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Museums and Galleries: Free Admission for Children

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The free admission for children scheme to DCMS sponsored national museums has been in place for eight months. However, no central funds have been made available to fund free admission to non-DCMS sponsored national museums.

Of the museums sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, the RAF Museum has levied admission charges. The RAF Museum has sought an addition to its Grant in Aid to enable it to finance free admission for children. This is currently being considered by the Ministry of Defence in the context of other defence priorities.

The National Gallery of Scotland has maintained free admission for all visitors, and the National Museum of Scotland does not charge school children. Policy on admissions and other matters relating to the operation of the National Museum and Gallery of Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Parliament, not the UK Government.

The National Museum and Gallery of Wales currently allows free admission for pre-booked school parties. Policy on admissions and other matters relating to the operation of the National Museum and Gallery of Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales, not the UK Government.

The National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland has free admission to its Ulster Museum and Armagh Museum sites. A charge is made for admission to its open air sites, at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the Ulster American Folk Park. This reflects the relatively higher costs of operating such sites and the overall budget available to the institution.

Stonehenge

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the intended relationship between the Stonehenge World Heritage Site Management Plan (which is to be submitted to UNESCO) and the Stonehenge Master Plan, which is not; and whether the two plans are compatible.[HL4504]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Stonehenge World Heritage Site Management Plan is being drawn up in response to the international obligation to produce such plans for all World Heritage Sites. It sets out objectives for the conservation and presentation of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and suggests a detailed programme of action that is achievable. It provides the overarching framework within which the Stonehenge Master Plan will be implemented. This will improve the presentation of the monument, in particular the setting of Stonehenge by removal of the roads that pass close to the site and the establishment of a new visitor centre. The Government are satisfied that the two plans are fully compatible.

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Lord Kennet: asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How English Heritage has spent £96,237 in the last year on legal fees relating to the proposed new Visitors' Centre for Stonehenge World Heritage Site; what has been achieved by publication relations and consultancy firms fees amounting to £179,751 paid by English Heritage; and what firms have received these sums (HC Deb, 19 October, WA 427). [HL4375]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In 1998-99 and 1999-2000 English Heritage has commissioned legal work on a variety of matters, including planning, highways and road closure orders, procurement issues and general advice in relation to the tendering process for the design, finance, building and operation of the new Visitor Centre, negotiation of a contract to purchase land as a site for the new Visitor Centre at Countess East and acquisition of land adjacent to the Countess East site, project documentation for licences and agreements with the National Trust and other adjoining landowners, title matters, advising on employment and TUPE issues. Firms used include Norton Rose, Charles Russell and Bevan Ashford.

From time to time English Heritage has commissioned design material to inform and explain elements of the Stonehenge Master Plan to the general public. This work has included the Master Plan brochure, newsletters, exhibition and display material and a new Stonehenge logo for use in the marketing launch. Firms used include Atelier Works, Redwood Publishing Ltd. and Uffindell West Ltd.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why there has been no contribution to funding the improvements now necessary within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site from the Lottery or the Millennium Funds; and whether, in the light of the damage to the site identified in the 1998 Report to the Highways Agency from Messrs Halcrow as deriving from the "Master Plan", they will now seek funding sufficient for the improvements to which English Heritage and the National Trust committed themselves in 1995; and[HL4667]

    Whether, as stated in the Halcrow Report, Ministers decided in November 1997 that the improvements to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site to which English Heritage and the National Trust had committed themselves in 1995 should not be supported; and, if so, on what advice that decision was taken.[HL4668]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The 1996 Stonehenge Millennium Park bid submitted to the Millennium Commission by English Heritage and the National Trust was unsuccessful. An application will be made by English Heritage to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a contribution to the roads improvements which are aimed at bringing substantial heritage and environmental benefits. The planning conference in 1995 supported, in principle, a number of proposed measures to improve the setting of Stonehenge and its environs. These included the construction of "a long

