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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Electoral Commission Committee

Elections: Investigations

Mr. Pickles: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what the average length of an investigation by the Electoral Commission has been since the Commission's establishment. [294338]

Mr. Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that in April 2008, it introduced a three stage approach to handling potential breaches of the party and election finance laws. First, it conducts an initial assessment using set criteria to determine whether the matter should become casework. Second, the vast majority of matters that become casework are dealt with as ‘case reviews’. Finally, a small number of cases, where the matter is more complex, or may involve the use of statutory powers, are dealt with as ‘investigations’.

Between 1 April 2008 and 16 October 2009, the Commission assessed 155 potential cases. Over that period, initial assessments were completed in an average of 11 days against a seven day target. The Commission has met the seven day target for matters assessed since July 2009. It also conducted 49 case reviews, which were completed in an average of 69 days against a target of 90 days. The Commission undertook two investigations, which averaged 386 days, against a target of completing 90 per cent. of investigations within 180 days.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Visits Abroad

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department has spent on overnight accommodation for (a) Ministers and (b) officials while overseas in each of the last three years. [294687]

Mr. Sutcliffe: All travel is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code.

Expenditure on hotel and other privately provided accommodation is not held separately or by categories requested on the Department's accounting system. This information can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis by the Cabinet Office. It can be found at the following web link:


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Gun Sports: Finance

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding Sport England has provided for training of (a) pistol shooters and (b) shooters of other weapons in the last 12 months. [294717]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Sport England advise that over the past 12 months they have awarded the English Target Shooting Federation (ETSF) £194,726 in funding. This funding forms part of a wider £343,000 award made to the ETSF in 2007 to support the English shooting team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The award is paid over three years from 2007 until 2010 and relates to the rifle, pistol, shotgun and full bore disciplines. It supports coaching, sport science training camps, athlete personal awards, warm weather training and general support costs.

The proportion of the award that is used to fund pistol shooting is an issue which is determined by the ETSF rather than Sport England.

Licensing Act 2003

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if he will consider the introduction of a more flexible time limit for the granting of temporary event notices under the Licensing Act 2003; [294470]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of voluntary organisations which did not submit temporary event notice applications under the Licensing Act 2003 within the 10 day time limit in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; [294471]

(3) if he will consider the merits of amending the Licensing Act 2003 to allow a temporary event notice to be granted when the required period of notice has not been given, subject to terms and conditions. [294472]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is indeed willing to consider the introduction of some flexibility on the period of notice required for a temporary event notice (TEN) under the Licensing Act 2003. We are currently developing a proposal, in discussion with a group of stakeholders, that would give the police discretion to validate a TEN for an event that they consider to be low-risk when that TEN was otherwise invalid because it was issued without the minimum notice. We hope to commence a three-month consultation on this proposal, along with other simplification proposals, before the end of the year.

We do not hold figures on the number of voluntary organisations that did not submit TENs within the 10 day time limit. However, the consultation will include an impact assessment containing a broad estimate of the number of events that may be affected by the proposed change, and the estimated economic impact. The consultation will invite comment on these estimates.

National Lottery: Expenditure

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much each of the National Lottery distributors spent on (a) surveys and (b) Government relations in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. [294733]


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Mr. Simon: The information requested is not held centrally, and to collect this would be at disproportionate cost.

National Lottery: Manpower

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many full-time equivalent staff each National Lottery distributor employs. [294734]

Mr. Simon: Staff numbers are provided in each Distributor's Annual Report and Accounts, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

Olympic Games: Gun Sports

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether there are plans to allow the British Olympic shooting team to train at Bisley. [294718]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Bisley has been identified by London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games as a pre-games training camp for London 2012 shooting and is already used by the British shooting squad in the rifle and shotgun disciplines. Decisions on the British Olympic shooting team will not take place until a few months before the London 2012 games and their use of the facilities at Bisley will be determined by the national governing body of the sport.

Party Conferences

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many of his Department's sponsored bodies attended party political conferences in 2009; and how much they spent at the (a) Liberal Democrat, (b) Labour and (c) Conservative party conferences. [292948]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 14 October 2009]: This information is not held centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Sports: Public Participation

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department has spent on its (a) Active People Survey 1 and (b) Active People Survey 2. [294732]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Active People Surveys were delivered and funded by Sport England. The cost of Active People Survey 1 was £5,538,145. The cost of Active People Survey 2 was £3,152,272. DCMS provided a financial contribution of £885,274 to Active People Survey 2.

