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The Earl of Gowrie: While I greatly welcome the stay of discretionary execution just outlined by the Minister, perhaps I may pick up the reference to the degree of preference. As he and all those involved in the educational sector are aware, the problem is that over the past 20 years--that indicates I am not making a political point--there has been a withdrawal from, and decline in, musical education. Through the intervention of Sir Simon Rattle and others, and with the encouragement of the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State, the Government have taken action to put some vitamins back into the diet of musical education. What I believe worries the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, and

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certainly my noble friend Lord Armstrong and others, is that here we have something that works, and to cast a blight of uncertainty over it means that it will work less well. Therefore, it is not quite as simple as an ordinary degree of preference.

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede: I am grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken in this debate. I welcome particularly the intervention of the noble Earl. My noble friend's answer disappoints me. While it is true that the extension of the grant is welcome, I do not believe that he addresses my argument; namely, that the Centre for Young Musicians and the LSSO are special organisations. As the noble Earl said, they work but will work less well because their long-term future is not secure. Having said that, I shall read my noble friend's response with care. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury moved Amendment No. 455QJ:

Page 159, line 24, after ("records") insert--
("( ) conditions with respect to the setting of concessionary user charges for certain categories of user;")

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 455QJ is again related to the very important provisions in Clause 302. Subsection (1) is concerned with grant-making; subsection (2) provides that any grant may be subject to conditions; and subsection (3) brings into prominence two issues that the Government believe should generally be the subject of conditions when grants are made--accounts and repayment. This amendment seeks to persuade the Government of another matter that should be given prominence when grants are made; namely, the potential benefit to London and Londoners of requiring the recipient, in appropriate cases, to make concessionary fare arrangements as the authority may specify.

The arrangements may relate to old people, disabled people or young people. Different categories may, depending on the particular grant, be relevant for the purposes of a concessionary arrangement. The amendment forces nothing on anyone but gives prominence to the potential importance of concessionary arrangements in the making of grants. We hope that the amendment will commend itself to the Government who have made plain their concern that the arts in London should be available to all. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I had a very simple answer to the noble Lord. It was that the mayor already had power to make such conditions for any grant that he might wish to make. If the mayor wishes to target particular categories of users to give them cheaper access to the cultural purpose in question, that is quite legitimate. That is a 100 per cent knock-down argument

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against the amendment. However, in moving the amendment the noble Lord referred to concessionary fares.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I apologise for that slip of the tongue.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I am much relieved and grateful. I hope that the noble Lord agrees that my original response that Clause 302 already does what he seeks to do persuades him to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: The noble Lord spoke about the mayor having power to impose conditions. Did he mean the authority?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: It is the mayor who has the power to do it, because he sets the conditions.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 455QJA not moved.]

Clause 302 agreed to.

[Amendment No. 455QJB not moved.]

Clause 303 [Duty of the Authority to promote tourism]:

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 455RJ:

Page 159, line 27, after ("people") insert ("from within and outside the United Kingdom")

The noble Baroness said: In moving Amendment No. 455RJ I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 455WAB and 455WAC. My noble friend Lord Falkland will speak to Amendments Nos. 455XAA and 455ZAYA. For the record, these amendments are grouped with Amendments Nos. 455UA, 455VA and 455ZAA, to which other noble Lords will speak.

Amendment No. 455RJ is designed to encourage visitors from within as well as outside the UK; in other words, not just overseas visitors. I am concerned that the Bill places emphasis on encouraging visitors from outside. I dare say that we, who by definition spend a good deal of time in London, are above all the ones who miss all the great benefits that London has to offer. Of course, London provides attractions for UK visitors, but I have tabled this amendment to try to understand the Government's thinking on this matter. Amendment No. 455WAB is similar, and Amendment No. 455VA in the name of the Conservative Front Bench is one to which I have added my name.