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tunnel under the Stonehenge site" to take the A.303. However it recognised that finding the level of funding required would be problematic. At an estimated cost of £300 million this option was considered by the Government to be neither economic nor affordable. The report in 1998 to the Highways Agency from Halcrow reviewed the English Heritage proposal for a 2 km tunnel and comparative affordable options. It compared both benefits and disbenefits using the Government's New Approach to Appraisal. Nothing in the Halcrow report causes the Government to change their assessment of a long bored tunnel, and consequently they see no need to seek additional funding to build one.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many copies of the Halcrow Report on Stonehenge options are available; to whom they have been circulated; and whether this includes the Management Plan Working Group.[HL4325]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: This report was produced for Ministers in June 1998 as part of the work undertaken for the roads review. Copies were placed in the Libraries of the House and were made available to English Heritage, The National Trust, Wiltshire County Council and Salisbury District Council. All these bodies are represented on the Stonehenge World Heritage Site Management Group. Copies of the report have also been supplied on request to the organisations RESCUE and to Ms Kate Fielden, Mr Richard Wort and Mr C Woodford. We stand ready to fulfil any further requests for copies.

Policy Implementation: Cost Analysis

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What categories of policy implementation can usefully or successfully be evaluated in money terms, as for example in the Foreign Commonwealth Office or the Ministry of Defence.[HL4585]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In order to deliver the best possible services, the Government are committed to consistent appraisal of policies across departments. This entails being clear about the objectives of policies and thinking about alternative ways of achieving them. It also requires estimating and presenting the costs and benefits of each potentially worthwhile option, taking into account associated risks and uncertainties. The general approach of cost-benefit analysis is a useful discipline, posing fundamental policy questions, even when a large element of judgment is called for as to the relative merits of policy outcomes. Identifying the opportunities that will be forgone by pursuing a particular policy--maintaining an embassy or adopting a new weapon system for instance--obliges the decision maker to acknowledge the scarcity of resources available to the economy. HM Treasury guidance recognises that it is not possible to put a monetary value on all important factors. There will always be some wider managerial or

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political dimensions which must be evaluated by those responsible for the final decision. None the less there is considerable scope for assessing in money terms the best way of achieving a given policy objective which itself is not assigned a monetary value (cost-effectiveness analysis).

UK Economic and Social Activity: Measurement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of the country's significant economic and social activity is currently being measured by the Office for National Statistics or its successor body; and in what terms it is being measured; and[HL4586]

    Whether the country's currently measured economic activity includes non-marketed, but marketable, activity (such as household, political, voluntary, charitable, caring work) and marketed by not recorded activity (such as undeclared or criminal work), and, if not, how is the economic or social importance of these activities evaluated and taken into account.[HL4587]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics, who has been asked to reply.

Letter to Lord Kennet from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Dr T Holt, dated 11 November 1999.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary questions on economic and social activity currently being measured.

Currently the ONS aims to measure all the significant economic activity in the United Kingdom which involves a monetary transaction. This is measured at current and constant prices and published in the UK National Accounts, which conform to internationally agreed coverage and definitions. Statistics are collected and published on a wide range of social activity. It is not possible to say what proportion is being measured, as this would depend on how widely or narrowly social activity is defined, and whether it is in fact possible to quantify the unmeasured element.

The National Accounts do include the non-market activity of various bodies such as non-profit institutions serving households, e.g. charities, trade unions etc., as well as the non-market output of general government. Estimates of capital formation include activities such as self-build dwellings, which are part of the output produced by domestic households for their own consumption.

National Accounts aggregates are also adjusted to take account of some activity which is produced and sold but not recorded, e.g. sole traders and partnerships who are not registered for income tax. Research has also been undertaken to provide

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illustrative estimates of illegal activity. A description of this research was published in Economic Trends in July 1998, but these estimates are not sufficiently developed to be incorporated into the National Accounts.

The ONS is developing a household satellite account, which aims to measure and value all domestic household production including caring and voluntary work. A major input into this work will be the results from the UK Time Use Survey, which is co-ordinated by the ONS and jointly funded by a consortium of government departments and the Economic and Social Research Council. Fieldwork for this survey is due to begin next March and last for 12 months. Respondents will be asked to fill in, using their own words, a diary covering all their activities in two 24-hour periods--one week day and one weekend day. The diary information will be supported by the individual questionnaire, which will ask respondents to record any 'voluntary work' they have done or 'help and services' they have provided for others in the previous four weeks. This survey will give important insights into social activity, as well as providing more information about non-marketed economic activity.


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