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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 5:

Page 9, leave out lines 15 to 19.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 7 [Provisions supplemental to section 6]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 6:

Page 10, leave out lines 40 to 43.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2 [The New Opportunities Fund: Schedule 6A to the 1993 Act]:

Lord Redesdale moved Amendment No. 7:

Page 25, line 2, at beginning insert--
(" .--(1) The New Opportunities Fund shall establish four committees for the purpose of exercising the Fund's functions in relation to applications for grants in respect of the appropriate activities in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively.
(2) Section 25A shall apply in relation to the establishment of the four committees.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, at an earlier stage I said that I would return with this amendment. I believe that the Scotland Bill will force the Government's hand on this amendment. At what point would the Minister consider changing his view to include in the Bill a provision to set up committees in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and indeed England if the Scotland Bill moves in that direction? I beg to move.

The Earl of Mar and Kellie: My Lords, my noble friend's amendment aims to ensure that the new fund gets off to a good start in Scotland. I contend that the use of a UK structure with only one place for Scotland on the board is an outmoded and inefficient method. I regret that I was not present when my noble friend spoke to a similar amendment which was tabled in our joint names in Committee. However, I have read the Official Report for that occasion.

I did not see any promise to give a regional structure to the choice of English representatives on the board. As lottery players in Scotland outnumber their UK population percentage, there is a clear need for a wee bit of justice in this respect. I believe I ought to explain my concern and why I rise to speak today. I declare the interest that a charity with which I am involved has been negotiating with one of the existing funds over the past four years. The negotiations began in a bad way. Fortunately, that board has recently changed its approach and I now have no complaint.

The problem was that the case officer was not allowed to visit the project in Scotland. Therefore questions were forever being asked which would never have been asked if a site visit had been made at the start. Fortunately the board has changed its ways belatedly--that is welcome--and a site visit has been made. The board has established a Scottish section, albeit based in London. I am anxious that the new fund decentralises its decision making and its fund allocation. I am sure that the National Lottery's computer technology can identify the Scottish contribution. Accepting this amendment would give Scottish players of the lottery a reasonable chance of not having their funds hijacked by

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the south-east of England for projects already mentioned such as the Millennium Dome which I regard as having dubious sustainability. Of course the approach in the Bill may be designed to do that. I counter that the rising tide of Scottish confidence may not see it that way.

The amendment is quite straightforward. It establishes, among others, a Scottish committee to ensure equitable distribution of funds in Scotland. It avoids the lottery being brought into further disrepute in Scotland and is appropriate for the new and future constitutional arrangements of the British Union.

4.45 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, in one way I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, for introducing his amendment in such a truncated way, but in other ways I am sorry because I have prepared a long speech about the coherence of this legislation vis-a-vis the Scotland Bill and the Government of Wales Bill. I expected to see present the noble and learned Lord, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, and I have written to the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, on the subject. The short answer to the noble Lord's specific question is that we do not believe that the Scotland Bill will be in conflict with this Bill. We have taken steps to ensure that that will not be the case.

I have copied my letters to the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale. I confess that they are enormously long and complicated, but I can assure him that the necessary consultations have taken place within government to ensure that his fears will not be realised. Even though we do not believe that there will be any conflict between the Scotland Bill and the Government of Wales Bill and this legislation, it will still be possible for the new opportunities fund to set up country committees immediately on Royal Assent if it wants to. As there will be a shadow new opportunities fund, plans can be made to do that before Royal Assent. We do not object to country committees; we object to imposing them by legislation. We want a greater degree of flexibility, of arm's length management and of devolution than the noble Lord proposes in his amendment.

Lord Redesdale: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, I must first apologise for not giving him the opportunity to make that long speech. However, his shortened reply was helpful. I have two points to make. First, does he believe that not setting up these committees in the regions complies with the principle of devolution and decentralisation? Secondly, could there be a provision to allow for the setting up of committees for the regions as soon as possible? However, that perhaps need not be included on the face of the legislation.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, my answer to both questions is yes. I believe that not imposing country committees on the new opportunities fund is consistent with our devolutionary principles. It is perfectly possible for the new opportunities fund to do that if it wishes, particularly if there is pressure in the

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home countries to do so. However, as the noble Lord suggests, it is not desirable for that to be included on the face of the Bill.

Lord Redesdale: My Lords, before I withdraw the amendment I hope that the Minister will press for the committees to be set up. He has referred to pressure. My noble friend gave an example of a situation where the system broke down from the beginning. The purpose of this amendment is to try to make sure that committees are set up as early as possible so that they can view the situation and foresee any problems. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 8:

Before Clause 8, insert the following new clause--

Manner of distribution

(".--(1) In section 25 of the 1993 Act (application of money by distributing bodies) after subsection (1) there shall be inserted--
"(1A) The manner in which a body may distribute any money paid to it under section 24 includes making or entering into arrangements for or in connection with meeting expenditure (including arrangements with respect to vouchers); and this subsection shall apply notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any enactment or instrument relating to the functions of the body."
(2) In section 44 of the 1993 Act (interpretation of Part II) after subsection (3) (which is inserted by section 7 above) there shall be inserted--
"(4) Any reference in this Part to the distribution of money shall be construed as including the making or entering into of arrangements in accordance with section 25(1A) or 43B; and related expressions used in this Part shall be construed accordingly."").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I spoke to this amendment with Amendment No. 4. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Redesdale moved Amendment No. 9:

Before Clause 8, insert the following new clause--

Directions to distributing bodies

(" . In section 26 of the 1993 Act (directions to distributing bodies), for subsection (5) there shall be substituted--
"(5) The Secretary of State shall consult the following bodies before giving directions to the body under this section--
(a) any body which distributes money under section 25(1);
(b) a charity, or any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic organisation;
(c) an interested body established by or under an enactment; and
(d) an interested body established by Royal Charter."").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is a simple amendment and I shall be brief. All I wish is for an assurance from the Government that consultation will be carried out with those who are in a position to give the best information on these issues. I speak specifically of consultation as regards small charities, especially specialised charities concerned with disability. That would enable specific interests to be taken account of. I have worked in the area of disability. Often when large grants are made many of the problems associated with allocating grants can be overlooked for no other reason

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than that the right people were not consulted. It is not necessary to have the provision on the face of the Bill. I shall be happy if the Minister will give an undertaking that the principle of the amendment will be put forward.

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