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Film: Cultural Diversity

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): The DCMS and the Film Council were closely involved in the work of the committee which was launched at DCMS. At the request of DCMS, the Film Council is considering how the report can be taken forward in the context of its own cultural diversity strategy and will be publishing a policy statement later in the year.

Under its existing policies, the Film Council has already taken a number of steps which will help people from ethnic minorities to become more involved in film. Some examples follow.

The Film Council makes it a condition of funding that all applicants demonstrate active equal opportunities policies, and it is making its funds known and accessible to black and Asian film-makers at every opportunity. The council has created a Fusion Group, including each of its production funds, which seeks out and supports film-makers from ethnic minorities, and is currently working on a hothouse scheme for writers; promotion of ethnic minority actors; networking events for ethnic minority film-makers to meet others in the industry; and specifically designed training courses.

Each training provider funded by the Film Council is set targets for the diversity of participants who attend their programmes. The Film Council works with the training providers to help them to meet these targets. It has established a development internship programme—a 14-month full-time programme which integrates on and off-the-job training aimed at trainees at script reader level with strict targets for participation of ethnic and other minority groups. The aim of the screen-writing scholarship programme is to increase access to these courses for people from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds.

A number of black and Asian film-making teams and projects have been taken to the Independent Feature Project in New York, the Rotterdeam

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International Film Festival and the Dinard Film Festival for British films.

Apsley House

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why Apsley House charges an admission fee when it has been the responsibility of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport under the management of the Victoria and Albert Museum.[HL3653]

Baroness Blackstone: The Government are in the process of contracting out the management arrangements for Apsley House and the running of the Wellington Museum. The contracting-out order was approved by both Houses of Parliament in February this year. Under this proposal the Wellington Museum will not be classified as a national museum and will therefore not be required to follow the full range of free access policies. It will be for the new management team to decide on its charging policy for adults. However, it will remain a condition that entrance for children remains free under the new management.


Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their response to the conclusion in the report on Ofcom prepared by the Commercial Radio Companies Association, that "The Towers Perrin Scoping Project was short on deregulation and consultation"; and that "if Ofcom is to succeed it must be more than a re-arrangement of the current five regulators".[HL3658]

Baroness Blackstone: The Towers Perrin scoping report was commissioned by the five existing regulators due to be replaced by Ofcom. It was intended as an initial study of the work that needed to be done in preparing for Ofcom, based on an assessment of the White Paper, and was in no sense a blueprint for the new organisation. There is wide agreement that Ofcom needs to be more than a rearrangement of the current five regulators if it is to succeed. But decisions on Ofcom's structure and other management issues will be matters for the new board to be appointed under the completion of the Office of Communications Act.

NHS: Information Management and Technology

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What amount of allocations to the National Health Service for 2001–02 was ring-fenced for expenditure on information management and technology; how much was actually spent; and

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    which National Health Service bodies did not spend the full ring-fenced amount on the matters for which the allocations were intended.[HL3567]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): A sum of £113 million was "hypothecated" for information management and technology for 2001–02. Local plans identified that £30 million was targeted at information management and technology development. The remainder was deployed against other local pressures.

In recognition of this pressure a further £50 million was made available during 2001–02 to pursue connectivity targets. The whole of this additional amount was used for investment in desktop hardware, software and local networks.

We do not collect data of total spend on IM&T by individual National Health Service bodies against specific targets.

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NHS: Net Expenditure Since 1996–97

Lord Jacob asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total expenditure of the National Health Service (a) for the fiscal year 1996–97 and (b) for each of the fiscal years ending in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001; and what is the estimated expenditure for 2001–02; and[HL3684]

    By how much the total expenditure of the National Health Service increased over the base year 1996–97 adjusted for inflation in the fiscal years ending in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001; and what is the estimated increase for 2001–02.[HL3685]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The information requested is shown in the table. It shows that since 1996–97 National Health Service net expenditure in the United Kingdom has grown by almost 30 per cent in real terms.

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1996–97 Outturn1997–98 Outturn1998–99 Outturn1999–2000 Outturn2000–01 Estimated outturn2001–02 Plan
£ million£ million£ million£ million£ million£ million
UK Net Expenditure(1)41,27643,21245,61549,58854,68059,718
Real terms increase over 1996–97 £ million6431,7714,4188,23611,480
Real terms increase over 1996–97 per cent1.64.310.720.027.8

(1) Fig are on a resource basis.

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Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill

Lord Gladwin of Clee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to notify the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill to the European Commission as a technical regulation under Directive 98/34/EC.[HL3769]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We notified the Bill on 28 March 2002. The notification is without prejudice to the Government's view that the Bill does not contain any technical regulations.

BSE: Progress Report

Baroness Golding asked Her Majesty's Government:

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    When it will make available the latest progress report prepared by the department on bovine spongiform encephalopathy.[HL3725]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): A further progress report on BSE in Great Britain was placed in the Library of the House on Thursday 11 April 2002.

The report outlines the measures which have been take to protect public health since June 2001 and includes the latest EU requirements for testing and surveillance. There is also a section on the protection of animal health which covers controls on animal feed. The epidemiology section shows that the epidemic of BSE in Great Britain continues to decline.

The report is also published on the DEFRA website:

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