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Public investment also encourages private investment, be it from companies, trusts or individuals. That is why I am much encouraged by the new Government's commitment to giving still greater incentives to philanthropy and looking at ways in which gift aid may be made more effective for both parties. Much more can be done to help organisations large and small, in London and away from London, but neither is increased philanthropy of itself the whole answer. In this country, we have a funding model which is a mix of the public, the private and the commercial, and it works. If you look across the Atlantic, the American model of dependence on fundraising for the arts has led to organisations big and small across the nation closing down in the recession or being severely curtailed. Consistent, steady funding of the arts in this country over the past decade or so using that mixed funding model has contributed enormously to the success that we are now all enjoying.
Of course, the beneficiaries of that success are not just our audiences or our visitors. For me, one of the most rewarding, inspiring things about working in the arts has been seeing the impact that they have on young people. On a recent visit to a school, a year 10 student who had been working with us on a project came up to me and said, "Now I can put your organisation on my CV. How cool is that?". That is what arts organisations are doing in schools all over the country. We are giving young people the opportunity to get started, to have that light-bulb moment to inspire them, the moment when they can know what they
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We have another chance to set out what we can and are doing here on a world stage. In 2012, the eyes of the world will be on us and the Cultural Olympiad will have a finale in a festival across the nation from 21 June to 9 September. I hope that what we put on in that festival will be of a scale and ambition greater than that for any previous Games and will leave a legacy in several significant areas. Because of the vitality and strength of the arts, culture and heritage in this country, I believe that we are better placed to do that than any other nation in the world. Well before then, I look forward to playing a part in the deliberations and work of your Lordships' House.
Lord Baker of Dorking: My Lords, it is a great pleasure for me to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Hall, on his maiden speech. We go back a long way together. He had the unenviable task in the Thatcher years for being responsible for the news services in the BBC when Denis Thatcher felt that the BBC was a bunch of pinkos. When I became Home Secretary, he was the director of news, and I was able to see the scrupulous way in which he ensured a fair balance in the presentation of news. After that, he became the director of Covent Garden. If you think that the BBC is a nest of prima donnas and vipers, the opera world is a swamp. It is due to his calm governance of the opera house over the past few years that it has been very successful not only artistically but financially. He reminded us that having been involved with the BBC and the opera house, he is a master of subsidy. Now that subsidies are to be slashed by this Government-I trust and expect-he will have ample opportunity to speak in our House on these matters in the coming months.
I also congratulate my noble friend Lord Hill. We, too, go back a long way-back before he became the head of John Major's think tank at No. 10. I am glad to tell your Lordships that he has always been passionately interested in education. Not only was his mother a teacher, he has a daughter at university-this Government are full of Ministers who look much younger than they are-so he is engagé as a parent in education. I am particularly glad that he is attached to a department: he is a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Education; he is not a floater. That means that we will have his full attention on education, which is to be welcomed.
I should declare two interests. I am the chairman of the Edge Foundation, which is the largest charity in the country devoted to practical and vocational education, and of the Baker Dearing Trust, which promotes university technical colleges. I receive, of course, no remuneration from either charity.
I welcome this enormous endorsement for the colleges that Ron Dearing, before he died, and I have been promoting for the past three years: university technical colleges. When we met three years ago, Ron was alive. We decided that the one thing missing from the education system in England was technical schools. We had them in the 1950s and 1960s, but they were closed and became comprehensives. They were closed because people thought they involved dirty jobs and greasy rags and everybody wanted to be the school on the hill, so they fell victim to English snobbery. Germany did not make that mistake; it kept its technical schools and that is one of the reasons why Germany is still a great industrial nation. The latest report states that German technical schools are now more popular than German grammar schools.
