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My Lords, like many others in your Lordships’ Chamber, I am very excited by the 2022 Commonwealth Games. I am excited for several reasons, not least because the Commonwealth Games book-ended my career, and my last Commonwealth Games signified that I should find something else to do with my life. Also, I lived in Ward End in Birmingham for four years, and I know that the opportunities to use the Games in an incredibly positive way for the city are boundless.
I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Foster, about the grouping of the amendments being quite sensible. The expectation that people have of the Commonwealth Games is different from the one they have of Olympic or Paralympic Games because they are different types of events. However, the challenge that this country has set itself is for the rest of the world to see how good we are at organising Games, so it is essential that we get the budget absolutely right—that we have enough money to spend, but spend it wisely. I also agree with the noble Lord, Lord Addington, about what happens in coming to this slightly late. As we get closer to the Games, things become more stressful. The amendments would ensure that all the different stakeholders worked together to do the reporting and make sure that the Games are carried on as well as possible.
The reporting of finances is important for a number of reasons—not just because of the Games in Birmingham. Looking to the future, we are much more likely to bid for another Commonwealth Games before we bid for another Olympic or Paralympic Games. I do not want the group of cities and countries that are able to host the Commonwealth Games to become smaller and smaller because of the cost and transparency involved in them; that is why I believe that the reporting is incredibly important.
I totally agree that there should be early and regular reporting. As we get closer to Games-time, those working on the Commonwealth Games organising committee will be looking for other opportunities. We know that there is a group of people who travel from organising committee to organising committee, and they will be looking to join the committee for the next Olympics or Paralympics. We cannot lose that corporate knowledge of reporting, and that is why it is essential that we have very regular reporting. It would also inform what we do in relation to future bids. Whether it is for the World Cup or any other Games, this information is incredibly important.