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(3) If a United Kingdom city has decided to bid to host the Olympic Games, the Secretary of State shall, by order, make a declaration to that effect.
(3A) Where the Secretary of State has made a declaration under subsection (3), he shall then make a progress report every three months to Parliament on the bid and its financing until the International Olympic Committee has elected a host city for the Olympic Games.
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(3B) The duty in subsection (3A) continues after the election but only in relation to a successful bid by a United Kingdom city to host the Olympic Games; and the duty then ceases once the Olympic Games have taken place or have been fully financed, whichever is the later.
(3C) Subsection (4) applies if the Secretary of State by order declares
(a) that the International Olympic Committee has elected a host city other than a bidding United Kingdom city as the host city for the Olympic Games in any bidding round, or
(b) that the election by the International Olympic Committee of a United Kingdom city as the host city for the Olympic Games has been revoked."
The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is a somewhat complicated amendment, but its aims are simple. First, proposed subsection (3) would permit an early start to the Olympic lottery for the 2012 London Olympics bid or any subsequent British bid. That is to say that the lottery could start once it has been announced that a British city is bidding for the games. Secondly, subsection (3A) would ensure that the Secretary of State makes regular reports to Parliament on the progress of the bid with an update on the financing. Finally, subsection (3B) would require that those regular reports continue once the British city has won the bid until the Olympics have taken place and the financing has been signed off.
Noble Lords may recall that we on these Benches have previously argued that the proposed Olympic lottery games should have been launched to coincide with the Olympic Games in Athens this summer. I referred to that a moment ago. In Grand Committee in Aprilsome three months agoI highlighted the benefits that an early start would bring. Not only would it help to raise the domestic profile of the London 2012 bid, which is essential to any successful bid, but it would also raise an additional £50 million and save the other good causes money.
As many noble Lords will already be aware, the International Olympic Committee rules require that the proceeds from the Olympic lottery be used towards Olympic purposes, including funding for the British Olympic Association, the British Paralympic Association and Olympic athletes as well as the cost of staging the Olympics. The Minister and no doubt the House will be pleased to learn that I do not intend to develop that argument further today, mainly because delays in bringing forward the Report stage have removed many of the benefits of starting the lottery game early.
However, the main purpose of this amendment is to require the Government to make regular reports on the progress of our London bid as well as the latest financial projections. Noble Lords will be aware that the Government are a key stakeholder in the London 2012 Olympic bid, even though they have discharged their financial responsibilities through the National Lottery and London council tax payers. It is therefore right and proper that Parliament receives regular updates on how our bid is progressing.
A great deal has happened to the London 2012 Olympic bid since our discussions in Grand Committee. I feel sure that all sides of the House will join me in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Coe,
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on his new position as chairman of the London 2012 Olympic bid. I was fortunate enough to compete at the same time as the noble Lord in both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and I know that we have an excellent chairman for the bid.
The other major development in our Olympic bid has been the publication of the report by the IOC Candidature Acceptance Working Group to the IOC Executive Board on 18 May 2004. The report was the basis for the short-listing of the bids in which London came third out of the nine applicant cities. It must now act as a road map of what the Government need to do in order to achieve our aim of winning a gold medal in the race to host the 2012 Olympics. With this proposed clause at the heart of the Bill, we would have regular reports and that road map would form the basis for regular reports to government.
The amendment would ensure that we have the opportunity to study the 11 key criteria by which our bid would be judged, with a ranking given to each one. On government support, legal issues and public opinion, London finished eighth out of nine, but we would have the opportunity, through this amendment, constantly to see the improvement that I believe must and will come if we are to win the bid. On general infrastructure we were third and on sports venues, fourth. Our Olympic village concept was rated sixth. On environmental impact we came joint second. On accommodation, one of the few areas outside government control, we came first. Our transport concept came a distant fourth, with parts of our transport system being described as "often obsolete".
Again, if the amendment were passed, we would have the opportunity to consider and review the improvements that I am sure we will seeand must seein the transport system between now and when the decision is made in July next year, and to monitor, consider and discuss those improvements. When necessary we must cajole the Government to make those improvements, but I hope to return to this House regularly to congratulate the Government on making those improvements.
On finance, we were ranked joint second. On the overall project and legacy, we came third. Perhaps one of the advantages of this amendment being passed is that, although experience of past sports events is critical, London's ability to host those events would be considered by your Lordships. We would be promoting London and the Government would be supporting London through UK Sport to host more international events successfully, as we have done with Wimbledon and as I hope that we would do on future occasions within Olympic sports. The fact of the matter is that we were judged sixth out of the nine bidding cities on those criteria.
Agreeing to the amendment would enable the Minister to come back and show the good progress that I am sure he intends to make between now and July next year. As the Minister knows, we have a long way to go if London is to be successful, but we should not be downhearted. We now know what needs to be done and it is up to the bid team, the Government and the GLA to learn from the IOC report, to strengthen those areas that need
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strengthening and to deliver a much improved final bid book to the IOC on 15 November. However, the bid team can only do so much on its own. It needs dedicated and committed government support. That is the key to success.
Government support for an Olympic bid is essential for success. That is why the amendment calls for regular updates from the Government on the progress of our bid, so that we can monitor much needed improvement and higher levels of support from the Government. So far, most of the Government's comments on the bid have come from Parliamentary Questions and media speculation. Although Parliamentary Questions and their Answers are helpful, I am afraid that they can only do so much. There would be merit in regular reports, when both Houses would have the opportunity to hold the Government to account and continue, as we consistently have from these Benches, to make positive contributions to the Government's thinking.
It is clear that the Government need to accept the facts, learn from them and then move on by stepping up at least two gears in their support. Noble Lords may have seen the speculation in the media that the Prime Minister will use his summer reshuffle to appoint a Minister with specific responsibility for our Olympic bid. That is to be welcomed. I have been calling for that appointment for over a year. I hope that the Minister is able to feed back the support of these Benches and indeed, the House, for a government response to a classic example of a positive contribution to government thinking.
The other major area that the Government rather than the bid team will need to address if we are to win the race to host the games is, as I have mentioned, the state of London's transport infrastructure. The scale of the investment needed is such that that clearly falls within the Government's area of responsibility. The Government are responsible for the delivery of the East London Line extension and improvements to the Jubilee Line. Both those developments were promised within our initial bid to the IOC and the Government's credibility will not be improved if they cannot find the funding required to deliver those projects in time for the 2012 games. I hope that, as a result of what was in the press this morning, the Minister will report to this House that that money has been found and that we are moving forward on a
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timetable to meet the Games. Indeed, I hope that he can confirm that the same applies to Crossrail, which was mentioned on the front page of The Times today.
Amendments such as this provide an opportunity for the Minister to report to the House on progress towards this important Olympic bid. The opportunity to report to the House at regular intervals on all the issues that I have mentioned will, I hope, be warmly welcomed by the Minister. I hope that he is about to stand in front of us and address those key issues on transport infrastructure.
The House will be aware that noble Lords on these Benches are passionate supporters of the London Olympic bid and we are committed to doing everything in our power to help deliver the games to London. I believe that this amendment will further strengthen the excellent work being done by the London bid team.
I trust that my suggestions will be acceptable to the Minister, who will, with his colleaguesin every aspect of the IOC interim report conclusionsconsider them, react to them and push London to the top of the tree so that we win in Singapore in July next year. I also trust that, with this amendment, we shall have the opportunity in your Lordships' House to consider all the points that I have outlined consistently at regular opportunities and in detail. I beg to move.
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