We wanted to reinvent them in different ways. Why did we want to reinvent them? The CBI has just produced a report stating that 42 per cent of employers want our education system to provide high quality vocational options. Why do they want that? Because 77 per cent of employers in manufacturing say that they cannot employ people with higher skills. It is our history. Over the weekend, I dipped into Correlli Barnett's book The Audit of War to remind myself about the history of radar. Radar was invented in the mid-1930s by Watson-Watt and by Professor Cockcroft and Professor Lindermann at the Cavendish and Clarendon laboratories, but we could not put it on enough planes, boats or airfields in the 1940s. HMS "Coventry" was sunk in 1942 for lack of radar. Radar was invented in 1939 for introduction in 1941. There were eventually 200 handmade sets in 1943. We should learn from history-it is the same with Afghanistan. We have not learnt from history. It is the lack of a technical force backing up our engineering graduates and our inventiveness. If you talk to engineering bodies, they say that we are producing enough engineering graduates, but the trouble is that graduates have to deskill in order to do technicians' jobs because the technicians are not there. If we are going to have nuclear power stations, high-speed rail links, broadband and a green economy producing jobs, we need technicians.
University technical colleges are different from technical schools in two important ways. They are for 14 to 19 year-olds. Fourteen is a much better age to select children for skilled education than 11, which is too early. Ironically, when the Board of Education met in 1941 to decide the pattern of education after the war, it said that 13 or 14 should be the age of selection, but we chose 11, and it was a mistake. At 14, children select themselves. They know what they want to do. That is the first important difference. The second is that universities back university technical colleges, which means that their status is elevated for students and their parents.
We have three off the ground already. Aston will open in 2012, Walsall, in the Black Country, will open next year because it is converting an old school, and Greenwich was approved just before the election. The private JCB Academy will also open this year. It wants to be a UTC with 500 pupils. At these schools, youngsters will start at 8.30 am with a hammer, a saw, a drill or some welding equipment in their hands and acquire
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I am glad to say that these schools count as academies. The pattern is this: Balls said he wanted five; Michael Gove, before the election, said 12; the team that I put together is now handling 23 applications, and I hope that in the course of this Parliament at least 100 of them will be established. They will begin to transform education in our country because our comprehensives are full of youngsters who at the age of 14 want to follow not an academic course but a course that gives them high quality skills. These colleges will do that.
They have the support of all parties in the House including, I am glad to say, the members of our coalition-I see the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, is smiling. I persuaded David Laws to support it, so I am sorry he has left the Government, but there we are. I hope that the Government will embrace these colleges. I am due to meet the Minister and the Secretary of State. We want a strong commitment to these colleges and for some of the money that is going to academies to go to these colleges. They will be an enormous contribution to the education system of our country.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, as indicated on today's list, the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Jones, will repeat a Statement at a convenient point after 12.30 pm. This may be a convenient point. The debate on the Address will resume after the Statement.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): My Lords, with permission, I shall now repeat a Statement made in another place by my right honourable friend the Home Secretary. The Statement is as follows.
"I know that the whole House will want to join me in sending my heartfelt condolences to everybody touched by yesterday's tragic events. In particular, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who were so senselessly killed and injured in the shootings.
We also send our thoughts to the honourable Member for Copeland, who is in Cumbria today. He represents communities that have been touched by tragedy too many times in recent years, but they are strong communities, and I know they will bear these sad events with dignity and fortitude.
I would also like to pay tribute to the police and emergency services. In my short time as Home Secretary,
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I spoke yesterday to Chief Constable Craig Mackey, and we talked again this morning. He has told me that his force is now conducting a full and thorough investigation to find out exactly what happened, how and why. More than 100 detectives have been assigned to the task. Their investigation will look into Derrick Bird's history, his access to firearms and the motivations for his actions.
