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2 Feb 2007 : Column 573W—continued

Open Source Software

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of his Department’s computer systems use open source software; what
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percentage of the systems planned to be installed use such software; and whether he plans to increase the use of open source software in his Department. [111171]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office operates an information technology system through the Scottish Executive, which is responsible for the procurement, administration, support and maintenance of the system. Accordingly, the Executive is responsible for sourcing and introducing such software.

Culture, Media and Sport

Celebrity Big Brother

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when Ministers in her Department last met the (a) chairman and (b) chief executive of Channel 4; and when she last discussed race and diversity issues with each. [111102]

Mr. Woodward: DCMS Ministers last met the chairman of Channel 4 on 7 June 2006 and the chief executive on 29 November 2006. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have had discussions with both on a wide range of topics relating to the broadcasting industry as a whole.

Cultural Olympiad

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she last discussed the location of the launch of the Cultural Olympiad; and if she will make a statement. [118189]

Mr. Lammy: The start of the Cultural Olympiad, and indeed the whole of the London 2012 Olympiad, occurs at the moment of “handover” during the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games in 2008. It is likely that many groups and communities around London and the rest of the UK will want to mark this moment with celebrations. The formal launch event for the Cultural Olympiad is likely to take place shortly afterwards. Discussions are ongoing between my Department, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the Greater London Authority on the details for the launch. This will be an important benchmark on our journey towards 2012, and we know that many organisations are keen to show their support for this event. In particular, we are in discussions with the organisers of the Liverpool 08 celebrations to explore the potential for collaboration with the plans for the Cultural Olympiad.

Television: Licensing

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people in Warrington North received a free television licence in the latest year for which figures are available. [117993]

Mr. Woodward: TV Licensing, who administer free television licences for people aged 75 or over as agents for the BBC, are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued.
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However, the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in the Warrington North constituency in 2005-06 was 4,970, according to Department for Work and Pensions records.

Duchy of Lancaster

Social Enterprise

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if she will place copies in the Library of the research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on social enterprise. [117519]

Edward Miliband: The Government published the Social Enterprise Action Plan on 16 November 2006. Chapter 1 (Why Social Enterprise Matters) contains references to the key government research on social enterprise. A copy of the plan is available in the Library for the reference of Members.

I am arranging for the following key research and evaluation documents to be placed in the Library for the reference of Members.

Hull University has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study developing a method for understanding the social and economic impact of social enterprise. In addition, the Office of the Third Sector, in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government, will soon be commissioning some short research papers to contribute to development of policy on social enterprise. I will write to the hon. Member when these have been completed.



Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has for completion of the A555 relief road; and if he will make a statement. [117974]

Gillian Merron: This scheme raises funding and affordability issues which have taken longer to resolve than anticipated. An announcement will be made once consideration of these issues has been completed.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of when airport capacity would be reached if the rate of increase in flying continues at the present rate and airport capacity remained unchanged. [118191]

Gillian Merron: Pressure on airport capacity is greatest in the South East. Heathrow and Gatwick’s
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runways are already full for most of the day, and Stansted is close to capacity in peak hours. Outside the South East, there is greater scope for demand growth to be accommodated by existing capacity.

The Air Transport White Paper set out a measured and balanced approach to the development of UK air travel. Analysis for the White Paper showed that without additional runways, air passenger demand is likely to become constrained by capacity in the South East before 2010.

Bus Services: West Midlands

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Government spent on bus services in the West Midlands in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. [112263]

Gillian Merron [holding answer 31 January 2007]: The majority of support for local bus services is provided by local authorities using the Government’s Revenue Support Grant (RSG), which is an unhypothecated block grant, and authorities’ own resources. It is for each authority to decide how much of their RSG allocation to devote to bus support.

The Department for Transport has also separately provided specific grant funding to local authorities for bus services through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG), the Rural and Urban Bus Challenge and the Kickstart schemes.

The following tables show the amounts provided under these grants to authorities in the West Midlands Government Office Region from 2003-04 to 2005-06; the amounts within that total provided to West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority are also shown:

West Midlands GO region
Total (£)









West Midlands PTA area
Total (£)









In addition, the Department pays Bus Service Operators Grant to operators of local bus services throughout the country but information on this expenditure is not collated on a geographical basis.

Local transport authorities also receive Local Transport Plan funding from the Department for capital expenditure on bus infrastructure.

Driving: Mobile Phones

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated to the recently announced campaign to raise awareness of the change in penalties for using a mobile phone while driving. [112641]

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Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 249W, to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael).

London Underground: Ministerial Travel

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last used the London Underground on official business; at what time and between which stations the journey took place; when he last used one of London’s buses on official business; at what time the journey took place; and where the journey (a) began and (b) ended. [117943]

Gillian Merron [holding answer 1 February 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State travelled on buses between Westminster and Victoria in January 2007. He travelled from Marble Arch to Westminster via London Underground on official business in November 2006.

Ministers use public transport wherever possible and practical to complete their journeys taking account of security considerations. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in “Travel by Ministers”.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities underspent on their road maintenance budgets in 2004-05; and by how much each authority overspent. [108926]

Gillian Merron: This local authority budgetary information is not held by the Department for Transport.

Speed Limits: Driving Offences

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in which police force areas speed awareness courses are offered to speeding motorists as an alternative to a fine and endorsement. [117863]

Dr. Ladyman: To ensure consistency, the Association of Chief Police Officers has put in place arrangements for a national speed awareness course. 11 police forces in England are currently running the national model, offering it to drivers where it is judged to be an appropriate alternative to prosecution. The 11 police force areas are as follows:

Additionally seven police force areas offer courses that do not conform to the national model.

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Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the findings of Deloitte and Touche’s study into the possible outsourcing of work carried out by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. [112284]

Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency study into the possible outsourcing of elements of its work, which includes input from Deloitte and Touche, is expected to be passed to Ministers in spring/summer 2007. The ministerial conclusion will be published after they have considered the recommendations.

International Development

Aid: Overseas Education

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid has been granted by the Government for educational programmes overseas in each year since 2003. [111909]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 20 January 2007]: The following table details UK bilateral expenditure on programmes from 2002-03.

Gross public bilateral expenditure on education programmes









These figures exclude expenditure through multilateral organisations.

Commonwealth Education Fund

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK Government funding was allocated to educational facilities and activities in (a) Kenya, (b) Tanzania, (c) Ghana and (d) The Gambia by the Commonwealth Education Fund in each year since 1998. [111880]

Mr. Thomas: The Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) commenced in 2002 as part of an initiative launched by the Chancellor. The UK Government as well as other donors, including non-governmental organisations, have contributed to the CEF since its launch.

The following table shows the total funds allocated to educational facilities and activities in the four countries (figures provided by the CEF):

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Kenya Tanzania Ghana The Gambia




































(1) Estimated expenditure

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