HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 c549
1. Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage, what consideration has been given to the establishment of (a) a national dance centre and (b) a national skating centre; and if he will make a statement. 128742]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for National Heritage (Mr. Iain Sproat)

Under the long-standing arm's-length principle for arts funding and development, it is for the Arts Council to formulate strategies for each of the various art forms, including dance. The establishment of a national skating centre is primarily a matter for the sport's governing bodies to consider.

Mr. Hughes

I am grateful to the Minister. I am sure that his mind is on sports other than dance and skating at the moment.

Mr. Allen

He is on thin ice.

Mr. Hughes

As has been said from the Opposition Front Bench, there may be some thin ice around. As the work of Government has to go on, will the Minister confirm that, given that the proposal for a national skating centre in Derby has fallen through, the Government would have no objection to the proposal being worked up for a combined dance and skating centre, neither of which we have, in the London docklands? [Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. I think that hon. Members are aware that they should not pass between the hon. Member who is speaking and the Chair. The hon. Member for Warley, East (Mr. Faulds) knows much better than that.

Mr. Faulds

May I apologise immediately, Madam Speaker? Old age and the stick create strange circumstances. Do forgive me.

Mr. Sproat

I have not had a chance to look at the documents to which the hon. Gentleman referred, but I will certainly do so and let him know what I think.