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1.25 pm

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, on initiating this debate and on his knowledgeable and visionary speech demonstrating his commitment to the regeneration of the East End of London. Many noble Lords have emphasised that one reason for our bid being successful was the legacy aspect. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s report last year on Olympic funding and legacy made the point that the success of the London bid was to a great extent not just due to the plans for the Games themselves but to,

It goes wider: the IOC, in its report on the London bid, said that the London Olympics would be the catalyst for the regeneration and development of the Lower Lea site for the Olympic park and that it would be a significant sporting, educational, environmental

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and social legacy. There was also, of course, the promise of a cultural legacy, referred to by my noble friend Lady Bonham-Carter. These were highly significant factors in our win over Paris by 54 votes to 50. The noble Lord, Lord Coe, and the bid team are to be hugely congratulated on that emphasis on legacy and sustainability which made it the differentiator versus our rivals.

That is all the more reason, as the IOC said—and the National Audit Office subsequently pointed out in its report last year—why careful planning must be put into place to create a strong and lasting legacy for the 2012 Olympics, particularly as regards the Olympic venues in terms of whole-life costs, ownership and management, to avoid them being underused or unaffordable after the Games. In overall terms, it recommended setting clear, quantified legacy objectives.

Securing the legacy of the 2012 Olympics is a massive task with myriad objectives, as we have heard during this excellent debate. Many organisations are involved—LOCOG, the ODA, the LDA, the mayor, the Assembly, DCMS, VisitBritain, Visit London, the BOA, Sport England, UK Sport, the Legacy Trust, the national, local and sporting organisations, culture and arts organisations, the five host boroughs and even the devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as other bodies more local to the area, mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Mawson. Ensuring that all those bodies link together effectively under common strategies is vital.

There are great expectations of what the legacy of the London Games should be. A useful recent study prepared by the London East Research Institute and commissioned by the London Assembly entitled, A Lasting Legacy for London?, sets out the experience of previous Olympic cities and how London can learn from their experience. Its verdict is that in the light of that experience, with Barcelona having done particularly well, all the London objectives are challenging or very challenging, particularly as regards skills, sports participation, disability awareness, tourism and employment.

The mayor’s five key legacy commitments were launched this January. They are similar to those set out in the Our Promise for 2012 document published last June. These are, under the heading of sporting, to make the UK a world-class sporting nation; under “regeneration”, to transform the heart of east London; under “community and culture”, to inspire a new generation of young people to take part in local volunteering, cultural and physical activity; under “sustainability for the Olympic park”, to make the park a blueprint for sustainable living; and under “tourism”, to demonstrate that the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live, visit and for business. Those are noble aims, but noble Lords have rightly highlighted a number of areas in which achieving those legacy objectives are at risk.

On the future use of the Olympic park, the noble Baroness, Lady Valentine, referred to the very limited geographical remit of the legacy masterplan framework, which is designed to demonstrate what the future of the park will be, how it will benefit surrounding communities and long-term management arrangements

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for the park. We need to take the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, seriously when he urges us to engage with the local community, especially business and social entrepreneurs and, indeed, as the right reverend Prelate urged, to engage with the faith communities.

Physical activity targets are also part of the legacy. We heard from the Minister yesterday—and this is a somewhat surprising development—that the Treasury is now responsible for the achievement of some of those legacy objectives. I have never thought of the Treasury as a place that engenders a great deal of enthusiasm in local communities, but there is hope yet. As the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, and my noble friend Lord Addington urged, we need to connect with the Olympics at grass-roots level.

Then there is the Cultural Olympiad. There are concerns that we are pulling in different directions. Tier 3, as my noble friend Lady Bonham-Carter explained, is all about trying to activate those local community organisations to take part in the Cultural Olympiad, but there are also cuts in lottery funding for those selfsame organisations. We have the Legacy Trust with a very small amount of money dedicated to this task; £10 million will not go very far. The noble Earl, Lord Caithness, spoke about lottery funding being used for the Olympics. We will return to that later this month when we discuss the regulation. I do not intend to talk much further about that.

