Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

The Games are not just benefiting businesses; they are also making a direct investment in people. First, London 2012 is creating jobs. Since the start of 2009, the number of workers on the Olympic park and village sites has more than doubled to nearly 7,500. More than half the current Olympic park workforce are from London, and one in five are from the Olympic host boroughs. Secondly, the Games are helping to change the face of the construction workforce. Programmes such as Personal Best are drawing in the hard to reach or previously unemployed, while the Women into Construction project has helped to bring the numbers of women working on site to more than double the national average. Thirdly, London 2012 is helping people to acquire the skills and expertise that they need to stay in work. A total of 2,250 traineeships,

5 Jan 2010 : Column 105

apprenticeships and work placements will be available on the site over the course of the build, while three dedicated east London training centres will offer as many as 20,000 places over the next five years. With courses designed to furnish the workforce with the skills that will be in demand in the years ahead, it is an opportunity to ensure that our training systems anticipate the needs of future employers. London 2012 therefore represents an investment in skills that will help the construction industry to deliver other major infrastructure projects of national significance such as the £16 billion Crossrail scheme, which is the largest civil construction project in Europe and one that is set to enhance London's rail capacity by 10 per cent when it opens in 2017.

The development of the Olympic park is not only providing opportunities now but will provide the basis for a sustainable and prosperous community after the Games have come and gone. Indeed, 75p of every £1 that the Olympic Development Authority spends on the Olympic park goes towards the regeneration of an area that includes four of the 10 most deprived boroughs in the UK. London 2012 is aiming to achieve 30 years of development in less than five years.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company, which is chaired by my noble friend Lady Ford-I am sorry that she cannot take part in our debate this evening-will make our vision for east London a reality by developing and implementing plans for the long-term future of the park after the 2012 Games. The park will deliver five world-class sporting facilities, over 15,000 new homes, more than 150,000 square metres of high- quality employment space and 10,000 new jobs, all surrounding over 100 hectares of new parkland.

And the benefits will not be confined to London. There is a clear cross-government commitment to delivering a legacy for the whole of the UK, not least by boosting sports participation and getting more people active and healthy. We are using the opportunity of London 2012 to help transform the levels of young people participating in sport, with the goal of making five hours of school sport available each week to the under-16s. Already, the opportunity for five to 16 year-olds to participate in up to five hours of sport per week is in place in over 90 per cent of school sports partnerships, with over 90 per cent of children meeting the initial two-hour target. Overall, London 2012 has the goal of making 2 million adults more active, and that will have a lasting impact long after the Games are held. There have been successes already through initiatives such as the free swimming programme, which resulted in over 10 million more swimming sessions in its first six months-6.9 million by the under-16s.

At the same time, the Cultural Olympiad is also playing a major role in helping to use London 2012 to, in its own words, "inspire a generation". Launched in September 2008 with an Open Weekend celebration involving around 650 events across the UK, the Cultural Olympiad is a four-year, UK-wide cultural festival aimed at inspiring young people, welcoming the world, and leaving a lasting cultural legacy. And this commitment to "inspire a generation" is not limited to the UK. The International Inspiration programme has now been launched in nine countries worldwide, offering millions

5 Jan 2010 : Column 106

of children the opportunity to take part in high-quality sport and other activities. The goal is to extend the programme to up to 20 countries by 2012.

We can therefore see that London 2012 is already creating a legacy, both here and abroad, of better businesses and better jobs, more active citizens and more attractive neighbourhoods. But of course the first challenge is to deliver an Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 that inspires the world. The London organising committee-LOCOG, chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Coe, whose speech I look forward to particularly-is leading on the delivery of the Games and is making first-rate progress. In an exceptionally tough economic environment, LOCOG has to date secured 25 domestic sponsors and generated nearly £600 million-worth of sponsorship revenue, about two-thirds of its target of £700 million. In this sense, LOCOG is ahead of any previous organising committee in securing sponsorship for the Games.

Beyond its strong revenue-raising efforts, LOCOG's practical preparations for the Games are also progressing extremely well. It has secured the services of Sir Ian Johnston, the former chief constable of the British Transport Police, to lead on security planning. Sir Ian's appointment is an important step in ensuring that we create a safe and secure environment for the Games to be staged. His expertise and vast policing experience, with which I am very familiar and to which I have often paid tribute in debates in your Lordships' House on the role of the British Transport Police, will be invaluable to LOCOG in preparing the stage for the Games in 2012 and will ensure that the organising committee works seamlessly with the Metropolitan Police Service, the BTP and other police forces across the UK.

The International Olympic Committee remains impressed with LOCOG's preparations after its recent co-ordination commission visit. Add to that the fact that the build programme continues to be on or ahead of schedule and that our legacy plans are more advanced than those of any other Olympic hosts at this stage, and it is clear that the UK is all set to stage a highly successful Games in 2012.

