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28 Jan 2010 : Column 1010W—continued

Departmental Written Questions

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what average time his Department took to answer questions for (a) ordinary written answer and (b) written answer on a named day in the last 12 months. [313654]

Ann McKechin: Between January to December 2009 the Scotland Office:

With effect from the current Session of Parliament, each Department will provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics on the time taken to answer written questions. This implements recommendation 24 of the 3rd report from the Procedure Committee, Session 2008-09.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council of England

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 13 January, Official Report, column 1039W, on Arts Council England: finance, whether the methodology used to calculate the annual efficiency savings Arts Council England expects to make as part of its reorganisation process was approved by Ministers. [314065]

Margaret Hodge: Arts Council England contribute to the Department's value for money (VFM) programme, reported to Parliament in the DCMS autumn performance report and annual report. The methodology for the Government VFM programme is agreed by the Treasury and subject to review by the National Audit Office.

Arts Council England continually seek and deliver additional efficiency savings which are reported to the Department on a regular basis.

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 13 January, Official Report, column 1038W, on Arts Council England, what recent representations he has received on the restructuring of Arts Council England since 1993. [314066]

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Margaret Hodge: Ministers and officials meet regularly with Arts Council England and other stakeholders. Issues such as organisational restructuring are often discussed in these meetings

Departmental NDPBs

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for how many non-departmental public bodies his Department is responsible. [314251]

Mr. Simon: DCMS is responsible for 56 public bodies. These comprise: four public corporations, two public broadcasting authorities, one Executive agency, 47 non-departmental public bodies (36 Executive NDPBs, 10 advisory NDPBs and one tribunal NDPB), plus two unclassified bodies who receive Exchequer funding.

Information and statistical data on the DCMS bodies are contained in the DCMS Public Bodies Directory, which can be found on the DCMS website:

Since publication UK Anti Doping (an Executive NDPB) has been created.

Licensed Premises: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many premises had a 24 hour alcohol licence in each year since 2005. [313017]

Mr. Sutcliffe: My Department estimates the following number of premises licensed for the sale or supply of alcohol for 24 hours in their standard timings, in force on 31 March in each of the last three years in England and Wales (rounded to the nearest hundred):

Premises with 24-hour alcohol licences








Source: The Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Bulletin 2008-09.

On 31 March 2009, this made up 4 per cent. of all premises licences and club premises certificates authorised to sell alcohol. The possession of a 24-hour licence does not necessarily mean that the premises will choose to open for 24 hours.

Prior to the 2003 Act, hotels were authorised to sell alcohol to residents and their private guests only, outside of permitted licensing hours and were able to apply to keep this provision under 'grandfather rights'.

Local Press

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the effect on local newspapers of local authority publications. [313892]

Mr. Simon: The Audit Commission published its report on 22 January and we are currently studying the findings.

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Olympic Games: Canada

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many members of staff of (a) Sport England, (b) UK Sport and (c) the Olympic Delivery Authority plan to attend the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February 2010; and at what cost in each case. [312707]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Sport England advise that they will not be sending representatives to the Winter Olympics.

UK Sport advise that three members of their organisation will be attending the Winter Olympics, at a cost of £21,824.84.

The Olympic Delivery Authority advise that two members of staff will be attending the observer programme for the games. The cost for accommodation and travel totals £7,726.90.

Swimming: Concessions

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the budget is for the PricewaterhouseCoopers evaluation of his Department's free swimming programmes; and when he expects the report to be published. [312802]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 25 January 2010]: As set out in the HM Treasury guidance 'The Green Book-Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government', the ability to judge how effectively Government resources have been expended is essential to their strategic long-term management. We have therefore commissioned a full, robust and independent evaluation of the £140 million Free Swimming Programme. This includes a detailed online survey of swimmers and non-swimmers to supplement questions placed on the Active People Survey, as well as case studies of participating and non-participating local authorities. The cost of the PricewaterhouseCoopers contract for the evaluation of the Free Swimming Programme is £379,000, less than 0.3 per cent. of the total cost of the programme. The contract is managed by Sport England on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

We expect two reports to be published-a 'year one' report in early summer 2010, and a final report in early summer 2011.

This analysis will provide useful information about the overall impact of the free swimming programme on swimming participation, as well as evidence about 'what works' in different contexts to drive increased swimming participation, enabling better targeting of future investment.

Tickets: Sales

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to regulate the sale of event tickets by third parties. [313749]

Mr. Simon: In addition to existing legislation governing the sale of tickets for football matches, the Olympic games and Commonwealth Games, the Department issued a Consultation on Ticketing and Ticket Touting running from 19 February 2009 to 15 May 2009.

We intend to publish our conclusions shortly.

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Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what occasions the (a) Tourism Advisory Council, (b) inter-Ministerial Group on Tourism and (c) Tourism 2012 Ministerial Advisory Group have met since April 2009. [313020]

Margaret Hodge: The Tourism Advisory Council was established in April 2009 and to date has met four times, on 30 April, 1 July, 19 October and 18 January 2010.

