Live Culture, Media and Sport Questions House of Commons

Live Culture, Media and Sport Questions

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to Karen Bradley, the secretary for culture, media and sport, and her ministerial team.

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Good morning and welcome to BBC Parliament's live coverage of the


Commons. The Labour chair of the, first committee Yvette Cooper will


be asking about the decision to end the child refugee programme. Then


the Leader of the House David Lidington will be asking questions


about the future parliamentary business on the backbenchers debate.


Join me for a round-up of the day and both houses of parliament at


11pm tonight. First questions for the Culture Secretary Karen Bradley


and her team. Number one, sir.


Mr Speaker, in a fast changing and challenging broadcast environment,


the Government wants to ensure that Channel 4 has a secure and strong


future, and will continue to provide for audiences and support creative


industries around the UK. The Government is looking at a broad


range of options and we will set out our plans in this area in due


course. Is it that the review is not as fast


changing and fast moving as the broadcast environment? At the end of


this month, it will have taken longer than the BBC Charter review.


Can we now put this review out of its misery and declared that Channel


4 works well and will not be privatised.


Mr Speaker, unlike the BBC Charter review, this is no formal process


and there is not an end date to which the charter expires as with


the BBC. But we need to make sure we get it right. I want to see Channel


4 survive and flourish and prosper in an ever-changing broadcasting


world, as he has pointed out, and that means working with Channel 4 to


get the right deal for viewers, but also the right deal for the whole


country. David Nuttall.


Would my honourable friend think the view of the conditions and markets


authority, what would it be like, if a company owned one broadcasting


company the size of the BBC and wanted to own another the size of


the Channel 4? If she would agree that this should not be allowed,


will she add agree to sell off Channel 4?


Mr Speaker, I know my honourable friend has strong views on this, but


I assure him we are looking at all and we will report to the house in


due course. As we heard from my honourable


friend from Chester, this is one of the longest-running soap episodes in


this house, whether Channel 4 will or will not be privatised. Can the


Secretary of State confirm it will not be privatised and will not be


for-profit, unlike, and I expect she is coming from pressure from the


benches opposite to privatise. Mr Speaker, I know the honourable


gentleman from Chester is interested in long-running soaps on Channel 4,


given that Hollyoaks is set in his constituency, and I want to make


sure that Hollyoaks and other programmes around the UK are able to


prosper so we have a plurality of broadcasting that works for


everyone. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Secretary


of State will be aware Channel 4 won the broadcaster of the year I


broadcast awards, and she, does she agree if it is not broken to fix it?


The point is that we make sure Channel 4 has a long term


sustainable future and that is why we are looking at all options we can


ensure that a station that relies very, very predominantly on


advertising revenue is able to continue and provide the excellent


broadcasting Channel 4 is renowned for.


But when she spoke to the select committee last year, she said you


would come to a decision, and I quote, "In the near -ish future".


And our in due course. I do not know whether the near -ish future is


sooner than in due course. This messing around about Channel 4 needs


to come to an end because the uncertainty is damaging the business


and broadcasting industry. Will she give us, rather than in the near


-ish future, a decision immediately? I do not agree this is affecting the


quality of broadcasting Channel 4 is able to produce. The fact that


Channel 4 has committed to being the broadcaster for the para athletics


being held in London is a positive move we welcome. I will get this


right and we're working with Channel 4 and all stakeholders to make sure


Channel 4 has the long-term, sustainable future and I will report


back to the honourable gentleman as soon as I can.


Number two. Matt Hancock.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. We strongly support a brass bands, and through


regular arts Council funding to organisations such as the Brass Band


England, and in addition large brass band can take advantage of the


orchestra tax relief introduced in April last year.


Youth Brass 2000 is a small brass band based in Kettering, and would


my honourable friend join me in congratulating them in recently been


crowned British Open youth brass band champions for the fifth year


running? They are an excellent example of youth band should be


pleased to follow, are they not? I would be delighted to trumpet


success... Of the winners of the British open


youth championship for a fifth year in the role. I myself played the


cornet in a brass band when I was a boy. But I never rose to the


dizzying heights of the National Champions that he represents and I


send them congratulations. In my constituency, we have the


wonderful band that brings together the not so young and the young, with


instruments that are also young or not so young and I understand the


minister is keen to support that. Could he endorsed today in this


chamber of the need to have that cross community, gender balance as


well, to make sure the brass bands of the future are as such?


