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Action on Smoking and Health: Finance

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he takes to audit funding provided to Action on Smoking and Health by his Department to determine what proportion is used to lobby his Department; (227446)

(2) how many meetings (a) he, (b) his ministerial colleagues and (c) his officials have had on the future of tobacco control with (i) charities, (ii) professional bodies, (iii) retail businesses and (iv) manufacturers in the last three years; which of the charities with which meetings have been held are funded by his Department; and in each case how much funding has been allocated to each charity.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) received funding from the Department in the current financial year in accordance with the 'Section 64 General Scheme of Grants to voluntary and Community Organisations'. The standard conditions attached to these grants including audit procedures are published on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/managingyourorganisation/Financeand planning/Section64grants/DH_076281

ASH has received this grant specifically to carry out a defined project entitled “Capitalising on Smokefree: the way forward”. None of this funding is to be used for lobbying purposes.

The Department has completed a public consultation on 31 May 2008 on the future of tobacco control. This consultation was carried out in accordance with the Cabinet office code of practice. A copy of the, consultation document has already been placed in the Library.

Meetings have taken place at all levels of the Department, and at regional and local level. No central record has been kept of all the meetings held with the organisations listed and with other stakeholders. The consultation has received over 95,000 responses and these are being analysed.

In due course a summary of the analysis of responses will be published on the Department's website. A large number of charitable organisations will have been involved in responding to the consultation. Details of the funding of those organisations attending meetings or taking part in this consultation have not been collected in the form requested. There will continue to be meetings with interested stakeholders at all appropriate levels, as a future strategy is developed to tackle the death and disease caused by smoking.