The future in east London is full of opportunity, but it still demands hard work, focus and a continuity of purpose.

9.06 pm

The Earl of Arran (Con): My Lords, I think that it is reasonable to say that, when the committee first met, we had a fair degree of scepticism about such a legacy and that, if a legacy did exist, it would be minimal. Under the very able chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, and with unswerving guidance from our clerks, this, disappointingly, proved to be the case. Although the Government’s aspirations and intentions were well placed, our original doubt proved correct.

One of the principal justifications for spending £9 billion on this great sporting event was that it would transform overnight almost every aspect of how the public engaged with sport. We were all meant to pick up the nearest tennis racket or javelin and begin running, jumping, swimming, throwing and hitting with the passion of a convert. Well, it ain’t turned out quite like that. Taking the report as a whole, the comments and criticisms put forward by the committee found, strangely enough, an unusual agreement across most of the media, which possibly means that we were on the right track.

Out of all this, by far the most important point of this whole affair is physical education in schools, as so many noble Lords have said. In the committee, we made very forceful recommendations to the Government on this point. Physical exercise feeds the nation’s well-being; it causes the blood to flow more quickly and brings about a sense of achievement. It improves results in exams, as demonstrated in schools in Canada, and equally importantly, as mentioned before, it helps to combat the scourge of modern society, particularly among the young—the scourge of obesity. Of course, that would feed through into the hard-pressed NHS.

We called for investment to be made in primary school teachers and club coaches, the link between whom is of crucial importance, to create a more

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positive attitude to sport and physical activity in young people in the UK. We also called on the Government to require Ofsted to inspect and report on the time in the school day spent on PE, including out-of-hours sport, in all school inspections. That would ensure that school leaders take the development of PE seriously and invest in the professional development of teachers and coaches.

The Government’s response to these points was, frankly, pretty woolly. However, confirmation from the Department for Education that PE remains compulsory at all stages is welcome. It is absolutely essential that this continues to be the case, and woe betide any Government who relax this. As Graham Greene said:

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in”.

Why should not that future be that of great sporting heroes brought about by PE at a young age in our schools?

As regards individual sports mentioned in our report, I mention in particular tennis, which has been referred to, not only because I am a proud member of the Lords and Commons tennis team, captained recently by the noble Baroness, Lady Billingham, but because I say that the criticism she levelled against the Lawn Tennis Association was totally justified. Over the years, I have been to a fair few meetings of the LTA and on all occasions found them to contain a lot of rather plausible waffle, with scant evidence of providing world-class players. I should tell your Lordships that both Andy Murray and Heather Watson did not go through the LTA system. The fact that the then chief executive received some £640,000 a year—the pay of a senior captain of industry—was a scandal. However, I now understand that the whole organisation has been restructured from top to bottom and that the new chief executive’s salary has been considerably reduced—and not before time.

Another of the report’s recommendations was that there needs to be a senior Minister, at Secretary-of-State level, to be responsible for accounting to Parliament for co-ordinating the delivery of this legacy. This would provide clear, identifiable national ownership of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy. Such a person should be resolute and determined to deliver the legacy. However, since this role would appear to involve every single department of government, we suspected that a certain amount of chaos could arise. It was unfortunate that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was unable to tell us how often this committee met. It was left up to the galloping mayor, Boris Johnson, who came bounding along and, without hesitation, told us that it met only once a quarter. Does it show continuous resolve and determination to deliver this legacy that is so badly needed when the committee meets only four times a year to track the expenditure of £9 billion?

Out of our 41 recommendations, only one was accepted—that of ensuring that the regions outside London enjoy a tourism legacy from the Games. Were all the others that unacceptable? I think it is somewhat insulting to a committee of very diverse and able people who worked long and hard on this subject.

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Governments, Ministers and civil servants come and go and we are on the verge of another general election. A new Government will appear with different priorities, policies and needs. It will take a very strong Government indeed to keep the flag of Olympic legacy flying high. While the Government’s intentions were noble, let us not forget that no Games have ever left behind a lasting boost in sporting participation. However, there have been benefits. For instance, all the remaining Olympic venues would appear to have viable, sustainable futures and the conversion of the athletes’ village into affordable housing is going well.

London 2012 was a wonderful party, and one that revived a desolate part of the capital. What the Olympics really gave us both in the organisation and in the performance of our athletes was the belief that we can be proud of our country and what it can achieve.

9.13 pm

Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab): My Lords, in common with every other speaker in this debate, I express my appreciation to my noble friend Lord Harris of Haringey not only for securing the debate but for the brilliant way in which he led the Select Committee. It was a pleasure to serve on it and I, too, thank our excellent clerk and special advisers who ensured that we covered the ground thoroughly and delivered the report on time. I also express my appreciation to my noble friend Lady King for suggesting the report’s title, Keeping the Flame Alive: The Olympic and Paralympic Legacy. It was an inspired choice which nobody else has mentioned this evening.

I remind the House of two relevant unpaid interests. I am a vice-president of the Football Conference and of Level Playing Field, formerly known as the National Association of Disabled Supporters. I shall be speaking mainly about football this evening.

Three aspects of our inquiry and recommendations are relevant. There was one issue on which we could make virtually no headway and the Government’s response has been virtually non-existent—the future of Great Britain’s Olympic football teams. We recommended that the British Olympic Association should continue to field at least a women’s GB team in future Games, and that efforts be made with the home nations’ football associations to field men’s teams in the Olympic under-23 tournament. I am aware that there are complications and sensitivities here, and the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, reminded the committee of some of those during our deliberations, particularly over a men’s team. However, given how important the Olympic Games are to women’s football across the world, it is regrettable that the Government have effectively washed their hands of this issue and said that this is a matter entirely for the football authorities and the BOA. In my view, Britain’s women footballers deserve better and would welcome some encouragement from the Government.

