§ Mr. Whittingdale
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures his Department is taking to promote traditional folk and acoustic music. 
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
The Government recognise the importance of folk and acoustic music to our wider arts policy. The strategic arms length relationship between DCMS and the Arts Council in funding issues means that it is for the Arts Council and Regional Arts Boards to take decisions on the funding of specific art forms, but DCMS is aware of the need to ensure that performers, producers and promoters of folk music continue to receive appropriate support. The Arts Council—having already provided significant Lottery support to folk music, and having also increased substantially the grant-in-aid budget to be committed to it—will shortly be launching a new Folk Music Policy which, following consultation, will provide a framework for future development, partnerships with other sectors, and future funding.