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16 Jan 2007 : Column 1036W—continued

Royal Mail: Delivery Targets

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of first-class letters posted in the Peterborough city council unitary authority area met Royal Mail’s delivery target in the last year for which figures are available. [114843]

Jim Fitzpatrick: This is an operational matter for Royal Mail. I have therefore asked Adam Crozier, the chief executive of Royal Mail, to provide a direct reply to the hon. Member.

Supermarkets

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has made to the Competition Commission inquiry into supermarket procedures; and when the inquiry is expected to be completed. [112930]

Mr. McCartney: Competition in the grocery sector is a matter for the independent competition authorities and not the DTI. The effect of the Enterprise Act 2002 was to remove Ministers from decisions on competition issues. Since the Act came into force in 2004, Ministers have had no formal role in the supermarket question and therefore have not made representations to the Competition Commission (CC).

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has asked the CC to investigate if any features of this market prevent, restrict or distort competition and if so, what action might be taken to remedy these. The CC has a statutory
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requirement to report within two years of a reference to it by the OFT. It is required to publish its final report by 8 May 2008, but is aiming to do so by October 2007. The current timetable for the inquiry can be found at

World Trade Organisation

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what meetings he has had on the possible accession to the World Trade Organisation of (a) Ukraine and (b) the Russian Federation. [113845]

Mr. McCartney: I am replying as the Minister responsible for issues concerning WTO accession negotiations. On 14 September 2006 I met Deputy Minister Maxim Medvedkov of the Ministry of Economic Development and Russia's chief negotiator on WTO accession, to discuss Russia's progress towards their accession to the WTO. In addition, during 2006 DTI Ministers had a number of contacts with officials, UK business, EU ministerial colleagues and other contacts at which issues related to Russian or Ukrainian WTO accession would have been raised together with a range of other issues relevant to the business of the Department.

House of Commons Commission

Advertising

Mr. Heald: To ask the honourable Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much the House spent on advertising with The Guardian newspaper, including online, in the last year for which figures are available. [114089]

Nick Harvey: The House of Commons uses The Guardian, to advertise some vacancies. For the financial year 2005-06 a total of £84,951.34 was spent with The Guardian on placing advertisements, including online advertisements.

Private Dining Facilities

John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission on what date sections 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 of the contract for hiring private dining facilities in the Commons were introduced. [115593]

Nick Harvey: Clauses 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 of the terms and conditions of booking for the private dining rooms in the House of Commons were introduced, as currently worded, in December 2000.

John Mann: To ask the honourable Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether there are (a) exceptions and (b) exemptions to clauses 6.1 and 6.2 of the contract for hiring private dining facilities in the Commons. [115594]

Nick Harvey: There are no agreed exceptions or exemptions to clause 6.1, which requires any publicity, invitation, circular, literature or announcement in connection with a function to prominently bear the event sponsor's name, and for such material to be
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submitted to the banqueting office for approval prior to publication. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to ensure compliance with this requirement. Clause 6.2 requires any media interest in the event to be notified in writing to the banqueting office. In practice inquiries from the media now tend to come by telephone and the banqueting office does not insist on written notification from the media. Such inquiries are referred to the event organiser.

Culture, Media and Sport

Consultants

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which external consultants were used by (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies in relation to private finance initiatives in 2005-06; and what the nature and cost of the work was in each case. [115200]

Mr. Lammy: In relation to private finance initiatives in 2005-06;

(a) DCMS has not undertaken any such projects

(b) The Royal Parks undertook the following projects;

Richmond Park Golf Course

Regent’s Park New Sports Facility

All figures exclude VAT.

Digital Switchover

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures her Department has put in place (a) to identify and (b) to offer help under the targeted assistance scheme for digital switchover to (i) people with severe disabilities who do not claim disability benefit, (ii) people with mental health problems, (iii) people with learning disabilities, (iv) cancer patients, (v) people with autism, (vi) certified blind and partially sighted people and (vii) people under the age of 75 who have acquired mobility problems after the age of 65. [113577]

Mr. Woodward [holding answer 8 January 2007]: The Digital Switchover Help Scheme will cover:


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The definition of household will follow the DWP definition of a “benefit unit”: a couple and any dependent children (aged under 16 or in full-time education). Non-dependent adults will be able to claim assistance in their own right.

The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill would enable the scheme operator to target eligible individuals making it easier for them to claim and so help to increase take-up. The scheme will be supported by targeted communications and will benefit from more generic switchover-related communications, which Digital UK is producing and which will increase as switchover nears.

Digital UK will ensure, as part of its communications activities, that those hard-to-reach groups, particularly those who do not qualify for support from the Help Scheme, have adequate information available to support them through switchover.

