Written Answers to Questions

The following answers were received between Monday 12 and Friday 16 February 2007

Constitutional Affairs

Fraud Cases

Tony Baldry: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what discussions there have been with Crown court judges who specialise in hearing fraud cases on the Government's proposals to remove juries for complex fraud cases. [110595]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 24 January 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

A Crown court judge with extensive experience in serious fraud trials participated in a seminar on this subject that was chaired by the Attorney-General in January 2005, as did several members of the senior judiciary; and members of the Council of HM Circuit Judges discussed the issue with the Office for Criminal Justice Reform at a special meeting in April 2005.

Trade and Industry

Construction

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the adequacy of skills in the construction industry; and if he will make a statement. [118211]

Phil Hope: I have been asked to reply.

The assessment of the skills needs of a sector is one of the key roles of sector skills councils (SSC). ConstructionSkills, the SSC for the construction sector, launched the construction skills network in 2005 to draw upon the knowledge and experience of construction companies, construction clients, education and training providers, Government and Regional Agencies across the UK.

The construction skills network has achieved a consensus as to the future skills and training needs of the industry. ConstructionSkills is working with Government and a range of partners to ensure those needs can be met.

The latest Construction Skills Network report, covering the period up to 2010, is available on the ConstructionSkills website. The report provides a regional view of skills needs across all construction occupations. It will be updated later this year.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Fixed Assets

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2007, Official Report, column 2057W, on departmental fixed assets, who the lessees are of the three buildings in Windsor to whom the buildings were sold. [120747]


19 Feb 2007 : Column 2W

Mr. Lammy: The lessees to whom the buildings were sold are:

Departments: Furniture

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many items of furniture have been (a) lost and (b) stolen from her Department in each year since 1997; and what the value was of those items in each year. [120707]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has had no items of furniture reported either lost or stolen during the period year 2001 to date. Any records hitherto held for years 1997 to 2000 are now no longer available.

English Heritage: Public Appointments

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the selection of a new Chairman for English Heritage. [119117]

Tessa Jowell: We are about to launch a further competition to appoint a new chair of English Heritage. It will be an open competition, and the process will comply with the Nolan principles and the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment’s Code of Practice. After advertising in the national press, a selection panel will shortlist and interview candidates and make recommendations to Ministers. I expect the process to be completed by the summer.

Gaming Clubs: Greater Manchester

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what she was first informed of the Casino Advisory Panel decision on the location of the Supercasino in Manchester. [119901]

Tessa Jowell: At 0900 on 30 January 2007.

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the chief executive of Manchester city council has met Casino Advisory Panel member James Froomberg in the last eight weeks. [119903]

Tessa Jowell: On 15 January 2007 James Froomberg attended a dinner hosted by British Waterways in his capacity as commercial director of that company. Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive officer of Manchester city council was one of a number of guests. Mr. Froomberg notified the Casino Advisory Panel in advance of this engagement. The panel concluded that, as it had already made its decisions regarding the recommended casino
19 Feb 2007 : Column 3W
locations at meetings on 8 and 15 November, and because its report was already in the process of being printed, Mr. Froomberg would not be placed in a position where he could be inappropriately influenced. Mr. Froomberg did not disclose the panel's decisions at the engagement.

Local Authorities: Standards

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the benchmark indicators are on which local authorities are assessed as to whether they are compliant with Public Library Service Standards. [120791]

Mr. Lammy: The 10 Public Library Service Standards (PLSSs) that the 149 library authorities in England are assessed against are:

PLSS1—Proportion of households living within specified distance of a static library
Percentage household within:
Authority type 1 mile 2 miles Sparse authorities— 2 miles

Inner London

100

Outer London

99

Metropolitan

95

100

Unitary

88

100

72

County

85

72



19 Feb 2007 : Column 4W

The PLSSs form part of the library indicator suite within the Comprehensive Performance Assessment’s (CPA’s) Culture Block. For the purposes of CPA, thresholds have been set for each of the standards based on the overall performance of the 149 authorities against them.

London Olympics

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure that the preparations for the 2012 Olympics are efficient and well-managed. [111406]

Tessa Jowell: The Olympic Board, which I co-chair, provides strong and effective governance and oversight of preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It meets regularly to review progress across the programme.

