HC Deb 19 July 2004 vol 424 cc51-2W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans her Department has to increase the number of television channels which are regulated for subtitling. [184465]

Estelle Morris

None. Section 303 of the Communications Act 2003 establishes a duty on Ofcom to draw up a code relating to the provision for deaf and visually impaired people. Section 303 applies to all digital terrestrial, digital satellite and digital cable channels except the BBC, which is instead brought within the scope of the code by way of the BBC Agreement. Exclusions from the application of the code are a matter for Ofcom, taking into account in particular certain matters specified in the Act designed to balance the costs and difficulty of provision with the extent of the benefit to those with sensory impairments. Ofcom have consulted on their code, including proposed exemptions, and I understand that they propose to announce their conclusions shortly.

Tourism expenditure in Somerset by year1
£ million
Type of tourism 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Overnight stays by overseas residents 113 125 108 113 87
Overnight stays by domestic residents 2n/a 293 416 357 nya
Tourism day trips by domestic residents n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Total n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a = not available
nya = not yet available
1 Sample sizes at this level of detail will be small which means that the estimates will be subject to a high margin of error. Particular caution should therefore be exercised when comparing any two of the estimates.
2 Figures for overnight stays by domestic tourists are taken from the UK Tourism Survey. Comparable figures at regional level prior to 2000 are not available due to a major change in survey methodology.
International Passenger Survey
UK Tourism Survey.

Mr. Caborn

The total annual expenditure from DCMS funds of each regional cultural consortium since their creation is given in the table. These advisory non-departmental public bodies do not at present directly employ any staff and the Department does not currently distinguish between running costs and other expenditure. Most consortium expenditure is allocated on research and projects designed to enhance cultural co-operation and services in the regions. Consortiums may also receive some support from other regional cultural partners.

Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the yearly interim targets are for subtitling for the coming years that have been set by the Office of Communications. [184466]

Estelle Morris

The matter raised is the responsibility of Ofcom, as independent regulator. Accordingly, DCMS officials have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the Chief Executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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