Church Commissioners

Church Commissioners: Land

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many acres of the Church Commissioners’ strategic land portfolio are (a) in the UK and (b) overseas. [294163]


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Sir Stuart Bell: This portfolio contains 4,089 acres, all in the UK.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what acreage of land has comprised the Church Commissioners’ strategic land portfolio in each of the last five years. [294164]

Sir Stuart Bell: The strategic portfolio has only been split from the rural portfolio over the past two years. It comprised 3,287 acres at the end of 2007 and 3,640 acres at the end of 2008.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how much of the Church Commissioners’ assets were held in their strategic land portfolio (a) in the UK and (b) overseas in each of the last five years. [294166]

Sir Stuart Bell: 2.5 per cent. at the end of 2007 and 1.8 per cent. at the end of 2008, all in the UK.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what the policy of the Church Commissioners is on the use of land which is owned by them for the production of food. [294170]

Sir Stuart Bell: The Commissioners’ farm land is let to tenants on Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancies and Farm Business Tenancies.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many acres of the Church Commissioners’ rural let land portfolio has been transferred to their rural strategic land portfolio in each of the last five years. [294171]

Sir Stuart Bell: 349 acres were transferred in 2008 and 514 acres have been transferred in 2009.

Publications

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2009, Official Report, column 326W, on Lambeth Palace, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Church Commissioners’ policy on the publication of information. [294477]

Sir Stuart Bell: The Commissioners do not have a formal policy document on the publication of housing costs. Total see house costs are published but, given the range of property types and given that the majority of costs are incurred during a vacancy, we do not publish expenditure on individual houses.

Register of Interests

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners if he will place in the Library a copy of the register of interests of members of the Church Commissioners’ Assets Committee. [294306]


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Sir Stuart Bell: The Commissioners make the Register available for inspection on their premises by Members of Parliament and others upon request. I am pleased to invite the hon. Gentleman to make an appointment to come to Church House and inspect the Register.

Transport

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing

James Brokenshire: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the sale value of the Dartford River Crossing; and what assumptions he made in relation to (a) the level of tolls charged, (b) vehicle movements and (c) other factors in making that estimate. [294222]

Mr. Khan: No estimate of the saleable value of the Dartford River Crossing has been made. Any such valuation would depend on the nature of any commercial agreements for a sale, including, but not exclusively, the length of those arrangements, the level of future charges
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and forecast future traffic volumes. The assumptions made around those issues are the same as those which would be made for normal business planning purposes.

Departmental Advertising

Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on which initiatives of his Department and its agencies expenditure on advertising has been incurred in each of the last five years; how much was spent on each such initiative; and which such initiatives were offered for tender through the Central Office of Information. [292530]

Chris Mole: Expenditure for the Department for Transport's advertising campaigns from the 2004-05 fiscal year is in the following table. The majority of campaign advertising investment by the Department is in support of the THINK! road safety and the Act on CO2 campaigns. Major advertising investment by Executive Agencies has been by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, for the sale of marks, vehicle excise duty enforcement and electronic vehicle licensing.


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£
Organi sation Campaign 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

DfT(C)

THINK!

8.75 million

11.57 million

(1)7.42 million 1.78 million

(1)11.67 million

(1)12.65 million

Transport Direct

240,000

865,000

405,000

(1)32,000 370,000

(1)629,000 42,000

Act on CO2

(1)2.49 million 1.1 million

(1)3.56 million

(1)4.7 million

Airport Security

(1)1.01 million

DVLA

Sale of Marks

2.534 million

2.335 million

3.006 million

3.124 million

3.55 million

VED Enforcement

(1)5.961 million

(1)4.165 million

(1)5.596 million

3.754 million

(1)3.791 million

Accelerated Issue of Harmonised Registration Certificate

(1)1.424 million

(1)1.211 million

Electronic Vehicle Licensing

(1)2.445 million

(1)2.415 million

Others

(1)1.026 million

(1)677,000

(1)799,000

(1)676,000

(1)982,000

HA

Introduction of Traffic Officer Service

330,000

Traffic Radio Print Advertising

99,000

Safety, Strategy and Research Advertising

12,000

Severe Weather Advertising

(1)40,000 6,000

Roadworker Safety Campaign

60,600

'Don't be that Guy' campaign

67,000

Pedestrian Intrusion Campaign

(1)29,700

Dartford Crossing

74,600

Summer Getaway

63,400

GCDA

Advertising car and dispatch services

5,000

0,500

2,800

MCA

Dial 999 for the Coastguard

9,100

15,500

9,900

15,100

117,700

VCA

N/A

VOSA

N/A

DSA

Passplus

(1)32,000

(1)15,000

(1)148,000

(1)14,200

(1)6,500

Learning to Drive

(1)52,600

(1)349,300

Driver CPC

(1)4,500

(1)118,700

Enhanced Rider Scheme

(1)20,000

(1)51,300

Eco-Safe DSA

(1)4,500

(1) Procured via The Central Office of Information.

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