The second football issue was the one that attracted some media interest, and certainly the most colourful exchanges with witnesses. I refer of course to the future of the Olympic stadium and the dispute between West Ham United and Leyton Orient football clubs. Members of the committee will recall that on 24 July

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we took oral evidence in succession from Barry Hearn, chairman of Leyton Orient, and Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham United.


reports me at question 263 as asking Mr Hearn:

“on the ground-share, are you saying to the Committee that if the proposition was put forward that Leyton Orient would share the stadium with West Ham, you would welcome that?”.

Hansard goes on to report his reply, which was:

“Welcome it? My friend—excuse me for being familiar—I would welcome it. I would kiss you, right, and I do not normally kiss men”.

That exchange was picked up by the media, not just in this country but abroad.

While a number of members of the committee were surprised by just how favourable a deal West Ham had received, we did not examine that in detail. Our main concern was to ensure that the Olympic stadium should be available for community use in addition to becoming the home of West Ham. In the committee’s view, that should certainly include occasional use by Leyton Orient. I envisaged that that would be for matches such as major cup ties when their own ground at Brisbane Road was reckoned to be too small to cope with big crowds. The Government’s response to our report said that the London Legacy Development Corporation had arranged a meeting with Leyton Orient to discuss this issue, and I spoke to Mr Hearn yesterday—the first time that I had done so since that exchange in July. I was told that that meeting has now happened. However, bearing in mind that West Ham will be only a tenant of the stadium, not its operator, there seems to be room for some further discussions about a long-term ground share with Leyton Orient in order to help maintain its role as a community club and the stadium as a community facility.

I revert to the question of how to maximise benefits to the taxpayer. Your Lordships may have seen media reports that the present owners of West Ham United may be planning to sell its controlling interest in the club, which would be at a profit enormously inflated by the deal to occupy the Olympic stadium. I should therefore like to ask the Minister whether he can give an assurance that if such a sale materialises the taxpayer will receive a fair proportion of that enhanced value.

On the third of the football-related issues that we covered, I am hopeful that we will eventually record a success—in meeting the need to provide appropriate standards of access and facilities for disabled supporters, which is covered in our recommendation 13. The context for this was set by the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, who is going to speak to us in a moment, in her oral evidence to the committee on 3 July. She contrasted the provision of facilities for disabled supporters at the Olympic and Paralympic Games with the situation in most Premier League football grounds, which she described as,

“pretty shocking if you are a wheelchair user”.

In response to questions, the noble Baroness agreed with the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, that it should be illegal for football clubs to discriminate on the basis of a disability, and with his analogy of clubs having to comply by law with safety requirements, in providing disabled access.

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We returned to this issue when the committee questioned the Secretary of State, Maria Miller, on 9 October. We drew attention to the success of the Paralympic Games and the change in public attitudes towards disabled sport generally. However, as far as access to sports grounds is concerned, the situation is patchy at best and scandalous at worst. I referred to recent reports that places for disabled supporters at some Premiership football grounds had been taken out to make way for more television camera positions. By coincidence, the BBC screened an item on its TV news bulletins yesterday, reporting on the findings of its own investigation into disabled access at Premier League grounds. It centred on the experience of Mr Anthony Joy, an Arsenal fan and wheelchair user. The BBC reported that only Swansea, Southampton and Cardiff City comply with the recommendations of the Accessible Stadia guide, and that eight clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, do not provide even half the number of wheelchair spaces laid down in the guide. Mr Joy said that at West Ham, Aston Villa and Liverpool the limited number of spaces meant that he had had to sit with the home fans.

Taking all 92 professional football clubs into account, only 14 provide the minimum recommended number of wheelchair user spaces, and many clubs offer only very few away spaces for wheelchair users, some as few as three. This is not good enough and something has to be done. As Level Playing Field said in its evidence to the Select Committee, it is,

“unacceptable within an industry that remains collectively wealthy with record-breaking resources including the new Premier League TV broadcasting deal for 2013/14 which is reported to be in excess of £5.5 billion”.

I was pleased to see that in their response to our report the Government said that they agreed that,

“disabled people should be provided with appropriate standards of access to football and other sports grounds, to continue the successes around accessibility at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Equality Act 2010 requires providers of services to the public, including sports grounds, to make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in accessing those services”.

If football is to avoid having to face scores of claims for damages under the Equality Act, action is needed now. First, there needs to be an access audit review into what has to be done at each ground to ensure that every club meets at least the minimum requirements of the ASG. A strict timetable must then be established for the implementation of the necessary work, similar to what happened in the aftermath of the Taylor report into the Hillsborough stadium disaster, when clubs in the top divisions had to go all-seater within a specified timeframe. This programme should be overseen by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and funded, if necessary, by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund. However, given the amount of money within football today compared with 20 or so years ago, and with clubs prepared to pay players up to £300,000 a week, it is not acceptable for the clubs to plead poverty and to continue to neglect the reasonable access needs of their disabled fans. They have had more than 20 years to make the necessary changes under the DDA.

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My final question to the Minister is a simple one. Given the positive nature of the Government’s response to the Select Committee and the encouraging nature of the Secretary of State’s answers to the committee, will he confirm that they are serious about seeing the necessary programme through, that they will, if necessary, hold football’s feet to the fire and legislate if necessary to make it all happen?