After London won the right to host the games in July 2005, I initiated a thorough and ongoing review of costs on which I reported to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 21 November 2006. This work is continuing.

Furthermore, to ensure that costs are kept under rigorous scrutiny and review and that the timescales of the programme are met, the Olympic Delivery Authority, which is responsible for delivering the infrastructure and venues for the Games, has appointed a delivery partner—CLM—to manage the procurement and delivery of the facilities.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2007, Official Report, column 103W, on Olympics 2012, if she will provide the indicative figures for the amounts set aside to cover (a) construction inflation and (b) additional security costs. [118415]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 2 February 2007]: I have nothing to add to my answer of 29 January 2007. To release further cost information on each of the individual elements of the £900 million increase that I announced to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee could prejudice the commercial negotiations that the Olympic Delivery Authority are currently undertaking with private developers.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will place in the Library a copy of the PMP report into the legacy of 2012 Olympic and Paralympic venues. [118364]

Tessa Jowell: The Olympic Delivery Authority have employed PMP to identify options for the legacy use of the Olympic stadium. This work is ongoing.


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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will introduce a statutory limit on the maximum liability of London council tax payers for the cost of the 2012 Olympics. [119567]

Tessa Jowell: The use of London council tax to support expenditure on the Olympic Games is a matter for the Mayor of London.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what her estimate is of the proportion of any cost overruns that will be borne by the London council taxpayer in the event of the costs of the Olympics exceeding the revenues; [119568]

(2) what her estimate is of the change in the Olympics precept on London council tax bills as a result of the recently announced cost increases. [119569]

Tessa Jowell: The 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor of London provides for cost overruns to be met in a sharing arrangement to be agreed as appropriate between them. The memorandum makes no presumptions about the use of council tax, which is a matter for the Mayor and he has made his position on this clear.

We are currently exploring a range of options and will report to Parliament when a resolution has been reached.

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of the Cultural Olympiad budget will be spent on the opening and closing ceremonies. [119616]

Tessa Jowell: The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games is working with key stakeholders including my Department to stage a number of inspiring ceremonies. These include the handover ceremony at the Beijing Games, the opening and closing ceremonies, the welcoming of the athletes to the Olympic Village, the medal ceremonies, the Torch Relay, and the Olympic Youth Camps.

In addition, the Cultural Olympiad will be delivered and funded in partnership with a range of public and private partners.

The London 2012 Organising Committee is currently finalising the budgets for each of these important elements of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It is working within the overall framework set out in the candidate file and is confident that it sits within its £2 billion revenue budget.

National Lottery

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the Big Lottery Fund is expected to contribute to (a) the 2012 Olympics and (b) voluntary and community groups in each year to 2012; and if she will make a statement. [111692]


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Tessa Jowell: I have already announced that £410 million will come from non-Olympic lottery distributors, of which the Big Lottery Fund is one, from 2009. No decision has yet been made about how that amount will be allocated between individual distributors.

The Government are currently considering how the additional Olympic costs of £900 million should be met This discussion will take account of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor, which provides for a sharing arrangement to be agreed as appropriate and through seeking additional national lottery funding in amounts to be agreed at the time.

No conclusions have yet been reached on the further use of lottery funding.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the potential effects of using the National Lottery to support the Olympics on other charities supported by the National Lottery; and if she will make a statement. [119357]

Tessa Jowell: It was always understood when we bid that National Lottery funding for London 2012 would involve some loss of income to the non-Olympic good causes, including charities. Non-Olympic distributors may lose an average of 5 per cent. of their income because of sales diversion to Olympic Lottery games over the period 2005-06 to 2012-13. In addition, we have already announced that £410 million will be taken from non-Olympic Lottery proceeds between 2009 and 2012. No decision has been made about how that amount will be shared between the various non-Olympic good causes.

The Government are currently considering how the additional Olympic costs of £900 million should be met. This discussion will take account of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor, which provides for a sharing arrangement to be agreed as appropriate and through seeking additional National Lottery Funding in amounts to be agreed at the time. No conclusions have yet been reached on the further use of Lottery funding.


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