Matthew Taylor: I very much doubt whether we are going to disagree on anything tonightthat is the advantage of making an announcement before the debate. I hope the Minister agrees that, since the end of the millennium fund, the key thing that has fallen through the net is the renewal of the existing infrastructure. The press release appears to suggest that that is intended to be a major component, but I would be grateful if the Minister confirmed that he expects that to be the case
Mr. Caborn: I do, because the criterion is civil renewal. There has been substantial investment in village and community halls. We need to build on that, and make sure that they maintain existing services. Moreover, the need for library and communication services needs to be reconsidered. Hopefully, the civil renewal criterion will enable us to ensure that village and community halls are kept in good repair and can offer further services. With the changing landscape in rural areas, we need to keep on top of that. It is important that there are not information haves and have-nots, and community halls can play a significant role in that. I do not disagree with the hon. Gentleman's remarks, and I will make sure that his points are conveyed to the Big Lottery Fund.
The National Lottery Bill, which is currently in Committee, will bring into being the Big Lottery Fund. Through that Bill we will establish a one-stop shop. I recognise the frustration experienced by many applicants, especially small organisations. We are trying to get the Big Lottery Fund to take responsibility for a clearing house or one-stop shop for all lottery funding. Such an arrangement will help smaller organisations in particular to access lottery money.
The lottery will continue to evolve in a number of ways. It will be able to give advice to organisations and offer loan facilities as well. That combination will assist smaller organisations to apply for lottery funding. The Government do not disagree with the principle of additionality, but sometimes we take it to the point where it militates against the involvement of other funding streams. When organisations such as the regional development agencies and local authorities are involved, we must be creative, while acknowledging that the lottery exists to provide additional funding. The additionality principle is important. I hope that what we are doing through the National Lottery Bill will allow more joined-up working of funding streams, remove frustration, add one-stop shops and achieve added value for the money going into schemes.
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That is what we will be doing over the next few weeks. If the hon. Gentleman will convey that to his Front-Bench colleagues, particularly the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster), and encourage them to support the changes proposed by the Government, we will get through the Committee sooner than we would otherwise
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do. We will then be able to ensure that the Big Lottery Fund is delivering what the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor) wants, in time for his next Adjournment debate.