Amendment No. 455WAC picks up the references in the Bill to those who visit the UK by way of London. Clause 303(4)(b) provides that the authority shall have power to encourage people coming to and through London to visit, not just London, but the UK. Visit, yes, but I believe that it is not necessary, and quite possibly undesirable, that all transport should head for London. In tabling this amendment I had particularly in mind the strains placed on London, as well as the benefits conferred upon it, by its major airports. I also had in

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mind the disadvantage that is often suffered by regional airports because so many visitors to the UK arrive in London rather than go directly to the regions.

I also refer to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link which I hope will soon persuade visitors to the UK not to go straight to London or to the south coast and then, because of the way that services are organised, head for London. We are glad to have the visitors, but I do not believe that in this Bill we should be so ambitious as to disadvantage other parts of the United Kingdom. We should be aware of the dangers of overheating and stress by bringing in everybody through London. I beg to move.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I rise to speak to Amendments Nos. 455UA, 455VA and 455ZAA which are in my name and are grouped with Amendment No. 455RJ. I share some of the intentions of the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. The reason for tabling these amendments is to put to the Government the general question: how and for whom should the mayor and authority promote tourism in future? At this stage all of these are probing amendments.

Paragraph 5.96 of the White Paper states:

    "Tourism is vital to London's future. It contributes some £8.5 billion to the economy of the capital and 220,00 people are directly employed in tourism-related jobs. Tourism in London is very important to the UK as a whole. Over half of all overseas tourism expenditure in the UK is spent in London and London is the best known image overseas of the UK".

I agree with those sentiments.

Clause 303 imposes on the GLA a duty to promote tourism. It is intriguing to note that this clause was not originally on the face of the Bill. It was added by the Government at Committee stage in another place. It was something of an afterthought, albeit a very important one, and one that I was pleased to see.

My amendments address the question of who should benefit from the GLA's promotion of tourism. Knowing how widely read the Minister is--it may sound as though I am creeping, but he has caught me out on matters such as this before--I suspect that he has had the opportunity to read the report Making the Connections, which was recently produced by the English Tourism Council, the English Historic Towns Forum and English Heritage. The report claims that England's historic towns are in danger of being swamped by tourists.

The newly appointed chairman of the ETC, Alan Britten, was quoted in the Guardian on 19th July as saying:

    "We have to promote an awareness so as not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg ... You certainly don't want to take away the volume, but you have to try to find a way of handling the volume".

I believe that he hit the nail very firmly on the head.

As the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, said, Clause 303(1)(b) imposes a duty on the GLA to encourage tourists from overseas to visit the UK by way of London. I echo the concern that she has raised regarding the question of whether it is necessary and desirable, and whether there are other ways in which

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tourists can be encouraged to come to the United Kingdom and spend as much as possible of their money to contribute to our economy.

Technically, as a result of my other amendments, Amendment No. 455VA amends Clause 303(1)(c), to make it clear that the promotion and provision of tourist amenities in London should be for the benefit of London's residents and workers, as well as for the benefit of visitors. Amendment No. 455ZAA is consequential on Amendment Nos. 455UA and 455VA.

7 p.m.

Lord Gordon of Strathblane: From my accent, it will not surprise anyone that I support the amendment. I believe that the Government might be wise to think again about promoting London as the gateway to Britain. London is, de facto, a wonderful destination in its own right.

I happen to believe that it is singularly unfortunate that we have in this country decided to concentrate exclusively on London in terms of air transport, thus preventing many people from visiting other parts of Britain simply because they have arrived in London and find it expensive on occasions to move onwards. I believe that it would be greatly in the public interest to encourage the use of major regional airports. I would obviously prefer Scotland to be one of the destinations--and Glasgow would be the obvious airport--but Manchester may also be considered.

Some of our American visitors who came to the Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie had to fly for an extra hour across the Atlantic, bypassing Scotland, in order to arrive in London; they then had to purchase expensive air tickets to return again to Scotland--a ridiculous situation. Some of these people will no doubt be returning next year to St. Andrews.

We really must be very careful that we do not concentrate too many resources on London. It already is, quite correctly, a huge draw in its own right. As the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay of St. Johns, pointed out, 54 per cent of our tourism expenditure overseas is spent in London. That is undesirable. It is a matter of regional policy which we should be spreading around the country.

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