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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am sorry that I was not in Geneva. I assume that the Deputy Chief Whip might have stopped me going. The same may be true of Janet Anderson in the Commons.

I am afraid that these are two of those amendments to which I shall have to give the generic answer given throughout the passage of the Bill, that lists in the Bill are exemplary, illustrative and not exclusive. We must have them sometimes in order not to be accused of being too imprecise, but we certainly do not want them to cover everything that can be thought of, for fear that something that had not been thought of during the passage of the Bill should thereby be excluded.

Having got that off my chest, let me turn to the very important subject matter of the amendments, to which we shall return in more detail when we consider Clauses 303 and 304. Tourism makes a unique contribution to the success of London. It is a very important topic, for which the mayor will naturally have important responsibilities, which are set out in those clauses and which we shall be debating later.

In this case, Amendment No. 452ZJ amplifies the reference to tourism to include visits for conferences. Of course, we agree that business tourism makes a significant contribution to the success of tourism in London, and naturally the mayor will take that into account. But there is no need to single it out in this way, because it would give the inference that other aspects of tourism are less important, thereby throwing doubt on its illustrative nature.

Amendment No. 455WA proposes to insert a reference in Clause 303, which deals with the mayor's powers and duties in relation to tourism. The amendment would create an additional specific duty on the mayor to promote Greater London as a centre for the meetings and incentives industry. The mayor has a general duty to encourage people to visit Greater London. It is not limited by reference to the purpose of the visit. It will be a matter for the mayor to decide how to prioritise time and resources for the encouragement of different types of visitor. Of course, he will take into account the contribution the business sector makes to the success of tourism, and the powers given in Clause 303 are wide enough to encompass all tourism sectors.

I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, for giving notice of her specific questions. My response is that we recognise that the meetings and incentives industry is a vital part of our highly successful business tourism industry. Together, they are estimated to contribute some £4,700 million to the UK economy. We believe that the GLA will have a significant role in promoting business tourism--for example, by encouraging commercial investors to support proposals for a new international convention centre.

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The point made by the noble Lord, Lord Archer, about a larger convention centre is well taken. I do not think that he will wish to say in future that this is arguably the greatest city on earth. When he is a candidate, his spin doctors will tell him to take out the word "arguably", which comes from advertising rather than from politics.

Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare: Perhaps I may say with the greatest respect to the noble Lord that in our party we do not have spin doctors.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am tempted! The noble Lord does not need a spin doctor; he is the most expert spin doctor I have ever encountered in my political career.

The noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, asked about the future use of the Dome. Indeed, this is relevant to a very large convention centre. As she said, the site was the subject of a competition launched by the Government in March this year. There have been a range of interesting and imaginative suggestions. The selection of the winning bid will be a matter for Ministers, who hope to make an announcement in spring 2000. Certainly, a major convention centre must be one of the candidates for the future use of the Dome.

The noble Baroness asked me whether the mayor will have the powers to promote business tourism at the European level and to take part in any European co-operation. The answer is that certainly he has those powers. I am sure that he will wish to take advantage of any opportunities at the European level as well as at the national level.

I hope that the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, will feel able to withdraw her amendment

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I note the noble Lord's reluctance to add to the list in Clause 301. Would it not be wise to add conferences to that list? The Minister might well consider that before turning down the idea. Tourism does not necessarily bring to mind the large conference industry which we have discussed. What has been said is extremely important for London.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I assure the noble Baroness that tourism embraces conferences. All definitions of tourism that we use, both for national and local government, include the conference business; and very important it is, too.

Baroness Hamwee: I understood the Minister to give the confirmation that I sought: that tourism included conferences. I believe he said that we sought to amplify the term. That satisfies us entirely.

This is not a list like some other lists. Clause 301(5) contains all the matters which may be included in the culture strategy. It does not have a general provision, for instance, for subjects which the culture strategy group, the mayor or the assembly consider should be included. That is why the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, and I have been concerned to ensure that the terms are precise.