As I said yesterday, while the police investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any details beyond what has been released by Cumbria Constabulary, but I would like to tell the House what I can. Twelve people were killed yesterday, in addition to Derrick Bird. There were 11 casualties who were being or have been treated in hospitals in Whitehaven, Carlisle and Newcastle. Of those, four are stable, four are comfortable and three have been discharged. The police are confirming the identity of those who died and names are being released by Cumbria Constabulary as and when formal identification is confirmed and the immediate family informed. More than 30 family liaison officers have been working throughout the night to formally identify the 12 people who were killed and to notify their relatives.
The police investigation is being led by a major incident group from the police headquarters in Penrith, and there are 30 different crime scenes. Derrick Bird's body was located in woodland near Boot at around 1.40 pm. No shots were fired by police officers. At this stage, the police believe he took his own life. Two weapons were recovered by police and are being examined by forensic experts. They are a shotgun and .22 rifle fitted with a telescopic sight. Derrick Bird was a licensed firearms holder. He had held a shotgun licence since 1995 and a firearms licence for the .22 rifle since 2007. I can now tell the House that the police have confirmed to me that his licences covered the firearms seized yesterday.
I will visit Cumbria tomorrow so that I can meet Chief Constable Mackey and other senior officers in person and make sure that they have all the support they need to complete their important work, but I can also announce today that I will, if necessary, provide additional funding for Cumbria Constabulary through the police special grant facility. I have spoken this morning to my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who has asked his department's emergencies management team to contact the local authorities involved to see what support and assistance they need. My right honourable friend the Minister for Civil Society will talk to charities working in Cumbria, and is looking at ways to provide them with extra support at a time when their work will be vital in helping the community to recover.
Undoubtedly, yesterday's killings will prompt a debate about our country's gun laws. That is understandable, and indeed right and proper, but it would be wrong to react before we know the full facts. Today, we must remember the innocent people who were taken from us as they went about their lives. Then, we must allow the police time to complete their investigations.
When the police have reported, the Government will enter into, and lead, that debate. We will engage with all interested parties, we will consider all the options, and we will make sure that honourable Members have the opportunity to contribute. I will talk to my right honourable friend the Leader of the House about the best way to ensure that Members have such an opportunity before the Summer Recess.
Mass killing as we experienced yesterday is fortunately extremely rare in our country, but that does not make it any the less painful, and it does not mean that we should not do everything we can to stop it happening again. Where there are lessons to be learnt, we will learn them. Where there are changes to be made, we will make them. But, for now, let us wish the injured victims a speedy recovery, remember the 12 innocent lives that were taken, and pray for the families and friends they leave behind".
Lord Brett: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for repeating the Statement made by the Home Secretary in another place, and I am sure I speak for the whole of this House when I say that we join the Home Secretary in sending our condolences to all those who are affected by this tragedy in west Cumbria.
A number of noble Lords live in the county of Cumbria-the noble Lords, Lord Henley, Lord Judd, Lord Inglewood, Lord Clark of Windermere, Lord Dubs, me and others-and we have seen at first hand the resilience of west Cumbria in the face of the devastation of last year's floods, the tragedy of the loss of young people's lives in a major road accident a week ago, and now this tragedy. We also share the Home Secretary's admiration for the speedy response of the emergency services and the police yesterday to a wholly unplanned and unforeseen tragedy. It is a tribute to them that the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the Lancashire and Cumbria constabularies could work so quickly together, undoubtedly reassuring the natives of Cumbria in that very difficult situation.
The co-ordination at that stage has proved to be wholly successful. Hopefully that will continue. I note the comprehensive nature of the Home Secretary's Statement and that, if necessary, additional funding will be made available. It seems to be almost beyond doubt that it will be. The 100 detectives who are being deployed from Cumbria, and perhaps from elsewhere, on this case alone will dig deep into the reserves of that relatively modestly sized police force, and the news that the local authorities will also be offered assistance is welcome.
