Previous Section Index Home Page

25 Jan 2007 : Column 1916W—continued


Sheppey Crossing

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Sheppey crossing has been closed since it was opened in July 2006. [111414]

Dr. Ladyman: The A249 Sheppey Crossing has been formally closed three times since it opened in July 2006.

In addition, on 19 December 2006 the northbound carriageway only was closed for a short period to remove a broken down lorry.

The old Kingsferry lifting bridge next to the new bridge remains open and has been used as an alternative route when the Sheppey Crossing has been closed.

Variable Speed Indicators

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. [111085]

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. [111086]

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.


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1917W

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.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many requests for variable speed indicators were received in each of the last three years. [111087]

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.

Scotland

Departmental Fixed Assets

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. [110799]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office did not sell any fixed assets with a value of more than £10,000 in 2004-05 or 2005-06.

Public Sector Pensions

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. [113813]

David Cairns: The staff in the Scotland Office are on loan from the Department for Constitutional Affairs or the Scottish Executive and the Office does not hold this information.

Culture, Media and Sport

BBC

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. [111205]

Mr. Woodward: According to the BBC’s annual reports, the BBC’s 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.


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1918W

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)

2006

3,100.6

25

2005

2,940.3

24.7

2004

2,798.1

24.5

2003

2,658.5

24.1

2002

2,533.0

23.8

2001

2,370.8

23.4

2000

2,285.5

23.3

1999

2,179.5

22.8

1998

2,009.7

22.3

1997

1,915.2

22


Carbon Emissions

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. [116397]

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.

Digital Switchover

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. [115083]

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.

Gambling

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with gambling and gaming companies on on-line gambling addiction. [117380]


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1919W

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.

Lottery Funding

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. [117492]

Mr. Lammy: In the last five financial years the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has allocated the following funding in the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency.

Financial year Allocation (£)

2001-02

1,630

2002-03

12,980

2003-04

910,830

2004-05

39,043

2005-06

78,261

Total

1,042,744


Ofcom

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when Ministers in her Department last met the chief executive of Ofcom. [111103]

Mr. Woodward: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I last met the chief executive of Ofcom on 22 November 2006.

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport about which five television programmes Ofcom received most complaints in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. [111190]

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 Executive’s letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what basis Ofcom is refusing to respond to individual complaints made about Celebrity Big Brother. [111191]

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 Executive’s letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1920W

Overseas Visits

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. [115485]

Tessa Jowell: I am arranging for a list of those overseas visits undertaken by DCMS Ministers in an official capacity in the last 12 months to be placed in the Library of the House.

All travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the ministerial code and “Travel by Ministers”.

Radio Microphones

Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans the Government have for the selling of the frequency allocation used by radio microphone users. [111401]

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 Executive’s letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Religious Broadcasting

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. [111143]

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.

TV Licences

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. [117491]

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.

Leader of the House

Recruitment Agencies

Grant Shapps: To ask the Leader of the House how much his Office paid to recruitment agencies for the hire of temporary staff in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [117488]

Mr. Straw: The information is set out in the following table. Data for financial years 1997-98 to 2000-01 is not held electronically and only available at disproportionate cost.


25 Jan 2007 : Column 1921W
Financial year Cost (£)

2001-02

32,037.49

2002-03

0

2003-04

9,717.84

2004-05

2,665.51

2005-06

339.54

2006-07 (year to date)

0


Next Section Index Home Page