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If the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates further, we will reflect this in our travel advice and provide appropriate guidance. To ensure that we can effectively communicate this information, British nationals in Zimbabwe are urged to register with our Embassy in Harare.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding (a) his Department and (b) lottery distributors have contributed towards projects aimed at increasing participation in the arts by priority groups, with particular reference to (i) black and minority ethnic, (ii) limiting disability and (iii) lower socio-economic groups in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: DCMS funding for the arts is channelled through Arts Council England (ACE). Increasing participation by priority groups is a strategic aim which cannot be disaggregated from overall funding, but which is supported by a large number of activities and initiatives.
There have been a range of initiatives over the last 10 years aimed at this objective, including the New Audiences Programme (1998 to 2003), the work of audience development agencies and the decibel initiative. Other activities and initiatives include:
The Grants for the Arts lottery programme has been weighted in favour of first time applicants and those from disadvantaged areasdraft figures indicate that in 2007-08, 29 per cent. of applications were for work largely of benefit to areas of social deprivation.
ACE rolled out its first race equality scheme in 2004. The scheme included the production of a tool kit to support regularly funded organisations (RFOs) in their work on race equality and diversity.
ACE reached its target for 10 per cent. of the value of its Grants for the Arts programme to go to BME artists/organisations. BME-led organisations also now make up 5.7 per cent. of the RFO portfolio (an annual investment of £7.4 million).
ACE is also rolling out a disability equality scheme (DES) which runs till 2010, with the aim of achieving disability equality within its own organisation, and within the arts and creative sector they fund and support. 3 per cent. of the value of the Grants for the Arts programme was allocated to disability-led organisations in 2007-08; this is an annual investment of £1.6 million.
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 2 April 2008]: Work is already under way within DCMS, Arts Council England and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and across the sector more widely on many of Sir Brian McMaster's recommendations.
A number of the recommendations can be implemented swiftly, for example DCMS has now completed an audit of its sponsored bodies and already meets the recommended target of two artists or relevant practitioners on each board.
Some of the other recommendations will take longer to develop and implement, for example the new judgment-based system of assessmentencompassing peer review and self-assessmentis expected to take around a year to develop, test and evaluate before being fully implemented.
To help facilitate this work a Programme Board and Steering Group have been convened to discuss the details of implementing some of the longer-term recommendations in Sir Brian's review. The Programme Board will meet for the second time later this month to approve the complete delivery plan, which we hope will be launched before the summer.
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 2 April 2008]: As part of his report on excellence in the arts, Sir Brian McMaster recommended a new, light-touch and non-bureaucratic system for judging the quality of the arts in the future. The starting point for this will be a system of self-assessment within organisations, designed to allow them to measure themselves against their own and shared objectives and a cyclical process of peer review, led by respected practitioners.
Underpinning both will be a move away from measurement of data to a more judgment-based approach, where qualified individuals who have the confidence and respect of the arts sector can make value based judgments of performance, without the need to burden arts organisations with overly complex reporting procedures.
This reflects the wider work the Department is doing to reduce the burden we place on our NDPBs. A process of risk assessment will enable us to focus our scrutiny on the few areas of higher risk and adopt a more light-touch approach in most cases. Funding agreements will be shorter, with fewer targets, fewer monitoring returns will be required, and where possible and appropriate we will extend NDPBs delegated powers.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what Government support has been given to the (a) performing and (b) visual arts in rural areas of England since May 2005. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Arts Council do not record allocations by rural, urban or suburban area. A list of Arts Council Englands funding for the performing and visual arts between 2005-06 to 2007-08, broken down by constituency, will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 3 April 2008]: Arts Council England is responsible for funding agreements with their regularly funded organisations, and therefore target setting for arts organisations rests with them. As part of his report on excellence in the arts, Sir Brian McMaster recommended a move away from top-down targets towards a more judgment-based system.
Work is now underway to implement Sir Brians recommendations both within DCMS and Arts Council England and in the arts sector more widely. Part of this work will be developing, testing and implementing a new judgment-based assessment framework.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how often his Department has met the Association for Physical Education in each of the last three years; and what the outcome was of those meetings. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Our records indicate that this Department has not met the Association for Physical Education (AfPE) since its formal launch in March 2006, although officials are due to meet them in April with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). DCSF has had regular keeping in touch meetings with AfPE since its establishment.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what account he takes of climate change when developing the Department's heritage strategy, with particular reference to the protection of buildings of historic importance and landscapes. 
