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26 Nov 2008 : Column 2186W—continued

English Heritage: Research

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff are employed by English Heritage to carry out research. [239584]

Barbara Follett: English Heritage have estimated that they employ 84 full time equivalent members of staff who carry out research.

The majority of the staff (61) are employed in English Heritage's Research Department and in addition to procuring and monitoring front-line research into the fabric of the historic environment, they provide advice, guidance, standard-setting, capacity-building and outreach to colleagues providing external services and to a wide range of external audiences (public and professional).

Film: Digital Technology

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what stage has been reached in negotiations between the UK Film Council, the Arts Council and the Humanities Research Council on developing mixed media centres. [227184]


26 Nov 2008 : Column 2187W

Barbara Follett: The completion of a study, jointly commissioned by the Arts Council England (ACE); the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the UK Film Council (UKFC), entitled “Crossing Boundaries” in 2008 marked the end of the first stage of negotiations between the three bodies about the development of a digital network of mixed media centres. ACE and UKFC will now build on, and enhance, the work that some of the venues, like the Watershed in Bristol and the Broadway in Nottingham, are already doing to develop this network by, for example, exploiting the opportunities afforded by new digital technologies. The development of the network is in addition to ongoing growth in provision at individual centres, which has brought a wider range of film related activities to local audiences, including ones such as the Spanish film festival in Manchester, educational work for young people and adults, visiting directors and screenings of specialised film throughout the year.

Gambling: Children

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library a copy of the evaluation framework used to identify and monitor measures or indicators associated with protecting children and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling, as referred to in his Department's publication, Lifting the Burden. [239628]

Barbara Follett: The Gambling Act 2005 was fully implemented from 1 September 2007 and my Department believes it is too soon to make a full and meaningful assessment of the effectiveness of the new system of gambling regulation without at least two full years of solid experience.

In preparation for a future assessment, my Department and the Gambling Commission have been undertaking preparatory work to gather evidence to monitor the impact of the 2005 Act. Therefore an evaluation framework for monitoring the impact of the 2005 Act has not yet been published.

The three licensing objectives will provide the standard by which the effectiveness of the regulatory regime will be evaluated, including the measures on the protection of children and the vulnerable.

This will include evidence from the Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007 published in September 2007, and the work for the next prevalence survey to ensure that problem gambling including the protection of children and the vulnerable is adequately understood and researched.

Horse Racing

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what information his Department holds on the number of thoroughbred racehorses which die or are destroyed (a) on racecourses and (b) within a month of sustaining an injury on a racecourse. [237643]


26 Nov 2008 : Column 2188W

Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.

The Government does not collect these figures.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will consider the merits of introducing legislative proposals to ensure that when a decision is taken to destroy an injured horse on a racecourse that the horse is first sedated. [237684]

Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 already requires that the destruction of any animal must be done in an appropriate and humane manner. We do not believe that any further legislation is necessary.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of surplus breeding of thoroughbred horses by the racing industry. [237923]

Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.

We have not made such an assessment.

Horse Racing: Animal Welfare

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if he will take steps to make it a requirement that when an injured horse is destroyed by a veterinary surgeon on a racecourse that at least two means of humane despatch are immediately available; [239185]

(2) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to limit the number of thoroughbred horses which may be bred by the racing industry; and if he will make a statement; [239186]

(3) if he will take steps to ensure that veterinary surgeons who destroy injured thoroughbreds on racecourses have (a) sufficient training and (b) are periodically assessed to ensure that their standard of competence is maintained; [239189]

Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Hotels: Coastal Areas

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) hotels and (b) guest houses classified as (i) one star, (ii) two star, (iii) three star, (iv) four star and (v) five star there were in each of the principal English seaside towns in each year for which figures are available. [238918]

Barbara Follett: VisitBritain has advised that the numbers of hotels and guest houses in the eight seaside resort destinations that feature in the top 20 English destinations for domestic holiday visits, that are star rated by VisitBritain and/or the AA, are as follows:


26 Nov 2008 : Column 2189W

26 Nov 2008 : Column 2190W
Area Designator 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star 2 St ar 1 Sta r Budget Hotel Awaiting Grading Total

Blackpool

Hotel

0

4

6

16

0

2

2

30

Guest Accommodation

3

36

132

7

0

6

184

Scarborough

Hotel

0

1

17

17

0

0

0

35

Guest Accommodation

5

140

65

7

0

3

220

Bournemouth

Hotel

0

5

27

17

1

3

0

53

Guest Accommodation

1

19

11

3

0

0

34

Skegness

Hotel

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

6

Guest Accommodation

0

8

34

3

0

2

47

Torquay

Hotel

0

4

12

27

1

1

1

46

Guest Accommodation

6

81

27

1

0

2

117

Great Yarmouth

Hotel

0

0

6

4

0

0

0

10

Guest Accommodation

0

28

33

1

0

0

62

Brighton and Hove

Hotel

1

11

9

3

0

3

0

27

Guest Accommodation

2

39

18

2

0

0

61

Newquay

Hotel

0

1

10

9

0

0

0

27

Guest Accommodation

0

17

27

1

1

0

46


This information is correct as at end of October 2008. VisitBritain has advised that data for previous years is either unavailable or is stored in such a way that disaggregation of the listed resorts from the national figures would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

Hotels: Disabled

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the proportion of guest houses and hotels that are fully wheelchair accessible. [231375]

Barbara Follett: [holding answer Thursday 30 October 2008]: Tourism for All estimates that only 2 per cent of visitor accommodation in the United Kingdom, including guest houses and hotels, is fully accessible to wheelchair users.

The Government's recent report "Winning: A tourism strategy for 2012 and beyond" recognises that much more needs to be done to improve this figure. That is why the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has set up an Accessible Stakeholders Forum to identify the barriers to service provision and work towards speedy solutions. The London Development Agency has also launched their London Open to All Programme which offers a range of support to help tourism businesses become fully accessible to visitors.


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