The role of the Minister and
104. In 1999, we commended Manchester City Council
for its work to that point, but argued that there was a need for
a greater national commitment and national investment if national
as well as local benefits were to be secured from the 2002 Commonwealth
Games. We recommended the designation of a Minister in the Cabinet
Office as Minister with responsibility for the Games and also
proposed a review by the Government of its financial involvement
with the Games.
105. The Prime Minister responded swiftly to our
Report by appointingin July 1999Mr McCartney as
Minister of State at the Cabinet Office with special responsibility
for co-ordinating the Government's interests in the 2002 Commonwealth
Our recommendation and Mr McCartney's appointment led in turn
to the creation of a Task Force concerned with the Games, which
has already met seven times and which brings the organisers of
the Games together with Ministers and officials from more than
ten Whitehall Departments that have an interest in the Games.
A new Cabinet Sub-Committee has also been established under the
chairmanship of the Home Secretary to support the Minister in
coordinating Government support for the Games.
The role of the Home Secretary as Chairman of that Sub-Committee
helps to ensure that preparations for the Games are linked to
the wider plans for the Golden Jubilee of HM The Queen in 2002.
106. Mr McCartney identified several aspects to his
role as Minister. First, he served as "the advocate for the
Games" within Government.
Second, he acted as "the eyes and ears of the Prime Minister
in ensuring we deliver what has been promised".
Third, Mr McCartney acted as a channel of communication between
the Government and the organisers: he said that there was a "continuous"
dialogue between the Government and the organisers and that a
"really good strong partnership" had been established.
He considered that one of the lessons that the Government had
learnt from the Sydney Olympics was that "the more you get
involved in a partnership, the more transparent the relationship,
the more the Government are prepared to engage, the better the
107. The Games organisers and the Commonwealth Games
Federation paid tribute to the general level of Government support
and to the personal commitment of the Prime Minister and the Minister.
The Minister for Sport also acknowledged the value of Mr McCartney's
"First and foremost
of course it is a sporting event, but it is not a sporting event
in terms of how we run it, because you cannot run a successful
Commonwealth Games without practically every Department in Government
being involved and it would not be possible for someone who does
not have the clout to be able to go through and around and deal
with all the Departments to pull it together and that it what
he has managed to do."
108. We were impressed by the evidence that we
received from Mr McCartney and, more importantly, by the clear
signs that the designation of a Minister with special responsibility
for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games has had the positive
impact that we sought in 1999 on Government involvement with the
109. From the time that we first recommended closer
Government involvement with the Games, we have seen the Ministerial
role as inseparable from a closer involvement with the finances
of the Games. Following the first financial review set in train
by Mr McCartney, which we had recommended, the Government decided
to provide £10.5 million towards the costs of the Opening
and Closing Ceremonies for the Games.
A new review of the budget is now underway, and Mr McCartney said
that this would examine "issues around renewed Government
input", including "what more the Government needs to
do to secure the success of the Games", and "whether
we need to put further resources in".
He stated that he would be quite prepared to advocate "further
input" if he considered such a contribution necessary.
Although the Minister declined to speculate about further Government
funding for the Games, his statements did not appear to preclude
110. Since 1995, when the Games were awarded, there
has been a commitment by Manchester City Council to underwrite
the Games, despite doubts about whether a balanced budget for
an event of this nature is possible.
That accords with the tradition in this country that the greatest
risk for such events must be borne by a local authority. Mr McCartney
reaffirmed more than once that it had always been agreed that
"ultimate financial responsibility" for the Games lay
with Manchester City Council.
He also stated that there had been no suggestion from the Council
that it should be relieved of that responsibility.
111. Councillor Leese told us that Manchester
City Council had made a commitment that council taxpayers would
not pay for the Games either through increases in their council
tax or reductions in services. He said that the Council would
seek to mitigate risk by putting reserves in place, funded in
part from capital receipts from commercial development around
the Eastlands site.
We accept that ultimate responsibility to underwrite certain
losses is an important discipline on a local authority engaged
in organising a major event. Manchester City Council is seeking
clearly identified local gains from the Commonwealth Games and
cannot be relieved of all risk. However, the success of the Games
is dependent to some extent on the event being seen as a national
event with national ownership. The Prime Minister has acknowledged
that the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games "will be a tremendous
showcase not just for Manchester, but for the whole of Britain".