Some questions need to be asked, but I am not sure that now is the time to ask them. Basically, the only question that comes to my mind immediately is that there are health checks by doctors when people apply
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The resilience of west Cumbria is being tested, and the Home Secretary's visit tomorrow will be appreciated. I understood from listening to the Statement in the other place that the Prime Minister will also go. That will give great comfort to the people. I also join in the tribute to Jamie Reed, my honourable friend the Member of Parliament for that area, who manfully and most effectively stood up and represented his constituents in the floods and now has that task again.
Basically, our task here today is one of solidarity with the people of west Cumbria. As the noble Baroness said when she repeated the Home Secretary's Statement, these tragedies are few and far between but we must learn the lessons. At this moment, however, our thoughts go out to all those who are affected, as does our sympathy for the relatives of those who were injured and killed.
Baroness Neville-Jones: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his sympathy for those who have suffered. I am sure that he expresses the sentiment of the whole House, to which I add my own. Hutton Roof is in Cumbria, so I too have connections with the county and feel this loss personally.
The noble Lord is quite right that this is a small force with a big task ahead of it. As he rightly said, the Government will make sure that it has the resources necessary to carry out that task, and we will look, as I have said, at the lessons to be learnt, but the House will probably agree that we should not draw conclusions precipitately. As he also rightly said, the resilience of west Cumbria is being tested. I thank the House for the understanding that has been exhibited. I have no doubt that we will hear more when the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have visited in person.
Lord Judd: My Lords, as someone who lives just a few miles from where these terrible events happened, may I say how much the solidarity of the House will be appreciated in the community? I thank the Minister for the messages that she has sent. Of course our primary consideration must be the people who are affected, those who have died and those who have been injured.
I am also glad that the Minister has emphasised so strongly the terrific role played by the Cumbrian police. They are a small force that is, thank God, not frequently confronted with events of this magnitude, and the way in which they have stretched themselves to meet it is highly impressive, but we need, particularly in modern times, to look very closely at whether they have all the support and equipment that they need for all eventualities. Without in any way being alarmist, I make the point that this is particularly important in an area with such security sensitivity around the nuclear industry on the west coast. This cannot be ignored in the considerations
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In a small, closely knit community, the shock and psychological impact cannot be overestimated. It is particularly sad that this has happened when the community is still grieving over the horrible school coach crash of just a few days ago and still recovering, albeit a few miles away from this incident, from the worst effects of the dreadful flooding last autumn. This is a great deal for a close-knit community in Cumbria to bear, and the county will need all possible support. In saying how much the support of the Government and the House will be appreciated, and how great the needs are, I must say that the resilience and courage of the people of Cumbria are very special. I am constantly challenged by the spirit of the people of Cumbria, and I am someone who after nearly 20 years in Cumbria is still firmly regarded as an offcomer there.
I hope we can all bear in mind that this incident has emphasised that sanity and rationality are very fragile. In all that we do in politics, how we nurture sanity and rationality in human affairs must be central to our considerations.
The Lord Bishop of Lincoln: Perhaps I may associate these Benches with the sentiments expressed this afternoon. These events challenge very much the whole culture of a community and the place of faith in the way in which we interpret the vulnerability of our humanity. Such events expose the nature of our humanity, sometimes at its most raw, but also, as noble Lords have testified, at its very best. We pay tribute to the people of Cumbria, who have already demonstrated in recent tragic events their capacity to pull together, to grow together and to move forward together. We are confident that they will do the same as a result of the tragic events of yesterday.
On behalf of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Carlisle I pay tribute to the way in which the public services, particularly the police and the health service, responded to these events and the way in which they have chosen to work in partnership with faith communities in the areas affected. He has worked with his ecumenical partners to ensure that the resources of the churches and faith communities are made available in fullest measure to those most affected by what has happened. Today, as has been already said, it is for us not to look at some of those other questions which will no doubt need to be addressed as a result of such eventualities, but simply to offer our thoughts and prayers to those affected and declare on these Benches the solidarity of the faith communities with all those who seek to bring support, encouragement, succour and relief to those damaged by these events and the communities wherein they live.
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