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Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will consider introducing (a) pre-appointment parliamentary scrutiny and (b) confirmation hearings for future appointments to the BBC Trust. 
James Purnell [holding answer 8 October 2007]: BBC Trust appointments are among those regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. We believe the scrutiny afforded by existing arrangements, which include the involvement of an OCPA trained independent assessor throughout, is sufficient. We do not therefore plan to consider introducing pre-appointment parliamentary scrutiny or confirmation hearings for future appointments to the BBC Trust.
This is consistent with proposals set out in the Government Green Paper The Governance of Britain (July 2007), which accepts there are a number of positions in which Parliament has a particularly strong interest because the office holder exercises statutory or other powers in relation to protecting the publics rights and interests. The Government believe that Parliament, through its Select Committees, may play a valuable role where such appointments are not subject to oversight by the Commissioner for Public Appointments or other form of independent scrutiny.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many voluntary organisations which were formerly funded from single regeneration budgets have bid for Big Lottery funding in each year for which figures are available; and how many have been successful in each year. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which private consultancy firms (a) his Department and (b) agencies which report to his Department engaged in each of the last three years; which programmes or projects each firm worked on; and what the approximate cost to the Department or agency concerned was of each engagement. 
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1. The remaining 205 staff work in Human Resources, Finance and Planning, Strategy, Private Office, Communications and Directorate support.
2. The department is planning to reduce its headcount by around 70 FTE by 2011.
3. The Culture, Creativity and Economy Group deals with a range of subjects; Arts, Architecture, Heritage, Creative Industries, Sports, Museums, Libraries, Broadcasting Policy, Tourism, National Lottery and Gambling Licensing and Tourism.
4. Corporate Services covers Human Resources, Finance and Planning, Strategy and Private Office.
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of households which are capable of receiving a high quality and reliable analogue television signal but will not be capable of receiving a fully reliable digital television signal after digital switchover in (a) Argyll and Bute, (b) the STV region and (c) the UK. 
James Purnell [holding answer 24 July 2007]: At the time of switchover (which will be in 2010 for the STV region) digital terrestrial coverage across the whole of the UK should substantially match that which the present analogue service achievesthat is, 98.5 per cent. of households. Although we do not have information on coverage for individual constituencies, Ofcom estimates that around 97 per cent. of households in the STV North region and around 99.4 per cent. in STV Central region will be capable of receiving a high quality and robust signal after digital switchover. Unfortunately, estimates of analogue coverage are not available.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department will be making any funds available to blind and partially-sighted persons to purchase new equipment to enable them to use teletext once the analogue signal has been switched off. 
James Purnell: The Digital Switchover Help Scheme will ensure that households where at least one person is registered blind or registered partially-sighted will be provided with the appropriate equipment to convert one TV set and, where necessary, the relevant help to install and use such equipment and an aerial installation. Help will be free to eligible households in receipt of income support, jobseekers allowance or pension credit. Other households will be asked to contribute £40 towards the cost of support.
Where the eligible household opts for the digital terrestrial platform, the scheme will provide a set top converter box which meets the schemes core receiver requirement. This incorporates a number of features, such as audio description, which will be of benefit to blind and partially sighted people. There is no requirement for the scheme to enable audio access to digital text
services. The Consumer Expert Group, which includes the RNIB and SENSE were consulted on the scheme requirements. The core receiver requirements, which take costs into account, will be kept under regular review.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the requirements for set-top boxes provided by the Digital Switchover Help Scheme include an on/off button; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell [holding answer 24 July 2007]: The Core Receiver Requirements for digital switchover Help Scheme equipment state that any digital receiver provided as part of the scheme shall have a power switch in an easily accessible position with which the receiver can be placed into its lowest possible consumption mode (e.g. standby). The requirements also require that a corresponding function should be included in the design of the remote control for such receivers.
Set-top boxes remain on low power standby rather than being switched off completely when not in use, in order to allow them to receive important over-the-air downloads (for example, to rescan for frequency changes), in a way which causes minimum disruption for the viewer, at very low levels of energy consumption.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether advertising of gambling-related activities at televised sports events during childrens television viewing hours will be permitted under the proposed Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice gambling advertising rules. 
James Purnell: Under the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) new codes of practice, which came into effect on 1 September, there are strict controls in place about the content and scheduling of gambling advertisements and restrictions on advertising during and around childrens programmes or programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children.
In addition to the CAP and BCAP codes, the gambling industry has introduced a voluntary 9 pm watershed on all broadcast gambling advertising, with an exception for bingo and lottery advertisements which are already permitted and sports betting advertising around sports events, as part of their social responsibility code on gambling advertising.
Mr. Sutcliffe: This information is not held centrally and it has not been possible to collate the data requested in the time available. Some of the information requested is already in the public domain, in distributors annual reports.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much each National Lottery distributor spent on public affairs and public relations activities in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: This information is not held centrally and it has not been possible to collate the data requested in the time available. Some of the information requested is already in the public domain, in national lottery distributors annual reports.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the 10,000 voluntary community sports coaches announced on 24 September are (a) additional to and (b) distinct from the young volunteers trained to work in schools and community clubs and trained adult mentors announced as part of the Game Plan strategy in 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The 10,000 voluntary Community Sports Coaches announced on the 24 September will be additional to and distinct from the young volunteers and leaders supported by the Step into Sport scheme which is part of the National School Sport Strategy.
(2) when he expects the 10,000 voluntary community sports coaches, announced on 24 September, to (a) be recruited and (b) begin their coaching activities; and what steps his Department plans to take to (i) encourage, (ii) monitor and (iii) audit and account for progress with this initiative; 
(3) which national governing bodies will be responsible for recruiting the 10,000 voluntary community sports coaches announced on 24 September; how much each such body will receive; how much of the £5 million announced for the initiative will be allocated to (a) Sports Coach UK and (b) Sport England; and when the funding will be made available to each responsible body. 
James Purnell: We are working on detailed plans with Sport England, Youth Sport Trust and sports coach UK to start the recruitment of 10,000 volunteer sports coaches from April 2008, in the most deprived areas.
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