Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by The Central Council of Physical Recreation (OS 21)

  The Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) is the body that represents Sport and Recreation as an Independent Voice of Sport in the United Kingdom. It works on behalf of 256 National Governing and Representative Bodies of Sport and Recreation, 150,000 voluntary sports clubs and millions of individuals who participate in sport and recreation.

  This submission is from the CCPR itself, as it is acknowledged that many of the organisations than come under the umbrella of the CCPR will be participating on their own behalf in the consultation process. A great deal of the work of the organisations in the CCPR remit is in the countryside and it is hoped that the "Urban Affairs Sub-Committee" will be looking at concerns other than merely in the urban area.

  1.  The main way in which the CCPR was able to participate in dialogue with the Ordnance Survey (OS) was through the joint CCPR/OS committee. This committee has been disbanded and has been replaced by more focussed consultation.

  However the committee members (who represent a large cross section of OS product consumers) have decided that the committee will continue to function under the leadership and sponsorship of the CCPR.

  2.  When the joint committee was functioning as one of the user committees it set up a sub-committee to investigate the questions of the availability of OS products to the general public and the implications of the copyright restrictions on the free flow of information to the public in general and those voluntary bodies which had assisted the OS in the research into mapping and the active encouragement of outdoor sports and recreational activities as an incentive to healthy living.

  3.  The sub-committee found that in many instances the copyright regulations were interfering with the free flow of mapping information whilst not greatly providing revenue which could be used to improve the service to the public. The main cause for concern was the interpretation that was being read into the Local Government Management Board's report entitled "Access to Public Rights of Way Information in England and Wales".

  It was found that this was a bar to the free flow of information on these matters that should have been freely available.

  4.  The recent steep increases in the price of printed mapping is deprecated, as the service provided by the OS is surely a necessity for tourism, education and to assist in providing for the health of the nation through outdoor exercise.

  5.  It would perhaps be valid for the sub-committee to look into the possibility of the OS introducing some scheme by which voluntary, charity bodies could obtain significantly cheaper access to OS products that had a direct input into these aims.

  6.  The products that we consider the Sub-Committee should consider are the Explorer, the Landranger, the Outdoor Leisure and the Mountainmaster Maps. These are an absolute necessity for activities such as

    —  The planning and detailed preparation for Orienteering.

    —  Duke of Edinburgh Award activities, canoeing, sailing.

    —  Recreational walking and walking for health.

    —  For organisations such as the Ramblers Association in checking the accuracy of mapping and claiming new footpaths and bridle ways.

    —  Dealing with obstructions to such rights.

    —  The monitoring of planning applications and legal event applications.

    —  The implications of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2001 in relation to the provision of reasonably priced mapping cannot be too strongly pressed.

  7.  There are further reasons for the necessity of mapping to be provided by Local Authorities in the preparation necessary for Public Inquiries, other legal proceedings, committee hearings, Highway Scheme inquiries and evidence to bodies such as the Public Rights of Way Committee. The request for maps from such authorities is often thwarted by a reference to copyright. This difficulty has partly been resolved by the actions of the OS but difficulties still occur.

  8.  There appears to be an argument that voluntary bodies should not have to pay royalties for maps copied or used purely for the charitable functions of such bodies without any profit motive.

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