The essence of the matter, in terms of the local community, was mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Mawson—that of moving from dependency. The noble Lord’s concern, shared by the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, was that the whole governance structure needs to be looked at, or we will be trying to co-ordinate a huge number of agencies in a very haphazard way. Finally, the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, reminded us that there should also be a legacy for disadvantaged communities, such as Gypsies and Travellers. We also have to demonstrate legacy outside London.

In the few minutes left to me, I want to highlight the opportunities and threats surrounding the tourism legacy of the 2012 Olympics. VisitBritain says that 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the net economic benefit over a seven-to-10-year period will accrue through tourism and give a £2.1 billion boost to Britain’s international visitor economy. Almost two-thirds of this growth will occur in the four years after the Games. Sydney and Barcelona were particularly successful with their tourism legacy. There is no doubt, as the recently launched Winning: A Tourism Strategy for 2012 and Beyond sets out, that through private-sector sponsorship and inter-agency partnerships, we could have a successful strategy and campaign to deliver that legacy.

That document sets out an ambitious legacy, but it is a chance to reduce Britain’s tourism deficit, which now stands at some £18 billion per annum. This accounts for some 40 per cent of the UK’s balance of payments deficit. There are currently declining numbers of foreign visitors staying overnight at UK destinations. Despite the very upbeat launch of the tourism strategy for the 2012 Games last September, and the warm words of Margaret Hodge, the reality is

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very different. The chairman of the Tourism Alliance, representing 200,000 travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses and the leaders of a number of major businesses had to write an open letter to the Prime Minister only a few weeks afterwards in the following terms:

This is a powerful letter. On the one hand, one of the largest industries in Britain, accounting for some 9.4 per cent of UK GDP, writes that it believes that there are great opportunities; on the other hand, the Government have continually failed to give VisitBritain the resources it needs. In fact, it has cut its funding by £9 million, equivalent to 18 per cent of its budget. Do the Government understand the importance of the tourism sector? Do the Government not perceive the need for a strong marketing campaign?

There is much more that I could say on this subject. I hope that, despite the fine words in Winning: A Tourism Strategy for 2012 and Beyond, what the Minister said about the resources available to such a campaign as legacy tourism for the Olympics not yet having been decided are correct, and that further serious consideration will be given to this. On these Benches there is enormous enthusiasm for the Games. We believe that the glass is more than half-full, but the Minister needs to answer these questions constructively and take seriously all the points that have been made in this debate.

1.36 pm

Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, for initiating this debate. I looked up the noble Lord up in Dods, because I had not met him, to try to find out where he might be coming from. I was a bit concerned and confused, so I asked if the noble Lord could spare me some time and I thank him for that. We had a very interesting conversation, and told me where he was coming from and what his passion was. My passion is on my lapel: I am passionate about Olympics, all Olympics, but particularly about 2012, and have been ever since the idea was conceived.

Having said that, today’s debate is very much on one subject, which is legacy. The word legacy and, in particular, the legacy of the Games, as it has appeared today around the House, means something very different to every single person. I have found it quite difficult to find a way through of my own. I have certain absolute ideas about what I would like to see, but noble Lords also have many. During the course of the debate, we have learned a number of facts. The noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, has given us a lot of

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facts about all the agencies that are involved in sustainable communities, and so on. I brought some of the papers with me to refer to, but everything in them is covered.

Those interested in the social legacy, if I may call it that, have a number of organisations already set up and in place to deal with that, including the Legacy Trust, Social Enterprise London and the Legacy Masterplan Framework. LOCOG and the various mayors are committed to working on the moral, people and community legacy—the legacy for communities, after the Games have gone and the razzmatazz of 2012 is finished.

However, far more practical things are going to happen. The noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, cheered us up by telling us some very good news—which I hope most of us knew—about how London will be transformed by new transport plans. That has to be good. We have to believe that planners can make the best of that beautiful area, and that a concrete mess will not be left at the end of it. Frankly, I do not believe that will be the case. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, will be able to encourage the noble Lord, Lord Rogers, to continue to work in the south-east. I believe that LOCOG and all those involved, including ODA, which I have heard a lot from in the last few days, are on top of the job and will do what is required.

