Commonwealth Games 2014

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 18 December 2012.

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Photo of Tricia Marwick Tricia Marwick None

The next item of business is a debate on motion S4M-05225, in the name of Shona Robison, on the Commonwealth games 2014.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I am delighted to address members in the chamber this afternoon, and to reflect on the success of the Olympics and the positive progress that we have made in our preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth games. Humza Yousaf will focus on the legacy achievements so far in his closing speech.

This summer’s Olympic and Paralympic games were enormously successful for Scotland. Scottish athletes won more medals than in any previous Olympic games, and it gives me great pleasure, as the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, to say that there are far too many medallists to mention individually. It proved to be a wonderful springboard for the 2014 Commonwealth games, with a fantastic performance from team Scotland and team GB.

Who could fail to be won over by the wonderful Olympic volunteers—the games makers. Make the games they did, which is why I am particularly proud that we recently launched our volunteering programme to find 15,000 of Scotland’s finest and friendliest people. Applications will open in January, but I was delighted by the announcement earlier today that more than 40,000 people have already expressed interest in volunteering for the games. That just shows how many people want to play their part and I hope that people will continue to register and keep up the momentum of the volunteering campaign.

We have learned much from our Olympic experience and I am determined that we will draw on that to enhance the quality of our games, which are now a mere 582 days away. Our ambition is to deliver a world-class games.

In October, we had our latest report card, which made good reading. After its third visit, the co-ordination commission whole-heartedly endorsed the good work and progress that have been made so far. The chairman of the commission said that our games preparations were the best that he had seen in 20 years, which is high praise indeed from those who know. The co-ordination commission has a vast amount of experience of major sporting events, so it is good to see Glasgow meeting the commission’s and our high expectations.

What were our report card grades? The commission commended the excellent progress of the games partners, and it is a true partnership that is delivering the games. Some of the many successes since the commission’s previous visit included the completion of superb venues such as the Emirates arena and the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome; the unveiling of Clyde, our 2014 mascot, whom many members have met; more sponsorship deals, most recently from AG Barr and Emirates Airline; and the appointment of our host broadcaster and Jack Morton Worldwide to produce our ceremonies. We are proud that those achievements have been recognised, but we cannot take our eye off the ball. With less than 600 days to go, we are increasing the momentum as we enter the next planning phase.

The commission commended the sound relationships that have been developed between the Government, Glasgow City Council, Commonwealth Games Scotland and the organising committee. It emphasised the need for that good work to continue. It also applauded the strong cross-party support from the Parliament for the games and urged us to continue in that vein.

I am therefore pleased to say that we are in an excellent position in our planning. Part and parcel of delivering a successful and enjoyable games will be the delivery of a safe and secure event. Planning for safety and security for major events is a complex process that involves many agencies that are expert in assessing and managing risks and co-ordinating and delivering safety and security operations on the ground. Planning for the games has been going on for a number of years but, in May, the co-ordination commission identified a need for greater clarity around the safety and security arrangements and how they will be funded. Audit Scotland had also highlighted the risks that are associated with planning a complex multisport event on such a scale and I will spend some time describing how we have addressed that.

The organising committee and Strathclyde Police have been reviewing the security arrangements for the games since early in 2012. In response to Audit Scotland’s report, the games partners wrote to the Public Audit Committee to highlight the opportunities that the Olympic and Paralympic games would provide to learn lessons from London’s security strategy. The organising committee and the police attended London as observers to learn lessons and inform how we can improve the governance and organisation of the 2014 games. We were determined to learn lessons and review our security arrangements in view of that invaluable experience.

I will detail the key lessons that we have learned from the Olympics that have directly influenced our thinking on security arrangements. There is the comparison with the Olympics security budget. London 2012 had a total security budget of £1.1 billion. In 2010, £600 million was budgeted for policing and £311 million for venue security. However, in November 2011, which was very late on, the venue security budget rose by £271 million. We do not want to be in the same position only eight months before our games.

The Olympics demonstrated that volunteers are vital for stewarding inside venues and for directing spectators with a smile and a wave. However, when it comes to screening and searching those who are entering venues, trained security personnel supported by the police are vital. That was highlighted when G4S defaulted on its contract, and London looked to the military rather than its volunteering contingent to fill the gap. Original planning for Glasgow had assumed that 50 per cent of safety and security roles could be undertaken by volunteers. Given the Olympic experience, our use of volunteers for that purpose will be heavily reduced, with a resulting effect on the venue security budget.

In contracting, London’s G4S experiences taught us the risk of having a single company provide private security. Consequently, the organising committee, in collaboration with the police, will split the private security tender for 2014 into multiple contracts to spread the risk. The procurement process is under way, but the expectation is that bidders will not be able to offer the same economies of scale as they would for one all-encompassing contract. That, of course, will have cost implications, which have been factored into the revised budget.

As is the case with all major events, as the planning process has matured our knowledge of safety and security requirements has crystallised. For example, we now know that the athletes village will need to be secured from January 2014, not June 2014 as originally planned. Events scheduling has been developed, so we now better understand the shift pattern requirements for stewards and other security staff and the knock-on impact on staffing costs.

The London 2012 experience was similar in that demand for security personnel could not be finalised until late in the operational planning process. Indeed, that was a key reason for the massive escalation of the venue security budget for the Olympics at a late stage.

Olympic lessons on risk assessment have helped us to detail more clearly the physical security requirements of the venues. We now know that we need more closed-circuit television, perimeter fencing and security-checking equipment. Those requirements have substantial cost implications, but they are critical to ensuring that everyone is protected properly from the moment they approach the venue right through to when they leave at the end of the day’s events.

As games planning has progressed, we have also developed a clearer picture of the non-competition venues that are needed. They all have security requirements that could not properly be scoped earlier. Hotels, training venues and the cultural events that are planned throughout Scotland will all need a level of protection—some of them around the clock—all of which has cost implications.

Alongside the review of security requirements, we have been considering how to strengthen our governance to give us confidence that there is a firm grip on the delivery of a safe and secure games and on the associated budget.

In light of that, we have taken two specific actions. The Glasgow 2014 strategic group has asked Stephen House, the chief constable of the police service of Scotland, to assume primary responsibility for the delivery of the overall security for the games. He has accepted that new role delegated to him by ministers and will direct not only the policing around the games but the wider security arrangements at games venues. He will attend meetings of the strategic group, which is chaired by the First Minister, to report on all aspects of security planning to the games partners.

We are also strengthening the governance arrangements underneath the strategic group, and I have lodged a paper in the Scottish Parliament information centre that explains those new governance arrangements in more detail.

In light of the lessons learned from London and the work that the police and the OC have subsequently carried out, the chief constable has advised that an enhanced budget is required to meet the costs of delivering a safe and secure games. I therefore announce that the Scottish Government is taking responsibility for the new games security budget of £90 million. As the minister responsible for the Commonwealth games, I have to listen when Scotland’s top police officer tells me that that is what is required to deliver a safe and secure games. Mr House has written to me in those terms, and I have placed a copy of his letter in SPICe.

The Scottish Government will hold that new budget outwith the games budget to ensure better co-ordination and more rigorous oversight. The existing £27.2 million security budget and £25.1 million of contingency funding will be transferred across to the Scottish Government.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

Not just now.

However, it would not be prudent to draw entirely from contingency funding to meet the security budget shortfall in case unforeseen pressures emerge in the next 18 months. Therefore, I am committing £37.7 million of new funding from the Scottish Government in 2014-15 to fund in full the budget that has been agreed with the chief constable. We will continue to exert cost control and have agreed that any of the significant contingency remaining that is not used by the end of the games will be used to offset the additional outlay for security undertaken by the Scottish Government.

The additional funds represent an increase of £37.7 million in the public sector contribution to the games. The public sector contribution sits alongside £100 million of commercial revenue that will be raised by the OC through sponsorship, broadcasting income, tickets and merchandise sales. I am certain that this is the right step to take at this stage if we are to continue to have confidence in our ability to deliver a safe and secure games for everyone to enjoy.

Photo of Jenny Marra Jenny Marra Labour

Has any proportion of that budget been allocated to putting in place plans to provide anti-human-trafficking measures around the Commonwealth games?

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I will certainly write to the member on that matter, in which I know she has an interest, as both Kenny MacAskill and I have been involved in that.

Scotland has an excellent track record of hosting and policing major events safely and securely. That is one of the reasons why we won our bid to host the 2014 games. I am confident that these new governance and assurance arrangements—and the new budget to support them—will ensure that we continue with that excellent track record.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

Further to Jenny Marra’s question, is that difference in the accounting arrangements because there is specific intelligence about trafficking into Scotland during the Commonwealth games, or is it because of a more general warning?

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

In response to Margo MacDonald, I would say that the lessons learned from the real-time experience of how the Olympic games were run have been applied to our security budget. I have laid out some of those lessons in my speech, but I am happy to provide additional detailed information if members require it.

The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, along with our partners, agree that we must not and will not take any chances with the safety of all those who wish to attend the games. If we are to deliver the best and most memorable Commonwealth games, the many thousands who attend must feel secure. For that reason, we have accepted the advice from Chief Constable Stephen House that a safe and secure games can be delivered for £90 million.

In concluding, I welcome Patricia Ferguson’s amendment, and I am pleased to commend the amended motion to Parliament.

I move,

That the Parliament notes the continued good progress being made in the preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; acknowledges the endorsement of the Commonwealth Games Federation for what has been achieved so far and the strength of legacy planning for the future; welcomes the announcement of the volunteer recruitment programme; expects the relevant lessons from the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games to be incorporated into Commonwealth Games planning; endorses the ambition of the Games partners to deliver a safe, secure and spectacularly successful event; recognises that a solid foundation is now in place to maximise the legacy impacts for all of Scotland, and commends the benefits that have already been secured.

Photo of Patricia Ferguson Patricia Ferguson Labour

It is almost exactly one year since we last had a major debate on the Commonwealth games, and we could not have predicted then that 2012 would be such a sporting success. This year will go down in history as the most successful on record so far for elite sport in the United Kingdom, and of course Scottish athletes played an important role in that success. Europe’s win in the Ryder cup saw players from these islands, such as Paul Lawrie, play important roles in the victory. In tennis, Andy Murray contributed to our overall Olympic medal haul and had his most successful year yet on the international circuit.

