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Department for Culture, Media and Sport: Definition of "Culture"

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: What makes up "culture" is diverse and constantly developing and is not something that can easily be put in a simple definition. However, the cultural work of the department includes architecture and the historic environment, the Royal Parks and Royal Palaces, the performing and visual
 
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arts, museums, galleries, libraries and archives, creative industries and tourism.

Department for Transport: Secondments

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: There have been no secondments between the Department for Transport and BAA since the department was created in 2002.

Department for Transport: Transport Research Laboratory

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Contracts for transport-related research and consultancy services, including those awarded to the Transport Research Laboratory, were reviewed as part of the department's supplier management programme. The review was undertaken under the direction of the central department's head of procurement as part of an ongoing review of key suppliers to the department.

Doctors: CueDoc

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The information requested is not held centrally.

EU Flag

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): As previously announced the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will shortly be consulting on new draft Control of Advertisements Regulations which will include a provision to allow the EU flag to be flown without having to apply to the local authority for express consent. All national flags already benefit from this exemption. We expect the new Control of Advertisements Regulations to come into force in 2006.

EU: Free Trade Agreements

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The EU-Algeria Association Agreement came into force on 1 September 2005. The autonomous trade measures concessions agreement to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro was extended for a further five years at the 7 November General Affairs and External Relations Council.

Extraordinary Rendition Flights

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Her Majesty's Government abide by their obligations under international law and would not facilitate the transfer of an individual from or through the UK to another state where there were grounds to believe that the person would face a real risk of torture. The Government believe their
 
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application and interpretation of the Chicago convention is entirely compatible with their other international obligations.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: I refer the noble Lord to the Written Answer given by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the right honourable and learned Member for North East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) on 12 December (Official Report, Commons, 12/12/05; col. 1652W).

Flood Defences

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Bach): Defra has policy responsibility for flood risk management in England, funds most of the Environment Agency's flood-related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and internal drainage boards. The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities; Defra does not build defences or direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.

The Environment Agency is the principal authority with responsibility for flood risk management in England, including risk from flooding by the sea. Local authorities do very much less work in this area
 
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and this will reduce further as responsibility for some of the watercourses they currently manage is transferred to the agency.

This funding for local authorities is a mixture of direct capital grant and supported capital expenditure (revenue) (SCE(R)). SCE(R) is approved by Defra and results in revenue support grant from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) over several years. SCE(R) replaced supplementary credit approval (SCA) after 2003–04.

Local authorities also receive a large amount of grant and SCE(R) from Defra for capital improvement projects to manage the risk from coastal erosion. These often provide significant benefits against flooding from the sea but I regret that I would not be able to identify the grant that could be considered to be related to this particular benefit without incurring disproportionate cost.

I have arranged for a copy of the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House. Local authorities receive further revenue support grant from the ODPM for other—for example, maintenance and operational—spend on flood risk management but I have not included this.


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