9.24 pm

Baroness Grey-Thompson (CB): My Lords, I very much welcome the debate tonight and commend the work of the committee. It has produced a very detailed report covering many areas, but I hope that the detail of the report and some of the challenges that the committee highlighted mean that this matter will not be ignored in the future. I have said repeatedly, both before and since the London 2012 Games, that we cannot just expect legacy to happen, but there are many different ways in which we can encourage it.

I have a number of interests to declare. Everything is listed on the register but the most pertinent ones for tonight are that I sit as a board member of LLDC and Transport for London. I did work with LOCOG and am a trustee of SportsAid.

Tonight, I shall cover several areas of the report. The Paralympic Games were amazing. They exceeded every expectation that I could possibly have had. On day 1 of the athletics, at 9.50 am, with the session starting at 10 am, the stadium was packed with 80,000 people. Going back to the days when I competed in Atlanta where we could literally name the crowd, I never thought that we would get to a Games where the public would engage in such an amazing way.

Looking back, it perhaps seems that some of those things were easy to achieve. But there were many challenges along the way and a number of people deserve praise, not least the noble Lord, Lord Holmes, for his work in integrating the Paralympic Games into the organising committee. I also worked closely with the diversity and inclusion team, which should be congratulated on the incredible work that it did in employment, procurement and volunteering, which will have a long-term effect, although some of the challenges are difficult to measure.

I am convinced that the Paralympic Games changed the attitude towards Paralympians, but I am not sure that it did much to change the attitude towards disabled people in general. We only have to look at the disability hate crime figures, which when last reported were the worst they have been in 10 years, to see that there is a mismatch between how the public view Paralympians and disabled people.

I strongly welcome the new Sport England targets on disability participation. This is the first time that any governing body will be seriously measured on what it does for disabled athletes, although it has been included previously in various plans. We need to be careful about how we measure participation and that we do not have double or triple accounting, and that we genuinely measure the number of disabled people who have opportunities.

In terms of how we measure equality within sport, I would be interested to find out how many of our Olympic and Paralympic national governing bodies

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employ disabled people. These data are probably not available now but, in terms of disability rights, we spend a great deal of time talking about co-production, and the idea of working with disabled people and them being part of the decisions that affect them. From what I see of our national governing bodies, we do not have enough disabled people working in the bodies, coaching or volunteering. With a little effort, that easily could be achieved. Through my work with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, we know that there are not enough women on sports governing bodies. It is my guess that the representation of disabled people is even less.

Wearing my LLDC hat, I am really pleased that there are no white elephants, although I have to say that all that work was done before I joined the board. However, London set the most amazing standard for inclusion for spectators. For the first time ever I went to a sporting event and was able to sit with the people with whom I had bought tickets. My family were not sent 10 rows in front of me and my daughter was not sent to sit in another stand completely. The sightlines were amazing and you could see everything that was going on. The platforms were built in such a way that when everyone jumped up at the start of the 100 metres, we were still able to see. There were some very simple things: for example, the toilets were in appropriate places and the access to food was amazing. In addition, the Games makers were trained to be positively helpful.

Where we are now was raised by the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, as regards spectator seating in football clubs, which is not good enough. To have three clubs that provide decent access is poor. We are missing out on a massive opportunity. I strongly support Joyce Cook from Level Playing Field when she said that the clubs need to react to the DDA and Equality Act legislation. It is not as if they have not had a decent amount of support. Information that the clubs have been given goes back as far as 1995 and they still have not done enough to rectify this. The Government provided a detailed, self-explanatory response, so I do not expect the Minister to respond on this matter. But I would strongly support any work that the Government were going to do in that area.

I also do not think that it is acceptable for fans who are wheelchair users to have to sit with the opposing team. That is completely unacceptable. But I also strongly disagree with clubs that offer either a specialist pricing programme or a different way of accessing tickets. What that usually means is that disabled people cannot just buy a ticket the same way as anyone else: they are reliant on a smaller body within the club to allocate them tickets. That is not always a terribly fair way of allocating them. It also means that a disabled person cannot complain. If they complain about the sightlines or lack of access to toilets or food, they will not get tickets next time and they will be even further excluded from watching the sport they love. I was therefore delighted when the noble Lord, Lord Holmes, mentioned that the EHRC will be helping those sports that require to be pushed in a slightly more positive direction.

Transport at Games time was amazing. Last week, I helped to launch “turn up and go” for London Overground, which is about disabled people not having

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to book 24 hours in advance to travel on the overground in London. The booking system that exists whereby wheelchair users have to book 24 hours in advance makes some sense to me, but disabled people need flexibility in their lives and should be able just to turn up on public transport and travel whenever they wish. I really hope that this will expand out across the whole of the rail network.

Just last week, I was invited to take part in a radio interview with a disabled businesswoman called Sarah Rennie. She was on a train but found out that the only accessible space was in the quiet coach, so she was not able to work. Just a couple of days later, I found myself in exactly the same position when I was travelling from London to Cardiff. I also found out that on a two-hour journey there were no accessible toilets. That particular train company, First Great Western, has since said that on those services it does not have accessible toilets in that particular carriage. It is hard to see that disabled people in the areas of transport are not experiencing some level of discrimination, and I plan to write to the Department for Transport on that particular matter.

In terms of participation, there are some really good things happening, but it does not always feel like that work is joined up. In terms of a living legacy, associations such as SportsAid, which has been around for a very long time and will continue to be around, is doing great work in terms of helping talented athletes, but also working with them to find the next generation of practitioners, strength and conditioning coaches, physios, and sports psychologists, and finding different ways to develop young athletes’ skills. But I firmly believe that we need to have other schemes that do not have such a huge profile, such as the talented athlete scholarship scheme, which helps athletes stay in education while they are training to make sure that when they leave sport they have other things to go on to.

