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Patsy Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the contribution sport can make to meeting the Government's social agenda; and how much investment the Government are making in sports' governing bodies for delivering this purpose. 
Mr. Caborn: A Sporting Future for All and the Government's Plan for Sport fully recognised the potential of sport and physical activity as a powerful tool for social, educational and physical well being. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Sport is therefore working very closely with colleagues in other Government departments including Education and Skills, Health, Home Office, Transport and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which have an interest in sport representatives from whom he meets every month.
Many of the current sports funding programmes are also targeted specifically at areas of social and sporting deprivation. These include the New Opportunities Fund Sport and PE in School programme, the Spaces for Sport and the Arts programme and Sport Action Zones.
Government funding for national governing bodies of sport is largely channelled through the sports councils. This funding supports a range of their activities including their sports development plans which will in many instances have an impact on areas such as social inclusion, physical well being and crime reduction.
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2 July 2002, Official Report, columns 26061W, on recycling, if she will make a statement on how her Department defines sustainable procurement. 
Dr. Howells: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport engages in procurement considering the effective protection of the environment and prudent use of natural resources. The whole life performance and cost are considered before purchase. This includes not only purchase price but the impact on the environment and cost of operation and the impact and cost of disposal. For example the latest office furniture purchased has full Forest Stewardship Certification supplied by a World Wildlife Fund approved company and will, at the end of it's useful life, be capable of 100 per cent. recycling.
Dr. Howells: My Department is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and has a policy not to discriminate on the grounds of age. All policies on recruitment, development, performance management and retention are continuously reviewed to ensure that there are no age barriers to employment.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she intends to reply to the letter to her dated 15 October from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Tony Bowyer. 
Dr. Howells: I regret that it has not been possible to provide an answer before Prorogation. I shall therefore write to my right hon. Friend and place a copy of my reply in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures she is introducing to secure the future of (a) independent television broadcasters and (b) local programmes in Northern Ireland. 
Dr. Howells: The Government are seeking to introduce a Communications Bill in the next Session that would include provisions intended to retain and strengthen the regional dimension to public service broadcasting. Under the new three tier structure for the regulation of broadcasting, OFCOM would have to
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agree targets with the public service broadcasters for regional (and where appropriate local) programming and/or regional productions. The Channel 3 service would continue to be licensed on a regional basis.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what role ITV will be required to play in sustaining local programming under the new ITV Charter for the Nations and Regions. 
Dr. Howells: The Charter for Broadcasting in the Nations and Regions is an agreement between the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and the ITV Companies. The Charter sets out levels of quality and investment for a diverse range of programmes designed to reflect life within the nations and regions. Through the Charter the ITV Companies aim to secure the quality and accessibility of national and regional programmes into the future.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with interested parties on the practicalities of a London bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. 
Dr. Howells: Officials from my Department have held regular meetings during this year with all the key stakeholders to discuss the implications of London bidding to host the 2012 Olympic Games. These stakeholders were the Greater London Authority, the British Olympic Association, UK Sport and Sport England. In addition all interested Government Departments have been involved in assessing the ARUP report on the Costs and Benefits of a 2012 London Olympic Bid.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many football games Ministers in her Department have attended since 1 June 2001 in their official capacity; and where those games took place. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 6 November 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State attended a football match on the 21 of April 2002 between Norwich City and Stockport County and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Sport attended the following matches:
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Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with (a) European colleagues, (b) the FA and (c) other interested parties regarding recent racist incidents involving British-based players in Europe in competitions. 
Dr. Howells: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have discussed with European colleagues, the FA or other interested parties the recent racist incidents involving Britishbased players in European in competitions. This is a matter for UEFA, who are reviewing the events.
However, the Government shares the revulsion which has been widely expressed following recent matches in Europe. The Government also supports the Europe-wide programme of anti-racism activities organised by Football Against Racism in Europe with the full support and involvement of the Kick it Out campaign.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) parliamentary questions and (b) letters to her from hon. Members in this session remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (i) one month old, (ii) two months old, (iii) three months old, (iv) four months old and (v) over six months old. 
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