Kevan Jones: I appreciate my hon. Friend's point about local licensing boards making a meal out of an Oxo cube, but if people are turned down for a licence, under the Bill, do they not have the right of appeal to the magistrates court?
Kevan Jones: If my hon. Friend was playing the trumpet, the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Lembit Öpik) was playing his harmonica and, lo and behold, the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Turner) was playing another instrument, would they not need a licence now?
Kevan Jones: No, he would not.
Kevan Jones: I thought that the Liberal Democrats were the party of local government. Each local authority will have to produce a locally determined licensing policy, which will be able to reflect local circumstances, such as the prevalence of folk music and other interests.
Kevan Jones: Do the hon. Gentleman and others recognise that a pub or other venue has to apply for an alcohol licence and a separate entertainment licence, sometimes at great cost? That is putting off a lot of venues from applying. Surely the number of premises that consider putting on live entertainment will increase when there is one licence.
Kevan Jones: From my experience as chair of public health in Newcastle, I know that the disincentive is not the bureaucracy that the hon. Gentleman talks about, but the current law and the expense of applying for the public entertainment licence in the first place—sometimes people have to employ solicitors and go to a hearing—and, secondly, the cost of the licence. Under the Bill, that will be...
Kevan Jones: rose—
Kevan Jones: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I doubt whether that will occur in most cases involving a small number of performers, but is he really suggesting to the House that he is against expense being incurred if there is a serious public safety risk that warrants an extra fire door being put in?
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are being taken to assess the extent to which NICE's recommendations on implantable cardioverter defibrillators have been implemented. [R]
Kevan Jones: Some 45,000 personnel were deployed in the recent action in Iraq. The hon. Gentleman has mentioned two cases. Is he in danger of exaggerating the extent of the problem? With any type of vaccination, whether for travel to the Gulf or elsewhere, there is a small risk of side effects.
Kevan Jones: One of the major problems facing manufacturing in the north-east is the high value of the pound against the euro. This is a particular problem in the north-east because 78 per cent. of the region's exports are to the eurozone. Does my right hon. Friend agree that one advantage of joining the eurozone would be to give a boost to manufacturing in regions such as the north-east?
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to NHS trusts on prioritising young people for treatment when they have been diagnosed with cardiac abnormalities. [R]
Kevan Jones: Would my hon. Friend agree not only that the process causes alienation, but that it will cost regions such as the north-east money? I refer to a question that I asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport about predictions that an initial 4 per cent. of lottery funding, possibly rising to 11 per cent., will be diverted to the Olympic bid. That is bound to...
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what form of annual appraisal is undertaken of the performance of the regional commissioners of the NHS Appointments Commission; (2) when the term of office of the Northern and Yorkshire commissioner of the NHS Appointments Commission is due for renewal; and what the process is for consulting on reappointment.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the effects of a successful London Olympic bid on the levels of sports lottery funding available for projects in the North East.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the need for an Olympic size swimming pool for the North East of England; and if she will make a statement.
Kevan Jones: Does my right hon. Friend agree that excellent regional universities—for example, the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and Sunderland—are anxious that they will be at a disadvantage if an élite group of universities, mainly in the south-east of England, are allowed to raise their fees to figures upwards of £10,000 a year, as today's newspapers reported the Minister...
Kevan Jones: Does my hon. Friend agree that there are tremendous possibilities for regions such as the north-east, which relies on exports, and whose 76 per cent. of exports are to the European Community? Expansion to new markets in eastern Europe will give a big boost to such regional economies.
Kevan Jones: Will the hon. Gentleman draw to the Electoral Commission's attention the experiment in Chester-le-Street and Derwentside in the recent local elections? Turnout increased by 20 per cent. through a postal ballot. An experiment in electronic counting meant that the count was covered in less than half an hour. Will the hon. Gentleman ensure that the Electoral Commission evaluates the experiments?
Kevan Jones: May I give an example? In some seaside towns—there is certainly one example in the north-east—on bank holidays, there are congregations of large numbers of people in areas with a great concentration of bars. The sales of alcohol and the large numbers of people create a lot of disorder locally. The threat of not being able to control those crowds or stop the sale of alcohol in...