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Culture Consortiums

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects the Culture Consortiums to be fully functional. [95198]

25 Oct 1999 : Column: 759

Janet Anderson: We announced the appointment of the Chairs of the Regional Cultural Consortiums on 8 October 1999. They are:

ConsortiumsAppointees
East of EnglandGraham Creelman
East MidlandsVenu Dhupa
North EastGeorge Gill
North WestFelicity Goodey
South EastSir David Watson
South WestAdrian Vinken
West MidlandsBaroness Christine Crawley
Yorkshire and HumbersideChris Heinitz

The Chairs are now considering the appointment of members to the Consortiums. We expect that all the Consortiums will have held their first meetings before the end of the year. In London, under the GLA Bill currently before Parliament, instead of a Consortium, the Mayor will be responsible for appointing a Cultural Strategy Group for London to advise him or her.

Sports Cabinet

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the Sports Cabinet has met this year. [95192]

Kate Hoey: The Sports Cabinet met on 10 March and 6 October. Officials from this Department maintain regular contact with their colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on those issues of most strategic priority for UK Sport.

Sports Institute Headquarters

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he had with representatives of Sheffield City Council about the decision to remove the headquarters site of the UK Sports Institute to London. [95207]

Kate Hoey: No specific discussions have been held with representatives of Sheffield City Council, though representatives of Phoenix Sports Limited (the company formed by members of the Sheffield Consortium) have met with Ministers from time to time to discuss general developments related to the proposals for the UK Sports Institute Network Centre Sheffield. Officers of the United Kingdom Sports Council (UK Sport) and the English Sports Council (Sport England) attended the Board Meeting of Phoenix Sports Limited on 7 October 1999. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has since agreed to meet representatives of Sheffield at a suitable time soon.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what criteria were used to determine that the headquarters of the UK Sports Institute should be in London; and (a) by whom and (b) when this decision was made. [95206]

Kate Hoey: It was originally envisaged that the UK Sports Institute headquarters would consist of around 200 staff providing a range of sports medicine and physiological services. In the light of discussions with the world of sport, and other developments both nationally and internationally, this view has been revised. With the

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new focus on a decentralisation of services to the network centres to better meet the requirements of athletes and coaches--and the need for a much smaller team at the centre--the UK Sports Council (UK Sport) considered it sensible to review how the central service functions could now best be delivered.

A full options analysis has been undertaken by PMP Consultancy on behalf of UK Sport. The criteria and relative weighting used to evaluate the qualitative aspects of the various options have been developed from the work undertaken by Dr. Roger Jackson, an internationally recognised expert in his field from the University of Calgary commissioned by UK Sport earlier this year to review and verify the role and functions of the UK Sports Institute headquarters/central services, and from the factors that will enable the Institute to do its job effectively. Seventeen different criteria were used covering (i) the impact on partnerships with key stakeholders; (ii) accessibility; (iii) resources; (iv) links with network centres; and (v) strategic role. The preferred option provided the greatest value for money in terms of qualitative benefit per £1 million of expenditure.

A summary of the options analysis was included in a paper about the UK Sports Institute prepared by my Department for consideration by the Sports Cabinet on 6 October. It was announced in a press statement on 7 October 1999 that the Sports Cabinet had agreed UK Sports' proposal that a headquarters is no longer required and what is now needed is co-ordination, support and administration from a body with a dedicated UK wide sports performance focus and responsibility. The preferred option meets these objects.

Volunteers

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the DfEE and the DSS about the effects of the benefits system on volunteers in (a) the Arts and (b) sport. [95193]

Kate Hoey: My Department recently published a report by Policy Action Team 10 (PAT 10), on how to maximise the impact on poor neighbourhoods of Government spending and policies on arts, sport and leisure. Other Government Departments including DfEE were represented on PAT 10. The report included a recommendation that


My Department consulted with both DfEE and DSS regarding this recommendation prior to publication of the report and will be entering into further discussions with them in order to take the recommendation forward.

Horse Racing

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the Home Office about the future departmental responsibility for the sport of horse racing. [95188]

Kate Hoey: Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor I have had any direct discussions with Home Office colleagues about the future departmental

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responsibility for the sport of horse racing. However, given the responsibilities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the horse industry and my own Department's interests in both racing and equestrianism, I intend to discuss with ministerial colleagues whether the current arrangements are satisfactory.

Broadcasting Standards Commission

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to review the functions of the Broadcasting Standards Commission. [95153]

Janet Anderson: We have no plans at present to review the functions of the Broadcasting Standards Commission. As "Regulating Communications: The Way Ahead" made clear, the Government believe the current system of broadcasting regulation, of which the BSC forms part, is broadly sustainable for the time being. However, I envisage that developments in broadcasting and communications will require a fundamental reassessment of broadcasting regulation, with the possibility of major new legislation early in the next Parliament.

Sports Strategy

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will be publishing his Department's sports strategy. [95187]

Kate Hoey: The Government's Action Plan for sport will now be published early next year.

Voluntary Sports Clubs

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with (a) the Treasury and (b) the Home Office about charitable status for voluntary sports clubs. [95190]

Kate Hoey: My right hon. Friend and I are in regular contact with Ministerial colleagues in the Treasury and Home Office on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. Most recently we have been in contact with the Home Office and Charity Commission in relation to issues arising from the Commission's review of the Recreational Charities Act 1958 and the planned consultation dealing specifically with charitable status and community based sports organisations. My officials, together with those of Sport England, recently met representatives of the Charity Commission to discuss a range of issues relating to the charitable status for voluntary sports clubs.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has received and from whom about charitable status for voluntary sports clubs; and if he will list them. [95189]

Kate Hoey: I have received representations in favour of granting charitable status to voluntary sports organisations from: Sport England, The Central Council of Physical Recreation, The National Playing Fields Association, and Lord Phillips and Lord Cowdray. Parliamentary Questions on this subject have recently been tabled for answer by my Department by my hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr. Reed) and the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Jones).

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Policy Action Unit 10

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what resources his Department has devoted in terms of (a) money and (b) personnel to the monitoring of Policy Action Unit 10's recommendations on the arts and sport. [95195]

Kate Hoey: Staff throughout DCMS have been asked to incorporate promoting social inclusion into their divisional and personal objectives, including the advocacy, monitoring and follow-through of Policy Action Team 10's recommendations on arts and sport. £90,000 has been set aside this year for a programme of research into improved ways of monitoring and evaluating the success of cultural, sporting and leisure approaches to social inclusion.


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