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Brighton Digital Festival

Volume 532: debated on Thursday 8 September 2011

Very sadly, neither the Secretary of State nor I will be able to attend the festival this month. I must say, it looks absolutely fantastic and we wish it well, and I am delighted that the Arts Council is giving it £50,000.

I am disappointed that the Minister cannot make the festival this time, and I hope very much that he will next year. Will he give a boost to the city’s growing digital sector by using his good offices and those of other Ministers to support a move towards all public sector contracts of less than £100,000 being given to small and medium-sized enterprises, and larger public sector contracts being broken down so that SMEs, particularly in the digital sector, have a much better chance of getting them?

If I am still in this job, I will certainly try to attend next year—and even if I am not, I will try to attend. I will be in Brighton at the beginning of October for the Museums Association conference, at which the hon. Lady is the keynote speaker. I heartily endorse what she says, because we must do all we can to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises can get Government contracts.