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Space for Sports and the Arts Programme

8. Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): How the space for sports and the arts programme will benefit schools in the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency. [153868]

The Minister for Sport (Kate Hoey): Under the space for sport and the arts programme, Tower Hamlets local education authority has been allocated £1.25 million,

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which will fund four projects enabling seven primary schools to benefit, including six in my hon. Friend's constituency.

Ms King: I thank my hon. Friend for that extremely welcome reply. In 1997, not only was there no level playing field in British children's access to sports provision, but in my constituency, there was not a single playing field. I therefore found the outburst by the hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) quite strange.

Given the deprivation in Tower Hamlets, will my hon. Friend ensure that schools in my area will still be allowed to bid for new funding from, for example, the new opportunities fund, so that children in Tower Hamlets can have the same access to and space for sports and the arts as children in the rest of the country?

Kate Hoey: Yes, my hon. Friend is right. This money will make a great difference to many primary schools across the country, and Members of Parliament in whose constituencies the primary schools will be affected will receive a letter later today. I assure my hon. Friend that, in relation to the new opportunities fund money for school sports, all local education authorities will have something. Clearly, areas such as hers, with its great deprivation, will be looked at again, and I hope that she will equally pleased by the next announcement.

Mr. Crispin Blunt (Reigate): Should there not be more space for sports and the arts inside the national curriculum?

Kate Hoey: Of course, there is space for sport and the arts within the national curriculum. There is now an entitlement for every young person at school to have two hours of good quality physical education in school sport, either within or outside the curriculum.

As I have pointed out before, the school day is very different in different schools, in terms of what happens inside and outside the curriculum. We need what happens in the curriculum to provide for certain things to happen outside the curriculum as a spin-off. For example, a proper cricket or rugby match cannot be played within curriculum time. We have to ensure that all our youngsters have a proper introduction to physical education in school sport in the curriculum, which can then be used, magnified and enjoyed outside it. We are also keen to see the return of increased competition, which went out of our schools during the 18 years of the previous, Conservative Government.

Culture and Recreation Bill

10. Mr. Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham): What plans he has to bring forward amendments to the Culture and Recreation Bill on the recording of archaeological sites and historic monuments by local authorities. [153870]

The Minister for the Arts (Mr. Alan Howarth): Amendments on that matter have already been tabled. The Government have no present intention of tabling others.

Mr. Loughton: The Minister will be aware that many local authorities already keep records of archaeological

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monuments and historical sites, but there is great disparity between the detail and the extent of those records, which causes problems for researchers of archaeology and history and for those hoping to develop brownfield and greenfield sites. Will he give me an undertaking that he will support the amendment long since tabled by my noble Friend Lord Renfrew, which would deal with the matter and which has enormous support among everybody involved and interested in archaeology and heritage? Will the Minister stop prevaricating and give that widely supported measure his backing in the Lords so that we can get on with it?

Mr. Howarth: The hon. Gentleman is right in what he says about sites and monuments records, but rather than legislate on such records, we are attracted to going further, along the lines proposed in the heritage review, to provide for more wide-ranging historical environment record centres. May I suggest that he ask his hon. Friends on the Front Bench why they have sought to block all progress on the Culture and Recreation Bill? He should ask them also to explain how the costs of additional archaeological recording would be met in view of their intention to cut £16 billion of public expenditure.

Wembley Stadium

12. Mr. Howard Flight (Arundel and South Downs): If he will make a statement on the future of Wembley stadium. [153872]

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Mr. Chris Smith): The Government fully support the efforts of Sir Rodney Walker and his team to develop a world-class stadium for football and rugby league. I understand that the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Ltd. are currently holding discussions with their financial advisers on the process of loan syndication. The timing of that is entirely a matter for the FA and Wembley National Stadium Ltd.

Mr. Flight: Will the Secretary of State admit that there seems to be a little bit of a difference between his policy and that of the Minister for Sport with regard to Wembley? Those of us in the outside world consider that things are slightly chaotic. Is it intended that Pickett's Lock stadium should have the capability to host football and the Olympics or will it be used only for athletics? How do the Government plan to fund it? Those are important matters, but there is a perception that two policies are emanating from the Government.

