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8 Nov 2006 : Column 1514Wcontinued
On 10 October 2006 ICSTIS announced a review of the Quiz TV sector, covering all services within the sector, as well as current safeguards.
On 3 August the Gambling Commission consulted on the possible need for some Call TV Quiz Services to change how they are currently operated to ensure compliance with the new rules under the Gambling Act 2005 (which will come into force in September 2007). The consultation, which closed on 31 October, received a significant response. The Commission will be issuing its response in the new year.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues about the regulation of television quiz channels which require premium-rate telephone calls to enter. 
Mr. Woodward: None. Responsibility for the regulation of these services rests with the independent regulators, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) and the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS).
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether a person who owns a black and white television set and a digital set-top box needs to purchase a colour television licence. 
Mr. Woodward: I regret that it has not been possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions took place during his recent visit to China. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: My hon. Friend may be aware that I held very productive discussions in Beijing with State Councillor Tang on a range of international, regional and bilateral issues. These included North Korea and the work of the China Task Force, which covers trade and investment, science and technology, education, sustainable development and the environment, culture and health issues.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 30 October 2006, Official Report, column 82W, on diplomatic gifts, (1) on how many occasions in each of the last five years gifts have been given to overseas dignitaries at public cost; 
(2) what the average cost was of gifts given to overseas dignatories at public cost in each of the last five years; what the costs were of (a) the most expensive and (b) the least expensive of any gifts given; and if he will make a statement. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.
Ms Butler: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many meetings of the Advisory Group on the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire there have been; if he will publish the minutes of those meetings; and how many enquiries he has (a) received and (b) responded to on the work of the Group. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the appointments process is for the Duchy Council. 
Hilary Armstrong: New Council members are identified using a brief prepared by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with Council. Three or four candidates are shortlisted and interviewed by a panel of three Council members and one independent member.
The successful candidate is recommended to the Chancellor for submission to Her Majesty the Queen for her approval.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what the cost of the (a) Social Exclusion Task Force, (b) Better Regulation Executive and (c) Office of the Third Sector has been since its creation; and what its estimated cost is for 2006-07; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the progress made by the (a) Social Exclusion Task Force and (b) Better Regulation Executive; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) how many staff are employed by the (a) Social Exclusion Taskforce and (b) Better Regulation Executive, broken down by (i) sex, (ii) ethnicity, (iii) age and (iv) salary band; 
(4) how many staff are employed by the Office of the Third Sector, broken down by salary band; 
(5) what the cost of provision of mobile phones to special advisers in her Department has been in the last 12 months; 
(6) how much was spent on external consultants and advisers by her Department in each year since 1997-98; and what the expected costs are for 2006-07; 
(7) what the annual expenditure on vehicles by her Department was in each year since 1997-98; and what the planned expenditure is for 2006-07; 
(8) how many visitors the Cabinet Office website received in each month of 2006; and how many updates were made to the website during each month; 
(9) pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2006, Official Report, column 110W, on departmental websites, what the forecast costs for maintaining websites within her responsibility are in the 2006-07 financial year; 
(10) how much was spent on websites within her responsibility in each year since 1997-98; 
(11) what the combined cost of marketing and advertising was for her Department in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2006-07; 
(12) how many projects have been undertaken by the Better Regulation Executive since it was established; how much each project cost; and what assessment she has made of such projects impacts; 
(13) how many projects have been undertaken by the Social Exclusion Taskforce since it was established; what assessment she has made of their impact; and if she will make a statement; 
(14) what the cost of all projects undertaken by the Social Exclusion Taskforce has been since it was established; 
(15) how many projects have been undertaken by the Office of the Third Sector since it was established; how much each project cost; what assessment she has made of their impact; and if she will make a statement. 
Hilary Armstrong: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster why the Social Exclusion Unit has been disbanded. 
Hilary Armstrong: The Social Exclusion Task Force (SETF) was set up at the centre of Government in July 2006 to carry forward the Governments cross cutting agenda on social exclusion following the appointment of a Cabinet-level Minister for Social Exclusion based at the Cabinet Office.
In September 2006 the SETF published Reaching Out: An Action Plan on Social Exclusion, which proposes a range of systematic reforms aimed at fundamentally changing the way we deliver help and support to the most socially excluded. It is guided by five principles:
Better identification and earlier intervention
Systematically identifying what works
Promoting multi agency working
Personalisation, rights and responsibilities and
Supporting achievement and managing underperformance.
The Action Plan aims to build on current progress and go further. It opens the next chapter in combating entrenched exclusion, by setting out a series of immediate actions and pilots built around a lifetime approach to tackling exclusion.
