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Television: Licensing

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many reminder letters were sent by TV Licensing to (a) residential and (b) commercial addresses in (i) England and Wales and (ii) Rochford and Southend East constituency in the last 12 months; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of these which relate to premises at which there is no means of receiving television programmes. (291389)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: This is a matter for the BBC and my Department does not hold this information. According to figures provided by the BBC, however, the number of reminder letters sent to residential and commercial addresses in England and Wales between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009 is as follows:

Number

Residential addresses

6,133,098

Commercial addresses

140,785

The BBC is unable to provide figures relating to Rochford and Southend, East constituencies as the BBC does not collect information by constituency area.

The BBC does not estimate the proportion of premises which do not have the means of receiving TV programmes. Instead, the BBC relies on individuals informing them that they do not require a licence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners resident in Bolton received a free television licence on the grounds that they are over the age of 75 years. (291642)

I understand from the BBC that as at March 2009, the number of people in receipt of a free over 75 licence, where Bolton was listed as the postal town in which they lived, was 14,876. Please note that this does not cover all other towns/villages in the Bolton postcode area, but only those addresses where Bolton is listed as the postal town. It is also important to note that the number of free over 75 licences will not correspond directly to the number of over 75 residents in Bolton, as only one licence is needed per household.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the report Digital Britain: Attitudes to supporting non-BBC regional news from the TV licence fee cost to produce; and how much was paid to TNS-BMRB to carry out the polling in the report. (292152)

The report Digital Britain: Attitudes to supporting non-BBC regional news from the TV licence fee was produced by TNS-BMRB to reflect and analyse the results of the polling contained within the report—this was one single piece of work for which they received one single commissioning and one single payment.

Following competitive tendering, TNS-BMRB were awarded the contract worth £61,340 excluding VAT, which included reporting.