Amendment 1

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Committee – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 4:15 pm, 9th July 2019

My Lords, I am grateful for all those helpful suggestions. I genuinely appreciate the offers of help; it is clear that there is a desire to make these a tremendous Games, not only for Birmingham but for the country, as well as for the Commonwealth.

I will start by addressing some of the points directly, then come to my traditional role in Committee of asking noble Lords to withdraw or not press all their amendments. The noble Lord, Lord Addington, talked about information; I absolutely have got that point, which was mentioned at Second Reading, and I tried to be clear that we genuinely want the organising committee and other partners to be transparent. I absolutely take the point of my noble friend Lord Moynihan that transparency is key. We want to build on the good examples of London and Glasgow in that respect.

I will outline for the noble Lord some of the places where he can get information. There is the specific APPG for the Commonwealth Games, which the organising committee has committed to attend. The committee is setting up a specific parliamentary liaison role at the moment. The management plan includes a very detailed reporting schedule; that is public information, signed by the organising committee, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Secretary of State. I recommend looking at the organising committee website. As an ALB, unlike the London organisation, it will have to produce an annual plan, and is subject to all the Managing Public Money regimes that go with being an ALB. The organising committee has also agreed to report to the Public Accounts Committee and the DCMS Committee, and the chair of the organising committee has already talked to some noble Lords and has volunteered to do so again if that would help.

If all that is too much information, there is of course me and the DCMS civil servants; obviously I am open to questions from noble Lords. While we are on this first group, I point out that I am certainly open to meetings between now and Report if there are any aspects that noble Lords would like to talk about.