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The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Amendment No. 2 is grouped with Amendment No. 3. In Committee I sought to remove from Clause 4(3) the reference to relevancefirst, that the Olympic Delivery Authority should "wherever relevant" have regard to maximising legacy benefits, although I am not seeking to pursue that now; and, secondly, that it should seek to,
I find it hard to conceive of occasions when the legacy issue would not be relevant. My main concern is to hear from the Minister when contributing to sustainable development would not be relevant to the ODA, because the Bill as drafted provides the excuse not only to say that something is not relevant, but to brush it aside and hardly discuss the matter at all. My contention is that that is always relevant.
In Committee, the Minister said that my suggestions were unrealistic. I was not persuaded then and, in response to his example, regarding the use of street cleaning products not being relevant to sustainable development, I took issue with him immediately and said that methods whereby certain products were swept down the drains was, indeed, relevant.
Since then, the House has considered in Committee the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill. My noble friend Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer tabled a similar amendment in relation to the duties of regional development agencies. The ODA has some similarities. One can see the genesis of some of the attributes of RDAs in this Bill and my noble friend's amendment would have required RDAs always to have regard to sustainable development. The Minister sought to reassure her, but in a way that did not wholly reassure her and does not reassure me, at cols. 242 and 243 on 28 February. In mentioning what had occurred in 1995that may have been an error and he meant 2005he stated:
Yes, indeed, but none of that is as good as primary legislation. Neither the Minister, in relation to the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill, nor the noble Lord, Lord Davies, have given your Lordships an example of where contributing to achieving sustainable development might not be relevant. Nor did heand I invite him to do sogive any assurance that the Secretary of State would give guidance or even directions on this issue, in order to strengthen the position. Under our amendment, he can do so.
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I am not asking for anything that is extreme and I hope that the Minister, if he is unable to accept the amendment, will at least help those of us who think that this matter is important to understand where we are going wrong. Perhaps he can provide some assurance as to the thinking processes of the Secretary of State and the use of directions or guidance. I beg to move.
The success of London's bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games was due, in large part, to the strength of the environmental commitments made in our bid to the International Olympic Committee. Not only do we want to deliver the best games ever, but we share with the noble Baroness the ambition to ensure that they are the most sustainable, too.
I appreciate what she is seeking to achieve with these amendments, but as I emphasised in Committee, we have in the Bill what we think is a clear commitment to sustainable development. Clause 4(3)(b) requires the ODA to contribute to achieving sustainable development in exercising its functions as set out under Clause 4(1) and (2). But, as the Bill makes clear, the ODA should need to do so only where relevant to the exercise of its functions.
The ODA is currently developing its procurement policy and sustainable development strategies which will enable it to meet the requirement set out in the clause. Both the ODA and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, LOCOG, take very seriously the commitments which have been made in the document Towards a One Planet Olympics to ensure that the games will be low carbon and zero waste, conserve biodiversity and promote environmental awareness.
Whether in terms of the provision of transport infrastructure, or construction of the venues and other facilities, or water recycling, sustainability will be central to the planning and delivery of the games and the ODA will play a key role. The requirement at Clause 4(3)(b) is sufficient to make sure the ODA guarantees that it contributes fully to sustainable development in exercising all of its functionsbut only where to do so is relevant.
I hope that the noble Baroness will recognise that we entirely share her objectives. It was crucial to the argument that we put in our bid to the IOC, and that it bore excellent comparison with all the other bids in terms of its sustainable element. While the noble Baroness rightly sought reassurance on this issue, both today and in Committee, I hope that I have given her the reassurance necessary so that she feels able to withdraw her amendments.
Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I hope the Minister will forgive me for saying that, while I entirely share his sentiments about the importance of sustainability and
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I understand the examples that he has given, he has not addressed my amendment. I asked when such considerations might not be relevant, because if they are always relevant, the words "wherever relevant" are irrelevant, unnecessary and totally misleading.
I will read what the Minister said, but with little hope that it will be much clearer. However, I can see that half of my argument is still open, but that the other half is firmly shut. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
This first amendment in the group seeks to put that provision in the Bill, or, at least, given that in Committee one should be seeking clarification, now ascertaining in which part of the Bill it should be stated "up front". It would sit well with subsection (3)(a) regarding the "desirability of maximising the benefits".
Perhaps we can try to bring in something here or perhaps the Minister can give me an idea of exactly how social inclusion will be covered. I am not referring to just one group; we are talking about groups which might feel that they are being excludedfor example, people in a lower economic strata. It has been drawn to my attention recently that such a measure could be a very good vehicle for combating anti-gay media hype. If we can get some type of commitment or if the Government can give us an idea of where they will use such a commitment in the Bill and where the Bill will state that it must be done, that will help. If the Minister cannot do that, I suggest that inserting words of this nature in the Bill will be helpful.
Then we address the ever-complicated and ever-thorny issue of transport. I understand that the Government have moved a long way and have done a lot but, unless these things are stated up front, people tend to make mistakes. Amendments Nos. 11 and 12, which are concerned primarily with transport, are fairly straightforward. They say that initially you must consult and have greater concern with these matters. Amendment No. 12 would insert two new subsections stating that the authority must consult,
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I should have thought that it would be very helpful to have at least the DPTAC reference in the Bill for the simple reason that it is a very complicated process, as the noble Lord knows because we dealt with transport issues and disability legislation only last week.
I should be very relieved if the Minister could give me some assurances and also say where the Bill ties those who are dealing with this matter to ensuring that they get the maximum amount of information up front so that we do not have to go back eternally and chase our tails in putting in something that we have missed. I know that the Government's intention is goodthat is not in dispute. The question is: where is the commitment or guarantee to so do? Where is it referred to in the Bill? Is it up front, where those who have a requirement to act in that way will notice it? I do not want them to go back and have to spend more money and also delay any changes or positive provisions that have to be made. If the Minister can give me any assurances on this, I shall be very satisfied. I beg to move.
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