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29 Sep 2008 : Column 2426W—continued

Departmental Travel

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2008, Official Report, column 612W, on departmental travel, if she will place in the Library the figures for staff travel costs for her central Department. [224002]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 17 September 2008]: The travel expenditure for the central Department for financial year 2007-08 is £3,509,114.44.

East Coast Railway Line

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she next plans to meet the management of National Express to discuss the punctuality of East Coast Main Line rail services. [217277]

Mr. Tom Harris: Under the Franchise Agreement a franchise performance meeting must be held once in each reporting period (every four weeks). At the next meeting with National Express, the parties present will review the financial, operational and contractual performance of the franchisee.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will meet a delegation of passengers to discuss the provision of rail services on the East Coast Main Line. [217279]

Mr. Tom Harris: Yes. My hon. Friend should make appropriate arrangements through my private office.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answers of 12 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1579-80W, on A69, Greenhead, if she will publish the letter dated 1 December 1982 sent by her Department to the Northumberland county council headed notes for the guidance of engineers employed in connection with trunk road schemes, together with all the said guidance notes. [223126]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 10 September 2008]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer of 26 November 2007, Official Report, column 23W, on Roads: Construction. The guidance notes that were placed in the Libraries of the House in November 2007 were incomplete, but they were all that could be found on file within the Highways Agency and the Treasury Solicitor's Department at that time. The cost of searching for the missing guidance notes now would be disproportionate.

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Tamworth to London Euston Railway Line

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to facilitate an increase in the number of trains travelling between Tamworth and London Euston, with particular regard to direct trains without intermediary stops. [215774]

Mr. Tom Harris: The service planned by London Midland (LM) and Virgin West Coast (VWC) to operate from 14 December 2008 complies with the Department for Transport's specification for services on this route.

From this date, London Midland will provide an hourly service between Tamworth and London Euston, which will be a significant improvement on the existing sporadic frequency. These trains will not run non-stop to Euston as they will also form an integral part of the London service from Nuneaton, Rugby and Northampton.

Virgin West Coast will be providing some limited-stop trains between Tamworth and Euston (two up in the morning and four back in the evening) to serve the commuting peaks.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

China: Earthquakes

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Chinese government on ensuring the Tibetan areas affected by the recent earthquake whose epicentre was on the border of the Tibetan Ngaba Autonomous Prefecture are accessible to overseas aid agencies and that all Tibetan victims are receiving the necessary treatment and support. [220372]

Mr. Malik: I have been asked to reply.

The worst affected areas have a population which is 54 per cent. Tibetan. The UK assistance and the Chinese response generally has covered all the victims of the earthquake, including the Tibetan and Qiang communities.

We have been in close contact with the Chinese authorities since the earthquake. They have been dealing very competently with all the victims. The UK provided funds for the immediate relief effort. On 16 May, three days after the earthquake struck, we provided £1 million to the Chinese Association for NGO co-operation. The money was used to buy food, water, blankets and 2,400 tents. Between 22 and 30 May, four flights arrived in Chengdu from Dubai carrying a further 5,332 tents. The total value of the tents, including transport costs, was £1.2 million. On 18 June, we agreed a contribution of £350,000 to the International Labour Organisation for training to help survivors of the earthquake re-launch or start their own businesses for the first time. The programme aims to re-establish 1000 businesses and start 700 new ones in the next year. The Department for International Development (DFID) total contribution to date is therefore £2.55 million.

We have also established a facility to provide technical assistance for the reconstruction effort. It will have an initial ceiling of £1 million. The main focus will be on areas where we already have a comparative advantage, such as health, education, water and sanitation, participatory, socially inclusive planning and community based poverty reduction in remote villages.

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Members: Correspondence

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to reply to the letters dated 2 July and 3 September from the hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling regarding Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kelly. [224004]

David Miliband [holding answer 17 September 2008]: The letters of 2 July 2008 and 2 September 2008 were forwarded to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) on 8 July 2008 and 4 September 2008 respectively. UKBA will be replying to the hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir John Stanley).

Ukraine: NATO

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his NATO counterparts on the progress of Ukraine’s Membership Action Plan to join the Alliance; and if he will make a statement. [223653]

Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 15 September 2008]: At present Ukraine does not have a Membership Action Plan with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), but a process of Intensified Dialogue is under way on Ukraine’s membership aspirations and related reforms.

The UK supports Ukraine’s desire for NATO membership. At the Bucharest NATO Summit in April, all allies agreed that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of the Alliance. NATO Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the Bucharest commitment in their statement of 19 August and my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK position in Kiev on 27 August. The UK remains in close contact with allies to discuss the implementation of the Bucharest commitment. The NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in December will provide the first review of the progress Ukraine has made on its path to membership.

