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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 Grocott Lord Grocott Labour 5:00 pm, 25th February 2020

My Lords, one advantage of putting my name alongside that of my noble friend Lord Hunt is that he has said pretty well everything that needs to be said on the subject. I want to make the much more general point that we need not only to think about the Birmingham-based Commonwealth Games but to reassure cities which host similar events in the future that they will not be put in huge financial difficulties. That is the reason for the amendments in the names of the noble Lord, Lord Addington, and my noble friend Lord Hunt.

Clearly, the most important thing is the arrangement for underwriting and the relationship between central and local government. However, if any additional source of funding can be identified, through whichever amendment we consider, that would make the possibility of a city bidding for a major sporting event more attractive, then it must be part of the legacy. We need to say to the next group of bidders, “These are ways in which the costs can be met.” I think we all know what the Minister will say. If she wants to give us all serious heart problems, she should say, “Yes, the Government agree with all these amendments.” However, showing some degree of sympathy about the financial arrangements and their importance is a really important message that the Government ought to pass on to the city concerned, and to any cities that look to fund future events of this sort.