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Tuesday 4 March 2008
Culture, Media and Sport
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions (a) he, (b) his Department and (c) his predecessor have had with the Minister for the South West on funding for the Northcott Theatre in Exeter. 
[Official Report, 7 February 2008, Vol. 471, c. 1305W.]
Letter from Margaret Hodge:
An error has been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for East Devon (Mr. Swire) on 7 February 2008. The correct answer should have been:
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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no discussions on this matter with the Minister for the South West.
The Department has received no representations from the Minister from the South West in his ministerial capacity.
The Department has received two letters from the Minister for the South West (Mr. Bradshaw) in his capacity as a Member of Parliament for Exeter about the Northcott Theatre. There has been one telephone conversation between my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter and a senior official at the Department.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (James Purnell) and my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter briefly discussed the matter in December.
It has been explained in all discussions that the Arts Council operates at arms length from the Government and decisions about which arts organisations to fund are entirely for them.
A copy of this letter has also been sent to the hon. Member for information.