National Lottery

Prayers – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th May 1995.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller , Ellesmere Port and Neston 12:00 am, 15th May 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the sports bodies in Cheshire to which grants from national lottery proceeds have been made and the amounts given. [22464]

Photo of Mr Iain Sproat Mr Iain Sproat , Harwich

The Sports Council has made five grants in Cheshire: Mobberley cricket club, £2,524; Macclesfield tennis club, £22,200; Davenham cricket club, £16,310; Padgate sports association, £32,402; Moore rugby union football club, £93,400. I understand that a further 15 applications from sports bodies in Cheshire are currently under consideration.

Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller , Ellesmere Port and Neston

I thank the Minister for that helpful information, and I am sure that everyone in the House would want to wish those clubs every success with the use of that money. The Minister will recall that, on previous occasions, I have drawn his attention to the shortage of resources in and around my constituency, especially for junior football clubs and for athletics. Will he kindly bring to the attention of the committee, when it considers the next tranche, the existence of that difficult position, which needs rectifying in the interests of everyone in our community?

Photo of Mr Iain Sproat Mr Iain Sproat , Harwich

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his generous remarks, and I will certainly draw his comments to the attention of the Sports Council.

Photo of Bob Spink Bob Spink , Castle Point

Does my hon. Friend agree that in Cheshire, as elsewhere, priority should be given to distributing those funds to those sporting initiatives that address as many ordinary folk as possible, rather than to focusing large amounts of money on elitist and somewhat esoteric initiatives?

Photo of Mr Iain Sproat Mr Iain Sproat , Harwich

I am sure that the Sports Council takes those matters very much into account, especially where they benefit young people and deprived people.

Photo of Mr Tom Pendry Mr Tom Pendry , Stalybridge and Hyde

The Minister will be aware that the second round of lottery grants from the Sports Council to Cheshire sports clubs was slightly better than the first. Will he nevertheless recognise that the distribution of grants generally is erratic? For instance, the north-west, of which Cheshire is a part, received about £1.25 million in the latest round, whereas the south-west received more than £8 million; the east midlands received 15 grants, the west midlands two. Will the Minister involve himself in giving some direction to the Sports Council so that a fairer distribution may operate, and so that urban areas receive a better deal than is currently the case? Only then will the distribution of grants be considered credible by the public.

Photo of Mr Iain Sproat Mr Iain Sproat , Harwich

No. I will not involve myself in that matter, which is a matter for the Sports Council. The House rightly decided to distance itself politically from such decisions. However, I have no doubt that, as time goes by, there will be an even spread throughout the country. The Sports Council is mandated to ensure that that is so.