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8 Jan 2007 : Column 114Wcontinued
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost was of departmental training and equipment in Health and Safety DSE, referred to on page 108 of her Department's annual report; what equipment was used; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department spent £4,378 in 2005-06 on a computer based software package to train staff in the use of DSE equipment.
Records of the purchase of miscellaneous items of equipment e.g. wrists records and document holders, through the general office stationery budget are held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the role of the Humanitarian Assistance Unit is; on what basis the unit is located in her Department; what projects the unit has funded to date; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: My role as Minister for Humanitarian Assistance is to ensure that the needs of British victims of major emergencies and of their families are understood and properly considered within Government in building preparedness for and responding to major emergencies, and to represent the Government and explain their policies when dealing with victims and their families.
The Humanitarian Assistance Unit supports me in that role by leading three areas of work. First, it co-ordinates aftercare for victims of recent emergenciesoffering a direct point of contact within Government, organising memorial and commemorative events, learning lessons from victims' experiences, and funding the 7 July Assistance Centre. Secondly, it assists emergency planning ahead of future incidentsworking with other parts of central Government and alongside local responders to find ways to improve existing services. Finally it supports local responders in the response to an emergencyproviding a link for local responders to advice and support from central Government.
In the first year of the unit's existence, funding has been provided: to support the 7 July Assistance Centre; for an independent evaluation of that centre; to produce non-statutory guidance for emergency responders on establishing Humanitarian Assistance Centres; to commission a review of academic literature and best practice on how to meet peoples needs in an emergency; and for events to commemorate the first anniversary of the 7 July bombings and to remember those who died in terrorist attacks overseas in 2005.
Lynda Waltho: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effects of the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 on (a) consumers, (b) licensees and (c) community groups. 
Evidence from our own monitoring and from the trade suggests that, as a result of the Licensing Act 2003, licensees are now able to offer a greater range of opening hours to meet consumer demand. In addition, the survey of smaller music venues published on 7 December 2006 suggests that many premises previously restricted to operating under
the two in a bar rule can now offer a greater choice of live music for consumers by putting on more than two musicians.
Community groups should benefit from the increasing number of local authorities which are licensing public land for those putting on licensable activities. We are aware that some community groups are finding it difficult to adjust to the new regime and we are looking at how measures announced in the Departments simplification plan can help to address their concerns.
It remains early days and the Governments programme of evaluation of the impact of reform will continue. I recently received a copy of the Independent Fees Panels Report and look forward to seeing what it has to say about the impact on fee payers, including licensees and community groups.
Lynda Waltho: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether restrictions are in place on the eligibility of (a) hon. Members and (b) councillors to make representations on behalf of the people they represent on applications under the Licensing Act 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: Members of Parliament and local councillors may make representations on behalf of anyone who is an interested party under the Licensing Act 2003. This includes a person living in the vicinity of a premises. A councillor making a representation, who is also a member of the licensing committee, would be expected to disqualify themselves from any involvement in the decision-making process affecting the premises licence.
Councillors are subject to the code of conduct for local authority members. The code includes rules on members personal and prejudicial interests. A member has a prejudicial interest in an issue when they have an interest which a member of the public would reasonably regard as so significant that it would be likely to prejudice the members judgment of the public interest. A member with a prejudicial interest in an issue is required to withdraw from the meeting where it is being discussed. The Department for Communities and Local Government is currently reviewing the code of conduct, and intends to consult shortly on a draft revised code. This will include proposed changes to the rules on prejudicial interests which will support members advocacy role.
Councillors also have a duty to act in the interests of all of their constituents. Their role as a community advocate must therefore be balanced with their ability to represent specific interests.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made with remediation work on the contaminated land on the Olympic site; what the role is of the Olympic Delivery Authority in the remediation process; and what role the London Development Agency is taking in the process. 
Tessa Jowell: An expert team has been carrying out soil investigation work on the Olympic Park site over recent months. They have now investigated the majority of the land that is currently available, which excludes land still occupied by businesses and residents. Site investigations will continue across the remainder of the Olympic Park site before the full remediation work starts in 2007.
Once all contracts have novated across from the London Development Agency (LDA), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will take full responsibility for all remediation works. The LDA will continue to take responsibility for ensuring vacant possession of the Olympic Park land and the ODA will work alongside the LDA on an ongoing basis.
Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the cost of remediation on the Olympic site. 
Tessa Jowell: The cost of remediation and demolition on the Olympic site is estimated by the Olympic Delivery Authority to be £200 million. As I indicated to the Select Committee on 21 November, this work is in progress.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what contaminants the Olympic Delivery Authority has identified on the Olympic site; 
(2) what advice she received from Jack Lemley, outgoing chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, about chemical contamination of the Olympic site; and what action she took on the basis of this advice. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 7 December 2006]: In October, I received from Jack Lemley his views on the progress of the Olympic delivery programme, drawing attention to the discussion at the Olympic Delivery Authoritys (ODA) board meeting on 28 September of land remediation on the Olympic Park site. I was already aware of the ODA board discussions and the progress of ongoing site investigations within the park.
As Sir Roy McNulty, acting chair of the ODA, said in his statement issued on 5 December, the Stratford site is complex and much of the land will need remediating before construction. This was known from the very start of the bid process. For that reason, the London Development Agency (LDA) have had an expert team carrying out soil investigation work over recent months.
At the September ODA board meeting chaired by Mr. Lemley, there was a detailed presentation, which included an update from the LDAs contractors currently on site. This presentation set out for the board the site investigations undertaken to date. These investigations have identified a variety of contaminants, such as metals and hydrocarbons, which are common on sites that have this kind of former industrial use. The expert team indicated that the levels of contamination assessed to date were in line with expectations and that the time allowed for remediation appears to be adequate.