Two days ago, I listened to a very good presentation, again by LOCOG, on the plans for the culture Olympics—the Cultural Olympiad—and they are hugely encouraging. One of my criticisms to the powers that be so far has been that 2012 is too London orientated. At the start of today’s debate, it was too south-east London orientated. When we had the opening discussions and debates in your Lordships’ House and we passed the Olympics Bill, now the Olympics Act, this side of the House and the Government said openly and strongly that 2012 should be a national happening, a UK-wide happening, and that there would be benefits across the United Kingdom.

I do not believe that we have done enough. I use the word “we” because we are totally one party. I completely agree, as does my party, with Tessa Jowell on this. We are cross-party joined in proceeding down this road to this event. Therefore, “we” have not yet got a grip on selling the benefits of 2012 to the country north of—I do not know—perhaps Aylesbury or the M25. We must move that way and get up to Newcastle. I listened carefully to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Newcastle. I was in Newcastle with my millennium hat on and we did them quite well. It has a wonderful football club, but it is only right that the feelings and the spirit of 2012 should reach Newcastle. It should reach not only there, but also my noble friend Lord Caithness up on the north borders of this nation.

How do we do that? There is a spirit that has to move and excitement that has to be generated. But in more practical terms, we have to turn to participation. The Government have got to get participation going in schools to include the handicapped, the unhealthy

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and the young. Ever since I have been speaking on sport in your Lordships' House I have talked about cross-departmental activities and happenings across education, health, the Home Office and the DCMS. Have we got anywhere? There answer is no.

One of my real desires, wants and hopes for the legacy is that something will happen and we will get movement across and benefits into health, the Home Office and policing though finding more exciting things which will encourage the young to go a different way. Perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, will appoint his 12 apostles to go through the kingdom and do what he has been doing in south-east London much more broadly on the back of the happenings and the spirit of 2012.

On participation, we also need more space, more facilities and more structures for school sports. I was on the Sports Council Northern Ireland goodness only knows how many years ago. Even then—perhaps 20 years ago—we were talking about the gap in participation. We lose a huge amount of talent when people leave school and do not make the step into clubs. Yesterday at lunch, I was talking to the chief executive of UK Sport. He agreed that that gap is still there. In the sporting world, the talent we lose in the step between school and club is huge. It cannot be beyond the wit of man and communities with inspiration to take this forward and start to bridge it.

I have been talking to my party colleagues, and I spoke to Gerry Sutcliffe, the Minister with responsibility for sport, yesterday, about the need to improve the funding and organisation of the national organisations which support sporting people; not only the Olympians and people at the top end of sport, but also the sport-for-all end of life—people involved in the Sports Council people and Sport England. Of the 100 per cent of funds that goes to UK Sport—I am not knocking UK Sport—probably only 50 per cent gets to the front line. It is too cumbersome and there is too much bureaucracy. There is not enough clarity. At my national governing body, the British Bobsleigh Association, we have a guy having to work almost full time filling in forms and doing everything necessary to keep the corporate governance right, the audit preparations right, to keep applications right, et cetera. That costs us money that should be paying for people in sport.

This was a fantastically exciting debate. The spirit of 2012 is alive and well, and going well. The legacy is in very good hands. The organisations and the structures are there. The ODA, LOCOG and the LDA are all on top of their jobs. People need to be positive, to sell it to the country and to inspire those around us, including local government and local government authorities. I wish the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, well and I thank him for bringing this debate today.

1.46 pm

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I, too, begin by thanking the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, for introducing this debate. Up to now in the House we probably have concentrated rather more on the sporting events and the significance of the Olympics on sport. All along

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the Government have been committed to the concept that the legacy must be fulfilled in order that we get not only maximum benefit from the Olympic Games—I emphasise that the legacy will benefit east London—but also of course that we see the legacy wider across the country too.

As several noble Lords said in their contributions, a major factor in the bid being successful was the extent to which it was demonstrated that these Games would leave not whitened sepulchres and white elephants behind them but support for sustainable communities. The Olympic park would be a feature of the locality, but more importantly, other structures, particularly, 9,000 dwellings, would be available to local communities.

