Amendment 30

Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Lord Ashton of Hyde:

Moved by Lord Ashton of Hyde

30: Clause 30, page 19, line 3, leave out subsection (3) and insert—“( ) A statutory instrument containing regulations under paragraph 16 of Schedule 2 (whether alone or with other provision) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.( ) Any other statutory instrument containing regulations under this Act is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.”

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

My Lords, we had an interesting debate in Committee regarding the delegated powers in this Bill and whether certain powers should be subject to the draft affirmative procedure rather than the negative procedure. I have carefully considered the arguments raised in Committee and the recommendations made in the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee’s report, which also formed part of the last group. I issued a written response to the chair of the DPRRC last Wednesday, and a copy is available in the Library.

After reflecting on suggestions made, I am pleased to move government Amendment 30. The amendment applies the draft affirmative procedure, instead of the negative procedure, to the regulations under paragraph 16 of Schedule 2. This means that the draft affirmative process will apply to the regulations regarding the procedures for compensation claims in certain circumstances following enforcement action.

As far as compensation is concerned, the amendment is in line with Amendment 31 tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Addington, and the recommendations in the DPRRC report concerning the compensation power, and will offer Parliament the opportunity to debate the Government’s proposals. I hope noble Lords will welcome the amendment. At this point, it may help the House if I let the noble Lord, Lord Addington, speak to his amendment, or I could carry on. He has said that I should carry on.

I still believe that the negative procedure is appropriate for the other regulation-making powers in the Bill. This includes powers to make regulations to specify the Games locations and the time periods when the temporary advertising and trading restrictions will be in place, and will make provision about the vicinity of Games locations. I have been clear before that we have looked carefully at the approach taken in London and Glasgow and have subsequently ensured that the powers taken in the Bill are not as broad. As such, I maintain that the differences in approach mean that the negative procedure is appropriate here.

I reiterate the important point that these restrictions will be proportionate and temporary; they will last for a maximum of 38 days, and many for considerably less time than that. I reassure the House that we are focused on proportionality here. I anticipate taking a similar approach to Glasgow regarding time periods, Games locations and their vicinity. We are talking not about blanket restrictions across the region but about an area that in most cases may extend a few hundred metres beyond a Games location. In particular, this will ensure a celebratory look and feel around Games locations and create a welcoming environment for spectators. I remind noble Lords that the offences can be further narrowed in regulations through the provision of additional exceptions to the offence. The Government will run a public consultation on those exceptions.

Given government Amendment 30 and the reassurances that I have provided to the House on the proportionality of these measures, I respectfully ask the noble Lord, Lord Addington, not to move his amendment. I beg to move.

Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

My Lords, I thank the Minister for his speech. Of course, I am slightly disappointed that I could not get everything, but half a loaf is better than no bread, and there is some validity in the noble Lord’s statement about some of the other powers in the Bill. I would have preferred the affirmative procedure, but on this occasion we might let it go.

Photo of Lord Moynihan Lord Moynihan Conservative

My Lords, I also welcome the Minister’s announcement on the affirmative procedure for compensation claims. We looked at this in some detail in Committee and I am very grateful to him for responding so positively. I am disappointed that the negative procedure will continue to apply for Games locations and advertising. Will the Minister’s department continue to engage with the Advertising Association? It has been proactive in having constructive discussions with the department on this Bill, and I know it is disappointed about the negative procedure continuing in this context. However, it has made some useful points and it would be useful for those discussions to continue in another place.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 6:00 pm, 24th July 2019

My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend. Of course, we will continue to have discussions with advertising stakeholders. As I think I have made clear throughout the passage of this Bill, we and the organising committee are very willing to talk to people about any concerns they have on it. I have made that point before and I repeat it now.

Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour

Could the Minister help me? He mentioned the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games London. I had the great privilege of attending the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970, which were very different from the Games in Glasgow and London. I know the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, did not participate in the Edinburgh Games, but it was not long after he had participated. Has the Minister taken account of anything that happened with the Edinburgh Games?

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

I ought to correct the noble Lord for the record. Glasgow certainly hosted the Commonwealth Games, but London had the Olympic Games. I am not trying to show him up; it is important because they are very different. One of the interesting things about this proposal, and one of the reasons why we are dealing with it in a shortened timescale, is that the costs of putting on the Commonwealth Games are considerable, as has been mentioned. The Commonwealth Games Federation had to look at how to make it possible for them to be put on around the world, not just in the richest nations of the Commonwealth.

On lessons from previous Games, we have looked at financing and the other issues we discussed earlier. We can learn lessons from Glasgow and Edinburgh, and I hope the noble Lord enjoys watching the Games in Birmingham—I assume he is not participating—as much as he did those in Edinburgh.

Photo of Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Defence)

To add briefly to what the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, said, Edinburgh has hosted the Commonwealth Games twice: once in 1970, which was a complete success, and again in 1986, which was, frankly, a total failure in many respects. The organising committee ran out of money and the Government of the day—Lady Thatcher was Prime Minister at the time—declined to offer any additional assistance. It is a measure of the comparative costs of 1986 and now that the total deficit from the 1986 Games was £4 million. That is but a drop in the ocean of the cost of the Games with which we are concerned.

To some extent, I am retreading remarks I have made before, but Birmingham has made an enormous contribution to the Commonwealth Games movement through its willingness to undertake the responsibility for these Games at relatively short notice. I am not sure how often that is acknowledged. I suspect we are about to end Report and it is worth reminding people that, without that willingness, there is every possibility that the Commonwealth Games movement might have found itself in very deep embarrassment. On other occasions, people have referred to the fact that the cost of these Games is now such that the number of cities—remember, the Games are awarded to cities, not countries—able to undertake that responsibility is declining. I think we are all conscious that it would be a great pity if the Games became something for what is sometimes called the white Commonwealth—I use the term with some delicacy—rather than being part of the whole Commonwealth story. On that basis, with respect, it seems Report has improved this legislation greatly. For that, all those who have participated, among whom I cannot number myself for various reasons, deserve great credit.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

I am very grateful to the noble Lord, and I agree with everything he said. It is important that we get this right for Birmingham and the West Midlands. It is also important for the Commonwealth, for the reasons he suggested. The Games have been expensive in the past, but Birmingham will cost considerably less than the last Commonwealth Games. We are introducing the partnership model in addition to the host city, as he rightly says, to enable us to do that. It is more complicated in some ways and there is risk involved in doing it at short notice. However, I am sure that if we show the constructive, helpful attitude that has been the hallmark of Report, it will be a great success.

Amendment 30 agreed.

Amendment 31 not moved.