Mr. Smith: The hon. Gentleman's question seems rather confused to me. There is no difference of opinion or of fact whatever between me and my hon. Friend the Minister for Sport. The issue is perfectly clear: Wembley will be a stadium primarily for football and rugby league. It is a Football Association project and we wish it all the very best in putting the funding together.

Pickett's Lock at the Lee Valley stadium in Enfield will be the stadium for the 2005 world athletics championships. The designs for it were announced a few days ago and they have been broadly welcomed. Sport England has already earmarked £60 million of its budget to assist in the construction, and a further £12 million is

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already earmarked for the project. I have every confidence that it will now proceed on time to deliver a wonderful setting for the world championships.

Mr. Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley): Is it not time to admit that Wembley is a complete shambles? Is it not time we threw the existing committee out? It is the fault of those who are on the committee that we have ended up with this absolute disaster. Is it not time the Government got hold of the project themselves and ensured that we have an opening date for the people's stadium?

Mr. Smith: I have to say to my hon. Friend that this is not a Government project; it is a Football Association project and it is up to the FA to take it forward. I was very pleased last December when the FA decided to take much closer control over the project and to put Sir Rodney Walker in as chairman of Wembley National Stadium Ltd. I have confidence that Sir Rodney and his team will deliver the goods.

Mr. Nick Hawkins (Surrey Heath): Does not the Secretary of State realise that the chairman of Sport England, Trevor Brooking, has had to write to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman), the Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, to make it clear that the Secretary of State's evidence, given only a week or so ago, was inaccurate? He told the Select Committee that £60 million had been pledged--when it cannot have been, as Mr. Brooking has made clear, because no application has yet been made. Is not that yet another example of our being unable to believe the Secretary of State on any issue whatever?

Mr. Smith: No. The evidence that I gave the Select Committee was crystal clear: it was that £60 million has been earmarked in Sport England's budget. That decision was taken by the Sport England lottery panel, and was confirmed in the minutes of the organisation's council meeting. That is what I told the Select Committee, and it remains the case.

School Sport

13. Mr. Keith Darvill (Upminster): If he will make a statement on his Department's support for sport in schools. [153873]

The Minister for Sport (Kate Hoey): My Department is working closely with the Department for Education and Employment on school sport initiatives, which will improve the quality of physical education and school sport. For example, £581 million of new opportunities fund money will be put into school sports facilities with an element of community use, and by 2004 we will invest £120 million in a network of 1,000 school sports co-ordinators.

Mr. Darvill: I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. I welcome the funding from the Government and the national lottery for the sports co-ordinator programme, which is useful in linking local schools and sports clubs. Other associations are also helping to fund the programme. Will my hon. Friend assure me that the

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programme will be extended as quickly as possible to benefit local areas such as Havering? I am sure that the scheme will prove popular.

Kate Hoey: We want to roll out this programme as quickly as possible. We want to get it right and working properly. The first 140 co-ordinators were appointed last September, and the second round was announced in February. Furthermore, £3.9 million has been allocated for 55 co-ordinators, 12 partnership managers and 249 primary link teachers. By 2004, 250 partnerships will be established with 1,000 secondary schools and up to 6,000 primary schools. The initiative will not involve just one sports co-ordinator for one school, but will establish partnerships, especially with sports clubs in the area, with local authority sports development officers and with the governing bodies of sport.

It has been terrifically useful that many of the governing bodies have got involved and have worked with us closely. They include the Lawn Tennis Association--a sport that my hon. Friend is interested in. We can make this happen if people work together and do not go off and do their own thing, as in the past. That is the beauty and importance of this new arrangement for school sports co-ordinators.

Mr. David Prior (North Norfolk): The Minister may remember that a few months ago I handed a petition to the Secretary of State on behalf of Fakenham high school and the community of Fakenham in support of a new sports complex. Will she give that project her full support?

Kate Hoey: The hon. Gentleman would not expect me to give my full support now, as I do not have the details to hand. I promise him that I shall look into the matter and write to him about that project.

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