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Both these initiatives—our response to the Rugg review and the measures on repossessions—are positive, constructive steps we are taking to enhance and strengthen a key housing sector, and to provide a balanced range of protection to those who provide private rented accommodation and those millions of people who live in it.

Olympic Games 2012


Lord Davies of Oldham: My right honourable friend the Minister for the Olympics (Tessa Jowell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Please find below details of the decisions taken at yesterday’s meeting of the ministerial funders group and of the Government Olympic Executive’s first quarterly economic report, which is published today.

Funders Group Meeting—12 May 2009

The funders group met yesterday and agreed that a further £324 million of the Olympic public sector funding package would be invested in the Olympic village.

The funders decided that a public sector approach offered better value for money than a deal with private developer Lend Lease and would cost substantially less public money in the long term. The terms of the Lend Lease deal had been materially affected by the economic downturn, such that it no longer offered best value for money. Previous releases of contingency (totalling £326 million) have kept the progress on site on track over the past year.

The decision to make a further £324 million available to the ODA makes a total of £650 million being made available to deliver the village for the Games.

This further investment now means the public sector will own the village and receive returns from sales after the Games.

Over the medium to long term, as the market improves, the ODA will seek alternative private investment and management for the village on terms more favourable to the taxpayer. At least all the additional £324 million public investment being made today from contingency and savings is expected to be returned after the Games when the flats are sold.

To fund this investment, the funders group agreed to release £324 million of public funding from within the Olympic budget. Of this, £261 million comes directly from the contingency fund while £63 million is from savings made elsewhere across the ODA’s programme.

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Following a competitive tender process the ODA was in discussions with developer Lend Lease about private sector investment into part of the village development. Lend Lease has already been appointed construction and development manager and this remains unchanged.

Lend Lease and its banking consortium were prepared to invest up to £150 million of equity, involving a return to Lend Lease, and £225 million of bank debt to finance part of the construction and development costs.

However, the current economic climate has resulted in the private sector becoming more risk-averse and, for the deal to proceed, the ODA would have had to carry an increased level of risk.

After careful assessment it is clear that the publicly funded option will provide the best value for money over the longer term.

It was also confirmed today that agreement in principle has been reached for a further £268 million to be invested in the village through the pre-sale arrangement for the affordable housing element. This funding is separate to the Olympic budget and made up of grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and lending from a private sector banking consortium on commercial terms.

This means the funding for the village has now been confirmed. The total cost of the village, including £147 million of post-Games development costs, can now be confirmed as £1,095 million. This will be funded using:

£650 million of public investment; and£268 million of funding for social housing with the balance funded from sales of private housing.

Our valuations demonstrate that at least all the contingency being invested today and the balance needed to meet the total cost of the village will be recouped in sales. It is impossible to know exactly how much will be recouped from private housing sales, given the uncertainty of the market, but independent analysis has supported the valuation used.

Construction work on the village started on schedule last June and remains on track with building now under way on four of the 11 residential blocks.

Quarterly Economic ReportMay 2009

I have today published the Government Olympic Executive’s first quarterly economic report—London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Quarterly Economic Report May 2009.

The report explains the latest budget position including the impact of the decisions made at the funders group meeting on 12 May 2009.

Due to cost savings and good management the overall forecast cost of the programme has reduced by £179 million since our last report in January to £7.234 billion—being £865 million less than the maximum budget available.

It also outlines the progress that has been made since January 2009 on providing support for businesses and individuals through training, apprenticeships and other initiatives.

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The report shows that, after taking into account the £324 million made available to the ODA yesterday, around £1.3 billion of contingency remains unreleased and the overall programme remains on time and within budget.

It also demonstrates the real impact that the Games are having now—providing skills, training, apprenticeships and jobs for individuals and contracts to UK businesses—and how they are helping to prepare the new, post-downturn economy.

This is the first quarterly report produced by the Government Olympic Executive. It marks a shift from a six-monthly to a quarterly reporting cycle, which will increase further the transparency of the project.

I would like to commend this report to the Members of both Houses and thank them for their continued interest and support of the London 2012 Games.

Copies of the quarterly economic report May 2009 are available at and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Serious Organised Crime Agency: Annual Report


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime Reduction (Alan Campbell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The annual report of the Serious Organised Crime Agency for 2008-09 is being published and laid before Parliament today. As required by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 the report includes an assessment of the extent to which the annual plan for 2008-09 has been carried out.

Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office.

Sustainable Travel


The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing that large urban areas across England are being given the chance to bid to become the country's first sustainable travel city.

Up to £29 million will be invested over three years in at least one of England's larger cities to encourage greener travel choices. These could include plans to support walking, cycling and initiatives to improve public transport.

This follows the success of the Department for Transport's three sustainable travel towns, which over the past five years have seen car use fall by up to 9 per cent, walking increase by up to 14 per cent, and cycling increase at least 12 per cent.

The aims of the sustainable travel city or cities are to ease congestion, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase levels of physical activity in the local area. By achieving this, the city will provide a model

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for others to follow. The chosen city will introduce innovative new strategies and build on existing work to achieve this, which could include:

work or school travel planning; cycle training; personalised travel planning; online journey planning; car share schemes; car clubs;reviewing parking provision;dedicated bus routes; improved bus stops and shelter; cycling/pedestrian routes; and20 mph zones.

The major urban areas eligible to apply suffer from the worst congestion in the country. The nine areas are; Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire,

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South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside, West of England (Bristol), Nottingham and Leicester.

We are also announcing up to £3 million of funding to smaller local authorities areas to help them develop their own green travel initiatives.

Taxation: Double Taxation


The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Stephen Timms) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A new protocol to the double taxation convention with Mexico was signed on 23 April 2009. The text of the protocol has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on the HM Revenue and Customs website. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

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