This national element requires a national commitment. It is
incumbent upon the Government to keep the finances of the Games
under constant review to ensure that opportunities for expenditure
on the Games of national benefit are not lost because of Manchester
City Council's legitimate primary concern for the interests of
the council taxpayers of Manchester. If certain national requirements
are identified in the current budgetary review, we would expect
them to be funded from the Exchequer.
112. Mr McCartney said that he was keen that both
the Government and this Committee examine after the Games the
lessons from the partnership formed between the Government and
He thought that, since we recommended a more leading role for
the Government and for a designated Minister, there had been a
"change in direction" in the Government's approach.
He also considered that the closer partnership between the Government
and the organisers had led to "a changed culture within Whitehall",
involving a new way of working, and that it was important to examine
ways "to build on that culture" after the Games were
He argued that, if other events were to be organised, there would
need to be "a different tack from how we have done it in
the past", involving a "more focused approach"
in Government, "a far more focused set of partnerships"
and an investment of skills from the Commonwealth Games.
113. A similar point was made by the Commonwealth
Games Federation, which suggested that the expertise acquired
during the staging of the Games ought to be retained in the United
Kingdom and that Manchester 2002 Limited itself was unlikely to
have the time or resources to do this.
Mr Allen also noted the value of retaining a core of expertise
in multi-sport Games so that there was no need to "re-invent
the wheel every time".
We recommend that specific expertise be recruited within the
Cabinet Office, initially to support the relevant Minister in
his work in relation to the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games,
but thereafter to serve as the kernel of a dedicated team within
the Government to advise and assist with the staging of major
The wider impact of the Games
114. Manchester City Council sought to bring the
Commonwealth Games to the city with specific social and economic
goals in mind.
The Council has acknowledged that the creation of "civic
pride and feelings of goodwill" as a result of major events
"is no longer enough".
The Council expects the Games to lead to increased employment
and the promotion of social regeneration.
The Council judges that "the economic and social regeneration
of East Manchester is now gaining increasing momentum" as
public investment in sporting facilities is matched by private
investment in retail and leisure facilities and in new housing.
Councillor Leese told us that the Sport City development would
create around 3,000 permanent jobs and had provided the "catalyst"
for public investment from other sources in the surrounding communities,
which represented "one of the most needed, but also the most
comprehensive regeneration programmes this country will ever have
115. A local priest in East Manchester held out the
hope that the next 15 to 20 years "will see a doubling of
the local population and a return to standards of life as good
as, or even better than, elsewhere in Manchester".
If this hope is to prove justified, it will require continuing
investment. Mr McCartney assured us that the parties involved
had "a long-term strategy" to ensure continuing investment.
We are encouraged by the range of investment already attracted
to the East Manchester area and by the long-term commitment voiced
by the Minister. Nevertheless, it is vital that Sport City itself
is maintained and funded appropriately to ensure that it can continue
to provide a stimulus to the wider regeneration of East Manchester.
116. The benefits of the Games should be far from
confined to East Manchester. The organisers will require 15,000
volunteers, entailing what is described as "the largest single
recruitment, training and placement exercise of this nature to
have taken place in the United Kingdom in peacetime".
That programme is seeking to involve people from across Manchester
and the North West and is linked to training programmes for socially
excluded young people.
The intention is to attract volunteers from all parts of the community,
including particularly those with family backgrounds in the Commonwealth.
The success in recruiting and motivating volunteers will do much
to influence the overall impact of the Games, because the crucial
importance of the human dimension was fully demonstrated during
the Sydney Olympics.
117. Mr Allen acknowledged the need to create a sense
of national ownership of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, while noting
that this sense was only apparent in Australia in the last few
weeks before the Sydney Olympics.
He thought it likely that the Queen's Baton relay would play a
role in spreading participation and igniting interest in the Games
across the United Kingdom comparable to that played by the torch
relay in Australia.
118. The Spirit of Friendship Festival should play
an important role in creating national engagement with the Games.
The Festival will take place between 11 March 2002 (Commonwealth
Day) and 10 August 2002 and will involve education, sport and
A range of education projects that form part of the Festival have
received £1.287 million in Government funding and this will
enable information about the Games and the Commonwealth to be
placed in 30,000 schools across the United Kingdom from September
The Arts Council of England is helping to fund the cultural programme
that will include cultural activities by artists from the United
Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.