9.24 pm

Lord Moynihan: My Lords, I am grateful to the Government for allowing me an additional few minutes in return for agreeing to delay this debate, originally tabled in my name before Christmas. Nevertheless, I shall be as swift as possible. I declare an interest as chairman of the British Olympic Association, a director of LOCOG and a member of the Olympic board.

A few years ago when Kate Hoey, a Member of Parliament and the mayor's Commissioner for Sport, and I co-chaired the independent sports review, we prefaced our 2005 report with the following observation:

"The success in Singapore has raised the bar. The United Kingdom now has less than seven years to develop a world-class sports policy which will form the basis of London 2012's ultimate legacy-a fitter, healthier, more active nation".

Today's debate provides an opportunity to monitor progress and I intend to concentrate my few remarks on the key building blocks of an Olympic sports legacy.

5 Jan 2010 : Column 107

A new policy framework is required-a policy framework to deliver a comprehensive, nationwide network of sporting opportunity. Through this network every man, woman and child must be able to play their chosen sport at their chosen level, and every child should have their sporting talent identified and the opportunity to develop it to its full potential. That requires a nationwide system with clearly accountable delivery mechanisms.

Reacting to increased concern from the sporting community, the Government set up a sporting legacy board, on which I sit. Sadly, since Singapore 2005, it has had only two brief meetings. The Government have also established a further three boards and steering groups to look at aspects of sporting legacy, which brings to 11 the number of government boards designed to develop different aspects of the 2012 legacy. Inevitably, this level of bureaucracy leads to ineffectiveness. In this context, the Government announced in the Pre-Budget Report that they would rationalise up to a third of the DCMS's arm's-length bodies. That is commendable, but can the Minister inform the House which sports bodies are to be streamlined under this policy, particularly those relevant to the London 2012 Games?

Given the vital importance of the Minister for Sport working closely with Ministers from health, the Home Office and education, the proposal to create a new Cabinet Office cross-departmental division to co-ordinate initiatives provides a focal point for sport and recreation in government and is commendable. When Kate Hoey and I considered the sporting landscape during the months soon after the historic decision to award the games to London, we concluded that today's patchwork-quilt policy based on luck and isolated islands of good practice needs to be replaced with a comprehensive system constructed on universal opportunity. Sporting success, as I am sure we will all agree, is systematic and should not, as at present, be left to chance.

In 2005, Tessa Jowell, as the then Secretary of State at the DCMS, rightly described the public sector structure over which she and Richard Caborn presided as "a nightmare". While a great deal has been achieved by UK Sport to streamline the high-performance delivery mechanisms to our governing bodies, I still believe there is merit in housing the two separate quangos-one covering Olympic sporting excellence in UK Sport; the other mass participation in Sport England-together into one in order to share overheads, further streamline delivery to our governing bodies and, above all, deliver a pathway from participation to excellence. We must ensure that central to the Olympic sports legacy is having a world-class performance system in place that is robust, inspirational, resourced and sustainable; a system which covers the pathway from children, through juniors, through seniors to podium success; a system based on the requirements of volunteers, clubs, governing bodies, coaches and, above all, the athletes.

My second point is that a further key pillar of an Olympic sports legacy is sports infrastructure spend across the United Kingdom. The report of the noble Lord, Lord Carter, was the most important on sport commissioned by the Government. We have an ageing stock of sports facilities. Many were built during the

5 Jan 2010 : Column 108

1970s' boom in capital investment and are now reaching the end of their economic lives. A Sport England report estimated that it would cost £550 million to bring sports centres owned by local authorities in England alone up to a safe and acceptable standard. The capital cost of maintaining the stock thereafter was estimated at between £144 million and £151 million per annum.

While that analysis concentrated on local authority leisure facilities, the Football Association has calculated that it will cost some £2 billion to bring the stock of local authority playing fields, changing rooms, hot water and showers and pitch drainage up to a reasonable standard. The most important part of an Olympic sports legacy must be a new national sports infrastructure fund to renew the stock of local facilities across the United Kingdom.

What is also a key aspect of this contribution to an Olympic sports legacy is the requirement for government to introduce a much-needed statutory requirement to ensure that there is adequate provision of sports facilities for sport and recreation in England and Wales. In Scotland, where such legislation exists, per capita funding for sport during the last decade was £46; in England, where local authorities are under no such obligation and are struggling to meet there statutory requirements, it is no surprise that the per capita spend was £19. Sports infrastructure spend is critical to an Olympic sports legacy. That is the catalyst to provide a sea change in opportunity for young people, inspired by the Games. This is even more important as we enter a new decade with nearly 1 million children who do not receive the basic two hours of sport and PE each week. The prospect of an afternoon of sport every week-say, a Wednesday afternoon-linked to governing bodies, clubs and local authority programmes, should be introduced throughout the United Kingdom and act as the catalyst for inter-school competitions and club membership throughout the country. This would be a substantial building block in the delivery of an Olympic sports legacy.

