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Lord Dixon-Smith: I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. This is a complex area and he has unquestionably given us a great deal of reassurance. On the veto, almost from what he is sayingI hope that the Mayor is not listeninghe is formally recognising a power which exists, but Heaven help us if he ever has to implement it. It seems to me that it is a power that will remain just that: it is a formal recognition of a position, which has to be maintained. That I understand. Equally, I am completely clear in my mind that if the Mayor ever found himself in a position of needing to exercise it, something would have failedand failed very seriously.
For the rest, I am very grateful for the explanation that we have had of the relationship between the ODA and the GLA and particularly the reasons for going outside London. The Minister has clarified my question about the funding stream. Clearly, if I understood the noble Lord correctly, he is envisaging that some of the London funding will be spent directly by the GLA on Olympic facilities rather than be remitted to the ODA and then go back again. That may well be a sensible way of doing things but there will have to be some fairly sophisticated accounting within the GLA if that is the case. I do not know whether I am prompting another whole line of inquiry but it will be very important as regards defining the
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cost of the games that the actual expenditure is very precisely identifiable and identified and cannot get confused with any other GLA expenditure.
Baroness Hamwee: I wondered whether the Minister would respond to that. It is not my understanding of the situation although there will be GLA expenditure on Olympics-related matters and no doubt expenditure on the part of the police and the fire authorities. However, that is not the subject of this debate.
I sat back to let the noble Lord intervene as my Amendment No. 21 is the first in this rather disparate group of amendments so it is the only one that is withdrawable, if I can put it that way. Amendment No. 21 addresses whether the Mayor has a role in a decision toin the wording of Clause 4(2)(b)
I hear what the Minister says about the Mayor's position on the Olympic board giving him an opportunity in that regard and I acknowledge that that is a forceful point. It does not wholly answers my concerns but I am glad that the Minister understood the point I madethat the Secretary of State and the Mayor should be involved in these matters. If I may say so, the Minister made a very good case on my behalf when he described the contribution of London council tax payers. However, I do not think that I can tempt him further on that. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Clause 4(3) provides that the ODA shall have regard to certain matters when it is exercising its functions under that clause. My Amendment No. 23 asks why it does not have to have regard to those matters when it is exercising other functions. Is the answer that it cannot exercise any function unless subsection (3) allows it to? That might be the answer. Subsequent clauses dealing with, for instance, the transport plan, include important issues such as having regard to achieving sustainable development.
As there is a similar reference elsewhere confined to a section rather than extending to the whole Act, it seems to me that if we are to ensure that the ODA has regard to legacy issues and to achieving sustainable development in everything that it does, we need to apply the relevant measure in Clause 4 to the whole of the Act.
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Amendment No. 24 continues a debate which we first started in this context in 1997 when regional development agencies were established. I have discovered that it reflects an amendment which my noble friend Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer will move in connection with NERC. It escapes me what that acronym stands for, but Members of the Committee will recognise the reference to the Bill going through the House. This Bill states that these matters will be taken into account "wherever relevant". These issues are always relevant, so the amendment seeks to delete those words. Unless they are deleted, it is open to the ODA to say, "Well, we have thought about these and they are not relevant". The limitation under by the Bill in saying "wherever relevant" gives permission to the ODA, in effect, not to have regard to these matters. I think that there is not even a presumption that they are relevant, which the ODA might overturn.
The Minister may feel that he has said pretty much all that there is to say on that, so I will not press him to add to that unless he wants to. I am sorry that I cannot support the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, and his Amendment No. 25. I normally do when I see the word "environmental", but as I read it, subsection (3)(a) rightly extends beyond environmental benefits to the sporting legacies and other facilities. I beg to move.
Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: As the noble Baroness foreshadowed, I shall speak to Amendments Nos. 25 to 27. Despite her observation about the word "environmental", the amendments fit well with the Liberal Democrat amendments in this group. I will share with her the information that NERC stands for the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill. I apologise to the Committee for my absence during the second group of amendments when I was due to move Amendment No. 4. I had to make a choice between the whole House debating the speakership and this Grand Committee. As I have a small role in the Association of Conservative Peers, I thought that I should remain in the Chamber, but I apologise for the discourtesy to this Committee. I will not try to make the speech that I would have made on Amendment No. 4 on Amendment No. 27, although it would have been quite an interesting intellectual test. I shall have to return to Amendment No. 4 on Report.
I declare the interest that I declared at Second Reading. I am vice-president of the London Wildlife Trust. My fellow parliamentary vice-presidents are the noble Lord, Lord Smith of Finsbury, for the Labour Party, and Mr Simon Hughes MP for the Liberal Democrats. He still has an inner-city seat, as did the noble Lord, Lord Smith, and myself when we sat in the other place. I shall come back to issues which we discussed at Second ReadingI do not seek to make a Second Reading speech. The London Wildlife Trust believes that parts of the Bill should be strengthened so
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that the ODA can play its part fully in delivering the most sustainable games ever, which the Mayor of London and government departments promised.
A sustainable games is critical to achieving a truly sustainable legacy for present and future generations. In that regardthis underlies the amendmentsthey want a stronger duty placed on the Olympic Delivery Authority regarding sustainable development to contribute to the protection, enhancement and management of biodiversity for present and future generations. That would emphasise the importance of the authority's role both in the run-up to 2012 and, particularly, in its role in creating a sustainable legacy thereafter.
"the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, dwelt on the sustainable aspect of the Games, particularly on the sustainable environment in relation to the Lea Valley. That is a very important point. As the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, reminded us, the Mayor cannot call these the green Games if what we leave behind is very different from greenness and there is no environmental sustainability. That is an important dimension; we will need to reassure ourselves that it is in place, and we will have the opportunity to explore it in Committee".[Official Report, 11/1/06; col. GC 291.]
There is little evidenceperhaps there should not be in the Billabout the design and delivery of the park and the games. That is a particular pre-occupation in the context of the natural environment for those interested in that aspect of the preparations. We will obviously be moving into the design and build stage. The fear is that if there are funding problems, there may be short cuts on necessary structures. There is therefore a concern to see greater specificity on green issues. There is a series of ways, which can be shared, on how that greenness could be communicated. If funds become tight, and if such specificities are not in the Bill, such add-ons will run the risk of being ignored. I say that because in the nature of things there is no particular clarity about who will take over the responsibility of the legacyabout which we are all very proud and which has played some part in our getting the gamesonce the ODA ceases to exist. We need to know more about who is likely to take that role. The chance of the legacy going well will be greater if it is well planned now. I shall be interested to hear what the Minister has to say.
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