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Written Question
Tickets: Sales
Friday 8th September 2023

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to introduce legislation for the uncapped secondary ticketing market.

Answered by John Whittingdale

We are committed to supporting fair and transparent ticket pricing and tackling unacceptable behaviour in this market.

We have strengthened the law in relation to ticketing information requirements and have introduced a criminal offence of using automated software to buy more tickets online than is allowed. We also support the work of enforcement agencies in this area, such as the Competition and Markets Authority, National Trading Standards, and the advertising industry's own regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority.

Ultimately, ticket pricing strategies are a matter for event organisers and ticketing platforms, providing they comply with relevant legislation, particularly regarding transparency to customers on how tickets are priced, in order to help consumers make a fair and informed decision.


Written Question
Swimming Pools: Finance
Friday 8th July 2022

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will provide immediate emergency funding to public swimming pools in order to protect those public leisure facilities in the context of rising energy prices.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. The responsibility of providing this access lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in swimming facilities.

We also recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on businesses of all sizes. Ofgem and the government are in regular contact with business groups and the leisure sector to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses.

Sport England has invested £25,027,478 in swimming and diving projects since January 2017, which includes £15,724,500 to Swim England. This is in addition to the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country after the pandemic.


Written Question
Choirs: Coronavirus
Tuesday 27th April 2021

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the timescale for allowing choirs to sing (a) indoors and (b) outdoors as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

Non-professional performing arts activities such as choirs are currently permitted outdoors, within the legal gathering limits. People should only take part in non-professional performing arts activities outdoors in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible). Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble.

Non-professional activity indoors is not permitted indoors at this time. The intention is that this will be permitted from Step 3 of the Roadmap (no earlier than 17 May). This is subject to review and further guidance will be provided in advance of step 3.

COVID-19 spreads from person to person through small droplets, aerosols and through direct contact. Singing, playing some musical instruments, shouting and physical activity increases the risk of transmission through small droplets and aerosols. The cumulative effect of aerosol transmission means the more people involved, the higher the risk of transmission. This means that it is currently important to limit the total number of individuals involved in singing as far as possible.


Written Question
Horse Riding: Coronavirus
Tuesday 20th April 2021

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will review the reopening date for indoor riding schools as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The government has introduced a step approach to the return of outdoor and indoor sport areas across England. Across four steps, the roadmap sets out the sequencing and indicative timing for easing restrictions. This is a cautious and gradual approach, led by data, not dates.

Indoor leisure facilities including indoor riding centres are now able to reopen for individual and household use so long as they adhere to relevant government guidance. All children are also able to attend any organised indoor children's activity.


Written Question
Ice Skating: Coronavirus
Wednesday 9th December 2020

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will urgently review the tier regulations on the opening and use of ice rinks for individual and non-elite athletes.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

As the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions ended on Wednesday 2 December, and gyms and sport facilities are reopening across all tiers. Outdoor skating rinks can stay open across all tiers and indoor skating rinks can open in Tiers 1 and 2.

Under Tier 3, Ice Rinks are able to open for disability sport, sports as part of the curriculum in education and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020). Elite and professional athletes may continue to use facilities including ice rinks to train and to compete Behind Closed Doors.


Written Question
Performing Arts: Coronavirus
Friday 6th November 2020

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support has been provided to amateur theatres as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what guidance has been issued to those theatres in light of that outbreak.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 31st October, the Performing Arts guidance has been updated to confirm that non-professional activity such as amateur choirs, orchestras and drama cannot take place until the current national restrictions are lifted.

Amateur theatres were able to apply for funding from the Culture Recovery Fund, provided they met the criteria set out in the guidance to the fund. This can be found on Arts Council England’s website.


Written Question
Children's Play: Coronavirus
Monday 7th September 2020

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when indoor play centres will be allowed to open as lockdown restrictions are eased due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

On 13 August, the Government announced that indoor play and indoor soft play venues could open from 15 August. We worked with BALPPA, the trade body that represents the industry to develop guidance that lays out detailed measures for indoor play and indoor soft play operators to make venues COVID-secure. These include closing ball pits and sensory areas, reducing capacity of venues and soft play frames, regular deep cleaning, pre-bookable timed sessions, increased sanitation, and a rigorous process to support track and trace. We will continue to engage with the sector and will keep the guidance under regular review.


Written Question
Ice Skating: Coronavirus
Thursday 30th July 2020

Asked by: Alan Campbell (Labour - Tynemouth)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will provide compensation for the additional costs incurred by ice rinks following the revision of Government guidance on 17 July 2020, altering the date when those rinks could open as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. From 1 August ice-skating rinks should be able to reopen.These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.