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National Lottery Grants Review

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the review of the National Lottery grants application process is due to be published. [137767]

Kate Hoey: The Quality, Efficiency and Standards Team (QUEST) published the first phase of its review of Lottery application processes on 3 August. The report focuses on applications for grants of up to £100,000 and includes recommendations for improving application and assessment procedures in order to ease the administrative burden for small organisations applying for grants. Copies of the report are available in the Library of the House. QUEST will shortly begin the second phase of its work, which will investigate the costs inherent in the application process for larger grants, both to applicants and Lottery distributors.

Athletics Stadium

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the value is of public funds (a) spent and (b) committed, to date, on the proposal to build an athletics stadium at Picketts Lock. [137838]

Mr. Chris Smith: No Exchequer funding has been committed to the development of the National Athletics Stadium at Picketts Lock. The English Sports Council have so far far made a grant of £240,000 from the Sports Lottery Fund towards initial feasibility studies. On 6 November, the English Sports Council agreed to provide a further grant of £1.3 million towards the costs of design, site investigation, and cost planning.

Wembley National Stadium Ltd.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the legal position in relation to the agreement between Wembley National Stadium Ltd. and Sport England concerning the return of Lottery funds to Sport England. [137840]

Mr. Chris Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 328W.

10 Nov 2000 : Column: 446W

CABINET OFFICE

Better Regulation Task Force

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recommendations the Better Regulation Task Force made in respect of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. [136448]

Mr. Stringer: The independent Better Regulation Task Force supported the overall aim of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to legislate to combat serious crime conducted on the internet. It was concerned that, like all other new Government regulation, it should meet the five principles of good regulation: transparency; accountability; consistency; proportionality; and targeting. The Bill was amended considerably during its passage and the Task Force's concerns were broadly met. The Task Force nevertheless hopes that the Home Office will review the effectiveness of the Act in time, taking account of its impact on UK e-businesses.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate she has made of the amount the Better Regulation Task Force has saved business; and if she will make a statement. [136449]

Mr. Stringer: The independent Better Regulation Task Force is an advisory body and can not itself directly reduce costs on business. It works by making recommendations, including to Government. To date, the majority have been accepted. Since its creation in 1997, the Task Force has influenced many changes in the regulatory environment. For example, all new regulation must be checked against the principles of good regulation developed by the Task Force.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement in respect of the administrative and running costs of the Better Regulations Task Force, including the autumn 2000 Task Force review. [136606]

Mr. Stringer: The administrative and running costs of the independent Better Regulation Task Force for the six months of the financial year 2000-01 to September 2000 have totalled £191,581. The printing costs of the Better Regulation Task Force's Annual Report 1999-2000, which was published in October 2000, were £6,815.