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Charitable Status

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if she will make a statement on the proposals of the Charity Commissioners to restrict eligibility for charitable status to those sports that in the opinion of the Charity Commissioners are beneficial to physical health; and what discussions her Department has had with the Charity Commissioners over the criteria they are using to determine the eligibility of different sports for charitable status; [67081]

Mr. Caborn: The Charity Commission has confirmed that no sports are excluded in principle from applying for charitable status. If a sport does not meet the criterion for healthy recreation then the Commission will consider an application on other grounds such as social inclusion or education. Full discussion on the revised guidance for charitable status and sport was carried out with the Charity Commission and representatives from sports bodies.

Annual Leave

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the average annual leave entitlement is for staff in her Department in 2002. [64652]

Dr. Howells: The Department does not maintain central records of annual leave entitlement for staff so this information could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

Staff outside the senior civil service within the Department are entitled to 25 days annual leave per year on joining the civil service and after 10 years service this is then increased to 30 days per year. Members of the senior civil service are entitled to 30 days per year.

Female Staff

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of the staff of her Department are women; and what the percentage was in June 1997. [66914]

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Dr. Howells: The current percentage of women within the Department is 48 per cent. compared to 43 per cent. in June 1997.

National Insurance

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the cost to the tourist industry of the changes in the national insurance regime in the last budget. [67017]

Dr. Howells: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) on 10 May 2002, Official Report, column 385W.

"All Our Futures:

Creativity, Culture and Education"

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to implement the recommendations of the report, "All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education"; and if she will make a statement. [67156]

Dr. Howells: The National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education reported jointly to the Secretaries of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Education and Employment in 1999 via the report "All Our Futures". The report contained 59 detailed recommendations for action by a range of bodies including Government, schools and higher education institutions. My Department has worked closely with the Department for Education and Skills, and external partners, to implement the recommendations.

Some of the main steps taken so far include funding of £270 million for the introduction of the Music Standards Fund to protect and expand LEA music services; the establishment of Artsmark, a national awards scheme now in its second year which recognises schools which offer a wide range of arts provision; and the recent joint announcement of £130 million for the Space for Sport and Arts programme which will fund almost 300 primary schools nationwide to modernise or build new multi-use halls and sports facilities and new music and arts studios.

Other major initiatives in progress include the development of 16 Creative Partnerships pilots, with the aim of building long-term, sustainable relationships between creative professionals and schools. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is undertaking a project focusing on pupils' creativity across the curriculum which will produce guidance for schools on ways to promote pupils' creativity.

Our Green Paper "Culture and Creativity—the Next Ten Years", published in March 2001, set out our overall vision for culture and creativity, and further underlined the importance we place on creativity and culture in education.


Mr. Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will publish her assessment of the benefits of access to broadband services for industries within her remit; and if she will make a statement. [61803]

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Dr. Howells: The Government believe that the rapid roll-out and adoption of broadband across the UK is important to both their social and economic objectives. The Government and other organisations have conducted studies of the application of information and communication technology and e-commerce to business and small and medium enterprises which suggest that broadband has a range of benefits and that industries stand to gain from productivity improvements. However, an assessment of the specific benefits to each industry within DCMS' remit could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.

Regional Television

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to take action to require the ITC to ensure that ITV companies in Scotland do not decrease the number of hours of regional programmes which they broadcast annually. [67089]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 5 July 2002]: On 27 May the Independent Television Commission (ITC) published the Charter for Broadcasting in the Nations and Regions, an agreement with the ITV companies to secure a sustainable future for regional programming. The charter includes commitments to guarantee out of London investment, improve scheduling of regional programming and strengthen local accountability. It also involves a greater standardisation of regional programme hours, and therefore some reduction in output that is less well funded and shown at the least accessible times. The ITC considers that the emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity and that the public interest is best served by better funded, more accessible programming. The Department has no plans to intervene.

Television Cricket

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will take measures to require future Ashes cricket series in Australia to be available on terrestrial television. [67247]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 5 July 2002]: The Government only intervene in the sports broadcasting market to ensure that all television licence holders have free-to-air access (on the BBC, the ITV Network or Channel 4) to those sporting occasions which are considered to have true national resonance. These events are listed under Part IV of the Broadcasting Act 1996. The list was revised and extended in 1998 and is kept under review.

Cricket test matches played in England and the final, semi-finals and matches involving Home Nations teams in the Cricket World cup are listed. Test matches played overseas are not listed because, while of great interest to cricket fans, they do not strike a chord with the general viewer in the same way as events which are listed.


Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she last attended a hockey match in her official capacity. [67938]

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Tessa Jowell: I have not yet attended a hockey match in an official capacity, although I did attend an elite training session for hockey goalkeepers at the Summer Performance Camp at Loughborough University on 10 July 2001.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the levels of participation in hockey by persons from ethnic minority backgrounds; and if she will make a statement. [68004]

Mr. Caborn: The following figures show participation in hockey by ethnic breakdown.

Figures only cover affiliated clubs and are taken from an audit by the English Hockey Association.

Further breakdown by age would be available on request.

Asian/Asian British1,414149
Black/Black British136205

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to encourage the provision of astroturf hockey pitches. [67936]

Mr. Caborn: The Government recognise the value that synthetic turf pitches have in improving the opportunities to take part in a variety of outdoor sports, including hockey.

The Government support the provision of sport and leisure facilities, including astroturf hockey pitches, through various means including funding from the Sports Lottery Fund, administered by Sport England. The provision of astroturf hockey pitches is a matter for local authorities to consider, in the light of local needs and the appropriate mixture of public and private provision.

Sport England has worked with the English Hockey Association in the preparation of a facilities strategy. This strategy deals with the provision of new artificial pitches with particular reference to water-based pitches for performance hockey. The strategy makes recommendations for the number of artificial turf pitches by population base and identifies three categories of artificial pitch provision: regional academies; satellite centres; and premier club centres.

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