The Olympic games are often described as the biggest sporting event in the world. Much was expected of the London Olympics and Paralympics, but few could have predicted that the outcome would be the outstanding events that we witnessed with millions of others throughout the world. From the opening ceremony to the final event, we were treated to performances and achievements that were truly world class. Watching Katherine Grainger win her well-deserved gold medal was a moving experience. Sir Chris Hoy rising to the occasion again and beating the record gold medal haul of Sir Steve Redgrave was a moment to remember, as was his sportsmanship and humility. Glasgow’s Michael Jamieson giving everything that he had to win his medal was inspiring. Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis were a joy to watch. Bradley Wiggins, adding to his Tour de France victory, demonstrated the breadth and depth of British sport.

On Sunday evening, we saw some of our sporting heroes recognised for their hard work and effort at the BBC’s sports personality of the year awards. Any one of the 12 finalists—and many more who were not shortlisted—would have been worthy winners in any year, but the summer of 2012 was special.

Our national sports bodies and the Commonwealth games organising committee have taken every opportunity to learn from the success of the Olympics and from the small number of things that went wrong.

The minister made some significant announcements. Although I would like to spend all my time talking about sport and legacy, it is appropriate to consider what the minister said about security. I thank her for her frankness, which was helpful. It is worth pointing out that it has always been recognised that the budget for security would probably have to increase to reflect the best security advice as close as possible to the time. Now that London 2012 has happened, the organisers have had the opportunity to consider and assess the requirements in the light of that experience. I understand that the UK Government recommended to Glasgow 2014 that there should be

“stronger mechanisms for overseeing security contract delivery”.

The minister referred to the comments in that regard from Audit Scotland and the co-ordination commission.

No one wants to spend any more money on security than is absolutely necessary, but we must be prepared. The safety and security of the athletes, visitors, volunteers and spectators must be paramount. I am therefore pleased that the Scottish Government and its partners are facing up to that responsibility and are working to what might be considered to be a precautionary principle.

The approach of dividing up the security contracts will, I hope, allow us to avoid a repeat of the near disaster that was G4S, which must be welcome. I fully accept that it is no longer appropriate to ask volunteers to oversee the security searches that must take place and that that must be done by those who have the appropriate experience. I do not for one minute underestimate the additional responsibility that that places on the police and security staff. I accept entirely that we must secure not only the games venues but other venues such as hotels. The minister described the involvement of the chief constable, which seems sensible. I look forward to reading more about that in the letter that has been placed in SPICe.

I am sure that the minister shares my perhaps optimistic hope that the budget for security will not all have to be drawn down. In that regard, I have two questions. First, has the Commonwealth Games Federation commented on the new arrangements that have been put in place with the involvement of the Scottish Government and the chief constable? Secondly, given the scale of the moneys that are involved, will there be enhanced parliamentary scrutiny of the budget and, if so, how will that be organised? I hope that Mr Yousaf, in summing up, will respond to those questions. Although we understand the reasons for the increased budget, as parliamentarians, we have a duty to scrutinise the budget and to continue to do so right up to and beyond 2014.

Thousands of Glaswegians have already visited the Emirates arena and the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome. Anyone I have spoken to about the facilities has been impressed. The fact that the facilities are already up and running and being used successfully gives me confidence that they will be a strong element of the legacy that we want from the Glasgow games.

Talking of facilities, I note that Alison Johnstone lodged an amendment welcoming the commitment to a car-free games. Although that amendment was not accepted for debate, we in the Labour Party certainly agree with the Green Party on that. We look forward to seeing the transport plans that will make that policy aspiration a reality.

I am delighted that the co-ordination commission has considered the games preparations and rated them highly. However, one area that the commission does not consider is the preparedness of the athletes. I accept that we are still 582 days away from the opening ceremony—I am grateful to the Glasgow 2014 website for telling me that—but it would be good to hear from the ministers about the preparation that is taking place to ensure that our athletes are as successful as possible on home soil.

In the past few weeks, we have had the announcement of £4 million of funding for community-based events that will contribute to the games cultural programme. That, too, is welcome. I am pleased that the information sessions for those who may be interested in applying to the programme are being held around the country, helping to demonstrate that the games are for the whole country to enjoy and participate in. The cultural component is important to the Commonwealth games, as is the Queen’s baton relay, which I hope will find its way into as many communities around Scotland as possible.

There are of course many areas of the country where training camps for incoming teams could be based. I wonder whether the minister might say something about that in closing the debate. Teams do not necessarily all have the same requirements and often split off into their individual sports, so as many areas as possible should have an opportunity to take advantage of that and to act as hosts in the run-up to the games.

In January, anyone with an interest will be able to register to be considered as a volunteer worker at the games. Some of us in the chamber have already expressed an interest in volunteering, along with some 40,000 others. We will of course be subject to the same rigorous appraisal process as any other applicant. However, in my view, the opportunity is not one to be missed. Members might not know it but, just in case the Commonwealth games recruitment team are listening, I am usually very friendly and welcoming, although that might not always be obvious in the chamber.

It would be remiss of me not to mention in closing that Glasgow’s aspiration does not end with the Commonwealth games in 2014. Hosting major events and sporting events in particular is something that Glasgow does well, and it is fast becoming an important part of our economy and culture. I am therefore pleased that we are now seeking to host the 2018 youth Olympic games. I wish everyone involved in the event the best of luck in their endeavour. I should perhaps declare an interest in that my constituency will be the location of the proposed athletes village for 2018, so it is a prospect that interests me very much. However, the needs and aspirations of the host community in Sighthill must also be considered as plans are drawn up.

This year has been a marvellous year for sport and, as it draws to a close, we have a lot to look forward to.

I move amendment S4M-05225.3, to leave out from “endorses” to end and insert:

“, particularly in relation to planning and budgeting for security; notes the progress being made with the cultural programme to accompany the Games; endorses the ambition of the Games partners to deliver a safe, secure and spectacularly successful event; recognises that a solid foundation is now in place to maximise the legacy impacts for all of Scotland and commends the benefits that have already been secured, and recognises that 2012 has been a remarkable year for sport and that this can be used as a springboard for Glasgow 2014.”

Photo of Nanette Milne Nanette Milne Conservative

It hardly seems possible that a whole year has gone by since the previous Government-led debate on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games and that we are now just 19 months away from the opening ceremony.

A great deal has been achieved in the past year, and it was good to hear the chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s co-ordination commission say:

“The fact that a number of venues are either completed, or are nearing completion, provides the CGF with significant confidence in the ability of Glasgow to deliver a successful Games.”

It is also encouraging that the latest review of progress by the CGF has led the commission to suggest that the planning model for Glasgow 2014 is a “blueprint for future Games”. However, as the chairman of Glasgow 2014 said in response to the CGF report, we can be confident but not complacent at this stage, as there is still a great deal of work to be done.

No venture as big as the Commonwealth games or the Olympic games can be accomplished without some difficulties or mistakes along the way, so I am pleased that the motion notes that relevant lessons from this year’s Olympic and Paralympic games will be incorporated into the planning for Glasgow 2014. The minister’s statement this afternoon about the need for enhanced security arrangements and the Government’s response show that lessons have indeed been learned from the experience gained at London 2012.

I am grateful to the minister for giving notice to Opposition spokesmen that she would make a significant statement regarding plans for security arrangements for the games. I am reassured that they are being put in place early, because we certainly would not want to be faced with the last-minute worries regarding security that the organisers of the Olympic games in London had to deal with.

I know that there have been concerns about the adequacy of the proposed budget for security, but I think that the minister’s statement on that and the revised governance arrangements, with oversight of security being in the hands of the chief constable for the police service of Scotland, will give significant comfort to those who were previously concerned. However, I agree with Patricia Ferguson that parliamentary scrutiny, too, will be increasingly important in the months ahead as we approach the games, particularly given the increased costs announced this afternoon.

As we near the end of this spectacularly successful year for British sport and as we remember the outstanding achievements of the many Scots who won medals in the Olympic games, Andy Murray’s first grand slam victory for the UK in 76 years and Paul Lawrie’s highest winning margin in the Ryder cup at Medinah, we now have to look to and beyond 2014 as the opportunity to achieve a sustainable sporting legacy for Scotland that will transform the culture of sport in this country.

As members will know, the Health and Sport Committee has recently completed an inquiry into support for community sport, the report of which will be published early next year. A key part of that inquiry focused on how to involve more people in physical and sporting activity, starting with the young and continuing throughout life, in an effort to improve the health and physical and mental wellbeing of a nation that has a great deal to overcome with regard to obesity, long-term health conditions and significant health inequalities across the country.

As part of our inquiry, the committee visited a number of exciting new sports venues in different parts of Scotland. Just before they opened to the public, we saw the fantastic Emirates sports arena, including the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, in the absolutely transformed east end of Glasgow, and we visited the games village, which we heard will be adapted into a mix of affordable and social housing, with some more expensive private residential areas, together with a care home in the midst of the community.

At Commonwealth house we heard about the Tollcross international swimming centre and the Glasgow Green national hockey centre, which are both on target to be opened next year, and the plans for Commonwealth house itself to become state-of-the-art offices, right in the heart of the city.

Some members of our committee visited facilities at Cumbernauld, and I was one who went to the Aberdeen Sports Village. We saw how well used that magnificent facility is by people of all ages, and we heard about the progress of the new Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is on schedule to be opened early in 2014 and which, it is hoped, Commonwealth athletes will use for training.

Those facilities are of enormous importance to Scotland and in reality they are long overdue. However, as local people in Aberdeen pointed out to us, although those venues are fantastic for those who can access them, for the majority who cannot—for whatever reason—there is still a serious lack of good locally accessible facilities to encourage people into physical activity and sport. As Liz McColgan said in evidence to the committee, the facilities she trained on when she was an aspiring Olympic athlete without proper running shoes are still the same now, all these years later.

That is why plans to open up the school estate to local communities and to utilise other public and community owned facilities as community sports hubs are so important. One witness said that he would like to see a community sports hub in every secondary school. That is why we should listen to the Scottish Sports Association, whose vision is for better use to be made of existing sports facilities, including our natural environment.

