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Lord Skelmersdale: My Lords, can the Minister give us the assurance that it is functions that matter at the expense of individual bodies, which may of course overlap?

Earl Howe: My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend. He is right to suggest that we should look not at each body individually but perhaps at several across the piece to see whether there is scope for rationalisation in a way that does not detract from the quality of service.

Lord Harris of Haringey: My Lords, the noble Earl has frequently argued in this House in favour of there being arm's-length bodies to protect the patient's interest in the NHS. Will extra resources be found to enable this aspiration of his-and I am sure, of the coalition's-to be fully funded?

Earl Howe: My Lords, the budgetary implications of our plans are being worked through at the moment but we are clear that we need to have a more powerful patient voice within the system than at present. I believe that that goes hand-in-hand with our agenda for patient choice, greater quality standards and more information being made available to patients to enable them to make choices.

House of Lords: Post-legislative Scrutiny


3.02 pm

Asked By Baroness Hamwee

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): My Lords, I am happy to participate in discussions on post-legislative scrutiny in this House. It is of course open to committees in both Houses to conduct post-legislative scrutiny of Acts of Parliament, either as part of a broader inquiry or on the basis of a specific post-legislative memorandum published by the Government. Noble Lords will no doubt have views on how this process has been working.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I am grateful for that positive Answer. Does the Leader of the House agree that pre-legislative and post-legislative scrutiny are part of the same exercise, in that each informs the other in moving forward to improve legislation? Does he also agree that it is work to which this House could make a very particular and good contribution?

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, I agree with everything that my noble friend has said about pre-legislative and post-legislative scrutiny. I have always been a supporter of post-legislative scrutiny, but I have discovered in recent days that there is a gap between desiring the idea and making it a reality. There are substantial

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issues involved in the practicalities of making post-legislative scrutiny work. I am delighted that there is a system of post-legislative memoranda being published by the Government, as a result of decisions taken by our predecessors some years ago. It remains to be seen how that works over the next few months.

Lord Filkin: Does the Leader of the House agree that it would be beneficial if this House at least initiated discussions with another place about whether a joint committee was beneficial, but that if it decided, for whatever reason, not to proceed with a joint committee we ourselves should start action on this, as we have been talking about it for 20 years now?

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, there is no reason why any noble Lord should not make the case for post-legislative scrutiny on an Act of Parliament and put that forward to the Liaison Committee for discussion of whether an ad hoc committee should be set up.

Baroness O'Cathain: My Lords, would it not be better following this discussion to make it imperative that every bit of legislation that we pass is subject to post-legislative scrutiny? That would mean that people could not slide out from under but would be held to account. One of the awful allegations levelled against us is that we are not held to account, but this is one way in which we could be. Indeed, we could show the other place how to do it.

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, that is the nub of a decision that was taken in March 2008 by the Leader of the House of Commons, committing the then Government to enable post-legislative scrutiny for all Acts of Parliament passed during and after the calendar year of 2005. Since then, six or seven of these memoranda have been published, although many are left in the pipeline. We wait to see what attitude the Select Committees in another place or, indeed, in your Lordships' House will take to these memoranda.

Lord Howarth of Newport: My Lords, is it not particularly important that there should be post-legislative scrutiny in Parliament following this Session, for which the Government have promised-or threatened-a prodigious quantity of legislation, most of which, in the nature of the situation, will be pretty hastily cooked up in Whitehall and which Parliament will have only cursory opportunity to examine properly because of the scale of demands?

Lord Strathclyde: That is really rich coming from the noble Lord, Lord Howarth. He supported a Government who, over the past 13 years, gave rise to an outpouring of legislation quite unlike anything that we have ever seen in our history. Constitutional changes were dreamt up on the back of an envelope and introduced to Parliament with minimal thought and discussion and with no pre-announcement.

Viscount Montgomery of Alamein: My Lords-

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Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, is the Minister aware-

Noble Lords: Order! Wrong Bench!

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, I apologise to the right reverend Prelate for polluting his bit of the Bench. [Laughter.]

Is the Leader of the House aware of what I think is a military tradition, whereby the top brass who devise strategy are supposed to live with its consequences in practice? Would it not be a good idea if we learnt something from the military and stopped the mad ministerial merry-go-round, whereby Ministers, who are progenitors of legislation in this place, rarely if ever have to face the music?

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, I am sure that I speak for all my colleagues in saying that we are very much in favour of stopping the ministerial merry-go-round in this House.

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, pre-legislative scrutiny and post-legislative scrutiny were two of the issues that were raised in the excellent debate introduced by the noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, in February of this year. At the end of that debate, the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, said that early in the next Parliament a Leader's Group should be established to look at various procedural issues. Will he tell us when such a group might be established?