As you see from the response in the House, there are brass band toured


across the country. The Haver Hill Brass Band in my constituency is a


good example. But the point the honourable gentleman makes is that


brass bands like other music organisations can bring people


together across cultural divides, from different backgrounds, and


provide a point of unity. A point well made.


The Minister is not known for blowing his own trumpet but... I am


sure he, like me, would want to congratulate the Rossendale Scout


band and many other bands, all of which particularly work with young


people. I am sure I hope the Minister will take the opportunity


to thank these bands getting young people off the street and giving


them a love of music and helping them perform.


I never played the trumpet, I was a mere player of the cornet but I want


to bang the drum for all of these brass bands.


The long-term sustainability of our brass bands, including the fine


brass band in my hometown... Yeah, yeah...


It depends on the affordable music lessons in schools. Does the


Minister agree that this Government's cuts to devolved


administrations and local councils but a risk?


I think that people who play in brass bands across the country


should be enthused by the level of support across this chamber for this


question. I would disagree with the honourable gentleman, because in


England, where the UK Government is responsible for support, we have put


in ?300 million into music clubs to make sure everybody gets the


opportunity to play a musical instrument. It is up to the devolved


authorities to do that. That is outside of England, and I wish that


the Welsh Government would do something similar.


Question three. Mr Speaker, the Government wants to


ensure the best deal for Britain on leaving the EU, and to provide as


much certainty as we can. The creative industries are one of the


UK's greatest success stories, contributing over ?87 billion to the


economy, and ?19 billion in exports, and I am confident this will


continue when we leave the European Union, and I am working with the


ministry to ensure this. I am sure the Minister has her


favourite things, but can she enjoys the Government is ensuring that work


Visa requirements and increased application costs do not kill the


ability of UK musicians to tour in European venues post Brexit?


Mr Speaker, as pointed out, we have moved from brass bands to rock


bands. A nice segue. But the point of the UK music industry is this is


a global leader. Not just in 27 countries in the European union but


across the world, and it is British music and British bands that are


touring around the world. I understand the point that he makes


and I am sure to work closely with the industry to ensure we get the


best deal for British music in Europe but also across the world.


The EU is crucial funding for the creative sector, and Scottish


organisations have received over 12 million from creative Europe, but no


word from this Government as to what will happen to the source of funding


after the UK leads the EU, so can you commit to giving the creative


industries assurance that they will not be worse off as the result of


the UK leaving the EU? The Chancellor of the Exchequer has


committed that funding will be secured until 2020, which is after


the UK will leave the European Union, but I am working closely with


industry and across Government to ensure that we get the right deal


for Britain, and that means that we have the support that is needed to


ensure our creative industries flourish.


Mr Speaker, when I look at the stylish men and women on the front


bench opposite, I think that each and every one of them...


LAUGHTER Except perhaps the honourable member


for Reading, could be models on the catwalk at London Fashion Week.


Now, the fashion industry, Mr Speaker, are concerned that as the


UK leads the EU, we will lose the right to present original designs


with serious knock-on effect for trade showcases, including London


Fashion Week. Can the Secretary of State tell us what the Government is


doing to make sure intellectual property rights of our designers are


protected post Brexit? Mr Speaker, the honourable gentleman


has a timely question with British Fashion Week coming up, but also,


because only on Monday myself and the Minister of State met the


fashion industry to discuss exactly these points, and I reassure him and


the fashion industry that because the Great Repeal Bill will bring


European rules into UK law, those rates will be protected.


Mr Speaker, last week the select committee took evidence from people


representing the creative industries. Some of these employ a


40% EU workforce and these people are now in limbo. What reassurances


can the Secretary of State give that their roles and livelihoods are


secure? I want to pay tribute to the


decreative works, and the role they have played in working Government to


develop our plan to ensure we get the right deal for creative


industries when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. He will


know the Prime Minister has been very clear that she wants to get an


early settlement on the matter of EU nations in the UK and UK nationals


living in Europe and I know that she is working hard, as we all are,


across Government, to ensure we can achieve it as soon as possible.


