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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average time was between a request for variable speed indicators and decision by the Secretary of State in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dr. Ladyman: Local traffic authorities may introduce variable speed limit signs on their roads without consent from the Secretary of State, providing those signs conform with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 and the relevant speed limit orders are in place. Local traffic authorities need to seek consent to introduce signs only if they do not conform to these regulations.
Applications for consent must provide supporting information as set out in the relevant regulations. Subject to that information being received, the Department would expect to reach a decision within five working days.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date his Department received the formal request by Essex county council for activation of variable speed indicators near Mountnessing primary school in Brentwood and Ongar; and on what date he approved their activation. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department initially received a formal request from Essex county council on 15 December 2005. The Department found it necessary to seek further information concerning the statutory consultation procedure before considering the application.
It is understood that this information was sent to the Department on 3 August 2006. It was not, however, received. It was not until 16 January 2007 that the Department was made aware that Essex county council had submitted this information and was still waiting for a response. The Department received a further set of the documents on 17 January 2007, and duly gave its consent on 18 January 2007.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department received no applications from local traffic authorities for non-prescribed variable speed limit signs in 2004 and 2005 and seven applications in 2006. No applications have, as yet, been received in 2007.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which fixed assets his Department sold for more than £10,000 in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06; and what the (i) sale value, (ii) purchaser and (iii) date of sale was of each asset. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in his Department and its executive agencies; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the revenue from the BBC licence was in each of the last 10 years; and how much of the increase in revenue is accounted for by an increase in the number of licence payers. 
Mr. Woodward: According to the BBCs annual reports, the BBCs licence fee revenue and number of licences in force in each of the last 10 years are given in the following table. The number of licences in force includes free licences issued to households in which one or more persons are over the age of 75. The BBC is reimbursed for these free licences by the Government.
Figures on the proportion of yearly revenue attributable to an increase in the number of licences are not collected. However, PKF, in their Review of the BBC Value for Money and Efficiency Programmes published in April 2006, estimate that over the period of the last licence fee settlement (2000-01 to 2006-07) a total of £632 million of licence fee income was attributable to household growth (HHG).
|Licence fee income (£ million)||Licences in force (million)|
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when her Department began to measure its carbon emissions; what the volume of those emissions was in the last period for which figures are available; when her Department started to offset those emissions; what the cost is expected to be of offsetting her Department's emissions in 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department fist measured its carbon emissions for energy in 1999-2000 and transport in 2004-05. In 2005-06 the Department's emissions for energy and transport totalled 800,775 kilograms of carbon. The Department is currently supplied with 100 per cent. renewable energy. DCMS policy is to encourage its bodies to give sustainable development a high priority. The Department is developing a carbon culture scheme to promote energy efficiency and carbon trading across DCMS and its sponsored bodies.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the targeted help scheme for digital switchover with the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. 
Mr. Woodward: The digital switchover help scheme has been specifically designed to help elderly people and those with disabilities make the switch to digital television. It is compatible with the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. We intend to conduct an equality impact assessment shortly.
Mr. Caborn [holding answer 24 January 2007]: The Department has held a number of discussions with representatives of gambling and gaming companies during and since the passage of the Gambling Act 2005. Topics have included: ways to tackle problem gambling; implementing social responsibility measures such as age verification; our international summit on remote gambling; and research into gambling addiction.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was allocated to Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency by the Heritage Lottery Fund in each of the last five years. 
|Financial year||Allocation (£)|
Mr. Woodward: The matters raised are the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as independent regulator. Accordingly, my officials have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the Chief Executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Woodward: The matters raised are the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as independent regulator. Accordingly, my officials have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to respond directly to my hon. Friend. Copies of the Chief Executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what overseas visits Ministers in her Department have made in an official capacity in the last 12 months; and what engagements were undertaken during the visits. 
Mr. Woodward: The matter raised is the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom), as independent regulator for the communications sector. Accordingly, I have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the Chief Executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with (a) the Church of England, (b) the Roman Catholic Church and (c) representatives of non-conformist churches on the decision to allow evangelists to raise money through broadcasting activities. 
Mr. Woodward: None. This decision was a matter for the independent regulator, Ofcom, and I understand that they held discussions with representatives of all these churches and other interested parties.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the cost of the administration of (a) issuing and (b) collecting payment for television licences in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Woodward: The BBC is responsible for the administration of the TV licensing system and for the collection of licence fee revenue. The corporation has said that the breakdown of costs requested is not available. Total collection costs in 2005-06 were £153.4 million, according to the BBC's annual report and accounts.
|Financial year||Cost (£)|
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