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National Lottery

5. Mr David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford) (Con): What his policy is on the future of the national lottery; and if he will make a statement. [2998]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (John Penrose): I congratulate my hon. Friend on his long-term interest in sports and local sports in his constituency. We will reform the lottery so that more money goes to arts, heritage and sport, and we will examine the case for moving to a gross profits tax. We will also stop wasteful spending, by banning lobbying activities by lottery distributors and by driving down their administration costs.

Mr Evennett: I thank my hon. Friend the Minister for that response and I congratulate him on his appointment. I am sure that he will do a tremendous job. There have been concerns about the distribution of funds, however, and it has been alleged that the previous Government siphoned off funds from the national lottery to pay for their pet projects, with the result that some worthwhile groups have missed out. Will he assure us that the matter will be looked at, to ensure that the good causes and groups that need the funds actually get them?

John Penrose: Indeed, I can. As a result of the change in shares that will be introduced over the next two years, there will be £50 million more per year for each of the major groups of good causes-the arts, heritage and sport-from 2012.

Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) (Lab): In his answer, the new Minister did not mention the Big Lottery Fund. It has contributed to many good causes across the country, including the Peter Pan special needs nursery in my constituency, which takes profoundly disabled children from birth. Will he give the House some comfort that that sort of cause will continue to be supported as he conducts his review?

John Penrose: I am delighted to make that commitment, although I cannot make promises for individual good causes, as that is rightly a question for individual lottery distributors. However, as a result of the share changes and tailing-off of the Olympic top slice from the lottery funders, the total available to voluntary and community sector organisations of the kind he mentions, within the Big Lottery Fund, should increase over the next two to three years in cash terms.

National Lottery

6. Ms Louise Bagshawe (Corby) (Con): What recent assessment he has made of the effects on the arts sector of the funding it receives from the national lottery; and if he will make a statement. [2999]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Mr Edward Vaizey): May I welcome my hon. Friend to these Benches and say what a delight it is to have such a distinguished author among us? I understand that her latest novel-

Mr Speaker: Order. Will the hon. Gentleman resume his seat? I do not want an essay at the start of a reply to a question. The hon. Gentleman will answer the question, and we will make do with that.

Mr Vaizey: Absolutely. I was going to say that I felt that the-

Mr Speaker: Order. May I say to the Minister that he should answer the question, and then we will move on?

Mr Vaizey: I was about to do so, Mr Speaker. I was about to say that in my view the national lottery has had a transformative effect on the arts since its creation under the previous Conservative Government in 1994, putting £3.5 billion into the arts.

Ms Bagshawe: I thank the Minister for his welcome. May I say to him that my constituents have been dismayed to see national lottery funding for the arts, sport and heritage cut by more than 50% under Labour? Will he expand a little on how he intends to return lottery funding to its original purpose, so that it will help grass-roots organisations in my constituency?

Mr Vaizey: I share my hon. Friend's concern. In opposition, we campaigned against the cuts to national lottery funding imposed by the previous Government. I am delighted that we are bringing forward measures to increase the funding available for the arts from the national lottery: in two years' time it will have increased by £50 million a year.

Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): The Minister will know that the Heritage Lottery Fund was a major contributor to the award-winning Wedgwood museum in Stoke-on-Trent. He will also know that, as a result of Pension Protection Fund legislation, the museum is in real danger of closure and threatened with a dispersal of its collection and archive. Will he meet my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent South (Robert Flello) and me, so that we can ensure that the Government have a proper solution to the impending court case?

Mr Vaizey: The hon. Gentleman is a distinguished historian who recently won an important history prize. This is an important issue which we are watching very closely, and I should be delighted to meet him to discuss it.

London Olympics

8. Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op): What steps he is taking to maximise the sporting legacy of the London 2012 Olympics. [3001]

The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Mr Jeremy Hunt): We have restored lottery funding to 20% of good causes money for sport, which
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will be of enormous benefit to community sports projects and the encouragement of competitive sport in schools.

Mr Thomas: Given that the Olympic stadium was built in substantial part with the taxes of Londoners, can the Secretary of State assure me that as part of negotiations with any London premiership team over its future use, as a key part of the sporting legacy of the Olympics, he will ensure that a representative of the football supporters trust will be on the board of any such team using the stadium in the future?