The SETF will work closely with all departments to ensure that the needs and unique challenges of the most socially excluded are addressed.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many individuals have used the gap year and volunteering scheme that she announced in her 2006 Budget; and how much the Government have contributed to the scheme. 
Edward Miliband: The Government are committed to raising awareness amongst young people of the benefits of volunteering and to improving the infrastructure that supports volunteering. The Russell Commission Report on Youth Action and Engagement, published in March 2005, made sixteen recommendations for delivering a step change in the quantity, quality and diversity of youth volunteering opportunities, with a vision of one million more young volunteers within five years. The Government embraced these recommendations and allocated up to £100 million between now and March 2008 to kickstart implementation.
In line with the Commissions key recommendation, the Government have established an independent charity, v, to work with existing third sector organisations to deliver and market these opportunities. So far over £11 million has been invested in v and 55,000 new volunteering opportunities have been commissioned which will be available over the next two years. v has also secured over £10 million in donations from the private sector.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many refugee camps there are in Helmand Province; and how many people are housed in them. 
Hilary Benn: It has not been possible to provide an answer in the time available before Prorogation.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to his answer of 20 October 2006, Official Report, column 1481-82W, on Afghanistan, whether an estimate has been made of the number of schools that have closed in Afghanistan due to violence since January 2006. 
Hilary Benn: It has not been possible to provide an answer in the time available before Prorogation.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the Memorandum of Understanding on the Three-Disease Fund in Burma was signed with the government of that country. 
Mr. Thomas: A Memorandum of Understanding on the Three Diseases Fund was signed between the Burmese authorities and United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) on 12 October 2006. The Memorandum of Understanding will enable UNOPS to establish an office in Burma in order to carry out its role as the fund manager for the Three Diseases Fund. None of the donors to the fund is a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he plans to take to take forward the recommendations of the Stern report on the economics of climate change which relate to the developing world; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: Climate change has enormous implications for development and I welcome the Stern review There is an urgent need to take action both on mitigation and adaptation.
DFID takes the issue of climate change very seriously, as set out in the new White Paper published earlier this year. Indeed, all the recommendations of the Stern review are relevant to developing countries. The action we take in developed countries to avoid climate change will relate directly to the future development and poverty in poor countries. DFID will i) help developing countries bring emissions down without compromising development and poverty reduction goals, ii) help protect themselves from the impact of a changing climate, and iii) push for strong international collective action to limit global carbon emissions.
We will also encourage the development banks, other donors, non-governmental organisations and the UN system to be fully involved in tackling it.
On mitigation, the review calls for more finance up to increase investment in clean technology in developing countries. DFID is providing assistance to the World Bank and the Regional Development Banks to develop a framework to increase public and private investment in low carbon energy in developing countries. Progress has been made on the Clean Energy Investment Framework since last year, but we need to maintain momentum.
On adaptation, the review highlighted the need to take into account climate risks and implications in all development policy and planning. International support is also necessary to finance investment in global public goods for adaptation such as monitoring, forecasting and researching climate change. DFID is helping developing countries to build resilience and adapt:
Improving climate data for development in Africa. DFID is working with donors and African institutions to support the
Global Climate Observing System in line with G8 commitments. DFID will provide £5 million towards the expected total cost of £36 million.
Developing climate risk assessment and management arrangements to help developing countries adapt across the board. DFID is working with the World Bank to get measures in place for screening development assistance by 2008. We will conduct pilot studies in six of our country programmes including Kenya and India. Work is underway in Bangladesh.
Increasing climate change research, we have initiated a £30 million programme (in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Research Centre) to build and maintain the research capacity and knowledge of African researchers.
Increasing spending on disaster risk reduction and mitigating the impact of climate change. DFID is committed to allocating 10 per cent. of the funding provided in response to each natural disaster to prepare for and mitigate the impact of future disasters where this can be done effectively.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of policies to promote sustainable development in Cuba. 
Mr. Thomas: It has not been possible to provide an answer in the time available before Prorogation.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what efficiency savings have been made by his Department as a result of the Gershon efficiency agenda, broken down by (a) activity and (b) quarter; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: Provisional efficiency savings to September 2006 totalled £186.6 million. By quarter, provisional efficiency gains achieved since April 2005 are as follows:
These figures are subject to change as confirmed outturn data are received.
The breakdown of DFIDs efficiency target of £420 million in 2007-08 is as follows:
Improvement in the performance of DFIDs projects and programmes
Increased contributions to low income countries through EC aid
Increased support for the International Development Association of the World Bank
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