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PUBLIC TO VOTE ON LOTTERY GRANTS

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The public would be able to vote on where Lottery money goes as part...
The public would be able to vote on where Lottery money goes as part

of plans to reform the way Lottery good cause money is given out,

Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport Tessa Jowell said

today.

It comes as the Government publishes the Lottery Bill, which would

allow Lottery distributors to take account of public consultation in

making decisions on where Lottery good cause money will go.

This could mean the public voting on Lottery grants showcased through

TV programmes in a similar way to the BBC programme Restoration.

Other key parts of the Bill include:

* Formalising the merger of the New Opportunities Fund, the Community

Fund and the Millennium Commission into a single distributor - the

Big Lottery Fund, saving between£6-12m a year.

* Creating simpler rules to ensure that Lottery money will reach good

cause projects faster and make it easier for groups to apply for

Lottery cash.

* Change the licensing and regulation of the Lottery to continue to

maximise the returns to good causes.

* A new system of allocating investment income from funds held in the

National Lottery Distribution Fund. This would encourage lower

balances by ensuring that distributors successful in getting their

balances down do not suffer a loss of investment income, and that

those maintaining high balances do not benefit.

Tessa Jowell said:

'Over the last 10 years the National Lottery has become part of the

fabric of life in this country. It has raised nearly£17bn for good

causes and funded over 190,000 projects, changing the face of the UK

forever.

'Lottery money is not Government money. It's not distributors'

money. It belongs to the people of Britain who play the Lottery. It

is venture capital for their communities. They need to feel a sense

of ownership of the money and see the evidence that is spent on their

behalf and in their interest.

'In future the public will have a far greater say over where Lottery

money goes. They will be able to get involved via public opinion

polls, citizens' juries, focus groups, Internet surveys, telephone,

Internet, text or television voting for individual projects or by

joining a local or regional awards panel.'

Notes

1. A copy of the Lottery Bill is available from

www.publications.parliament.uk

2. The Big Lottery fund gives out half of all Lottery money

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