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Volume 454: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

25. What representations the commissioners have made to the Government on state funding for repairs to cathedrals. (109431)

The commissioners continue to support the Church Heritage Forum and the Archbishops Council in their efforts to secure a more symmetrical balance between the contribution that churches and cathedrals make to the community and the contribution that they receive from public funds.

Will my hon. Friend join me in wishing York minster well with its £10 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for assistance towards the £23 million cost of restoring York minster’s great east window? Seeing the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Lammy), the Minister with responsibility for heritage, sitting on the Front Bench, does he agree that our most important mediaeval buildings ought to be protected by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and not just left to the lottery?

I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s contribution. He will know that the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) asked about cathedral repairs earlier. My hon. Friend may also have spotted the Under-Secretary up the scaffold at York minister’s £20 million-plus east front project last month. I did not have the delight of seeing him abseiling on the York minster front, but I know that that indicates his dedication and the dedication of his Department. My hon. Friend’s point is well taken.