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, it is certainly my intention to have discussions with the noble Baroness the Leader of the Opposition and with the Convenor of the Cross Benches as to how we should progress this and whether, before doing so, we should perhaps have a more general debate on the working practices of the House.

Viscount Montgomery of Alamein: My Lords, would the noble Lord be prepared to consider introducing sunset clauses to all legislation as a means of reducing the volume of legislation from recent levels? If not, what about introducing the repeal of legislation to reduce some of the legislation that we have had?

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, it is certainly our intention shortly to bring before Parliament a Bill that will repeal some of the highly authoritarian legislation that was passed under the previous Government. As far as sunset clauses are concerned, in many instances they are extremely desirable.

The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords-

Noble Lords: Order!

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Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills


3.09 pm

Moved By The Chairman of Committees

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): My Lords, this Motion would increase the number of Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills from two to four. It follows the decision of the House on 8 June to refer the Local Government Bill to the Examiners. If appointed, Mr Roberts, who is one of my counsel, and Mr Davis, who is one of the counsel in the House of Commons, will examine the Bill, together with Mr Simon Patrick, the Clerk of Bills in the House of Commons, who is already an Examiner.

Motion agreed.

Arrangement of Business


3.09 pm

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, at a convenient point after 3.30 pm, my noble friend Lord Strathclyde will repeat a Statement on Afghanistan. The debate on the Olympics will resume and then, at a convenient point after 5 pm, my noble friend Lord Sassoon will repeat a Statement on the Office for Budget Responsibility, followed immediately by my noble friend Lord Marland repeating a Statement on the implications of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for the UK.

Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012

Motion to Take Note

3.10 pm

Moved By Lord Shutt of Greetland

Lord Shutt of Greetland: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, for securing this debate. This is a terrific opportunity for the House to take note of the excellent progress that is being made by all parties in delivering the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Games are on track to be a nationwide sporting and cultural celebration unrivalled in a generation. I can assure the House that the Government will continue to work to ensure that we deliver a safe and successful Games in 2012.

In reviewing the list of speakers for today's debate, I am aware that several noble Lords who are thoroughly involved personally in the planning for and after 2012 are speaking, as are others with tremendous sporting interest and insight. I and the whole House look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Baroness,

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Lady Grey-Thompson, whose own Olympic achievements and involvement give her special expertise to take part in the debate today. I am aware that the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, who has real concerns about the legacy for east London, is unable to be present today, but many look forward to joining him on a visit to the Olympic Park tomorrow, and to seeing how the landscape of this part of east London has been dramatically transformed.

I will focus my opening remarks on the progress made since the House last debated this subject in January of this year, addressing the Government's plans for delivering a substantial sporting legacy from the 2012 Games. In coming to this subject with fresh eyes, I am amazed by the complexity and detailed dovetailing needed. In very simple terms, there are three strands. First, there is the work of the Olympic Delivery Authority-the ODA-in preparing the facilities for a successful Olympics. Secondly, there is the work of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games-LOCOG-which is responsible for the operation of the Games themselves. I regret that the noble Lord, Lord Coe, is unable to be present today but I have received a briefing from him. Thirdly, there is the legacy of 2012, both in terms of interest and involvement in sport and tourism, and the physical legacy, particularly in east London, and the work of the Olympic Park Legacy Company. Beyond the three strands, there is the import and involvement of the British Olympic Association, the International Olympic Committee, myriad sporting bodies and, not least, the Cultural Olympiad, taking the 2012 experience beyond sport.

On ODA progress, the construction of the Olympic Park and venues continues to be on time and on budget. More than 54 per cent of the Olympic Delivery Authority's programme is now complete. I pay tribute to the way that the ODA, led by its chair, John Armitt, and chief executive, David Higgins, have managed this extremely complex project. The Olympic stadium, now at its full height with all 14 lighting towers recently installed, can be seen from across east London. Work on the stadium is expected to be completed by spring 2011. The Aquatics Centre, the iconic venue and gateway to the Olympic Park, is also structurally complete and is on course to be fully completed on time in June 2011. Construction of the Olympic Village is proceeding on schedule, with three of the 11 residential plots structurally complete. Work on the roads, bridges and utility networks between the sites is well under way and work on the new education campus, the Chobham Academy, is also under way. The majority of these homes will be structurally finished by summer 2010, with construction complete by the end of 2011.

Not only is the ODA delivering this work on time, on budget, and to a high quality, it is doing so while setting new standards for sustainable construction, ensuring that the Games will be a catalyst for genuine behavioural change in the construction industry. The ODA has supported a range of measures in place to ensure that local people are well placed to benefit from employment and training opportunities on the park, helping more people to gain lasting employment or a more highly skilled job.

