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Concessionary Television Licences

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what specific information the BBC collects on applications for the concessionary television licence scheme. [155419]

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Janet Anderson: TV Licensing administer the free licence scheme as agent for the BBC. They collect the information necessary to check the entitlement of applicants to the concession; to manage the concession within the general television licensing system; to satisfy the Department of Social Security and the National Audit Office that the sums claimed by the BBC represent free licences and refunds properly issued and legitimate administrative expenses; and to demonstrate the efficiency and value for money of the administrative arrangements.

Applicants for the free over-75 licence are requested to provide their name, address, date of birth and national insurance number. The first two pieces of information are required to run the television licensing database; the third and fourth are used to check entitlement to the concession by comparison with the information provided for that purpose by the Department of Social Security.

Digital Satellite

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he has taken to ensure that domestic satellite receivers are able to pick up unscrambled digital satellite channels. [155266]

Janet Anderson: All domestic satellite receivers are capable of picking up unscrambled satellite channels. However, as satellite services are receivable across international frontiers, all digital satellite channels, including the UK free-to-air services available on digital satellite, are scrambled for copyright reasons.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many ministerial meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled by Ministers since 1 January. [155244]

Mr. Chris Smith: No ministerial meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled during this period, but a small number of meetings have had to be postponed or rearranged in response to other pressures.

Disabled Access

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to ensure the hotel industry meets the requirements of disability legislation. [155460]

Janet Anderson: We are committed to widening access to tourism opportunities for all, including disabled people. We are encouraging the hotel sector to recognise the importance of meeting the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 not only because it is a legal requirement but also because it makes sound business sense. For example last year my Department organised a Disability Conference, "Towards 2004", where we engaged with our sectors, including tourism, concentrating on the requirements and implications of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. In additional, the English Tourism Council have recently published "Accessible Britain 2000-01" which is an official guide for disabled people to Quality Assured National Accessible Scheme accommodation.

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We are also drawing the hotel sector's attention to the wide range of publications produced by the Disability Rights Commission, including information to service providers and owners of small business on the implications of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and showing ways in which they can respond positively to the needs of disabled customers.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of hotels in the United Kingdom have adequate accessibility for the disabled to (a) buildings, (b) restaurants and (c) showers and baths. [155463]

Janet Anderson: We do not have this information. However, all businesses which provide a service to the public, including hotels, have a duty placed on them under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Since 1 October 1999 service providers have had to make "reasonable adjustments" for disabled people in the way they provide their services. From 2004 they will also have to make "reasonable adjustments" to the physical feature of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

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The English Tourism Council (ETC) have published "Accessible Britain 2000-01" which is an official guide for disabled people to Quality Assured National Accessible Scheme accommodation. The ETC are currently reviewing the expanding the National Accessibility Standards to ensure that they are in keeping with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND

THE REGIONS

Housing Capital Improvement

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list each housing capital improvement in (a) Westminster and (b) Kensington and Chelsea since May 1997. [155350]

Mr. Raynsford: The following housing capital improvement schemes have been allocated funding from the Department in the City of Westminster and the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea since 1 May 1997:

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City of Westminster

£
Nature of funding (examples include:)1997-981998-991999-20002000-012001-02
Estate Action--Lisson Green Estate6,000,0002,060,0001,701,4002,201,4004,227,600
Estate Action--Mozart Estate3,055,0003,600,000600,000485,4000
Housing Investment Programme (HIP)10,275,0007,554,0008,385,00025,535,00017,346,000
Basic Credit Approvals (HRA element)(4)1,872,0002,372,0003,655,00017,483,000(5)--
Major Repairs Allowance(6)--(6)--(6)--(6)--11,580,932
Capital Receipts Initiative2,039,0006,618,0007,176,00000
Total23,241,00022,204,00021,517,40045,704,80033,154,532

(4) The amount of Basic Credit Approvals (HRA element) for 2001-02 is not available at this time.

(5) Not available.

(6) Grant introduced from 1 April 2001.


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With the exception of Estate Action funding, it is for the local authority to decide where, within its boundaries, these resources are invested.

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Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea

£
Nature of funding (examples include):1997-981998-991999-20002000-012001-02
Housing Investment Programme (HIP)6,358,0005,723,0006,306,00016,395,00012,910,000
Basic Credit Approvals (HRA element)(7)2,921,0002,210,0002,968,0007,444,000(8)--
Major Repairs Allowance(9)--(9)--(9)--(9)--11,580,932
Capital Receipts Initiative1,095,0003,119,4004,319,00000
Total10,374,00011,052,00013,593,00023,839,00024,490,932

(7) The amount of Basic Credit Approvals (HRA element) for 2001-02 is not available at this time.

(8) Not available.

(9) Grant introduced from 1 April 2001.

Note:

No current Estate Action Funding


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The Royal borough received Round 6 Single Regeneration Budget funding for the "Raising the Dalgarno" scheme. However the allocation is used for community capacity building with other funding elements utilised in the 'bricks and mortar' part of the scheme. For the programmes listed it is for the local authority to decide where, within its boundaries, these resources are invested.

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Housing (Battersea)

Mr. Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list each housing capital improvement project financed by his Department in Battersea since 1 May 1997. [155126]

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Mr. Raynsford: The following housing capital improvements schemes have been allocated funding from

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the Department in the London Borough of Wandsworth since 1 May 1997.

£

Nature of funding (examples include):1997-981998-991999-20002000-012001-02
Housing Investment Programme (HIP)10,147,0008,249,0008,484,00020,832,00013,123,000
Basic Credit Approvals (HRA element)2,368,0000535,00012,728,000(10)--
Major Repairs Allowance(11)--(11)--(11)--(11)--14,772,563
Capital Receipts Initiative2,741,3418,722,0007,716,00000
Total15,256,34116,971,00016,735,00033,560,00027,895,563

(10) Not available

(11) Grant introduced from 1 April 2001


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For the programmes listed above, it is not possible to determine how much of this money has been spent on Battersea. It is for the local authority to decide where, within its boundaries, these resources are invested.

The amount of Basic Credit Approvals (HRA Element) for 2001-02 is not available at this time.

In addition to the programmes listed, the London Borough of Wandsworth has received Single Regeneration Budget funding in respect of improvements to the Arndale Estate:

£
Nature of funding (examples include):Single Regeneration Budget (round 3)
1997-9851,000
1998-9965,000
1999-2000297,000
2000-01906,000
2001-023,043,000


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