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Thirdly, I want to say something about the legacy. One of the things, dare I say, that churches and faith communities know something about is community building. The legacy will be vital. It is not just a physical legacy, important though that is—and it is lovely to see the site developing in the way that it is. It is also in the sense of ownership of the community of what is going on. Clearly, we need leadership, but that has to be balanced so that we do not get the sort of leadership where local people feel that there is a great juggernaut being imposed upon them about the shape of their future. I was very heartened by the comments

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of the noble Lord, Lord Coe, about the partnership process. It is crucial that the partnership takes with it not only the local authorities but the networks that make these communities effective. Ultimately, the test of the Games for these communities will be in the legacy, and we know from past experience that that can sometimes be difficult. We want them to have memories for their lifetime, particularly for the younger generation to carry forward, but we also want them to feel that a new chapter is opening up for their community as a consequence of this investment.

Finally, I think that the Games are coming at just the right moment for our national life. Here we are in the middle of a recession and people are anxious about their future. Might not 2012 be a great moment for a celebration of our national life and to give our country a boost? Whatever we can do to make these Games succeed, we must all bend our energies towards it.

12.20 pm

Lord Moynihan: My Lords, I declare my interest as chairman of the British Olympic Association and in so doing I thank my noble friend Lord Coe, on whose LOCOG board I also serve, for securing the debate. My noble friend exemplifies the truism that the success of London 2012 will be based on seamless co-operation between the main stakeholders, whose job it is to provide the athletes with lifetime memories of a great Games. In that context, I warmly welcome this debate, in which the noble Baroness, Lady Campbell of Loughborough, has made her maiden speech. The contribution that she and UK Sport, which she chairs, have made to the success of British athletes is exceptional.

Since Beijing, the British Olympic Association has built strong working relations with UK Sport, culminating in a joint presentation at our annual meeting yesterday. I can assure the House that, despite press leaks to the contrary, the BOA’s finances are robust. The investments that we made last year in a wide-ranging restructure of the organisation allow us to move from a magnificent result for Team GB in Beijing to a platform for success in London 2012 and beyond. This will not be a 100-metre sprint; it is a marathon. I do not deny that at times during 2008 I felt as if I was rewiring a plane in flight, but with the success of Team GB in Beijing we reached the next destination on our strategic path. The seamless co-operation that we have achieved with the support of LOCOG and UK Sport is a major step forward along this road.

Now we are working together to ensure that Team GB is fully funded. In his 2006 Budget, Gordon Brown committed to fund a six-year programme to support British athletes to the value of £600 million, a figure that the British Olympic Association, UK Sport and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport saw as necessary to deliver the full potential of our Olympians and Paralympians in London 2012. Sadly, last year that commitment was underfunded by some £50 million, while the lifetime budget of government spend on civil servants working in the ever growing Government Olympic Executive increased by a sum approaching

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the shortfall. In line with our obligations to the International Olympic Committee charter, the BOA will continue to seek ways to provide all Olympic sports, including the winter sports, with the best financial platform possible for the athletes to compete at their best level at the Games. This is essential not only for their success but, as the noble Baroness said, for the inspiration that sporting success delivers as a catalyst for wider participation among young people across the country. We must work together to ensure that priority spend is on athletes.

Where urban regeneration is concerned, the Government should be congratulated on their support for the vision first laid out by the British Olympic Association under the leadership of my predecessor, Sir Craig Reedie, and the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to use the Games as a catalyst for the regeneration of one of the poorest parts of London. As a result, the Games will bring an unprecedented level of investment to regenerate and reinvigorate the East End against a timetable that, uniquely, no political party can abandon or delay, for the world’s finest athletes will be ready to compete after the opening ceremony.

To match the success of the work on urban regeneration, we now need to turn our attention to a fully funded sports legacy. With the same spirit of the all-party support and co-operation that was a feature of the historic debate in your Lordships’ House—those who participated in it provided the Cabinet with evidence of the unanimous commitment of your Lordships to bring the Games to London—we now need to address a sports legacy that goes beyond what has been described as a patchwork quilt made up of a multitude of well intentioned and sometimes excellent individual programmes to a focused set of policies to ensure that the Games leave a sporting legacy throughout the country for the able-bodied, the disabled and, in particular, young people. It is their talent that needs to be identified and developed to the full, so that their children one day can look back and say that, had the Games not come to London, their generation would never have seen the necessary upgrading and construction of new sports facilities across London and the rest of the United Kingdom, a nationwide rollout of new play areas and playing fields and the full engagement of clubs, schools and local authorities in this effort to enhance and capture the enthusiasm of young people through competitive sport.