I do not propose to deal with the cultural programme that is being organised alongside the games, except to say that it will be of enormous importance in presenting our magnificent cultural assets and heritage to the many British and foreign people who will be visiting Scotland and Glasgow for the first, and hopefully not the last, time.

Another key focus of the Health and Sport Committee’s inquiry was on volunteering, which has been described as the lifeblood of sport in this country, and the need to attract more volunteers into sport, particularly from the more deprived communities, and to give them better training so that they can gain confidence in their role.

I would like to say more about volunteering in sport as a legacy of Glasgow 2014, but I will leave that to my closing speech. In the meantime, I will finish by saying that we will support the motion and the Labour amendment at decision time this evening.

Photo of John Mason John Mason Scottish National Party

Much of the Commonwealth games activity will be in Glasgow, and much of that will be in the east end of Glasgow, which I welcome. However, we want to emphasise at the outset that these are Scotland’s games, not just Glasgow’s games. I am sure that we will hear about venues in Angus, Lanarkshire and Edinburgh, but there is a lot more to the games than its venues. For example, the idea for the mascot came to us from Cumbernauld, and men and women will come from all over the country to take part in the games as a member of the Scottish team, as well as to be spectators.

The minister mentioned security in her speech, and we should welcome her statement and the money that will be available—Patricia Ferguson got that right. We want the games to be friendly, but we have to have a balance. We live in the modern world and we have to accept that significant security is required. I hope that Glasgow Community and Safety Services will be part of the security arrangements. It is the arm of Glasgow City Council that looks after CCTV and security. I hope that its existing infrastructure can be used, and perhaps some of the infrastructure that will be put in place can be used after the games.

It has been mentioned that some of the venues are coming along very well. Perhaps the most impressive, as Nanette Milne said, is the Emirates arena in the east end of Glasgow, which includes the velodrome and the indoor sports arena.

The venue’s size is impressive, and it creates many opportunities. For example, when I visited the other week, the Scottish international badminton championships were taking place. There was room for the championships in one venue and room in the centre of the velodrome for youngsters to learn and practise badminton. They could then go through to watch some of the top players from around the world playing badminton. There is nowhere else in Scotland where all of those things could have happened under one roof. Smaller venues cannot provide such opportunities. That is an example of the legacy already happening. Many of us think that a legacy comes after an event, but we are already benefiting from a legacy before the event.

There is already community use of the venues. I believe that membership of Glasgow club, which is the membership system for those who use Glasgow’s gyms, has already increased by around 1,000. There have also been international competitions, such as the UCI track cycling world cup in the velodrome, and the Glasgow Rocks basketball team are now using the arena.

Other venues are still being developed, including those for swimming at Tollcross and for hockey at Glasgow Green. I understand that there have been some slight delays in deciding whether Scottish Hockey will operate the venue after the games. I know that there are legal issues that have to be sorted out. Scottish Hockey is quite a small organisation and Glasgow City Council is a very big organisation, and I hope that the minister will be able to help to smooth out the process.

I want to mention the games village. Those who knew the site before will know that it was in a very run-down industrial area. There will be 700 homes and a care home, which was mentioned. There will be a housing mix, with bought houses and 300 social rented houses. I visited the village last Monday, and I thank Mactaggart and Mickel for showing me around. I was very impressed, and I was particularly struck by three things in visiting the houses.

First, in one room, the beds were already set up, which has happened in plenty of time. Secondly, the interesting thing about those beds is that they came from the London Olympics and are being reused, which is extremely good. They also have extensions for long people. In one room in which there were beds, it was interesting to see that there were sockets halfway up the wall, one of which was marked “Cooker” and one of which was marked “Washing Machine”. The kitchens are not required during the Commonwealth games, because all the food will be prepared elsewhere, so the athletes can use the rooms that will become kitchens as sleeping accommodation.

Thirdly, we went into a quite large room in which the central heating radiator on the wall was very small compared with what I would have expected. The explanation for that is that the standard of insulation is so good in the houses that not so much heating is needed, which will mean a big saving financially and for the environment.

It is clear that the games village is leading the way in that respect. The hot water will be provided by a district heating system, so there will be no individual boilers; the water will be heated centrally and piped round the area. Again, that will save money and will be good for the environment.

Volunteers have already been mentioned, and it is great that so many volunteers will come. The website says that it is all about Scotland’s “friendliest, most obliging people”. I am not sure that all MSPs fit into that description, but I am sure that at least some do. If people who live further afield want to be a volunteer, perhaps I could put up one or two people on the floor of my flat, if they would like that.

We want to encourage young people to get excited about the games. One thing that impresses me in my constituency is the uniformed youth organisations—the guides, scouts and so on. I was a little surprised and disappointed to hear that the games organisers are looking only at individuals to be volunteers and are not willing to consider those organisations. I wonder whether there is some way to take that issue forward.

In conclusion, I am tremendously enthusiastic about the games—in fact, I asked whether I could get two speaking slots today, but was told that I could have only one. We are already seeing many tangible benefits. As well as the venues and the village, we are seeing the M74 completion, the east end regeneration route and the vastly improved Dalmarnock station, which, I hope, will bring more people to the games by public transport. I encourage all members to go back to their communities and enthuse about the games.

Photo of Hanzala Malik Hanzala Malik Labour

I am delighted to be able to speak about the Commonwealth games in 2014 and the progress that is being made in preparation for them.

The first issue that I want to raise is about the lessons on equality and inclusiveness that can be learned from the London Olympic and Paralympic games. The Glasgow 2014 website says:

“We want to use the power of the Games to change attitudes by celebrating diversity in everything we do and by delivering a truly inclusive sports programme”, but it gives no indication of how that will be done.

An initiative that I believe should be studied closely is the London 2012 equality and diversity forum, which brought together the main 2012 partners to monitor and champion equality and diversity in all aspects of the 2012 games. The forum looked at a number of issues, including accessible transport, the food strategy, volunteering and the ticketing strategy. We need to look at the forum’s work in detail to see what can be learned from the successes and mistakes of the London games, including the mistake that gave rise to anger about empty seats at sold-out events.

On the food strategy for the Commonwealth games, I welcome the appointment of a food project manager—or a food tsar, as the newspapers call her—whose remit will include helping Scottish food and drink suppliers to tender for contracts at the events. I urge the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to ensure that the provision of specialist products such as halal food is given careful consideration as part of the strategy.

The London 2012 equality and diversity forum supported the launch of a website—www.inclusivelondon.com—that highlighted a range of accessible services, hotels and modes of transport. I feel that such a resource would be useful for people who want to come to the Glasgow games, and I would like to know whether anything along those lines is planned.

I have some questions about the inclusiveness of the Glasgow 2014 volunteering strategy. The volunteering publicity says that people can volunteer only if they are eligible to work in the UK. That means that people from the A2 countries—Romania and Bulgaria—who are not eligible to work in the UK at the moment but who will be eligible to do so from 1 January 2014, will not be able to register to participate as volunteers in 2014. That issue needs to be looked at.

I turn to the question of who owns the games. I listened carefully to John Mason, who, like me, is a former member of Glasgow City Council, and I am surprised that he wants to take away the credit for the games from Glasgow. They are Glasgow’s games. It was Glasgow City Council that bid for the games and which worked hard to win them. That does not take away from the fact that a number of other people made a contribution, including the First Minister, who went to Sri Lanka and fought hard for Scotland to win the games.

Photo of Hanzala Malik Hanzala Malik Labour

In a minute.

The games are primarily Glasgow’s games; they should not be hijacked. We should not try to hide the fact that Glasgow City Council successfully managed the bid to stage the games, and Glasgow should take the credit for winning them. That said, I accept that other cities in Scotland will participate fully in the games and that Scotland as a whole will benefit from them.

Photo of John Mason John Mason Scottish National Party

Would the member accept that one of the challenges for Glaswegians—and maybe one of the hopes for today’s debate—is to encourage MSPs and people from around Scotland to feel that the games belong to them and not that they are being held somewhere else?

Photo of Hanzala Malik Hanzala Malik Labour

I totally agree. Indeed, I would go a step further and say that the games belong to the whole Commonwealth family; I encourage everyone in the Commonwealth to feel that the games are their games. However, I think that Glasgow has taken the lead and should get the credit for winning them. I would not want anyone to try to steal that from Glasgow.

Photo of Elaine Smith Elaine Smith Labour

I remind members to use full names.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

No one can steal the credit from Glasgow for getting the games: it was Glasgow that went out and got them, backed by the rest of Scotland. That is how Glasgow should graciously accept the fact that it is leading the games—not only it is involved.

Photo of Hanzala Malik Hanzala Malik Labour

I totally accept that. I agree that Glasgow deserves the credit and that the rest of Scotland is part and parcel. I would not want to take that away from anybody in Scotland, but the point that I am trying to make and emphasise is that we should not run away with the idea of who got the games. Margo MacDonald quite rightly pointed me in the right direction and reminded all of us where the idea came from, and I am grateful to her for that.

Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

The Commonwealth games in 2014 will be a fantastic showcase for Glasgow—and for Scotland. We will have 17 sports, with 6,500 athletes from 71 countries coming to Glasgow to take part in what have become known throughout the world as the friendly games.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Mr Coffey, will you move your microphone closer to you, please?

Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

I beg your pardon; I will do my very best.

Who can forget the wild scenes of jubilation at the ceremony in Sri Lanka in 2007 when Glasgow was announced as the winner, and the even wilder scenes back in Scotland as young people gathered in a number of venues across Glasgow city to celebrate the news? Scotland and Hampden are rightly famous for the Hampden roar, but on the day when Glasgow was announced as the 2014 venue the screams could be heard even as far away as Edinburgh.

I can just remember the incredible 5,000m final at Scotland’s first Commonwealth games in Edinburgh in 1970, when Ian Stewart pipped Ian McCafferty to win gold for Scotland in a pulsating race that saw the legendary Kenyan athlete Kip Keino coming third. With Lachie Stewart having already won the 10,000m, it was a fantastic achievement for Scottish athletics to have three world-class runners competing at the highest level and winning medals for Scotland on an international stage in front of their home crowd.

It is pleasing to see such a high number of contracts for the games being awarded to Scottish-based companies. Over the next six months, the Glasgow organising committee expects £50 million-worth of business opportunities to be generated.

