Motion to Take Note
My Lords, I have great pleasure in moving this Motion standing in my name. In doing so, I declare an interest: in the lead up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I chaired both the London Assembly and Metropolitan Police committees responsible for monitoring the Games. I also served on the Home Office Olympic Security Board. My focus in this debate will be on the specific legacy promises made when London won the bid to host the Games and not on any other consequence of the Games.
Before the Games started, the doom and gloom merchants had a field day. They predicted that London would lose the bid, the infrastructure would not be completed on time, the transport system would be chaotic and security would be a nightmare. They were wrong on all counts. Yes, there were a few hitches, but they were inevitable in a project of this size. The Games were a huge success and we should pay tribute to everyone who contributed to that success, from the brilliant athletes and volunteers to the wonderful police and military personnel. They all did our country proud.
We should also recognise the enormous contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Coe, who secured the Olympics for Britain, and who, together with the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, John Armitt and Sir David Higgins, proved that we are capable of putting on a show like no one else.
I would also like to pay tribute to the LOCOG and ODA staff, who worked so hard behind the scenes to make sure that everything ran very well. In particular, let me mention the Olympic security team at the Home Office. I can testify personally to the skill and dedication of this extraordinary band of people, who worked tirelessly to anticipate and deal with every conceivable security problem in order to keep us safe.
If the 2012 Games had consisted of nothing more than a sporting event lasting a few weeks, I could end on that very happy note. However, that is not the case. A major reason why London won the bid to host the Games was its promise of a lasting legacy. The Games cost around £9 billion, which would be unacceptably expensive if all we could show for it was six weeks of sport. So, if we wish to honour the promise of a legacy and secure the best possible value for our £9 billion, there remains some serious work to do.
London originally promised in the bid document that,
“the most enduring legacy of the Olympics will be the regeneration of an entire community for the direct benefit of everyone who lives there”.
It is also promised that the Olympic Park will provide local people with significant improvements in health and well-being, education, skills and training, job opportunities, cultural entitlements, housing, social integration and the environment. Those were bold promises, but will they be met? There has been some very good progress to date, but much of the legacy still hangs in the balance and urgent and sustained action is necessary to ensure that London does not fail.
My first area of concern is the sporting legacy for disabled people. LOCOG deserves particular praise for delivering the first fully integrated Games, with the Paralympics as much a part of the games as the Olympics. The result was the most successful Paralympic Games ever, which inspired large numbers of people and did much to raise the profile of disabled people.
However, to provide a legacy for children with disabilities who are being educated in mainstream schools, as most are, we need PE teachers to be appropriately trained, to know what specialist equipment is available and where to get it. These teachers do not currently receive this training automatically but are instead expected to undertake training voluntarily in their own time, which is quite extraordinary. The Government must change this system. They should also make funds available to schools to bring in outside coaches to help.
My second concern is grass roots sport. The Olympics were to be used to encourage more people, especially young people, to participate in sport. The Games have undoubtedly inspired many young people, but the challenge we have is to leverage that enthusiasm, particularly in our schools. The Government abandoned the unrealistic target of using the Games to inspire 1 million people to play more sport but more down-to-earth programmes have succeeded brilliantly. For example, the London Youth Games has helped to get more than 2,000 disabled young people into sport and large numbers of young people to qualify as sports officials.
Unfortunately, most of the sports funding to schools is targeted at secondary schools, where it does the least good. Targeting resources on primary schools would be much more effective as it would encourage young children. If children can find fun and enjoyment in physical activity at a young age, they are much more likely to take an interest in sport when they get older. This funding should also be ring-fenced so that schools cannot spend it on other things, as some currently do.
The other legacy issues I wish to highlight concern the promised benefits to the local communities neighbouring the Olympic Park. This side of east London is one of the most disadvantaged parts of the country. The people who live there were promised better homes, jobs and other amenities, but there are serious doubts about whether these promises will be met. Take housing, for instance. The Olympic bid document promised that up to 50% of the new housing in the park will be affordable homes for rent and sale. When Boris Johnson became Mayor of London he downgraded this to a target of 35% affordable housing, with a minimum of just 20% across the site. In Chobham Manor, the first of five new developments to be built in the park, the plans promise only 28% affordable housing, of which only 21% will be family homes, with the rest comprising small flats. This will miss the promise in the original bid document by more than half and is barely above the mayor’s minimum target.
Given the current difficulties in the property market, there will be pressure to dilute these targets, because developers can make much more money building small flats than building affordable family homes. However, this must be resisted. We must ensure that we do not end up with another Canary Wharf—an island of affluence in a sea of deprivation. The Mayor of London has responded to criticism by claiming that there will be more affordable homes compared with most developments in London and the host boroughs. However, this is disingenuous. The benchmark is the Olympic legacy promise, not other commercial developments.
Another important legacy promise to local communities concerns employment and training opportunities. If these promises are to be fulfilled, it is essential that more stringent measures are taken to ensure contractors provide jobs and training for local people. LOCOG set targets for 7% to 12% of its employees to be previously unemployed and for 15% to 20% to live in the host boroughs. Although these very unambitious targets were met, and exceeded in some cases, it was impossible to tell how many of the beneficiaries were genuine local residents because there was no system in place to verify residency. It is difficult to see how the original target of getting 70,000 previously unemployed people into employment will ever be met. Future contracts for all park venues should enshrine the sort of high standards already set in the park by John Lewis, which employs 950 local people, 250 of whom were previously long-term unemployed.
Local communities were promised the use of all sports venues in the park after the Games, and the mayor originally set a target of 90% community usage. However, he has not put any systems in place to ensure that this becomes a reality. The London Legacy Development Corporation is keen to encourage community usage but is under huge pressure also to avoid any public subsidy. Unless this issue is addressed, there is a high risk that community usage could be sacrificed for commercial profit. In July 2011, the London Assembly’s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee heard from numerous expert witnesses, all of whom said it would be virtually impossible for sports venues to be financially viable without public subsidy. This is an issue that requires open and public debate. The mayor should make 90% community access a precondition for all sporting venue operators.
The £9 billion spent on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was never intended to provide only a few weeks of sport. It was also to be a long-term investment and the financial bedrock of a lasting legacy. The fate of this legacy is at the mercy of the Mayor of London. He is free to take the easiest option, which would mean giving in to private developers without ensuring that local people benefit from homes and jobs. The result would be a very poor return on our £9 billion investment, and the Government have a duty not to let this happen.
The 2012 Games were a brilliant achievement, but we cannot rest on our laurels. We must constantly monitor progress and hold those responsible to account to ensure that the legacy matches the achievement. London promised a real and long-term legacy. When that has been delivered, we will have achieved a legacy as good as the Games. I beg to move.
My Lords, it is an honour to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, who introduced this debate. We thank her for securing this time and pay tribute to the business managers for securing additional time for the debate. I am acutely conscious than many Members, including myself, have eagerly awaited the contributions of those who were directly involved in building the legacy which we now celebrate. I refer to the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, the noble Baroness, Lady Ford, the noble Lord, Lord Hall, chairman of the Cultural Olympiad, the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, and, of course, my noble friend Lord Deighton, who is to make his maiden speech. I know that my noble friend Lord Coe, to whom tribute has rightly been paid, would dearly have wanted to be here for this debate as well.
I will focus on one particular area and pose a question. We have all accepted that the Olympic and Paralympic Games were an unparalleled success. They are something of which this nation can rightly be proud. We need to cherish the legacy. My question concerns one part of that legacy, the Olympic Truce. It too ought to be nurtured, cherished and built upon in the future. In the past, the Olympic Truce has been a rather symbolic occasion. It is a United Nations resolution of the General Assembly, but from the outset, it was made clear that we wanted the UN resolution to be taken seriously at London 2012. The Prime Minister, my right honourable friend David Cameron, made that abundantly clear when he said in the House of Commons on 29 June 2011 that he regarded the Olympic Truce as a “historic opportunity” for this nation. When it was proposed at the United Nations General Assembly on 17 October 2011, it was an incredible achievement. Normally, it is difficult to get a great number of countries to sign up, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK mission to the United Nations in New York secured an incredible result, worthy of a gold medal and certainly a world record, in getting every single one of 193 member states of the United Nations not only to sign the resolution but to co-sponsor it.
What a platform, and it was something which the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon regarded as a historic moment. No wonder my noble friend Lord Coe, when he was proposing the resolution to the UN General Assembly on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, said:
“It has never been more important to support this General Assembly resolution by actions, not just through words”.
Those actions came. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office established a cross-departmental steering group for the Olympic Truce, which engaged our embassies, missions and consulates overseas and a wide range of NGOs and charities in the UK in promoting it. The UK Government led by example by establishing and promoting International Inspiration, a wonderful programme developed in partnership with UNICEF and the IOC, which has reached more than 12 million young people around the world in 20 different countries. LOCOG launched the Get Set Global education resource, which was sent out to tens of thousands of schools in this country and was made available on the internet abroad. Giving Is Winning, the partnership which LOCOG and the IOC organised with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, ensured that sports equipment and sports medical supplies from London were not wasted, but went to refugee camps around the world, to give people some of the benefit of the Games which we had enjoyed here.