To that end, today I am delighted to accept the invitation from Kate Hoey, the Mayor of London’s Commissioner for Sport, to work with her on the London Community Sports Board to deliver this vision for Londoners. Building on the work with which I have had the privilege to be involved as Minister for Sport and MP for Lewisham East, we must get inner-city kids out of gangs and into teams. Sport can play a key role in taking kids off the escalator to crime. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has taken a lead on sports legacy in London. I hope that all political parties can come together in a common cause to make sure that we achieve a step change in the provision of both Olympic-level performance and active participation in sport and recreation, not only in London but throughout the country.



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12.26 pm

Lord St John of Bletso: My Lords, I join in thanking the noble Lord, Lord Coe, for giving us this unique opportunity to debate both the challenges and the opportunities of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The noble Lord has become synonymous with the event, both through his outstanding leadership of the bid and now through his central role in the organisation of the Games.

There is no doubt that the challenge of organising the Games in an efficient and cost-effective manner has been made significantly harder by the economic downturn. It is a simple reality that a number of public/private partnerships have not materialised and that more funding will be sought from the taxpayer. It is encouraging that the noble Lord, Lord Coe, mentioned that all the ticks were in the box, but there still will need to be substantially more funding. It goes without saying that no money should be wasted.

However, it is equally important that, even amidst these pressures, LOCOG and the Olympic Development Authority should not lose sight of the reason why London decided to bid for this event in the first place. As every speaker has mentioned, this is all about the regeneration of a specific area of east London—the transformation of that community for its young from the twilight of social and economic deprivation into a modern, thriving, prosperous hub. Even under intense financial pressure, each key decision must be informed by the paramount need to leave a legacy in this part of London.

Barcelona offers a classic example. Until 1992, the Catalan capital was known as the city that turned its back on the sea. The programme of urban regeneration in preparation for the Olympic Games there effectively rebranded the city as one of Europe’s most glamorous destinations and the extensive economic benefits are still being reaped almost two decades later.

London 2012 will certainly provide 16 days of outstanding sport, yet the Olympics will be judged in London as an unqualified success only if the event leaves a clear and measurable legacy for this great city. Part of the legacy will clearly be the physical infrastructure, but an important element of it should be created in the hearts and minds of Londoners who are exposed to the benefits of sport and healthy living. Can the Minister comment on whether Olympics-based programmes are being promulgated throughout London’s schools and sports academies, using the spirit of Olympism to excite and inspire young people?

I shall touch briefly on the post-Games use of the main Olympic stadium. I welcome the construction plan to remove the upper tier and reduce the capacity to 27,000 after the Olympics. There is still a danger, however, that instead of a large white elephant with a capacity in excess of 70,000, the city may be left with a smaller, but still substantial, white elephant. Will the Minister provide us with an update on the latest discussions with prospective tenants?

I understand that various football and rugby clubs have looked at the stadium but have been disappointed by the reality of a permanent athletics track around the playing area. Obviously this would have an impact

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on spectators getting closer to the players, as is customary in rugby and football matches. I fear that this will result in it being difficult to find a permanent tenant for the Olympic stadium. Plans to create a permanent sports academy under the east stand are to be welcomed, but perhaps the Minister could let us know of alternative plans to use the structure after the Games.

There are a number of major challenges facing the organising committee of such a major sporting event, but perhaps none is greater than the need to meet the demand for transport, accommodation and, of course, security for both athletes and spectators. Does the Olympic transport plan include plans to make better use of the Thames?

This is a unique opportunity for London. I share the vision and the call of my noble friend Lady Campbell of Loughborough, in her outstanding maiden speech, that this is a unique galvanising force that, we hope, will have a lasting impact on our young people’s lives.

12.31 pm

Lord Patten: My Lords, I declare my interest as recorded, particularly my membership of the advisory board of the British Olympic Association. I strongly support everything that my noble friends Lord Coe and Lord Moynihan have just said. I have two sets of necessarily hard-edged points and questions for the Government to answer, on the growth of government bureaucracy in relation to the Olympic programme in the run-up to 2012 and on security at the Olympics.

