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Ms Rosie Winterton: The following table shows the number of winter fuel payments made to households for the last five years. Figures for 2007-08 are not yet available but we expect the number to be similar to that for winter 2006-07.
|Winter fuel payments made to pensioner households by year|
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Source: Information directorate 100 per cent. data.
Expenditure on winter fuel payments in the parliamentary constituency of York in 2006-07 was £3.5 million. Expenditure on winter fuel payments in the local authority area in 2006-07 was £6.5 million. Forecasts of benefit expenditure are not produced below national level and it is not possible to derive a forecast for 2008-09 using 2006-07 outturn data because the benefit rates for winter fuel payments have changed for 2008-09 and because adequate caseload data are not available.
Information directorate 100 per cent. data.
10,810 winter fuel payments to households in the city of York constituency and 20,820 winter fuel payments to households in York local authority with a member aged 60-79; and
4,080 winter fuel payments to households in the city of York constituency and 7,340 winter fuel payments to households in York local authority with a member aged 80 or over.
1. Figures rounded to the nearest ten.
2. Parliamentary constituencies and local authorities are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
3. Please note that a small number of these households receive amounts higher than the usual rate for their age group, where the household includes more than two individuals each entitled to payments at half of the usual household rate.
Information directorate 100 per cent. data.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 15 October 2008, Official Report, column 1296W, on the Advertising Standards Authority: public appointments, what requirement there is on the Chairman of the Authority to have regard to a balance of political views when making appointments to the Advertising Standards Authority Council. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made in improving the digital signal for terrestrial television in the UK; and what further steps are planned. 
Andy Burnham: Digital signals cannot be increased in power until analogue television services are switched off as unacceptable levels of interference would otherwise occur. The digital signal will be improved over the next four years as digital switchover takes place on a region-by-region basis across the UK, completing in 2012. The process commenced in the Border region where the first switchover has already occurred at Whitehaven in Cumbria. The Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency is in the Tyne-Tees region which is planned to switch in 2012 along with London, the south of England and Northern Ireland.
Andy Burnham: At present only 80 principal transmitters out of the UKs network of over 1,150 TV transmitters broadcast digital services. This restriction is necessary because at present analogue TV services occupy most of the spectrum allocated to TV broadcasting. When digital switchover occurs two things will happen. Firstly, the power of the digital services from the 80 existing transmitters will be increased significantly, including the main transmitters at Pontop Pike and Bilsdale that serve much of the north-east of England. Secondly, the analogue-only transmitters such as those in my hon. Friends constituency, at Eston Nab, Guisborough and Skinningrove, will all be converted to broadcast digital signals. Together these two measures will improve reception reliability and extend the reach of the digital TV services to the same proportion of the population that is able to receive analogue television. There are three analogue-only relay transmitters in the Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency, so there will be patches where reception is not very good at present.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2020W, on the Digital Switchover Help Scheme: Borders Regions, how many people have now been identified as eligible for assistance under the scheme in the area covered by the Selkirk television transmitter and its related relays on the grounds that they are (a) over 75 years old, (b) in receipt of (i) disability living allowance, (ii) attendance allowance and (iii) constant attendance allowance and (c) registered blind or partially sighted; what the overall percentage take-up of eligible people has been to date; and how many people have opted for (A) the default option of Sky, (B) a Freeview digital box, (C) a Freeview playback digital television recorder, (D) a new television with digital built-in, (E) Freesat and (F) Top Up TV. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 22 October 2008] : A total of 16,618 people in the area covered by Selkirk television transmitter and its related relays are currently identified as eligible for the switchover help scheme. The total of eligible people has been adjusted in the light of information from Television Licensing, since possession of a TV licence is a condition of eligibility. All potentially eligible people, including those without a TV licence or not yet confirmed to have one, have now been contacted by the help scheme.
Of those currently eligible, (a) 10,576 people are eligible on the grounds that they are aged 75 years or over, (b) 5,804 are under 75 and eligible on grounds that they receive a disability benefit, and (c) 238 people who do not fit either of these categories are eligible on the grounds that they are registered blind or partially sighted.