Through the FCO, 50 events were hosted by diplomatic missions around the world on the theme of the Olympic Truce, including an event at Lancaster House, hosted by the Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham and attended by 130 diplomats from around the world. The peace wall, which was erected outside the athletes’ village at the Olympic park, was signed by every single athlete and official to declare their support for bringing the Olympic Truce into reality. So successful was that Olympic peace wall initiative that it ran out of space and I think other replacements had to be brought in. A Facebook group on the London 2012 Olympic Truce attracted 10,000 members in the first few days, showing the appetite to bring to reality that desire for the Olympic Truce.
During the Olympic Games, the Prime Minister hosted a hunger summit in Downing Street jointly with Vice-President Michel Tener of Brazil, declaring that millions of children in the world’s poorest countries must benefit from the legacy of the London Olympics. A specific pledge was made by the Prime Minister to reduce hunger and malnutrition for 20 million children before the Rio Games in 2016. This was endorsed in a joint declaration with the Russian Foreign Minister by our Foreign Secretary, William Hague, on 28 May, when they declared a joint commitment to work together to implement the Olympic Truce ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
On the opening day of the Games, 27 July, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations held a joint press conference at which they urged the world to adhere to what they had committed to in the Olympic Truce resolution of the United Nations. Who can forget that incredible opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, which was launched with a video message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations? He said:
“The United Nations and the Olympic Movement bring countries together. We believe in peace. That is why we proclaim an Olympic Truce. I call on warring parties everywhere to lay down their weapons during the Games. One day of peace can lead to a week of peace, a month of peace, and eventually an end to war”.
The Olympic Truce was not just part of the ancient Olympic Games, it was the entire point of the ancient Olympic Games. I believe that the Olympic Truce can again be a catalyst for peace around the world. I believe that the bar has been raised significantly in London 2012, and that is something of which we can be proud, but it behoves all of us who treasure that dream to work tirelessly to ensure that its legacy is not diminished, to ensure that we hand to future hosts a legacy measured not only in medals won and records broken but in lives saved and hope restored: a legacy which is truly more than gold.
My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, for introducing this important debate. I register my previous interest as chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company. I also pay tribute to the noble Baroness’s work on the London Assembly, where she led the scrutiny of the project with great distinction from day one. I am also greatly looking forward to hearing the maiden speech from the noble Lord, Lord Deighton. I had the pleasure of working with him in his most recent capacity as chief executive of LOCOG, and I know that he brings many exceptional qualities to this House.
The London Games were the first Games to be won explicitly on legacy. Whether that legacy was about inspiring a generation or transforming east London, the ambition was simply huge. Never before has a host city promised so much but, as we know, London delivered, and delivered big time, over the course of the most remarkable summer of sport that most of us will ever experience. One important legacy that we must acknowledge is the strong feeling—this is strange for us, of course—that we are all a nation of achievers now. Building complicated infrastructure ahead of time and under budget? That is us. Was it us winning an unprecedented haul of medals in spectacular fashion? Was it us staging an immaculate Olympic and Paralympic Games in a way that united the nation in pride and admiration, and in a capital city where public transport became a byword for efficiency? Yes, us. We achieved all that and so much more. We must never lose that great pride, admiration and real national self-confidence that the Games sprinkled on all of us. Let us hold on to that; it is very important.
We must never forget that a very important aspect of that success is the legacy of political partnership which characterised the project. We achieved all that over the summer partly because this great project was, from the outset, a model of cross-party support. It is often claimed that sport transcends politics, and the Olympic project demonstrated that very clearly. One of the most valuable things to emerge from this experience would be a commitment from us all, but particularly from our most senior politicians, that some issues require putting politics aside and a cross-party approach.
National infrastructure is one such area, where, if the Olympics tell us anything, it is that we can be the envy of the world when it comes to construction excellence and complex project management. The ODA demonstrated that. The execution of large projects is made immeasurably easier when there is political agreement and support underpinning them. The same goes for planning. The Olympic park in both Games mode and legacy mode was subject to some of the most complex planning applications ever seen in London and arguably in the UK and these were not without contention, as the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, hinted. But the various national and local authorities and communities came together to deliver the quickest and most efficient decisions I have seen in 30 years of working in the planning system. A worthy legacy would surely be to understand how this was accomplished and to build on this experience when over the next few years we come to renew important infrastructure, such as our main airports and power stations.
The legacy of the Olympics was about much more than physical infrastructure. In this debate, I think many noble Lords will draw attention to the sporting legacy, the economic legacy, the arts and cultural legacy and so on but for the last four years my passion has been the legacy of the Olympic park itself and its surrounding area. It is this aspect of which I am most proud and which, if noble Lords will permit me, I will draw on for a moment or two.
When the Government and the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone promised in 2005 that the Games would transform the East End it was a massive ambition because, notwithstanding the advantages of location in terms of proximity to the City and to central London, the four boroughs immediately surrounding the park remained the most deprived in London—indeed, some of the most deprived in the United Kingdom. The big challenge was to develop a bespoke site capable of hosting the largest and most complex sporting event in the world in such a way that it could then be capable of immediate transformation into a new set of neighbourhoods, which would in turn integrate into the existing communities and assist in raising the level of prosperity and achievement across all of those communities.
That sounds straightforward when you say it quickly but in 30 years of working on large, complex brownfield sites I have never experienced anything so professionally challenging, although ultimately rewarding. As the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, has said, it is to the great credit of the ODA, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and the OPLC that today, a mere two months after the Games have finished, 500 workers are active on the site and that transformation from Games time to legacy time is well under way. Not only did millions of visitors experience a beautiful park in Games time exceptionally fit for purpose, but the legacy planning application for the post-Games park was approved well before the Games started, allowing this immediate transformation to take place.
The commercial planning was well under way also. The athletes’ village was sold prior to the Games to provide both affordable and market housing and is currently being retrofitted into apartments and family homes. The first are due for completion in 2013. The noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, mentioned Chobham Manor but the whole aquatic centre, the velodrome with its cycle circuit, the splendid copper box, the hockey centre and tennis facilities are all currently being reconfigured for legacy uses and all with new owners or tenants in place. I understand that the massive broadcast centre, a million square feet of commercial space, is about to be let and the magnificent parklands are being transformed as I speak.
The Mayor of London decided to take over the project personally this year and he has still to finalise a range of uses for the mighty Olympic stadium, which we all came to adore during the Games. One thing we do know from the Games is that we have a new national athletics stadium, replete with the most amazing memories and a worthy successor to Crystal Palace as our national venue. That was always the plan. Its status has been cemented by the fact that the 2017 World Championships will be held there.
If other sporting and economic uses can sit alongside athletics in that stadium, so much the better. When I began this process in 2009, that was my sole objective. It is for the Mayor of London now to deliver this. The ultimate success of the Olympic Park, due to re-open on 27 July 2013 as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will not be known for certain for some years. The noble Baroness is quite right: we must continue to hold to the fire the toes of those responsible so that they keep their Olympic promises, but I am as confident as I can be that the foundations for that legacy have been solidly built.
My Lords, this is a welcome debate and I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, for securing it. Like others, I look forward enormously to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Deighton. The Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer were a wonderful antidote to the cynicism which bedevils too much of our public life. Quite apart from the brilliant organisation and the extraordinary athletic achievements, we discovered in Britain that we rather liked each other. We enjoyed each other’s company and felt better for speaking with strangers. We discovered that smiles and laughter were contagious. It was an Olympics of the mind and spirit as well as of the body, and it would be tragic if we thought it was simply an interlude in our national life rather than entirely typical of our character.
One area in which the London Olympics and Paralympics were hugely innovative could be very easily overlooked and forgotten. I refer to the unprecedented and hugely successful provision of multifaith chaplaincy services and the legacy that has been created by them. Back in 2007, the Church of England appointed a full-time Olympic co-ordinator to prepare for the Games. Canon Duncan Green got the job, and it was an inspired appointment. Although some involved with planning the Games initially wondered what on earth a clergyman could do for them, Duncan was soon seconded to LOCOG, the organising committee, as its faith adviser. He worked full-time from its headquarters, heading the faith engagement of the organisation. He set up a reference group involving all nine world faiths within the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Duncan and that interfaith group advised from the beginning on the policies that were developed on food, uniform, security, ticketing and chaplaincy.
LOCOG soon discovered that faith provision was not simply to do with providing chapels and prayer spaces on the campus; it permeated the whole of life. What you eat, what you wear and how you feel safe are faith-sensitive. In 2010, Duncan was appointed head of multifaith chaplaincy services. All this was ground-breaking. In the past, the Olympic Games simply provided chaplaincy provision during the Games themselves for athletes and officials only. This time, someone was working with others from all the world faiths for five years in preparation. The care which athletes and officials experienced in London was not simply to do with the cheery welcome; they recognised the meticulous detail that went into the planning, and that is true hospitality.