Mr Allen saw that programme as an important opportunity to celebrate
the cultural diversity of the country.
The BBC as host broadcaster is also expected to contribute to
increasing awareness of the Games through the Spirit of Friendship
119. With regard to enhancing national awareness
of and involvement in the Games, Mr Allen understandably cautioned
against the need to "peak too early".
Nevertheless, we think that more should be done. In particular,
we are concerned that involvement with local authorities seems
at present to be confined to the North West.
Local authorities can play an important role in bringing together
the different strands of the national dimension of the Games,
as Ms Done acknowledged.
We recommend that the organisers of the Manchester Commonwealth
Games, or the Government as appropriate, contact all local authorities
in the United Kingdom to inform them about the national dimension
of the event and the many opportunities for involvement by communities
and individuals across the United Kingdom with the Games.
120. When we examined preparations for the Games
in 1999, we were concerned that plans for capitalising on the
tourism potential of the event were still at the exploratory stage.
Since then there has been marked progress. A marketing plan has
been developed, clear targets and key markets have been identified
and promotional material has been produced.
The Games lie at the heart of both the sports tourism aims of
the British Tourist Authority and the drive by the North West
Tourist Board to attract more tourists to the region.
Mr McCartney spoke enthusiastically about the opportunity created
by the Games to attract overseas tourists to parts of the United
Kingdom other than London.
121. Although we are much encouraged by a great deal
that we saw and heard in Manchester, we have no doubt that there
is a need for continuing scrutiny of progress with the Games.
The case for parliamentary examination is strengthened by the
welcome increase in the level of commitment by the Government.
Mr McCartney said that he expected to talk to the Committee later
in the year and that he wished the Committee to be involved in
the process leading up to the Games.
We welcome that offer. We expect that this Committee or its
successor will wish to examine progress in preparations for the
Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games later in 2001 or early in 2002.
215 HC (1998-99) 124-I, para 69; Evidence, p 181. Back
p 179. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 69; Evidence, p 179. Back
433; HC (1998-99) 124-I, para 70. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 72. Back
pp 175, 178. Back
p 179. Back
p 223. Back
(1998-99) 124-II, p 147. Back
pp 179, 38, 49. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 71; Q 147. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 71. Back
p 176. Back
231 Ibid. Back
407, 487. Back
233 Ibid. Back
395, 409. Back
2002 Commonwealth Games Federation Evaluation Team Conclusions,
November 2000, p 5. Back
p 234. Back
(1998-99) 124-II, Q 286; Evidence, p 234; Q 393. Back
p 174. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, p xlix; Evidence, pp 174-175; Q 444. Back
pp 175, 234. Back
p 175. Back
(1998-99) 124-II, p 70. Back
p 176. Back
p 177. Back
p 176. Back
p 173; Q 396. Back
p 284. Back
254 Ibid. Back
p 180. Back
(1998-99) 124-II, QQ 305-307. Back
410, 436. Back
(1998-99) 124-II, QQ 309-310. Back
413, 439. Back
(1998-99) 124-II, Q 305. Back
pp 175, 173. Back
pp 180, 181. Back
p 200. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, p xlviii. Back
Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Back to
the Dome, HC (1998-99) 21-II, pp 135-136. Back
Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Marking
the Millennium in the United Kingdom, HC (1999-2000) 578-II,
p 45. Back
Millennium Dome, Report by
the Comptroller and Auditor General, HC (1999-2000) 936, pp 41-42. Back
p 176. Back
p 181. Back
p 181. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, paras 68-83, 124. Back
4575, para 24. Back
422; Evidence, p 171. The Departments represented on the Task
Force are the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
the Department for Education and Employment, the Department of
Social Security, HM Customs and Excise, the Department for Culture,
Media and Sport, the Department for International Development,
the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry,
HM Treasury, the Department of Health and the Government Office
for the North West. Back
286 Ibid. Back
388, 391. Back
pp 173, 223. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 83; Evidence, p 200; Q 487. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 75. Back
388, 391. Back
Deb, 12 May 1999, col 317. Back
302 Ibid. Back
p 224. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 73. Back
p 177. Back
307 Ibid. Back
pp 178, 180. Back
p 288. Back
p 178. Back
pp 173, 178. Back
404, 447. Back
p 173. Back
pp 171, 180; Q 422. Back
p 272. Back
(1998-99) 124-I, para 79. Back
pp 268-269. Back
p 178. Back