That leads me to my view on elite sport. I sat on UK Sport for two terms and I also sat for one term of “Mission 2012”. I completely understand and accept that the “No Compromise” situation for London was okay, but we need to think differently about how we support our sports teams and how we enable them to get up to a decent international level. Over the years, I have seen many national governing bodies have several attempts to get it right. The sports that are now successful were not immediately so when lottery funding first came in. Gymnastics was one sport that was funded, then not funded and then funded again. It was a maelstrom for athletes and coaches who did not know where they stood. I wonder whether there is anything we can learn from history. By now, we must know quite a lot about performance planning and about how to be efficient with money. I do not think we are talking about huge sums in terms of helping athletes to be the best that they can.

I was really disappointed to learn that water polo, basketball, goalball, synchronised swimming, visually impaired football and wheelchair fencing today lost their appeal. Particularly on water polo I received a huge number of e-mails—possibly the largest number that I have ever received in the time that I have sat in your Lordships’ House—from young girls who want

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to play water polo saying that they do not know where to go. That is the sport that they want to play and they do not want to be talent transferred to another sport, but they do not feel that they have any options.

At the moment, we are in danger of telling people who have an aspiration to be an Olympian or Paralympian that they cannot do the sport they love. I understand that lots of sports such as lacrosse do not have much funding, but they are not Olympic or Paralympic sports. At the moment, we are consigning these sports to little chance of international success. David Owen, the journalist mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, has been vocal about this—he tweeted this evening that we should,

“think about medallists, not just medals”.

Team sports can create many role models but bring in only one medal. I think that the current view is short-sighted. I do not want to be where Australia was in London 2012. I enjoy the friendly rivalry with the Australians and I love beating them, but I like to beat them when they are good, not when they are bad.

Finally, I would like to talk about physical activity. I thank the Select Committee for mentioning my work chairing the schools and physical activity task and finish group on the role of PE in Welsh schools, and I pay tribute to the members of that group who were all experts working on the ground. I worked hard on the project and it led to quite a radical report that made one single recommendation, which was to make PE a core subject. The idea behind it is about physical literacy and balancing that between literacy and numeracy. It is also about influencing teacher training and measuring equality of experience. It is not about measuring how high children can jump or how quickly they can run but about measuring the core skills they acquire. So I was delighted to learn yesterday that the Welsh Assembly Government have announced £1.78 million for a new physical literacy programme and a further £2.35 million has been agreed in principle to continue this work, subject to review.

In England, the money that has been confirmed for English schools is welcome, but I wonder whether the Minister can explain what plans Her Majesty’s Government have to help teachers make cost-effective use of that money. I have seen amazing teachers working in primary schools, but most of the time it feels like it is down to luck—it is because of the sporty teacher, the person who wants to do it. Some teachers find it a struggle and some head teachers may not understand the benefits of sport. They will not make the best use of this money. The situation in schools is this: if our children were being taught maths by someone who stopped engaging with maths at the age of eight, had a really bad experience of it, and then went to teacher training college where the tuition on how to teach the subject lasted four to six hours, there would be universal outrage, but that is happening in PE. I accept that that is a gross generalisation of the worst of the worst, but how can we expect our children to acquire the correct skills if we do not equip teachers to help them in the best way they can? I firmly believe that our children deserve better.

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The Games alone cannot change the world. They did a huge amount to move things forward, but we still have an opportunity to do better. I am sure that we will return to this debate and I look forward to the Minister’s response.

9.37 pm

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Lab): My Lords, one of the most moving experiences of my life occurred as a result of being in your Lordships’ House. I was invited to participate in the medal ceremonies for the Paralympic Games. I presented six medals to people who had done extraordinary things in an extraordinary competition. The crowd was amazing in its support of the athletes, but what struck me most was that for those professional athletes or those operating at such a high level, I thought that all the emotion would be in the winning. In fact, the emotion was in receiving the medals—standing up and representing your country and being applauded by everyone, including your peers. The moments spent in the green room before the medal ceremonies were some of the most intense that I have ever experienced. It was an extraordinary and life-affirming occasion for me.

This has been a fantastic debate. I think that all the speakers have performed brilliantly. Speaking or being in this House is not an Olympic sport, nor I suspect will it ever be, but I think we should remember that we are up against a rather amazing football match in which a well known team looks as though it might actually win for a change, but noble Lords are in the Chamber and staying until the end of the debate. I am sure that the noble Baroness sitting opposite has the match on her very attractively styled iPad. Perhaps she will tell us when it is finally over because there are still a few minutes of stoppage time, but it is quite close. Anyway, enough of such boring things.

It must have been a fun Select Committee to serve on, and I must say that I felt a twinge of interest when I learnt about all the various things that happened. To have done all that work in such a compressed time speaks volumes about my noble friend Lord Harris and his ability to command and control. We experience it regularly on our side of the House because he chairs our Wednesday party meetings. You have to be very careful when he is in the chair. Clearly the committee was a model for the work of the House. The only thing I am concerned about is this. Why is it that such brilliant reports and the good debates that take place as a result of them are put down at relatively unpopular times, particularly when the House is relatively light? Perhaps the usual channels, which are represented here this evening, might take this comment away and think about it. This has been a really good debate which deserved a better audience and a greater chance to reach out and take its message to others. It would be nice if that were the case.

