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Wildlife Projects

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which global wildlife projects her Department has funded in 2001–02. [61169]

Mr. Meacher: In addition to funding for the Darwin Initiative, my Department paid a total of #1.212 million in 2001–02 on assessed contributions to a number of international conservation Conventions and Agreements, and on voluntary payments to those conventions' grants funds to finance specific initiatives. The projects supported are listed below.

United Nations Environment Programme

Convention on Migratory Species and Related Agreements

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Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

IUCN—the World Conservation Union

In addition we made contributions to the costs of the General Assembly of the Global Tiger Forum and to the Flagship Species Fund.

Darwin Initiative

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding, broken down by project and amount, was provided by her Department through the Darwin Initiative in each of the last five years. [61166]

Mr. Meacher: The Darwin Initiative is a #3 million annual programme of grants which was launched at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. It uses UK expertise to help countries that are rich in biodiversity but poor in resources to help safeguard the world's biodiversity. Information on the total funding for each project is contained in the reports on the Darwin Initiative covering the periods from 1997–98 to 2000–01. The first three are already available in the House of Commons Library. I am arranging for copies of the fourth report to be placed in the House Library. The fifth Annual report, covering the period 2001 to 2002 will be published on 17 June 2002. I will also arrange for a copy to be placed in the House Library.


Subtitling/Sign Language

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to introduce for full TV licence fee payers the opportunity to receive a full service with the option of (a) 100 per cent. subtitling and (b) British Sign Language translation. [60109]

Dr. Howells [holding answer Monday 10 June 2002]: Statutory requirements for the provision of subtitling on Channel 3 and Channel 5, and for the provision of subtitling and sign language translation on digital terrestrial television (DTT) services are included in the 1990 and 1996 Broadcasting Acts respectively. The targets for DTT services are that 80 per cent. of programming should be subtitled and 5 per cent. signed by the tenth anniversary of the start of the service. The

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recently published draft Communications Bill (Cm 5508–1) extends these targets on DTT to digital cable and digital satellite channels.

In setting these targets, we have aimed to strike the right balance between practicability and benefit. It would be extremely difficult and expensive to meet 100 per cent. targets. In addition, there are a number of unresolved technical issues in the development of a reliable closed signing system, and resultant problems caused by open signing. We believe that the current targets are challenging but achievable, but will keep them under regular review.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many computers were replaced in her Department in each of the past three years; how the replaced units were disposed of and by which companies; and at what cost. [60742]

Dr. Howells: My Department replaced two computers in 1999–2000, 23 in 2000–01 and 327 in 2001–02. All machines were disposed of through our outsourced service provider, SchlumbergerSema, and the proceeds from the disposal of the equipment was used to offset future purchases. There was no cost to the Department.

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Ministerial Visits

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she last visited (a) Wembley, (b) Coventry and (c) Birmingham. [60159]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State last visited Coventry on 19 March 2002 to attend the Cultural Services conference organised by the Local Government Association. She has yet to visit either Wembley or Birmingham in an official capacity but she has visited both during recent months on party business or in a personal capacity.

Public Consultations

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the public consultations undertaken by her Department since June 2001, stating in each case the (a) number of respondents and (b) percentage of those specifically consulted who responded. [60140]

Dr. Howells [holding answer Monday 10 June 2002]: The Department is actively following the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultation. The table below lists the public consultations carried out by the Department since June 2001, indicating (a) the number of respondents and (b) the approximate percentage of those specifically consulted who responded where known.

Document NameDate(a) Number of Responses(b) Percentage of those specifically consulted who responded
Consultation of cricket bodies on measures to address disorderJuly 20019100%
Report of the Gambling Review Body17 July 20014,996Not known
National Museum of Science & Industry Review: stage one consultation1 August 20014416%
Geffrye Museum/Horniman Museum/Museum of London Review: stage one consultation8 August 20015057%
Consultation on the draft Digital Television Action Plan12 October 20013652%
English Heritage Review: stage one consultaiton16 October 200113640%
National Maritime Museum Quinquennial Performance Review22 November 20011414%
Consultation on Media Ownership Rules26 November 20018,09322%
Public Lending Right. Quinquennial Performance Review: Consultation Paper13 November 20014985%
Fixed Term DirectiveNovember 20013056%
Quinquennial Review on the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art19 November5014%
Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester Quinquennial Performance Review5 December 20014256%
Spectrum Planning Consultation11 December 20015236%
Council of Europe—Convention on the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage20 December 20013286%
Review of Progress towards digital switchover14 February 20021111%
The Draft Communication Bill7 May 2002Not yet completed
Regent's Park Sports Facilities ConsultationMarch 200215135%
Changes to Licensing Hours during All New Year's Eve24 April 2002Not yet completed
UK's Open General Export Licensing (OGEL) LimitsApril 2002Not yet completed
Prize Competitions23 May 2002Not yet completed

Sports/Leisure Database

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made in the establishment of a national database of sports and leisure facilities for England; and if she will make a statement. [61288]

Dr. Howells: Information on sports facilities in England is currently held by a variety of organisations and a single database will enable more strategic Government investment in those areas and facilities which are most important. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Sport has recently written to Ministerial colleagues at the DfES, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Department of Health, Home Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Local Government Association seeking their views on the scope, content and funding of the proposed database of sports facilities in England.

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