Flags

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 255W, on flags, for what reasons the St. George’s Cross is not flown on Government buildings with two or more flag poles on days other than 23 April. [115565]

Mr. Lammy: The St. George’s Cross is flown on Government buildings with two or more flag poles on 23 April alongside the Union Flag to mark St. George’s day.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the Answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 263W, on Trooping the Colour, for what reasons the flags of Her Majesty’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories will not be displayed alongside the flags of the Commonwealth at the Trooping the Colour; and if she will make a statement. [115578]

Mr. Lammy: During Trooping the Colour, only flags of Commonwealth countries are flown in Horse Guards Road. As explained in the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 263W, the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories are not member states of the Commonwealth so their flags are not flown.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 263W, on the Union Flag, for what reasons the Union Flag is not flown on days other than those noted in the answer. [115564]

Mr. Lammy: The Union Flag is flown on Government buildings to mark specific national events including Remembrance day, Europe day, St. George’s day, Her Majesty’s Accession and Wedding day and birthdays of members of the royal family undertaking official duties.

There are currently no plans to change this.


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Heritage White Paper

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to publish the Heritage White Paper. [114882]

Mr. Lammy: England and Wales will jointly publish a White Paper on heritage protection reform shortly. The White Paper will set out our proposals for a new heritage protection system that is simpler, more open and more flexible.

Licensing Act

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has received the final report from the Licensing Fees Review Panel; and when the report will be published. [115484]

Mr. Woodward: DCMS received the final report of the Independent Licensing Fees Review Panel on 12 December 2006. The Panel’s conclusions and recommendations are being considered and assessed. Copies of the report will be placed in the Library of the House shortly.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when her Department received the final report of the Independent Fees Review Panel on the Licensing Act 2003 and related legislation; when she expects to publish its findings; when her Department plans to respond to these findings; and if she will make a statement. [115561]

Mr. Woodward: The Independent Fees Review Panel’s final report was received by DCMS on 12 December. We are currently making an assessment of all their conclusions and recommendations and we will place copies of the report in the Library of the House shortly. Should any changes to the fees regime and related issues be required, there will be a full public consultation in order to help inform future policy.

Mallin Report

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which international basketball federations were consulted during the preparation of the Mallin Report. [115626]

Mr. Caborn: The Mallin Review Group has consulted the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) during the preparation of the Mallin Basketball Review.

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 national federations of basketball throughout the world.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the Mallin Report on basketball will be published; what the total cost of the Mallin Report has been; from which budget the funding for the Mallin Report was drawn; and who was consulted during the preparation of the report. [115632]

Mr. Caborn: The Mallin Basketball Report is now in draft stage and is due to be published in February.


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The total cost of the review so far is £86,060.64 excluding VAT. This funding is from the Sport England Whole Sport Plan modernisation budget.

A full list of consultees will be published alongside the review, although I understand that around 85 people from a wide range of basketball organisations have been consulted so far.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who is responsible for the accuracy of the information displayed on the Mallin Basketball Review website. [115633]

Mr. Caborn: The Mallin Review Group is responsible for the information on the Basketball Review website, members of which are listed on the site. The Mallin Review Group is led by Tony Mallin and comprises the following members: Stephen Redwood, Michael Sorkin, Martin Henlan, John Eady, Dr. Neil Tunnicliffe, David Henwood and Lisa Wainwright

Olympic Games

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the Government’s latest estimate is for the numbers of homes to be built on the Olympic Park; and how many will contribute to the Government’s building targets for zero carbon homes. [115481]

Mr. Caborn: The Olympic Village is expected to provide in the order of 4,400 homes, subject to final International Olympic Committee requirements for the London 2012 Games themselves and subject to detailed planning. The final number of homes to be developed across the whole of the Olympic Park will be much larger, but will be determined at a later stage and will be subject to planning policies and guidance. The ODA’s Sustainable Development Strategy will be published later this month, and will be providing information on the ODA’s proposals for carbon reduction.

Parliamentary Questions

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many parliamentary questions were tabled to her Department in 2006, broken down by (a) ordinary written and (b) named day; what percentage of ordinary written questions were answered within 10 working days; and what percentage of named day questions were answered by the specified date. [115322]

Mr. Lammy: A total of 2,173 written parliamentary questions were tabled to the Department in 2006, 1,731 of which were ordinary written and 442 were named day.

A total of 75.1 per cent. (1,300) of ordinary written questions were answered within 10 working days and, 71.3 per cent. (315) of named day questions were answered by the specific date.

Information is derived from the DCMS parliamentary questions database.


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DCMS aims to ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their named day question on the named day and endeavours to answer ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled. Unfortunately, this is not always possible but this Department makes every effort to achieve these timescales.


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