The four strategic partners—the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow 2014, and Commonwealth Games Scotland—are reporting that everything is on track and that the substantial investment by the partners and sponsors to deliver a successful games will also see many benefits for Glasgow and Scotland for years to come.

It is welcome that an additional £1 million has been added to the elite athletes programme budget, making a total of £9 million to support the various performance development initiatives. I hope that that will mean more success for our athletes—no pressure there, then.

In a regular update to the Public Audit Committee earlier this month, we heard news of progress on the Hampden running track part of the project and we heard about important revisions to security procurement arrangements in line with the London experiences this summer, as detailed by the minister earlier. Planning for the games seems to be well in hand, and our best wishes go to all the partners that their hard work will pay off as we approach the summer of 2014.

I will say a little about the plans for the long-term benefit from the games. The sports facilities and infrastructure will be a clear and obvious benefit to Glasgow and Scotland; they are already allowing us to pitch for and secure more high-profile events, which is particularly welcome.

Possibly of greater importance is the impact that the games will have on young people right across our country and the thousands of volunteers directly coming to help at the games. The £10 million legacy facilities fund that the First Minster announced in March will provide some great opportunities for people to engage with sports in their local communities.

The volunteers who come to the games have a crucial role to play since they will be the first point of contact for many visitors. The experience they gain will be extremely valuable to them in developing their own skills, and many of them will have the opportunity to gain direct employment opportunities in sport through the £5 million legacy young person’s fund.

I am also looking forward to hearing more details about the youth legacy ambassador programme, which will give young people a chance to work in their communities, to find out how best we can capitalise on the games.

Only 30 minutes down the road from Glasgow, in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire Council recently opened an international-standard running track and sports facility. The facilities are being well used, with more than 17,000 users so far. There are a variety of athletics programmes, and Scottish Athletics and Scottish Disability Sport have asked to use the facility as a national camp for their disability squad of about 30 athletes. We very much hope that the first-class facilities will attract some of the games teams to our area as they prepare for the games.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

Is the member able to say what the local authority has done to try to make it known throughout the Commonwealth that it has a facility that could be used for training camps?

Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

We have the voice of the Scottish Parliament and its members, and of course we have the loud, clear and capable voice of Margo MacDonald.

One of our best-known local athletes is weightlifter Peter Kirkbride, from Chick Hamilton’s club in Shortlees in Kilmarnock. Peter was a silver medallist in Delhi in 2010 and we hope that one more big lift from him will bring a gold medal back to Kilmarnock, so that we can spray our post boxes with some of that nice gold paint that has been left over from London.

Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

I am just coming to the end of my speech.

I am convinced that the games will be a stunning success and that our visitors will never forget the warmth of the people of Glasgow. Let us look forward to an incredible Hampden roar at all the venues, for all the athletes and visitors, and to an even bigger roar when our athletes step onto the podium to claim their gold medals for Scotland. After all, they will be doing that again in Brazil in 2016.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

There is a little time in hand for members to take interventions. I remind members who intervene that if they still want to speak in the debate they should press their request-to-speak buttons again.

Photo of Anne McTaggart Anne McTaggart Labour

I am delighted to contribute to the debate on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games and I join other members in congratulating the organisers and supporters on the fantastic progress that has been made.

I am a proud Glaswegian, so I look forward to welcoming athletes and supporters from all over the Commonwealth to the city. I firmly believe that the event provides a unique and special opportunity to showcase not just Glasgow but all Scotland to the rest of the world.

I spoke recently in the Parliament about preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth games and the hard work that is being undertaken by staff and volunteers to ensure that the event is an international success. At that time, organisers had begun advertising for thousands of volunteers to assist during the games, in a variety of roles. More than 40,000 people from all over the United Kingdom registered an interest in taking part in that way. Throughout Glasgow and further afield there is huge enthusiasm for becoming a 2014 volunteer and part of the legacy of Glasgow’s Commonwealth games.

If we further promote the opportunities that the games bring to Scotland, we can ensure not just that we have more volunteers to staff our venues and arenas but that there is a far greater impact on families throughout the country, because so many people will have a son, daughter, friend or cousin who took part in the summer of 2014. Such awareness brings clear benefits to Scotland. Shared experience in and enthusiasm for the Commonwealth games can bring communities together.

I support the work that is going on to ensure that there is a strong legacy after the games have concluded, and I commend the excellent work of Glasgow City Council and partner organisations in making that a reality. Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life recently launched a £4 million fund, which is open to community-based organisations and individuals in the months leading up to the international sporting event. The money is intended to support the build-up to the games and will be awarded to projects that involve the whole community in cultural and artistic opportunities.

Awards will range from £20,000 to £300,000 and will support groups that are best placed to generate enthusiasm and excitement for one of the most important events ever to come to Scotland. I believe that communities in Glasgow and across Scotland will benefit hugely from the Commonwealth games. The impact of the games could last for generations and it falls to us to secure the benefits for our children and our grandchildren to enjoy.

The work that is already under way will have made a significant impact on the success of Glasgow 2014 and I look forward with anticipation to the outcome of the years of hard work from organisers, volunteers and athletes alike.

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

With the construction of the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome and the Emirates arena, the Tollcross swimming complex nearing completion and the refurbishment of the Royal Commonwealth pool here in Edinburgh there are obvious indicators both in Glasgow and in the capital city that the games are very much on the way.

Barry Buddon in Angus, where the shooting will be staged, as yet has no such tangible evidence of what is coming to the area in 582 days. However, a good deal of preparation is going on along a range of fronts. I intend to focus my contribution to this welcome debate on developments that are specific to the area that I represent.

Glasgow 2014 organisers have carried out ecological and environmental surveys at the Ministry of Defence-owned location, which boasts three sites of special scientific interest, to provide a baseline for addressing any negative impact on Barry Buddon from hosting the shooting. Next up—within the next few weeks—will be the submission of a planning application. Games organisers are working closely with Angus Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence. Collaborative work with Carnoustie golf links on a number of recently installed core paths to improve access to the area has also been taking place.

A competition manager for shooting appointment has been made, with the individual concerned taking up their post next month. Given the experience and pedigree of Peter Underhill, who acted as shooting competition manager for both Manchester 2002 and London 2012, we can be confident that a successful event will be delivered.

Angus Council is at the forefront of the preparatory activity that is taking place on the ground. A series of working groups have been established within the council to address the priority issues, including legacy and youth ambassadors, volunteering, the event venue itself, support to athletes and coaches, and external funding.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

Is there a plan for the future use of the new facility that is being provided?

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

I am not aware of one—my understanding is that it is impractical to leave a legacy facility on Barry Buddon for a number of reasons.

I want to highlight three other areas of working group operations—namely the baton relay, the promotion and tourism strategy and the adopt a second country initiative. With regard to the baton relay, events of that nature are a slightly delicate subject for my constituency as we were all but left out of the Olympic torch relay. Angus South boasts iconic locations such as Arbroath abbey and Glamis castle—after it emerged that neither was scheduled to be visited by the torch relay, I raised the issue with Lord Coe.

As the local MSP, I asked that the decision to not take the Olympic flame to either of those renowned places be reconsidered. I suggested as a compromise that the torch might make a brief detour from its procession along the Forfar to Meigle road and travel through the village of Glamis, home of the Angus folk museum and a particularly picturesque location, which I am sure we could have packed out. That idea, however—the adoption of which would have added only a few moments to the flame’s journey—was rejected. I am therefore delighted to learn that determination of the route for the Commonwealth games baton will have local input and I know from discussions that I have had with the council that it is committed to ensuring that those iconic Angus landmarks and others are visited.

I stress to ministers the importance of that happening, along with perhaps ensuring that another flaw in the Olympic torch arrangements is not replicated. I understand that people from our county were nominated to carry the Olympic torch but carried out their duties outwith Angus’s borders. I ask ministers to impress upon Commonwealth games organisers that in order to maximise interest in the baton relay and allow friends and relatives easy access to seeing their family members or pals carrying the baton they should, wherever possible along the entire route, look to have local people involved.

Under the adopt a second country initiative, which I believe is based on a sportscotland proposal, a number of competing countries will be allocated to each local authority area. Angus has been allocated Gibraltar, the Maldives and Anguilla, one of the Leeward islands. Among other things, the education departments of all councils will look to have schools become involved in projects on the allocated nations, but I know that Angus Council will go a little further and will seek to promote the second countries to the wider Angus community and establish long-term twinning links.

I note in passing that the lead officer for the project is Ken McKay, the council’s education development officer for physical education and sport, and I cannot think of any council official who is better suited to playing such a part. Ken McKay is a former Scottish long jump champion who competed in the Commonwealth games the last time that they were held in Scotland, in 1986, and finished eighth.

I am pleased to see that Angus Council has given the promotion and tourism strategy paramount importance. As a nation, we must seize the tourism opportunity that the games present. Angus has much to offer visitors and it is imperative that people who are coming to the games as a whole, and not just to the shooting, are made aware of that and are given every assistance to get around the county and see its attractions.

As part of the tourism strategy that is being developed by the tourism working group, promotional materials are to be developed and sent in advance to shooters, support staff and spectators; to supplement that, there is an agreement in principle with Dundee City Council, which is hosting the shooting village, to place such items in all games-associated accommodation. I welcome that collaborative engagement between the neighbouring councils, and I hope that it will lead to close working on a number of other games-related fronts.

I well remember the last time that the Commonwealth games came to Scotland. I covered the games as a reporter, and there is no doubt that they threw up some memorable moments—who will ever forget Dundee’s Liz McColgan storming to victory in the inaugural women’s 10,000m? However, my own abiding memory occurred in the media centre and concerned a visit that was made there by one Robert Maxwell and his entourage. Those of us who were around at the time will perhaps remember Bob Maxwell’s much heralded intervention to “save” the games. What is less well known is that he sought to court favour with the press by having his visit to the media hub at Meadowbank accompanied by a tannoy announcement that, courtesy of Mr Maxwell, there would be a free bar for the press for the following hour. That incident sticks in my mind because it was one of the few occasions in my 30 years as a hack on which offering journalists free drink did not set off a stampede.

