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26 Oct 2004 : Column WA113

Written Answers

Tuesday, 26 October 2004.

Child Pornography

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): It is a criminal offence to make, distribute or view pornography involving children in the UK, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, France, Cyprus, Netherlands, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Ireland, Malta, Austria and Portugal.

Although it is a criminal offence to make or distribute pornography involving children in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Greece, the law in these countries does not specifically mention the viewing of pornography involving children.

But in order to comply with a European Union Framework Decision of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, all EU member states are required by 20 January 2006 to take the necessary measures to ensure that the production, distribution, dissemination, transmission, supply, acquisition or possession of child pornography are criminalised under national law.

Human Rights: FCO Annual Report

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not delayed publication of the Annual Report on Human Rights to dilute criticism of any country. The annual report was originally due to be launched on 16 September. Owing to the tragic events in Beslan, Russia, earlier that month, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary reconsidered the timing of the launch. He believed that it was the time to focus on the grief and sense of loss of the Russian people as a whole and on
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the total culpability of the terrorists responsible for this atrocity. The Foreign Secretary also wanted to consider how best to reflect the tragedy in Beslan in the text of the annual report. The Foreign Secretary will launch the annual report on Human Rights on 10 November.

School Playing Fields

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department for Education and Skills (Lord Filkin): Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced on 1 October 1998 to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields that occurred in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s. During this time there was widespread concern at the unrestricted sale of school playing fields. If a local authority wanted to sell a school playing field there was nothing to stop it and it could spend the proceeds as it wished.

Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools now need the Secretary of State's consent before they can dispose of a playing field or any part of a playing field.

The main changes announced by the Secretary of State to further strengthen the existing strict criteria against which applications are assessed are:

Incapacity Benefit: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Her Majesty's Government have no plans to mandate anybody in receipt of an incapacity benefit to undergo rehabilitation. The Government's approach, as delivered in their flagship incapacity benefit reform programme, Pathways to Work, is to work actively and intensively with the large number of people on incapacity benefit who expect and want to work again.
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Paralympic Sports: UK Sport Funding

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): A summary of the amount of lottery funding provided by UK Sport since April 2001 is shown in the following table.
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Table Tennis45,000.0057,686.0054,262.0030,349.00187,297.00
Wheelchair Basketball191,448.00230,152.00200,000.00200,000.00821,600.00
Wheelchair Fencing28,512.9028,500.0037,500.0030,000.00124,512.90
Wheelchair Rugby76,601.0086,433.0074,000.0088,850.00325,884.00

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UK Sport has also provided funding towards the paralympic sports of archery, cycling, judo, equestrian and sailing but the figures are not reflected above as the funding is incorporated with their Olympic programme.

Olympic Games 2012: London Bid

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Should London win the bid to host the 2012 Games, we are planning to hold the shooting events at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich.

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The proposed operating budget for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been cast on a self-financing basis, with expenditure balanced by incomes from international and local sponsorship, broadcast revenues and ticket sales. There is also an allowance from the public sector funding package to assist in staging the Paralympic Games as required by the International Olympic Committee.
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Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: London 2012 has advised that the information provided to the assembly on the weighting of public support was an approximation relating to the assessment made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in May 2004. In its working group report on all applicant cities, the category of "Government Support, Legal Issues and Public Opinion" was given a weighting of two out of a possible 36, with public support accounting for 15 per cent of the total marks awarded in that category. That equates to 0.083 per cent.

There is no information currently available about the weighting of public support in the final IOC evaluation, although it will be important for a successful bid to be able to demonstrate high levels of public support throughout the UK.

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