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The solution is relatively simple. First, the Government need to restore the lottery to its four original pillars, correcting the situation whereby the amount of lottery
funding distributed to sport fell from £397 million in 1998, when the Secretary of State was a special adviser, to £209 million last yeara cut of nearly 50 per cent. Once that funding is restored, the second thing is to ensure that the correct delivery mechanisms are in place to drive up participation rates. I shall cheer up the Secretary of State by saying that I entirely support the new strategic direction of Sport Englandto deliver increases in mass participation through the sport governing bodiesalthough I have to tell him that was exactly what we proposed at the last general election, and it is exactly what was in the cross-party Raising the Bar report some years ago; I only regret that it took so long to bring it about. It is unforgivable that Sport England, the Government agency involved in delivering that key pledge, has been without a chairman for more than a year. The chief executive has done a fantastic job, and we all congratulate her, but she should never have had to deal with all those things on her own.
Finally, we need to encourage and incentivise local communities to engage in London 2012. A good start would be for many other local authorities to emulate the approach taken by the London Mayor and the hon. Member for Vauxhall in ring-fencing community sports funding in the London Development Agency budget and spearheading a drive to target grass-roots sport.
Four months ago in Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee told me it wanted four things from a host nation Government: strategic direction, a budget, security and an identifiable legacy. Our motion and the debate have concentrated on the last of thosethe legacy. It was the key commitment of the Singapore bid and, as highlighted in the Select Committee report, it remains the most difficult of those objectives to fulfil.
The Government can react to the debate in one of two ways. Either they can try to claim that everything is perfect and that nothing needs to be done, or they can acknowledge the central feeling on both sides of the House that a certain amount has been done, but that much more needs to be done if we are to deliver a really meaningful mass participation sports legacy from London 2012.
The Minister for the Olympics (Tessa Jowell): I should like to join everybody else in paying tribute to the quality of the debate. I welcome the fact that we have had this debate, and hope that we will have many more in the perioda little short of four yearsahead. One of the most important things about the Olympics is that we, both as parliamentarians and in all the other responsibilities that we exercise, are guardians of an event that it is an extraordinary privilege to host. It will create memories that will last for ever in the lives of all the people whom we represent. We will never have quite the same opportunity at any other point in our lives. As I say, I welcome this debate, which has been inspired by the performance of our Olympians and Paralympians in Beijing.
I had the great privilege of spending yesterday with the British cycling teamthe coaches, the performance director and the psychiatristin Manchester, and I am sure that the whole House would like to wish them all the very best for the cycling world cup, which takes
place at the weekend. I saw the velodrome doing what it was intended to doproviding a world-class training facility for the best cyclists in the world. It is being used by community organisations of all ages, including an over-50s cycling club and children. I think that I am right to say that it is the most heavily used velodrome in the whole of Europe. When Chris Hoy launched the plans for our velodrome in Stratford park, he said that he believed that it would be the best in the world, so we need no amplification of our ambition. Despite the tendency to resort to our usual habits, it is important that we maintain cross-party agreement on how we manage, deliver and develop the games. That is important for any event that spans a Parliament, and that relates to my point about looking after something on behalf of the whole nation, rather than a particular political party.
Five legacy promises were set out in the legacy action plan, which has had a bit of knocking this afternoon. It is a fact that investment is being made in sports participation and London transport. The investment ensures, almost counter-cyclically, that £6 billionworth of contracts are regionalised, as far as possible, and relate to areas beyond London. That is all part of a clear commitment not to accept the inevitable about the Olympics, as has been the fate of other cities, but to drive the Olympic ambition in the direction that we want.
We have big legacy ambitions, and one of the reasons our bid was so passionate had to do with the potential for legacy and the change that would occur before the games took place. When we won the bid, the games were seven years away. The delivery of legacy is complex, but the delivery structure is clear. The responsibility is shared between my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Sutcliffe), who is the Minister with responsibility for sport; the Mayor, who has some responsibility with regard to the Olympic park; and the London Development Agency. There is also a cross-Government legacy delivery responsibility, covering all other relevant Departments. The five boroughs also have an absolutely critical responsibility to work with Government to ensure that the Olympic park does not become an island of regeneration, with the area at its edges remaining unchanged. The Olympic boroughs, and my hon. Friends who represent them, share a passionate commitment to ensuring that that is not the case.
Our ambition is clear, and it focuses on two of the five legacy promisesthe two that, beyond all others, define what we are trying to achieve. The first relates to the regeneration of east London. That has been raised by a number of hon. Members, so I shall touch quickly on specific points. Yes, community use is designed into the aquatic centre and, yes, discussion will go on with the boroughs about their later proposal for a leisure and fitness facility. Yes, work is under way to ensure that once the Olympic stadium comes down to its legacy size, it will be a vibrant centre of sport and activitynot just for young people in the Olympic park, but for those from beyond.
In her excellent speech, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown) made a particular point about affordable housing. Some 30 per cent. of the housing in the first stage will be affordable. There will not be a polyclinic at the first stage, but there will be one as part of the second stage, as the number of homes increases to 9,000.
The debate about the international broadcast centre and main press centre captures our dilemma perfectly: should we build what will in effect be a temporary shed, for which at the moment there is no long-term tenant, at considerable cost? Should we invest extra, at the risk of there not being a long-term tenant? Alternatively, should we stick with the original ambition that is so important for the Olympic boroughs in respect of the scope to offer up to 8,000 aspirational jobs in sunrise industries, the new and developing technologies? That is the dilemma, which we have not yet resolved. We will, of course, engage Members of Parliament, the Olympic boroughs and potential tenants in helping us resolve it.
In response to the points made by my hon. Friends the Members for West Ham and for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott), I should say that we are going to track local jobs. The proportion of local people working on the park is now up to 24 per cent., from 19 per cent. in the last quarter.
My hon. Friends the Members for Loughborough (Mr. Reed) and for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) are absolutely right about the importance of soft legacy and of having a sustained legacy for participation. That is why there is investment in new facilities through Building Schools for the Future and other programmes. There is a commitment to 3,000 coaches and a third of young people getting engaged in sports clubs as a first stage. There will be 1,000 young ambassadors throughout all our school sport colleges, talking to other young people, as only young people can, about the benefits and joys of sport.
I should like to say two more things. The first is about the fraught question of shooting at Bisley, equestrianism at Greenwich and basketball. We have commissioned a report. All the venues are temporary. I spent a lot of time looking at the equestrian and shooting venues in China. We will make the decisions, but people should remember that one reason why we won the Olympics was that we agreed to bring shooting into the Olympic area and not have it at Bisley. We won because we promised a compact games. We are not operating on a blank sheet of paper and we cannot tear up past commitments; we have commitments to the International Olympic Committee and the expectations of the people in the relevant areas.
I want to finish by saying that whatever controversy the legacy plans have generated in the House this afternoon, our approach has received praise from the IOC and from no less a quarter than the Sydney Morning Herald, in which on 24 September the excellent Elizabeth Farrelly wrote that
one quality sets London 2012 apart
Legacy; an intelligent, strategic approach to the morning after.
Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): Before I call the hon. Gentleman, I would like to remind the House of the ruling that the Chairman of Ways and Means gave at the start of proceedings on 12 June. As the content of the Bills on the Order Paper is similar, if not identical, it was judged to be for the convenience of the House to have a general debate to cover all six measures. However, when the House disposes of the Manchester City Council Bill, debate on the subsequent measures will be local-authority specific. It would be contrary to the spirit of the original ruling to seek to conduct a generalised debate on each Bill.
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