HC Deb 27 June 1979 vol 969 cc434-5
20. Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has regarding the provision of winter training facilities for the British Olympic team.

Mr. Monro

Responsibility for training requirements for the British Olympic team up to Lake Placid and Moscow are primarily a matter for the respective governing bodies of the various sports involved. The facilities at Sports Council centres such as Crystal Palace, and at other establishments throughout the country, are available during the winter months for specialist training.

Mr. Freud

Is the Minister aware of the substantial amount of Government grant aid provided by other countries for the eventuality of a bad winter, and will he take heed of the real anger which would accrue if insufficient finance prevented training during a hard winter?

Mr. Monro

I shall certainly bear the hon. Gentleman's view in mind, but he should realise that the Sports Council is providing about £700,000 for training up to the Olympic Games, and the Olympic committee and the Sports Aid Foundation are giving help as well.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

Does my hon. Friend realise that public expenditure in sport will be one of the few areas in which the British people would be happy to see an additional amount spent? Is he aware that, if we are even more successful in the coming Olympic Games than we have been in the past, it will be a fantastic morale booster for Britain and can do nothing but good? Will my hon. Friend therefore give serious consideration to the views expressed by the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud)?

Mr. Monro

I am sure that my hon. Friend realises that the grant to the Sports Council has not been cut. I hope that he will agree that, although it would be a tremendous boost to the morale of this country if we did well in the Olympic Games, that can surely be achieved without additional expenditure.