For my part, I shall pursue the proposals outlined in a government report written by my noble friend Lord Coe and myself some 23 years ago, in which we said that we looked for greater uniformity of purpose and approach internationally in the fight against drug abuse. As a result, I shall introduce a Bill into your Lordships' House shortly. I should add, as a response to the comments made to the British Athletes Commission spokesman yesterday, that absolutely no proposal exists to allow the police to undertake random searches in the Olympic village or elsewhere. Under the legislation that I am drafting, the police would have to have reasonable grounds for believing that an offence had been committed under the proposed Act and obtain a warrant issued by a court before any search could be undertaken. In this context, random police searches would be wholly unacceptable to me.

Finally, with just over 1,000 days to go and reinforcing the non-political approach that should always characterise sport, I led the British Olympic Association in strong support of Gordon Brown's sports manifesto when the then Chancellor announced at Marlborough House in London on 25 October 2006 the following measures: to

5 Jan 2010 : Column 109

offer children four hours of school sport a week by 2010; to lead the world in 2012 as one of the fittest and most sporting of nations; to offer afterschool sports and links to a wide range of local sports clubs; to have every school in the country playing competitively in local leagues; to increase sports volunteering in schools and communities by 1 million; to provide every potential young sports star with extra support to help them to train and develop; and to ensure that every school should have access to playing fields and better sports facilities.

Sadly, I cannot report to your Lordships' House that any of these measures have been delivered. We could start with a national volunteering strategy, which is absolutely central to an Olympic sports legacy. The hard work will start now-otherwise, the Olympic sports legacy from the Games will be housed solely, necessarily and exclusively inside the Olympic park and its satellite venues, which are being so admirably delivered by my noble friend Lord Coe, John Armitt, the noble Baroness, Lady Ford, and the first-rate private-sector-led teams. Now is the time to build on a coherent, well designed, fully financed and implemented nationwide Olympic sports legacy programme, with all 2012 stakeholders working together to support and contribute to its success.

9.33 pm

Lord Coe: My Lords, first, I thank the Government for the opportunity for this debate and I thank my noble friend Lord Moynihan for his apposite remarks this evening and for so publicly carbon-dating me. I declare an interest as the chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games-or LOCOG, as we have become known-and as a member of the Olympic board.

2010 will see the pace and intensity of our preparations increase as people across the UK become involved in the Games, their delivery, inspiration and participation. In just 133 weeks we will stage 26 simultaneous world championships during those Games, before working day and night for a fortnight to reconfigure venues and transform London into a Paralympic city, and then to do pretty much the same with 20 Paralympic world championships. The scale and complexity of this project is unique, and I am pleased to report that our progress and momentum are strong.

As I have noted before, LOCOG raises its staging budget almost entirely from the private sector, save for a small contribution to assist Paralympic transition. Despite the economic climate, we have raised, as the Minister remarked, nearly £600 million of our £700 million target for domestic sponsorship. We now enjoy partnerships with 25 world-class companies, with more to come. This has enabled the recruitment of a world-class team, as the organisation's workforce looks to grow from 70 in 2005, when I first reported to your Lordships' House, to over 2,000 at Games time. We have also spent time carefully developing our operational plans in over 50 venues across London and the UK. Next month we look forward to adding knowledge and understanding at the Winter Games in Vancouver. I take this opportunity to wish my noble friend

5 Jan 2010 : Column 110

Lord Moynihan the successful stewardship of a successful Team GB and a successful Paralympic campaign a few weeks later.

The story of London 2012 will be the story of people touched, inspired and delivering the Games. Already we have made an impact. Over 35 Olympic and Paralympic teams have agreed to hold pre-Games training camps in Britain, including Usain Bolt's Jamaica in Birmingham and the Australian Paralympic team in Cardiff and Newport. Over 800 activities, sporting and cultural, formed our open weekend in July. Our Inspire mark, the first from a host city for non-commercial activities, has been awarded to over 260 projects, 60 of them in sport, and 14,000 schools in the UK, nearly half the total, now use London's 2012 Get Set education programmes.

I have little doubt that these programmes explain why over 80 per cent of the British public now say that we will stage a successful Games in 2012-but we cannot take our foot off the pedal. We know that the economic climate remains tough. Despite that, LOCOG's commercial team has punched through the downturn, allowing us to move with clarity, certainty and, crucially, independence through the exacting phases of this project.

Bringing our sponsors to the table early-earlier than previous host cities-has also helped us to harness the creativity and market penetration of these companies in activating their sponsorships, which in turn helps us to meet the legacy commitments that we made in Singapore: the Lloyds Banking Group with the national school sport week, Local Heroes, the construction of adiZones for partnerships in the inner city, EDF with its sustainability campaigns, BP with its work within the Cultural Olympiad, British Telecom for its commitment to the Paralympics, and British Airways with its Great Britons campaign. I could go on.

