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23 July 2007 : Column 711W—continued

Licensing Act

12. Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on live music; and if he will make a statement. [151106]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Current assessments suggest the Act has so far had a broadly neutral impact on the staging of live music.

The Live Music Forum published its report on 4 July. This found the Act had delivered many benefits, but the forum also highlighted some areas of concern.

The second stage of our own planned research into the provision of live music will be completed by the end of the year.

Tourism

13. Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department has allocated to the promotion of tourism for 2007-08. [151107]

Margaret Hodge: DCMS is investing over £55 million in tourism support at national and regional levels in 2007-08. Across the UK, the public sector now puts over £300 million a year into supporting the industry—more than ever before.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 2 May 2007, Official Report, column 1709W, on tourism, when his Department plans to publish the tourism strategy for the London 2012 Olympic Games. [150903]


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Margaret Hodge: We hope to publish the tourism strategy for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in September 2007.

Museums and Galleries: Free Admission

14. Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of free admission to national museums and galleries on the number and range of visitors to such institutions. [151108]

Margaret Hodge: Free museum admission for children was introduced by this Government eight years ago in April 1999. Since then the number of child visits to former charging sponsored museums in England has increased by 76 per cent. This represents an extra 12 million visits over this period.

Since the introduction of universal free access to former charging sponsored museums in England in December 2001, there has been an 87 per cent. increase in visits. This represents an extra 6 million visits a year or 29 million visits over the five years since entry charges were abolished.

Over the same period, the proportion of visits by people from black and multi-ethnic backgrounds has increased by around 54 per cent. while trend data collected between 2002-03 and 2004-05 shows that visits by people from C2DE social groups rose by 21 per cent. or 1.2 million additional visits.

Community Football

16. John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding his Department has provided for community football projects in 2007-08. [151110]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Over £20 million of both Exchequer and National Lottery funding, channelled through Sport England and the Football Foundation, will support community football projects in 2007-08.

In addition the Football Association is receiving £4 million over the period 2005-09 to support core community football projects.

And we have provided a further £5 million of Exchequer funding between 2006-08 to the Football Foundation and the Football Association for specific football projects.

Bookmakers’ Pitches

17. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures he plans to take with regard to the certification system for race course bookmakers’ pitches. [151111]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Gambling Act replaces the certification system for racecourses with a new, streamlined licensing system. It is in both the racing and betting industries’ interests to work together to ensure a smooth transition to the new system, and I plan to help them to reach agreement.


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Sports Aid

18. Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many young athletes in (a) England and (b) Tamworth constituency have received financial support from SportsAid. [151112]

Mr. Sutcliffe: SportsAid is a registered charity for sports people and focuses on giving grants to young people aged 12 to 16 from funds raised from the private sector. It would not, therefore, be appropriate for Government to answer on behalf of SportsAid.

However, SportsAid receives an annual Exchequer grant from Sport England, and for this financial year, will receive £199,270 to support its operational costs.

In addition, SportsAid is responsible for administering Government funding for the talented athlete scholarship scheme (TASS), which includes TASS 2012. The programme supports young sporting talent primarily in further and higher education. Since TASS and TASS 2012 were launched, 2,648 athletes in England and two in the Tamworth constituency have received financial support.

Artists with Disabilities

19. Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support his Department provides for artists with disabilities. [151113]

Margaret Hodge: In 2005-06 Arts Council England (ACE) provided £12,844,929 funding and since 2004 has provided £4,138,800 in capital grants for disability-led arts organisations. Last year ACE launched a Disability Equality Scheme and it is developing a new Disability Arts Strategy for 2008-09. The Cultural Leadership programme has also funded a network of disabled artists to develop leadership opportunities.

Decibel Penguin Prize

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the future of the decibel Penguin prize. [151109]

Margaret Hodge: The second decibel Penguin anthology will be published in November. Writers from all backgrounds were invited to submit personal accounts of the experience of immigration to the United Kingdom and 16 authors were chosen. This volume has received about £3,500 from Arts Council England. There are plans for one further volume next year.

British Library: Business

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action his Department is taking to promote the Business and Intellectual Property Centre at the British Library as a resource for the business community. [150537]

Margaret Hodge: DCMS operates an arm’s length policy with regard to the bodies that it sponsors, and the promotion of the Business and Intellectual Property Centre is therefore a matter for the British
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Library Board. They are to be congratulated for their successful delivery of this new resource, which has welcomed over 25,000 users since it opened in March 2006. The Library continues to broaden its public offer, and to build its role underpinning the UK’s knowledge economy.

Culture: Poole

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what events will be held in Poole as part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012; and which of these events were planned before London secured the 2012 games. [151584]

Margaret Hodge: The intention of the Cultural Olympiad has always been for a UK wide programme that engages local communities. This remains the commitment.