I am confident that, unlike the 1986 games, the 2014 games will be remembered for all the right reasons, and that Angus will play its part in ensuring that that happens.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I once again ask members who have asked to speak in this debate to ensure that they have pressed their request-to-speak buttons.

Photo of Alison Johnstone Alison Johnstone Green

This summer, the Commonwealth deputy secretary general said:

“Sport isn’t just about competition and elite athletes ... but under the right circumstances, it can convey important democratic principles such as tolerance, solidarity, co-operation and respect. It can also foster inclusion for marginalised people and support vulnerable people, including girls and women, people with a disability, those living in conflict and those recovering from trauma.”

We might expect the Commonwealth deputy secretary to have such an insight about the potential of sport to transform lives, but what about young people from across the Commonwealth? As the your commonwealth website testifies, they understand the points that he made, too.

Twenty-four-year-old Tamica, from Jamaica, knows that spending on sport is commonsensical preventative spend. She says:

“sports provide a fun and easy way to keep a nation healthy ... An unhealthy population is expensive ... and ... governments must spend more on healthcare instead of other social needs.”

Alicia, 20, from New Zealand, says that sport

“brings all people—players, teams, coaches, volunteers and spectators—together” and “establishes a shared bond”.

On a legacy-minded note, Eva Maria, 21, from New Zealand, says:

“It’s inspiring to see your own team win, but it’s even more important to develop a country through promoting a healthy lifestyle for all its citizens. Compulsory PE class? I’m all for it! And not just for youths. Sport is for all ages.”

She is right: sport is for all. London 2012 proved that. The Olympics and the Paralympics showcased talented diversity, and people across the globe—many of whom usually do not bother much with sport—watched in awe.

However, sportswomen are very much marginalised in the media. I and others have raised that issue in Parliament and elsewhere. Outwith what was a dazzlingly successful Olympics for women and the welcome coverage of women representing some nations for the first time, sportswomen are underrepresented in much of the mainstream press. That does not help to normalise active lifestyles for women in Scotland. Coverage of bikini diets abounds, but coverage of physically active sportswomen is too rare.

It is extremely important that we embed physical activity at the earliest stage, so that it becomes part and parcel of everyday life and the individual gains so much from being active that the challenges that are presented by puberty, peer pressure and so on are milestones that are more ably managed due to increased self-esteem and improved body confidence.

Just this week, the BBC reported that women in Sweden are far sportier and fitter than women here. It is fair to say that we are obsessed with the weather, but we often use it as an excuse for inaction. Sweden has a harsher climate and fewer daylight hours, but women in Sweden are four times more likely to be active than women here. I know that the minister will share my discomfort with our fattest-nation-in-Europe tag and agree that we need to look at nations, including those fairly close to home, whose trends are more positive.

The BBC reporter was visiting a girls football club in Stockholm. It was pitch black at 4 pm, and it was wet and cold. The rain was horizontal, but she commented on the boundless enthusiasm of all involved. The coach said:

“I come from work. Sometimes I feel tired, depressed, but I leave full of energy. It’s just joy - pure joy.”

He thoroughly enjoys working with those young women. Half of all Swedes are members of sports clubs. That is not surprising if the attitude that was evident at that football club is the norm. The coach said:

“No one is ever turned away. Everyone can play.”

He never says no. Now that is a legacy.

That enthusiasm does not surprise me as it is mirrored by my experience of coaching young people in Edinburgh. They are not put off by a few puddles on the track or a bitter wind. However, lack of volunteer coaches is an issue, and access to facilities is sometimes a challenge. I support the Scottish Sports Association’s call for employer-supported volunteering.

The club that I mentioned was set up following the Swedish Olympics of 1912. Young girls there are following in their mothers’ and grandmothers’ footsteps.

Last week, due to cold conditions, the outdoor track at Meadowbank was out of action. Edinburgh Athletic Club’s Lynsey Sharp raised concerns about the impact of the closure on athletes’ ability to train. This year, Lynsey won the silver medal at the European championships and reached the semi-final of the Olympic 800m. She is now training to compete in the next Commonwealth games, following in the footsteps of her mother Carol, who is with us in the gallery. Thanks to Lynsey’s action, the matter was resolved and the track was available the next day, but it is essential that we do all that we can to ensure that there is access to training facilities. It is frosty, we must have contingency plans and have the right machinery in place.

There are particular issues about the use of the indoor track space at Meadowbank. It is the only such facility in the Lothians, yet at times it is let for antique fairs and clothing sales. Given the nature of the track surface, we need to ask whether placing chairs, tables and hanging rails on it really protects what is, after all, a public asset. Hires to raise revenue should take place in one of the region’s many halls and not in its only indoor track facility.

Many local authorities rely on arm’s-length organisations to deliver leisure facilities. In Edinburgh, tensions have arisen when athletes at club and elite levels have been unable to access facilities in venues that they often use because paid-for classes and events are taking place there. I do not believe that such challenges are insurmountable and it does not have to be an either/or, but better consultation with all user groups would go a long way towards ensuring that such tensions do not occur in the first place.

I realise that some of those points are matters for local authorities but, as John Mason said, these are Scotland’s games, so I would warmly welcome a commitment from the minister to speak to colleagues in local government. I would also appreciate a comment on her commitment to deliver a games that are based on attractive passenger transport that will be sustained after the games have finished.

I support Patricia Ferguson’s call for assurances regarding parliamentary scrutiny of the security budget.

Athletes—some household names and some who are yet to establish themselves—are training at this very moment. We will all support them in Glasgow in 2014, but it is essential that we also support them now, as they strive to get there.

Photo of Bob Doris Bob Doris Scottish National Party

I begin by focusing on the race equality and community cohesion opportunities that will be created by the Commonwealth games coming to Glasgow and Scotland in 2014. Ahead of the games arriving in Glasgow, the Commonwealth baton relay will be a wonderful opportunity and we can do so much with it. A fanfare will surround the baton relay across all Commonwealth countries and a positive message will be sent about what awaits the athletes, their families and tourists when they arrive in Scotland.

I am delighted that the Commonwealth 2014 team plans to initiate related events for the diaspora of people from Commonwealth countries who are in Scotland. Working with that diaspora in Scotland is vital. We can produce as many glossy brochures as we like that say how wonderful Scotland is, but it will be what the diaspora in Scotland of Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans and Cameroonians—we could go on and on—tell sportspersons and tourists from Commonwealth countries about their experiences of living in Scotland that really sells Glasgow’s and Scotland’s games to the rest of the Commonwealth. I am delighted that deep and meaningful engagement will take place, as that is vital.

Linked to that is the £4 million cultural fund that has been announced. I was delighted to hear about the variety of cultural events in Angus that Graeme Dey referred to, which will include work in schools. I am sure that that will be significant. I should plug the organisation of the former MSP Anne McLaughlin—the African Caribbean centre in Glasgow, which the minister has visited. That is an example of a community hub for a diaspora of people from the Commonwealth who are vibrant and active and who enjoy living in Scotland. We must make the link between people who travel to Scotland and the diaspora in Scotland. The cultural fund provides a wonderful opportunity to develop that.

Health inequalities have an impact on black and minority ethnic groups, as they do in significant ways on a range of groups in Scotland. Specific needs arise from the mental health issues that many minority ethnic communities face. In looking through my briefings in preparing for the debate, I was delighted to see that the Scottish sport relief programme has started to give out meaningful awards. It is a partnership between sport relief and the Scottish Government, and an additional £1.2 million has recently been put into the pot of cash for it.

I note that the Glasgow Association for Mental Health recently got £120,000 from that programme for training and advocacy work for black and minority ethnic mental health service users in the area that I represent. On dealing with ethnic and gender inequality, I note that £117,000 was awarded to the Rape Crisis Centre in Glasgow to support women refugees who have experienced rape and that Freedom from Torture Scotland got £120,000 for therapeutic support for women who have experienced torture and who are refugees or asylum seekers. That is a meaningful legacy and work that is taking place in relation to the Commonwealth games that is not just sport related. The games provide an opportunity to do much across society.

I chair the cross-party group on racial equality in Scotland. At our annual general meeting in October, we were addressed by Paul Zealey of the Glasgow 2014 team. His presentation was impressive and comprehensive, and the BME stakeholders who were present—of whom I assure members there were many—unanimously welcomed it. As Hanzala Malik knows, getting unanimous support at a meeting of the cross-party group on racial equality is a pretty tough bar to reach, but the consensus was that things were proceeding well.

We will seek tangible outcomes in, say, six months’ time and one year’s time on delivery of Mr Zealey’s vision. Part of that delivery will involve engaging further with the cross-party group, which I hope will happen at a stakeholder event in Glasgow in the new year, to ensure that black and minority ethnic groups are suitably consulted and engaged with on the games. In our cross-party group, Mr Malik has something to offer in relation to that.

I will widen out the discussion about volunteers. It is wonderful news that 40,000 people have volunteered to be volunteers, although we need only 15,000. I agree with the minister about keeping the volunteer registrations coming. I am keen that we do not have the usual faces as volunteers. We have a professional class of volunteers in Scotland and across the UK—sometimes that involves MSPs, too. We must ensure that the people who are least likely to volunteer are the most likely to be given support to volunteer.

Photo of Hanzala Malik Hanzala Malik Labour

I just want to point out that minority communities are missing out on an opportunity in that regard. We should remember that all those people who are volunteering today will not necessarily be available for the games themselves, so we definitely need a large number of volunteers. However, a lot of communities are still not engaging with us, and we need to bridge that gap somehow.

Photo of Bob Doris Bob Doris Scottish National Party

I completely agree with Mr Malik. He mentioned ineligibility for volunteering in his speech, and I add asylum seekers to the list of those whom we would like to be able to volunteer at the games.

I am delighted that 15,000 of the potential volunteers come from the rest of the UK outwith Scotland. Irrespective of where the volunteers come from—whether they are from Scotland or the rest of the UK—we should ensure that there is a vibrant ethnic mix. We should ensure that some of the volunteers from the rest of the UK who will come to Glasgow and offer their services, for which we are grateful, come from deprived communities in which people are least likely to volunteer.