During the Games, there were three chaplaincy teams: one for athletes and officials; another for press and media; and a further team for staff and volunteers, with 193 chaplains of different faith traditions being placed across all the Olympic venues. Within the Olympic athletic village, at its multifaith centre, different services were provided by the five major faiths every day, and almost 10,000 attendances were recorded. The chaplaincy provided a 24-hour critical incident response and dealt with a major road accident, deaths and numerous occasions when athletes, staff and volunteers were distressed. The chaplaincy teams were very busy indeed, and the centres had a constant stream of people through them.
The Olympic Games were held in Ramadan. That could have been a challenge but special provision was made. The chaplaincy team was extremely well received by the International Olympic Committee. There was appreciation for the way in which the Church of England had planned in advance and for the way in which it had sought to ensure that people of every faith tradition were catered for. The Church of England thinking ahead—the age of miracles is not over.
What have we learnt and what is the legacy? First, a host church or faith tradition open to others is needed. Too much of the discussion about the establishment of the Church of England concentrates on the existence of these Benches in Parliament, yet establishment has proved to be a rather elastic concept. It is not to do with exclusive privilege but kindles an expectation that we should enable people of faith to participate fully in our corporate national life, which is a vocation the Church of England recognises.
Secondly, this could be done only because good relationships between the different faiths already exist in the UK. Those relationships are probably more trusting than almost anywhere else in western Europe, and that trust has grown still further as a result of the Olympics. That is a legacy for this nation of great importance. Further, it has set a benchmark for multifaith chaplaincy services at other major national events. It will not be a one-off.
Thirdly, it has raised within the churches and faith communities the need for better ministry to sportspeople and those who surround them. The spiritual and emotional needs of those performing at such astonishingly demanding levels are very considerable. They have not always been met before. What was unmistakable to any spectator or observer of the Olympic Games was the prevalence of athletes publicly demonstrating or witnessing to the faith they held. Perhaps I had never been alive to it in previous Games, but I do not recall anything like so many athletes crossing themselves or falling to their knees to pray as there were during the London Olympics. It seemed to be the only thing which some of the commentators passed over without mentioning. However, there was one occasion when Usain Bolt, as your Lordships might recall, fell to his knees in prayer after a race, and we were told that he was having a moment to himself. I doubt that was entirely accurate.
What I appreciated was the freedom with which athletes could be themselves in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was a community of nations, diverse in faith and language, culture and tradition, yet it was a single human community. If the spirit evident in the Games and in the relationships between the world faiths expressed within our chaplaincy services could be replicated everywhere in the world, the legacy of peace and reconciliation from the London Olympics would be astonishing.
My Lords, I would like to thank all noble Lords and the staff of this House for their kind welcome. I am particularly grateful to those who helped with my introduction last week. It was a special occasion for me, my family and friends. I thank the Doorkeepers, the attendants and the police on the parliamentary estate, who have also made starting here so much easier. It is a privilege to become a Member of your Lordships’ House and to speak today on the topic of my work—or really my life—for the past seven years: the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games of London 2012.
Since the formation of the bid company in 2003, through to the culmination of the wonderful Games this summer, Members of this House have played a crucial role. I refer to my noble friend Lord Coe—my chairman at the organising committee—and my noble friend Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association. The noble Baroness, Lady Ford, is the chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which was crucial in getting the World Athletics Championships here for 2017—a really tangible legacy. I mention also the noble Baroness, Lady Campbell, whose stewardship of UK Sport has delivered our greatest teams ever, both in the Paralympics and the Olympics, the noble Lord, Lord Hall, for overseeing our Cultural Olympiad; and, of course, the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, the deputy chair of our athletes’ committee, who is as effective in the boardroom as she was on the track.
London 2012 benefited enormously from the unwavering cross-party support of this House. This support did not, of course, preclude constructive scrutiny. It helped us to identify genuine public concerns and I would like to think that we adapted our plans accordingly, right through those seven years.
In this respect, I particularly note the contributions of my noble friends Lord Addington, Lady Doocey, Lord Glentoran, Lord Clement-Jones, Lord Bates, Lord Bell, the noble Lords, Lord Hall, Lord Mawson, Lord Rogers, Lord Wood and Lord Knight, and the noble Baroness, Lady Billingham, alongside all those who worked very hard for the Olympic Games Act 2006 to be granted Royal Assent. That enabled us to get out of the blocks very fast and get on with our work, which, when you have only got seven years and an immovable deadline, is critical support.
I joined my noble friend Lord Coe as chief executive of the organising committee, just after the bid was won, after a career in the finance industry. I had worked for more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs, in both client-facing and management roles. I left in 2005 as the chief operating officer of the business in Europe.
My time at that firm taught me about leadership in the most demanding environments. I discovered the value of working with talented people and the benefits of teamwork; that there is nothing worse than an unhappy client; the importance of communicating clear goals; and the need to execute against these goals day in and day out to the highest standards. It is that experience which has guided my work at London 2012, where I have also enjoyed the unstinting support and wise guidance of my noble friend Lord Coe, with whom I shared a trust and friendship which enabled us to meet the project’s many and diverse challenges. It is wonderful news for the Olympic movement in this country that my noble friend Lord Coe has just assumed the chair of the British Olympic Association. He is one of the most highly respected global sports figures, and will enhance British representation in international sport.
It is only right, at this point, that I also pay tribute to my other partner, in this case of 27 years, my wife Alison, without whose support and energy I would be half the man I am today—indeed, “half” is probably flattering my innate contribution.
During the 2012 project, I have witnessed the very best of British expertise, creativity, ingenuity, planning and delivery. I have seen the passion and generosity of spirit of the British people, and have been fortunate to work alongside exceptionally talented people. We staged an event that delivered more than £8 billion of contracts to UK businesses, created thousands of jobs, engaged millions of people and saw 90% of the British population tune in, patriotically supporting both our athletes and our volunteers. This was an event which inspired a generation. “Inspire a generation” was our motto; it is our contribution to the legacy—not just in this country, but really right around the world. It has changed attitudes to London, it has changed attitudes to the UK and it has changed attitudes to disability. This was a global event, delivered by Britain, that the world is still talking about.
Now our attention turns, as it should, to ensuring that the inspirational power of the games is not lost, but is used to create lasting change. Our focus on regenerating the East End of London has left a transformed landscape. The foundations have already been laid to continue to support elite sport, to strengthen grassroots sport, to open up disability sport and to drive more sport through our schools and clubs. Millions of people across the UK were inspired to participate in the Games; my noble friend Lady Benjamin will talk about her work in diversity and inclusion. More than 2 million school children learnt about the Olympic and Paralympic values; more than 19 million attendances were recorded during the London 2012 Festival; around 10 million people were involved in the London 2012 Inspire programme; and more than a quarter of a million schoolchildren went to the Games for free. And who can forget our 70,000 Games makers; volunteers recruited from across the UK, from all ages, communities and faiths? Their energy, dedication and enthusiasm shine a light on the power of volunteering which we can build on.
The success of the London Games is a powerful advert for the capabilities of UK plc. The Games showcased British design, construction, event management and hospitality. I know that the Government have set strong new business targets on the back of the Games to secure an economic legacy worth around £13 billion over four years. We must sprinkle our Olympic stardust across the UK economy.
A key business legacy from London 2012 is the demonstrated strength and vitality of the partnership between our public and private sectors. We have great businesses in this country and we also have great government at all levels. At the organising committee, we successfully integrated these capabilities and we facilitated strong partnerships that flourished. This experience is going to be central to my approach in my new role as a Treasury Minister, building on the excellent work of my noble friend, Lord Sassoon, driving the delivery of infrastructure projects in order to assure our international competitiveness.
Once again, I thank noble Lords for their welcome and their support. I look forward to contributing to this debate in future, and to many more for years to come.
My Lords, it gives me great pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, and welcome him to your Lordships’ House. The Games were incredible and I, for one, am very proud and a little relieved that after 10 years of saying these would be the best Paralympic Games ever, the noble Lord led the team that made it happen, so this is a very personal thank you. And, of course, the Olympics were pretty good too.
It could be easy to forget that the noble Lord had an extremely successful business career before the Games. He did not always run an OCOG, although at times I am sure that it felt like it. The success of the Games was in no small part due to his vision, dedication and hard work. I am sure that I speak for all when I say that we look forward to the future contributions of the noble Lord, Lord Deighton.
I also thank the noble Lady, Baroness Doocey, for tabling this debate. I declare an interest in that I sat on several committees of LOCOG. I add my congratulations to all members of Team GB, the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, Paralympics GB, the Games makers, and our armed services.
I have been privileged to witness the evolution of the Paralympic movement, from a time when no one knew what it was, to that Jonnie Peacock moment when he silenced 82,000 people merely by holding his finger to his lips.