The major projects set out in the London 2012 bid included Film and Video Nation, International Shakespeare Festival, Live Sites, International Exhibitions Programme, 2012 Sounds! Olympic Proms, Artists Taking the Lead, World Cultural Festival, World Festival of Youth Culture, 2012 Carnival and Celebration of Disability Arts and Sport. All these projects featured in LOCOG’s briefing of 21 June. Most of these projects will offer the opportunity for people around the UK to become involved.

In addition to these programmes, there will be a four-year UK-wide Cultural Festival including grass-roots community projects starting in the summer of 2008. Supported and led by a network of Regional Creative Programmers, this Festival will encompass thousands of national, local and regional events as part of the nationwide celebrations to mark the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The role of the Regional Creative Programmers will be to co-ordinate the delivery of cultural events in all the regions and will act as the first point of contact for people in the regions, giving information and advice on how to join in with the Cultural Olympiad. It is too early to say what events will be held in Poole but the Creative Programmer for the South West will work with regional partners and stakeholders to help produce joint events, projects and activities.

Departments: Catering

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of (a) beef, (b) sheep meat, (c) pork and (d) dairy products used in his Department in the most recent period for which figures are available were imported products. [150797]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 19 July 2007]: The percentage of food products used in the Department that was imported is as follows:

Departments: Flint Bishop

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have made payment to Flint Bishop Solicitors since 1997. [151395]


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Margaret Hodge: Neither the Department nor its agency the Royal Parks, have made any payments to Flint Bishop Solicitors since 1997.

Departments: Ministerial Red Boxes

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many ministerial red boxes his Department bought in each of the last five years; what the cost of each was; who the suppliers were: and what tendering process was used in selecting them. [150476]

Margaret Hodge: Ministerial boxes are used by successive Ministers over many years. There were two ministerial red boxes purchased in 2006, see following table. The ministerial boxes were ordered via Banner Business Supplies Ltd. contract, therefore no tendering process was used in selecting the supplier.

2006 Cost (£)

Minister of State—Department for Culture, Media and Sport

620.00 + 108.50 VAT

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State—Department for Culture, Media and Sport

740.00 + 129.50 VAT (incl. new Bramah lock and key)

Total cost

1,598.00


Departments: Visits Abroad

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many overseas visits were made by (a) officials and (b) Ministers within his responsibility, and at what cost, in each year since 1997. [151657]

Margaret Hodge: Departmental expenditure for overseas travel and subsistence by officials is shown in the table. Statistical information regarding number of visits is not routinely collected and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Regarding Ministers’ visits overseas, since 1999 the Government have published, on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2006-07 is currently being compiled and will be published before the summer recess. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the “Civil Service Management Code”, the “Ministerial Code” and “Travel by Ministers”.

Overseas travel and subsistence costs by officials (£)

2006-07(1)

291,427.90

2005-06

287,546.56

2004-05

279,710.59

2003-04

235,210.16

2002-03

195,442.41

2001-02

129,164.75

2000-01

188,337.76

1999-2000

193,742.97

1998-99

151,307.28

1997-98

175,061.96

(1) Subject to finalisation of resource accounts.

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Digital Broadcasting: Islwyn

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the percentage of homes in Islwyn constituency which have digital television. [151857]

James Purnell: No estimate has been made for the Islwyn constituency. However, according to the latest figures from the Ofcom/Digital UK Tracker Survey (Q1-2007), take up of digital television in Wales is currently estimated at 86 per cent. of households(1).

English Heritage

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many English Heritage sites he and his predecessor visited (a) in the UK and (b) in Poole in each of the last five years. [151582]

Margaret Hodge: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not visited any English Heritage sites in his three weeks since taking office. His predecessor visited Stonehenge in September 2006, and last month she visited Torre Abbey in Torquay to see a project funded by English Heritage. I visited Castle Acre Priory on 8 July. My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Lammy) visited seven properties managed by English Heritage during his term in office. There are no English Heritage sites in Poole; the nearest sites are Christchurch Castle and Norman House, Lulworth Castle, and Knowlton Church and Earthworks. These have not been visited by DCMS Ministers in recent years. English Heritage’s remit in the UK only extends to England; the devolved administrations have their own equivalent heritage bodies.

Fashion Industry: Government Assistance

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to support the British fashion industry. [150717]

Margaret Hodge: Fashion is one of the brightest stars in the UK’s creative economy, with world class standards in our colleges and cultural institutions producing some of the world’s top designers.

DCMS gained responsibility for the fashion design sector in 2005. Since then we have been working with representatives from the industry to understand their issues and how Government policies and programmes can best respond to them.

The Department has ensured that the fashion design sector is an integral part of the Government’s ongoing Creative Economy Programme, which aims to improve the growth and productivity of the creative industries.

DCMS works closely with industry and the other public bodies and supporting cultural and educational institutions. We are also closely monitoring the independent Model Health Inquiry and will respond to its final recommendations.


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