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Sport England

Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many applications for funding via Sport England in (a) rural areas and (b) urban areas have been (i) received and (ii) approved in each year since Sport England was set up. [35822]

Mr. Caborn: The information requested is as follows.

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YearApplications receivedApplications approvedApplications receivedApplications approved

(38) Applications in respect of rural local authorities as defined by the Countryside Agency for the purposes of its State of the Countryside Report.

Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the minimum usage levels are for sports schemes that will qualify for lottery funding via Sport England; [35824]

Mr. Caborn: Sport England does not apply any minimum usage levels in considering whether to award lottery funding to sports projects. Each application is judged on the merits of the particular case, taking into account, among other things, value for money and the need for the facility in question whether it is in a rural or urban area.

National Youth Music Theatre

Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has made to the Department of Education and Skills over funding for the National Youth Music Theatre. [35823]

Dr. Howells: This Department has been in close contact with the Department for Education and Skills over the issue of funding for all youth music organisations, including the National Youth Music Theatre. National Youth Music Theatre has already received £35,000 from an initial central fund for the national youth music organisations. Together with the Department for Education and Skills, the Arts Council of England and the National Foundation for Youth Music we are looking at how best to secure the future of these organisations.

Lottery Awards

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the average lottery award has been in the (a) Cleethorpes and (b) Grimsby constituencies; and what the UK average is. [35316]

Mr. Caborn: According to the information supplied to us by the distributing bodies for the National Lottery awards database, the average lottery award made to date in the Cleethorpes and Grimsby constituencies are £28,092 and £44,163 respectively. The median average lottery award for UK constituencies is £54,861, and the average award to UK lottery projects, found by dividing the total amount awarded by the total number of projects, is £98,509.

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Fair Trade

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer of 16 November 2001, Official Report, column 952W, on fair trade goods, if she will review and increase the amount of fairly traded goods purchased by her Department during Fair Trade Fortnight. [35918]

Dr. Howells: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is a small policy Department with a purchasing profile that would make little impact on suppliers from any source over a very limited period. There is a commitment to fairly traded goods which will be pursued throughout the year and, where considerations of propriety and value for money allow, those goods will be given preference.

Ministerial Boxes

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by what means ministerial boxes are conveyed from private offices in her Department to (a) herself and (b) her fellow Ministers; how frequently and at what expense private courier firms are employed for such a task; and which courier firms have been used for such duties. [36270]

Mr. Caborn: Wherever possible, ministerial boxes are conveyed between Ministers' homes and their private offices by means of the secure services provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. Where this would be uneconomic, ministerial boxes are sent using the secure service provided by Consignia.

Sport Funding

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has received on the Government's statement on spending £2 billion on sport. [36086]

Mr. Caborn: The hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo) asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 7 February for a list of the sources of this funding. There have been no other representations.

Ministerial Visit (Belfast)

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to visit Belfast; and if her Department will support the celebrations of British maritime history on the anniversary of the Titanic. [36956]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State visited Belfast in October 2001 but she currently has no plans for a future visit. While we recognise the illustrious contribution that our maritime history has made to the United Kingdom, the holding of such celebrations in Northern Ireland is a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

National Stadium

Ann Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the FA and Wembley National Stadium about the financing of the National Stadium project; and if she will make a statement. [37487]

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Tessa Jowell: I set out the Government's position on the Football Association's National Stadium project to the House on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 291. My officials are working closely with the Football Association, Wembley National Stadium Ltd., Sport England and other interested parties to monitor progress in addressing the issues I set out to the House. Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of WNSL has already written to me setting out how WNSL are addressing these issues. In that letter Sir Rodney requested a letter for his bankers setting out the Government's commitment to the project and the conditions which attach to that commitment. This I was happy to provide. I am arranging for copies of this exchange of correspondence to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on proposals to create a tunnel at Stonehenge. [35560]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 12 February 2002]: I have been asked to reply.

The proposals to build a 2 km cut and cover tunnel to take the A303 past Stonehenge were announced in July 1998 in "A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England" as an "exceptional environmental scheme". They are the central component of a wider set of proposals, set out in the Stonehenge master plan to restore the world heritage site and the scheduled ancient monument to its pre-historic setting.

The Highways Agency is currently seeking feasibility proposals and costs from the construction industry which include two options for the tunnel: a 2 km cut and cover tunnel and a 2 km shallow bored tunnel. The proposals will be scrutinised carefully to ensure that they meet the agreed requirements for this archaeologically important site, offer value for money and deliver the best balance of benefits.

The aim is to begin the necessary statutory procedures later this year. Subject to the outcome, construction could start in 2005.


Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance she is planning to give to local authorities to make memorials in cemeteries safe. [31270]

Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 29 January 2002]: I have been asked to reply.

The Local Government Finance Settlement 2002–03 provides funds for local authorities' responsibilities in this area. Provision for funding on environmental, protective and cultural services has increased, on a like for like basis, by £360 million or 4.2 per cent. Local authorities are, of course, responsible for decisions on their own spending priorities, bearing in mind their statutory responsibilities and the wishes of their electorate.

We are looking, with local government, at pressures on local authorities in the context of Spending Review 2002, and are aware that the Local Government Association (LGA) have highlighted the additional cost of making

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memorials in cemeteries safe. We will be looking closely at the case made by the LGA, having regard to the Government's position on funding the renovation of unsafe memorials, as set out in our response to the Environment Select Committee report on cemeteries (Reference CM Paper 5281).

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