We expect all clubs and sports to fill full their legal obligations


under the act of 2010, so disabled people are a are not placed at a


disadvantage. Football has the highest issue, and is stepping up.


We expect all other sports to do the same.


People from across the United Kingdom have been contacting me with


grave concerns about lack of accessibility to sport stadiums.


Will the minister meet with myself and the all parliamentary group to


discuss the important steps in the way forward. Can I start by


congratulating the honourable lady in all she does. Her reputation is


fast spreading around the chamber and indeed beyond. I would, I am


sure, along with my colleague for work and pensions, be delighted to


meet her about this issue. We are making progress on it. It isn't just


football in the English Premier League. It is football throughout


this country and across other home nations as well. I encourage all


members to do what they can to encourage their own local clubs to


be as successful as possible. Will the minister agree it is


unacceptable with all the wealth that there are clubs that don't yet


have a plan to meet their accessibility target for their


stadia. Will she agree with the report that clubs that fail to do


that should face legal action? I don't agree with the honourable


gentleman that the clubs don't have a plan. I believe they have a plan,


they may not be meeting that plan. He is right to say there should be


legal action. It is not for me to advance that. It is, he will be


aware, as others will be, that equally and the human rights


commission is the body that enforces the act. If insufficient progress is


made by clubs they should consider using their legal powers and they


would have my full support. The Government's approach continues to


be come play sent. The Government's a-- complacent. The Government's


view is to leave it up to individuals to enforce. When they


try and enforce it the Government hit them with tribunal fees. Will


the Government do it itself and stop passing the buck. ? I am not sure he


listened to the answer. The enforcement body, if they decide to


take legal action and they would have Government support in doing so.


I know, Mr Speaker, that the honourable gentleman is in fact a


Wolverhampton wanderer's fan and Molineux is 62 spaces short of its


target. I hope he will encourage the excellent disabled, active fan's


group to make sure they do meet their own target. Number five. As


the honourable gentleman knows, we have committed to a come produce


when sieve review which will look at funding arrangements, remit and


governance. I look forward to the honourable member's contributions to


that review. She will be fully aware of the sig mans of S4C to the people


of Wales. When the announcement was made last year of a review, the


Government also wisely froze the cuts tDCMS share of the budget. The


review has not started. It will happen this year. Will the Secretary


of State guarantee to, again, freeze any proposed cuts to S4C's budget?


The Government is committing to ensuring the future is strong and it


has a long future in broadcasting. We will make sure the appropriate


budgets are available. Of course, the forthcoming


independent review of S4C is welcomed. It remains a scarlet pip


per them. The to specify recommendations about present and


future funding arrangements to ensure the channel can achieve its


public service obligations Mr Speaker, we have ensured that S4C


has appropriate funding for a very long time I was a Conservative


Government that introduced S4C in the first place. This Government the


Government gave over ?600 million and will give that next year in


addition to the money that comes addition to the money that comes


from the licence fee. I hope that will show we are committed. The


current funding projection means a 10% in its funding between now and


2021. Could the minister assure me the review will look strongly at


making sure we have a definitive base to S4C's funding? We are


putting together terms of reference for the reviesmt look forward to The


Right Honourable gentleman's comments on that review when it is


put forward. Question six.


We strongly support the roll out of super fast broadband, which is on


track to be available to 95% of premises this year. One in three


homes in my constituency have broadband speeds of under 10


megabits per second. In recent study 44% repeated repeated loss of


broadband service. If this situation continues, the future growth


prospects of my constituency will be severely restrained? I will look


into the figures which he mentions. But I think broadband, which is the


independent body which publishes figures on this, think the amount of


properties with super fast broadband available is much higher and ahead


of the national average. There's been a huge effort to roll out super


fast broadband. Of course there's a difference between it being


available and taken up. Making sure people take up broadband when it is


available is a very important task. In the rural areas n the isolated


areas across the country, the hardest to reach areas still haven't


been reached by broadband. I think, can I urge the Government to have as


flexible approach, a voucher system in some places? Use all technologies


in order to get it out to the people in isolated areas? I very strongly


agree with my honourable friend. Thank you. In designing the super


fast broadband tender, the Government was warned they were


effectively entrenching BT's monopoly. Now in designing the


obligation they appear to be making exactly the same mistake again. Will


the minister commit to delivering choice in our broadband networks.


