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22 Jan 2008 : Column 1806W—continued


Trade Unions

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what meetings she has had with trades union officials since 1 July 2007; on what dates; and with which trades unions. [179861]

Mr. Dhanda: Ministers meet many people as part of the process of policy development. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meetings.

Urban Areas: Sustainable Development

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether the Government have plans for direct public sector land acquisition at pre-planning decision land values in respect of eco-town developments; [171217]

(2) whether the availability of public sector land in an area will affect determinations on the selection of locations for eco-towns. [171219]

Yvette Cooper: We have received over 50 expressions of interest for eco-towns and expect to publish the proposals shortly, once we have completed an initial assessment of the applications received. In the Eco-towns Prospectus (published on 23 July), land use was one of the seven criteria against which eco-town proposals will be assessed, and we said that “where there are good opportunities to do so, schemes should make use of suitable surplus public sector land, or brownfield land”.

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which locations have been submitted to her Department as prospective eco-towns as part of the new points growth scheme. [175566]

Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) today reference parliamentary question 164771.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list proposals submitted for eco-towns. [179267]

Yvette Cooper: We expect to announce proposals shortly, once an initial assessment has taken place. There will be considerable opportunity for consultation before the process is completed.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when local authorities will be informed that a bid for an eco-town has been (a) made, (b) successful and (c) unsuccessful in their area. [179834]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 17 January 2008]: We are consulting with local authorities in the relevant areas covered by proposed eco-towns in January 2008 as part of an initial assessment of bids and expect to publish proposals shortly. There will be considerable opportunity for consultation before the process is completed.


22 Jan 2008 : Column 1807W

Written Questions

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will reply to question 165126, on Emscher Park tabled by the hon. Member for Thurrock on 13 November 2007. [174342]

Yvette Cooper: I have now replied to my hon. Friend’s question.

Youth Services: Finance

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local area agreements are required to include provisions on ring-fenced funding for projects which used to be funded through the Children’s Fund for Youth Inclusion Projects; and what other arrangements her Department has put in place for the future funding of such projects. [180377]

John Healey: From April 2008, no funding streams will be directly linked to local area agreements (LAAs). Local partners are responsible for collectively agreeing how they will resource delivery of their LAA priorities from their mainstream funding, including by aligning or pooling resources where it makes sense to do so.

The Government are maximising local authorities’ freedom to target their resources on what matters most to local people, including their LAA priorities, by moving over £5 billion of former specific grants such as the Children’s Fund into non-ringfenced general grants (either Revenue Support Grant or the new Area Based Grant) over the comprehensive spending review period.

Under the new arrangements, the Government will continue to allocate funding to local authorities where there is a recognised need for additional support for preventative services for children aged five to 13. However, it will be paid as part of the non-ringfenced Area Based Grant from April 2008, so local authorities will be free to decide how best to use the resources to support local priorities.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council of England: Grants

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many regularly funded, theatre-based producing companies in the regions were supported by Arts Council England in 2007-08. [179449]

James Purnell [holding answer 16 January 2008]: In 2007-08 Arts Council England are supporting 36 regularly funded theatre-based producing companies outside London.

Capita

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have held with (i) directors and (ii) senior executives of (A) Capita Group
22 Jan 2008 : Column 1808W
plc and (B) its subsidiaries since 1 January 2001; what the (1) location and (2) duration of each meeting was; whether a record of each meeting was kept; and if he will make a statement. [180704]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and advice. It is not the usual practice of Government to disclose details of such meetings.

Coastal Areas: Finance

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the £45 million fund for cultural spending on coastal towns, announced on 30 November 2007, will come from (a) his Department, (b) the National Lottery and (c) private partners; and if he will make a statement. [181050]

Margaret Hodge: The £45 million fund (£15 million a year over three years) for seaside resorts announced on 30 November 2007 will come from departmental funds made available through the 2007 comprehensive spending review. We have asked the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, who will lead the programme, to seek to attract at least equal matching funding from public and private partners to further enhance the programme. This match-funding has yet to be determined.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects the first funding from the £45 million fund for cultural spending on coastal towns, announced on 30 November 2007, to be allocated. [181051]

Margaret Hodge: The funding is available from the next financial year. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment is developing the criteria and timetable for the seaside resorts initiative. I expect they will make some allocations early in 2008-09.

Departmental Accountancy

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what items of his Department's (a) revenue and (b) expenditure are uprated using (i) the consumer prices index, (ii) the retail prices index and (iii) other measures of inflation. [179947]

Margaret Hodge: No element of the Department's annual expenditure or revenue is uprated using any of the aforementioned indices. Pay increases are governed by Her Majesty's Treasury guidance, their approval and affordability. Staff salaries, for staff below the senior civil service, are increased annually in DCMS, but these are not uprated by any measure of inflation. Senior civil service salary costs are subject to review by the Senior Salaries Review Body. They do not apply inflation indices but do take them into account as part of the evidence they consider.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many posters or displays there are in the offices of his Department and its agencies
22 Jan 2008 : Column 1809W
displaying the names and photographs of Ministers; and what the cost has been of producing such posters or displays in the last five years. [179841]

Margaret Hodge: The Department produced two displays showing ministerial names and photographs for the London Open House in 2005 and 2007. The costs were:

Display costs (£)

