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Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the extent of damage to roads as a result of the weather since December 2009; what estimate he has made of the costs to local authorities of such damage; and what assistance his Department plans to provide to local authorities for their repair. 
The Department will consider any requests for financial assistance that local authorities may make, in line with its established criteria. It will also provide engineering consultancy support to local authorities formulating bids. It will be for each bidding authority to demonstrate that the damage is exceptional.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 3 December 2009, Official Report, columns 136-38WS, on road safety, when he plans to publish his Department's response to its consultation on road safety entitled "A Safer Way". 
The timing of the new road safety strategy will depend on the outcome of Sir Peter North's report, which will inform the final contents of the strategy. We therefore expect to publish our response to the "A Safer Way" road safety consultation alongside the new road safety strategy.
Mr. Khan: Following the severe weather conditions last February, the Government asked the UK Roads Liaison Group to identify the lessons that should be learnt regarding highway authorities' preparedness for extreme weather events. The UK Roads Liaison Group made 19 recommendations, one of which advised that:
"in considering appropriate service standards, at least six days resilience would represent sensible good practice for determining the number of days resilience during the core winter period".
The group noted that the Highways Agency was already holding a minimum of six days continuous heavy salting capacity in winter periods. The Highways
Agency entered this winter period with 13 days capacity and the Government regard this as the right response following last year's events.
It is for each authority to consider the recommendations and decide for themselves how best to take them forward. However, a write-round in late October by regional resilience teams (RRTs) in the Government offices found that of those local authorities that responded (a third of local highway authorities), all but one were holding at least six days' supply, and more than half of those responding arranged to hold 10 days' supply or more.
Mr. Khan: The Government have convened a group called the 'Salt Cell', bringing together the Department for Transport, the devolved Administrations (Scotland and Wales), the Highways Agency, the Local Government Association (LGA), County Surveyors Society, Met Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office.
The aim of the 'Salt Cell' is to provide advice to suppliers on the most effective distribution of available salt supplies in order to minimise the risk to public safety. The 'Salt Cell' is continuously gathering and assessing information on salt stock and resilience levels and is working hard to ensure salt goes to where it is needed most.
On 12 January, the Government directed the Highways Agency to conserve the maximum possible salt usage each day consistent with maintaining the continued safe operation of the national motorway and truck road network. The Highways Agency will conserve significantly more salt than the 25 per cent. which it committed to conserving on 8 January.
For local roads, local authorities will also need to conserve significantly more than 25 per cent., recognising the importance of mutual support to keep Britain moving safely. Local authorities are taking their own decisions as to the priorities of supplies in their localities. They also need to follow the Highways Agency in reviewing their salt spreading strategy.
In aggregate, these measures will conserve between 40 and 50 per cent. compared to usage before the announcement on 8 January. On this basis, the Government expect salt supplies to be sustainable throughout the period of snow and extreme cold weather.
We will continue to monitor salt supplies and work with all stakeholders, including the Highways Agency, Local Government Association and salt suppliers, to ensure that we continue to take the necessary collective action to ensure salt supplies are provided to those who need it most.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will give further consideration to returning responsibility for road gritting to lower tier local authorities in two-tier areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: Winter service is an integral part of highways maintenance, and contributes to highways authorities' discharge of their traffic management duties. To separate it from these other aspects of providing a highway service would offer no benefits but could create inefficiencies.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on how many occasions the Highways Agency has requested to borrow (a) grit and (b) salt from local authorities in (i) each of the last five years and (ii) the last six months; how many such requests were granted; and how many tonnes of (A) grit and (B) salt were borrowed in each such case. 
Over the last six months, the Highways Agency has made one request to borrow salt from a local authority. This was granted on 3 January 2010 when one of the areas in the agency's north-eastern region borrowed 40 tonnes from Northumberland county council. Other than this occurrence, the Highways Agency is not aware of any other circumstances where salt was borrowed from local authorities in the last five years.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the amount of salt which has been stolen from (a) the Highways Agency and (b) local authorities since 1 December 2009. 
Margaret Hodge: The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 commenced on 1 February 2004. It was always the intention that the Act would be implemented progressively, as it is enabling legislation in a complex and challenging area.
We are currently consulting on proposals for UK offline publications and UK online publications (available free of charge and without access restrictions). In the event that draft regulations result, they would be subject to affirmative resolution in both Houses.
20. Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he plans to take to promote the UK as a tourist destination in association with the London 2012 Olympics. 
My Department's sponsored body, VisitBritain, will shortly be publishing their marketing
strategy for 2012 which will look at ways to integrate 2012 games messages into everyday work. In essence this means that every aspect of tourism work will feature the 2012 games.
There will also be standalone 2012 games activity such as a campaign to tackle displacement during 2012, a 50 per cent. increase in media coverage, a travel trade engagement programme, offline and online visitor information and UK summits for the media/world travel leaders and the business travel market.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of its free swimming initiatives for young people and the elderly; and if he will make a statement. 
We are delighted that 81 per cent. of all eligible councils are signed up to offering free swimming to the older age group and 61 per cent. are also offering free swimming to the those aged 16 and under.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effects on the tourism industry of changes in taxation of furnished holiday lettings. 
Margaret Hodge: I met my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury during December to discuss the tourism industry's concerns about the potential impact of the rule changes on the self catering sector. I also helped to convene a meeting in December between representatives of the Tourism Alliance, the Financial Secretary and Treasury officials.
From 2008-11, Government are investing over £25 million in a network of 225 competition managers to increase the number of young people engaged in regular high quality inter-school competitive events.
This is part of the £780 million being invested from 2008-11 in the PE and sport strategy for young people to help create a sustainable sporting legacy from hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Furthermore, we have made universal access to regular competitive sport a key part of our new pupil guarantee, which will enshrine in law this Government's commitment to provide competitive sport for all.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 12 January 2010, on Arts Council England, whether Arts Council England has used (a) National Lottery proceeds and (b) grant-in-aid funding to reduce its pension fund deficit in each of the last three years. 
|Financial year||Funds provided to Community Radio Fund (£)|
|(1) Further funding will be allocated in the final quarter of this financial year.|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to the answer of 14 October 2009, Official Report, column 907W, on departmental consultants, what the job title is of each of the 43 policy and senior advisers employed by his Department; and which of the posts are occupied by people on 12 month fixed-term contracts. 
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many complaints regarding fraudulent schemes conducted by telephone Ofcom has received in each of the last 10 years. 
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