HC Deb 03 December 2001 vol 376 cc2-3
2. Caroline Flint (Don Valley)

What progress has been made in ensuring an increased share of successful bids for national lottery money in south Yorkshire. [16984]

The Minister for Sport (Mr. Richard Caborn)

Our data show that since the National Lottery Act 1998 and the revised policy directions issued to distributors that same year, the proportion of all lottery awards going to south Yorkshire has increased by 19 per cent.

Caroline Flint

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, but I have a question about common sense in the assessment of applications for lottery funds. I do not know whether he has had a chance to investigate an application to the better play programme from St. Alban's school in Denaby Main in my constituency to have an underground spring diverted from the sports field to be used for a range of play and sports activities. The application was turned down because it would not extend the choice and control children have over their play or maximise the range of play opportunities". What choice or control can children have when their playing field is waterlogged?

Mr. Caborn

As my hon. Friend knows, we received a letter from her constituency office on 22 or 23 November and officials are looking into the case. We want to reduce bureaucracy wherever we can. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 27 June to the lotteries monitoring panel that we were refocusing lottery funding on some of the poorer areas of the United Kingdom. I shall look into the case that my hon. Friend raises. The issue is one that we want to resolve quickly.