Cutlure secretary Chris Smith told MPs yesterday he had issued a new set of directions to all lottery distributors to ensure they pay attention to the particular needs of areas of social deprivation.
He told Nigel Griffiths, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, 'One of the things that I have always felt is important in lottery policy is that it should not be only wealthy areas of the country - represented by the well heeled, the well advised and the people who can afford consultants and readily produce business plans - that benefit from the funds of the national lottery.
'People of all classes and from all parts of the countryplay the national lottery; people of all classes and from all parts of the country should benefit from it'.
'The extent of the problem is perhaps most graphically illustrated by the fact that, to date, the amount spent by the lottery good causes in Barnsley is£17 per head, whereas the national average for England
as a whole is£70 per head', said Mr Smith.
He also assured Ronnie Fearn - who asked for more cash to help hard pressed local authorities improve parks - that the support for enhancing urban parks was continuing. The work the new
opportunities fund can put into place under the green spaces initiative would also help.