HC Deb 05 July 1999 vol 334 cc383-4W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers the United Kingdom sports councils have to delegate the handling of small grants to member clubs to the governing bodies of sports; and who will be responsible for assessing whether those governing bodies have adequate administrative controls. [89145]

1994–1995 1995–1996 1996–1997 1997–1998 1998–1999
British Library
Grant-in-aid 75,171 80,364 84,324 87,200 82,364
Newspaper Library
Total gross expenditure 2,176 2,145 2,400 2,199 2,020
Total net (grant-in-aid) expenditure 1,423 1,337 1,667 1,476 1,222
Archiving and filming (gross) 1,034 1,126 1,203 1,044 978
Public services (gross) 436 446 468 496 469

Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what is the estimated durability and life expectancy of post-1850 newspaper newsprint copies held in the national newspaper collections. [89109]

Mr. Alan Howarth

Newspapers produced in the last 150 years have not been made to last. It is estimated that the durability of newsprint is unlikely to be more than 60 years. After this time, the paper is too brittle to be handled. The British Library is addressing the problem in its retrospective transfer of newsprint to microfilm and the continuing process of microfilming all issues of UK daily and weekly national and regional newspapers received under legal deposit.

The Library is also a subscriber to Newsplan, a co-operative programme devised by public libraries, national libraries and the newspaper industry for microfilming and preservation of local newspapers and for making them accessible to users. It is estimated that, since the late 1980s, over 14,000 reels of microfilm, each corresponding to a bound volume of historic local newspapers, have been filmed by the Newspaper Library for Newsplan. In March this year, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £5 million in support of Newsplan.

Mr. Banks

As independent corporate bodies set up by Royal Charter, it is for the UK and the four home country Sports Councils to determine their own spending and distribution priorities, to enable the most efficient and effective use of the public funds made available to them. Some of these funds are directed as grant-in-aid to sports governing bodies. The Sports Councils, as Lottery distributing bodies, have powers to delegate the handling of any grants made to governing bodies, member clubs and other groups. The Chief Executive of the Sports Councils act as Accounting Officers for the funding they receive and distribute and are explicitly required to ensure that any organisations given powers of delegation have suitable administrative controls and systems.

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