Memorandum submitted by the Local Government
1. Much of the subject of this inquiry relates
to areas which are outside the remit of local government or for
which the Local Government Association has no strong views. This
submission does not comment on the majority of the areas outlined
by the terms of reference.
2. The final bullet point, relating to the
level of funds for the good causes, however, is of considerable
importance to local government and is the sole focus of this written
3. We recognise that this inquiry is about
the broader concept of defining the good causes and is not about
evaluating the performance of the distributors. Nevertheless,
at this stage in the Lottery's history, it is difficult to divorce
the two. The LGA would encourage the Committee not to be swayed
from its stated terms of reference by the successes or controversies
of previous awards by any of the distributors.
4. The key questions are:
(1) the extent to which the Lottery has changed
the funding landscape in each of the good cause sectors and;
(2) whether future priorities in these areas
outweigh competing claims in sectors not currently represented.
5. The National Lottery has made a considerable
contribution to the cultural (using the word in its widest sense)
infrastructure of the UK. More recently the New Opportunities
Fund has contributed to the areas of health, education and environment.
As we argue below, however, there is still considerable need for
further funding and especially a substantial outstanding capital
6. Many local authorities have benefited
from the Lottery either as direct grant recipients or through
awards made to key partners. In turn, local authorities have supported
Lottery bids either as matching funders or as advisors to grant
applicants and distributors. At a national strategic level, the
LGA has developed a dialogue with each of the distributing bodies.
7. The original concept of the Lottery was
that it should fund additional work to that which would be covered
by ordinary exchequer spending. Although some recent programmes
have stretched this concept (NOF programmes particularly) additionality
still remains at the heart of the Lottery and should inform future
8. In local government, the distinction
between statutory and discretionary spending is clear (indeed
so much so that the LGA argues for greater flexibility for local
authorities to determine local need). For the most part, the areas
covered by the Lotteryarts, sports, heritage, some work
with the voluntary sector and even some elements of education,
health and environment spendingare those which are discretionary
for local government.
9. Although these areas of spending are
discretionary, this has not prevented local government from being
a strong supporter of these sectors. In part this has been assisted
by the Lottery which has enabled local authorities to support
projects where otherwise funding partners would be lacking, particularly
in capital projects.
10. The disadvantage of discretionary spending
is that it is vulnerable to outside forces. These forces include
the passporting of funds as determined by central government or
a lack of matching support from elsewhere in the mixed economy
(a shortage of private partners, for example). If the good causes
were redefined and taken away from the discretionary areas supported
by local government this could have a catastrophic knock-on effect.
Local authorities which currently choose to direct resources to
projects where there is the possibility of direct or indirect
support from Lottery resources, are likely to shy away from supporting
such projects entirely.
11. The Lottery has had a great impact on
the cultural infrastructure but there is still more to do. It
is the case that:
The Lottery came on stream at a time
when the good cause sectors had experienced years of under-fundingparticularly
for capital projects. Despite the in-roads which the Lottery has
made, Sport England estimate that there is £3 billion worth
of capital work outstanding on local authority leisure centre
refurbishment alone. The additional costs for arts, heritage,
libraries and other parts of the cultural sector would push this
figure far higher.
Monitoring of the Lottery has determined
that not all areas of the UK or types of project or applicant
have been able to access funds. In the light of the National Strategy
for Neighbourhood Renewal, and other strands of work relating
to inclusion, altering the emphasis of the Lottery at this stage
would result in the failure to deliver many of the Government's
key objectives. The roles of arts, sports, the voluntary sectors
and so on in reaching excluded groups and individuals is increasingly
well-documented. Without continuing Lottery support many of these
projects would not get off the ground.
12. Each of the Lottery distributors review
their programmes and strategic direction and it is right that
they should revise their programmes in view of current need. Many
of their programmes are already developing into "cross-cutting"
or cross-sectoral initiatives which aim to deliver government-defined
outcomes. Redefining the good causes at this stage seems likely
to derail programmes which are beginning to see results but for
which no alternative means of support exists.
13. The LGA has argued in the past (at the
time of the CSR 1998) that the funding which currently goes to
the Millennium Commission should be redistributed equally to the
original good causes after the Commission is wound up. If this
funding is to be directed to the New Opportunities Fund (as has
been reported), the LGA would be doubtful of this as the best
course. Unless, that is, the future programmes of NOF build on
cross-sectoral initiatives (such as their current streams for
libraries or green spaces) which benefit the cultural and voluntary
14. We recommend to the Committee that the
existing good causes should continue to receive Lottery funds
and preferably in the same proportions as at present.