|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Ministers agreed to extend the funding programmes for the arts, Kaleidoscope, and for literature, Ariane, to 1999. From January 2000, a new single framework programme for culture, entitled Culture 2000, will replace the existing programmes, such as Kaleidoscope and Ariane, as well as Raphael, which covers heritage issues, and a range of other cultural actions. Culture 2000 will enable not only co-operation within traditional sectors, but also cross-sectoral co-operation to take place. Ministers agreed a Common Position, subject to final agreement by the Netherlands, which will now be considered by the European Parliament.
Ministers also adopted a Resolution highlighting the important role of public service broadcasting in the digital era, and discussed other issues, including cross-border fixed book price agreements, statistics concerning the audiovisual and related sectors, and the convergence of the telecommunications, media and information technology sectors.
Statements under Section 19 will appear as a note on the face of each government Bill and in the explanatory notes for most Bills. This will enable anyone obtaining a copy of the Bill in paper or electronic form to see at once the statement.
There may be occasions when a Bill which has been amended at a late stage in the House into which it was first introduced cannot be accompanied by a statement when it is first printed in the second House. In these situations, a statement will be appended to the Bill by the time of Second Reading and the circumstances will be explained in a Written Answer.
The working group recommend a limited criminal offence to protect boys and girls of 16 and 17 from sexual advances by those in authority over them in specific circumstances. The circumstances would include: young persons compulsorily detained; looked after by the local authority (whether in foster care, residential care, or semi-independent accommodation); receiving health and/or social care in a residential setting (including hospital); and receiving full time education. We accept this recommendation. As announced yesterday, we will bring forward proposals to implement it at the same time as we give Parliament an opportunity to vote on equalising the age of consent for boys and girls this session.
The working group also recommend a government initiative to strengthen codes of conduct generally to protect young people from those in positions of authority over them. They are taking this forward as a matter of priority. The first step is a seminar involving outside organisations on 30 November, and work will continue on this throughout next year.
|Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|