The point was made, which I think was a good one, that the committee’s timing might have been a problem, in the sense that, although it was post-euphoria, it probably did not have sufficient distance to look and see what main learning points we took from the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is something for the House authorities, but maybe the committee should agree voluntarily to reconvene perhaps in four-year

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Olympic cycles so that it can keep track of this over a much longer period. It is only in that way that the necessary learning and evaluation can take place, from the necessary distance. That may be too difficult to organise within our rather odd procedures, but I recommend the thought as a way of maintaining longevity for what has obviously been a very useful and appropriate use of the resources of the House.

What I have taken from the debate is an overall judgment that the Games were a spectacular success. They came, I think in the words of my noble friend Lord Harris, tantalisingly close to delivering what we would probably all agree was a legacy—not just limited to sporting issues but more generally. However, the term is problematic and we should perhaps not spend too much time worrying about what does and what does not qualify as a legacy. The Games seem to have not been successful as a beacon lighting the way for us who follow behind in terms of what we could learn from that and what we could do as a result of having experienced them. Instead, they rather cast a shadow in which the worry is that many of us, and most people in the country, have slipped back into our older bad ways and have not made a step change in our habits, activities or focus, which was what was hoped for.

It is the British disease to knock our successes, so we should not go over the top in terms of being critical about what happened. We clearly punched our weight in every conceivable way in terms of delivering a fantastic Games. For the first time, as noble Lords have said around the House, we embraced Paralympic sport and allowed it to come up to its rightful level as an equal partner in the arrangements. We increased women’s participation and helped to valorise that activity across the whole country. It re-inspired us in terms of what we call volunteering. All sports that I have ever witnessed or been involved in rely on volunteers, but to see them operating in London on the scale that they did was a dimension that we had not anticipated and was fantastic. We have regenerated east London and proved, in the words I think of the noble Lord, Lord Best, that the public realm can actually deliver fantastic changes to our houses and public spaces, and that we do not have to wait in the hope that some private sector company will, relying on the profit motive, somehow deliver something that would be of value to us. There are different ways of doing this and we should learn from that.

Why did we achieve this and what lessons should we learn from it? A common theme in all the speeches, although not always explicit, was that one of the key factors was that this was an apolitical process. All the parties concerned made this work, despite changes in the mayoralty and in government at the time. It was maybe sometimes difficult to restrain the natural wish to attack that which you see, but it was very important that in all the early stages, over the transitions and towards the end, everybody pulled together. It really made a difference.

It also helped that the budgeting was done in a sensible and mature way. We gave what seemed necessary to deliver the best Games possible—we did not whinge too much, there was a whacking great contingency and therefore, not surprisingly, they came in under

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budget. You just have to accept that the big-ticket costs are going to be there for this sort of event, and it was a huge occasion. It was well planned, and we have not said enough about the quality of the team that was recruited to deliver the Games and all the activities that went into them. The members of that team were superb and we owe them a great debt.

The scale and ambition of the Olympics and Paralympics has led to them being described in one of the reports that I have read, by the DCMS I think, as “mega” events. They did of course have a number of side products, because they encouraged co-ordination within government and across a range of bodies and organisations. The DCMS rather coyly says that these organisations perhaps would not normally have worked together but had to do so in order to deliver the Olympic Games. Maybe something of that idea of working with people you do not normally even spend time with might stick.

A similar but slightly different issue is how we had to improve our communications. Running so many events in so many different places over such a short period requires excellent communication, and the stakeholders, businesses, organisers and the Government had to improve what they normally did. They did, and that should not be undervalued.

We might never in our lifetimes repeat the Games on the scale that we saw in London but it was clearly a learning experience for everyone who was involved, even tangentially, in this work. As the DCMS report says, it clearly helped many organisations,

“to develop new skills, approaches and strategies”,

and, again rather coyly, to become,

“less frightened of complicated projects”.

So that is the answer: we just have to make things more complicated and they will be delivered. That is all right. We have learnt that and we should tick that box when it comes to be ticked.

That is all very macro and not very detailed, so what should we be doing about some of this stuff? Clearly the report and the committee’s discussions lead us towards suggestions about what we should do. First, as we have heard, it is important that we recognise that there are some negatives and things that did not go right. There are still some things that are not working as well as we would like. We should not have our eyes taken over the horizon and ignore things such as the travel stories related by the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, which are just ridiculous. Perhaps this is a tribute to the Games and the fact that we have been so exposed to it, but these problems now seem to be from some time in the past and I am really quite shocked that they still exist in modern transport arrangements. But if they are there, there must be some changes and I hope that the Government will pick up all those examples and ensure that we get an improvement in the way the world operates.

A number of noble Lords said that they were disappointed by the Government’s response, and I can see where that comes from. The report received the distinction of getting a very long response from the Government, which deals with all the points, but the tone is not right. It seems very limiting about where it might go and does not leave any real aspiration

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in terms of the discussions, and I think that is a pity. I hope that the Minister might put a gloss on some of that.

The speeches tonight were really good. I took a great deal from the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, some of which I think he has given before. I mean no disrespect to him at all but I think this is the first time I have seen him try to give an all-encompassing view of what we need to do to better arrange our disposition of resources for elite athletes and to encourage the participation of those who will never reach the elite level but who need and want to be part of a more active and more participative society. We must read what he said carefully. Again, I hope that the Minister will respond to it and think carefully about the tone of what was said, because in the report there was a sense of bringing together a number of themes and thoughts that would bear further discussion and debate.

