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Formula One

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the motor racing industry about the future of Formula One racing facilities; and if she will make a statement. [3851]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 13 July 2001]: My right hon. Friend the Minister for Sport has met representatives of the industry.

Digital Radio

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to encourage the introduction of commercial digital radio. [3745]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 13 July 2001]: The Broadcasting Act 1996 established a framework of legislation which has encouraged the take up of digital radio. There are currently two national radio digital multiplexes and 28 local digital radio multiplexes with more to come. These are already carrying 135 stations (including 50 broadcasting simulcast on an analogue licence). In London there are currently 17 stations broadcasting, with a further 11 more to come by the end of the year.

We expect to conduct a review of progress made in digital radio in 2003, by which time we shall have a much clearer idea of where digital radio development is placed.

I welcome industry plans to produce cheaper digital radio sets.

Voluntary Sports Clubs

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what measures her Department is taking to encourage the work of voluntary sports clubs; [4042]

Mr. Caborn: Since my appointment, the Department has received a number of representations concerning the current taxation treatment of voluntary sports clubs. Following the announcement from my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Budget of plans to consult on the best way for tax relief to help community amateur sports clubs, I am now working closely with Treasury colleagues and the sports organisations, including Sport England, The Central Council for Physical Recreation and The National Playing Fields Association, on the shape of a possible relief. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will publish a consultation paper later this year which will invite comments on the proposed relief and I have asked that copies be forwarded on to all those who have previously written to the Department on this issue.

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Millennium Dome

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what has been the total amount spent on the dome by the Millennium Commission and NMEC Ltd. since 31 December 2000; and what is the estimated total for the end of the current financial year. [3648]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 16 July 2001]: There has been no direct spend by the Millennium Commission on the Millennium Dome since 31 December 2000. Grant is made to the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) who have incurred a spend of around £7.5 million for the period of 1 January to 30 June 2001. This sum falls within the £628 million allocated by the Millennium Commission.

Responsibility for the dome passed to English Partnerships on 1 July 2001.

IT Contracts

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the information technology contracts in excess of £500,000 let by her Department or its predecessor since April 1991, giving in each case the original estimated cost and original estimated completion date, the actual cost and actual completion date and the names of the contractors involved and consultants retained by her Department. [3494]

Tessa Jowell: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's predecessor, the Department for National Heritage, was established in April 1992 so information can be provided only from that date. My Department has let only one information technology contract in excess of £500,000. This is the ongoing contract for outsourced IT support and services let to Sema, now SchlumbergerSema, in May 1993 which is worth about £1 million per annum.

Gambling Review Body

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will publish the report of the Gambling Review Body. [4980]

Tessa Jowell: I am today laying copies of the report before Parliament. It is being published as a Command Paper, and the full text will be available on my Department's website (

I am very grateful to Sir Alan Budd and his fellow members of the Review Body for their work. They have done a fine job. They were given a wide and challenging remit: to modernise the regulation of gambling in Great Britain, taking account of all relevant factors, including its social impact. Their report, based on extensive evidence and research, provides a thorough analysis of the issues and a coherent package of proposals. We are all in their debt.

All around the world legislators have grappled with the problem of how best to regulate gambling. There is no single solution which is right for all times and for all places. Gambling itself is continually evolving. Our present gambling laws were, for example, enacted before the internet was created and they make no provision for its use as a gambling medium. Regulation equally needs to take account of changing social circumstances and public expectations. There is no doubt that our current

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laws, as well as being too complex and out of date, fail to reflect the extent to which gambling has become an everyday part of the way in which millions of people choose to spend their leisure.

The Gambling Review Body has identified a number of proposals which would lift regulatory constraints which may no longer be justified. At the same time there are proposals which would provide additional safeguards which the Review Body sees as needed to achieve the overall policy aims of protecting children and the vulnerable, ensuring fairness to the punter and keeping crime out of gambling. The report accordingly recommends a new balance of regulation in the public interest. It is also clear from the report that we are looking at the scope for improving a system with many strengths: through its own and its regulators' efforts British gambling is among the world leaders.

We now plan to discuss with interested bodies the issues which implementation of the Review Body's recommendations would raise. We shall also welcome comments from members of the public and all sources: these should be sent to my Department by the end of October. I shall want to take these consultation and comments into account before reaching final decisions on the way ahead. I shall also want to consider carefully the potential impact of the Review Body's proposals on the National Lottery before deciding how to proceed.

In the meantime there is no reason to halt all work on changes which are consistent with the Review Body's conclusions and which can be taken forward without cutting across future legislation. We shall, for example, continue to work on plans to sell the Tote to racing and to end the horserace betting levy; and there are also regulatory reform proposals which are already subject to public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny. We need to consider them again in the light of the Review Body's work, but where progress can sensibly be made which will bring early benefits to the public and the industry alike, it should be made.



Departmental Contracts

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the contracts awarded to W. S. Atkins, Buro-Happold and Kvaerner by his Department and its predecessor, agencies and non-departmental public bodies from May 1999 to the latest date for which information is available. [3241]

Dr. Whitehead: Details of contracts awarded to W. S. Atkins, Buro-Happold, and Kvaerner by the former Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies from May 1999 to the current date are listed:

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