The noble Lord, Lord Mawson, is in an excellent position for bringing high-flown concepts down to the gritty reality of what happens on the ground. I take very sincerely his representations on the necessity for a great deal of work to be done on co-ordination. I think that he suggested that the structures in east London are a bit of a mess. My noble friend Lord Haworth lives in that part of the world and bore testimony to some constructive work going on, and the response of local government. I think that that is the perspective also of those concerned—for example, the noble Lords, Lord Coe and Lord Moynihan—with the development of the plans for the Games. Co-operation is going on with local authorities, but it needs to be improved.

The noble Lord, Lord Mawson, is emphasising more than the local authorities: he is referring to engagement with local communities so that they have ownership of many of these plans, which is exactly in line with the Government’s thinking and all those who are concerned with making the Games a success. Certainly, unless we achieve these legacy objectives, we will fall short of that which we expect from the Games.

The noble Earl, Lord Caithness, probably prompted the question of the regions in the most critical form and, in a rather more constructive way, the right reverent Prelate the Bishop of Newcastle also emphasised the regions and the north-east. It is important that we ensure that the legacy is for the whole country. It is certainly the case, as the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, indicated, that we will need to exploit the great tourist potential of the Games. In fact, many factors explain why the bids should win. London— and the United Kingdom as a whole—is a great tourist attraction for people from all over the world, and we need to improve the facilities and to guarantee that the attractions are up to the mark for 2012 in a way that also enhances them in terms of sustainable heritage after the Games are over.

My response brings slight cynicism to the debate. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, for opening with an optimistic perspective. Most noble Lords have stressed the opportunities that are there and need to be seized rather than excessive worries about where we are now. There should not be excessive worries about where we are now. As the International Olympic Committee has made clear, the Olympic Games preparations in this country at

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present are further advanced than for any other Games that have been held.

We should not do ourselves down in this context. A great deal of thought has taken place; much of that has centred on the great structural activity involved in cleaning up that extensive site—the challenge that the location of the Olympic Games raises. Transforming that part of the Lower Lea Valley into the Olympic Park—into one of the great parks of Europe—and which will be comparable to the Royal Parks, which were given to the nation two centuries or so ago, will be a truly historic achievement. A great deal of work is inevitably being concentrated on that. My noble friend Lord Haworth bore testimony to the degree of activity on the site.

Many of the objectives that noble Lords sought with the Games will be realised later. Let me make this obvious point: it is inevitably the case that apart from those directly involved in the Games—those planning for the Games and those responsible for the development of the Olympic Park—there is a feeling that there has not been great activity and that the nation has not been greatly enthusiastic thus far.

I remind the House that we are talking not about the next Olympic Games but about the Olympic Games after that. We have the Beijing Olympics this year. I maintain that there will be a transformation in the public’s response. Once the Olympic Games have taken place in Beijing and the torch has been handed over to London, the Games will excite the enthusiasm of many in the nation; the Olympic Games always have that stimulating effect. But London is going to be up in lights at the end of the Games as the next provider of the Olympiad. That is bound to change the nation’s perspective and bring about a realisation of the imminence of the Games and the benefits that they can bring.

The focus in the early days will inevitably be on the sporting possibilities. After all, the nation will have to acquit itself in these Games to extremely high standards. The nation would think us remiss if there were not advanced plans for the development of the skills and abilities of our athletes and sports men and women; the training of a great athlete takes many years and our potential victors in 2012 are not necessarily making all the headlines for their achievements at the moment. One or two people who make the headlines in sport today could go on to win medals in the London Olympics.

Having said that, we should shift our perspective to the question of the legacy, because that is of the greatest import. There is the sporting legacy in terms of the stimulus to our young people to engage in exercise and participating sport. I emphasise to the noble Baroness, Lady Murphy, that the challenge of co-ordinating the necessary onslaught against the problem of obesity in our nation, which is particularly marked among young people, will be carried out by the Department for Health, but I have not the slightest doubt that the Olympic Games can play their part with regard to encouraging young people to recognise

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that their exercise and participation in sport can make for a healthier and happier life. We want those objectives to be realised.


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