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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 24 June 2002


Crime (Young People)

12. Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to contribute to the Government's strategy to reduce crime among young people. [61229]

Tessa Jowell: My Department is playing a full part in the Government's drive to tackle street crime, the vast majority of which is committed by young people. My officials are working closely with colleagues at the Youth Justice Board to develop a programme of summer activities in the 10 police areas targeted by the street crime initiative. This will provide at least 48,000 places, for children and young people aged nine to 17 at risk of offending, in quality sports and arts provision. We hope to be able to announce the exact locations of all of the individual schemes shortly.

22. Siobhain McDonagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what research she has commissioned on the role of sports and arts provision for young people in crime prevention. [61239]

Tessa Jowell: There is already an increasing body of evidence that engagement in sports and arts activity can have an important role in crime reduction. However, we are keen to build on this. The comprehensive programme of Splash Extra schemes being developed jointly by my Department and the Youth Justice Board in the street crime areas will provide an important opportunity in this respect. We will ensure that the impact of these new schemes on local crime levels is evaluated as fully as possible.

Arts, Sport and Tourism (Regional Input)

13. Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to strengthen the regional input into the development of arts, sport and tourism policies. [61230]

Mr. Caborn: Steps have already been taken to restructure the Arts Council to provide a more effective structure for delivering national priorities for the arts while enhancing regional input to arts policy. The Performance and Innovation Unit is currently undertaking a review of sports policy in England and is looking at the regional dimension building on the findings of the Quinquennial review of Sport England. While the preliminary findings of a review of tourism have identified the need for the Regional Development Agencies, and in the longer term Elected Regional Assemblies, to have a stronger role in tourism development.

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Performing Arts (Rural Areas)

14. Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to support the development of performing arts in rural areas. [61231]

Tessa Jowell: The Arts Council's new Regional Councils are working with Local Authorities to develop the infrastructure for the performing arts in rural areas, this is in addition to support through the New Audience Programme and Lottery funding. Rural areas including Norfolk and Cornwall have also been included in Creative Partnerships, a £40 million programme to bring creative professionals, teachers and young people together to work on sustained and innovative projects.

Gambling Review

15. Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress she has made in implementing the recommendations of the gambling review. [61232]

Mr. Caborn: Two recommendations have already been implemented; and we are on course to implement a further six before the Recess. The majority will, however, need primary legislation. We are now working with interested parties on the preparation of a Bill.

Media Regulation

16. Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent meetings she has had with the Press Complaints Commission to discuss media regulation. [61233]

Dr. Howells: While my right hon. Friend has not met the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) recently, the Department continues to monitor closely the effectiveness of the newspaper industry's self regulatory system, and my Ministerial colleagues and I have no hesitation in suggesting improvements to the PCC and the industry, as and when appropriate.

National Lottery Funding

17. Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure an equitable distribution of funds raised by the national lottery. [61234]

Mr. Caborn: The Government would like all parts of the country to experience the positive effects of Lottery funding. Reforms introduced under the National Lottery Act 1998 and targeted programmes introduced by Lottery distributors are designed to tackle inequity. We shall seek public views on what further steps might be taken in a consultation paper to be published shortly.

Sports Facilities

18. Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures her Department is taking to encourage greater co-operation between schools and community sports clubs, particularly in respect of the provision of facilities. [61235]

Tessa Jowell: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in partnership with the Department for Education and Skills, is keen to promote greater co-operation between schools and community clubs through a number

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of schemes and programmes that they, along with Sport England and other interested bodies, are running. These include the NOF PE and Sport Programme, where an ability to demonstrate community access to new facilities is one of the criteria that schools have to meet when bidding to LEAs for funding allocated to them by NOF, and the School Sport Co-ordinator Scheme, where Co-ordinators are responsible for—among other things—developing community outreach programmes.

Sport (Young People)

19. Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on Government plans to develop sport for young people of school age. [61236]

Mr. Caborn: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Education and Skills are working closely with the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit on a comprehensive plan to improve access to, and the quality of, PE, school sport and club links for 5 to 16-year-olds. Key activities associated with the plan will include; the expansion of the specialist sport college network and school sport co-ordinator programme; training for primary and special school PE co-ordinators and secondary school directors of sport; further incentives to encourage extra-curricular activities; and "Step into Sport", a leadership and volunteering programme.

International Sporting Bodies

21. Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action her Department is taking to increase UK representation on international sporting bodies. [61238]

Mr. Caborn: Part of UK Sport's responsibilities is to encourage and maintain UK influence within international sports federations. To support this objective they operate an international Representatives Grant Aid Programme. This programme offers financial support and advice to elect British postholders and, in addition, supports governing body delegates attending formal meetings of international sports bodies.

European Capital of Culture

23. Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has received on the nomination of Liverpool as European Capital of Culture. [61240]

Tessa Jowell: My Department has received a number of representations about the Liverpool bid.

Tourism (World Heritage Sites)

24. Jim Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will meet the English Tourist Council to discuss plans for the promotion of tourism along the south Dorset coast and other world heritage sites. [61241]

Dr. Howells: I am delighted that the Dorset and east Devon coast was awarded world heritage site status last December. I have no plans to meet the ETC specifically to discuss this issue. South West Tourism actively promotes south Dorset through its website, marketing campaigns

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and existing publications. The BTA also highlights the south Dorset coast in its Walking Britain brochure, and other BTA promotions.

British Museum

25. Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the director and trustees of the British museum regarding the financial support which she gives to the museum. [61242]

Tessa Jowell: My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for the Arts (Baroness Blackstone) has had several discussions with British Museum trustees and officials on a number of issues including the current financial position at the Museum. Grant-in-Aid to the British Museum has increased each year since 1997–98 and in 2002–03 will amount to £36.5 million. In addition, since April 2001 the Museum has been able to recover VAT relating to its expenditure on free access, worth at least £750,000 per annum. Funding is being further reviewed in the Government's 2002 Spending Review.

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