I will make a couple of brief points if I still have time. With regard to the games legacy, we have heard that increased sports participation is already happening due to the success of the London Olympic games. Many young people have presented at sports centres throughout Scotland and the UK, but coaching staff have not necessarily been in place to handle that demand. I am sure that the sports inquiry by the Health and Sport Committee, on which I and Nanette Milne sit, is considering that issue.

We must ensure that we find a solution so that there are enough coaches in place to meet the demand for increased participation in sport. Some leisure trusts in Scotland—including Glasgow Life from time to time—have slightly restricted practices with regard to who they define as a coach to allow that person to use the facilities. Perhaps, in the short term at least, we need to find more innovative ways to get volunteer coaches in to help to meet that demand. Of course, that is no replacement for fully qualified coaches, which would be my first preference.

I do not care who takes the credit for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games. I note that Jack McConnell and Steven Purcell, as well as Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, led the way on the games, along with Glasgow City Council. However, there should not be a bunfight over who gets the credit. We should all just enjoy the games together and make them as good as they possibly can be.

Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

I welcome the opportunity to take part in this afternoon’s debate. Before I go on to the issues that I had planned to cover, I have a couple of comments on the minister’s announcement about security. I accept that it is correct to learn the lessons from the Olympic games in London, and the minister is correct to take on board advice from experts to update the budget and the security plans.

However, I think that members will want to study the plans that have been placed in SPICe in detail, because the minister’s announcement is substantial, and a large sum of money—£90 million—is potentially being committed. I would be interested to hear from the minister when he sums up from which areas of the budget that extra £37 million has had to be taken in order to make up the security budget.

The Commonwealth games is—as other members have said—a fantastic opportunity for Glasgow and for all the other communities and areas in Scotland. We need only look back at the success of the Olympic games, on which the recent sporting reviews allowed us to reflect. We can also reflect on the Ryder Cup and how much excitement it generated for us as spectators and for the participants.

The real test of the games will be whether we make the most of the opportunity not just to create a sporting spectacle in Glasgow, but to gain lasting benefits for communities in Glasgow and throughout Scotland. We will look for a knock-on effect in increased participation in sport throughout the country.

We have recently had reports about the alarming levels of obesity in Scotland; that could be overcome by people participating in sport and fitness activities. Alison Johnstone is correct to point out that, to get that right, we have to start in school with physical education and quality guidance from PE professionals. We also need to make the most of the school estate and open up the public facilities that are available to encourage greater participation.

The games will give communities a real opportunity to celebrate their happening and to get involved. In Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Blantyre in my area, there will be much excitement. Those areas are outwith Glasgow, but they are right on the doorstep of many of the games venues, being especially near to the outdoor cycling course at Cathkin Braes. The games give the community in my constituency a great opportunity to see the events and to participate by welcoming visitors from overseas. I am issuing a clarion call to those communities.

From speaking to a number of groups and individuals in my constituency, I know that people are very enthusiastic about the games and I look forward to working with local groups as their MSP during the coming months so that they can be involved and make the most of the games.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

Blantyre in the member’s constituency is not the most salubrious or wealthy area, but the people who live there have a great interest in cycling. However, in two years’ time we will be two years further into a depression. Is the member concerned about ticket prices and accessibility because of the lack of cash?

Photo of James Kelly James Kelly Labour

Margo MacDonald makes a relevant point and I know that she knows the Blantyre area very well. I have made the point before in these debates that we need to allow access for spectators from all areas of the community. The point is relevant today with the publication of the Scottish index of multiple deprivation, which highlights a number of areas in Glasgow. If we are really going to reach out, we need to make sure that tickets are reasonably priced so that people can come in to the venues. I thank Margo MacDonald for bringing up that issue.

I am aware that the Parliament will discuss the budget on Thursday, and we need to be aware of the potential benefit that increased participation in sport can bring to other areas of the budget. If, after the games, we see greater participation in sport, that will help by lessening the strain on the health budget. As we saw last week in the Audit Scotland report, there are real health inequalities in Glasgow and throughout Scotland, and we want to take the opportunity of the games to boost participation and see the benefits of that across different parts of the budget. I know that the cross-party group on sport and the Scottish Sports Association are focused on that objective.

Like everyone else, I welcome the opportunity to celebrate the games, but I also look for the benefits that they will deliver to Glasgow and Scotland.

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

The Government says about legacy that

“We are determined to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the people of Scotland”.

That is an absolutely excellent aim with which to set out.

As a member from north-east Scotland, I am delighted to be speaking in the debate, despite Hanzala Malik’s suggestion that it is nothing to do with me and only to do with Glasgow. Glasgow is to be commended for bringing the games to Scotland.

I suggest that we need to link inspiration, which will come from the games, to perspiration, which comes from our pores. We know that lack of exercise kills. The physically active gain 20 to 30 per cent reduced risk of premature death and a 50 per cent reduced risk of major chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer.

We know that the inspiration is already in place. We have debated that this afternoon. We can see the absolute proof of inspiration in the fact that 40,000 people—and there will be more to come—have already volunteered for the 15,000 volunteer spaces. However, we need 5.3 million people who are prepared to perspire, as well as to be inspired.

When Eric Liddell won gold and bronze in Paris in 1924, he inspired a nation. My father, along with huge numbers of other people, cheered him on his return to Scotland. Liddell was an athlete, a missionary and an inspiration. He ran in the 400m race because he had been unable to run in the 100m race as the heats were on a Sunday and he would not run on a Sunday. He ran with a quotation from 1 Samuel, chapter 2, verse 30 in his hand:

“them that honour me I will honour”.

There is no higher honour than to be selected to run, jump or compete for one’s country. I am sure that every athlete who comes to Scotland and Glasgow in two years’ time will bear that honour with dignity.

My father carried Eric Liddell’s achievements with him for the rest of his life. Perhaps that is why he continued as a determined competitor in a physical sport until my mother finally persuaded him to retire at the age of 75.

Our focus on legacy may be on physical infrastructure because that is tangible, visible and accessible not only in Glasgow but, I am sure, elsewhere in Scotland. However, the really important legacy that must flow from the Commonwealth games is a change in our people. Too many in our population fall into sloth and, at best, spectatorship.

Winning medals will assist in inspiring and, therefore, we must support our elite athletes. That support should not be limited to Olympic and Commonwealth games sports but should encompass any sport that can raise exercise levels cost effectively.

I have a personal interest in the world orienteering championships that are coming to Scotland in 2015, as one of my nephews has been world champion on two occasions. That sport no longer gets support for elite athletes from sportscotland. As a result, my nephew now lives in Scandinavia, not Scotland. Orienteering requires little more than the open country, a wheen of volunteers, maps for competitors and running shoes. It is engaged in by people from the age of five to the age of 100. We need to capture more of those five-year-olds for physical exercise and sport. We must move them from imagining that they are involved in sport when they simply watch it on satellite TV and into active participation.

Schools are an excellent place to start and I am pleased that the Government intends to build on the London 2012 get set education programme. That has shown a way of creating a network of schools, colleges and other learning providers that can support what we need to do. We need to link young people to schools and sports clubs. We need to enthuse parents so that they support their youngsters.

As other speakers mentioned, we have had Commonwealth games in Scotland before—in 1970 and 1986. In Edinburgh, we can see a pool and a stadium that were built for the games.

I took up badminton for the first time after watching that sport in the 1970 Commonwealth games. I know that others were similarly inspired to new initiatives. I almost hesitate to say this, but I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my wife has a legacy from the 1986 games. She has a pair of 1986 Commonwealth games socks, which have the symbol of the games on their ankle. Let us hope that all legacies endure in the way that they have.

Of course, the 1986 games were singularly ill-starred because they were boycotted by the majority of Commonwealth countries and, as others have mentioned, they were supported by that fraudster Robert Maxwell. We will not find it terribly hard to do a lot better than we did in 1986, both in the games and in the legacy. I cannot really think of very much legacy from 1986.

Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative

You should be drawing to a close now.

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

The real challenge will be to try to keep pace with the achievements of the 2012 London Olympics, which was a hugely successful event, but all the signs are that we are up for that. However, if I may make one wee plea, I ask the minister and all those involved with the Commonwealth games to ensure that the torch comes to my constituency this time—it did not during the Olympics.

Glasgow 2014 will carry the name of Glasgow and of the host country to the four corners of the world; we also need to carry the spirit of Glasgow 2014 to the four corners of Scotland and inspire to perspire.

Photo of Jenny Marra Jenny Marra Labour

I can tell Stewart Stevenson that my Wimbledon socks singularly fail to improve my tennis game every time that I wear them, but I will keep on trying. Presiding Officer, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the debate.

To host the Commonwealth games is a huge privilege for Scotland and for Glasgow. We have the chance to show the world the best of our great country: the generosity of our people; the beauty of our landscapes and our cities; and the power of our communities to welcome, through unmatched tolerance and acceptance, those from around the Commonwealth and beyond. However, I think that we all agree that the games are about more than sport. We have the opportunity to play a leading role in a community of nations to promote common aims, values, rights and obligations. Nowhere can we do more to play our part in that than by showing our commitment to tackling modern-day slavery.

The United Kingdom—and Scotland—as one of the world’s largest destination countries for human trafficking, continues to be a nation where the promise of a better life can end in misery and modern-day human slavery. It is our moral duty in this Parliament—and there is a duty on the minister and the Scottish Government—to recognise the part that we must play when the world’s spotlight is on us by righting this wrong in our country.

In an answer to a parliamentary question earlier this year, the sports minister Shona Robison said:

“There is currently no intelligence to indicate that human trafficking will be an issue for Scotland for either games.”—[Official Report, Written Answers, 31 January 2012; S4W-05138.]

That may seem a reason not to act but, as Gordon Meldrum of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency has made clear, solid intelligence is a luxury that we can rarely depend upon in preventing human trafficking. Gordon Meldrum said:

“Knowing whether you are one of ten victims or one of a hundred doesn’t change the hell you have been through.”

Speaking for the police and other agencies, he continued:

“So collectively we need to move on from looking to ‘prove’ that this is an issue, to one in which we accept it is an issue” and act.

