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The Lottery has been a huge success. Over £14 billion has been raised for good causes since 1994. However, nine years on from when the lottery started there is a need to revitalise the way lottery money is distributed. That is why last year we published a consultation document to consider how lottery distribution can be made more strategic and streamlined, and importantly how it can remain responsive to public need.
Ultimately our proposals are driven by the need to reconnect people with the lottery, to ensure that people are aware of, and can have greater influence over, how their money is spent, and to make it much easier for everyone to apply for and to use lottery money.
The document sets out proposals for involving the public more and responding to people's priorities. It also describes in more detail how we will create a new lottery distributor, merging the Community Fund and New Opportunities Fund. This new distributor will also take on some of the powers of the Millennium Commission, including the ability to fund big transformational projects of national significance. We also propose ways to improve the management of issues and projects which cut across lottery distributors, including proposals for a new lottery forum with a formal mandate to take forward more joined up working. We will create a more unified promotional approach to make clear the link between the lottery game and the money going to good causes, and more streamlining of the application process for grants.
I believe that these changes will enable us to build on the success already achieved and secure the lottery's position for the future. These changes will require legislation and we will bring forward proposals as soon as parliamentary time allows.
Our National Lottery is one of the most successful in the world. After 10 years and two licensing rounds, however, we cannot assume that current arrangements will continue to give the best outcome for good causes. That is why last year we published a consultation document to consider whether there might be scope to reinvigorate competition to run the lottery. The licensing proposals set out in the document are intended to take effect after the end of the current lottery operating licence in January 2009. The
The document proposes a radical new approach to licensing the National Lottery. It will move away from a requirement for a single major licence competition every seven years. We will strengthen the National Lottery Commission as regulator, and it will have the ability to offer for competition a range of licences to run different parts of the lottery. We would also allow for licences of different lengths. The commission will decide the scope of the competitions and the length of the licences before the end of Camelot's current licence. The commission will exercise its independent judgment in making these decisions, taking account of developments in technology and market conditions.
I believe that these changes will enable us to build on the success already achieved and secure the lottery's position for the future. They should not be taken as criticism either of Camelot or the commission, both of which have worked hard for the benefit of good causes within the constraints of the current statutory framework. The Government will bring forward legislative proposals as soon as parliamentary time allows.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): It is estimated that there are approximately 40 zoos operating in the North West of England.
Zoos are subject to the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. This was amended on 8 January this year by the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Regulations 2002 which implemented in England Council Directive 1999/22/EC of 29 March 1999 relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos.
Lord Whitty: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs provides grant aid to the coastal defence operating authorities (primarily the Environment Agency but also some maritime district councils) for capital works and studies to assist in the management of flood risk from the sea.
Defra (and previously the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) has approved 200 capital works projects for grant since 1 April 1993 which have been recorded as being primarily to protect against flooding from the sea. This does not include projects to protect against coastal erosion, works carried out without grant aid, nor maintenance works. I have placed a list of the projects in the Library of the House. I have shown projects approved rather than completed in the past 10 years as we do not record completion date in every case but have shown the latter where possible. I have also included projects approved earlier but which our records show as having been completed within the period. We would expect most projects to be completed within three years of approval.
The department does not record details of projects undertaken without grant aid so I am unable to provide details of these but it is unlikely that the coastal defence operating authorities would carry out many capital works of any size without grant aid.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The agency has received some representations on this publication. The agency supports a safety-based approach to regulation of food supplements, and is committed to promoting informed choice. Prior to the publication of the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals (EVM) report the agency held two press conferences to brief the media with the chairman of the EVM. The agency was careful to present balanced information on the risks associated with some high dose vitamin and mineral supplements and is satisfied that this will have contributed significantly to helping consumers to make informed choices about the food supplement products they buy.
Lord Warner: The Reference Nutrient Intake for Vitamin B6 is 1.2 mg/day for adult females and 1.4 mg/day for adult males. Government advice remains that people limit their intake of vitamin B6 from dietary supplements to no more than 10 mg per day unless acting on the advice of their GP or health professional.
Reports of suspected adverse reactions to medicines are collated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Committee on Safety of Medicines through the spontaneous reporting Yellow Card Scheme.
Between 1 January 1997 and 18 June 2003, 178 reports of suspected adverse drug reactions associated with products containing vitamin B6 have been received through the Yellow Card Scheme. Of these reports, 42 suspected adverse drug reactions were associated with single-constituent products and 259 suspected adverse drug reactions were associated with multi-constituent products. Some reports may contain more than one adverse reaction.
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