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Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws: My Lords, does the Minister agree—

The Lord President of the Council (Lord Williams of Mostyn): My Lords, I am sorry, we have already drifted well over time.

Olympic Games 2012

11.15 a.m.

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): My Lords, Barbara Cassani has been selected as the leader for the London bid and is actively recruiting a high quality team. Work is well advanced on the preparation of a development strategy for the Olympics zone in the Lower Lea Valley that will also meet local regeneration aspirations and be of lasting value to the community. Work is also under way on the development of a robust transport solution for the games. Government, the Mayor and

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the British Olympic Association are fully committed to supporting the London bid team in the preparation of a top-class winning bid.

Lord Moynihan: My Lords, we warmly welcome the Government's strong support for the London bid, which we share. I was pleased to note that the Prime Minister is on record as saying that he will,

    "back the bid to the hilt",

which of course means that it is inconceivable that we will lose. So why are the Government, alone among all the competing bids, to preside over cuts in the world-class performance programmes to support our young elite sportsmen and women on whom our hopes of medal success depend? And why, when the Government are introducing a welcome Olympics lottery game, are they considering taxing the proceeds and not reinvesting the tax take into the Olympics bid?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, as to the noble Lord's first point, there are two aspects to encouraging sport. First, there is the aspect of elite sport, which concerns those who will be competing soon. We have allocated 58 million to elite sport in the past financial year. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly in the longer term, there is the money spent on sport in schools and clubs and on coaching and so on. On this aspect we have allocated 1.2 billion for the period 2002–06.

As to funding and lottery money, it is estimated by Ove Arup that the total cost of holding the games would be 3.6 billion, of which 2.5 billion would be met from revenue, with the remainder coming from a funding package from the Government and the Mayor including 1.5 billion. As the funding package amounts to 2.4 billion, it can be seen that there is ample provision for any revenue shortfall.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, does my noble friend agree that the case for the bid would be immeasurably strengthened if Crossrail could be completed by 2012? This would undoubtedly represent an important part of the robust transport solution to which he referred in his Answer. Why is it not possible for the hybrid legislation to be brought forward and introduced in April so that the necessary planning can be undertaken for the line to be up and running by the time the games start?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, the bid is being prepared on the basis that Crossrail will not be available by 2012. Indeed, Transport for London, the Mayor's organisation, has stated that it does not expect it to be available until 2013–14. That is why the bid has to be prepared without Crossrail. However, the Olympics zone in the Lower Lea Valley is served by no fewer than six rail lines, in addition to the motorway-standard part of the A12.

Lord Addington: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the development of grass roots sports will be of absolutely no use to the Olympics bid if those athletes are not prepared properly for international competition? We

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must make sure that the connection between the two is seamless. Can the Minister assure the House that the Paralympics are seen as a partner in the process and not simply as a tag-on? Even if they are a junior partner, they should be seen to be integrated from the very beginning.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I entirely agree with the noble Lord as regards his first question. That is why, in my response to the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, I referred to both elite sports and grass roots sports. As to the Paralympics, the International Olympic Committee sees the Olympics and the Paralympics together. No bid which devalues the Paralympics will have any hope of success, and we recognise that in the way in which we are preparing our bid.

Lord Elton: My Lords, in declaring an interest as a resident in Greater London, may I ask the Minister how much of the cost of staging the Olympics here will fall on the council tax payers of London and how long it will take to be discharged?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, sharing that interest, I understand that the Mayor proposes that there should be an addition to the council tax, which would start only if and when the bid is successful, roughly for a period of 10 years. It would be approximately 20 on band D of the council tax for each of those years.

Lord Burnham: My Lords, if the bid were to be unsuccessful, what would be the cost?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, 17 million.

Smoking in Government and Parliamentary Buildings

11.20 a.m.

Baroness Gale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with the statement of the Chief Medical Officer in his Annual Report 2002 that the public sector, particularly central government departments and the health service, should take a lead and this year set dates by which their premises should become entirely smoke-free; and whether this should apply to the Parliamentary Estate.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): My Lords, the Government are studying carefully all the recommendations made by the Chief Medical Officer. We shall consider how they can be taken forward with all government departments, including the health service. Smoking policies within the Parliamentary Estate are, of course, the responsibility of the parliamentary authorities.

Baroness Gale: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for his reply but, once again, I have to say how disappointed I am with his response. Does he agree that there is now overwhelming evidence to show that

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passive smoking causes ill health in adults, and especially in children, who suffer from asthma and other chest complaints? Does he further agree that the Chief Medical Officer's strong recommendation should not be ignored, and that every employee should have the right to work in a smoke-free environment, especially those who work on the Parliamentary Estate? May I say, in the nicest possible way, that I wish the Government would stop dragging their feet on this issue and implement these recommendations as soon as possible?

Lord Warner: My Lords, let me reassure my noble friend that the last thing we are going to do is ignore the Chief Medical Officer's advice. We agree that there is overwhelming evidence of the damage to health caused by second-hand smoke to both adults and children. We agree that smoke-free places are the ideal, and good progress has been made in this area. We will be following a strategy to encourage this improvement.

The recent publication by the Office for National Statistics shows that, for the first time, 50 per cent of workplaces do not allow smoking at all. That is up from 40 per cent in 1996. It confirms that most people want restrictions on smoking in restaurants and pubs. I draw your Lordships' attention to the fact that the Department of Health has set a good example by making all its buildings smoke-free since April.

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I wonder whether the Minister does not detect some underlying frustration in the CMO's report at the failure of the Department of Health to come to an agreement with the DTI on the introduction of the code of practice on workplace smoking. Is it not high time that the Department of Health got the DTI to agree to the ACOP and introduced it?

Lord Warner: My Lords, the Chief Medical Officer recommends that very serious consideration should be given to introducing a ban on smoking in public places. This issue is still being considered within government and I have nothing to add since earlier discussions.

Lord Geddes: My Lords, as always, I declare an interest, as a member of the Pipe and Cigar Smokers' Club. While acknowledging the perseverance of the noble Baroness, Lady Gale, on this subject, is it not getting rather close to an abuse of Question Time in that she asked a virtually identical question in this House on 1st July? Does the Minister agree with the wise words of the noble Lord, Lord Wallace of Saltaire—who is not in his place—when he said on that occasion,

    "do the Government accept that it should be a principle of liberal democracy that government should interfere with people's lives as little as possible, and that further bans should be very carefully justified before the detail of government regulations extend into every aspect of our private lives?"?—[Official Report, 1/7/03; col. 721.]

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