First, there is too much Olympic bureaucracy—I am referring to government bureaucracy here. It is growing too fast, it is too costly and the money that is being spent on it should be spent on athletes, not on office workers, or should not be spent at all but saved, in our present economic circumstances. Among all the LOCOGs, ODAs and BOAs—the bodies that necessarily and excellently populate this stage of Olympic preparations—there is another, much less well known body: the GOE. What is this? I stumbled upon this hitherto secretive body, which the Government never announced publicly in any blaze of publicity. It is the Government Olympic Executive. Anxious to learn about this, I asked a series of Parliamentary Questions on its role and staffing that were answered, in his characteristically assiduous way, by the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Oldham. He kindly told me in a Written Answer on 20 May that the Government Olympic Executive had precisely 91.9 full-time equivalents working for it, reporting to the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It was broken down into various teams, he told me, in charge of build and finance, staging, legacy, operations and communications—all this at a cost in 2008-09 of £7 million. I suspect that, since then, that has grown substantially.

In another Answer on 19 May, the same Minister kindly stated that,

I am a bit concerned about the use of the word “requires” there and the civil servants who drafted it; I wish that we had the noble Lord, Lord Quirk, that great grammarian, in the Chamber to look at that use of the word. That, however, is the word that was used.

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The GOE has oversight, so the Government say. It is therefore responsible if anything goes wrong. So I sat back and thought, “Well, those are the answers. I now know what the situation is”. Subsequently, though, I found out that at exactly the same time that those answers were being considered and composed by the civil servants, a substantial Olympic presentation was given by officials from the self-same Government Olympic Executive to the interested Olympic parties in London on 13 May 2009, where they were told that the number of staff involved was not the 91.9 of the Government Executive but, rather, that there were—wait for it, my Lords—782 “focused staff”, to use the language of the presentation, in government departments and non-departmental public bodies concerned with the Olympics. Of those, a staggering 81 are working in communications. What on earth can the cost of all this be?

On the matter of cost—this is a restricted debate so I do not have time to go into this in greater detail—I have learnt that, for example, five civil servants from the Government Olympic Executive are going to be sent to Vancouver for the Winter Games. It is reasonable to ask why. How much should this cost? Is the Minister aware that our skiers face major financial constraints in preparations for going, and that Winter Games are about athletes, not visiting civil servants? After all, I do not think we are going to see much snow in London in 2012. If I were the Permanent Secretary at the DCMS, I would be a bit nervous of the heavy boots of the Public Accounts Committee in the other place approaching my door, wanting to look at expenditure on this sort of thing. A future Conservative Government, if elected, will need to get to grips with this staggering bureaucracy and misapplication of resources.

I turn to security. I hear continuing murmurs from those concerned that there is still a lack of proper security co-ordination, which must be sorted out soon. Who, under the Home Secretary of the day—or perhaps these days I should say “the Home Secretary of the week”—is the named official or police officer with ultimate overall responsibility for the co-ordination of Olympic security? Is there such a person? If not, why not? The Minister owes us an answer to that question.

Do the Government yet have what is known in the trade as a CONOPS—or, to deconstruct that ugly abbreviation, an integrated concept of operations—that is fully worked up with regard to Olympic security? It has been suggested that one does not yet exist. When will a statement be made, which has long been promised, about the introduction of such an integrated plan—setting aside, of course, those things that must necessarily be kept secret? We need urgent reassurance from the Government on stopping the growth of bureaucracy and expenditure, and on promoting a proper security plan.

12.38 pm

Baroness Young of Hornsey: My Lords, like other noble Lords today, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Coe, and his colleagues on the wonderful achievements with regard to our progress on the Olympics. The timing is particularly good because it follows hot on the heels of an event earlier this week, organised by my noble friends Lord Mawson and Lady D’Souza,

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on the Olympic legacy. I declare an interest in that I was an original member of the Culture and Education Committee for the Olympic project.

Given that we are about to stage the world’s greatest sporting event, it is appropriate that the emphasis is on ensuring that the spectacle is the best it can be and that our athletes compete to win and do us proud. It is also hugely important that community-based sporting initiatives are put in place, as has already been mentioned, that will have a lasting impact on the health of the nation. We should not underestimate the potential of the cultural Olympiad to transform and contribute to the mental and physical well-being of the UK as well; the cultural programme also offers us the opportunity to derive economic, social and cultural benefit from the Games. Many of the comments made by my, perhaps I may say, new noble friend Lady Campbell about the transformative potential of sport apply equally to arts and culture.

As we heard in the excellent debate initiated last week by the noble Lord, Lord Bragg, the arts, cultural and creative sector in London employs more than half a million people, second only in size to the financial sector. There are still a huge variety of jobs and opportunities for inventive, creative entrepreneurs. Part of the legacy of the Cultural Olympiad should be that more young people are made aware of the range of opportunities in the sector and the potential for employment, for self-employment, for learning and for developing transferable skills.

