HC Deb 26 March 2001 vol 365 cc476-7W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Ceredigion constituency, the effects on Ceredigion of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [154981]

Mr. Chris Smith

Through their commitment to public service broadcasting, the Government have helped to foster an environment in which a creative, commercially successful broadcasting industry provides a wide range of UK-made, high quality, original programmes catering for all viewers and listeners. We have ensured a secured funding base for the BBC and S4C, while giving them the freedom to develop commercial operations which complement and support their public service remit. We have made it clear in the Communications White Paper that public service broadcasting will continue to have a key role to play in the digital future.

The Government have also introduced free television licences for people aged 75 or over from 1 November last year. Information on the number of beneficiaries by constituency is not available, but estimates based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 4,800 people aged 75 or over living in the Ceredigion constituency.

My Department sponsors the British Tourist Authority (BTA), which continues to promote Britain effectively as an attractive tourist destination for overseas visitors. The BTA's successful marketing activities are aimed at bringing benefits to all parts of the UK, including Ceredigion.

According to the information supplied to us by the distributing bodies for the national lottery awards database, there have been 252 national lottery awards to Ceredigion, totalling £16,357,304, since 2 May 1997: this includes an award from the Millennium Festival of £12,000 for the Teifi River Festival. Thirty Millennium Award Winners have been identified from Ceredigion and between them they have received grants totalling £106,865.