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Amendment 4

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Committee – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of The Bishop of Birmingham The Bishop of Birmingham Convenor of the Lords Spiritual 5:00 pm, 9th July 2019

My Lords, I support the spirit of partnership between local and national fundraising for this specific, ring-fenced purpose, as described by the noble Lord, Lord Rooker.

The numbers are quite interesting: it is estimated that £1 a night for the three-year period from 2020 to 2022 might bring in £4.5 million to £5 million per year, which could possibly amount to £15 million of local contributions being raised—the gap is probably £40 million. At least 8% of what is required locally by these boroughs could be raised in this way.

I know that the proposal is unpopular in certain spheres, particularly among those who count tourism and visitor numbers as vital to their economy—as we do in Birmingham and Solihull, which are popular conference and holiday venues, and we want to develop that. However, in deciding where to stay, a hotel price can vary from £20 to £25, depending on the day of the week, so £1 a night does not seem too burdensome. A small charge could also help motivate people to supporting a national and an international Games, which could make them feel good and even make them want to come back and attend the Games themselves.

I ask the Government to give this serious consideration as a partnership between local commitment and national taxation.