The figures given by my noble friend Lady King about the obesity situation in her area were shocking. I recall that when we won the right to host the Games in Singapore, the then Government made a promise to the IOC and, indeed, to the people of this country that we would inspire a generation of young people through sport. This was not just because of sport but because of the important underlying link to obesity and fitness.

It has been said that inactivity is probably the biggest public health problem of the 21st century and I think there is a lot in that. Physical inactivity, along with poor diet, has led to the epidemic of obesity that we have heard about, with 26% of adults and 30% of children in this country now classified as obese—the fourth highest level in the world. That is simply shocking. Other associations with exercise that we need to think about include the way that it reduces stress, anxiety and depression. We have also heard how high-quality PE and sports programmes, managed by committed and trained teachers and coaches, can boost attendance among certain groups of children at school, challenge anti-social behaviour and, most importantly, boost academic performance. So there is some value in that. Will the Minister explain what is happening in school sport?

We knew when we got the Games that simply having a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games would not necessarily bring about a sustained increase in sports participation, and there is research evidence to support that. That is why, as the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, reminded us, the previous Government invested year on year in school and community sport in the years running up to the Olympics. The number of young people doing at least two or more hours of sport per week had risen to 90%, with 55% doing three or more hours a week, which is a very important aspect of what we have been saying. However, since 2010, we have seen some of this sporting infrastructure begin to disappear. There has been a reduction of about 70% in funding to school sport. Can the Minister remind us what is in the plan and how that will change over the next few years?

What is happening to adult participation? There was a target of 2 million more people being physically active as a result of the Games—which was mentioned

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by my noble friend Lady Billingham—and, overall, 1 million more people being active through sport. Money was given to Sport England to get “whole sports plans” for national sporting bodies to drive up participation. I agree with the report’s view that these plans need to be made transparent and that we should discuss and debate them because they are important, but the money has been cut and the number of those who are active in sport has gone down, which is not a good thing.

What is the government response to that? Is there any hope that they might look again at how the sports bodies deliver those funds and make sure not only that those adults who are interested participate in sport at the appropriate level but that far more people generally get active in sport?

I have suggested that one of the key elements of that must be to try to work together across the parties. It is important that we get across some of the ideas that might put some flesh on that. It was an important part of the success of the Games that we were able to work together across the political parties. It does not often happen in British politics, although the Leveson episode is another that we could pray in aid in this. Is it not about time that we thought about that in relation to the legacy? We have had a success. Team GB has been fantastic. The television coverage brought that out to the widest possible audience that we could get, and they loved it. So could the real legacy be that we should make the future of sport above party politics? Why do the Government not expand the current, rather secretive Cabinet committee and make it cross-party, and invite all the organisations responsible for making sport happen in our country to come together and see whether we can get some real, concrete action?

Let us reverse the downward trend in public funding for sport and physical activity. Working cross-government and cross-party on that, that might be achievable. Any investment that raises participation in sport has to be a good thing and there would be savings. One could perhaps have as a national indicator that the amount of money that goes into sport should be a reflection of the savings that would come later in the life cycle in terms of what the NHS would have to bear if there was disease related to lack of activity.

What about the structures that we have talked about tonight? We should try to come up with something that genuinely serves the elite but also improves participation. It would need a lot of work and effort, and there are lots of ways in which it would be difficult to do because of the way in which sports are organised in the country and strength of the clubs. However, working together and working across party, maybe that is possible.

The most important issue that has come out of the report, and one that I would like to see most attention paid to, is the question of primary schools, which, as many noble Lords have said, is probably where we have to start. Habits for sport and exercise, we know, are set early in life, and all the available evidence indicates that expert coaching at an early age is the best route to installing lifelong sporting habits. But it has to be expert; it has to be properly delivered; and it has to be done in a way that is consistent and does

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not depend on the individual in the smaller primary schools who might not have the right training or approach. School sports partnerships had a big impact on improving the sporting offer. It is interesting that the model that was adopted by the previous Government has now been picked up by Australia, Brazil and Canada. With imitation being perhaps the sincerest form of flattery, we might want to look at that again.

Those are some ideas that I hope the Minister might respond to. However, the excellent report that we have before us and the wonderful speeches that we have heard tonight merit a better response than we have had so far.

9.53 pm

Lord Bates (Con): My Lords, it is a great privilege and honour to respond to this debate on behalf of the Government. The report which we are looking at began on an extremely positive note. On page 1, it states:

“The hosting of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was an outstanding success. The Games exceeded expectations and confounded sceptics by giving the world a spectacular example of what the United Kingdom is capable of doing, delivering a major event to time and to budget”.

That sense of optimism trickles down through the report, although not of course completely, all the way to the end. It was a great privilege for me—I declare an interest—to serve under the chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, whom I congratulate on securing this debate and on the extremely high quality of the report which he has produced and on the way in which he conducted that Select Committee. Whoever the PE teacher was who accused him of wilful lack of effort, all of us who served on that committee would never voice for a second anything other than to recognise his incredible hard work and the way in which he guided the committee through that process to come to some very robust and rigorous conclusions. I pay tribute to that.

During the debate this evening we have had some extraordinary talent and ability, with immense insight and understanding of the world of sport. I think of the contributions of the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, and my noble friend Lord Holmes of Richmond, who, if they were countries, would between them probably top most of the gold medal tables at the Paralympic Games. There was also our distinguished Olympian, my noble friend Lord Moynihan.