She's wrong on the premise of the question. There is now many, many


companies delivering into the BDU scheme. In fact there are companies


that didn't even exist a few years ago who are now delivering super


fast and much faster broadband across the country.


Question eight, Sir. Rob Wilson. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Government is providing support for library authorities throughout


England to deliver library services that are accessible, modern and meet


modern needs. This includes a ?4 million libraries innovation fund


and support for libraries to explore alternative operating models. I


believe very strongly that staff should have a stake in the public


services they provide. Lichfield library is situated in a


lovely building. It will cost over ?1 million to maintain it.


Staffordshire County Council decided to move the library out into a


heritage centre, which will strengthen the heritage centre and


the old building is being privatised, if you like and being


restored so. A win-win situation. What sort of best practise advice


does his department give to other County Councils? And perhaps


Staffordshire County Council n this area at least could be a model?


Could I welcome the approach taken by Lichfield library and


congratulate Staffordshire County Council. Local authorities need to


think very imaginatively about how libraries can deliver priorities and


the ambition document which we recently published through the


library's task force challenges them to do so. Standing still is not an


option. I encourage local authorities to embrace change and be


bold in finding solutions. Can I thank the minister for being so


personally engaged in supporting our efforts to protect Swindon's


community libraries. Can he praise the trust which has saved the


library and should be expanded further?


Can I thank him for his efforts in Swindon, where I did recently visit


the local authority and I was encouraged by the desire to keep


local libraries open. I join him in congratulating his local colleague


and local councillor for the work he's done in setting up a local


trust and keeping libraries open. Topical number one, Mr Speaker.


Today, my department published the first annual report setting out our


progress against sporting future, our sports strategy for an active


nation. Since the last oral questions my ministerial team and I


have held round table meetses with representatives from various


sectors, the purpose is to identify challenges and opportunities as the


United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Last week, when I went and visited Deptford


green secondary school a teenager from the school council asked me a


question. She started by asking the question by saying, "It's not


political." She asked me, why are there not more sports facilities for


young girls in the area. Female sports participation is half that of


men. This is a very, very political qu efrom a young girl. Is there any


surprise when female role models like Stef Houghton is paid ?65,000 a


year. And Wayne Rooney is paid ?250,000 a week. No, that is ?12


million less. THE SPEAKER: Speak! Order! I am


sorry. It is a very good question, but it is far too long. Topical


questions have to be far shorter. Sorry to interrupt.


