Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Memoranda



Letter to the Chairman of the Committee from the Chairman of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation


  As Chairman of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation I wish to raise with you a major concern, which could threaten the future of our organisation.

  Despite the very reasonable recommendations of Sir Alan Budd's eminent committee, Camelot are protesting that it will seriously threaten their ability to achieve its projected lottery turnover of £4.57 billion, during the period of its licence.

  This is quite preposterous. These figures are of an immensity which is utterly bewildering to anyone in the charity lottery business. Society lotteries barely register a single digit percentage when compared to those at Camelot.

  We applaud what the National Lottery has done for the country, but protest strongly at Camelot's intention to resist the Budd recommendations on relaxation of charity lottery regulations.

  Our view is that the consumer must be free to choose either to subscribe to the National Lottery, or contribute to a named charity lottery with the proceeds going to the charity of their choice.

  I strongly urge you to support the Budd report and not deny or disadvantage this choice which could make it impossible for charities like us to operate.

  We have established, almost entirely out of public donations and support from key sponsors such as Littlewoods Leisure, a Lung Cancer Foundation which has achieved international recognition for the quality and importance of its work.

  Tessa Jowell visited our Centre during her time as Public Health Minister and was very supportive of our work. Frank Dobson toured the Centre when he was Secretary of State for Health, as has Dr Liam Fox earlier this year.

  We regularly have local MPs coming to see our facilities and to discuss our work. As importantly, our Foundation has the widespread support of the people of Liverpool. We have built an International Centre for Lung Cancer Research which only recently won national recognition with an industry award as the Best Laboratory in the UK.

  The Foundation grants nearly £2 million per year to fund a team of scientists employed by Liverpool University and provide a range of patient care programmes, such as lung cancer support nurses at various cancer centres in the UK to help patients and their families through the most distressing and difficult period of their lives. In addition we have an active smoking cessation programme and conduct imaginative smoking prevention activities with children and young people.

  You will be aware of the devastation lung cancer causes. While tremendous progress has been achieved in recent years with other cancers, the chances of surviving lung cancer remains the same as when King George VI died of the disease in 1952. It is the biggest cancer killer with only 55 of the 40,000 people diagnosed with the disease in this country every year surviving longer than five years. In Liverpool and Glasgow men face a lifetime risk of one in seven chance of developing lung cancer.

  The Roy Castle Foundation is making a massive contribution to help find a cure for this devastating disease, which kills over a million people worldwide every year.

  We have never received one penny of government funding for our research programme nor have we received any funds from the National Lottery. That is why it is so important that you do not deny us the opportunity of bringing in legitimate funding through a society lottery.

  I ask for your support, and that of your colleagues, in accepting Sir Alan Budd's review and in resisting Camelot's absurd exaggerations on the effect we have on their turnover.

3 January 2002

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