For the Olympic games, the early figures show that human trafficking to London occurred where intelligence had failed. Like Ms Robison, UK ministers did not recognise any specific threat of human trafficking during the London games, but the early figures show that there was a 35 per cent increase in referrals for human trafficking in London during this Olympic year of 2012. Therefore, lack of prior intelligence is no reason not to act, because human trafficking happens when intelligence is not available to our agencies—there is enough evidence of that.

The Olympic anti-trafficking group attributes that 35 per cent increase in referrals to the robust awareness-raising measures in London, which I think Scotland can learn from in advance of the Commonwealth games.

This year in London, in partnership with the United Nations, 23 life-sized art installations were set up throughout the city. They carried the stories of trafficking victims and information on how to identify trafficked people, and were manned by volunteers to raise public awareness. The installations did not take much time or money to set up, but their impact is evident in the 35 per cent increase in referrals that I mentioned.

Other anti-trafficking measures that have been used at sporting events in Athens, Berlin and Vancouver are awareness-raising information cards that were included in packs given to visitors, the provision of shelters and training for front-line staff. I have raised the issue of training previously in the chamber and asked the Scottish Government to consider anti-trafficking awareness training for police, ambulance staff and firefighters. I know that awareness training is taking place for police officers at Tulliallan—I have asked to go there and see that—but I ask the minister, in his summing up speech, to update the Parliament on how far the Scottish Government has got with putting in place anti-trafficking awareness training for ambulance staff and firefighters.

It is not only the Labour Party that wants more to be done. There is a UK-wide interdepartmental ministerial group on human trafficking, which comprises Kenny MacAskill and ministers from London, Wales and Northern Ireland, and which acts as our UK national rapporteur on human trafficking, as demanded by the European Union. That multi-minister group has asked the Scottish Government to do more to raise awareness of human trafficking ahead of the Commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014. The group recognises that the Scottish Government needs to do more, so I ask the ministers to give a commitment to do so. It is the obligation of the Scottish Government and Parliament to heed the call of that ministerial group to learn the lessons from London 2012—where there was a 35 per cent increase in referrals—and to do more to tackle human trafficking during the Commonwealth games.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I appreciate Jenny Marra’s sincerity on the issue, but I caution her about placing too much emphasis on a direct parallel between what happened in London and what is likely to happen in Glasgow. The intelligence flow is different in relation to those cities. I will say no more on that at the moment, because I do not want to crash into this debate about the Commonwealth games.

I support James Kelly—I usually end up supporting him—because the minister should really tell us from where the £40 million has been magicked. I do not imagine that she had that much spare change to play with. I, along with Patricia Ferguson, James Kelly and other members, would welcome information on where that money came from. If Chief Constable Stephen House is to account to the Parliament for the money, will he account to a committee? How will that be accounted for?

I want to ask about the Barry Buddon facility. This might sound as though I am picking up on some of the more nebulous points in the debate, but I am trying to head off trouble. Unless there is a clear explanation of why we are spending the amount that we are spending on the shooting facility, what its future will be and what future provision will be made for shooting in Scotland, the Scottish Government will come in for the sort of criticism in the press that it usually comes in for as regards ill-spent money.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I reassure Margo MacDonald that discussions are taking place with the governing bodies of shooting on a legacy from the facility. I cannot tell her what the outcome will be, because the discussions are on-going. We are conscious of the need to ensure that the legacy is maximised as much as possible.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I am grateful for that assurance and I will watch to see what the result is.

Like Graeme Dey, I have memories of the Robert Maxwell games, but mine are about a lady following a gentleman into the gentlemen’s toilet. Some other people may remember that, too—there were no medals awarded on that occasion.

I liked what Graeme Dey said about Angus’s get-up-and-go as regards outreach, which I think is terrific. It made me track back to something that Willie Coffey said earlier about Kilmarnock. I wonder whether the local authorities are being given any hints or any template for advertising their wares to Commonwealth countries regarding what facilities they have and so on. The countries that have been allocated to Graeme Dey’s constituency are very small, so I imagine that the people in Angus might want to do even more to try to get a bit more of the athletic prowess in the games to go there. I think that only about six people—well, not many more—will come from those three countries. However, it still has an excellent outreach programme.

As for Hanzala Malik, are no volunteers coming from the subcontinent’s communities? That is just a straight question that I hope he will be able to answer.

My last point is on orienteering. I, too, am sorry that we do not put money into it. Let us have a proper debate on it, and we will find out why it does not get money from sportscotland.

Photo of Nanette Milne Nanette Milne Conservative

This has been an interesting and worthwhile debate, which has brought us up to speed with the progress being made in preparing for what we all hope will be a highly successful Commonwealth games in 2014.

As an Opposition MSP, I put on record my thanks to the minister for keeping us informed about plans and preparations for the games. I acknowledge the open and enthusiastic way in which David Grevemberg and his team have responded to our questions and our desire to keep abreast of their activities. The “Elected Members Newsletter” produced by Glasgow 2014 is particularly useful in updating us on progress, and I look forward to receiving regular updates as we head closer to the games.

I am pleased that the Government has heeded warnings about possible security issues surrounding the games and has taken early and appropriate action to deal with them. I hope that there will be no other serious concerns of that kind in the run-up to the games. However, I also hope that we will have the opportunity to consider the evolving plans for 2014 fairly regularly in the Parliament, with full discussion of the relevant issues as they arise.

We all hope, of course, that Glasgow 2014 will be the best-ever Commonwealth games. From what I have seen and heard so far, I think that there is the determination and expertise to follow the example of, and learn lessons from, this year’s spectacularly successful Olympic games—on a smaller scale of course, but with the same potential for success. However, as many speakers have said, even more important than the event itself will be the long-term legacy from the 2014 games, on which aspect many such events have failed in the past. The physical legacy is already taking shape in the regeneration of the east end of Glasgow and the development of major new or refurbished facilities, many of which are already used by the public and which I dealt with in my opening speech.

To my mind, however, the most important legacy that we must aspire to is to transform the culture of sport and physical activity in Scotland. I fully endorse the vision of the Scottish Sports Association that all children have the right to be physically literate and that their early education should help them to become regular participants in sport and physical activity by teaching them how to run, jump, throw, catch and swim, building up in early life the skills and confidence that will help them to reap the health and other benefits of being physically active throughout life. Regular high-quality PE for children of all abilities is key to achieving that skills standard and a culture of regular participation in sport and physical activity. In that regard, although progress is being made towards the provision of two hours or two periods of PE per week for children, more still needs to be done.

Many speakers have emphasised the importance of volunteering to sport, and I will say a bit more about that in terms of achieving a worthy legacy from Glasgow 2014. During the Health and Sport Committee’s recent inquiry into community sport provision, witness after witness stressed the importance of volunteers to every sport, referring to them again and again as the lifeblood of sporting activity, without whom many sports clubs simply would not survive. From making the tea, washing strips after games, raising funds, keeping the books, arranging the fixtures and otherwise helping to organise club activities and social events, to coaching club members in the skills that they require to improve their performance in their chosen sport, volunteers are essential and there are not enough of them.

There are barriers faced by people who might think about volunteering. Many people think that they do not have the skills or time to become involved. Others would do so if they were asked, but they need to be assured of an enjoyable experience and they need to be assisted with the form filling around disclosure if they are to work with children, because many will fight shy of bureaucracy.

People need to be given training if they are to develop in their role as volunteers. In her evidence to the committee, Judy Murray spoke of the attraction of an inexperienced coach learning from an expert, as an apprentice, and developing skills that they might not otherwise aspire to and an enthusiasm that could be lasting and catching.

Employers could help greatly, for example by giving employees the flexibility to have regular time off at the end of a day—say once a week—that they could make up on another day, and I have no doubt that there are other imaginative ways of encouraging and retaining volunteers.

The London Olympics could not have been successful without its army of volunteers, and the 15,000 volunteers currently being sought for the Commonwealth games in Glasgow will be equally important. If those many willing people can be kept interested after the games are over and welcomed as volunteers in their own communities, that will be to the lasting benefit of Scottish sport and a very fitting legacy of a successful Commonwealth games. I am pleased that thought is being given to that by the games organisers.

There have been some excellent speeches in the debate, but I was particularly impressed by the many pertinent points that Alison Johnstone made about involvement in sport, particularly by women, support for athletes and the availability and use of facilities.

I will conclude by quoting from the SSA’s summary at the end of its excellent briefing for this debate:

“With the excitement of 2014 almost on our doorstep, the time to recognise the unique role and contribution of sport is now. It is time ... to support sport as Scotland’s greatest social movement, and to commit to prioritising those actions which will leave a lasting legacy for Scottish sport. These legacy opportunities are crucial to the infrastructure and delivery of sport in Scotland, and would result in a true legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, not just for sport in Scotland, but for an improved Scotland.”

I hope and think that we are on track to achieve the ambition of the Commonwealth games partners to deliver a safe, secure and successful event in 2014, and I look forward to further progress reports as we get closer to that date.

Photo of Mark Griffin Mark Griffin Labour

I am glad that we are able to have this debate today on the Commonwealth games and I hope that we will be able to have another debate in July next year about the youth Olympic games in 2018. What we all hope will be a successful bid document was submitted to the International Olympic Committee yesterday and I congratulate Glasgow City Council on building on the Commonwealth games by bidding for other international events.

Fantastic progress has been made on some of the venues for the Commonwealth games, particularly the Emirates arena and the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, which are already open to the public and recently hosted the Scottish international badminton championships and the second round of the 2012-13 Union Cycliste Internationale track cycling world cup. I was lucky enough to attend the cycling event and the atmosphere in the velodrome was electric. Thousands of people were there to support some of the Olympic medal winners from team GB and I am sure that the cycling event will be one of the games’ main attractions. The venue certainly will not disappoint visitors from all over the world.

Construction of the athletes’ village is also well under way and it was good to see a district heating scheme at the heart of the development, as John Mason mentioned. I have spoken about that repeatedly in the chamber and I hope that that sort of development will become the norm in future schemes, as a way of reducing heating bills and improving efficiency.

The work at Hampden park to convert it for the track and field events and the closing ceremony is one of the big risks in the building programme, simply because the work is being carried out so close to the games. The Hampden working group has provided regular updates to the Public Audit Committee through the Scottish Government and appropriate plans seem to be in place, which organisers are confident of delivering.

