HC Deb 14 February 2002 vol 380 cc632-3W
Mr. Peter Duncan

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Friends of Scotland have been recruited to date; what has been the cost of that project to date; and what its budget is for 2002. [35734]

Mrs. Liddell

[holding answer 12 February 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 169W.

The costs of this programme are being met from within the existing resources of the Scotland Office, together with private sponsorship for the Scottish banquet on 28 November 2001. It is not possible to quantify the cost of staff time spent on this programme this year.

My officials and I are in discussion with interested parties, including the Scottish Executive, about the further development of the initiative. These discussions will inform decisions about the allocation of resources.