Previous Section Index Home Page

Free Television Licences

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what evidence he has requested from the

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 540W

BBC to enable Ministers to evaluate the effectiveness of the administration of the free television licence scheme for those aged over-75 years. [148496]

Janet Anderson: The BBC, as Licensing Authority, has statutory responsibility for the administration of the television licensing system, including free licences for the over-75s. The Secretary of State has made no formal request for evidence from the BBC about the administration of over-75 licences, but the Corporation has kept the Department regularly and fully informed of progress with the implementation of the concession.

Museums (Tyne and Wear)

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will review and increase the grant to museums in the Tyne and Wear area. [148614]

Mr. Alan Howarth: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and I will be meeting representatives of the Tyne and Wear Museums Service shortly to discuss funding. As my right hon. Friend has already explained to the Director of the Tyne and Wear Museums Service, he has held back a reserve the use of which he will determine when his current negotiations on the question of irrecoverable VAT are complete.

National Lottery

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidelines he has issued to organisations which are beneficiaries of the National Lottery with regard to the withholding of capital in order to secure higher rates of long-term interest on the money; and if he will make a statement. [148644]

Kate Hoey: None.

National Heritage Memorial Fund

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funds have been (a) committed, and (b) spent by the National Heritage Memorial Fund in each of the past four years, together with corresponding figures at the end of each of the last four financial years. [148861]

Mr. Alan Howarth: The figures supplied by the National Heritage Memorial Fund for the last four financial years are given in the tables. They cover both the Memorial Fund--which disburses Government grant in aid as a fund of last resort for the heritage--and the Heritage Lottery Fund--which distributes the Lottery proceeds allocated to the heritage. Figures relating to calendar years are not available.

Heritage Memorial Fund
£ million

Financial yearCommittedSpent
1999-20000.7 2.7
1998-995.5 4.7
1997-982.6 3.1
1996-973 6.4

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 541W

Heritage lottery fund commitments
£ million

Financial yearAllocated in response to applications(20)AwardedSpent

(20) Under HLF's two-stage process, sums are earmarked as Stage One passes in response to specific applications (the 'allocated' figure) but are not guaranteed until full applications are approved for an award at a later date (the 'awarded' figure). This explains the two different figures shown for commitments.

HLF's practice is to account for the totality of a commitment in the year in which it is entered. Allowance has to be made for time to raise matching funding and to complete capital works, leading to an average drawdown period for projects over £500,000 of four years. The average drawdown for projects under £500,000 is 18 months.

Sports Action Zone (West Cumbria)

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement about progress made by the Sports Action Zone in West Cumbria. [149176]

Kate Hoey: The West Cumbria and Barrow Sport Action Zone is one of 12 Zones designated by Sport England as part of its Lottery Strategy. Sport England is funding a manager for the Zone who has a strong background in sport and regeneration. The manager, who was appointed in September 2000, has been working with key agencies and organisations (eg Health Action Zones, Connexions Strategy Group, local authorities, Single Regeneration Budget stakeholders), as well as the local community in order to produce a detailed needs assessment. This will inform the five year Action Plan for the Zone which is due to be completed in draft form by the end of May. Key themes will be the contribution

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 542W

which sport can make to health, education and life-long learning, social inclusion, regeneration, community safety, taking account of the large size of the Zone and the diversity of partners and issues which are involved. Since the area was designated as a Sport Action Zone there has been considerable investment in it by Sport England. This includes five capital lottery awards (£967,490); 45 Awards for All awards (£159,610) and the establishment of a School Sport Co-ordinator programme (£679,472) which, together with the five year funding of the Zone manager equates to over £2 million Lottery funding. A number of other Lottery bids are being developed with a range of partners and these will be fast tracked for assessment by Sport England.

British Resorts Task Force

Miss Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the progress made by British Resorts Task Force at the English Tourism Council. [148959]

Janet Anderson: The English Tourism Council's report on resort regeneration, which takes account of the work of its Resorts Task Force, is due for publication towards the end of this month. We will consider our response to it once it is published.


Government IT Projects

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the Government IT projects identified as being reviewed in the Cabinet Office publication 'Progress report on successful IT: modernising Government in action'; and if she will publish details of these reviews. [148655]

Mr. Ian McCartney: The Gateway Review process has been piloted and will be rolled out across Government in 2001 as the standard form of project review. The projects identified in the Progress Report as having been reviewed are as follows:

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 541W

ProjectDepartment/agencyType of review
IT Re-tenderingDVLAOGC Gateway Review--Gate 1 (Business justification)
Knowledge NetworkCabinet OfficeOGC Gateway Review--Gate 4 (Readiness for Service)
UK Online Citizen PortalCabinet OfficeOGC Gateway Review--Gate 4 (Readiness for Service)
Traffic Control CentreHighways AgencyPre-contract Review
IT 2000Home OfficePre-contract Review (with Partnerships UK input)

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 541W

The Gateway Review reports are intended to help and inform the management of the projects and the organisation's own decisions. They are not intended for publication.

Civil Service Code

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if the e-communicators working with the e-envoy will be fully subject to the Civil Service Code. [148653]

Marjorie Mowlam: Yes, these posts are within the permanent Civil Service.

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 542W

Performance Targets (Permanent Secretaries)

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office who sets performance targets for permanent secretaries. [145189]

Mr. Stringer: Performance targets for permanent secretaries are agreed with Ministers in charge of Departments, following comments by the Prime Minister and the head of the Home Civil Service. They incorporate targets in the Department's Public Service Agreement and Service Delivery Agreement.

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 543W

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office who is responsible for assessing whether a permanent secretary has met his or her performance targets; and how many have failed to do so since 1997. [145188]

Mr. Stringer: Responsibility for assessing the performance and pay of permanent secretaries rests with the Permanent Secretaries' Remuneration Committee, which considers a range of evidence including published information, an assessment by the head of the Home Civil Service and the permanent secretary to the Treasury, ministerial views and a self-assessment by the individual.

Permanent secretaries' performance targets cover a range of departmental and personal objectives, not always entirely within the control of the individual and not always capable of being expressed simply in terms of success or failure. The degree to which each individual has performed well against his or her objectives is assessed by the Remuneration Committee. It is not Government policy to divulge information that would reveal details of the performance of individuals, as this would be a breach of confidentiality and hence contrary to the Data Protection Act 1988.

7 Feb 2001 : Column: 544W

Next Section Index Home Page