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Clause 13 - Establishment

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 4:30 pm, 25th October 2005

I can indeed. To worry the hon. Gentleman even more, I point out that nobody, particularly the Minister, has yet been able to explain why this is a matter for the other distributors. Of course the Secretary of State can have a role in this; we would not want her not to have a role. We respect her—except for what she did on licensing yesterday—and we believe that it is right and proper for her to be involved. That is why we have no difficulty with a situation where the Secretary of State can say what she thinks to the other distributors and they have to take account of it. That is a long way away from a requirement that the Big Lottery Fund has to comply with directions that, as I said, cover absolutely everything: to whom, by what means and for what purposes the Big Lottery Fund can give money.

Earlier we had a discussion in which we sought to persuade the Minister that if we were going to accept that idea, it would be a good idea to have in the Bill some key assurances about 60 or 70 per cent. of the money, or thereabouts, going to the community and voluntary sector. Despite the compliance, that would have given us some sort of comfort blanket specifying that that proportion of funds would go to the area we are keen to see benefit. However, the Minister would not even give us that.

I hope that the Minister will understand that although I am in no way impugning the integrity, hard work or brilliance of Sir Clive Booth and his staff, I have grave concerns about the body that the Minister wants us to agree to set up, which has actually already been set up but not as a body corporate.