|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which regions of the United Kingdom have received Government funding for the tourism industry in each of the last two years. 
Janet Anderson: All the regions of England have received Government funding for the tourism industry in each of the last two years. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides funding, through the English Tourism Council, for the Regional Tourist Boards. Other sources of funding for tourism-related projects received by the regions include the National Lottery, the Single Regeneration Budget and the Assisted Areas Programme.
Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much Government funding Merseyside metropolitan borough councils received for tourism projects in connection with swimming recreation for (a) 1998, (b) 1999 and (c) the current year to date. 
Janet Anderson: We have contacted a number of organisations to request the information required, and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available, placing copies of my letter in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Alan Howarth: Approval for the demolition of the twin towers was given by the London Borough of Brent following an application for planning and listed building consent made by Wembley National Stadium Ltd. As the stadium has Grade II listed status, the application for listed building consent was accompanied by a full Heritage Study which considered the question of whether the stadium was capable of adaptation and the feasibility of retaining the twin towers. The new stadium will extend to the north of the existing stadium, and will be considerably higher than the towers if they were reconstructed and incorporated in the new design. In view of these considerations, and having taken into account the merits of the proposed replacement stadium, and wider community benefits, English Heritage, who are a statutory consultee for such applications, did not raise any objections to the application for listed building consent.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of works of art and other items from national collections that have been hired out to (a) public and (b) private sector organisations in the last year; and if he will make a statement. 
7 Nov 2000 : Column: 146W
Mr. Alan Howarth: DCMS holds precise figures for the number of loan venues, both home and overseas, to which its sponsored national museums and galleries loaned items in 1999-2000. However, the actual number of loan items involved is not held centrally. We have therefore contacted those institutions to request the information for a reply to my hon. Friend. I will write to him as soon as this is available, placing copies of my letter in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to alter the arrangements for appointing (a) the chairman and (b) the trustees of national museums; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 6 November 2000]: I have issued a consultation paper proposing a number of alternative options for changes to the arrangements for appointing the trustees and chairman of national museums and galleries and I am considering the various responses. I have made clear in the consultation paper that I wish to maintain a flexible, consultative approach but one which provides an effective basis for deciding which changes are appropriate.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with chairmen, trustees and directors of national museums regarding an extension of Prime Ministerial patronage in the field of senior museum appointments; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 6 November 2000]: I have been consulting the chairmen, trustees and directors of national museums on a number of alternative proposals to improve the process of public appointments to national museums and galleries. I am carefully considering the responses I have received.
Janet Anderson: The Government do not provide funding for advertising by tourism businesses of any size. This is a commercial matter for the businesses themselves. However, all tourism businesses benefit from the activities of the British Tourist Authority, whose funding in 2000-01 to promote Britain overseas has been increased to £37 million. They may also benefit from the over £5 million made available via the English Tourism Council to support tourism in the regions. Small tourism businesses, like all businesses, also have access to the full range of business support services available through the Small Business Service.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the potential cost to operators of (a) small hotels, (b) guesthouses and (c) bed and breakfast businesses of the cost of complying with Phase III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; and if he will make a statement. 
7 Nov 2000 : Column: 147W
Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 will provide disabled people with better service and facilities and it will also boost one of tourism's under-developed markets. It is not possible to estimate the cost of complying with the requirements of the DDA by type of property because each case will be different. I recognise the concern among small hoteliers about the potential costs of complying with the Act, but they are only required to make "reasonable" changes to their properties, which means the costs will be reasonable. There is a need for sector specific guidance on the sort of adjustments which are likely to be necessary and my Department is discussing with the English Tourism Council and other bodies how to meet this need.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the compliance with public service broadcasting requirements of coverage on television of the 11th Paralympiad. 
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the operation of the star system for hotel accommodation; and what plans he has to make proposals for its improvement. 
Janet Anderson: The new quality assurance system for hotels and guest accommodation was introduced in September 1999 by the English Tourism Council (ETC), the AA and RAC. Hotels that meet the quality standard are awarded from one to five stars, based upon a mixture of quality and facilities. (Guest accommodation is rated on quality alone and is awarded diamonds).
Take up of the scheme has been steadily increasing since its introduction and we want as many providers as possible to join. We believe that this will help drive up quality standards in accordance with the aims of "Tomorrow's Tourism" and make selection of accommodation easier and more reliable for visitors. The ETC are responsible for encouraging and measuring take up of the scheme and advising Ministers upon its effectiveness. There are no current plans to change the scheme, but we will continue to monitor its progress with care.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the research recently published by the National Museum Directors' Conference on works in British galleries and museums which may have been looted by the Nazis; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Howarth: I welcome the publication by The National Museum Director's Conference on 26 October of the results of the continuing research into the provenance, between 1933 and 1945, of works in their collections. In addition, the plans for similar research into four of the important non-national collections in England were announced. This research demonstrates the sector's
7 Nov 2000 : Column: 148W
commitment to play its part in addressing the issue of spoliated art. An unknown provenance between the dates mentioned does not, in itself, indicate that the item was misappropriated and, to date, only one claim has been made.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|