The number of people who have opted into the help scheme now stands at 2,758 people, or 16.6 per cent. of the eligible total. 7,274 or 43.8 per cent. of the total have responded. Of those that have opted in, 2,178 have made a choice of option and 580 have yet to choose. Of those that have made a choice, 59 per cent. have chosen the standard offer of a Sky satellite system, 39 per cent. have chosen a Freeview terrestrial set top box or upgrade, and the remainder have chosen freesat from ITV and BBC or Top Up TV.
[holding answer 27 October 2008]: In 2003 DCMS published Framework for the Future, the Governments 10-year national public library strategy. This provided a broad vision to enable libraries to modernise through promoting reading and learning, enabling access to digital skills and services and encouraging community cohesion and civic values as well as looking for the scope for capacity building. Framework for the
Future has been underpinned by work funded through the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), including the training programme, Leading Modern Public Libraries, and library service peer reviews.
In the context of framework, on 9 October 2008 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that DCMS will undertake a Library Service Modernisation Review to define the Governments vision for a modern, world-class public library service and set out some of the necessary steps to achieve this vision. This review, which is expected to report in the spring of 2009, aims to support local authorities in delivering modernised, responsive and appealing library services for their communities, and to improve performance and increase usage.
The BIG Lottery Fund £80 million Community Libraries Programme is an investment across England to improve community learning opportunities through libraries. Part of this is offering the types of opportunities that are essential to the delivery of modern library services. These include learning opportunities and activities to attract new library users such as reading groups, writing groups, language classes, family learning activities, art and museum exhibitions, cultural activities, drama, information seminars and health initiatives.
Barbara Follett [holding answer 27 October 2008]: On 9 October 2008 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that DCMS will undertake a Library Service Modernisation Review to define the Governments vision for a modern, world-class public library service and set out some of the necessary steps to achieve this vision. This review, which is expected to report in the spring of 2009, aims to support local authorities in delivering modernised, responsive and appealing library services for their communities, and to improve performance and increase usage.
Libraries have played a central role in the Department for Children, Schools and Families funded National Year of Reading, holding a broad range of themed events and activities, and as part of their membership drive signing up over 1 million new members since April 2008.
There are a significant number of programmes funded by Departments, sponsored organisations and third sector partners which promote the increased use of public libraries: these include Bookstart, Book Ahead, Boys into Books, the Summer Reading Challenge, Booked Up, Fulfilling their Potential and the Vital Link.
The BIG Lottery Funds £80 million Community Libraries Programme is an investment across England to improve community learning opportunities through libraries. Part of this is offering the types of opportunities essential to the delivery of modern library services, including, learning activities to attract new library users such as reading groups, writing groups, language classes, family learning activities, art and museum exhibitions, cultural activities, drama, information seminars and health initiatives.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 14 October 2008, Official Report, column 1206W, on Sport England: public appointments, how much he expects the re-advertisement of the position of chairman to cost. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has had from UK sporting organisations on the adoption of a wider list of sports eligible for elite funding. 
Andy Burnham: DCMS receives occasional representations from sporting organisations, and from hon. Members on their behalf, requesting that Government funding of elite sport be provided to a broader range of sports, including the sport of lacrosse.
The primary focus of the finite funding that the Government have available to support high performance sports is to enable our very best Olympic and Paralympic athletes to deliver the ambitious medal goals for London 2012. Funding is therefore concentrated on Olympic and Paralympic sports.
Andy Burnham [holding answer 27 October 2008]: Elite athletes were funded by Sport England from 1997 to 1999 after which it became the responsibility of UK Sport. Between 1999 and 2000 Sport England administered lottery payment operations on behalf of UK Sport and retained the athlete records. The transfer of operations took place during 2000-01.
|Financial year||Funding (£)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of funding for the Government's free swimming initiative has been allocated to improving access to swimming lessons. 
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