Mr Hunt: We are strongly in favour of supporters' trusts being set up and represented on the boards of football teams, and of the presence of a football element in the legacy of the 2012 stadium. Most of all, however, we want to ensure that there is a sporting legacy that touches every school in the country, whether or not it is within travelling distance of the big Olympic venues.

Charlie Elphicke (Dover) (Con): A strong start can lead to the greatest of legacies. May I ask the Secretary of State whether the torch can come to Britain via Dover?

Mr Hunt: I welcome my hon. Friend to the House. He makes a powerful case, and I am sure that he will continue to do so.

Tessa Jowell (Dulwich and West Norwood) (Lab): I welcome the Secretary of State and his colleagues to the Front Bench. As I think the right hon. Gentleman will recognise, the achievement and ambition of the sporting legacy for the Olympics are widely acclaimed and appreciated by the International Olympic Committee. There has been sustained investment in sport in schools, an improvement in facilities, the introduction of free swimming, an unprecedented level of investment in elite sport, and lottery funding from more than just the sports lottery. A signal has already been sent that free swimming is to be abandoned. Will the Secretary of State give us a commitment that the sporting legacy-so clearly in place and so widely acclaimed-will be protected?

Mr Hunt: Let me take this opportunity to thank the right hon. Lady for her outstanding contribution to the Olympic project to date. I hope that she will be able to continue to contribute as the project reaches its final two years. I must tell her, however-while expressing the greatest respect for her efforts-that although some elements of a sporting legacy were in place, we do not believe that enough was in place. I am thinking particularly of the creation of a sporting legacy in schools throughout the country. We very much hope that we will be able to work with the right hon. Lady to ensure that every child in every school in the country is able to be touched by, and be part of, the Olympic dream, not just in 2012 but in every year thereafter.

Olympic Legacy (Wales)

10. Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) (Lab): What recent discussions he has had with representatives of business organisations in Wales on measures to ensure a positive legacy for the private sector in Wales from the London 2012 Olympics. [3003]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Hugh Robertson): The Olympic Delivery Authority has met over 10,000 businesses as part of its engagement programme across the United Kingdom. To date, 10 businesses registered in Wales have won work supplying the ODA, and more are winning work in its supply chains, including one- B and W Tunnelling-in the hon. Gentleman's constituency.

Huw Irranca-Davies: Indeed. I welcome the Minister to his post. Does he agree that the Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius"-swifter, higher, stronger-should apply not only to constituents of mine such as David Guest, who at the age of 20 has just become the highest-achieving decathlete apart from Daley Thompson, but to private companies such as Turfgrass Enterprises Ltd, which provided the turf for the Beijing Olympics? What more can he to do encourage excellence in the Welsh private sector?

Hugh Robertson: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his positive words about the process. The short answer is that the Olympic Delivery Authority has devoted a huge amount of time to taking the message around the country and encouraging firms to bid for contracts, and the organising committee is about to go through exactly the same process. I hope that he and other Members across the House will encourage firms in their constituencies to get involved. This is not a matter of party political difference: it is a huge opportunity for everybody and I encourage him and others to take it up.

Sporting Activity (Young People)

11. John Robertson (Glasgow North West) (Lab): What steps he plans to take to encourage young people to participate in sporting activity. [3004]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Hugh Robertson): Increasing opportunities for young people through sport is one of my personal, top priorities. We have already announced an increased lottery share of 20% to sport to finance that, and further details of the Government's plans for young people's sport, including a schools' Olympic-style competitive sport competition and a community sports legacy plan, will be announced shortly.

John Robertson: I thank the Minister for his answer, but I am somewhat confused. He has said, while chopping free swimming for under-16s and over-60s, that 73% of under-16s and 83% of over-60s would pay because they already swim, but his Department says that more than 50% of the people who use free swimming were non-swimmers before they started. Where does that lie in relation to the answer he has just given?

Hugh Robertson: Very simply, like any Department, we have to establish that any scheme that we run gives value for money. The PricewaterhouseCoopers report, established under the previous Government in April 2009, shows-

John Robertson: His Department's figures.

