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Ancient Monuments (Maintenance)

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will increase the financial assistance to local authorities responsible for ancient monuments; and if she will make a statement. [112489]

Funding settlements for local authorities are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has no plans to provide additional grants to local authorities responsible for ancient monuments. However, English Heritage offers grants for the repair and conservation of historic buildings, monuments, areas and historic parks and gardens. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) distributes money raised by the national Lottery to support all aspects of heritage in the UK, from historic buildings and museums to archives, nature conservation and oral history. The HLF provides both capital grants ( for buildings and equipment) and time-limited activity grants. Further information is available from both organisations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers she has to require local authorities to maintain ancient monuments; and if she will make a statement. [112490]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State does not have powers to require local authorities to maintain ancient monuments. Planning Policy Guidance Note 16 issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister makes clear that detailed development plans (i.e. local and unitary development plans) should include policies for the protection, enhancement and preservation of sites of archaeological interest and of their settings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make it her policy to provide grants to local authorities specifically to assist in the maintenance of Roman town walls. [112491]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans to provide grants to local authorities specifically to assist in the maintenance of town walls. However, English Heritage offers grants for the repair and conservation of historic buildings, monuments, areas and historic parks and gardens. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) distributes money raised by the national Lottery to support all aspects of heritage in the UK, from historic buildings and museums to archives, nature conservation and oral history. The HLF provides both capital grants (for buildings and equipment) and time-limited activity grants. Further information is available from both organisations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will require local authorities with Roman town walls to provide her with (a) an audit of their condition, (b) a statement of works required to repair them and (c) an estimate of the cost of repairs. [112492]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans to require local authorities to provide her with this information. In the case of scheduled ancient monuments, this is a matter for discussion with English Heritage.