Clause 3 — Functions of the Centre

Part of Health (Wales) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 9th January 2003.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health) 2:30 pm, 9th January 2003

I would not want to disappoint Mr. Evans, but I also believe in co-operation between health promotion bodies in Wales and those in England. After all, disease does not respect national boundaries, or any other boundary for that matter. However, I wish to point out some of the problems to which he has already alluded, as well as those that arise from the fact that the amendment uses the words,

Xshall not use media channels widely available accessible...unless that information is communicated jointly".

Let us consider the media channels available. The hon. Gentleman has already referred to television. However, I contend that the amendment would constrain the Wales centre for health unreasonably because all the media channels that may be used would have to be agreed with bodies over the border. Any message that the centre wanted to broadcast in Wales would probably have to be communicated jointly with those bodies.

I shall list the media that might be used and comment very briefly on them. First, Sianel Pedwar CymruS4C, the Welsh television channel—is widely available as the hon. Gentleman has already said. I occasionally watch it when in London, and I understand that it is also available on the internet and can be watched all over the place. Radio Cymru and Radio Wales—the two national radio channels—are widely available in the west and north-west of England and in the midlands, as is witnessed by the phone-ins that they broadcast. People in many places listen to programmes on Radio Wales, so anything broadcast on those two media would then have to be communicated jointly with bodies in England.

Of course the internet is available universally. It is available to people in Caernarfon in my constituency and to those in Caernarfon in New South Wales; to Bangor in the constituency of the hon. Member for Conwy and to Bangor, Maine. We are talking about only England and Wales, of course, but information that the Wales centre for health might produce would be widely accessible in many areas outside Wales, and any such decision would be a matter of practicality.