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In a difficult economic environment, the ODA has managed its resources extremely well. It has realised more than £600 million worth of savings throughout the programme, £130 million in the last quarter alone. When this Government came into office, they indicated that one of their first tasks was to secure £6 billion worth of savings to help reduce the budget deficit. The Government are committed to delivering a successful Games in 2012, but the preparations for the 2012 Games cannot be immune to the need to reduce the budget deficit. Therefore, we have asked the ODA to find £27 million worth of savings from its budget for 2010-11. The Government will be working with the ODA to deliver these savings, but we are clear that any savings should not detract from the quality of the facilities that the ODA is constructing. I am confident that the ODA can deliver these savings, which represent less than 2 per cent of its £1.7 billion budget for 2010-11. Further details of where these savings will be found will be published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in its quarterly economic report on London 2012 in July.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has put in place the building blocks for the regeneration of east London, including world-class sporting venues for both elite and community use; major utilities, transport and environmental improvements and a stunning new parkland; and the Olympic Village, which will be converted into nearly 3,000 new homes in legacy. The Olympic Park Legacy Company is also in place to oversee the future development of the area, which will see up to 12,000 additional homes and thousands of job opportunities being created on the park site. All this activity is inspiring a raft of new private developments and accelerating the delivery of existing schemes in the surrounding areas. For example, the £1.45 billion Westfield retail development at Stratford City, when it opens next year, will be the largest urban shopping centre in Europe, offering thousands of employment opportunities for local residents.

The regeneration of east London cannot be achieved by government alone. This has to be a partnership between local communities and councils, central and regional government, local businesses and the voluntary sector. I welcome the work of the east London host boroughs in leading the delivery of social and economic regeneration for local communities in and around the Olympic Park.

Ensuring the safety and security of the Games will be one of the biggest security challenges that the UK has ever faced. None the less, normal life will go on alongside regular summer events such as the Notting Hill Carnival and Her Majesty the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations. Our aim is for everyone to enjoy the 2012 summer of celebration safely and securely without security measures adversely affecting their experience. We are confident that this is a challenge that the police and security services are well placed to meet.

While the UK has an excellent track record of successfully hosting major events safely and securely, the coalition Government will be reviewing Olympic safety and security plans. This will make certain that delivery is on target and that the work done to date is sufficient. I want to make it absolutely clear that the

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safety of the Games is of paramount importance, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone can enjoy the celebrations peacefully.

Security is just one of many issues where the Government need to work closely with the organising committee of the noble Lord, Lord Coe, to enable it to deliver a stunning Games in 2012. That committee continues to make good progress in ensuring that the London 2012 Games will be everyone's Games. The committee has already launched the ticketing sign-up programme, which aims to increase interest prior to tickets going on sale in spring 2011. The Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, representing the heritage of the Olympic and Paralympic movements, have been launched. We are also looking forward to the launch of LOCOG's volunteering recruitment programme during the summer. The Government will ensure that they meet all the commitments given to the International Olympic Committee during the bid, and we will continue to work closely with and support the organising committee in any way that we can.

What is key for the Government is delivering not just the physical regeneration programme in east London and a truly great Games in 2012, but ensuring that there is a distinctive, lasting and visible sports legacy from the London 2012 Games. As set out recently by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, there are five aspects to this Government's plans to deliver on this aim. The first stage of creating a truly distinctive sports legacy is the commitment to encourage more young people to take part in sport. Taking part in sport is a positive thing for young people, and competitive sport can build self-esteem, teamwork and respect among them. It helps them to develop their potential, whether in terms of sporting or academic success or their personal and social well-being.

While the previous Government made efforts in this area, there is much further to go. Only one out of five children participates regularly in competition between schools; and fewer than one in three participates regularly in competition within their schools. We want to use the Games to revive competitive sport in all schools. We will launch a new national Olympic-style school competition in which all schools will be invited to participate. It will not be a single competition but a package of events and activities across the country, culminating with the first national event in the summer of 2012. We have said that this will be financed with up to £10 million per annum through lottery funds. We are working with Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust-I pay tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Campbell, for her vision and achievements in improving the quality of sport for young people-to develop our plans for this competition.

Secondly, we will meet the Conservative manifesto commitment to return the share of National Lottery funding of the arts, heritage and sports to its original level of 20 per cent. We are moving ahead with this and have already begun the consultation process. We expect to lay the order before Parliament after the Summer Recess. We believe that each year this will secure in the region of a further £50 million in lottery funding for sport.

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