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Written Question
Platinum Jubilee 2022: Northern Ireland
29 Sep 2021

Questioner: Carla Lockhart (DUP - Upper Bann)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans his Department has to celebrate the Queens' Platinum Jubilee in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Conor Burns

My officials are working closely with officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who are the lead Government department for Jubilee celebrations, in support of Buckingham Palace. You may be aware that a number of UK-wide projects are already in development such as the lighting of Jubilee Beacons. The public are also being encouraged to participate in Big Jubilee Lunches, in order to bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of communities.


Written Question
Gambling
15 Sep 2021

Questioner: Rachael Maskell (LAB - York Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of people who have a problematic relationship with gambling that receive support to tackle that matter.

Answered by John Whittingdale

Treatment and support for problem gambling is offered by a number of different treatment providers, including NHS England and third sector organisations such as the independent charity GambleAware. In its annual GB Treatment and Support survey for 2020, the independent charity GambleAware found that more than six in ten (63%) problem gamblers surveyed said they had used some form of treatment, advice or support in the past 12 months, compared to just over half (54%) in November 2019. The survey also found year-on-year increases in reported usage of treatment services (from 43% to 53%) and support and advice (from 39% to 48%) among problem gamblers.

While the government does not hold information regarding the numbers seeking help and/or support in the city of York, we remain committed to preventing gambling-related harm and ensuring those experiencing it are able to access the right treatment and support whenever and wherever they need it. The NHS Long-Term Plan, published in July 2019, announced the creation of up to 15 specialist problem gambling clinics by 2023/24, with up to £15 million of funding over the same period. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the NHS to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support.

While there is no specialist NHS gambling clinic based in York, individuals are able to access the Northern Gambling Service, based in Leeds with satellite clinics in Manchester and Sunderland, as well as national treatment services commissioned by GambleAware.


Written Question
Gambling: York
15 Sep 2021

Questioner: Rachael Maskell (LAB - York Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2021 to Question 10501 on Gambling: York, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who have a problem with gambling in the city of York; and what steps he is taking to help tackle problem gambling in that city.

Answered by John Whittingdale

Treatment and support for problem gambling is offered by a number of different treatment providers, including NHS England and third sector organisations such as the independent charity GambleAware. In its annual GB Treatment and Support survey for 2020, the independent charity GambleAware found that more than six in ten (63%) problem gamblers surveyed said they had used some form of treatment, advice or support in the past 12 months, compared to just over half (54%) in November 2019. The survey also found year-on-year increases in reported usage of treatment services (from 43% to 53%) and support and advice (from 39% to 48%) among problem gamblers.

While the government does not hold information regarding the numbers seeking help and/or support in the city of York, we remain committed to preventing gambling-related harm and ensuring those experiencing it are able to access the right treatment and support whenever and wherever they need it. The NHS Long-Term Plan, published in July 2019, announced the creation of up to 15 specialist problem gambling clinics by 2023/24, with up to £15 million of funding over the same period. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the NHS to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support.

While there is no specialist NHS gambling clinic based in York, individuals are able to access the Northern Gambling Service, based in Leeds with satellite clinics in Manchester and Sunderland, as well as national treatment services commissioned by GambleAware.


Written Question
Wrecks
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how his Department enforces the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 in foreign and international waters.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The powers conferred by the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 relate to wreck sites located in UK territorial waters. They do not extend to those located in the territorial waters of other nations or in international waters.

Currently, 54 wreck sites located in UK territorial waters adjacent to England, and 1 wreck site located in UK territorial waters adjacent to Northern Ireland, are protected under the terms of section 1 of the 1973 Act (‘protection of sites of historic wrecks’).

Responsibility for the operation of section 1 of the 1973 Act in Scotland and Wales is a devolved matter. The number of wreck sites currently protected under the terms of section 1 of the 1973 Act in UK territorial waters adjacent to Scotland and Wales is understood to be 0 and 6, respectively.


Written Question
Wrecks
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many maritime wrecks in overseas waters of (a) historic, (b) archaeological and (c) artistic importance have been designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The powers conferred by the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 relate to wreck sites located in UK territorial waters. They do not extend to those located in the territorial waters of other nations or in international waters.

Currently, 54 wreck sites located in UK territorial waters adjacent to England, and 1 wreck site located in UK territorial waters adjacent to Northern Ireland, are protected under the terms of section 1 of the 1973 Act (‘protection of sites of historic wrecks’).

Responsibility for the operation of section 1 of the 1973 Act in Scotland and Wales is a devolved matter. The number of wreck sites currently protected under the terms of section 1 of the 1973 Act in UK territorial waters adjacent to Scotland and Wales is understood to be 0 and 6, respectively.


Written Question
Wrecks
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many wrecks in UK territorial waters have been designated as of (a) historical, (b) archaeological and (c) artistic importance under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

The powers conferred by the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 relate to wreck sites located in UK territorial waters. They do not extend to those located in the territorial waters of other nations or in international waters.

