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Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) post offices and (b) sub-post offices (i) opened and (ii) closed in (A) Somerset and (B) the UK in each of the last 10 years. 
Information is available from the Libraries of the House. I have, however referred the request for information to Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, for a direct and substantive reply to the hon. Member.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many post offices in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) the United Kingdom conduct, on average, less than (i) 10, (ii) 50, (iii) 100, (iv) 200 and (v) 500 transactions a week; and how many conducted over 500 transactions per week. 
Malcolm Wicks: The preliminary background work to develop the new international fellowship scheme is currently being undertaken. Decisions about funding allocation will be made as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review and consideration of the scheme proposal, including budgetary issues, in relation to the CSRO7 settlement and other priorities.
Malcolm Wicks: The preliminary background work to develop the new scheme is currently being undertaken. This preparatory work will develop detailed implementation plans for the scheme, including parameters for the number of fellows and alumni, taking into account affordability, experience from other similar schemes already in operation in the UK and internationally and drawing on the best practice from these.
Malcolm Wicks: The preliminary background work to develop the new scheme is currently being undertaken. This preparatory work will develop detailed implementation plans for the scheme taking into account affordability, and experience from other similar schemes already in operation in the UK and internationally and drawing on the best practice from these. The implementation plans will cover proposals for disciplinary coverage of the scheme on which appropriate consultation will take place.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what guidelines or codes of practice are in place to protect small businesses from the disconnection of their gas or electricity supply. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) is responsible for the regulation of gas and electricity supply. The Energy Retail Association code of practice on disconnection applies only to domestic customers.
Malcolm Wicks: The approach to regulatory protection in respect of gas and electricity broadly reflects that in general consumer law. It is open to Ofgem to consider whether and how such protection should be extended.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what redress is available to small businesses that have been mis-sold (a) energy or (b) fixed-line telecommunications contracts. 
Malcolm Wicks: Small businesses that have been unable to resolve complaints with their gas and electricity supplier may seek assistance from the statutory consumer body, Energywatch, as well as seeking redress through the courts. Small businesses that have been mis-sold fixed-line telecommunications contracts have access to alternative dispute resolution schemes, which all telecommunications providers are obliged by the regulator, Ofcom, to be members of, as well as being able to seek redress through the courts.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what protection from the mis-selling of contracts is given to small businesses in the (a) energy and (b) fixed-line telecommunications markets. 
Malcolm Wicks: As in general consumer law, regulatory protection in relation to mis-selling does not extend to the business market for gas and electricity. The regulation of the fixed-line telecommunications market is the responsibility of Ofcom. All companies selling fixed-line telecoms services are required by Ofcom to draw up mandatory codes of practice consistent with published guidelines and then comply with these. If companies breach these obligations Ofcoms powers now include the ability to secure written undertakings from companies about their sales and marketing practices. Ofcom has taken enforcement action and four investigations are already complete, with fourteen enforcement notices issued to six of the worst offenders. These have secured significant changes to behaviour to ensure consumers rights are protected, including action to require repayment of monies to affected consumers. Ofcom has also already fined one company the maximum possible 10 per cent. of its turnover.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many members of staff are working on the recruitment of the Chairman of the BBC Trust; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: As with all public appointments a number of members of staff will be involved in work on the recruitment procedure. One senior official will chair the selection panel which shortlists and interviews candidates and then makes recommendations to Ministers.