Security, of course, remains central. We continue planning for our in-venue responsibilities while working in partnership with the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police and other agencies that lead on London and the UK's wider security at the Games, as the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, commented. Sir Ian Johnston has recently been appointed as director of security at LOCOG. He brings a wealth of experience to that post, and is known to many in your Lordships' House.

Over the coming year we will be busy as we lock down our venue plans, submit 117 planning applications and finalise sports competition schedules, test events and our ticketing strategy. We will go to the market with £700 million-worth of business. We will drive the Cultural Olympiad and the International Inspiration programmes. We will start recruiting up to 70,000 volunteers and introduce a new face to the Games-the mascot.

I recognise that, at best, this can be only a quick romp across the landscape, but I hope that I have demonstrated both delivery and commitment. While recognising the leading role of legacy played by London and national Governments and the Olympic Park Legacy Company chaired by the noble Baroness, Lady Ford, let me restate LOCOG's endeavours as a legacy enabler with key support from our commercial partners.

5 Jan 2010 : Column 111

I thank your Lordships' House once again for the benefit of its advice, its wise counsel, its scrutiny and, at all times, its support for all our teams over the past four and a half years. I look forward to its continuance through to 2012.

9.40 pm

Baroness Morgan of Huyton: My Lords, I, too, welcome the debate tonight. The new year feels a particularly appropriate time to look ahead with optimism towards the Olympic Games and the Olympic legacy. I declare an interest as a member of the Olympic Delivery Authority board.

My first reason for optimism is the broadly strong working relationships that exist around 2012. In previous Games, one would rarely have seen such strong working relationships between the development authorities, Games organisers and legacy authorities. Linked to that is strong, cross-party commitment, strong partnerships with business and local government and high and sustained public support.

My second reason for optimism is that engineering, design, manufacturing and construction in Britain have been and are stepping up to the mark and have a great opportunity to showcase to the world, and we are delivering on time and on budget. I am not normally in the habit of quoting from the Daily Mail, which has not necessarily been my favourite publication over the past decade or so, but I was struck by something Max Hastings said at the turn of the year. He said:

"We must use the opportunity to showcase Britain, to justify the vast expenditure of public money by demonstrating that this country can do something really big really well".

Today, notwithstanding the huge challenges that lie ahead, I want to draw attention to the fact that we are indeed doing very well. I know that others will speak about the Games and the sporting legacy, the regeneration legacy and the importance of the Games to London, so I will focus on the construction project.

The ODA inherited a complex site criss-crossed with rail, water and electricity pylons-one that had suffered from generational neglect. We are responsible for delivering a construction programme twice the size of Terminal 5 in half the time; arguably the biggest construction project programme in Europe. It is fair to say that there was widespread cynicism about our ability within the UK to deliver that. So far, I am pleased to say, that has proved unfounded. Indeed, the challenges of the project-its size and timescale-have galvanised UK industry into seeking innovative and ambitious solutions.

Some of the less publicised areas of the work are worthy of attention. I want to talk briefly about three. The first major project was power lines-not the most exciting but absolutely essential. The site had 52 huge overhead pylons and 130 kilometres of overhead wire. In order to unlock the landscape, we had to construct two six-kilometre tunnels underneath the entire site enabling all the power for the Games and the legacy developments to be carried underneath. In all, 1,300 tonnes of steel were removed and recycled and an electricity substation is now completed and operational. The handling of material created by demolition was a huge challenge too, but 97 per cent has been reclaimed

5 Jan 2010 : Column 112

and reused. A huge operation has taken place to clean and reuse thousands of tonnes of soil, which otherwise would have had to be transported offsite. The so-called soil hospital is well worth a visit. It is somewhat surreal. Huge washing machines shake and clean the soil free of contamination including the tar, petrol and oil of many years and produce clean material that is being used in the creation of correct land levels, foundations and parklands.

The second area that I find very interesting is logistics. Usually, understandably, attention focuses on the big venues, but underpinning all the work that happens every day on the site is a colossal logistical operation-a warlike operation. Tonnes of material have to be delivered every single day and 9,000 workers have to get in and out of the site, so the logistics centre co-ordinates the arrival of four delivery vehicles a minute at the construction site, which is now reaching its busiest phase, which will reach a vehicle every 12 seconds at its peak. The ODA's road logistics centres on the M11 and in Barking manage deliveries to the Olympic Park. They take vehicles from the north and west through one centre and through the south and south-east to the other centre. Deliveries go to the centre to be screened for security purposes and are then recorded on to the tracking module. They are taken on to the site at regular intervals so that no time is wasted.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page