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Statutory Minimum Wage

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of people employed on term-time only contracts whose wages, annualised over the year, are below the level of the statutory minimum wage. [147151]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The National Minimum Wage Regulations include special provisions for workers who work only during term-time and whose pay is annualised over the year ensuring that the minimum wage is applied to such cases in a way that is both flexible and fair. I have made no estimate of the number of workers on term-time only contracts who are paid below the national minimum wage.

Sugar Regime

Mrs. Shephard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had on the reform of the sugar regime; and if he will make a statement. [147185]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 25 January 2001]: The reform of the sugar regime is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. However, I have had frequent discussions with my right hon. Friend the Minister of State and her officials, about the interaction between the proposals from the European Commission for reform of the sugar regime and the proposal to provide duty and quota-free access for all LDC goods except arms. The Government regret the inconsistency between these two proposals and are pressing in Brussels for this issue to be addressed.

Manufacturing Industry

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the sectoral working parties his Department has in connection with different sections of current United Kingdom manufacturing industry. [146920]

29 Jan 2001 : Column: 25W

Mr. Alan Johnson: My Department works in partnership with manufacturing sectors to help UK manufacturing compete effectively, and has developed strong working relationships with companies, trade associations, trade unions and other business organisations.

There is no precise definition of which of the partnerships concerned constitute a sectoral working party. However, formal groupings include the Shipbuilding Forum, the Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group, the Aerospace Committee and the Electronics Manufacturing Industry Forum.

Small Businesses

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to assist small businesses with management and ITC needs. [147406]

Ms Hewitt: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 24 January 2001, Official Report, columns 631-32W.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

British Screen Finance

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what income has accrued to date to the Film Council from assets previously owned by British Screen Finance. [147708]

Mr. Chris Smith: Income accruing to the Film Council from assets previously owned by British Screen Finance, for the period 1 October 2000 to 31 December 2000, is £510,850. This includes income of £347,634 received from British Screen, the European Co-production Fund and British Screen Rights, and income of £163,216 received from the National Film Finance Corporation as repayment or profit and interest on film loans.

Television Licences

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many households in the Christchurch constituency have a free television licence under the scheme for pensioners aged over 75 years. [147826]

Janet Anderson: TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 11,100 people aged 75 or over in the Christchurch constituency.

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many families in Thurrock will benefit from the introduction of free television licences for households with a member aged 75 years or over. [147086]

Janet Anderson: TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 4,800 people aged 75 or over in the Thurrock constituency.

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Subtitling and Signing

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will publish his conclusions concerning his review of the statutory requirements for the provision of subtitling, signing and audio description services; and if he will make a statement. [148090]

Mr. Chris Smith: I am pleased to announce that our conclusions have been published today. We have carefully considered the detailed responses from the Independent Television Commission, broadcasters, groups representing viewers with sensory impairments and those providing subtitling, signing and audio description services. We have concluded that:




A copy of the report has been placed in the House Libraries and is also available on my Department's website at www.culture.gov.uk

Millennium Dome

Jean Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his oral answer of 22 January 2001, Official Report, column 646, if he will make a statement on the involvement of Ministers in the sponsorship of the Faith Zone at the Millennium Dome by the Hinduja brothers. [147442]

Mr. Chris Smith [pursuant to his reply, 24 January 2001, c. 590W]: In my reply to the House on 22 January 2001, Official Report, column 646, I stated that my right hon. Friend's 'Private Secretary' had told Mr. Hinduja about his passport application. This was incorrectly recorded in the unbound Official Report as 'Parliamentary Private Secretary'. I have asked for the bound volume to be corrected to record what I actually said to the House. The error was unfortunately copied into my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, East (Jean Corston) on 24 January 2001, Official Report, column 590W; that answer should of course also have read 'Private Secretary' rather than 'Parliamentary Private Secretary'.

Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which Ministers and officials will represent the UK at the next UNESCO meeting on the Draft Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage; and where, and on what date, the meeting will be held. [147710]

Mr. Battle: I have been asked to reply.

The next UNESCO meeting of governmental experts on the Draft Convention for Underwater Cultural Heritage will be held in Paris on 26 March to 6 April. The UK will be represented by officials from a number of Government Departments and will be led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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CHURCH COMMISSIONERS

Commission of the Bishop's Conference

Mr. Bercow: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, when he last received representations from the Commission of the Bishop's Conferences of the European Community; and if he will make a statement. [147518]

Mr. Stuart Bell: The Church Commissioners have received no such representations. It would fall to other organisations within the Church of England to do so. The Church Commissioners' primary responsibility is to manage their assets for the financial support of the Church of England's ministry.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Students

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he last met groups of students, sponsored by his Department for a week-long study of the European institutions; what the nature of that study was; what the role of his Department was; what funds were available to the groups; and if he will make a statement. [144570]

Mr. Wicks: There are no arrangements for the Department for Education and Employment to sponsor students to study European Institutions.

Teacher Numbers

Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) supply and (b) relief teachers work in (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools; how many full-time teachers have left the profession during the last 12 months; and if he will list by country the numbers of teachers from overseas who are teaching in (A) primary and (B) secondary schools. [144862]

Ms Estelle Morris: At January 2000 there were 10,520 nursery and primary and 5,320 secondary school teachers in occasional service (short-term supply) in England.

It is estimated provisionally that 20,800 full-time teachers who were in the maintained schools sector in England in March 1998 were not in service at March 1999 (the latest leavers' figures available). A further 8,100 changed from full-time to part-time service within the maintained sector. These figures exclude teachers who left and re-entered, or entered and left, within the year. All figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

Information about teachers from overseas teaching in primary and secondary schools in England is not available.

The number of regular teachers in maintained schools in England increased by 6,900 between January 1998 and January 2000.

There was a growth of more than 2,000 in the number of people training to be teachers between 1999-2000 and 2000-01, the first such increase since 1992-93.

29 Jan 2001 : Column: 28W

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many schools in the north-west had a shortage of teachers in 2000. [144910]

Ms Estelle Morris: There were 180 vacancies (0.3 per cent.) in the maintained schools sector in the north-west in January 2000.

The number of regular teachers in the maintained schools sector in England increased by 6,900 between January 1998 and January 2000.

There was a growth of more than 2,000 in the number of people training to be teachers between 1999-2000 and 2000-01, the first such increase since 1992-93.


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