2005

250.27

2007

270.25


Expenditure on such posters or displays by the Department's agencies could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisors

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether any of his Department’s special advisers also work for organisations outside his Department. [178483]

James Purnell: Special advisers are appointed under terms and conditions set out in the “Model Contract” and “Code of Conduct for Special Advisers”, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

Digital Switchover Help Scheme: Copeland

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the uptake has been of the digital switchover targeted assistance scheme in Whitehaven and Copeland; what the expected uptake was; what assessment he has made of the reasons for the difference between the two; and if he will make a statement. [173932]

James Purnell: Details of the number of households eligible for assistance from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme in the Copeland area and the number and proportion of eligible households in Copeland who responded to scheme communications and took up the offer of help during the switchover period are set out in the table. No specific forecast was made of the number of households who would take up the offer of assistance in the Copeland area, though projections were made for the UK Scheme as a whole, based on survey work carried out in 2006.

DCMS, Digital UK, Ofcom, the BBC and Digital Switchover Help Scheme Ltd., the wholly owned BBC subsidiary company responsible for the delivery of the Help Scheme, are looking closely at the possible reasons for the level of help scheme take-up as part of a detailed evaluation of the successful programme to switch-off analogue television services in the Copeland area on 14 November 2007. It is too early to draw any firm conclusions.


22 Jan 2008 : Column 1810W
Whitehaven/Copeland Help Scheme Total Free £40 charge

Number of eligible households(1, 2, 3, 4)

8,600

3,100

5,500

Projected take-up (households)(5)

5,900

2,700

3,200

Response rate (households)(6)

6,412

2,431

3,981

Response rate (percentage)

75

78

72

Take-up (households)(6)

2,808

1,780

1,028

Of whom needed an aerial installation

197

Take-up (percentage)

57

19

Opted out (households)(6)

3,604

651

2,953

(1) The figures for eligible households and forecast take-up are rounded to the nearest 100.
(2) Eligibility for help from the Digital Switchover Help Scheme is by household. Household is defined as a ‘benefit unit’ rather than the whole household definition used by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Office to forecast future household growth. The scheme definition of eligible households mirrors Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) definition of a benefit unit: a married couple or couple living together as husband and wife (which from December 2005 includes gay couples) and any dependent children. It excludes adults deemed to be non-dependents who, if eligible, are able to claim assistance from the help scheme in their own right.
(3) The estimates of the number of eligible households use data from the Department for Work and Pensions Client Group Analysis for November 2005 for the Copeland parliamentary constituency adjusted by changes in future household and benefits growth for the period from 2005 until the date switchover took place.
(4) The estimates of eligible people do not include households where the person qualifying for help under the scheme is registered blind or registered partially sighted and qualifies on grounds of registration rather than on grounds of age or entitlement to disability benefits.
(5) The projected take-up figures for Copeland parliamentary constituency are based on the modelling work carried out by DCMS to set the overall budget for the UK-wide help scheme.
(6) The eligibility period for the scheme in Whitehaven and Copeland closed on 13 December. These are final figures.

Licensing

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what records his Department holds of which local authorities have licensing policies with cumulative impact areas; [176709]

(2) which local authorities have adopted cumulative impact areas under the Licensing Act 2003; [176712]

(3) how many local authorities have designated cumulative impact areas in their licensing policies. [176718]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The data which the Department for Culture, Media and Sport hold on local authority cumulative impact areas were published in the Department’s licensing statistical bulletin on 8 November 2007 and are set out in the table. The data cover cumulative impact areas in force on 31 March 2007 and are based upon a response rate of 80 per cent. of licensing authorities. Details of individual licensing authority statements of licensing policy are not held centrally.


22 Jan 2008 : Column 1811W

22 Jan 2008 : Column 1812W
Licensing authority Cumulative impact areas

Leeds

4

Bexley

3

Newcastle upon Tyne

3

Bristol

2

Bromley

2

Fareham

2

Merton

2

Pembrokeshire

2

Portsmouth

2

Richmond upon Thames

2

Scarborough

2

Trafford

2

Warwick

2

Aylesbury Vale

1

Birmingham

1

Blackpool

1

Blaenau Gwent

1

Bournemouth

1

Bridgend

1

Cardiff

1

Colchester

1

Croydon

1

Dudley

1

Ealing

1

Easington

1

East Hampshire

1

East Staffordshire

1

Eastbourne

1

Hackney

1

Hartlepool

1

Herefordshire

1

Hinckley and Bosworth

1

Isles of Scilly

1

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

1

Lancaster

1

Leicester

1

Lichfield

1

Lincoln

1

Middlesbrough

1

Newcastle-under-Lyme

1

Nottingham

1

Oadby and Wigston

1

Oxford

1

Preston

1

Restormel

1

Shrewsbury and Atcham

1

South Tyneside

1

Southend-on-Sea

1

Torbay

1

Wakefield

1

Watford

1

Windsor and Maidenhead

1

Worthing

1

York

1

Note:
The number of ‘cumulative impact areas’ published on 9 November 2007 for two licensing authorities were incorrect:
Melton licensing authority had recorded the wrong number of cumulative impact areas as six; it has been amended to zero in the revised statistical bulletin published on 15 January 2008.
Warwick’s number of cumulative impact areas was incorrectly inputted as four; this has been corrected to two in the revised statistical bulletin published on 15 January 2008.

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