§ Lord Wigg
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make a statement about the future running of the Grand National at Aintree following the termination of the existing arrangements, in view of the fact that the Horserace Betting Levy Board has on no occasion at its monthly meetings formally considered the future of the Grand National during the period 1st January 1980 to date, that no action was taken to obtain information about the existing arrangements until April 1981, and that the chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board did not arrange to meet the existing owner to discuss the acquisition of the racecourse until 1st September 1981; and
What steps they have taken and propose to take in order to secure the continued running of the Grand National at Aintree following the termination of the existing arrangements, and whether the Horserace Betting Levy Board has submitted to the Home Secretary, in accordance with Section 25 of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, a request for the approval of the payment of £3 million for Aintree racecourse, and whether the statement made by the secretary of the Horserace Betting Levy Board at the press conference arranged by the chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board on 21st September at the Hyde Park Hotel that the Horserace Betting Levy Board would be prepared to increase its offer to £4 million has been considered 744WA by the Home Secretary and, if so, whether he has given his approval.
§ Lord Belstead
The Horserace Betting Levy Board is concerned about the future of the Grand National at Aintree and Her Majesty's Government share their concern. The Board is considering ways of securing the future of the race, but no formal approach has yet been made to my right honourable friend the Home Secretary.