In the meantime, the NATO-Ukraine Commission will continue to help strengthen NATO’s relationship with Ukraine and assist in their progress towards membership. The Commission last met on 27 August and allies reiterated once more their support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the UK’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and if he will make a statement. [204964]

Barbara Follett: I have been asked to reply

The UK signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981 and ratified it in 1986. In accordance with Article 18 of the Convention, the UK undertakes to submit reports every four years on measures adopted to implement the Convention to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

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In May 2007, the UK submitted its sixth periodic report to the UN, which summarises the main legislative, judicial and administrative measures undertaken by the Government since 2003. Countries are called to account on their performance on the Convention and the UK is being examined by the United Nations Committee on its five and six Periodic Reports on 10 July 2008.

The UK’s decision to accede to the CEDAW Optional Protocol enables women in the UK, or their representatives, to appeal to the Committee if they believe there has been an infringement of the Convention. There have been two communications in respect of the United Kingdom to date. Both have been inadmissible.

Culture, Media and Sport

Alcoholic Drinks: Licensing

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will bring forward amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 to (a) limit the number of licensed premises to which any one person can be appointed as the designated premises supervisor and (b) ensure that there must always be at least one personal licence holder present at each licensed premises when sales of alcohol take place; and if he will make a statement. [224063]

Andy Burnham: We have no plans to amend the Act in this manner. Local licensing authorities are already able to attach conditions to individual premises licences in support of the four main licensing objectives. Such conditions can relate to appropriate levels of supervision at individual premises, and it is entirely correct that such decisions are taken at local level, flexibly responding to local licensing needs.

Arts Council: ICT

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the cost to date of the Arts Council’s Arena IT system has been; [223310]

(2) what the tender process was for the procurement of the Arts Council’s Arena IT system; [223311]

(3) what consultants were engaged by the Arts Council for the procurement of the Arena IT system; [223312]

(4) what the support costs for the Arts Council’s Arena IT system are expected to be in 2008-09; [223313]

(5) who owns the intellectual property rights for the Arts Council’s Arena IT system. [223314]

Andy Burnham: This is an operational matter for Arts Council England. I have asked the chief executive to reply direct to the hon. Member, and copies of the response will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Culture: Olympic Games 2012

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funds his Department and its agencies (a) have allocated and (b) plan to allocate to the Cultural Olympiad; and from what source such funds will be drawn. [223996]

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Andy Burnham: DCMS's contribution to the Cultural Olympiad comes via its non-departmental public bodies according to the arm's length principle.

DCMS itself contributes £400,000 to support a network of Creative Programmers to take forward plans for the Cultural Olympiad in the eight English regions. This funding has been drawn from DCMS internal budgets. Future funding decisions will be made at a later date.

The Royal Parks Agency has not allocated any funds to the Cultural Olympiad and future funding is yet to be determined.

Film: Finance

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what film production supported by public (a) funding and (b) other assistance took place in the South West of England in each of the last five years. [224059]

Andy Burnham: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, South West Screen gave non-funding assistance to 448 productions (including feature films, short films, television and commercials) between 2003 and 2005. This excludes Bristol and Bath.

In addition, South West Screen have put the following funding into mainly short films in the last five years.

Public funding in SW 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Lottery funding for film production in SW


Digital Shorts






Digital Shorts plus




Other public sector funding in film production


These figures do not include funding for feature films from the UKFC lottery funds as this information is available only at disproportionate cost.


Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what public funding (a) his Department and (b) bodies for which his Department is responsible is providing for teams representing (A) England, (B) Scotland, (C) Wales and (D) Northern Ireland at lacrosse in 2008-09. [224042]

Andy Burnham: Funding for sport in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

DCMS does not fund individual sports directly. Exchequer funding for sport in England is distributed by Sport England who have advised that the English Lacrosse Association (ELA) has received over £1.6 million. Of this, £1.26 million is to support the delivery of the lacrosse Whole Sport Plan during 2005 to 2009. The ELA has utilised some of this funding to support its England teams.

Awards to the ELA for 2008-09 are:

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Sport England core funding £316,667

This funding is used by the ELA to support delivery of its Whole Sport Plan for 2005 to 2009. Club Links award: £10,000—this award supports delivery of the Club Links work strand of the PE and School Sport for Young People programme.

Step into Sport: £15,000

This award supports delivery of the Step into Sport work strand of the PE and School Sport for Young People programme.

Club and Coach funding

The ELA is also in receipt of an award for £357,000 over three years 2007 to 2010. Payments to ELA in the current financial year will be subject to the submission of claims and satisfactory delivery of award outcomes. The award supports the creation of a talent development programme in Lacrosse at the grass roots level.

Sport England

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment (a) his Department and (b) Sport England has made of the performance of the 12 trailblazer projects that piloted Sport England’s £36 million Sport Unlimited programme; and if he will publish those assessments; [224050]

(2) how many children were offered five hours of quality sport a week in each of the 12 trailblazer projects that piloted Sport England’s £36 million Sport Unlimited programme. [224051]

Andy Burnham: DCMS has not made a formal assessment of the 12 trailblazer projects.

However, Sport England has advised that it is currently collating a full report on the delivery of sport unlimited activities by the trailblazers during the summer term 2008. This will be published on the Sport England website in October 2008.

Early highlights include:

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