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Clause 301(5) states:

    "The policies that may be contained in the culture strategy include policies with respect to each of the following matters".

In other words, they do not exclude others.

Baroness Hamwee: I am glad to know that. References to some lists have made clear that there would be a distinct frown on the face of central government if other items were included. I am grateful for the Minister's explanations. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

5.15 p.m.

Baroness Anelay of St. Johns moved Amendment No. 452J:

Page 158, line 33, at end insert--
("( ) open space and outdoor recreation;")

The noble Baroness said: We return to the subject of lists, but a somewhat different list. In moving the amendment, I speak also to Amendment No. 454A.

The purpose of the amendments is to probe the role of the Greater London Authority with regard to recreation--walking, riding, cycling and the use of open spaces for recreation in general--for innocent purposes, and recreation for everyone, whatever their individual needs may be. We may use a wheelchair; we may have difficulties with sight or hearing; but we all have need of recreation and open spaces.

I thank the Open Spaces Society and the National Playing Fields Association for their briefing. I declare a non-pecuniary interest as honorary appeal patron of the National Playing Fields Association's Millennium Appeal, called "Every child deserves a place to play"--a view with which I think no one would quarrel.

Clause 301(5) sets out certain policies to be contained in the mayor's culture strategy. In another place my honourable friend Sir Sydney Chapman asked questions on this issue. As did the Minister today, the Minister spoke of the list not intending to be perfect, full or comprehensive, but illustrative. However, it is important that we probe today the intentions of the Government with regard to the inclusion of the use of open spaces within the work of the group and the authority.

I believe that no doubt should be left by the Bill that open spaces and outdoor recreation are an important aspect of our London culture. It is vital that one notes that there is a London branch of the CPRE. When noble Lords debated the Regional Development Agencies Bill last year--the noble Baroness, Lady Farrington, nods her head--we had some interesting exchanges on the role of open spaces and agriculture. The London branch of the CPRE is alive and well. It has written to several noble Lords to give information about its work. It is primarily concerned with the environmental welfare of London and its people, with the aim of making the metropolis a more agreeable place in which to live and work. It points out that the proper and sympathetic management of London's great wealth of public parks and commons is vital to achieve its objective.

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The Open Spaces Society points out that there is a crisis in the management of London parks. It directed my attention to evidence by the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management to the DETR Select Committee which recently started an inquiry into local authority town and country parks. Paragraph 24 of the evidence to that inquiry states:

    "ILAM's greatest concern is the lack of support from Government itself. In the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport there are two Government Departments who appear to believe, perhaps because public parks have both an environmental and cultural dimension, that parks should be the province of neither Department rather than both".

It seems that they fall through the middle. Paragraph 28 states:

    "The DCMS does not appear to recognise any responsibility for public parks, either as leisure, culture, heritage or as a tourist attraction, all of which are the remit of the Department...In providing guidance to Local Authorities for 'Local Cultural Strategies' the Department has conceded that public parks and countryside should be included but gives no specific advice".

What is the Government's intention with regard to parks and open places? Do they continue to have objections to the scope of this clause being made plainer; and, if so, why?

The Open Spaces Society points out that the cultural strategy group's outdoor interests should not be confined to parks or other recognised public open spaces. It points out that it is important that the group should also be concerned to protect and enhance all outdoor recreation and enjoyment, whether related to the River Thames, or any of London's other waterways and reservoirs--all of which add to the character of London life and recreation.

On Amendment No. 454A, Clause 302 enables grants to be paid by the GLA for cultural institutions. But outdoor recreational facilities may also need financial help and this should not be excluded by the Bill. Indeed, as the London Forum has pointed out in its briefing to noble Lords, outdoor recreational activities must mean sports plus other recreational activities in the widest sense, which include walking and peaceful enjoyment of the open space. We were reminded recently that inner city parks do not have to be urban wastelands or threatening places. The Urban Task Force reported earlier this month on Barcelona where parks have been a key element in bringing the city back to life. I am sure that that is a good example for all to follow. I beg to move.

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