Previous Section Index Home Page


North Taunton Sports Centre

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps are taken to monitor the spending of grants awarded by the Sports Lottery Fund to local authorities, with specific reference to those made to the North Taunton Sports Centre. [68467]

Mr. Caborn: All projects supported by the Sport England Lottery Fund are subject to compliance procedures during construction and are monitored once the project has been completed and has been operating for a year. The compliance procedures provide for payments only on receipt of invoices and architects' certificates and for retention of the final 10 per cent. of the award until completion of the project. Post completion monitoring involves a site visit by a team of architects and independent consultants where the award is greater than £500,000. This investigation assesses all aspects of the project, including the design of the facility, its management and financial viability, coaching and sports development opportunities, and the project's impact on target groups. The applicant's views on Sport England and the application process are also monitored.

A proportion of projects receiving awards of less than £500,000 receive a site visit as follows:

Projects which are not initially selected for a site visit receive a questionnaire. Cases where questionnaires are not returned or where the contents of a questionnaire raise concerns are followed up by further contact from, initially, the monitoring team at Sport England, and, if appropriate, with a site visit.

Taunton Deane borough council was awarded £2,383,020 in October 1999 for the building of The Wellspring Centre (now called North Taunton Sports Centre). So far Sport England has made payments to the Council in February, June, September, October and November 2001 amounting to 90 per cent. of the award. It is aware through discussions with Taunton Deane council that completion of the project has been delayed due to problems with the original contractor but it is understood that management consultants have now been appointed by the Council and it expects the building to be completed by the end of the year.

15 Jul 2002 : Column 52W

Criminal Records Checks

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment she had made of the cost to voluntary sports organisations of undertaking Criminal Records Bureau information checks; and if she will make a statement; [68873]

Mr. Caborn: The Department was involved in discussions on the potential costs of the Disclosure service provided by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and supported successful representations to the Home Office that fees should be waived for higher level disclosures for volunteers. The CRB has been fully operational only since 11 March 2002 so hard data on actual costs is not yet available. The CRB itself and the Child Protection in Sport Unit both provide comprehensive guidance on requesting disclosures from the CRB which can be found on their respective websites ( and The costs to sports organisations deploying volunteers will be minimised because a) the CRB has waived fees on higher level disclosures for volunteers and b) Umbrella Bodies, such as governing bodies, can commission disclosures on behalf of other organisations, enabling them to keep down internal administrative costs. The Department is keeping track of developments in this area through its link with the child Protection in Sport Unit (jointly funded by the NSPCC and Sport England) and other bodies.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what additional funding has been made to enable sporting organisations to implement the Criminal Records Bureau disclosure information checks on the use of volunteers. [68872]

Mr. Caborn: No additional funding has been made available by this Department to sporting organisations to pay for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure information checks.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the status is of (a) referees and umpires, (b) referees' assistants, (c) match officials and (d) others who receive remuneration for their involvement in sports matches with regard to Criminal Records Bureau disclosure information checks; [68870]

Mr. Caborn: The Home Office announced in February of last year that Standard and Enhanced Disclosures will be issued free of charge to volunteers. The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations 2002 define a volunteer as a person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative. Those persons in the categories mentioned who met the criteria for these levels

15 Jul 2002 : Column 53W

of disclosure which are set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and section 115 of the Police Act 1997 and whose remuneration amounted only to travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses would, of course, be entitled to a free disclosure.

Racing Industry

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for what reasons the racing industry was charged for the acquisition of the Tote; and what account was taken of historic funding by the racing industry of the Tote when setting the sale price. [69369]

Mr. Caborn: The Government have announced their intention to introduce legislation to enable them to sell the Tote to a racing trust but no sale price has yet been set. It is appropriate for a price to be paid because there is a legitimate taxpayer interest in the Tote business.

Child Protection

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent meetings she has had with Ministers in other Departments with regard to (a) child protection in sport and (b) inter-agency working on child protection in sport. [68833]

Mr. Caborn: While there have been no ministerial meetings specifically on this issue recently, officials regularly discuss this important issue with colleagues in other Government Departments and other agencies. The Department is a member of the Steering Group of the Child Protection in Sport Unit which brings together stakeholders from within and outside Government to influence the unit's future direction, work and priorities.


Departmental Energy Use

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the estimated (a) level and (b) cost of energy use in her Department and associated agencies was in each year since 1997; what proportion of energy was generated from renewable sources; and if she will make a statement. [65953]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 3 July 2002, Official Report, column 385–86W.

University Students (Low Income Families)

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans the Department has to ensure more young people from low-income families enter university. [66584]

Margaret Hodge: We are determined to encourage more young people from lower income backgrounds to enter higher education. Our secondary school reforms will help raise participation and attainment levels so that more young people will be eligible to benefit from HE. We have committed over £190 million over three years to the Excellence Challenge to raise aspirations and attainment of young people in some of the most deprived areas of

15 Jul 2002 : Column 54W

the country. This includes making available 25,000 Opportunity Bursaries to encourage young students from low-income families into higher education. Young people in schools and FE colleges in Excellence Challenge areas will also benefit from the Aimhigher road show, which was launched earlier this year to promote higher education.

School Science Lessons

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills under what circumstances animals are killed specifically for use in school science lessons. [67627]

Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 8 July 2002]: Animals are principally used for whole mammal dissection purposes and may be used in nerve/muscle physiology demonstrations.

Teachers also buy organs from butchers, for example livers from animals eaten by humans, for science lessons. There is no requirement in the national curriculum for dissection to be carried out, although individual teachers may choose to use dissection to illustrate various aspects of the science curriculum. In the Key Stage 3 schemes of work which have been published recently by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, organ dissection is suggested as one of a range of possible teaching activities in some contexts.

Where dissection is used, teachers must always take account of potential threats to the well-being of pupils, particularly in relation to health and safety, religious or ethnic background and individual sensitivities.

Next Section Index Home Page