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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the instances in which her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies failed to pay valid invoices within 30 days or after the agreed credit period in the financial year 200001. 
|DCMS||The Royal Parks Agency|
|Number of valid invoices paid||6,125||4,411|
|Number of invoices paid outside 30 days or after the agreed credit period||62||249|
|Percentage of invoices paid on target||99||94|
|Year||Visits from overseas|
Visit numbers fell slightly between 1998 and 2000, but overall these were strong years for inbound tourism to the UK, with a record level of spending by overseas visitors in 2000 of £12.8 billion, compared to £12.7 billion in 1998 and £12.5 billion in 1999. Figures for the full year 2001 are not yet available.
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many seal-watching establishments there are in England and Wales; how many visitors are estimated to visit these establishments each
6 Feb 2002 : Column 984W
year; how many people are estimated to work in such establishments each year; and what the total gross revenue per annum of the industry is estimated to be. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff were seconded between (a) BP, (b) Shell, (c) Enron, (d) Exxon-Mobil, (e) Conoco, (f) Texaco and (g) TotalFinaElf and her Department in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact of licensing pubs and clubs to sell alcohol 24 hours a day on residents of the cities of London and Westminster. 
Dr. Howells: Our assessment was set out clearly in the White Paper "Time for Reform" (Cm. 4696) published on 10 April 2000. We proposed that the conditions attached to the licences of pubs and clubs should be set locally by the local authority on the basis of the balance of the operator's requirements, resident views, and police and fire authority assessments. To counter and minimise public disorder resulting from fixed closing times, we intend to introduce flexible opening hours as a condition of the licence for each premises, with the potential for some venues to operate up to 24 hour-opening, seven days a week, subject to consideration of the impact on local residents. We intend to implement these proposals by means of primary legislation as soon as parliamentary time permits. The changes will beneficial to the police because it will help them cope with late night disorder and reduce crime; for business because it will sweep away red tape and offer them real flexibility; for citizens and visitors to this country alike by creating a safer environment in which they can have greater choice; for families by creating more opportunities for them to spend leisure time together without fear of intimidation or disorder; and for local residents, who will acquire a bigger say in the licensing process which will be properly accountable to them.
Mr. Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will establish an inquiry into the national lottery sales improvement programme, in particular the proposal to remove terminals from retailers with less than £1,500 per week turnover. 
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Dr. Howells [holding answer 4 February 2002]: The Viewers' Panel Report: Digital Decisions: Viewer Choice and Digital Television was submitted to me on 6 December 2001. Copies are in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff were seconded between (a) PWC Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Ernst & Young, (c) Deloitte & Touche, (d) KPMG and (e) Andersen and her Department in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish a diary of events leading to the implementation of the EU Directive on the disposal of refrigerators and freezers; what discussions her Department has had in the last five years with the retail industry on this matter; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 5 February 2002]: In 1998, the original European Commission proposal for a regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer (ODS) did not require the recovery and recycling of ODS from the refrigeration equipment unless it was "practicable". An amendment to the article on recovery in the draft regulation was agreed in February 1999 at the EC Environment Council meeting. Between February 1999 and mid-2001, UK officials repeatedly asked the Commission for formal clarification of the position of ODS in the insulating foam of refrigeration equipment. The occasions on which this was raised by the UK and other member states, either directly or implicitly during discussion of items for clarification, are as follows:
EC Regulation 3093/94 Management Committee meeting, 11 October 1999;
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Margins of the Montreal Protocol meeting in Geneva, July 2000;
DETR letter to European Commission dated 11 September 2000;
EC Regulation 2037/2000 Management Committee meeting, 46 October 2000;
DETR letter to European Commission dated 30 January 2001;
EC Regulation 2037/2000 Management Committee meeting, 1314 March 2001;
EC Regulation 2037/2000 Extraordinary Management Committee meeting, 1112 June 2001.
The Department, with assistance from colleagues in DTI, has been in regular contact with the refrigeration retail industry on the effect of legislation. Retailers were represented at refrigeration sector group meetings at which the regulation was discussed.
Since the middle of last year, the Department has worked closely with retailers and other stakeholders on practical arrangements to deal with the disposal of waste fridges and freezers. Representatives of the retail industry attended several stakeholder meetings and a number of smaller meetings to discuss the impact of the regulation on retailer take-back schemes. We are continuing to work with retailers to identify means to encourage the reinstatement of take-back schemes.
Mr. Meacher: £6 million has been added to the provisional local government finance settlement for 200203 for the costs of implementing the ozone depleting substances regulation relating to the period 1 January 2002 to 31 March 2002. This will be distributed to local authorities using standard spending assessments (SSA). The extra money has been added to the upper tier sub-block of the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services SSA. We are continuing to assess the impacts of the regulation and will determine what further action is required beyond that.
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