Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witness (Questions 560-566)

RT HON RICHARD CABORN MP AND MR NIALL MACKENZIE

WEDNESDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2001

Mrs Dunwoody

  560. Do you know what happens with your money after this has been made public?
  (Mr Caborn) It not our responsibility to dispense it, as you know, it is through Sport England or NOF, they have the responsibility.

  561. It is public money. Does anybody monitor how effectively these organisation are doing their work?
  (Mr Caborn) The answer to that is yes. That is why you have the Public Accounts Committee in our institution here, to also that make sure that public money is dispensed in the way the government feel it should be.

Chairman

  562. There is a suggestion that some of these schemes provide capital money for local authority and then having spent the capital they do not actually maintain them to the standard that is necessary for anyone to benefit out of the capital?
  (Mr Caborn) I think that is a very valid point. In terms of Sport England that is part of the sustainability criteria they put into the funding regimes. I think you are right in terms of the question of revenue spending and the maintenance and indeed the operation hours of medical sports facilities and I think that is something that Sport England are taking on board and something that I am very keen to make sure happens. That is why the new development of sports facilities and the refurbishment through the NOF fund via the local education authority and the LEA that does make it easier. It is very, very clear indeed that they have to be able to facilitate the community as well as it has for the educational establishment. That is therefore incumbent to find a solution to this the question of maintenance and opening hours. Opening hours is a very important issue, people who play amateur football use school facilities at the weekend and the big argument is, is the caretaker going to come in to open the building up, should the school bear that responsibility, what are the charges, which is another big issue that we have to look at.

  563. We will not go into all those issues today. Can I just take you on to a much simpler area, that is Picketts Lock and Wembley, were those two issues helped by the existing PPG17 or would they be helped more by the new one?
  (Mr Caborn) I do not think that would have any significance on either of those decisions.

  564. You do not think the planning process caused problems at all with those two?
  (Mr Caborn) To the best of my knowledge the answer to that would be no. As indicated by my official they both secured planning permission, I do not think it was a major problem.

  565. The planning process was not a problem there?
  (Mr Caborn) The amount of time it took to make decisions on Picketts Lock and Wembley they are probably both in sync and not very satisfactory, if I may say so.

  566. On that note, thank you very much indeed.
  (Mr Caborn) Thank you very much.


 
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