Currently, 54 wreck sites located in UK territorial waters adjacent to England, and 1 wreck site located in UK territorial waters adjacent to Northern Ireland, are protected under the terms of section 1 of the 1973 Act (‘protection of sites of historic wrecks’).

Responsibility for the operation of section 1 of the 1973 Act in Scotland and Wales is a devolved matter. The number of wreck sites currently protected under the terms of section 1 of the 1973 Act in UK territorial waters adjacent to Scotland and Wales is understood to be 0 and 6, respectively.


Written Question
Harassment and Incitement: Social Media
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues and social media platforms on tackling sectarian abuse and incitement online.

Answered by Robin Walker

Online abuse is an issue that affects all parts of the United Kingdom and it is important that we work together to keep people safe from such abuse.

In May, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published its draft Online Safety Bill. The Northern Ireland Office, as well as the Northern Ireland Department of Justice, who have lead responsibility in Northern Ireland for tackling sectarian abuse and incitement online, have been engaged in this work.


Written Question
Terrorism: Social Media
21 Jul 2021

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (LAB - Slough)

Question

What discussions he has held with cabinet colleagues and social media platforms on tackling sectarian abuse and incitement online.

Answered by Robin Walker

Online abuse is an issue that affects all four nations of the United Kingdom and it is important that we work together to keep people safe from such abuse.

In May, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published its draft Online Safety Bill. The Northern Ireland Department of Justice, who have lead responsibility in Northern Ireland for tackling sectarian abuse and incitement online, has been engaged in this work.


Written Question
Terrorism: Social Media
21 Jul 2021

Questioner: Geraint Davies (LAB - Swansea West)

Question

What recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) representatives of social media platforms on tackling sectarian abuse and incitement online.

Answered by Robin Walker

Online abuse is an issue that affects all four nations of the United Kingdom and it is important that we work together to keep people safe from such abuse.

In May, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published its draft Online Safety Bill. The Northern Ireland Department of Justice, who have lead responsibility in Northern Ireland for tackling sectarian abuse and incitement online, has been engaged in this work.


Written Question
Gaming Machines: Northern Ireland
5 Jul 2021

Questioner: Carolyn Harris (LAB - Swansea East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with his Northern Irish counterpart on the operation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Northern Ireland following the reduction in the maximum stake on FOBTs in Great Britain to £2 in 2019.

Answered by John Whittingdale

Gambling in Northern Ireland is a devolved issue regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985. I have not discussed the operation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals following the 2019 stake cut with my Northern Irish counterpart.


Written Question
Northern Ireland: Devolution
28 Jun 2021

Questioner: Lord Empey (UUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate for language and cultural matters in Northern Ireland which are currently devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The Government announced on 21 June in a Written Ministerial Statement (HLWS100) that should the Northern Ireland Executive not have progressed the legislation for the identity, language and culture package in the New Decade, New Approach agreement by the end of September, the UK Government will take the legislation through the UK Parliament in October 2021.

It is the Government’s preference that the Executive deliver its commitment on this carefully balanced package of measures, which was agreed to by the parties and helped to end the three-year political impasse in Northern Ireland.


Written Question
BBC: Royal Charters
17 Jun 2021

Questioner: Barry Sheerman (LAB - Huddersfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what preparatory steps he is taking in advance of the mid-term review of the Royal Charter for the continuance of the BBC; what timeline has been set out for those preparations over the next 12 months; and whether terms of reference have been drafted for that review which will be made publicly available.

Answered by John Whittingdale

The Royal Charter sets out that the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport must determine the scope and terms of reference (including the timing) of the review following consultation with the BBC, Ofcom, the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers and the Northern Ireland Ministers.

The Mid-Term Review must not be undertaken before 2022 but the government has been clear that preparatory work will begin immediately.


Written Question
BBC: Royal Charters
7 Jun 2021

Questioner: Barry Sheerman (LAB - Huddersfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the terms of reference for the mid-term review of the Royal Charter for the continuance of the BBC.

Answered by John Whittingdale

The Royal Charter sets out that the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport must determine the scope and terms of reference (including the timing) of the review following consultation with the BBC, Ofcom, the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers and the Northern Ireland Ministers.

The Mid-Term Review must not be undertaken before 2022 but the government has been clear that preparatory work will begin immediately.


Written Question
Broadband: Investment
28 May 2021

Questioner: Justin Madders (LAB - Ellesmere Port and Neston)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much has been invested in the delivery of super-fast broadband by constituency for each year since 2015.

Answered by Matt Warman

DCMS does not hold information on spend on superfast broadband at constituency level. Spend within superfast broadband project areas in England is summarised in the below table:

DCMS Investment in the delivery of Superfast Broadband from financial year 2015/16

Financial year = April to March

Negative amounts represent unused funding returned to DCMS.

