A Nations and Regions Group (NRG) has been established to provide leadership and strategic direction in ensuring that the whole of the UK is engaged with and benefits from the 2012 Games. Local authorities are represented on the working groups which, in each nation and region, are developing a delivery plan to ensure that these opportunities are realised.
This has been one proposal for widening access to the 2012 Games that has been put forward within the Department in the context of the consultation that was launched on 19 July. We want to encourage the widest possible debate about how we might maximise all our valuable assets, while recognising that all proposals need to fit in with existing infrastructure and plans for the Games. But no decisions have been taken at this stage.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone) on 26 April 2006, Official Report, columns 1133-34W. Decisions on the future use and location of all of the temporary venues constructed for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will be made on a needs basis, in close consultation with the Home Country Sports Councils and UK Sport, closer to 2012.
The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will host group stages of the football competition in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Wales also has venues that could be used to provide facilities for pre-Games training and for the holding camps that a country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) and/or National Paralympic Committee (NPC) may choose to set up prior to the Games.
In order to assist NOCs and NPCs, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is putting together a ‘Pre-Games Training Camp Guide’ in which facilities in the UK that have been selected as providing a suitable training environment are listed by location and by sport.
Applications to have a facility listed in the Pre-Games Training Camp Guide can be made on the London 2012 website: www.london2012.com/trainingcamps. They will then be collated at regional level and a proposed list of facilities submitted to LOCOG for final selection. The guide will be distributed to NOCs and NPCs in July 2008.
The information is as follows.
(a) The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport plans to meet periodically with the Secretary of State for Wales to review progress towards maximising the benefits to Wales of the 2012 games. Additionally, as Sports Minister, I have met with Alun Pugh on a number of occasions.
(b) A Nations and Regions Group (NRG), has been established to provide leadership and strategic direction in ensuring that the whole of the UK is engaged and makes the most of the opportunities to benefit from the games in 2012. Each nation and region, including Wales, is represented on the NRG and is developing a delivery plan to ensure that it gains the maximum benefits from the games and its legacy.
The Welsh Steering Group for the London 2012 games has also been established to create a direct link with the work of the London 2012 organising committee, DCMS, and wider organisations in Wales. Officials from the Steering Group represent Welsh interests on the Nations and Regions Group.
We commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to produce an Olympic Games Impact Study (OGIS) to assess the net benefits of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 in social and economic terms to London and the UK. This study (published in December 2005) shows there are likely to be significant benefits for the UK.
Through the Nations and Regions Group we will work with regional development agencies and other key regional bodies to develop plans and strategies to maximise these opportunities.
The OGIS report can be accessed on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website at: www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/archive_2005/ogis
The Olympic Park legacy will include affordable housing, including a mix of social rented and intermediate housing (like shared ownership), as set out in local and regional planning policy documents. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will make a new planning application for elements of the Olympic Village located outside of Stratford City, at Clays Lane in January, and they will work with the Olympic Village development partner to determine the level and type of affordable housing.
There will also be legacy applications for housing on other areas of the Park, and the content of these will be discussed between relevant parties, including the ODA, London Development Agency, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and others. My Department will continue to work with Government colleagues to ensure that affordable housing of all kinds is included within this legacy.
We have established a Nations and Regions Group which draws together key players from each of the English regions and the devolved Administrations to ensure the whole of the UK is involved in and can maximise the opportunities of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Each region has established a working group as a focal point for planning for the Games. These working groups bring together key regional bodies such as Regional Development Agencies, Regional Sports Boards, Regional Cultural Consortia and local authorities to ensure effective joint working on preparations for the 2012 Games, including the recent ‘Be Part of 2012’ Roadshow which toured the UK during July, engaging local communities and businesses.
The London Development Agency (LDA), in consultation with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), is responsible for the assembly and remediation of the land for the Olympic Park site in Stratford.
Initial site investigation and desk-top research work, undertaken by the LDA in support of the Olympic and Legacy Planning Applications, identified some contamination within the footprint of the Olympic Park area. Site investigations are currently being carried out, in accordance with industry best practice, to identify the exact type and concentrations of contamination. The investigations are following principles set out in the Intrusive Investigation Method Statement approved by the London boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, the Environment Agency and British Waterways, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
The process of characterising the nature of ground conditions within the Olympic Park is ongoing and is not due for completion for many months. Although the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will be working closely with the LDA and ODA throughout the exercise, the reports will be commissioned by those bodies.
Security considerations have been written into design work at every stage of the plans and remain of the utmost importance. Though security was not a primary driver for the recent changes to the plans, all alterations that were made by the Olympic Delivery Authority were done so in consultation with the relevant Government agencies, including the Home Office, which leads on security issues in relation to the Games.