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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport gave his approval for the 1999 annual report and accounts of the Football Licensing Authority to be laid before Parliament on 7 December. The Secretary of State was satisfied that the Football Licensing Authority had met the terms and conditions of its grant from the Government and fully achieved its objectives which were agreed with Government.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government see no case for additional safeguards for historic cinemas beyond those already available under current listed building legislation. Any cinema which my right honourable friend has listed as being of architectural or historic interest is protected on the same basis as applies to any other listed building. Under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, listed building consent is required for the carrying out of works resulting in the demolition of a listed building or for any alteration or extension which would affect its character as a building of special architectural interest. Conservation area consent is required for the demolition of an unlisted building within a conservation area. The Act also allows local authorities to take action where a historic building has deteriorated to the extent that its preservation may be at risk.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Tourism Forum meeting on 15 December was a great success and furnished wide-ranging and productive discussion. The English Tourism Council is preparing a note of the key points, and issues raised at the forum will be fed into ministerial discussion at the Tourism Summit on 1 March 2000.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Neither the Football Association nor the Government have been notified by Fifa of any plans to change the date of the women's World Cup. We share the FA's aim that women's football should be recognised as a sport in its own right and would not wish for any direct comparison to be made of the women's World Cup with other football tournaments, particularly if it would affect the development of the women's game.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government fully support initiatives that increase participation in the women's game, and Sport England has made women's sport, and women's football in particular, a priority in grant allocation for community capital projects, its small grants programme and the Active Sports Programme. Furthermore, funding has been made available for the BAA Millennium Youth Games, which includes women's football. The Sport England funding is a combination of lottery and Exchequer funding. Ultimately, however, overall responsibility for the development of the women's game in England falls to the Football Association.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: There are no reliable data to determine the contribution made by sports tourism at present. However, on 11 January the British Tourist Authority together with the Minister for Tourism, Janet Anderson, and the Minister for Sport, Kate Hoey, will be launching a Sports Tourism Action Plan for Britain. One of the aims will be to better estimate the economic impact made by sports tourism in Britain. It will also identify ways for Britain to take advantage of the wealth of opportunity which is offered through sport.
The Radio Authority is expected to review the priorities for future local radio development in the spring. It will be for authority members to consider the option of advertising a new north London licence against retaining the frequency for continued use by short-term restricted service licences in the London area, given the scarcity of spectrum for this purpose.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The UK already provides substantial support for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon through our support for UNRWA, to which the UK is the second largest European bilateral donor. A further £50,000 per annum bilateral assistance has been made available for 2000 and 2001 specifically to assist Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The embassy also has at its disposal a number of other DfID and FCO funds available for Lebanese development projects including support for Palestinian refugees, for example DfID's Small Grants Scheme worth circa £150,000 in 1998.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We provide substantial support for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and other host countries, primarily through our support for UNRWA's core budget. Our contribution in 1999 was £8 million, a 33 per cent increase over 1997. In addition, we have made available, through the British Embassy, modest sums for direct bilateral support, and have agreed a further £50,000 for 2000 and 2001.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We see no need for the Treaties governing membership of the Union to include a specific provision on unilateral withdrawal. It remains open to Parliament to repeal the European Communities Act 1972, the logical consequence of which would be to withdraw from the EU. The terms of such a withdrawal would be for the Government to negotiate with the other member states.
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