JCDGB- Press Notice 041203 - No 1

Session 2003-2004

4 December 2003

Visit to Blackpool, December oral evidence sessions and specialist advisers


Visit to Blackpool, December oral evidence sessions and specialist advisers

The two Houses of Parliament established a Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill in the summer of 2003.  Following the publication by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of around 50 draft clauses in July 2003 (Cm. 5878) further sections and policy information were issued on 19th November (Cm. 6014).  These can be found at

http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/publications/archive_2003/draftgamblingbill_Cm6014.htm

The remit of the Committee is to consider the draft bill, and to report on it to both Houses. The Committee will proceed in the normal manner of Select Committees, by holding hearings and receiving written evidence. The Committee will publish a report making recommendations (to which the Government must respond) by 8th April 2004.

Visit to Blackpool

The Committee has already announced that it is visiting Blackpool on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th December.  Members will be meeting a wide range of interested parties, including those advocating the development of resort-style casinos in the town, and those opposed to the expansion of gambling facilities.  These will be informal, private meetings. Speaking about the visit, John Greenway MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"The Committee is looking forward to visiting Blackpool and hearing more about the proposed development of resort-style casinos there.  It is clear that those advocating these type of schemes in Blackpool are well advanced in their planning, and also that the draft bill - if passed - would provide some of the opportunities they seek.  We hope to discuss a range of issues, for example planning regulations and the possible role of resort casinos as a focal point of urban regeneration policy.  We intend to speak to local authority representatives and potential developers to find out what they see as the issues yet to be resolved.

It is important to emphasise that the Committee is not visiting Blackpool to endorse the Council's stance on resort casino development.  We are looking forward to meeting those who oppose such a significant expansion of gambling facilities in Blackpool, and hearing their concerns about the proposals."

December oral evidence sessions

The Committee will be taking oral evidence from the Rt Hon Lord McIntosh of Haringey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Media and Heritage), Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with officials, on Tuesday 16th December at 10.00am, provisionally in Committee Room 5, House of Commons. 

The Committee will be taking oral evidence from the Gaming Board on Thursday 18th December at 10.00am, provisionally in Committee Room 5, House of Commons.

It is advisable to ring the office on 020 7219 8388 to check the precise venue a few days in advance of the session.

Both these meetings will be open to the public. Entrance is via St Stephen's entrance, Palace of Westminster.  Transcripts of the oral evidence sessions will be placed on the Internet.

Details of the evidence sessions to be held in the new year will be announced later this month.

Specialist Advisers

The Committee has appointed Professor Peter Collins, Professor of Public Policy Studies, University of Salford, Bill Galston OBE, former Chief Inspector of the Gaming Board for Great Britain, and Professor David Miers, Professor of Law and Deputy Head of Cardiff Law School, as Specialist Advisers for its inquiry.  Paul Bellringer OBE, currently Chief Executive of Gamcare, has also been appointed as Specialist Adviser with effect from the end of the year.

Membership

The members of the Committee are as follows:

Chairman:John Greenway MP (Ryedale) (Conservative)

Commons:

Janet Anderson (Rossendale & Darwen) Labour
Tony Banks (West Ham) Labour
Jeff Ennis (Barnsley East & Mexborough) Labour
Alan Meale (Mansfield ) Labour
Richard Page (South West Hertfordshire) Conservative
Dr John Pugh (Southport ) Lib Dem
Tony D. Wright (Great Yarmouth ) Labour

Lords:

The Rt Hon Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville (Conservative)
Lord Donoughue of Ashton (Labour)
Lord Falkland ( Lib Dem)
Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Labour)
Baroness Golding (Labour)
Lord Mancroft (Conservative)
Lord Wade of Chorlton (Conservative)
Lord Walpole (Cross Bencher)

Members' declared interests are available on the website:

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/jcdgb.cfm

The Joint Committee has already invited interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the Draft Gambling Bill (in its Press Notice 3 of Session 2002-03). Submissions should reach the Committee as soon as possible and must be submitted at the latest by 10th December 2003.