Previous Section Index Home Page



Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the President of the Council how many net additional staff his Office has recruited in each month since June 2001 at (a) executive officer level and (b) administrative level. [52436]

Mr. Robin Cook: Since June 2001, my Office has recruited three net additional staff, one at executive officer level in October 2001 and two at administrative level, one in January 2002 and one in February 2002.

It has also in the same period been reduced in size by one senior civil servant.

Young People

Dr. Starkey: To ask the President of the Council on what subjects and on which dates his Department has consulted organisations representing young people; and if he will list such organisations. [52495]

Mr. Robin Cook: My Department has not yet consulted any organisations representing young people. However, my colleague the Parliamentary Secretary is extremely concerned about voter apathy in the young. He is working with the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and the Children and Young People's Unit to arrange some discussion sessions with young people.

29 Apr 2002 : Column 590W


Special Advisers

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many special advisers were employed by the Cabinet Office (a) between 1 May and 31 December 1997 and (b) in each year from 1998 to 2001 inclusive; and what the total amount spent on special advisers by the Department was for each of those years. [41263]

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) on 11 April 2002, Official Report, column 552W.

Press Office

Mr. Burns: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost of running the Department's press office was in (a) 1996–97 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. [46809]

Mr. Leslie: The total cost of running the Department's press office in 1996–97 was £933,000.00 and £1,430,000.00 in 2000–01.

The figure has risen steadily over the years largely due to the increased range of Cabinet Office activity and responsibilities related to increases in ministerial posts and setting up new units. This in turn has resulted in increased communication activity.

New Deal

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people employed by the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible under the New Deal for Young People in each of the last four years have subsequently (a) found unsubsidised employment for more than 13 weeks and (b) returned to jobseekers' allowance or other benefits. [49602]

Mr. Leslie: The non-departmental public bodies for which the Deputy Prime Minister has responsibility have employed no people under the New Deal for Young People scheme in each of the last four years.

Publicity Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 25 March 2002, regarding publicity expenditure, how many additional staff have been recruited as a result of the additional £326,000 advertising expenditure between 1998–99 and 2000–01, in which posts; and at what cost to public funds. [50551]

Mr. Leslie: The costs referred to in the response dated 25 March (36166) were identified from the financial accounting system which uses one account code for press advertising (including recruitment adverts). To attribute these costs to individual recruitment campaigns or other publicity could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

For details of advertising expenditure on recruitment of staff in the calendar year of 2001 I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 March 2002, Official Report, column 294W.

29 Apr 2002 : Column 591W


Churchill's Bunker (Neasden)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost was of refurbishing Winston Churchill's bunker in Neasden; and if he will make a statement. [51245]

Ms Keeble: I have been asked to reply.

Winston Churchill's bunker in Neasden is owned by Network Housing Association, a registered social landlord. It is situated on a site purchased in April 1997 Network Housing Association, from the London Borough of Brent.

The planning permission granted for affordable housing development on the site included an obligation that the bunker, a listed building, be opened under the 'London Open House Scheme' to the public, on two days a year for three years after completion of remedial works to satisfy health and safety requirements.

The remedial works carried out on the bunker cost £40,000 and were paid for from Network Housing Association's own resources.

New Millennium Experience Company

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 391W, on NMEC, what will happen to the £25 million that is not required; and where it is at the moment. [47124]

Dr. Howells: The funds currently lie with the Millennium Commission's share of the National Lottery Distribution Fund. The Millennium Commission has not made a decision about how these funds might be used.


Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will investigate the reasons that (a) the letter of the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge to the Under-Secretary of State at her Department of 6 November 2001 remained unanswered until 16 April 2002 and (b) the reason for the delay in her Department determining that the question posed in the original letter falls outside its remit. [52401]

Dr. Howells: I apologise for the delay in replying to the hon. Member. His letter was transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry as that Department is responsible for advertising and advertising campaigns. Unfortunately there was a breakdown in communications during this process and action has now been taken to ensure this does not happen again. In 2001, the Department answered 90 per cent. of Members' correspondence within 18 working days and I am satisfied that this was an isolated incident.

Museums and Galleries (Free Entry)

Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made in providing free entry to museums and galleries. [52223]

29 Apr 2002 : Column 592W

Dr. Howells: Entry to the permanent collections at all the main museums and galleries sponsored by my Department is now free to everyone. This policy took effect from 1 December 2001 and represents the delivery of a key element of our manifesto commitment. In the first four months since the introduction of free admission at those museums and galleries that previously charged visitor numbers have increased by an average of seventy five per cent. This means that an extra 1.7 million people have been able to enjoy admission to these priceless collections free of charge, no matter what their income or background.

ITV Digital

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment she had made of the implications of the collapse of ITV Digital for the provision of ITV franchise licence fees under the digital dividend of (a) Granada plc and (b) Carlton Communications plc; [50712]

Dr. Howells: Under the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 1996, the percentage of qualifying multiplex revenue payable to the Independent Television Commission by the digital terrestrial licencees has been set by order at nil for the duration of the licences. The purpose of this is to promote the availability of free-to-view digital television by offsetting related costs. The ITV companies therefore do not make payments to the Treasury on the proportion of their advertising revenue attributed to viewing in homes that are digital. There are no plans to review or alter this framework.

Ministerial Training

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how much has been spent by her Department on training by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years; [52742]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 26 April 2002]: The Department has recently introduced a leadership programme which includes a module covering the use of the voice. In the financial year 2001–02 £20,531 was spent on leadership training.

Our records indicate that no official has received training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the last three years. Retrieving the information prior to that date would incur disproportionate cost.

The Department does not provide training for Ministers.

29 Apr 2002 : Column 593W

Next Section Index Home Page