HC Deb 28 October 1999 vol 336 cc929-30W
Ms Keeble

To ask the President of the Council what steps she has taken to ensure the House is informed of progress in tackling the millennium bug during the summer recess. [94882]

Mrs. Beckett

During the recess, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary and I wrote to all Members summarising the progress for Government Departments and their agencies maintained in the monthly and quarterly questionnaire returns. I placed the full, completed questionnaires in the Libraries of the House and on the internet.

I also wrote to MEPs in October to inform them of the EU's initiative, set up at the UK's suggestion, to set up a high level group to consider cross border issues such as ports and shipping, custom and immigration and some energy supplies.

Distributing body Recipient (a) Actual visitor numbers (b) Numbers forecast at time of application (per annum)
Arts Council of England Imax 134,115 (1 May to 31 August 1999) 204,754
New Sadler's Wells 317,800 since October 1998 440,000
Milton Keynes Theatre and Gallery Theatre: 39,000 (2 week period) Theatre: 235,751
Gallery: 10,476 (10 day period) Gallery: 54,000
Royal Exchange, Manchester 172,840 (Projected for December 1998–December 1999) 174,037
Royal National Theatre 651,000, 55,000 foyer visitors (approx) 602,000
in last 12 months 50,000 foyer
Millennium Commission Dynamic Earth 250,000 since 3 July 1999 430,000
Earth Centre 87,000 since 4 April 1999 500,000
Wales Millennium Stadium 488,500 spectators since 26 June 1999 Events: 800,000
Tours: 250,000
Functions and conferences: 100,000
Hampden Park Not available Capacity: 53,000

I have placed in the Libraries of the House summaries of the reports of the June, July and August tracking research on public awareness of and attitudes towards the millennium bug.

Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the President of the Council if she will list the members of her departmental Committee whose work involves the rebuttal of misinformed allegations in the media in relation to millennium date change issues, together with the Committee's terms of reference and mission statement. [95675]

Mrs. Beckett

The Year 2000 Communications' Committee supervises the Government's overall millennium bug presentation strategy and its intrinsic parts, including keeping the public informed.

Its membership comprises:

  • President of the Council (Chair)
  • Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office.

Its terms of reference are: To ensure that all communications initiatives relating to the Millennium (Millennium Bug, 'celebrations', and contingency and emergency planning), including paid publicity, are brought together in a coherent way so that they remain focused on the core message and underlying key points agreed by Ministers; that Millennium Bug and Y2K civil contingency communication planning is integrated and tested; and that departments play their full part in responding to issues arising or likely to arise".