Tessa Jowell: We aim to appoint a new chair as soon as possible. While we recognise the need to move swiftly, we must allow time to generate a strong field of candidates and allow for due and proper process. We will advertise the post in the national press soon and hope to appoint a chair in the spring. In the meantime, the current Vice-Chairman, Anthony Salz will be acting chair of the Governors until the end of the year. Chitra Bharucha, who was appointed Vice-Chairman of the BBC Trust on 1 November 2006, is now Acting Chair of the Trust. She will carry out this role until a new chair is appointed, although Governors remain in place until 31 December 2006.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has received the final report on the Licensing Act 2003 by the Independent Fees Review Panel; whether she plans to place it in the Library; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: DCMS received the final report of the Independent Licensing Fees Review Panel on 12 December 2006. The Panels conclusions and recommendations about the fees regime are being considered. Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of the House shortly.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has had any discussions with local authorities on the effect of the Licensing Act (2003) on public performances of (a) religious carols and (b) secular Christmas songs; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: Ministers have not had any discussions with local authorities on the effect of the Licensing Act 2003 on carols or Christmas songs. However, officials have shared previous advice they have given on this issue with the local authorities coordinators of regulatory services (LACORS) and this has been disseminated by LACORS and is available on the DCMS website. Most singing of carols and Christmas songs is either spontaneous, incidental to other activities or part of a religious service and therefore not usually licensable.
Licensing requirements depend on the type of event at which songs are being performed and not whether the songs themselves are religious or secular. For example, secular songs being performed as part of a religious service would not make that service licensable. Conversely, a rock band choosing to play a religious carol as part of its set would not make a rock concert an exempt religious service. It is not possible to describe every scenario, which is why it is ultimately for licensing authorities to determine what requires a licence and what does not.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her Department holds responsibility for the final decision on the level of contingency to be included in the revised Olympic budget once it is agreed. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 809W, on the London Olympics, how much her Department (a) spent in 2005-06 and (b) expects to spend in 2006-07 on the salaries of the eight individuals working on the 2012 Olympics who do not fall into the Departments pay band structure. 
Tessa Jowell: Of the eight agency employees referred to in my answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 809W, on the London Olympics, three were employed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport during 2005-06. One of these was paid £2,000. The other two were legal advisers (civil servants) on loan from the Treasury Solicitors Department paid within the following bands.
|Number of staff (FTE)||Pay band minimum (£)||Pay band maximum (£)|
In 2006-07 the three agency employees including the two legal advisers continued to work on the Olympics for DCMS. Excluding the two legal advisers the cost of the remaining six agency employees is expected to be around £650,000 in 2006-07.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, column 99W, on 2012 Olympics, what estimates KPMG gave as part of its advice for the costs of (a) the Olympic Stadium, (b) other sports facilities, (c) the Olympic village, (d) press and media facilities, (e) Games work force, (f) information systems, (g) telecommunications and other technologies, (h) internet, (i) ceremonies and culture, (j) medical services, (k) catering, (l) transport, (m) security, (n) the Paralympic Games, (o) advertising and promotion, (p) administration, (q) pre-Olympic events and co-ordination, (r) other miscellaneous costs and (s) contingency. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which Government Department or agency holds overall responsibility for meeting cost overruns in the delivery of the 2012 Olympics. 
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether Ministers in her Department have met the new owners of West Ham United to discuss the post-games use of the Olympic Stadium; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 5 December 2006]: I met Eggert Magnusson, the new chairman of West Ham, on 29 November to discuss the post-Games use of the Olympic Stadium. The meeting was also attended by Ken Livingstone, Sir Roy McNulty, acting chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), David Higgins, chief executive of the ODA and Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
During the discussion, I underlined our commitment to the International Olympic Committee that the Olympic Stadium would have an athletics legacy, and that football would have to work alongside this. I also stressed that the timetable for decisions was very tight, with the final decision to be taken by the Olympic Board early in the new year.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what provision her Department made for a contingency reserve for the Olympic Games within the figures specified in London's 2012 Candidate File for (a) the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and (b) Sports Facilities and the International Press Centre. 
Tessa Jowell: Details of the contingency for (a) the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games are shown at table 6.6.1 on page 103 of the Candidate File. For each of the main venue construction projects, including sports facilities and the international press centre, there is an allowance in the bid figures for 23.5 per cent. for contingencies and preliminaries.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the average time was to deliver lottery funds from the time of receipt of application in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Caborn: Performance is not reported in this way by lottery distributors. When an application is successful, the lottery grant awarded may be paid, for example, when the grantee decides to make a claim, or when key stages of a project are completed and the lottery contribution becomes payable. Grants are often paid out in instalments over an extended period. This is particularly true of large capital projects.
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