There is ample, documented evidence of the medium to long-term benefits of facilitating the growth of the cultural economy—creativity and culture have been the drivers of a number of large-scale regeneration projects, as we have already heard. For example, I should mention Barcelona and those here in this country in Newcastle and Gateshead, Glasgow, Walsall and of course in London King’s Cross and Bromley-by-Bow.

Arguably, London does not need to boost its international reputation as a city of culture, steeped as it is in history and also confident in its engagement with global modernity and contemporary culture. In the East End of London, artists and creatives have habitually played a vital role in regeneration and renewal. Artists have been and still are central to east London’s renewed vigour and attraction, with a greater concentration of visual artists located there than anywhere else in Europe. It is home to a vibrant, inventive and increasingly ethical fashion and design industry, and in addition there are filmmakers, theatre and dance practitioners and so on. I would urge those involved with the Legacy Trust to ensure that artists and practitioners are also invited to contribute their insights and energies to that project.

I note the progress made so far with the cultural programme, which in spite of some initial disappointments, looks set to be much more inclusive than appeared to be the case at the outset. The responses to funding programmes, as already mentioned, have been substantial. However, I do not feel there is any room for complacency on this issue. There are still many people both in the East End and outside London who do not see these opportunities and do not see a role for themselves in the Cultural Olympiad.



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The Arts Council of England is endeavouring to support a wide range of projects and work by levering funds from a range of sources and collaborating with other organisations—for example the BBC—on delivering major projects. The Arts Council is also working on the Unlimited programme which will, I think, be a very good juxtaposition to the Paralympics in particular. More widely, the Unlimited programme will be the UK’s largest ever celebration of arts and disability, culture and sport. Another flagship project already mentioned is Artists taking the Lead, which again hopes to reach across the country to involve many people outside London.

I hope that the cultural programme will help to ensure that the Olympics really do reach out across the UK, but there are still some big questions to be addressed, especially in terms of the strategic vision for the cultural element of the Olympics, and what happens afterwards with the cultural legacy. On the matter of legacy, who has oversight and who is in a position to assess the strength of cultural legacy plans across the country? Where does the ultimate responsibility for the Cultural Olympiad and its aftermath lie? How are cultural legacy plans envisaged? If there are 50 projects, does that mean 50 different visions of what constitutes a sustainable legacy for the sector? How are the plans for cultural legacy integrated into the overall vision for the legacy of the Games as a whole?

On my list of desirable aims for the cultural programme are: laying the foundations for a much more diverse cultural workforce, particularly in leadership roles; a solid core of arts organisations beyond “the usual suspects” with the resilience and flexibility to see them through troubled times; new effective and equitable partnerships and models of partnerships that cross art forms and disciplinary boundaries, linking, for example, science and sport; an overall strengthening of the sector through the recognition of what culture and creativity can contribute to the UK socially, economically and culturally; and to set a new benchmark for the quality of and commitment to the Cultural Olympiad in future Games.

Lots of excellent art projects will be great and will give a feel-good factor, but what about the expectation raised, and how can we go a bit further to ensure that there is a real, sustainable, integrated cultural, social and economic strategy?

12.44 pm

Baroness Gould of Potternewton:My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord Coe, for initiating this debate as it gives me the opportunity to raise two new issues which are separate in context but aligned.

First, I want to refer to the medical and healthcare provision for all the client groups associated with the Games; and, secondly, to deal with the problem of women being trafficked into this country for the purpose of prostitution during the course of the Games.

I have been fortunate to have heard a number of presentations by LOCOG on the planning process for the healthcare requirements for the Olympic Games, and it is difficult to imagine until it is spelt out the magnitude of the work that is entailed. We have heard about the need to work with a whole range of partners

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such as the ambulance services, designated Olympic hospitals, NHS trusts, PCTs, government bodies and other agencies, as well as the development of a number of medical teams covering every specialism and ensuring co-ordination for response and delivery.

I was truly impressed by the preparation to date in providing healthcare provision across all 102 Olympic sites, for 250,000 accredited people, 9 million visitors, and not forgetting 400 horses. I therefore offer my congratulations to all those who are working in that field. But as chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, my concern is that there is adequate sexual health provision. Evidence from the Sydney Games shows us to expect a big increase in demand for sexual health services with a corresponding increase in sexually related diseases, mainly among casual workers, making it important that prevention and health promotion services are in place now.


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