The Games on their own were never going to change the world and it is not fair to expect that. I believed that they could provide a moment that would open the public’s eyes to possibilities for disabled people and a moment where, at a basic level, the public would stop talking about the “real”, the “normal” or the “proper” Games when they meant the Olympics and “the other Olympics” when they really meant the Paralympics. Language is the dress of thought, and inclusion is more than putting a few Paralympic images on a poster or in a line-up
Equality is not a tick-box exercise. There has to be substance beneath it. LOCOG proved that time and time again. It celebrated the similarities between the Games and, where appropriate, the differences. Never once in all my time involved in these Games did I feel like a second-class citizen in sport. I cannot say that that has always been the case.
At a time when the figures for hate crimes against disabled people are high, we have to do something differently. Tim Hollingsworth, the chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, talks not about legacy but about building momentum. He said, “If before the Games we had a mountain to climb in terms of attitudes, we are now on the foothills. Much of that will be about non-disabled people engaging in the way that they did for 10 days in the summer”.
The English Federation of Disability Sport, of which I am president, has published a legacy survey, which found that the Paralympics had a significant impact on perceptions of disability. Eight out of 10 non-disabled people said that they were now interested in watching disabled people play sport and eight out of 10 disabled people considered taking part in more sport or exercise. Have the Paralympics changed the lives of disabled people? Someone I met after the Games said to me that the Paralympics made him realise that disabled people were humans too.
In looking towards the future, I warmly welcome the fact that Sport England will require national governing bodies to set targets for the number of disabled people taking part in physical activity. This is the first time that that will happen. I would like to ask the Minister what action will be taken against those bodies which do not meet the targets and do not follow on from the wonderful Paralympics. Will he reassure me that the national governing bodies will be encouraged to access appropriate expertise from other disability organisations to help them succeed?
Another key part is the PE curriculum in school, which must be inclusive and appropriate for disabled children. The development of physical literacy at an early age helps support other learning. What plans are there to ensure that disabled children are not excluded from PE and just sent to the library because it is easier, which was what happened when I was at school? While participation is important, disabled people can also be coaches, administrators and officials, and I should like to know what plans there are to ensure that there is wide access in these areas and that we do not concentrate only on participation.
The legacy is more than sport and physical activity. On a personal level, very recently, I had difficulty getting off a train. I had to sit on the floor, by the toilet, and push my chair off the steps before I shuffled to the door to transfer off. Do we really need to wait until 2020 to have accessible transport? If we can deliver an amazing Games, we can do other big projects too. Recently, I was invited to a dinner where I had to use the back entrance to get in. When I wanted to use the bathroom, it took several minutes to find a ramp and, while I was in the bathroom, it was taken away and I could not get back down the steps—not quite inclusion.
I have received lots of e-mails from people who are passionate about the Games. Recently, I received one from a father who has three children, one of whom has Down’s syndrome. The father was told that his son would never walk or talk but he does. The family were enthused by the Games and decided that they wanted their son to be active. One local club would not allow him to join, saying that he would hold the other children back. There was no discussion of how his impairment would affect the group or what extra help might be needed. It was just “no”. When he finally joined a group, after one session his family were told that, as he had not made enough progress, he would not be welcomed back. I come from a world of elite sport and I do not know any performance director who is that tough over one training session. The little boy who I am talking about is just five years old. We can do better than that.
The noble Lord, Lord Coe, said in the Paralympics commemorative programme:
“We want the athletes and everyone involved in these Games to inspire disabled and non-disabled young people from all backgrounds to have the same access and opportunities to fulfil their potential”.
We can do that but, as the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, has said, it will take a lot of hard work.
Finally, on a positive note, at the Games I saw a little girl aged about five who was a double above-knee amputee, wearing prosthetic legs. Her mum told me that for the first time she was wearing shorts because she was proud to be there. It is for her, and others like her, that we must not forget this summer of sport. In the same way that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, respect for disabled people, celebrating what disabled people can do and inclusion, is not just for the Paralympics.
My Lords, I start by congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, on his first-class speech; he will be an enormous asset to this House and it was very smart of the Government to snap him up.
In thanking the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, for making today’s debate possible, and in responding to the challenge implicit in the title of the debate, I would like to compare and contrast the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games with the soon-to-be-reported-upon Leveson inquiry. For me, these two seemingly disparate and contradictory events perfectly symbolise the two Britains that seem available to us.
The Leveson inquiry laid bare a country and a society being lead down the road that—far from benefitting “the many and not the few”, as politicians from all parties are fond of claiming—was principally designed to line the pockets and enhance the clout of the already entitled, at the expense of a far more deserving majority: those to whom, on occasions such as this, we in this Chamber have the opportunity to add our support.
In the past year, what has emerged is that a whole mass of the electorate has been, for some considerable time, thoroughly misrepresented in a manner that has been as divisive as it has been damaging. On what do I base that assertion? Rather like the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Norwich, I base it largely on the experience of watching and visiting our amazingly inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games. From the moment the Olympic flame touched down on these islands, with the extraordinary and—let us admit it—quite unexpected levels of enthusiasm that it generated, it became impossible to even brush up against those thousands of Olympic volunteers without being struck by the innate politeness, consideration, efficiency and effectiveness of swathes of our countrymen and countrywomen. Can this possibly be the same nation that has, for so long, been reflected or refracted, day in and day out, in many of our sensation-seeking, voyeuristic, celebrity-obsessed tabloid newspapers to a degree that, as the columnist Simon Jenkins recently put it, “The media has gone collectively tabloid”?
When I was young, there were the daily and the Sunday newspapers and then there were weekly entertainments, such as Reveille and Tit-Bits. Nobody ever confused the two and the editor of Reveille was very unlikely ever to be offered the editorship of a genuine newspaper. Sadly, in some cases, they have now become all but indistinguishable. In effect, we have Tit-Bits opining on Europe, and Reveille telling us to get the economy back on track. If you step back for one single moment, you begin to see how absolutely daft we have allowed ourselves to become.
This is a world in which words get distorted and mangled to a point at which they lose all meaning—words such as “fair”, “respect”, “kindness”, “sacrifice” and “value”. This is a world in which, once money is involved, shame appears to have ceased to be any kind of brake on bad behaviour. Against that, did the performance of a single Olympian or Paralympian in any way shame or embarrass anybody? I would be very surprised if that were the case. At a cost of around 80 pence for each taxpayer, the British Olympic team has to rank as a remarkably good investment. Add a further £320 each for the cost of our once-in-a-lifetime Olympics and the medals, the pleasure and the pride generated represent, in my judgment, an unparalleled investment in our own future.
For anyone of my age who had begun to believe that the best of the qualities to which I have previously referred had all but died out with our parents’ generation, our Olympic summer was nothing short of a revelation. Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Games, famously said that, for him, the Olympics was all about taking part and doing the best you possibly can in fair competition with other athletes from across the world. It has been my dream to take that notion one stage further and to make it even more real. I have long believed that there should be a fourth plinth at each victory ceremony reserved for the athlete who, in each discipline, has exceeded their personal best by the greatest margin. Life does not offer any of us the opportunity to do more than our best and I can think of no better way of driving that point home than by celebrating those who have achieved exactly that. I believe they are entitled to their own medal, which might, in turn, prove an intelligent way to begin to unhook ourselves from our present slightly juvenile conception of success.
To my way of thinking, the response to the Queen’s Jubilee—that public outpouring of affection that preceded the miracle of the London Olympics—makes it very clear that we have reached a watershed in deciding the type of nation that we want to be and the type of nation that we wish to be seen to be. As I mentioned in a speech in your Lordships’ House a couple of weeks ago, I found the sense of catharsis generated by the Prime Minister’s handling of the Bloody Sunday and, more recently, the Hillsborough apologies, to be absolutely profound. Surely, the response to those announcements should be sufficient to encourage politicians of all parties to believe that there are very real alternatives to the ugly and divisive world to which we have all become accustomed. Encouraged by the spirit of the London Olympics, and buttressed by Lord Justice Leveson’s forensic investigation, I would like to believe that we are beginning the process of recovering a sense of common purpose and, with it, an altogether more optimistic vision of our future.
Nothing is likely to change without politicians and sections of the press making it clear that they, every bit as much as us, want to be part of the optimistic and responsible Britain that we caught a brief glimpse of this summer. Achieving that places an inescapable burden on the Prime Minister to show a seriousness of leadership and intent when Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations are eventually published. Will the Prime Minister hold true to his promise that we must find, in his words, an entirely new system of holding the press to account? As he made clear in giving evidence before the Leveson inquiry, we must substitute independent regulation, underpinned by statute—without which its independence cannot possibly be guaranteed—for self-regulation. I hope that on this occasion he and the entire political class will not lose their nerve and that the spirit of Britain that we were briefly privileged to enjoy in August and September could become the day-to-day reality of all our lives. That for me would be a legacy absolutely beyond price.
