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The deadline for expressions of interest was 7 April. We are hoping to announce the pilot areas by the end of May, following a final decision from Ministers. This will be based on advice from a stakeholder group that includes members from key cultural and educational organisations.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he has taken to assist older people in realising the benefits to be derived from the switchover to digital television. 
Andy Burnham: The Government have announced a Help Scheme to assist the over 75s and those with significant disabilities, including people registered blind and partially sighted, to convert to digital television. The Help Scheme is an end-to-end package of support. As well as provision of a high quality set top box, the Scheme will provide practical assistance to install and use the equipment and the provision of an aerial if needed.
Digital UK has set up a digital outreach programme to deliver information and advice to older people who are under 75, those with sensory, mobility or dexterity impairments, people with learning difficulties and those who are socially isolated. Digital UK has a £2.9 million contract with Digital Outreach Ltd, a company set up by leading UK charities Age Concern England, Help the Aged, Community Service Volunteers and Collective Enterprises Limited, to commission support from local and regional voluntary sector organisations and charities, initially in the first four ITV regions to switch over (Border, West Country, Wales and Granada).
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the outcome of consultations on protection of fossils following the recommendations of the Quinquennial Review by the Committee on the Export of Works of Art in 2003. 
Margaret Hodge: My Department has undertaken no formal public consultation on this matter following the Quinquennial Review of the Reviewing Committee for the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest in 2003.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department provides health or social care services out of public funds, with reference to the Statement by the Minister of State, Department of Health, in the Health and Social Care Bill Committee, of 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 327. 
Margaret Hodge: I am concerned about the potential harm of such internet sites. In March this year we accepted the recommendations of the Byron Review including that the new UK Council on Child Internet Safety look at whether the law around harmful and inappropriate material online could usefully be clarified, and explore appropriate enforcement responses. We expect this to be a key area of work for the council and that will make early recommendations for action if necessary.
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Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what arrangements are in place for auditing the accounts of regional cultural consortia (RCCs) accounts; and what audits have been conducted under these arrangements since RCCs were established. 
Margaret Hodge: The Regional Cultural Consortia (RCCs) are companies limited by guarantee, and audits are carried out under the Companies Act by external auditors appointed by each of the Consortiums. Since the RCCs became executive NDPBs in 2004 there have been audits on a yearly basis.
Following the Governments decision to give the Comptroller and Auditor General (C and A G) statutory powers to carry out audits of companies, it is open to the C and A G to perform this function for the RCCs in future.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the UK's national tourism deficit benchmarked against (a) France, (b) Germany, (c) the United States, (d) Australia, (e) Spain and (f) Portugal. 
|(1 )2006. (2 )2005, the latest figure held.|
These figures show the obvious effects of climate and easier air travel. The Government are working with the tourism industry to make holidaying in this country more attractive to UK residents by improving the quality of our tourism offer in key areas, and this work has been brought together through the DCMS Tourism Strategy for 2012.
The Prime Minister:
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 17 October 2007, Official Report,
columns 1134-35W. Figures for 2007-08 will be available when the Cabinet Office Annual Resource accounts have been audited.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what (a) procedures were followed and (b) steps were taken in (i) advertising and (ii) interviewing for the appointment to post in No. 10 Downing Street of (A) Stephen Carter, (B) Nick Stace, (C) Jennifer Moses and (D) David Muir; 
The Prime Minister: Special advisers are appointed under the 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.
The Prime Minister: Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band. I refer the hon. Member to my written statement on 22 November 2007, Official Report, columns 148-150WS.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister what the (a) salary, (b) status and (c) contract terms are of each member of staff at No. 10 Downing Street; when each was appointed; and what the purpose is of each unit and office within No. 10 Downing Street. 
The Prime Minister: Information about the salary and contractual terms of individual members of staff is personal between the employer and employee and therefore not disclosed. The cost and number of No. 10 staff, including special advisers, are published annually.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister which (a) Senators and (b) Members of Congress he met during his recent visit to the United States; where the meetings took place in each case; which Government Departments provided briefing materials for his use during the visit; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: During my recent visit to the United States I had meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a range of subjects. In addition, I held separate meetings with Senators McCain, Clinton and Obama at the ambassador's residence in Washington. Briefing was provided by the relevant Government Departments.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister which (a) schools and (b) hospitals in Essex he visited in each month since January 2007; on what dates and for what purpose in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times VIP facilities at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick, (c) Luton and (d) Stansted Airport were hired by Her Majesty's Government in each month since May 2006; and what the expenditure on VIP facilities at each was in each of those months. 
Meg Munn: Based on Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) records since May 2006, there were 4,309 official FCO bookings at an estimated cost of £1,273,140. Actual costs, for the financial year 2007-08, will be available on receipt of BAA's final bill (trading statement) for that period.
|Bookings from May 2006 to March 2008|
|Number of bookings||Total cost (£) (estimated)|
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