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M.6 Carlisle to Guardsmill Upgrading

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The Carlisle to Guardsmill widening scheme was considered in the Roads Review against the five criteria of accessibility, safety, economy, environment and integration. It was judged that most of the benefits of the original scheme could be obtained with a smaller scale scheme and the Highways Agency has been tasked with producing lower cost options to upgrade the road to motorway standard.

Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square: Pedestrianisation

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The World Squares for All masterplan includes a wide range of proposals to make the two squares and surrounding area more accessible. Vehicle access and parking provision for disabled people will be one of the many issues which will be looked at in detail during the next stage of the project when detailed design and implementation options are developed.

Hengrove, Bristol: Proposed Travellers' Site

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: It would not be appropriate for Her Majesty's Government to send a copy of this report to Bristol City Council.

Royal Parks: Income

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Responsibility for the subject of this question has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency under its Chief Executive, Mr. David Welch. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Kennet from the Head of Policy, Royal Parks Agency, Ms V. Robertson, dated July 1998.

In the absence of the Chief Executive, Mr. David Welch, I have been asked by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to reply to your parliamentary Question about whether the agency's marketing partner is expected to make up the shortfall in the Department's allocation and what activities it is permitted to carry out.

Since the agency was set up in 1993, one of our annual key targets has been to increase income. We appointed Cardington, now known as Royal Parks Enterprises (RPE), to explore and realise additional sources of revenue for the agency, irrespective of our annual budget allocation from the Department. RPE give us professional advice on suitable events for the Royal Parks and on how to obtain the best possible return from them. They are also developing a licensing and merchandising programme to market Royal Parks goods through outlets in this country (but outside the parks) and abroad.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they withdrew from the commitments entered into by the last Government concerning the Royal Parks when they accepted the Jenkins Report; whether there is now any limit on the commercialisation of the Royal Parks; and, if so, what.[HL2952]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government remain committed to carrying out the recommendations of the Royal Parks Review Group accepted by the last Government, as resources permit.

The Royal Parks Agency has been asked to hold more events in the Royal Parks, both to attract a greater range of visitors to the parks, and to increase the agency's income. In doing so, the agency will always balance the aims of widening access and increasing the agency's income with its responsibility to preserve the fabric of the Royal Parks, and to protect their primary role as freely accessible spaces for the peaceful enjoyment of the public.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will review the statement made in a Written Answer by Mr. Tom Clarke, the Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on 27 July (HC Deb, WA 58) that "I am keen that the Royal Parks Agency makes the most of opportunities to increase its income, for example from events, licences and merchandise", in the light of the conclusion of the Jenkins Reviews (which they accepted) that commercialisation is not compatible with sustaining the character and amenity of the parks and should therefore be strictly limited.[HL3248]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Jenkins Reviews acknowledge that it is important for the Royal Parks to generate income where feasible and sensible--but not at the expense of their character, fabric and integrity. Her

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Majesty's Government share this view. As the then Minister of State said in the other place, any proposals to generate income should be sympathetic to the amenity value of the parks.

Schools: Arts Advisers

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the remarks by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 21 July (HL Deb, col. 813), what steps they propose to take to enhance the role of advisers in the visual arts in schools.[HL3280]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government recognise the role of arts advisers in disseminating good practice and in developing awareness of the visual arts in secondary schools. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is engaged in regular discussions with a variety of organisations and agencies, such as the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE), the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA), the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) and the Arts Council of England, which are aimed at promoting and developing the value and importance of the visual arts to young people, both in terms of their understanding of the art forms and the way in which the arts can contribute to their personal development and all-round education.

Tourism

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their view that tourism into this country is likely to (a) continue at the present level; (b) increase substantially; or (c) diminish substantially; and, in whichever case, what is the evidence that supports this view.[HL3024]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Our aim is to achieve sustainable growth in incoming tourism to this country. We cannot, however, make precise predictions of future levels of incoming tourism, for they will depend on factors over which we have little control, such as the performance of overseas economies and exchange rate fluctuations, as well as those which we can and shall influence, such as the quality of tourism products and services and the effectiveness of tourism promotion. Our new strategy for tourism, which will be published later this year, will set out our plans for achieving sustainable growth over the next decade.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the foundation in research for the statement by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport that tourism is an industry "with immense potential for future growth".[HL3025]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In making judgments on the potential for the future growth of tourism, we look primarily at past performance--over the last 10 years incoming tourism expenditure has grown by

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over 20 per cent. in real terms*, and employment in tourism has grown by over 15 per cent.**--but we also consider projections made by respected organisations such as the World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel and Tourism Council, which currently predict significant long term growth in European and UK tourism expenditure and employment.


    *Source: Office for National Statistics, International Passenger Survey.


    **Source: Office for National Statistics, Labour Force Survey.

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Garden

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will extend the consultation period for the proposed memorial garden to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, to compensate for the delay of almost three weeks in the postal delivery of questionnaires to Kensington households.[HL2871]

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Given that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not yet (by 23 July) sent leaflets and questionnaires regarding the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Garden proposals to every household in London W2, W8, W11, W14, SW1, SW3, SW5, SW7 and SW10 as promised, whether they will extend the consultation process until the end of August.[HL3069]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No. The principal method of distributing the questionnaires was their free availability as from 10 July at the Albert Memorial Centre, where the proposals were fully displayed. There was wide publicity about the exhibition so that everyone had an opportunity to see the proposals and express their views during the consultation period which ended on 7 August.

Between 10 July and 20 July, leaflets, questionnaires and pre-paid envelopes were also distributed to households in the following postal districts: W1, W2, W8, W11, W14, SW1, SW3, SW5, SW7 and SW10. The principal purpose of the distribution was to provide further publicity about the proposals especially for local residents and encourage them to comment having seen the full proposals rather than the summary leaflet, but it also clearly enabled those who were unable to visit the exhibition to express their views.

Those reporting non-delivery and requesting the material were sent it. The exhibition at the visitor centre had to close on 31 July, but in recognition of the fact that those who did not originally receive the leaflets may still have wanted to see the exhibition and the full proposals, we made arrangements with Kensington and Chelsea Council for the exhibition to be seen at Kensington Town Hall from 1-7 August, and with Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Councils to have the proposals available in the Town Hall and City Hall respectively, and in Mayfair and Paddington Libraries, with copies of the summary leaflet and questionnaire, until 7 August.

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