The site investigation contractors have now investigated the majority of the land. The remaining
land the ODA does not yet have access to because it is still occupied by businesses and residents who, with the exception of a very few, will be relocated by July 2007 subject to confirmation of the compulsory purchase order. The LDA, with an expert team advising, and the interim ODA team (as it was at that time), had previously identified the technologies required to tackle the contamination and have some of the best contractors available with these technologies ready to treat the soil when the site becomes available.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what advice she received from KPMG about VAT and the Olympic budget; and when she received it. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 7 December 2006]: Before engaging KPMG the Department had already opened discussions within Government, in autumn 2005, on the VAT status of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). Our expectation was that ODA would be able to recover its VAT, in common with a number of other bodies which have functions akin to those of local authorities. As part of their work KPMG estimated the amount of VAT to be recovered. DCMS received KPMG's initial assessment of ODA's potential VAT costs in December 2005 and received revised estimates in March, May and August 2006. The Government are continuing to discuss the VAT status of the ODA.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the occasions on which her Department has sought Treasury approval for expenditure related to the 2012 Olympics. 
Tessa Jowell: My Department, through the Olympic Projects Review Group (OPRG), made the following recommendations to the Treasury for expenditure related to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games:
January 2006: Olympic Park Design Team
August 2006: ODA Delivery Partner
November 2006: Contribution to DLR Infrastructure Works
In addition, there were various costs associated with the preparation and submission of Londons bid by London 2012 which were approved by the Treasury.
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 the 2012 Olympics, whether the projects undertaken by KPMG identified any new costs not included in Londons original Olympic bid. 
As I said to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport on 21 November we have had to increase the construction inflation assumption to reflect changes in inflation since the bid, appoint a delivery partner whose overriding responsibility will be to keep the construction programme to time and to budget and secure greater public funding for the Olympic Village and the International Broadcasting Centre. There are also further funding requirements, not yet translated into firm costs, which are a matter for discussion in Government. These include the wider
security requirements and programme contingency. In addition the Government are currently considering tax costs as part of their wider consideration of the overall budget.
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, on what date her Department first discussed the cost findings of the work commissioned from KPMG with (a) officials and (b) Ministers at the Treasury. 
Tessa Jowell: The cost review to which KPMG provided advice was overseen by a steering group of officials chaired by DCMS. HM Treasury were key members of the steering group, having been involved closely with the development of the Olympic bid since its inception. The steering group, which held its first meeting on 31 October 2005, also included membership from DCLG, GLA, LOCOG, interim ODA and KPMG. There were regular and ongoing discussions between officials of my Department and the Treasury, and across Government, about the findings of the cost review as they emerged and as they were revised as part of the ongoing work. Ministers have meetings regularly on a wide range of issues. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such meetings.
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 the 2012 Olympics, whether the cost to her Department of the consultancy reports is included within the £3.3 billion figure she has recently given for the cost of the 2012 Olympics. 
Tessa Jowell: The cost to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of the consultancy reports referred to in the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, column 99W, is not included in the £3.3 billion figure. As I said to the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport on 21 November, the £3.3 billion relates to the Olympic Park.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many senior positions in non-departmental public bodies for which her Department is responsible are vacant; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what her Department's target time is for filling vacant senior positions in non-departmental public bodies for which her Department is responsible; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: Senior executive vacancies in non-departmental public bodies for which DCMS is responsible are a matter for the bodies themselves.
Forty-eight public appointments to the NDPBs for which DCMS is responsible are vacant, and are either under discussion or in the process of being filled. There is no prescribed target time for filling vacancies, and the length of the appointments procedures can vary considerably depending on the role and the body
involved. However, the Cabinet Office guidance, Making and Managing Appointments, a Guide for Departments, suggests that most Departments consider that about six to nine months is the minimum lead time for most appointments.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) Government and (b) Opposition right hon. and hon. Members Sport England has (i) mentioned on its website and (ii) invited to the launch of events where it is one of the sponsors since the start of 2006. 
Mr. Caborn [holding answer 11 December 2006]: A website search showed that 23 Members (20 Labour, two Conservative and one Liberal Democrat) were mentioned on the Sport England website during 2006. The following number of Members were invited to the three events that Sport England financially sponsored since the start of 2006: 71 Labour, 56 Conservative, 20 Liberal Democrat, six Labour Cooperative and one Independent.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she (a) has had and (b) plans to have with ministerial colleagues in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the charitable fund to help British victims of terrorism. 
Tessa Jowell: My Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have worked closely together on the establishment of the charitable fund, and will continue to do so after its launch.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2006, Official Report, column 816W, on victims of terrorism, if she will make a statement on the nature of the interim arrangements in place for the charitable fund to help British victims of terrorism; 
(2) how many applications for compensation from the charitable fund to help British victims of terrorism since March 2006 have been made by UK victims of terrorism overseas; and whether any payments have been made to such victims; 
(3) how many payments have been made to victims of terrorism from the charitable fund to help British victims of terrorism since March 2006. 
Tessa Jowell: Payments from the charitable fund have been made to all those UK citizens bereaved or seriously injured in incidents since March 2006 that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office class as terrorist acts.
Eighteen payments of £3,000 have been made. Payments from the charitable fund are made immediately following the incident, without the need for an application process. Payments are offered through the British Red Cross to those whom the Foreign Office confirm have been bereaved or seriously injured and the Red Cross is then reimbursed by my Department.
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