My Lords, I join in congratulating my noble friend Lady Doocey. I also congratulate my noble friend Lord Deighton on a wonderful maiden speech and, of course, on a wonderful Olympics. I intend to concentrate today on the cultural legacy of our wonderful Olympics and Paralympics. Underpinning London’s bid for the 2012 Games, and one of the main reasons why it won, was a vision for a Cultural Olympiad, a festival celebrating the diversity and richness of culture in London, the UK and around the world, which will leave a lasting cultural legacy. What is more, the Cultural Olympiad could be held across the whole country, not just in the Olympic city, and encompass thousands of local and regional events as part of our nationwide celebration.
We Liberal Democrats wholeheartedly endorsed this idea, and I made speeches congratulating the Government of the time on their vision, but I am afraid that I also expressed doubts about funding levels and organisational structures. I am so glad today that I have to eat those words. The Cultural Olympiad was a triumph—and here I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, who so brilliantly chaired the board, and Ruth Mackenzie, its director. But I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Coe, on not interfering with Danny Boyle. Who can forget that opening ceremony? It was a beautiful, brilliant spectacle which was complex and self-deprecating in its narrative—although not in its execution—as well as deeply humorous. Banished forever is Colonel Blimp and his stiff upper lip; now we have our monarch jumping from a helicopter and our pre-eminent conductor performing with Mr Bean.
As well as a celebration of the entity that is the United Kingdom, this was a showcase for our great creative industries. James Bond was, first, the product of writer Ian Fleming’s creativity, and then of film makers, actors, special effects creators, costume and set designers, and those who make the costumes and sets. Finally, in a dazzling tangle of fiction and fact and fiction, the fictional spy gets to meet the real Queen and her corgis. It celebrated children’s literature, music, television, art, and how art and design come together in such a wonderful creation as the cauldron. And centre stage, literally, was Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web.
The ceremony was shot through with recognition of our creative accomplishments, and was a huge one in its very self, and it managed to involve all of us, being performed by volunteers from across the nation and being watched on television by millions of the nation, and together. For the Olympiad was a unifying experience. At 12 minutes past eight on 27 July, almost 3 million people across the United Kingdom rang bells to celebrate the first day of the Games—hand bells, bicycle bells, doorbells, Big Ben, the bells of the UK Parliaments. Turner prize-winning artist, Martin Creed, got everyone involved, not just as an audience but as an integral part of a creative vision. The Olympiad was an inclusive experience. Who can forget at the opening ceremony the Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children, singing and signing the national anthem?
We are here to talk about legacy. We must ensure that the innovative new partnerships that creators forged continue. We must ensure that the estimated 10 million people who have been inspired to take part in more cultural activities can and do. We must ensure that the young and ethnic minorities who particularly appreciated the Olympiad continue to enjoy culture. But the most important thing of all is to ensure that we continue to create the creators, and in this area we face a problem. The Next Gen. report published last year pointed out that the way in which ICT is being taught in schools was too narrow and not providing the appropriate skills or aspirations to feed into the creative industries. The good news is that the coalition Government listened and a draft programme of study for ICT, which will include a computer programming option, has been developed. Alongside this, there has been significant movement towards making computer science a GCSE subject. Does my noble friend the Minister not agree that the logical next step is the inclusion of computer science in the English baccalaureate as part of the science strand? But however central the understanding of technology has become to the creative industries, they are still underpinned by creativity itself, and Darren Henley’s review of cultural education is another crucial element in tackling the skills deficit. The Government’s response to the review, published last February, says:
“We set out below those issues that we will address immediately … A National Plan for Cultural Education”.
It is November, and “immediately” has still not happened. So when is the promised national plan to be published?
Another disappointment is the lack of a sixth strand to the EBacc to cover the creative subjects. It is argued that there is plenty of room in the curriculum for these to be pursued, but it is about perception. As Grayson Perry said last weekend:
“If arts subjects aren’t included in the Ebacc, schools won’t stop doing them overnight. But there will be a corrosive process, they will be gradually eroded … By default, resources won’t go into them. With the best will in the world, schools will end up treating arts subjects differently”.
When resources are scarce, the head teacher is going to employ a geography teacher, or another teacher from one of the EBacc subjects, over one for art and design. And you know who will get the art and design teacher? It will be those being privately educated.
For us to continue to excel in the creative industries, we must place creative subjects at the heart of our education system, but action must be taken by the creative world as well as politicians to ensure that creative subjects do not become second-class subjects. Dame Tessa Jowell, to whom I would also like to pay tribute, said back in May 2008 that there will be,
“more to the Cultural Olympiad than the ceremonies, important though they are. More than the live concerts across the country, fun though they will be. It will be the beginning of something much more ambitious”.
Let us ensure that this is the case.
My Lords, the public judgment on the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was foremost a story about the remarkable achievements of our athletes. The Olympic board, which had oversight over every aspect of the Games, Olympic and Paralympic alike, numbered just four original members: the Secretary of State, the mayor, my noble friend Lord Coe as chair of LOCOG and myself as chair of the British Olympic Association. At LOCOG we were very fortunate to have the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, deliver Games organisation to a gold medal standard, and we welcome him to your Lordships’ House after an outstanding maiden speech.
For my part, I was supported strongly by my chief executive Andy Hunt and an outstanding team at the British Olympic Association. To me, the Games was above all about the athletes; every decision—from the tough, consistent, no-compromise position that we took against doping in sport to the need to secure long-term funding for the sportsmen and women that the British Olympic Association represents—was about the athletes. I have every confidence that my noble friend Lord Coe will be a major asset in taking that work forward.
I never predicted medal targets—an activity which should be left to the bookies—but I sought to ensure with my colleagues at the British Olympic Association that every athlete could be supported to the ultimate degree Puttham in other words, to deliver, as the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, rightly said, their personal bests. If that was achieved, the medal targets would look after themselves. The reputation set by Team GB on and off the field of play was exemplary and has been reviewed as a benchmark for sport in this country. The performance of the British Olympic Association’s 750 support staff within the delegation was outstanding and an excellent example of how over 50 organisations can come together as one team aligned behind a common mission to deliver high-performance sport, medals and a suite of personal bests.
It was a remarkable summer. The atmosphere in the Olympic park was inspirational. This atmosphere extended not just across London but across the country. During the summer of 2012 the United Kingdom became the Olympic park. Team GB became the driving force behind the success of the Games. The athletes of the world raised the stakes. Across the Olympic and Paralympic Games, 117 Olympic records were broken and 250 world records set. From our perspective we have never seen any British sporting success like this in our lifetime. As important as the success of our Olympians and Paralympians is, it is vital now—as the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, has reminded us through this debate—to turn inspiration into participation.
Girl power was a key feature of Team 2012. Our women athletes led the way. Their energy, expertise and enthusiasm must now be translated into the involvement of more women at all levels of sports administration. It escaped nobody’s attention that the success of the women at the Olympic Games—boosted by 11 British gold medals—has led to calls for changes to boost women’s sport and bring to an end sports clubs that still deny women equal membership rights. I am in favour of removing the exemption to the Equality Act which permits discrimination against women in this context. The Royal and Ancient, I regret, is a classic example, for golf is now—after the London Games—an Olympic sport. Equality of opportunity should be a no-brainer for any true devotee of sport. The absence of women from the top table of so many national and international federations of sport would, regrettably, suggest otherwise.
Education’s rightful place should be at the epicentre of the Olympic sports legacy. We need a revolution, on the back of a successful Games, in the delivery of. school sport. Every primary school needs dedicated physical education delivered to national curriculum standard; provided by well-trained, focused individuals; and supported by a vibrant, accessible and sustainable interschool sports programme which is, in turn, supported and linked into the national governing body competition calendars.
How should we do this? We need a review of initial training for specialist physical education teachers to establish quality physical education, which all our children and young people—both able bodied and disabled—need and deserve. Links should be established between all schools, both primary and secondary, and all sport and recreation clubs in their catchment areas. We should have a comprehensive audit of all our sports facilities and every one of them should be part of a concerted programme to ensure that they are used and do not lie idle for so much of the year. Our playing fields are needed and must be protected.
The delivery of quality training programmes for primary school physical education teachers is patchy at best. More than 60% of primary school teachers receive less than six hours’ preparation in total to teach physical education. As we all know, some providers do a great job. The Teaching Agency should ensure that there is a step change in the delivery of quality physical education for all teacher training programmes. I would hope that Ofsted could be required to expand its remit and inspect and report on curriculum-time physical education as well as out-of-hours sport in all schools. The success of the Games needs to be a catalyst not just for improved PE provision in schools; it should be a call for a wider healthy schools agenda, the provision for youths in general and the role of competitive sport in its proper context. What is needed is a greater concentration on the physical and emotional health and well-being of young people nationwide.
If there was ever fertile ground for David Cameron’s vision of the big society, it is through sport and recreation. Control, power, jobs and funding needs to be shifted from bureaucratic, micromanaged structures under the influence of Whitehall to families, clubs, volunteers, community groups and schools, who should be empowered with the task of translating the inspiration of the Games into participation.
While I have focused on the BOA today and the vital need to deliver on the Olympic sports legacy, there is no doubt that equal attention should be given to the British Paralympic Association and to sport for those with disabilities. For this summer gave us a moment to understand the abilities of the world’s Olympians, not their disabilities.
