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Amendment 1

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Committee – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Lord Moynihan Lord Moynihan Conservative 5:00 pm, 25th February 2020

My Lords, I will speak to Amendments 5, 19 and 20 in the first group. In so doing, I echo what the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, said: all of us are united in believing that the Games will be great. We already have an outstanding organising committee and there is both political and popular will to ensure that they will be memorable and enjoyable.

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Foster of Bath, for introducing my amendment so well. I need hardly say anything more, save to underline the fact that the original reporting provision required the first report to be submitted to the Secretary of State as soon as was reasonably practical after 31 March this year. Because of the delay in the legislation, that was put back a full year until after 31 March next year, which is very close to when the Games are going to be held the following year.

In the context of being transparent and accountable, not only to the people of Birmingham but to other taxpayers, it is important that there is a more regular reporting structure to and timetable for your Lordships’ House. That is why I have proposed the amendment that there should be a report, starting on 15 July 2020 and then every six months until the end of the year of the Games, 31 December 2022.

Transparency is critical. Transparency about any overruns on financing will carry the public with us. It will allow all of us to know the exact underwriting procedure, how it will be dealt with, the precise budget, the current expenditure on the Games at any given six months, and the provisions for drawing down on the contingency, which are unclear to me. I do not know if they are clear to the rest of the Committee. It would be helpful if the Minister could outline on what basis the contingency will be drawn down, particularly given that the Games are underwritten by the Government.

With those comments now on the record, clearly the amendment that I tabled about the budget and revenue sources for all Games events, including shooting and archery, has been overtaken by last night’s decision. However, I look forward to the debate that we will undoubtedly have on the second group, when we will look at some of the detail of what was announced yesterday and the consequences for the Games.