I do appreciate the point. We are aware of it and we are working


across Government to address it. Can the minister tell the House what


work her department is doing to help small charities to secure public


service contracts? Mr Speaker, my Right Honourable friends raises a


very important point. We know the volumetry sector has the ability to


bring greater social value to our services. We know they can face


barriers when up against established providers. We announced new measures


in this area in December. It is why a group attended by the ministers


for civil society met for the first time yesterday to lead our work on


this issue. Keeping our children safe on line is one of the most


important responsibilities. That is why section 67 made it a criminal


offence for adults to send sexual messages to children TNSPCC say two


years on the law is still not enforst forced. Will the minister --


enforced. Will the minister explain why the Government is dragging their


feet on this and ensure this is implemented immediately? It is very


good to see a member of the shadow team who has been voting with the


rest of the shadow front bench this week. On the important issue that


she addresses ensuring Internet safety is something, as she knows,


is at the top of the Government's agenda. It has been a crucial part


of the digital bill and the proposal she makes is also something we are


considering very seriously. Thank you. Million on the, Mr Speaker,


million on the is widely recognised as the horse racing capital of the


north. And the racing -- Molton. And the levy will bring up to ?30


million a year into the industry. Would the minister update us on the


progress of its implementation. I recognise the valuable contribution


that horse racing makes to the whole of the country. We remain on course


to implement the reforms to the levy in 2017 and lay legislation to that


effect shortly. Thank you Mr Speaker. Every day player, coach,


volunteer of every sport should be made welcome. Will she join me in


praising the leadership shown by rugby league in tackling homophobia


in sport, on this, the day the Superleague season kicks off? I will


certainly join with the honourable gentleman in praising rugby league


for its efforts to make progress on this issue. Homophobia should not be


allowed in sport. We share the same rugby league team, Leeds. We wish


them well this evening against St Helens. English and Welsh wine is a


great quality success story. By 2020 will produce more than 12 million


bottles. I know the Secretary of State does her bit to boost wine


consumption. What is she doing to promote the use of English wine in


her department, across Government departments and attracting visitors


to our emerging wine regions? I have travelled down and grown in


my constituency is one of the finest English wines, and I am passionate


about wine for all of the right reasons and tourism is part of


ensuring English wine is part of that.


Manchester United should be applauded for their recent


announcement to increase the number of disabled supporters attending


games, but this is not a step that clubs at all levels can afford to


take. What will be Minister do to support those smaller clubs looking


to improve the experience of disabled supporters attending


matches? Manchester United should be


applauded, and other Premier League clubs are doing the same to improve


the offering for disabled spectators at their clubs. It is to other clubs


in lower leagues do find it difficult and they are working well


to ensure they meet their commitment going forward. We as the Government


do what we can to support that. If a broadband service is to be


advertised as Faber, should it not be full labour and should the


service speed advertised not be got by at least half of people receiving


it? -- fibre. The advertising standards authority


is a non-statutory body looking at some of these issues but it needs to


look more broadly to ensure people know what they are getting and the


advertising is proper and fair. In 2014 - 15, nearly ?4 million was


lost in the Stockton North constituency by those who could not


afford it. I know ministers have concerns highlighted in an report


last year, and can I urge them to respond possibly and have more


stakes on these machines -- lower stakes on the machines.


There was a review announced on these machines, and I am considering


the findings of that will be publishing shortly.


A football club are part of the fabric of the community and have


inspired many generations to participate in sport and foster a


sense of town pride, so will the Minister welcome the home of these


football and rugby team thanks to a ?7 million investment?


I am pleased to help that Oldfield has now opened, having the right


facilities in the right places and combining sports with those


facilities is not only important in driving participation but it is


excellent leave money. The tech sector number one Brexit


concern is that when we leave it will become unlawful to send


personal data from Europe to UK firms unless the commission, the UK


commission has declared that to be adequate. What steps are being taken


to secure that declaration in time? This is an important point and


making sure that we have unhindered flow of data between the UK and the


EU and indeed other trading partners around the world like the US is


vital. We are implementing this in full to make sure we have that


unhindered flow of data. In 2020, my right honourable friend


knows that we will be celebrating the 400 anniversary of the Mayflower


setting sail to found the American colony. Can I ask my right


honourable friend what discussion she has had with the Secretary of


State for Transport to make sure that tourists can get to the place


they set off from to get to the wonderful event?


Mr Speaker, I had the honour last week to meet the team who are


putting together the Mayflower 400 celebrations, and also attended an


event at the US embassy last summer where I saw a replica of the


Mayflower that will be part of the celebrations we look forward to in


2020. It is important that as many people as possible can visit those


celebrations and I had discussions with the Secretary of State for


Transport for that matter last night.


When the Government reduced the maximum stake on fixed odds betting


terminals to ?50, it accepted the principle that we are lowering the


level of the state to have a positive impact on problem gambling.


As part of the review, will you examine the success of that measure,


and see if it has been successful, will you consider reducing the state


even further? The Minister might do one or other


or conceivably if they got honourable gentleman is a lucky boy,


both. Mr Speaker, we have had many


responses to the consultation and you will be welcome to help consider


those recommendations. I will make my recommendations shortly and we


are looking through the body of evidence that came to us from the


review published in October. I expect to publish the


recommendations and findings in the spring.


Questions for the Secretary of State for International Trade, Thomas


Simmonds. Mr Speaker, the EU Canada


comprehensive economic trade agreement, CE GAA, is a good


agreement for the UK. -- CETA. The UK Government is fully committed to


supporting such agreements whilst we remain EU members. The investment


protection provisions in