Patrick Streeter asked a question of the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee regarding the possibility of a new Concert Hall in London. In response, the Chairman expressed the view that the establishment of a new Hall within the square mile would be a positive development for the City and highlighted the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent announcement of a feasibility study exploring this issue. This feasibility study would be undertaken on the Government’s behalf by the Barbican Centre and would seek to identify potential sites within the City, the national implications of delivering such a project and identifying sustainable business models.
In response to a supplementary question from Mr Streeter, the Chairman undertook to keep Members informed of the progress of the feasibility study being undertaken.
Publication of registers of beneficial ownership in the UK's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies
The Revd. William Campbell-Taylor asked a question of the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee concerning the publication of the registers of beneficial ownership in the UK's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. The Chairman noted that these registers were not generally published domestically or internationally at present, but that he would be supportive of a coordinated international approach to this issue.
In response to a supplementary question from the Revd. Campbell-Taylor, the Chairman confirmed that this was the first time he had spoken on this issue on behalf of the Court, with this issue having only relatively recently been raised on the national or international stage. He also quoted the Prime Minister’s comment that it would be unreasonable to call crown dependencies or overseas territories as tax havens.
A further supplementary question was asked by Mark Wheatley concerning opposition to political parties’ policies in the lead up to a general election. In response, the Chairman clarified the distinction between Members’ freedom to oppose or support political stances in their individual private capacities and the expectations upon them in terms of the Corporation’s official politically neutral position. The Corporation’s position in respect of the European Union was also confirmed.