§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people who were previously entitled to a £5 television licence have applied for the free television licence introduced in November 2000. 
§ Janet Anderson
Applications for free television licences for people living in accommodation which qualifies for the Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) concessionary licence scheme are made by housing managers when existing ARC licences fall due for renewal, rather than by individual residents. Information provided by the BBC, which is responsible for the administration of both concessionary schemes, indicates that since November 2000 applications have been received from about 10,500 residential and nursing homes and sheltered housing schemes. A number of these applications have still to be processed but approximately 44,500 residents have so far benefited from a free TV licence. The renewal cycle for ARC licences is spread across the year, on a monthly basis, and the BBC expects approximately 500,000 residents to qualify in total.