We have heard today that there will be increases to the security budget, and changes to that budget are not unexpected. The cost of securing the games was always going to depend on factors outwith the control of the Government or the organising committee. However, the Public Audit Committee should continue to be given regular updates on planning progress to allow for proper parliamentary scrutiny of the increased spending on security.

Another major aspect of planning for the games will be the recruitment of the 15,000 volunteers who are needed. After the success of the volunteering programme at the London Olympics, I do not think that attracting those 15,000 people will be an issue; rather, the issue might be that many people who want to contribute to the games simply cannot because of the volume of expressions of interest. We have heard that the number of expressions of interest has already hit 40,000, and there is still time to register. Obviously, it will take a massive amount of time and effort to process applications and interview everyone who is interested in volunteering. I have registered an interest in volunteering and I hope that I will be one of the lucky 15,000. Perhaps members or those in the gallery who might be involved in interviewing already recognise me as a friendly and welcoming person.

As Stewart Stevenson has already pointed out, we should ensure that the games are not just a spectator event. We need to plan for a sporting legacy from the games and ensure that people who are inspired by the events have the chance to take up some of the sports that they will see. Boosting physical activity levels can make a tremendous difference to people’s health and wellbeing—that was recognised in a previous debate in the chamber—and one of the most enjoyable ways to boost physical activity levels is through sport. Boosting physical activity levels in the Scottish population, particularly among sections of the public who tend to do little or no exercise, should be a key aspect of the games’ legacy.

The Scottish Sports Association spoke about a “sporting legacy” for Scotland in the briefing that was provided for members in advance of the debate. It mentioned physical literacy, high-quality teaching for the two hours or periods of PE a week in school to ensure that every child can run, jump, throw, catch and swim—the basic skills that children will need for almost any sport—and encouraging a culture of regular physical activity. It spoke about volunteering, breaking down some of the barriers that exist and encouraging more employers to support individuals in their companies in volunteering. That will have benefits for the company, the individual and the community in which the individual volunteers.

The association mentioned maximising the use of existing facilities. Members of the cross-party group on sport will know that opening up the school estate for affordable or, where possible, free community sport use is a particular hobby-horse of mine. A number of members have covered that issue.

Finally, the briefing raises the issue of elite sports and asks that investment is continued in facilities and coaching to allow us to build on the tremendous performances by our athletes at the Olympics and other international events.

The sporting legacy fund that has been set up will contribute towards achieving some of those aims. I welcome the £10 million that has been allocated to it. The fund means that areas outside Glasgow should be able to benefit from improved sporting facilities. Its key aspect is that bids should be community led. From my own experience of the development of a sports facility in Croy, I know about the benefits of community involvement in the design and planning of facilities.

Photo of Tricia Marwick Tricia Marwick None

You need to bring your remarks to a close.

Photo of Mark Griffin Mark Griffin Labour

Such involvement means that the facility will best meet the local community’s needs, and the local community will take pride in ownership of the facility.

It is clear that there are challenges for the organising committee in delivering a successful games. However, a large part of our focus should be on maximising the legacy from a successful games by boosting participation in sport, boosting physical activity, increasing volunteering opportunities and improving facilities, as the motion states.

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

From the excellent contributions that we have had from across the chamber, it is evident that there remains enormous good will and commitment to delivering in 2014 a fantastic spectacle that has a lasting and meaningful legacy.

Glasgow is undergoing a real transformation on the back of its hosting of the games. It is an exciting time for the city and for Scotland more widely. In Glasgow’s east end, the Clyde Gateway urban regeneration company is using the games as a catalyst to attract new private investment. To date, it is estimated that £24 million has been invested in remediating derelict land, creating industrial space and developing state-of-the-art offices, and there is a promise of much more to come.

In addition, the games are giving a direct boost to the economy. Businesses across Scotland continue to win games-related contracts—75 per cent of the contracts that have been awarded have been awarded to Scottish companies. The games are providing a legacy of tangible and sustainable benefits. Members across the chamber have mentioned the importance of the legacy to young people. Supporting jobs and providing pathways to employment for those who need them most are key legacy aspirations. The first element of our £5 million legacy 2014 young persons fund is up and running and helping the next generation to secure employment.

I will rifle through some of the specific points that have been made during the debate. In a very good contribution—her tone was understanding and welcoming—Patricia Ferguson asked about enhanced parliamentary scrutiny of the budget. Nanette Milne, Alison Johnstone and James Kelly, among others, raised the same point. The current structure of parliamentary scrutiny works. The Public Audit Committee has looked at the security budget, but if the Parliament decides that it wishes to carry out further scrutiny, it has the ability to do so. Shona Robison wrote to the three relevant parliamentary committees and I am sure that they would be happy to discuss further how parliamentary scrutiny could be further enhanced, but that would be a matter for Parliament to decide.

Patricia Ferguson asked about the preparation of our athletes. That is an important issue. The extra £1 million that has been put into preparing our elite athletes is vital, because the Olympics set the bar high. At a recent reception, I met individuals who are involved in Commonwealth Games Scotland. It is fair to say that they feel the pressure to bring medals home. The investment is extremely important.

Patricia Ferguson also asked whether the Commonwealth Games Federation has commented on the arrangements for the games. It has not done so yet, but the co-ordination commission identified security as a particular risk. We hope that the CGF will welcome the strengthened arrangements that have been announced today. If anyone of relevance is listening in the gallery, I can confirm that Patricia Ferguson is, as she said, a very friendly person. I thought that it was strange that straight after Patricia Ferguson announced that she wanted to be a volunteer, John Mason told us that he had a spare floor for any volunteer who needed somewhere to kip. It is great that there is cross-party working on that front.

John Mason’s speech was fantastic. He made some great points about the legacy of the games; the point that the legacy can start before the games have begun was a good one. I loved his three-point observation on the games village—it was almost like an episode of “Through the Keyhole”. On a serious note, what he said about energy saving and the extent to which that is being incorporated into the games infrastructure was something that I noticed when I went to the velodrome.

I applaud Jenny Marra’s rigorous and justified pursual of the issue of human trafficking; her role in doing so ever since she entered Parliament is recognised. It is important to note that intelligence on human trafficking forms part of the strategy to combat crime related to the games. There will be proactive policing, with our UK partners. The information from the London Olympics is important. Human trafficking was a potential issue for the London Olympics, but it has been reported that there was no significant increase in human trafficking during the games, although I recognise that there was a 35 per cent increase in referrals, as Jenny Marra said. We must take that into account. I will ensure that Jenny Marra is written to with an update on anti-human-trafficking awareness training for ambulance workers and firefighters.

Hanzala Malik made some great points on equality. In the meetings that I have had with Glasgow 2014, it has been very aware of the issues that he mentioned, such as halal food. On the potential for Ramadan to conflict with the games, I think that we might just miss it. Glasgow 2014 is very aware of the diversity issues that Bob Doris touched on, too.

Mr Malik often likes to embarrass outside of the Parliament by telling people that he has known me since I was in my nappies. I have known him as someone who fights doggedly and ferociously on Glasgow’s behalf. I salute his indefatigability in that respect. More generally, it is fair to say to him that the Scottish Government had a small role to play in bringing the games to Glasgow and Scotland.

Willie Coffey’s speech was fantastic and thoughtful. He was slightly misty eyed when he was recalling some of the previous games, which perhaps gives away his age, but his speech was an embodiment of how the games can leave a lasting memory in the nation’s heart.

Graeme Dey made a good point about local people being involved in the Queen’s baton rally as it makes its way across Scotland, which we should reflect on; Shona Robison will feed back on that.

Photo of Patricia Ferguson Patricia Ferguson Labour

I listened carefully to Graeme Dey’s point and he is absolutely right. I was conscious of the fact that the people who ran past me at 6 o’clock one Saturday morning in Maryhill did not come from Maryhill. When I checked, one of the reasons for that seemed to be that the process of completing the application form was relatively complex and, for a number of people, that would have been off-putting and not easy. Is that something that could be raised with Glasgow 2014, so that we avoid that difficulty?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

Patricia Ferguson makes an important point. That is one of the things that goes under the bracket of lessons learned and we are already actively looking into it.

Alison Johnstone made a number of good points about embedding physical activity at a young age. We continue to invest in a number of activities to increase physical activity levels, with £3 million on physical activity projects, including paths for all and active girls, which are aimed at those who are furthest away from meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines.

Alison Johnstone raised an important and serious point about Meadowbank. She also made a good—and fair—point about the craft and other fairs that are taking place that could perhaps happen elsewhere in the local area. The minister met the convener of Edinburgh Leisure and it agreed to speak to sportscotland about how Edinburgh can capitalise and make a better sports strategy. Her points should be reflected on further.

In relation to Alison Johnstone’s point on sustainable travel, on 4 October 2012, the Minister for Transport and Veterans announced an additional £6 million investment in cycling over two years, £2.5 million of which will be invested in Glasgow as part of the Commonwealth games legacy for active travel. That will be matched by Glasgow City Council.

A substantial point mentioned by James Kelly and others was where the £37.7 million of new funding will come from. It is important to stress that that will be from unallocated resources that are built into the 2014-15 budget. The point is that the budget—it is important to reiterate this—is unallocated. That will be subject to the scrutiny of the Parliament—of that there is no doubt. Opposition members, such as James Kelly, will have the right to scrutinise that, too.

Margo MacDonald and Stewart Stevenson were combined in their passion for orienteering. Orienteering is one of the activities that are delivered through active schools, which is creating almost 5 million opportunities for young people to be active, so there is opportunity there.

I will finish by talking about the cultural programme. Partners are working together to deliver a magnificent programme of cultural activity for Glasgow 2014. London set the bar high with its opening and closing ceremonies. At this stage, I cannot confirm or deny whether or not Her Majesty the Queen has been approached to hurl herself out of a helicopter with a parachute; nonetheless, there will be some twists and turns in the opening and closing ceremonies.

I have enjoyed the debate thoroughly and hearing members’ passions for the games. We have made some real progress in 2012; we are in a good place. I recognise that today’s announcement on increasing the security budget will, of course, generate some concerns, but we have spelled out exactly why that is necessary. Together with the continued support of members of this Parliament, I have no doubt that we will deliver a memorable games, with a lasting and meaningful legacy for the people of Scotland.