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Clause 7 - National Lottery Distribution Fund: apportionment

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Minister of State (Sport), Department for Culture, Media & Sport 12:45 pm, 25th October 2005

Unfortunately, I cannot go down that road. I will reflect on Hansard when it is published and we will see what was said. I was not referring my remarks to the hon. Member for Bath.

Let us return to the issue of 60 or 70 per cent. We need to leave that flexibility for those who are making the decision. We do not believe the figure ought to be included in the Bill. I have given support to what the Community Fund, the New Opportunities Fund and the Big Lottery Fund have said. I made that clear on Second Reading. We believe that the matter is better left with those people who are going to carry things out. Given that different circumstances might arise, we believe that that is the right way in which to put the legislation on to the statute book. It does not tie down the fund. Within the constraints that we have laid down in terms of the broad policy and the further consultation, we believe that the Bill provides the flexibility for the Big Lottery Fund to act in that way.

I understand the other argument, but I do not accept it. We believe that our approach is correct. I have said clearly that we support the Big Lottery Fund in its declared objectives. There will be scrutiny in a report in a way in which there has never been before. If the hon. Gentleman and his party want to raise the matter on the Floor of the House, they are entitled to. If the Select Committee wants to challenge the decision, it has every right to do so. We do not believe that it is necessary to enshrine the figure in the Bill.