I want to begin on that note, by paying tribute to the Winter Paralympic team members, who recently returned from their triumphant performance in Sochi. Their tally of six medals, including a gold for Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans, represents the best ever performance by a team at the Winter Paralympics and took them into the top 10 of the medal table. That in itself shows that if the legacy of London 2012 is not alive and kicking then certainly it is alive and curling and skiing. That should hearten us. It also answers to a degree one of the points made by my noble friend Lord Stoneham, who wondered whether we could actually match or go beyond what was done in London. It suggests that perhaps our high expectations in Rio are not so unfounded because of the work that has been done there.

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I also recognise that those of us who enjoyed so much the coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi just recently did so by courtesy of the broadcasters, who conveyed that into mainstream terrestrial services. I particularly pay tribute to Channel 4—I know the strong connection of the noble Baroness, Lady King, there.

The recommendations in the report focused mainly on two of the five legacy themes, namely sport and healthy living, and the regeneration of east London. But it also touched on aspects of the other three, namely economic legacy, communities legacy and—cutting across each of the other four—the legacy of the Paralympic Games. The Government and Mayor of London gave each of the report’s 41 recommendations very careful consideration. Of course, I heard some criticism of the response from the Government and the Mayor of London as perhaps lacking in any sort of original or new statements, but restatement of a policy if it is there is not necessarily a bad thing.

Legacy has been at the heart of this project since the very day on which the bid was first submitted. It was all about legacy. Therefore, we should not be surprised, nor do ourselves down, because the structures and forethought that went into the Games also went into the legacy, and those processes are quietly continuing to deliver their results. The noble Lord, Lord Mawson, highlighted what the London Legacy Development Corporation is actually doing in delivering on the Olympic park as evidence of that. I will come back to some of his points.

Let me turn to some of the key points of the legacy as the Government see it. We made a strong start in that legacy. The progress includes 1.5 million more people playing sport regularly since the bid was won in 2005. The noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, made that positive point, as well as the cross-party point about raising the bar on the Paralympics and there being a fresh level of thinking and perception of those living with disabilities. We advanced the regeneration agenda and increased women’s participation. In that, the legacy is secure, but needs to go further.

Of course we want more people to participate in sport. My noble friend Lord Moynihan mentioned how participation in swimming and cycling has increased; but other sports, noticeably tennis, as the noble Baroness, Lady Billingham, said, have seen a decline. I am sure that the reasons for that are complex, but the point is that overall more people are playing sport on a regular basis since 2005, and that must be welcome.

Another positive thing that I want to highlight is that eight out of the eight retained venues on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park have a secured future. That includes the Aquatics Centre, which is now open for community use, where the general public can pay £3.50 to swim in the wake or drift of the Olympic and Paralympic champions in the pool which made history. Very soon, the VeloPark will be open to cyclists and mountain bikers. Whatever the attractions of the Welsh mountains, which the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, mentioned, we can bring some taste of that mountain biking into the heart of the capital. I also note what the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, said, about the excellent proposed exhibition about the work of the London

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Legacy Development Corporation in east London, Walking on Water, which seems to be an appropriate title and I will be sure to go along to it. Those facilities are reopening.

The noble Lord, Lord Harris of Haringey, said that there was a diligent search for the white elephants, which always seemed to be in stark profile following previous Olympic and Paralympic Games. As he said, the committee found none because legacy was at the heart of the thinking going into the buildings’ construction and therefore is at the heart of their use thereafter.

So far, £11 billion of international trade and inward investment has been won because of the Games. The noble Lord, Lord Stoneham, referred to the boost to business. It has to be remembered that the Games were taking place when, in many ways, the economy was, if not on its knees, certainly struggling to its feet and some doubted whether this was the right place and time to invest that sort of money. Since then, it has perhaps inspired business and all of us with a level of confidence that is part of the reason why the UK economy seems to be coming out of the recession ahead of some of our competitors—which, in itself, is something to be welcomed.

Volunteering has increased from 65% in 2010-11 to 72% in 2012-13, reversing the steady decline since 2005. There was an 8% increase in the number of people volunteering regularly, up to 49%, and that followed a decade in which volunteering had flatlined. The Games changed that, with thousands volunteering to make the Games a success—of course, the Games makers were at the heart of that. My noble friend Lady Wheatcroft mentioned the UKTI and BIS “Britain is Great” campaign. That also contributed to the perception of Britain around the world. We soared to No. 1 in the Monocle magazine list of soft-power countries in the world. That is also a legacy of the Games, gaining a positive reputation for the UK. VisitBritain recently produced figures showing that visits to the country had increased by 16% over the past year—not just to the capital but beyond into the nations and regions of the United Kingdom.

The figures for disabled people playing sport have risen steadily since 2005. More than 350,000 more disabled people are taking part in sport now than when we won the bid in 2005. In many ways, I think of my noble friend Lord Addington’s injunction that young people and children need heroes, which is one of the arguments for elite sport. Perhaps behind that figure of 350,000 more disabled people taking part in sport are the likes of my noble friend Lord Holmes of Richmond and the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson.

There is a long way to go and the Government are absolutely at one with the committee in recognising that. The Mayor of London recently published a long-term vision for the legacy of the 2012 Games. I think one of your Lordships mentioned that there were too few areas where there had been a positive response or a change in thinking as a result of the report. However, one of them was very much in the mayor’s decision to publish an annual statement of

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where we were with the legacy and regeneration, which he will now do. That is part of the effort which we will come back to.

Several noble Lords, particularly the noble Earl, Lord Arran, referred to the need to have a clear voice from someone of Cabinet rank with responsibility for the legacy. Well, we do: it is my right honourable friend Maria Miller, who is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She is deputy chair of the Cabinet committee—deputy to the Prime Minister, that is—and chairs that work across government. Some 18 different departments are working on the legacy. Communicating and getting them working together, which my noble friend Lord Holmes raised a point about, is quite a challenge for any government Minister but the representation on that committee and the fact that it draws upon expertise from the noble Lord, Lord Coe, as the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy ambassador is very important. I also pay tribute to the work of my noble friend Lord Holmes as an adviser to that committee on the legacy of the Paralympics.