The inter-Ministerial Group on Tourism has met twice since April 2009, on 5 May and 17 November.

Since April 2009 the work of the Ministerial Advisory Group was absorbed into the Tourism Advisory Council to ensure a strong link between the work to address recessionary conditions and Tourism 2012.

Tourism: Marketing

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps his Department has taken to promote tourism in Britain. [311298]

Margaret Hodge: VisitBritain are responsible for marketing Britain overseas as a tourist destination, and VisitEngland are responsible for marketing England to British residents. Some of the recent initiatives that have been undertaken to attract tourists to Britain include the 'Value for Money' campaign for which VisitBritain and VisitEngland invested £6.5 million over the spring and summer 2009.

The overseas 'Value for Money' campaign involved an investment of £3.5 million and reached 18 markets in 21 languages and was undertaken in close co-operation with the airlines Easyjet and British Airways. VisitBritain's office in the USA also launched a campaign with Virgin Atlantic to stimulate travel to the UK which involved an investment of US$1 million.

The domestic 'Value for Money' campaign involved an investment of £3million in VisitEngland's 'Enjoy Every Minute, Enjoy England' campaign, which was designed to stimulate more day visits, short breaks and holidays in England. In the first nine months of 2009 visits by UK residents in England increased by 6 per cent.

In July 2009 England secured the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015. These sporting events will present many tourism opportunities, as will the recent announcement that there will be an additional Bank holiday during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. British tourism will also benefit from the launch last July of a competition to find the nation's first 'City of Culture'. 14 bids are now being considered. Becoming Britain's 'City of Culture' in 2013 will stimulate the city's visitor economy.

2012 also provides a powerful opportunity to promote tourism and we are working to ensure that we use the 2012 games to maximise the economic benefits for the British tourism industry.

In addition, the overall level of public sector investment in tourism from local, regional and national sources is likely to exceed £2 billion in the current spending review period. The Government believe this public investment is a good and reasonable investment in support for the tourism and hospitality industry.

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Departmental Pay

Dr. Cable: To ask the Solicitor-General how many staff in the Law Officers' Departments received bonus payments in each of the last five years for which information is available; what proportion of the total workforce they represented; what the total amount of bonuses paid was; what the largest single payment was; and if she will make a statement. [300379]

The Solicitor-General: Non-consolidated performance payments are an integral element of the reward package for staff. These payments are used to drive high performance and form part of the pay award for members of staff who demonstrate exceptional performance, for example by exceeding targets set or meeting challenging objectives. They have to be re-earned each year and do not add to future pay bill costs, e.g. pensions. A close and effective link between pay and performance and increased use of variable pay is a key element of the reward arrangements for the civil service and the senior civil service (SCS) in particular.

Reward arrangements, including the criteria for non-consolidated performance pay, below the SCS, are delegated to individual Departments and agencies. For the SCS, Departments and agencies are responsible for their own reward arrangements within a framework set by Cabinet Office. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the SCS is based on recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body.

Tables covering the specific information requested have been deposited in the Library of the House. These tables detail as far as we are able to ascertain from our records the number of people who were eligible for and received a non-consolidated variable pay award, the average and maximum payment for a non-consolidated variable pay award, by civil service band, and the total amount of non-consolidated variable pay awards paid in each of the five most recent performance years for which the relevant payments have been published in the Department's accounts.

Departmental Written Questions

David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General what average time the Law Officers' Departments took to answer questions for (a) ordinary written answer and (b) written answer on a named day in the last 12 months. [313653]

The Solicitor-General: Data on the average length of time taken to answer written parliamentary questions are not routinely recorded by my Office, and it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate based on existing records.

Measures are currently being put in place to begin recording more detailed information on parliamentary questions for the current and future parliamentary sessions.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Dr. Cable: To ask the Solicitor-General when she plans to answer question 300379, on departmental pay, tabled on 18 November 2009. [313138]

The Solicitor-General: I have done so today.

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Animal Experiments

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what equipment tests using animals were conducted by his Department in each of the last five years. [310652]

Mr. Quentin Davies [holding answer 14 January 2010]: The MOD does not use animals as part of its equipment testing programme. The MOD conducts research involving the use of animals only where absolutely necessary and where there is currently no alternative. The research supports the welfare of the armed forces; it includes medical countermeasures, combat casualty care and environmental safety. All research involving the use of animals is subject to regular review and is carried out in strict accordance with the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

AWE Aldermaston

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has for the development of new nuclear weapons at Aldermaston. [313385]

Mr. Quentin Davies: As the 2006 White Paper 'The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent' (Cm 6994) makes clear, the current warhead design is likely to last into the 2020s. Decisions on how and whether we may need to refurbish or replace this warhead are likely to be necessary in the next Parliament.

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