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Sonar 2076

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if Sonar 2076 will be available for the first of

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class of the Astute class submarines from the date of entry into service; and if it will provide the full stipulated military capability. [157730]

Dr. Moonie: The prime contractor, BAE Systems, has selected Sonar 2076 for Astute and it will be fitted to the First of Class, HMS Astute for its sea trials in 2004-05. Sonar 2076 is part of an incremental acquisition programme and will provide Astute with the full stipulated military capability.

Fishery Protection Patrols

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact on the frequency and duration of fishery protection patrols following the replacement of Island class patrol vessels by future offshore patrol vessels. [157741]

Mr. Spellar: Subject to the satisfactory outcome of detailed discussions with the preferred bidder, Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd., the Ministry of Defence would expect to be in a position shortly to place a contract for the lease of three future offshore patrol vessels to progressively replace the current Island Class vessels from September 2002. Because of their higher availability, the three replacement FOPVs will provide identical fishery protection patrol frequency and duration to that which is currently carried out by the five Island Class vessels.


Know How Fund

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have received assistance from the know how fund during the last 12 months. [158735]

Clare Short: The know how fund was the name by which the programme in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union managed jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the former Overseas Development Administration was generally known. Since May 1997 the programme has been managed by the Department for International Development (DFID) in the same way as other DFID programmes.

In the last 12 months those countries that have received DFID assistance are Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. We have also assisted Kosovo, which is administered by the United Nations.


Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assistance she has made for the condition of internally displaced people in Myanmar. [157902]

Clare Short: The situation for internally displaced people in Myanmar remains extremely vulnerable. Many of these people have taken refuge in remote, inaccessible

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and politically sensitive areas, making it difficult to conduct any detailed humanitarian assessment of their situation.

We are currently funding an international non- governmental organisation, Health Unlimited, to meet the emergency needs of displaced people in Kachin State, and we are providing core funding for United Nations humanitarian agencies and the Red Cross movement working inside Myanmar. Those agencies provide us with valuable information on the condition of internally displaced people in the country. In addition, my officials plan to visit the region in the coming months to look at the humanitarian situation in Myanmar and on the Thai/Myanmar border in more detail.


Departmental Policies (High Peak)

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on the High Peak constituency of his Department's policies and actions since May 1997. [156779]

Mr. Chris Smith: Since May 1997 my Department has introduced and developed a variety of initiatives which will impact on my hon. Friend's constituency which promote our objectives of access, excellence, education, and creativity and employment. We have published strategies to take this forward including Tomorrows Tourism and A Sporting Future for All, which was recently followed up by The Government's Plan for Sport. We have tackled the issue of social inclusion taking forward the recommendations of Policy Action Team 10 on Arts and Sport and developing social inclusion policies across all our areas which is recognised within the most recent progress report Building on PAT10.

We have given more support to the cultural and sporting infrastructure. The Spending Review 2000 secured a doubling of the budget for sport and the largest ever increase for the arts: an increase of 80 per cent. from £186 million in 1997-98 to £336 million in 2003-04. In taking forward our aim to develop the educational potential of culture and sport £40 million has been allocated to developing Creative Partnerships; we have established through lottery funding, the £30 million National Foundation for Youth Music; and secured an additional £130 million for primary schools sports and arts facilities through the Space for Sport and the Arts programme. With £120 million of central Government and Lottery funding we will be providing a school sports co-ordinator in one in four secondary schools to work with local primary and special schools to improve sporting provision and physical education for children in the most deprived areas. We have delivered free access to national museums for children and the over 60's and additional money will be provided to allow this to be extended to everyone in December 2001. We have commissioned a taskforce which is currently considering the issues facing non-national museums in the regions.

We have made improvements in the way the Lottery is spent to ensure a fairer distribution. The introduction of the New Opportunities Fund for spending on health,

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education and the environment has made a real difference to communities everywhere. For instance it has invested £120 million to support the People's Network, which will enable all 4,300 public libraries to offer free public internet access through UK online learning centres; and a further £50 million to stimulate development of content to support the Network.

We have set up a Regional Cultural Consortium in each of the English regions outside London to champion culture and creativity, including heritage, sport and tourism, and to draw up regional cultural strategies identifying regional objectives and priorities.

We have published a Green Paper, "Culture and Creativity: The Next Ten Years", setting out how individual creative talent can be given the support it needs from childhood to flourish; how artists and cultural institutions can be freed from bureaucratic controls; and how the freedom to explore and enjoy creativity and culture can be made available to all.

Through their commitment to public service broadcasting, the Government have helped to foster an environment in which a creative, commercially successful broadcasting industry provides a wide range of UK-made, high quality, original programmes catering for all viewers and listeners. We have ensured a secure funding base for the BBC and S4C, while giving them the freedom to develop commercial operations which complement and support their public service remit. We have made clear in the Communications White Paper that public service broadcasting will continue to have a key role to play in the digital future. The Government have introduced free television licences for people aged 75 or over from 1 November last year.

In delivering these initiatives we aim to make cultural and sporting activities inclusive ones, boosting participation and improving the quality of life for all.

High Peak

According to the information supplied to us by the distributing bodies for the national lottery awards database, there have been 115 national lottery awards to High Peak totalling £9,043,441.

Thirty-nine Millennium Award Winners have been identified from High Peak and between them they have received grants totalling £143,968.

Sport England have provided £32,000 for TOPs bags and £5,000 towards a 3-year sports development officer post.

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Information on the number of beneficiaries of free television licences by constituency is not available, but estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 6,300 people aged 75 or over living in the High Peak constituency.

The National Foundation for Youth Music has awarded:

There are of course other initiatives in the wider area which may have an effect on the High Peak constituency. These are:

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