for these reasons, relocation was not a realistic option. The NAO is, however, proposing to expand its presence in the North, concentrating on its existing team in Newcastle.
As part of its consideration of alternative sites in London for its headquarters building, the NAO has examined the portfolio of vacant, or about to become vacant, properties maintained by the Office of Government Commerce. The NAO's assessment, which the Commission accepted, is that there is at present no building available of a size and configuration to meet the NAO's requirements on a long term basis, and at a cost competitive with the headquarters refurbishment option, taking account of the resultant loss of the current peppercorn rent. Taking all these factors into account, and having carefully considered the NAO's business case, the Commission gave its formal approval to the proposed refurbishment of the Buckingham Palace Road building. The Commission noted that, depending on how quickly the refurbishment work can begin, it may be necessary for the NAO to submit a supplementary estimate for the financial year 2006-07. The Commission will consider any such request if and when it is received. In the meantime, the Commission looks to the Treasury to make room within the public expenditure envelope for the relevant years for the
resources needed for the refurbishment. For its part, the Commission will monitor carefully the progress of the project against both time and budget.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 21 June 2006, Official Report, column 1872W, on the Cabinet Office Staff Handbook, when the CD will be placed in the Library. 
Mr. McFadden: A CD Rom containing the terms and conditions of service of Cabinet Office staff set out in the Cabinet Office HR Code, was placed in the Library for the reference of Members on Friday 14 July.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|