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Cabinet Joint Consultative Committee

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the oral statement by the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 5 April 2000, Official Report, columns 1021-29, concerning advice to Ministers, what impact the statement will have on the availability of information about the Cabinet Joint Consultative Committee, with particular reference to the dates of future meetings; the names of those invited to participate; and the topics to be discussed. [118930]

The Prime Minister: In the passage referred to, my right hon. Friend was speaking about factual and background information which has been used, or is intended to be used, to provide an informed background to decision-taking. In particular he clarified that further amendments would be made to clause 13 to ensure that there was a significant route for the release of such information.

The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) is a deliberative committee. It does not have a decision- making role within collective Cabinet responsibility.

The release of information relating to discussions of the JCC would be subject to the proposed exemption in Clause 34 2(b) (ii) of the Bill, if its disclosure would inhibit the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. It would then have to be considered, under clause 13 of the Bill, whether the public interest in disclosing the information outweighed the public interest in maintaining the exemption.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

World Athletics Championships

Mr. Faber: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if it remains his policy that a venue suitable for staging the World Athletics Championships would require a capacity of about 60,000. [114146]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 14 March 2000]: My right hon. Friend does not have such a policy. UK Athletics have confirmed their key aims as being a stadium of 45,000-50,000 seats with support facilities to stage the World Athletics Championships.

2 May 2000 : Column: 17W

Wembley Stadium

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he made of Brent Council's policy in respect of transport infrastructure investment associated with the planned redevelopment of Wembley Stadium at the time that bids were submitted for the new National Stadium project. [119113]

Kate Hoey: None; bids for the new National Stadium project were submitted and consideration of the bids was entirely a matter for Sport England.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his answer of 24 March 2000, Official Report, column 708W, on Wembley Stadium, when he expects to receive confirmation from Sport England that they are happy with the appointment process in relation to the contract to build Wembley National Stadium. [119158]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 14 April 2000]: Sport England will not be able to confirm that they are happy with the appointment of a contractor under the terms of the Lottery funding agreement until that appointment has been made. I understand that Wembley National Stadium Ltd. is unlikely to appoint the contractor until planning permission has been secured.

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the DETR about the desirability of new transport infrastructure projects in association with the proposed redevelopment of Wembley Stadium; [119120]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 17 April 2000]: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend have discussed Wembley issues with DETR colleagues as this is a matter under active consideration by the Wembley Task Force. Given that the new Wembley Stadium is playing a major role in the regeneration of the Wembley Area, the Task Force has assessed the infrastructure requirements needed to support a world-class stadium, in a world-class environment, and is holding discussions with interested parties, including the London borough of Brent and Wembley National Stadium Ltd. to find ways in which a package can be put together to secure a successful development. These discussions are continuing.

No recommendations, views or proposals have been submitted by the Task Force to the Department on these infrastructure issues to date.

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library a copy of the Brent Council planning brief referred to in paragraph 13.4 of the Memorandum of Evidence provided by Sport England to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in respect of the Committee's Fourth report of Session 1999-2000 (HC 164). [119117]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 17 April 2000]: I am placing a copy of the London Borough of Brent's planning brief in the House Library, today. Copies are also available at www.brent.gov.uk/wembley.

2 May 2000 : Column: 18W

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what advice he has received from Sport England on whether transport infrastructure investments were required as a condition of their grant of £120 million towards the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium. [119118]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 17 April 2000]: Sport England advises that transport infrastructure requirements were not required as a condition of the Lottery grant to Wembley National Stadium Ltd.

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when (a) he and (b) officials in his Department were informed of the likely demand by Brent Council for a section 106 agreement for a £30 million transport infrastructure investment in connection with the granting of planning consent for the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium. [119119]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 17 April 2000]: The London Borough of Brent has consistently and publicly made clear its concern on transport and other infrastructure issues relating to the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium. DCMS Ministers and officials have been aware that the London Borough of Brent is seeking up to £30 million in a section 106 agreement for more than two years.

Athletics Stadium

Mr. Faber: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his answer of 24 March 2000, Official Report, column 707W, on what date copies of the brief submitted by UK Athletics were placed in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [119042]

Kate Hoey [holding answer 14 April 2000]: I apologise to the hon. Member that owing to an oversight within my Department copies of UK Athletics brief were placed in the Library only on 7 April.

National Lottery

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions he has had with the National Lottery concerning proposals for a National Endowment Fund for Sport and the Arts using reserve lottery funds; [119664]

Kate Hoey: I met Denis Vaughan, Executive Director of the Lottery Promotion Company, on 7 October 1999, to discuss the Lottery Promotion Company's proposals for the use of Lottery funds, including the establishment of a National Endowment for Sport and the Arts. Neither I, nor the Secretary of State, have discussed these proposals with the National Lottery Commission, the National Lottery distributing bodies, or the National Lottery operator, Camelot Group plc.

2 May 2000 : Column: 19W

Tourism

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with the English Tourism Council over its (a) inspection charge fees to small hotels and (b) charges made for inclusion in handbooks, directories and other advertising materials. [119719]

Janet Anderson: I have not discussed this directly, but I am aware the ETC have reviewed their pricing structure to ensure it strikes a fair balance between charges for large and small hotels. The inspection fees and other charges the ETC levies against small hotels for joining their accommodation grading scheme are operational matters for the ETC, which aims to break even and not make a profit. The hotelier receives back some of the fee when the inspector pays for an overnight stay.

The ETC's contractors and the other inspecting bodies (the AA and the RAC) now all inspect properties in England to precisely the same standards but each operates an independent inspection operation with its own scale of fees and package of benefits. It is for customers to choose the most appropriate service provider.


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