County

2015/16 £m

2016/17 £m

2017/18 £m

2018/19 £m

2019/20 £m

2020/21 £m

South Yorkshire

0.85

2.37

1.21

3.21

1.98

-

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

0.70

0.08

2.38

1.31

1.13

0.62

Cheshire

1.35

2.29

0.08

-

-

-

Cornwall

-

2.29

0.84

1.40

1.43

-

Cumbria

8.06

4.21

1.60

-

-

-

Derbyshire

6.47

1.58

0.61

-

-

-

Dorset

5.66

-

1.30

0.16

1.84

-

Durham

4.38

1.40

1.28

-

0.33

-

East Riding of Yorkshire

2.17

1.92

2.39

1.60

-

-

East Sussex

5.18

2.00

1.00

-

-

-

Essex

3.01

2.67

2.43

1.20

0.96

0.54

Hampshire

2.22

2.64

4.51

2.05

-

-

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire

9.72

0.06

1.50

0.65

0.73

4.05

Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire

0.22

2.03

2.81

0.30

-

-

Isle of Wight

1.34

(0.93)

(0.01)

-

-

-

Kent

0.62

3.38

1.68

-

-

-

Lancashire

2.10

0.47

2.44

0.93

-

-

West Yorkshire

0.35

1.04

-

-

-

-

Leicestershire

0.42

0.94

3.61

-

-

-

Lincolnshire

5.94

0.68

-

-

-

-

Merseyside

2.70

-

-

-

-

-

Norfolk

2.70

-

3.41

4.40

-

-

North Lincolnshire

0.39

1.10

-

0.40

-

-

Northamptonshire

0.49

3.18

0.13

0.85

0.85

-

Northumberland

4.24

1.58

1.42

-

-

-

Nottinghamshire

3.49

2.63

-

-

0.55

0.17

North Yorkshire

-

-

-

1.14

6.18

-

Oxfordshire

4.12

-

-

-

-

-

Rutland

-

0.18

-

-

-

-

Black Country

2.19

0.71

0.09

-

-

(0.08)

Shropshire

3.01

0.10

2.89

2.03

4.25

0.73

Devon & Somerset

17.97

1.01

-

1.36

1.09

0.42

South Gloucestershire

0.05

0.46

-

0.11

1.58

0.46

Staffordshire

1.43

1.85

0.33

-

-

-

Greater Manchester

0.85

-

-

-

-

-

Suffolk

1.41

-

-

13.85

-

-

Swindon

0.19

0.54

-

0.20

-

-

Telford & Wrekin

0.13

0.28

1.75

-

-

(0.05)

Warwickshire

0.99

2.83

1.12

0.67

1.62

2.27

Berkshire

1.35

0.72

0.57

0.10

0.94

-

West Sussex

2.04

0.92

0.33

-

-

-

West Oxfordshire

-

-

-

-

1.60

-

West Yorkshire

-

1.44

2.08

2.71

0.06

-

Wiltshire

0.05

2.22

0.33

0.07

0.53

0.58

Worcestershire

1.39

2.39

-

0.02

0.87

0.61

Funding for delivery in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was provided through funding transfers to the devolved administration governments. The devolved administrations in turn manage deployment and funding delivery in each of the nations. In the period 2015/16 to 2020/21 the relevant funding transfers were: Scotland £50.99m; Wales £12.11m; Northern Ireland £11.45m.

The total DCMS investment in the Superfast Broadband Programme to date across the UK as whole is £737m from the start of the programme in 2011.


Written Question
Broadband: Standards
26 May 2021

Questioner: Jon Trickett (LAB - Hemsworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the average internet (a) download and upload speed and (b) monthly cost for households in each region of the UK in the latest period for which figures are available.

Answered by Matt Warman

Superfast broadband coverage is now available to over 97% of the UK, and Think Broadband reports that gigabit-capable networks now serve more than two in five (40%) premises in the UK.

Earlier this month, Ofcom published its UK Home Broadband Performance research which showed that the average download speed in the UK was 80.2 Mbps. This is an increase of 25% from 2019. The same report highlighted upload speeds of 21.6 Mbps which is equal to a 54% increase over the same period. Upload and download speeds will vary based on the type of connectivity installed within a property and the consumer’s individual retail package.

Ofcom published as part of its Connected Nations report in June 2020 the average speeds for each Nation. This showed the average download speeds as:

  • England: 74 Mbps

  • Wales: 58 Mbps

  • Scotland: 70Mbps

  • Northern Ireland: 64 Mbps

Regional data is produced on a quarterly basis by the website ThinkBroadband, and can be accessed at the following address: https://labs2.thinkbroadband.com/local/browse. Average speeds have been increasing each quarter as more premises have access to gigabit-capable broadband networks.

Different packages offered by suppliers may offer greater speeds, data allowances or other benefits, so it is difficult to assess the average cost. For example a number of broadband packages may include Pay TV subscriptions and other additional add-ons. However, to ensure decent broadband is affordable to everyone, a number of operators have brought in new nationwide affordable tariffs starting at £15 per month. For example, BT and Hyperoptic provide fibre social tariff products for households in receipt of Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits offering download speeds ranging from 40Mbps, up to 150Mbps.