I hope that these objectives which I have shared with your Lordships can begin to deliver an Olympic sports legacy of which this country can be proud.
I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, for securing this debate. Anyone who can get extra time in this place certainly gets my vote. I also congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, on her speech. She became the face of the Paralympics on our television. On behalf of the whole House, we must thank her for everything that she has done.
Last Thursday, along with the noble Lord, Lord Coe, I had the honour to support the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, in his introduction to your Lordships’ House. We have now had his excellent maiden speech. The House of Lords is always a place for vignettes and I must share one with your Lordships today. As we were lining up for our photographs, one of the attendants said to me: “Lord Mitchell, consider this. Lord Coe has two gold medals and achieved umpteen world records. But when the three of you walked into your Lordships’ Chamber, he was in the lead and you were at the back. And when you walked out, you were in the lead and he was at the back. There are not many people who can say that”.
The noble Lord, Lord Deighton, and Lady Deighton are family friends. I have known him during most of these seven years and I can say with absolute certainty that this man is cool under pressure. We had a Sunday lunch just before the Olympics—I think it was three weeks before—when the G4S saga was at its height. I know that he had had a meeting at No. 10 in the afternoon but there was very little mention of it. We talked about all sorts of other things and it was delightful. How he did it, I have absolutely no idea.
They say that success has many parents and that failure is an orphan. We have seen all the people who have been bathing in the success of the Olympic Games. However, we should think again about how we got these Olympic Games and who it was who went to Singapore to achieve it for us. It was not in fact the mayor Boris Johnson; it was the mayor Ken Livingstone. It was not Prime Minister David Cameron; it was Prime Minister Tony Blair. It was the noble Lord, Lord Coe, and, indeed, it was David Beckham. We owe all of them our thanks. Most particularly, I would like to give a tribute to my honourable friend Dame Tessa Jowell, the political champion who has pushed this whole thing through. She is a woman for whom a firm no means a qualified yes. She will not take no for an answer; anybody who has worked with her will say this.
As the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, said, we should cast our minds back to everything that was being said about these Olympic Games—that it would cost “too much money”; that “stadiums won’t be finished”; that it “won’t be successful”; that “traffic would be awful”; that “terrorism would be a continuous threat”; that “it would just be about London and not the rest of the country”; and that “it would be taking money from other important causes”. As you know, the smart set from Notting Hill and Hampstead and areas like that all got out of London because they knew it was going to be a disaster.
I will do something today that I would not recommend to any noble Lord addressing the Chamber. I will read some statistics and, if you think that you will be bored to death, you will not. Eleven million people attended 1,000 sessions of world-class sport and spectacular ceremonies in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including 340,000 free tickets for school children, troops and other worthy causes. Fifteen million people lined the streets for the Olympic torch relay. Some 19.5 million people attended London 2012 festival events across the UK and 10 million people took part in Inspire projects—that is, community projects awarded the Inspire mark which is a version of the London 2012 brand. Some 8.1 million people visited one of 70 live sites in their communities and 51.1 million people—91% of the population—watched at least 15 minutes of the BBC’s Olympic coverage, with a peak of 28.7 million viewers for the opening ceremony; that is one in every two people in our country, including babies. Some 39.9 million people saw Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics—that is, 69% of the population. Two million children and young people in 85% of UK schools learnt about the Games and the values of the Olympics and Paralympics and 12 million children and young people in 20 countries took part in International Inspiration, bringing quality sport to developing nations. Some 2,000 businesses across the country won Games contracts worth £8 billion. As we all know, 70,000 Games makers were the face of London 2012, welcoming the world to the Games.
Research after the Games shows their impact: 70% of people say that children are more positive about sport; 65% think that the Games improved London and the UK’s global image; 80% agree that LOCOG did a good job; 65% agree that the Paralympics have brought about a breakthrough in the way disabled people are viewed in the UK; and more than 80% agree that the Paralympic Games demonstrated athletes’ abilities ahead of their disabilities. This was value for money.
What lessons have been learnt from the Olympic Games? I was impressed by the fact that many of the athletes, when interviewed, revealed that they had undergone severe hardships such as deaths in the family and injuries incurred at Beijing. Their grit and tenacity in overcoming adversity was incredibly impressive. They have inspired a generation. Young people who watched the Olympics will know that there is no substitute for hard work.
What gives results? You cannot just turn up and win. It is not just about talent; it is about training, coaching, resources and a positive mental attitude. We should think about encouraging the same approach in business and the public sector. Excellence does not happen by chance. As for the champions who drove it all through, without political championing nothing would have happened. The noble Lord, Lord Coe, Tessa Jowell and Tony Blair all drove the Games forward politically.
I want to finish on champions. This country needs big projects and bold initiatives. We need to address our airport problem now and not in three years’ time. We also need to address HS2, new roads, nuclear power and maybe even the Severn barrage. It is always easy to say no and kick these projects into the long grass, but that is not good enough. The job of the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, will involve infrastructure. It will not be an easy task but he is the man for the job. We wish him well.
My Lords, I thank my noble friend Lady Doocey for giving us this opportunity to discuss the legacy of the Olympics. We will not cover all aspects of the subject today as it is too multifaceted for us to do it justice in a single debate. We shall have to look at it again and again.
The Olympics were the biggest project Britain has had to bring together and co-ordinate in peacetime, certainly in my lifetime and probably for all time. They were very successful but the idea of taking forward the legacy is new not only for the Olympic movement but for the way we look at big projects. The big sporting projects and championships that are coming up are all trying to learn lessons from the Olympics. Next year the rugby league world championship will take place here. The Commonwealth Games are coming up in Glasgow and also an event for my own sport of rugby union. When I asked representatives of those sports what they considered was the biggest lesson to be learnt from the Olympics, they replied “You should plan ahead. Once your planning is in place, other things are possible”. We should remember the amount of work that was undertaken for the Olympics.
A whole Act of Parliament was devoted to the Olympics. I remember sitting through debates on it in the Moses Room attended by the then Minister, the noble Lord, Lord Davies. Many of the subsequent points of discussion were first opened up there. Work had already been done but we looked at it again. That was the first time Parliament got involved in that. Disability access was one of the largest areas under discussion. The noble Lord, Lord Davies, is not present but I remember saying to him, “Listen, it is not about disability; it is about the Olympics. We have the disability stuff in place”. Those discussions probably helped to make the Paralympic Games such a success. We undertook the relevant work at an early stage.
Have we undertaken the same preparation as regards all aspects of the Olympic legacy? That question will be answered over the next few years. I would disagree a little with my noble friend. I probably would have spent £9 billion on the six weeks of sport but I understand that that view may not be universally held. If we are to ensure that the Olympic legacy is taken forward, we will have to embrace everything that comes from that legacy. Will all the major projects involved, inside and outside the world of sport, take this legacy forward? Do they relate to everything else that goes on?
We must remember that a legacy of involvement and participation in sport needs to apply at all levels. We have the resources to plan and prepare for the needs of the elite, to allow things to happen and to create the space for the experts to get at their subject. However, when you go slightly further down the food chain, things get more difficult. This morning I spent an hour or so with people from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Boxing who are trying to carry out a survey on the benefits of boxing. That sport has suffered from a bad reputation. However, engaging in boxing seems to discourage people from becoming involved in anti-social behaviour. There is very good anecdotal evidence on that. One of the first questions that was asked concerned how we attract funding and support for boxing. We came to the conclusion that neither the people who run boxing clubs nor the people who attend them like filling out forms. How do you attract investment in boxing? How do you encourage private philanthropists to invest in boxing and persuade them that they will get something out of it? How do you persuade government to invest in it and interact with a schools boxing programme? This is not revolutionary thinking. There is agreement on this matter. We disagree only about how it should be done. We need to involve people in boxing at the junior level and make mass participation easier. I am talking about those who do not participate in elite youth programmes.
The discussion continued on the easiest way to reach people, whether information technology was the answer and whether the Government should enable audits to be undertaken. We also discussed what people expected to get back and what it was realistic to expect in terms of a legacy. For example, you will not always get £5 back for every £1 you put in and you will not stop all anti-social behaviour straight away. Will you make it slightly better? Will you make something that grows? Will you enhance community involvement and the concept that people can do something positive? If that legacy applies to sport it will apply to just about everything else that requires participation—drama groups, arts groups and dance groups. Everybody can learn lessons here if we can only sit down and talk.
The entire Olympic experience was one where lots of different facets were brought together. Planning met sport, which met the Cultural Olympiad. We all had to talk together and be involved together. Unless we can start to take the lessons here and apply them across the board, and learn where we need to do more learning, we are going to miss some of the benefits. The Olympic experience has been a great success. Let us make sure that it continues to be so.
My Lords, I declare interests, not just as the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, but as chair of the Cultural Olympiad board and as a board member of LOCOG. In those roles, I have seen at first hand the outstanding work of the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, whose excellent maiden speech we heard this morning. I congratulate him on that and on his central role in a summer that none of us will ever forget.