Margaret Hodge: This Department is taking account of climate change in developing our strategic policy on the historic environment. English Heritage, the Governments strategic advisor on the historic environment, held a climate change summit in January at which I gave a keynote speech. Heritage professionals were also present at DCMS seminar on climate change in January and are working with DEFRA on the development of its climate change adaptation policy framework. English Heritage continues to undertake research and provide guidance on issues such coastal erosion; adapting historic buildings, parks and gardens for climate change and how to incorporate energy saving technologies into historic buildings.
Mr. Sutcliffe: It is very difficult to estimate the number of hours of art and culture that children currently receive each week. Schools offer many cultural experiences, for example in music, art, drama and poetry, both within and beyond the curriculum. Many schools also give pupils opportunities to visit museums, local theatres and galleries.
The exact number of hours will, however, depend on the age of the pupils involved, the subjects chosen at the end of key stage 3, and the extended activities available outside curriculum time. Similarly, we are aware that access to arts and culture outside of school time is varied.
Our Taking Part youth survey showed that 61 per cent. of young people said that they had engaged in cultural activities at least once a week during the previous 12 months, and a further 21 per cent. said that they had engaged in cultural activities at least once a month.
The numbers quoted here relate to the percentage of 11 to 15-year-olds living in private households in England, both in and out school. The survey's definition of cultural activities includes, among other things, participating in an arts activity, visiting a museum or gallery and visiting a historic environment site. The interviews were conducted between January and December 2006.
The 10 pilots which will be selected as part of our recently announced Find your Talent scheme will be asked to audit current level of arts and culture provision and the take up of these activities by children and young people in more detail.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to improve cultural ties between the UK and Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: I have no plans at present to take any special steps to improve cultural relations with Israel. There are no barriers to organisations in the UK and Israel forming cultural relations and I am aware that there have been and will continue to be good cultural relations between our two countries. I welcome this.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the Answer of 13 March 2008, Official Report, column 545W, on Culture Online, what targets were set for the Culture Online related projects (a) Artisan Cam City, (b) Heritage Guides, (c) Every Object Tells a Story, (d) Film Street, (e) Headline History, (f) Icons, (g) MadforArts, (h) My ArtSpace, (i) Origination, (j) Plant Cultures, (k) Playground Fun, (l) Rosetta Requiem, (m) Sound Junction, (n) Stagework and (o) The Dark; and what progress has been made towards achieving those targets. 
Margaret Hodge: Each Culture Online project was set a number of appropriate targets in its delivery contract with partner organisations. I am arranging for extracts from the relevant contracts to be deposited in the House Libraries.
Progress towards achieving the targets for each project is set out as follows. The statistics provide interim figures. Although Culture Online closed in March 2007, a number of the projects are still running and visitors are still accessing the websites.
January 2005 to January 2007: 192,169 visits to the website.
September 2005 to January 2007: 1,062,140 visits to the website.
January 2005 to February 2007: 915,599 visits to the website.
Project outreach work involved over 2,140 people. A video booth travelled around England, visiting shopping centres, libraries and bus stations to enable people to capture their object and story in a short video.
April 2006 to February 2007: 156,166 visits to the website.
May 2005 to February 2007: 349,040 visits to the website.
January 2006-January 2007: 1,521,017 visits to the website.
Visits to the website were unrecorded
1,000 people were involved in project outreach work
The films made as part of the MadforArts project had an audience of 2 million on Channel Five and the Community Channel.
January 2006 to February 2007: 19,402 visits to the website.
January 2005 to October 2006: 49,961 visits to the website
Over 7,000 young people took part in schools website building competition
300 people took part in the national programme of workshops encouraging hard-to-reach audiences to build personal websites.
Visits to the website were unrecorded
An average of 1,000,000 unique visitors in the first 18 months, inspired over 20,000 new visitors to gardens and museums in London, Leicester, Liverpool and Bradford
500 people were involved in project outreach work.
August 2005-February 2007: 78,243 visits to the website
2,500 youngsters took part in the Playground Fun day at the Museum of Childhood in London (August 2005), playing games and contributing to the website.
October 2005 to February 2007: 24,788 visits to the website
Worked with 177 hospice users to create music and films with them
An audience of over 2 million for national radio and TV coverage
22,000 copies of We Laughed sold, reaching number 11 in the UK singles chart.
October 2005 to January 2007: 175,152 visits to the website
100 people were involved in project outreach work.
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