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ICT Funding

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what monitoring of local education authorities his Department undertakes to ensure that ICT funding is distributed to schools in an appropriate manner. [146085]

Mr. Wills: Local education authorities have submitted ICT development plans that indicate how they propose to achieve the National Grid for Learning targets in their schools, and provide regular reports on how these are being implemented. From 2001 these reports will also be used to identify progress towards the minimum standards of ICT provision in schools defined as the NGfL baseline. Complementary information is collected at national level through the DfEE's annual survey of ICT in schools, while expenditure supported by NGfL funding is audited alongside that funded by other Standards Fund grants.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement about the advice he offers to local education authorities on the distribution of ICT funds to schools. [146084]

Mr. Wills: Research proves that ICT can deliver real educational benefits for both teachers and learners.

By supporting £657 million of expenditure on ICT in schools between 1998 and 2002 as part of the National Grid for Learning initiative--and by committing a further £710 million of support between 2002 and 2004--we intend to make these benefits available in all schools.

To ensure that this investment is used effectively, local education authorities and schools can access detailed guidance on the Standards Fund website ( standardsfund/) including copies of relevant DfEE circulars. The guidance makes clear that in devolving funding to schools, LEAs must ensure that schools are able to achieve the targets set out in 1998 in the NGfL Challenge, and that in doing so, they meet the minimum standards of ICT provision defined in the NGfL baseline.



Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the budgeted

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value of the awards made in 2000-01 in each Government Office region by (a) Sport England and (b) the Arts Council. [144278]

Mr. Chris Smith: The information is in the table. For Sport England the figure for each region covers the lottery grants awarded since April 2000 to date, regional specific grant-in-aid, plus expenditure on the national sports centres. For the Arts Council for England the figure represents the amount of lottery funding delegated to the regional arts boards and the amount of grant-in-aid given to each regional arts board.


Sport EnglandArts Council for England
East of England6,082,7189,582,972
East Midlands7,098,08411,319,932
North East2,290,31112,021,082(8)
North West10,114,92524,914,128
South East8,090,8198,009,364
South West10,365,25611,415,644
West Midlands8,801,88016,636,080

(8) Northern Arts covers the North East Government Office Region plus Cumbria which is in the North West Government Office Region

(9) Most of the Southern Arts Board are in the Government Office South East region


Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had about securing the land for a warm up track at Wembley. [145836]

Mr. Chris Smith: Neither the Minister for Sport nor I have had any discussions about securing land for a warm-up track at Wembley. My officials recently asked the secretariat of the Wembley Task Force to update the assessment they made in 1999 on the feasibility of a warm-up facility adjacent to the stadium. WNSL have now concluded that Wembley cannot accommodate the 2005 world athletics championships.

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions his Department has had with (a) Sport England and (b) Brent council about establishing a regional sports facility around the warm up track to be built for the 2005 world athletics championships at Wembley; [145742]

Mr. Chris Smith: The Minister for Sport and I met Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Ltd., on 10 January to receive a verbal report on the progress of WNSL's review of the Wembley stadium project. At that meeting, Sir Rodney updated us on the discussions he has had with UK Athletics, Sport England, the London borough of Brent and other interested parties.

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My Department has had no discussions with Sport England, or Brent council about establishing a regional sports facility around any warm-up track were such a track to be built at Wembley.

The Government welcome WNSL's announcement ruling out the possibility of athletics returning to Wembley for the 2005 world athletics championships. This decision should bring certainty to both projects, and accords with the long-standing view of both UK athletics and the Government that Lee Valley is by far the best option for the 2005 world athletics championships and for ensuring athletics has a long-term legacy stadium and a new centre of excellence to develop future generations of world-class athletes.

Regional Arts Boards

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which of the English regional arts boards have a vacant literature officer post; and for how long each of these posts have been vacant. [145833]

Mr. Alan Howarth: East England Arts is the only regional arts board currently without a literature officer. The post has been vacant since the summer.

Arts Council

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of Arts Council funding is spent on literature. [145834]

Mr. Alan Howarth: In 1999-2000, the Arts Council of England spent £1.707 million or 0.8 per cent. of its funding directly on literature, although literature also benefited from support to cross-artform initiatives such as the new audiences programme.

Spoliation Advisory Panel

Mr. Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the Government's proposals in response to the claim concerning the "View of Hampton Court Palace" by Jan Griffier the Elder at the Tate Gallery. [146570]

Mr. Alan Howarth: I have received the report, which is published today as a parliamentary paper, of the spoliation advisory panel's examination of the claim in relation to the Griffier painting in the Tate Gallery. On behalf of the Government, I welcome the panel's report and will implement the recommendation which is addressed to us.

In setting up the panel, we recognised the duty to do what the Government can to play their part in righting these historic wrongs and the need to ensure that questions of ownership of works of art arising from the terrible events of the Nazi era are resolved. Although the report makes it clear that the family, who wish to remain anonymous, have no legal title to the painting, and that there is no criticism whatsoever of the Tate Gallery, I accept on behalf of the Government the panel's advice that there is a moral strength to the claimant's argument and that, in the spirit of the declaration of principles agreed at the Washington conference on holocaust-era assets held in December 1998, this justifies an ex gratia payment of £125,000.

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Social Inclusion

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what account the social inclusion strategy takes of the role of independent advice services in the provision of free and impartial advice. [146092]

Marjorie Mowlam: The Social Exclusion Unit's third report on deprived neighbourhoods--"A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal: National Strategy Action Plan"--was launched by the Government on Monday 15 January 2001. The report--the culmination of over two years' research and a nationwide consultation--set out a more comprehensive approach than ever before for tackling neighbourhood deprivation.

Voluntary and community organisations--such as independent advice services--have an important role to play in the implementation of the strategy. At local level, neighbourhood renewal will be led by local strategic partnerships--made up of community, voluntary, public and private sector organisations. Each partnership will prepare a local neighbourhood renewal strategy, setting out a programme for change agreed with all key people and institutions with a stake in the area.

Independent advice services were one group among the many that took part in the consultation, helping in the development of the national strategy.

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