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Lord Dormand of Easington: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for allowing me to intervene. Before he concludes his speech, perhaps he can clarify a point which I raised. He mentioned the date of 1996. Will he say whether funding is to continue until March 1996, and whether it will be at the same level as in the past? I may have misunderstood him, but it is important that the matter is clarified.

Lord Inglewood: My Lords, my understanding is that the present funding is to be continued until the end of March 1996.

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We shall ensure that the strategy for the future is consistent with our current approach to regeneration policy in general.

The issues are complex. We must resist the temptation to jump to hasty and ill-founded conclusions. The issue is far too important for that. This evening's debate has been useful in highlighting a number of important points that will be the core issues under consideration as the review continues. I am sure that all noble Lords will agree that it is in the best interests of those in the coalfield communities, the employees of British Coal Enterprise and those who depend on it for their jobs, as well as for the country at large, that we get the answer right. We must not allow our own understandable impatience to prejudice the outcome.

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation Bill

Reported from the Select Committee with amendments, and recommitted to an Unopposed Bill Committee.

        House adjourned at sixteen minutes past seven o'clock.

28 Feb 2002 : Column 1473

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