I should like to comment on the London 2012 Festival, which was the biggest of its kind in this country and one that raised the bar for future cultural Olympiads. Some 25,000 artists from 204 nations were involved and attendances topped 19.8 million people—80% of those at free events. Young people were at the heart of what we achieved; more than a third of audiences were between the ages of 16 and 24. That demonstrates that the arts can reach out to that difficult-to-reach audience.
Most emblematic for me was the opening day of the festival, which took place, in the pouring rain, at Raploch, near Stirling in Scotland. Raploch is one of the most deprived estates in Scotland, or indeed in the whole of the UK, but it is the home of Sistema Scotland, which teaches young children and young people to play instruments and to be part of an orchestra. On that night, young people from Raploch played alongside the Simon Bolivar Orchestra—a product of the original Sistema project in Venezuela—conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. It was an amazingly moving occasion and I was really pleased and proud that it could be the start of the festival as it showed the importance of music, art and culture to young people. As I drove back from Raploch in the pouring rain, I thought about something that the person who ran the festival said to me: “Music reaches people here in a way that nothing else can. We know. We have seen it”. Being involved in the arts and culture can give you a sense of confidence and self-worth and that is why it is so important that the arts remain strong within the national curriculum, and why they should be included in the new English baccalaureate. That would be a good legacy of the Games.
Another thing that happened as part of the festival was that 40 young people, who had been unemployed for more than six months, were given work placements at organisations involved in the festival. I hope that this will once again demonstrate what working in arts and culture can do for young people. I know this is a precursor to a much bigger scheme that the Arts Council has announced, involving the arts in tackling long-term unemployment. This is a great legacy of the festival.
One of the most striking things about the build-up to the Games last summer was the sense of excitement among the public; for example, the huge crowds that came out to welcome the torch and the fact that people wanted to be involved. Involvement was key to the festival too. As has been mentioned, on the opening day of the Games, Martin Creed created an artwork when he asked everyone to ring a bell. I rang my bell with the Speaker of the other place, and managed to get a blister. What amazed me was that 2.9 million people joined in—I repeat, 2.9 million. This tells you something about people’s desire to be part of an event that is bigger than themselves. As there were so many opportunities to be involved, new audiences were attracted.
When the Globe Theatre ambitiously put on all 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 different languages, people came from all around the world and 80% of those who came had never been to the Globe before. It was an extraordinary outcome. We need to look at ways of continuing that. One idea is a biennale, which is one of the things that the board I chair is looking at for the Government. It would be good to know that the Government are building on what was achieved this summer in terms of new audiences.
Another thing that was striking about the festival was the willingness of people to say, “Yes”, to make extraordinary things happen. Hadrian’s Wall was lit up with weather balloons along most of its length. It was really beautiful and it did not rain. The person in charge of this remarkable sight said that 120 separate landowners had to agree for this remarkable artwork to take place. As it was 2012 and as it was the Olympics, there was a sense of, “Let’s do it”. It is really important to see whether that power of “yes” can be taken forward. With luck, we will have pushed boundaries and, next time, dramatic things will be easier to do.
The Cultural Olympiad also challenged perceptions. Unlimited was the biggest-ever programme of arts and culture by deaf and disabled people anywhere in the world; 29 works were commissioned. Nothing had ever been done on that scale before anywhere in the world. In the same way that the Paralympics changed people’s perceptions of disability, this programme has raised the profile and created new opportunities.
One cannot underestimate what the summer and the festival did for bringing people who run things and create together and for establishing new contacts. For the first time, as it was 2012, we had homeless people singing in the Royal Opera House. What voices they had. It was so moving. It was such an important event that we cannot let it drop. It was an important collaboration.
The Cultural Olympiad board, which I was asked to set up, has brought together the arts and the funders: the mayor’s office, DCMS and the BBC, a very powerful combination. So many people right across the country have come together to do amazing things. Those contacts could be the greatest legacy of 2012, and who knows where that might lead. The key is not to drop it.
We have shown the world this summer what we can do in difficult financial circumstances. The arts matter because they are part of the creative industries, which are a large and growing part of our economy. However, what was done this summer was on the back of sustained investment in arts and culture at national and local level over more than a decade. It was that which produced the world-class expertise and talent to create both the London 2012 Festival and the extraordinary ceremonies that accompanied both Games. The Government have asked the Cultural Olympiad board to carry on and look at how we can ensure a long-term legacy. Securing sustainable funding streams for the arts will be key to this. We have shown what we can do but we need to continue to make the case to ensure that this is not a one-off but the beginning of a new, enhanced role for culture in the life of the nation.
My Lords, I join other noble Lords in thanking the noble Baroness for moving this Motion. It has given us all an opportunity to relive some of those wonderful Olympic memories.
My particular interest is road cycling. The road race fortunately passed very close to my home, and so I benefit from a nice personal bit of legacy every weekend by cycling along smooth roads that were especially resurfaced for the Olympic event. However, that is far from the only infrastructure legacy; 75% of the funds spent went on buildings and infrastructure. The noble Lord, Lord Deighton, in his excellent maiden speech, told us how 30 years of regeneration in east London were squeezed into five years. I agree with my noble friend Lady Ford that it was a great achievement. As the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, explained, the conversion of the Olympic site will be the major physical legacy, with new homes, new parks, new schools, and the training facility in east London, and there is the bringing into public use of the stadia, sporting facilities and so on. This is at a time when the underlying economy is weak.
The plans are impressive, but all will depend on how well the London Legacy Development Corporation carries them out. I join the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, in her concern about how it will execute the social regeneration, the jobs for local people and the quality of life. Furthermore, there is still no agreement on who will take over the main stadium. Operators are being appointed for other facilities, but will those facilities be well used? Will the charges be reasonable if they have no public subsidy? Will all the ancillary services be provided? Will the open spaces be well maintained? We did well in meeting the deadline but will we do as well in delivering the legacy?
When the Olympic area was built, green issues were high on the agenda. The procurement process was used as a tool to introduce new products, new technologies and new designs, with wonderful results. Unfortunately, we were unable to persuade LOCOG to allow most of the suppliers, mainly British, fully to use the Olympics as a shop window, in spite of the efforts of the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, so these firms were, in a way, deprived of some of their legacy.
However, I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, the noble Lord, Lord Hall, and others that a good legacy would be a change in attitude towards disabled people. As the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, explained, London’s bid was for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. By giving both equal prominence, London put disability into the limelight; the disabilities were not hidden away. The noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, explained how this made us more at ease with disability. She is right. We talked about it; we marvelled at modern prosthetics; and the disabled athletes were wonderful role models. So the legacy I would like to see is the elimination of the 2,095 cases of hate crime against disabled people recorded by the police last year.
What can the Government do to help this legacy? First, they can review the contract with Atos to manage the personal independence payments which will replace the disability living allowance from next year. Atos has caused so much distress to so many disabled people that the disability charities cannot work with it. Amazingly, the Government have said that this was not a factor in awarding the contract. If the Government are serious about securing the Olympic legacy for disabled people, perhaps they will review this. Secondly, disabled people must not be put at a disadvantage by the complicated reporting system being introduced when the universal credit scheme comes into force next year.
Let us not forget the legacy from the cultural Olympics and from volunteering. The noble Lord, Lord Deighton, explained how, by providing a structure for volunteering, the Olympics were able to harness a passion for volunteering that was surely greater than most of us could have imagined. I agree with him. The Games makers were one of the most successful aspects of the Games. Learning better how to harness this passion for volunteering might be the legacy which involves more people than all the other legacies added together. For instance, Ministers this week are talking about 1 million voluntary dementia friends. Add to this the legacy from the cultural Olympics; and I do not just mean theatre such as “The Hollow Crown”, theatre which most of us want to see again.
The noble Lord, Lord Hall, spoke of young musicians. I congratulate him on the Aldeburgh World Orchestra, an orchestra composed of more than 100 young musicians put together by Aldeburgh Music from many Olympic nations. They really gave quality performances. Is the Minister aware that all the auditions to put this orchestra together were done over the internet? By showing that it can be done, that is an interesting bit of legacy. Incidentally, I include the television coverage by Channel 4 and the BBC as part of both the cultural legacy and the health legacy.
My noble friend Lord Mitchell told us how most of us lived the Olympics via television. The production and the commentary, by people such as the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, were so good that they must have encouraged increased physical activity. That must have something to do with the fact that virtually all sports clubs now have a waiting list. I see proof of this every weekend as, since the Olympics, when my wife and I enjoy the legacy of cycling on our nice, smooth road surfaces, we are joined by many more riders than before.
My Lords, I, too, congratulate my noble friend Lady Doocey on securing today’s debate and reflect on what a marvellous opportunity it has been to hear a cross-section of perspectives.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a reception at the Czech embassy at which the ambassador referred in his speech to the success of the London Games. Like many others, he made particular reference to the volunteers. He said:
“Never, in the field of human endeavour has so much been owed by so many to so few”.
