HC Deb 11 July 1994 vol 246 cc649-50
3. Mrs. Browning

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is his policy on deregulation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sproat

My Department takes a keen interest in the impact of regulation, from whatever source, on the business sectors in which we have a policy interest. We seek to deregulate when it can be wisely done.

Mrs. Browning

May I urge my hon. Friend to hasten any measures in the pipeline and to receive with an open mind representations made by those associated with tourism, which is extremely important in my constituency of Tiverton in Devon? Those associated with tourism and particularly small businesses feel that the burden of regulations still lies heavily on their shoulders.

Mr. Sproat

Yes. I congratulate my hon. Friend on the great persistence with which she follows the interests of the tourist elements in her constituency. My Department identified 91 regulations which impact damagingly on the tourist industry. We are pursuing those with each of the relevant Departments.

Ms Mowlam

Although the Minister is not responsible for the regulation of newspaper pricing, he has regulatory responsibility for the standards of news and opinion throughout the United Kingdom. Given his Department's lead role in the Government's cross-media review, what will he have left to review if Murdoch's News Corporation succeeds in pushing some of the quality national and regional newspapers out of the market?

Mr. Sproat

We shall continue to review those and all the other newspapers and aspects of the media that are left.

Mr. Waterson

Is my hon. Friend aware of the depth of feeling of hoteliers in my constituency about excessive regulation? Will he take the opportunity to discuss those matters with the Eastbourne Hotels Association during his forthcoming and much expected visit to Eastbourne?

Mr. Sproat

Yes, I look forward to my trip to Eastbourne. Much of the evidence that has helped us so much in our investigation has come from the hoteliers of Eastbourne and I look forward to renewing my acquaintance with them.