In the time that remains, let me address some of the specific points raised during the debate. I shall try to get through as many as possible and, failing my doing that in the time allotted, I will of course follow up with a letter to the noble Lord, Lord Harris, and copy it to other members of the committee and those who have spoken in the debate. It is notable that of those who have spoken, virtually everyone at one stage either served on or gave evidence to the committee. Again, it should not surprise us that in the three hours of debate we have had on this very important matter, there have been such high-quality and thought-provoking contributions.

First, the noble Lord, Lord Harris, asked why the Government do not make public the content of the whole sport plans and report regularly to Parliament on progress with delivery. Sport England already publishes summaries of the whole sport plans on its website. In addition, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equality reports directly to Parliament on a quarterly basis on progress being made against a sports legacy action plan, including that on meeting sport participation targets.

I have already covered the points relating to how the legacy is dealt with across government and how different departments are getting going together on this. Of course, at this point it is always fashionable to say that we want joined-up government. Many of us on all sides of the House have been in government before and I think that the aspiration of every single Prime Minister is to get joined-up government. Somehow that has never quite been successful here or, I guess, abroad. However, the reality is that if we look at the 18 departments involved, across the piece, they are all going away and working on very important parts of this—be they the education department, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Cabinet Office with volunteering, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, or the health department with its input in improving nutrition and exercise.

The noble Lord, Lord Harris, and the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, referred to transport requirements and talked specifically about making greater use of

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Stratford International station for communication. This is a matter for the operator. I know that the committee took evidence from High Speed 1, which pointed out that one of the difficulties was having sufficient customs facilities at Stratford station to sustain the level of traffic. That is a consideration for it. Deutsche Bahn, in particular, is hoping to introduce services from Frankfurt through the tunnel to London from 2016 onwards. We understand that its intention is to run those services directly to St Pancras. Where it stops is a matter for the operator, but some strong cases have been made.

My noble friend Lord Holmes of Richmond asked about getting all national governing bodies to have targets for participation by disabled people. Currently 42 out of 46 do so. Sport England has taken this very seriously and it will no doubt form an important part of its regular discussions with those governing bodies.

Several noble Lords referred to the contribution of the National Lottery to funding and rightly paid tribute to Sir John Major for taking that initiative. This funding is the subtext to the transformation of our dismal performance in Atlanta into our stellar performance in London and Sochi.

I am grateful for the intervention of my noble friend and new employer—after the noble Lord, Lord Harris—the Government Chief Whip, who has instructed me that we are running close to the time limit.

Let me try to deal with the point relating to school sport, as that is something that all noble Lords talked about. The government are trying to focus attention on primary school teachers and club coaches through investment in primary schools, with £150 million a year for primary school sport for two years from September 2013. Many schools are using the funds to invest in professional development—which is exactly what my noble friend Lord Moynihan urged us to do—and to encourage high-quality coaches. Sport England is also investing more than £400 million in the 46 governing bodies to deliver whole-sport plans. The National College for Teaching and Leadership has already developed a new specialist primary PE course for trainee teachers.

In answer to the question from my noble friend Lord Arran, the figure I gave for participation includes 92,000 more young people aged between 16 and 26 who are now participating in sport. There are also more women playing sport, with more than 480,000 more women playing sport regularly than in 2005. My noble friend also asked what Ofsted is doing. Ofsted will be inspecting schools to ensure that the additional funding provided for physical education goes where it is intended to go.

With that I will draw my remarks to a close. In doing so, I once again pay tribute to the excellent report which the committee produced and thank noble

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Lords for their contributions to the debate this evening. I assure all noble Lords that the Government see this as a long journey in which we have made a positive start. It is vital that Parliament and the Government hold each other to account in ensuring that that legacy lives on in the future.

10.14 pm

Lord Harris of Haringey: My Lords, I am enormously grateful to all who have participated in this debate. It has been, as a number of noble Lords have commented, an extremely impressive debate which has covered many of the issues that the committee considered. The debate has also demonstrated why the committee was so effective and successful as the range of experience and expertise brought to bear in our committee has also been reflected in the Chamber today.

It is therefore disappointing—despite the Minister’s excellent presentation of the Government’s response—that the response is quite thin on quite a number of the detailed points raised. However, that does not alter the fact that no one is suggesting that the Olympics were anything other than an enormous success and that we have delivered far more legacy than any previous Olympic Games. It is just that we could have done it so much better and achieved so much more. Our hope is that it will be possible, even now, to capitalise on the Olympic Games and to take forward that legacy.

The Chief Whip will be delighted to hear that I am not intending to reprise all the comments that were made. I will pick out just one, from the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Holmes of Richmond. He made the point that the reason why the Olympics were so successful was the cross-Whitehall working, bringing together the 18 different government departments. He made the point that this does not need to be unique. The message of this evening’s debate is that we do not want it to be unique. We want it to continue to capitalise on the legacy, to make sure that that legacy is delivered.

This is all about leadership—it requires leadership within government at the highest level. This is not a criticism of the current Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, but to corral all the different senior Cabinet Ministers together and make things happen requires the highest level of leadership within government. Within London, it requires the leadership of the office of the mayor to carry forward a vision for the East End and for London, to make sure that we capitalise on the spirit of 2012. That is what is required.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 10.17 pm.