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Hugh Robertson: No; they are PricewaterhouseCoopers' figures, so they are not mine at all. The figures show that there is an 83% dead weight, and that does not, I am afraid, represent value for money.

Mrs Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald) (Con): What plans does the Minister have to promote sport between schools?

Hugh Robertson: That is an extremely good question- [ Interruption. ] The Opposition should try asking it themselves. Promoting competitive sport in schools is absolutely this Government's key legacy objective for school sport. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is taking the lead in the Department's initiative in that regard and he will make an important announcement about it next Monday.

Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Is the Minister aware that the schoolchildren of Shirebrook are only too anxious to help the sporting legacy of Britain on a brand new playing field, but unfortunately it is linked to the Building Schools for the Future programme. Will he ensure that it is built this year, so that we will have a sports field as well?

Hugh Robertson: We will do everything possible to ensure that sports facilities are built up and down the country. That is a key part of the community sports legacy plan that we are working on. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that I cannot today, before the Budget, give him a firm commitment on Building Schools for the Future, but the direction of Government strategy, and of this Department's in particular, is very clear.

FM Radio

12. Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) (LD): What recent estimate he has made of the future level of demand for FM radio. [3005]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Mr Edward Vaizey): No estimate has been made of the future level of demand for FM radio, which will depend on a number of factors. However, FM radio remains a popular medium and currently plays an important part in UK life.

Sir Alan Beith: Is my hon. Friend aware that there are more than 100 million FM radios, enabling people to enjoy music and speech in their cars, in the various rooms of their houses and on their hi-fi equipment? It would be a tragedy if all that were switched off simply because even the majority of homes had bought one digital radio.

Mr Vaizey: I am well aware of that; indeed, many of my constituents have made the same point to me. We are proceeding with digital switchover, with more than a quarter of the population now listening to digital radio, but we are taking all factors into account.

Ticket Touting

14. Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West) (Lab): What steps he plans to take to reduce the level of ticket touting at major sporting and music events. [3007]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Hugh Robertson): The Government have no plans to extend existing legislation covering the resale of tickets. However, those protections are in place under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 and under most legislation involving major sports events.

Mrs Hodgson: I am sure the Minister is aware that it is increasingly difficult for genuine sports, music and theatre fans to buy tickets, especially at the last minute, and even within days of tickets going on sale. He says that there is coverage for the Olympics, but does he agree that this cover should be extended? Does he agree that we should consider introducing legislation to tackle the practice of buying tickets in bulk and selling them to people at huge profits, as that takes the price of tickets totally out of some people's reach?

Hugh Robertson: The hon. Lady makes a fair point. Indeed, I looked at the issue in view of quite a lot of the work that was bequeathed to us by the previous Administration. There is a practical problem relating to the police. I am afraid that it is very rare that ticket touts ever come to court, even when the police catch them, because the amount of police time involved in bringing the prosecution makes that very unlikely. I think that the previous Administration adopted the correct approach, which is to encourage a much more vibrant secondary ticket sale market and much more vibrant exchange market, so that fans who buy tickets but cannot attend the event can readily exchange them.

Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con): Does the Minister agree with the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport in the previous Parliament, which found that the secondary market for tickets was perfectly legitimate, and with the Office of Fair Trading, which found that it often works in the consumer's best interests?

Hugh Robertson: Broadly speaking, the answer to that is yes.

British Summer Time

16. Mr Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East) (Con): What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the introduction of single and double summer time. [3010]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (John Penrose): I am delighted to confirm that, in line with my hon. Friend's long campaign and, indeed, with the support of both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party when it was in government, we are committed to examining this issue tremendously carefully, and I have already had conversations with my opposite numbers at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Mr Ellwood: Today is the longest day, and no one needs to be a visitor to Stonehenge or, indeed, a great reader of the Bournemouth Echo to realise that this is a very popular move that has cross-party support. Does my hon. Friend agree that the tourism industry at least would like such a change? Indeed, it has been calling for it for a number of years.

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John Penrose: I agree that the tourism industry would like such a change, but some people have very grave and important concerns that we would do well to listen to as well. Notably, people who live in the north of the UK, particularly in the northern parts of Scotland, are deeply worried about the issue, and we need to ensure that we take their valid concerns into account.

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