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Hinduja Brothers

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what payment has been received by NMEC from the Hinduja brothers to cover the value-added tax due in connection with their donation to the Faith Zone of the Millennium Dome. [4178]

Dr. Howells: It was NMEC's responsibility to account to Customs and Excise for value added tax in respect of the contribution by the Hinduja Foundation to the Faith Zone of the Millennium Dome, which NMEC has done.

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NMEC has advised that it has not received, and does not expect to receive, any further payment from the foundation in relation to this.

Digital Radio

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures she intends to introduce to ensure plurality of voice in digital radio broadcasting. [4307]

Dr. Howells: The Government published their proposals for the future of radio broadcasting in the White Paper, "A New Future for Communications", last December. Those proposals included a firm commitment to maintain plurality in a period of media convergence—allowing listeners a choice between different providers with different editorial styles and opinions. My Department, along with the Department of Trade and Industry, has consulted widely on the proposals and ideas set out in the White Paper; we are now carefully considering all the responses. A draft Bill will be available early next year for further consultation on more detailed proposals.


Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer of 10 July 2001, Official Report, column 448W, on S4C, if she will make a statement clarifying the definitions of (a) estimated weekly reach and (b) weekly viewing figures. [4314]

Dr. Howells: S4C's weekly reach is defined as the number of people estimated to have viewed at least three minutes or more uninterrupted of S4C's programmes during any given week. The figure is normally expressed as a percentage of the total number of people in Wales aged four or above able to receive S4C in their homes. The average weekly reach over the year as a whole provides the basis for the weekly viewing figures which are published in S4C's annual report.

Lottery Grants (Library Buildings)

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to allow libraries to bid to the national lottery heritage fund for improvements to their buildings. [2427]

Dr. Howells: Decisions on funding priorities are a matter for the trustees of the heritage lottery fund, within the broad framework of their statutory powers and the policy directions set by the Government. The heritage lottery fund supports library collections and archives of historical importance but does not fund repairs or improvements to buildings that are normally the responsibility of local authorities. To date, the heritage lottery fund has awarded over £109 million to library and archive projects.



Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of changes in the numbers of butterflies in

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British resident species which have (a) become extinct in recent years and (b) suffered major declines in numbers. [2366]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 9 July 2001]: On the 54 species of butterfly resident in the UK, more than half are undergoing declines in their populations and distributions. The recently published Millennium Atlas of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland gives fresh information on which to base new assessments of conservation priorities. The atlas gives us particular cause for concern over five species which have each suffered a more than 50 per cent. loss of range over the last twenty years. These are the High Brown Fritillary, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Wood White and Large Heath Butterfly. No species have become extinct in the last decade.

Conservation action is underway through Biodiversity Action Plans for a number of butterfly and moth species that set objectives and targets to maintain and, where possible, enhance and restore populations. Six species of butterfly are also fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with a further 19 species protected against trade.

Waste Management

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the recommendations contained within the Fifth report of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee, Session 2000–01; and if she will make a statement. [4013]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: We expect to publish the Government's response to the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee report on Sustainable Waste Management shortly.

Sustainable Development

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what indicators the Government use to monitor progress in implementing its strategy for sustainable development; what progress has been made to date; how her Department plans to improve its strategy for sustainable development in the next 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [3988]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: The Government's sustainable development strategy, "A better quality of life", (Cm 4345) makes clear that headline indicators will be used to measure progress towards sustainable development. There are fifteen headline indicators, covering economic, social and environmental factors. The Government's aim is for all the headline indicators to move in the right direction over time, or, where a satisfactory level has been reached, to prevent a reversal. Where a trend is unacceptable, the Government will adjust policies accordingly, and will look to others to join them in taking action.

The strategy commits the Government to report annually on the headline indicators and on action taken or proposed in priority areas. The first annual report—"Achieving a better quality of life"—was published in January 2001. The report makes clear that one year's data do not constitute a trend but that there was evidence of improvement in many of the indicators, across all three aspects of sustainable development.

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The Government will continue to report on an annual basis, and is committed to a full review of the strategy after five years (in 2004).

G M Maize Trial (New Farm, Walston)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the proposed planting of genetically modified seed on New Farm, Walston, Coventry. [2866]

Mr. Meacher: The proposed Farm Scale Evaluation site of Genetically Modified maize at Wolston was withdrawn by the farming and biotechnology industry body SCIMAC on 21 May 2001 in response to my request. I had asked them to reconsider the use of this site, as publicity surrounding its proximity to the Ryton Organic Gardens was potentially damaging to public confidence in the farm scale research programme as a whole.

In withdrawing the site, SCIMAC noted that the Soil Association had confirmed that, as the nearest boundary of Ryton Organic Gardens was 3km from the evaluation site, organic maize production at Ryton would not be in conflict with the separation distance set by the association as a trigger for the re-assessment of organic status.

Food Supplements

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on negotiations on the draft directive on Food Supplements. [1992]

Yvette Cooper: I have been asked to reply.

A compromise proposal developed by the Swedish Presidency and supported by the United Kingdom was discussed in the Council of Ministers in May. However, there was insufficient support to achieve the qualified majority of votes needed to adopt the proposal. Further negotiations have yet to take place.


Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 4 July 2001, Official Report, column 196W, what estimate he has made of the specific provision made in the Disability Living Allowance for excess home heating costs; what proportion of people claiming (a) Incapacity Benefit and (b) other disability benefits presently receive the Disability Living Allowance; and if he will make a statement. [3663]

Maria Eagle: The care and mobility components in Disability Living Allowance act as broad indicators of all the extra costs of a disabled person, including heating costs.

The available information about the proportion of people receiving incapacity and other relevant benefits who also get Disability Living Allowance is in the table.

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People in receipt of incapacity and disability benefits and the proportion who receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

All recipientsPercentage receiving DLA (Percentage)
Incapacity Benefit
Incapacity Benefit1,509,70036
Severe Disablement Allowance366,10082
Other benefits
Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit (IIDB) only213,30022
Reduced Earnings Allowance (REA) only86,10028
Both IIDB and REA67,40041


1. Figures relate to 30 November 2000.

2. Figures relate to 1 April 2003.

3. Figures are based on 5 per cent. data.

4. Figures are based on 5 per cent. data and exclude a small number of clerically held cases.

5. Figures are based on 10 per cent. data.

6. Severe Disablement Allowance was designed to provide help for people who could not receive Incapacity Benefit because they had not paid enough National Insurance Contributions. From April 2001 it is no longer available to new claimants, and severely disabled young people may be able to receive improved support from Incapacity Benefit without meeting the normal contribution contributions.

7. Figures may not sum owing to rounding.


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