Previous Section Index Home Page


Foot and Mouth

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in relation to providing further assistance to UK tourism following the foot and mouth outbreak. [2150]

Dr. Howells: I am in close and regular contact with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on issues relating to the impact of foot and mouth disease on tourism, including the provision of assistance to affected businesses. For example, I attended the meeting of the Rural Task Force on 26 June where these issues were discussed.

Spoliation

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to introduce legislation to give effect to the recommendations of the Spoliation Committee regarding the return of looted cultural property. [67]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The Spoliation Advisory Panel, under the chairmanship of retired Lord Justice of Appeal, the right hon. Sir David Hirst, announced on 18 January 2001 its first report (HC 111) on a claim to "A View of Hampton Court Palace" by Jan Griffier the Elder in Tate Britain. The report made two recommendations, both of which related to the Griffier painting, and these have been accepted and implemented. No recommendations concerning legislation were made.

Sports Grounds

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to improve the safety of sports grounds. [99]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 25 June 2001]: I intend to keep the operation of the legislative framework for sports ground safety under review, and the culture and recreation Bill will be re-introduced as soon as this is practicable. The Government expect that the Bill will re-constitute the Football Licensing Authority as the

4 Jul 2001 : Column: 213W

sports ground safety authority, which will be able to advise local authorities and others on safety issues at all sports grounds.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the areas of responsibility that have (a) been transferred from her Department to other departments and (b) been transferred to her Department from other departments since 8 June. [95]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 25 June 2001]: None of my Department's responsibilities have been transferred to other departments. My Department has, however, taken on responsibility for the following areas from the Home Office: gambling; horseracing; licensing; censorship and film classification; and, planning for the Golden Jubilee.

Community Sports Clubs

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to introduce charitable status for community sports clubs. [138]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The Government have no current plans to introduce legislation to extend charitable status to community sports clubs. However, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his Budget statement the Government's intention to consult on the best way for a tax relief to help community amateur sports clubs that make a positive contribution to the local community. My officials and their Treasury and Inland Revenue colleagues are in discussions with sporting organisations including Sport England, the Central Council for Physical Recreation and the National Playing Fields Association on the detail of this relief. A consultation paper will be published later this year.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Debt Relief

9. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her assessment is of the impact of measures taken to alleviate indebtedness in the poorest countries. [687]

18. Andrew Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress is being made by her Department in reducing third-world debt. [696]

Clare Short: Twenty three countries have now qualified for exceptional relief under the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. Over $53 billion of debt relief has been agreed for these countries, which will reduce their debts by almost two-thirds on average. The money released is directly linked to poverty reduction. The impact of this debt reduction means that, after debt relief, social expenditures in these HIPC countries are projected to rise by an average of some US$1.7 billion per year during 2001–02. We hope more countries will qualify for relief this year, but many of the remaining countries are affected by conflict or have yet to demonstrate their commitment to reform.

4 Jul 2001 : Column: 214W

Aid Target

10. Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the proportion of GNP given in official aid was over the course of each of the last two Parliaments. [688]

Clare Short: Under the last Conservative Administration the oda/GNP ratio fell from 0.30 per cent. in 1992 to 0.27 per cent. in 1996. In the last Parliament the ratio rose to 0.31 in 2000. We have made a commitment to reach a level of 0.33 per cent. oda/GNP by 2003–04 a level not seen in the UK since the mid 1980s.

Street Children

11. Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects she is supporting relating to street children. [689]

Clare Short: Children live on the streets because of poverty. By tackling the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice, we help to realise of the rights of all children, including street children, to health, education and protection from violence.

In addition we support a number of projects that work directly with street children. We are currently supporting projects in Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Burma, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

St. Helena

12. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she expects to make an announcement on the feasibility study for an airfield on the island of St. Helena. [690]

Clare Short: The final report of the comparative study of air and sea access, which will identify the least cost solution to the island's future international passenger and cargo transport needs, has just been finalised. Its recommendations will be discussed with the St. Helena Government next week. We have agreed to provide funding equal to the least capital cost option—that is either the cost of replacing the RMS St. Helena or the estimated cost of an airport and related infrastructure.

Copies of the report are being placed in the Library of the House.

Zimbabwe

13. Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what actions she proposes to promote good governance in Zimbabwe. [691]

Clare Short: We are working through direct contact with the Commonwealth and the European Union to promote a return to good governance and the holding of a free and fair presidential election next year. We have made it clear that increased UK development support depends on a return to the rule of law and the adoption of credible economic policies. We are also working with Zimbabwean civil society organisations that are advocating good governance.

16. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on British aid to Zimbabwe. [694]

4 Jul 2001 : Column: 215W

Clare Short: Our efforts are focused on mitigating the effects of the current crisis on the poorest, whose plight continues to worsen. We are also continuing with our work to combat HIV/AIDS. We are working with non-governmental organisations to try to ensure we can protect the poorest—particularly children—from likely food shortages later in the year.

20. Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations she has received about funding of projects in Zimbabwe. [698]

Clare Short: My Department receives a large number of requests for funding in Zimbabwe, as in other countries in which we work. Most recently, we have received a number of approaches from international non- governmental organisations. They are seeking our support to protect the poor—particularly children—from likely food shortages later in the year. We are working with them to develop and implement their proposals.

26. Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with other European states regarding the future of aid to Zimbabwe. [705]

Clare Short: We have on-going contracts at various levels with other European Governments to discuss development assistance in Zimbabwe. In addition, there is joint political dialogue between the EU and the Government of Zimbabwe under article 8 of the Cotonou agreement. We support the EU in seeking results on key governance issues; and agree that appropriate measures will be needed if the dialogue does not yield rapid results over the next two months.


Next Section Index Home Page