19. Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made in establishing the UK Council for Child Internet Safety; and if he will make a statement. [320694]

Dawn Primarolo: The UK Council for Child Internet Safety was established on 29 September 2008 and now has over 160 members from Government, law enforcement, the third sector and industry.

In December last year, UKCCIS launched its first child internet safety strategy 'Click Clever, Click Safe'. We believe this is the first such strategy of its kind anywhere in the world and represents a real step forward in the development of work to keep children safe online.

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions his Department has had with (a) the National Lottery Commission and (b) Camelot on Camelot's application to operate certain commercial services in addition to the National Lottery; and if he will make a statement; [320293]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to ensure the National Lottery Commission consults stakeholders and other interested parties on the implications for its core National Lottery business and brand of Camelot's application to operate certain commercial services; and if he will make a statement. [320294]

Mr. Sutcliffe: My officials and I have regular meetings with both the National Lottery Commission and Camelot about the full range of National Lottery regulation issues, and the possibility of Camelot providing commercial services which are ancillary to the operation of the National Lottery has been discussed in that context.

The approval of the National Lottery Commission is required before the National Lottery operator can undertake any ancillary activity and the commission is currently considering a proposal from Camelot to offer commercial services using National Lottery terminals. The commission will consider the proposal in light of its statutory duties and therefore will take into account issues such as the implications for the core National Lottery business and brand.

The commission is currently consulting on the EU/competition law considerations which may arise from the proposal, as these are issues on which those already offering such services have a direct interest. The commission considers that it will have sufficient information to exercise its discretion properly, without consulting on the implications for the core National Lottery business and brand.

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much was spent (a) in total and (b) per head of population on road improvements in (a) England, (b) the East of England and (c) Essex in each of the last 10 years. [323332]

Mr. Khan: A table containing the information requested has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The table includes estimated expenditure on motorways and trunk roads in the East of England, but expenditure on the strategic road network is not available by local authority boundary. The table also excludes shadow tolls for design, build, finance and operate contracts on the strategic road network.

Mr. John Whittingdale (Maldon and East Chelmsford) (Con): Notwithstanding that, does the Secretary of State accept that our success in a number of sports in recent years, particularly cricket and golf, has been largely due to the huge amount of money that has gone into those games as a result of the sale of broadcasting rights? The ECB has estimated that listing the Ashes tests will cost it £100 million. Will the Secretary of State think about that very carefully when he considers the Davies report? If he proceeds with the listing, huge damage will be done to grass-roots sports throughout the country.

Mr. Bradshaw: We will consider all representations very carefully. The hon. Gentleman has made an important point about the potential impact on some of the sporting organisations, although some of the figures that are being bandied about may be open to challenge. There is a balance to be struck between the understandable desire of sporting organisations to make a lot of money by selling television rights and the right of the public to have access to some of the big sporting occasions that the nation enjoys.

8. Mr. John Whittingdale (Maldon and East Chelmsford) (Con): Whether he plans to take steps to reduce the incidence of libel tourism; and if he will make a statement. [323391]

The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Jack Straw): I thank the hon. Gentleman for the recent report on this issue by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which he chairs. In parallel, in January I established a working group on the libel laws, and I have today, by written ministerial statement, published that report. As the latter makes clear, action on libel tourism is urgently needed and will be taken as soon as possible. That will be part of a draft libel Bill that we intend to publish in the new Parliament, as well as other more immediate action that we believe, and the working party believes, could be undertaken by changes in the procedural rules and in judicial practice.

Mr. John Whittingdale (Maldon and East Chelmsford) (Con): It is a pleasure to follow all four previous speakers in what has been a remarkably harmonious debate. I do not intend to change that. This is an important measure, and I welcome the fact that the Government have moved so swiftly to close the loophole that has been identified. I will not dwell on how it came about, but I merely observe that the Government are very fond of blaming almost every ill in society on the actions of the previous Government, and this is one of the very few examples where there may be some merit in that claim.

I hope that the Minister will address the questions raised by the previous speakers about the consequences of the loophole, because I share their concern about the status of those who have been convicted over the course of the past 25 years and the possibility of their bringing action for what now appear to have been unlawful convictions. I hope that he will spend a little more time on that subject when he responds.

I wish to make a few observations about the Video Recordings Act 1984. I always approach any such legislation with some suspicion, as I am fundamentally opposed to censorship. I believe that in a free society it is up to adults to choose what they wish to see, but there are two important qualifications to that. The first is that there will always be some material that is so unacceptable in its violent or explicitly sexual content that it is deemed to be damaging to people to view it. I accept that, and some examples have been given in the debate.

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Mr. John Whittingdale (Maldon and East Chelmsford) (Con): I congratulate the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) on obtaining a debate on an extraordinarily important issue. There is no doubt that local newspapers face a crisis, which is why the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport is conducting an inquiry into the future of local and regional media and why we have received a lot of evidence. In our first session, Claire Enders, who is one of the most respected industry analysts, told us that half the country's 1,300 local newspapers will be out of business within five years. We then heard from the chief executives of Johnston Press, Trinity Mirror and the Guardian Media Group, all of whom agreed that the crisis is the greatest that the industry has faced.

This is not just a UK problem, but an international one. I have with me a chart showing the number of people employed in newspaper publishing in America. In 1947, the figure stood at about 240,000 and it grew steadily until about 1992. It peaked at 460,000, but in the 15 years since then it has fallen to 260,000, and it is still plummeting. All of us know of local papers from around the country that have closed, but even where papers have not closed, their offices on the high street are being shut, the number of journalists is falling and the number of photographers is no longer the same. As a result, the quality of local coverage is diminishing.

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Mr. John Whittingdale (Maldon and East Chelmsford) (Con): As well as the consternation felt about the cut in the amount of lottery income going to heritage and at the absence of the draft Heritage Protection Bill, is the Minister aware of the consternation in the heritage sector at the original draft of planning policy statement 15, which the Royal Town Planning Institute called

    "a charter for people who want to knock buildings down"?

Can she confirm that she is talking to the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that the redraft offers historic buildings in this country the protection they need?

Margaret Hodge: I am indeed in constant conversations with my colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government about their review of such planning guidance. I hope shortly to bring forward a statement-a cross-Government statement-about the importance of heritage. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we should try to reintroduce the lost Bill as soon as we possibly can because it is an important Bill that would demonstrate our commitment to heritage. Until that comes about, however, I hope that my statement about the value of heritage and the work I do with colleagues across Government will reassure the heritage sector that we value its contributions.

10. Mr. John Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he next plans to review the effectiveness of the law on the export of nuclear waste; and if he will make a statement. [277928]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Current legislation, some put in place as recently as December, effectively controls the export of nuclear waste.