Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Third Report


The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has agreed to the following Report:



1. In the near future Ministers and public bodies concerned with sport will need to consider the following issues that will be crucial to future strategy and policy on staging international sporting events in the United Kingdom:

  • whether policy on sporting events is accorded the right level of priority in relation to sports development and public policy more generally;

  • whether the appropriate lessons are being learned from the staging of recent events and from the unsuccessful England bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup;

  • whether the Wembley National Stadium project will be completed in accordance with its latest timetable and what role the Stadium can play in staging major events;

  • whether the necessary measures are in place to ensure that the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games are the striking success that they can and should be;

  • whether the necessary steps can be taken to enable the 2005 World Athletics Championships to be staged at Picketts Lock;

  • whether the Government should support a bid to stage the Olympic Games in London in 2012 or 2016; and

  • whether sport in the United Kingdom and public sector support for it are organised so as to optimise the effectiveness with which major events are secured and delivered.

These are the matters with which this Report is concerned.

2. We first considered the subject of the present inquiry in late 1998 and early 1999. On 19 May 1999, we published a Report on Staging International Sporting Events which examined events then in preparation and bids then underway and made particular recommendations about Ministerial support for the Manchester Commonwealth Games and Wembley National Stadium.[6] We returned to consider the latter project early in 2000 following the Government's decision to review Wembley's suitability as a venue for athletics. On 2 March 2000, we published a Report on Wembley National Stadium in which we recommended that Wembley National Stadium be constructed with a platform in place to enable the Stadium to be the venue for the 2005 World Athletics Championships.[7]

3. We began the present inquiry by seeking written evidence in the Autumn of last year. In December 2000, we sought further written evidence from certain organisations to clarify or expand upon the initial submissions of those organisations. We held four oral evidence sessions at Westminster in the course of March 2001, hearing evidence from Mr Ken Bates, former Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Limited, from the current Chairman and Chief Executive of that company,[8] from UK Athletics and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority,[9] from Sport England,[10] from Professor Alan Tomlinson of Brighton University, from Mr Tony Banks MP, from the Football Association,[11] from the British Olympic Association,[12] from UK Sport,[13] from Sir Nigel Mobbs, Chairman of the Wembley Task Force, and from the Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Kate Hoey MP, Minister for Sport.

4. On 19 and 20 March, we visited Manchester to be briefed on the progress of arrangements for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and to visit facilities completed or under construction for that event. We held an evidence session at Manchester Town Hall on 20 March, when we heard evidence from the Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, Minister of State in the Cabinet Office, and representatives of Manchester 2002 Limited and Manchester City Council.[14]

5. We received a great range of written evidence from sports governing bodies, public bodies and other organisations and individuals, some of which has been published in Volume II of this Report and the remainder of which has been reported to the House and is available for inspection by Members of the House of Commons in the Library of the House and by members of the public in the House of Lords Record Office.[15]

6. We sought some unpublished material as part of this inquiry. Lee Valley Regional Park Authority provided us with two feasibility studies on the Lee Valley Stadium at Picketts Lock. All references to those studies in this Report are to the executive summaries which have been placed in the public domain.[16] The BOA has provided us with a copy of its draft feasibility study on a London Olympic bid. This document contains commercially sensitive information and, although this study has informed our consideration of Olympic issues, we respect its confidentiality in this Report. We asked the Government to provide us with a copy of the Minutes of the first meeting of the Government and Agencies Committee on major events. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport declined to do so, on the grounds that "the terms of the discussion should be afforded confidentiality".[17]

7. We are most grateful to all those who gave evidence to the Committee and assisted us in the course of our inquiry, and in particular in the course of our visit to Manchester.

6  Fourth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Staging International Sporting Events, HC (1998-99) 124-I. Back

7  Fourth Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Wembley National Stadium, HC (1999-2000) 164. Back

8  Sir Rodney Walker and Mr Bob Stubbs. Back

9  Mr David Moorcroft OBE, Chief Executive, UK Athletics, Mr Len Hatton, Chairman London 2005, and Mr Terry Colton, Championship Director, UK Athletics, and Mr Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive, and Mr Simon Evans, Director of Development, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. Back

10  Mr Trevor Brooking CBE, Chairman, Mr Derek Casey, Chief Executive, and Ms Brigid Simmonds, Council member. Back

11  Mr Geoff Thompson, Chairman, Mr David Davies, Executive Director, Mr Alec McGivan, Director of the 2006 Bid Campaign, Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, Ambassador for the 2006 Campaign, Mr Nic Coward, Company Secretary, and Mr Frank Wheeler CMG. Back

12  Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Executive, Mr Robert Datnow, Lawyer, and Mr David Luckes, Projects Officer. Back

13  Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman, Mr Richard Callicott, Chief Executive, and Mr John Scott, Director of International Relations and Major Events. Back

14  Mr Charles Allen, Chairman, and Ms Frances Done, Chief Executive, Manchester 2002 Limited, and Councillor Richard Leese, Leader, and Mr Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council. Mr McCartney was accompanied by Mr Robert Raine, a senior civil servant in the Cabinet Office. Back

15  For a list of Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence published in Volume II, see pp lxii-lxiii, and for a list of papers placed in the Record Office and guidance on how these papers can be inspected, see p lxiv. Back

16  HC Deb, 25 October 2000, col 128W; Executive Summary of the Lee Valley Stadium Business Plan; National Athletics Stadium: Summary of Drivers Jones Technical Feasibility StudyBack

17  Evidence, p 201. Back

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