He was right to use that phrase because those few, the volunteers, really kept the Games going and it is about the volunteers that I want to speak today. In doing so, I declare a non-pecuniary interest as the chair of the England Volunteering Development Council.
Much of what I want to say refers to specific volunteering programmes—the Games makers, London ambassadors and so on—but we should recognise that every athlete who participated in the London Games was at the apex of a vast pyramid of support, from the grass-roots clubs on to the highly specialised training, much of which, of course, is volunteer driven. It seems to me to be really important that we look at the success of the largest mobilisation of volunteers since World War II, look beyond the well deserved congratulations, and think about what lessons we can learn from it.
First, will my noble friend outline how the Games maker programme was evaluated, by whom, and when the results will be published? In particular, have the Government any specific plans to capitalise both on that body of volunteers and also those who have been inspired to volunteer in the future? On a specific point, has agreement been reached on what will happen to the LOCOG database of volunteers and those who applied, who were willing to help but for some reason were not used? At the moment, it all looks rather ad hoc.
About a month ago I attended a special event in my home county of Suffolk to recognise the Games makers. The organisers had no database of Games makers to work from, but just relied on personal contacts. It was a lovely event and a great way of saying thank you, but it was also a piece of legacy work. Literally, as it is turns out, because the Suffolk Records Office is creating a special Olympic archive, but it is more specifically a legacy because former Games makers are being contacted about other volunteering opportunities in the county, especially for large events such as festivals—Latitude, for example. Suffolk has had the foresight to create a bespoke 2012 legacy project for volunteering which aims to increase volunteering opportunities within sport and culture across the county. It makes absolute sense that, having invested in training the volunteers for the Olympics, those new skills can be put to further use if that is what the volunteers want. I know that the Westminster volunteer centre is doing similar work developing a group of volunteers to help with large events in London, but I am not aware of any more systematic way of doing this. We run the risk of not making the best of the summer’s success.
It seems to me that, on volunteering, there are a number of lessons that we can learn. First, there is the value of good, inspirational leadership, which we had in buckets, from my new noble friend Lord Deighton, from the noble Lord, Lord Coe, from the Mayor of London and from many others who are Members of this House. We saw the value of cross-party working and the value of working between public and private, but the really important thing was that volunteers were not added on at the end; they were an integral part of delivering the Olympics and Paralympics right from the beginning. That, I believe, is what really made the difference.
It is worth reflecting, however, on the amount of resource that went into this. In my view, one of the main things that made the volunteer programme successful was that enough investment was put in to make it work. It was not just cash. The private sector came in to offer HR support, recruitment, IT, training and even meals for volunteers. Local authorities stepped up and Transport for London ran a marvellous programme of volunteers at major stations. Many volunteers, of course, spent a lot of their own money on transport and accommodation and did so because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I do not believe that we have any idea of the true value of the investment that went into making the volunteer contribution work. I mention that, and I believe it matters, because I think there is a general feeling in Government and beyond that volunteering is a free good. Well, it is not—the Olympic volunteering worked because money was put in to make sure that it did.
The good news is that volunteer centres report more people coming forward to volunteer than ever before, but across the piece I hear that what holds back capacity is that organisations do not have enough paid staff to manage the volunteers. The noble Lord, Lord Haskell, made that point very well in relation to sports clubs. We need to invest in the capacity of the voluntary sector and particularly volunteer centres. They have an important role in brokering volunteering opportunities for people who want to come forward. But the figures from Volunteering England show that half of all volunteer centres have had funding cuts that have led to closures or a cutting back of their hours. Yet their brokerage role is absolutely key, especially if they are trying to work with hard-to-reach groups such as people with mental health problems or from certain minority ethnic backgrounds.
Volunteer centres tell me that there has been a huge increase in unemployed people looking for volunteering opportunities, which I suppose is to be expected. For many others, volunteering is an important way of maintaining self-esteem, getting out and about and meeting people. Investing in volunteering generally is just as important now as it was during the Olympic programmes, but in many ways is needed more because there is not a big one-off event that is capturing the imagination. If the Government want volunteering to flourish, to make community work an inherent part of the education system or a condition of benefits, they will have to grasp the nettle. Flashy websites and national publicity campaigns will not on their own do it unless the support is there at grassroots level.
There is something really special about volunteering that cannot readily be reduced to a financial transaction, but we must recognise that, it in the end, it does not come free. My noble friend Lady Doocey said that we needed to create a legacy worthy of the Games and I believe that this is just as important in volunteering as in every other part.
My Lords, it is a joy and a pleasure to have this opportunity to take part in this debate. I begin as every other speaker has by warmly congratulating the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, on her initiative and on the spirited way she made her speech. It was very well received. The maiden speech that we heard today was a joy and a pleasure to listen to.
When I reflected on the best way to make a contribution, I knew to begin by saying that in 1950 I married my lovely wife Margaret, who came from Dagenham and came to Newcastle where I lived. At dinner parties in 1950—some of them were at my house—two years after the 1948 Games, inevitably the conversation would stray to the Olympics. We would talk until someone said to Margaret, “You have been silent. Have you nothing to say?”, and she would smile and say, “I was there”. She was there. In other words, living in London and with an interest, she attended more than once. When we talked about Fanny Blankers-Koen, Maureen Gardner, Zatopek, Wint, and McDonald Bailey she could say, “I was there. I saw them”. When I spoke earlier on this subject, I simply said that I would love to find in 2012 that more and more people could say, “I was there”, not necessarily in the stadium but that they had had a touch and a feel.
The brief that so many of us received, which I appreciate very much, gives figures. I will remember all my life the enthusiasm of those who watched on the streets. Of course, more people went to the stadia and participated, but it was the enthusiasm and good-heartedness shown by the public who had the opportunity to watch. One of the strokes of genius by the organisers was to organise the torch parade throughout the land. It provided everyone with the chance to say, “I was there”, because in the future they will say, “I saw the torch”. I know from experience in other places that a number of people who were chosen by whatever means to carry the torch are minor celebrities now. They were proud. The public were applauding not only the carrier but the spirit of the torch.
When one looks at the participants performing and doing their jobs on the day, one thing that impressed me was the number of times that the participants said that they were inspired by the crowd. The crowd were absolutely non-partisan. Of course, most of them were British—schoolchildren and others—but they were not partisan in their cheering on of the participants.
One of the things that we can take away from this is that we did it, and we did it well. I am very sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Coe, is not here today, although I understand why. I would have liked to have shaken his hand in some way and said, “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Thou shalt be well rewarded”. He was well rewarded. Not only he but, because of the part they played, others in this House such as the noble Baronesses, Lady Ford and Lady Grey-Thompson, and the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, were fortunate, as were Tessa Jowell and Tony Blair, to have the opportunity to do what they did. They did it successfully and enthusiastically.
When one talks about the legacy, it is plainly there. I hope that we have an opportunity to carry on the spirit of the Olympics. I can record that, in every conversation the day after an event, if I said to a colleague, “Did you see the Olympics last night?” they all said, “Yes I did. I was there”. It was the spirit of what took place that I will recall for so very long. It is a joy and a pleasure to have had such a big non-partisan success. Although there were niggles and disappointments or potential pitfalls, they were all overcome because the spirit of non-partisanship was there. We did it proud and if we ever have a chance to do it again, I know that we will do it just as proudly.
My Lords, I also start by thanking the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, for initiating this debate, which allows us to return to the important issue of the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games. When I last joined in a debate of this sort, back in 2008, I focused my remarks on the physical legacy of the Games as someone who lived for many years in the Lower Lea Valley and who appreciated the enormous improvements to the physical environment that the creation of the Olympic Park would bring about—and it has. Today, however, I wish to focus on a different legacy aspect: what can be done to improve the general health and fitness of those who do not aspire to be elite athletes?
In this context, I would like to draw attention to the work of the Britain on Foot campaign, which aims to,
“inspire and inform the general public to get active and enjoy the Great British Outdoors in many different ways”.
It will be a call to action aimed at a very wide audience. Everyone can be involved, no matter their age, ability or financial status. It is aimed at promoting the benefits of getting active in the outdoors and enabling people to do so, whether that is a simple stroll in the park enjoying the fresh air or a weekend hiking trip.
This major campaign, which will have its official public launch next spring, had a preliminary parliamentary launch here at Westminster a couple of weeks ago at a reception co-hosted by David Rutley and John Mann, the joint chairmen of the All-Party Mountaineering Group, of which I am secretary. The event was a huge success and was supported by government Ministers from the Department of Health and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. A keynote address was given by Anna Soubry, the new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health, who placed great emphasis on the public health benefits of people becoming more active.
The campaign is being actively promoted by the Outdoor Industries Association, the trade body which brings together the major equipment suppliers in the industry—the manufacturers of jackets, fleeces, walking trousers, boots, and tents, woolly hats and so forth. The driving force behind it is the chief executive of the OIA, Andrew Denton, who spoke powerfully and inspiringly at the parliamentary reception, culminating with this challenge to the assembled parliamentarians:
“Ask not what Britain on Foot can do for you. Ask what you can do for Britain on Foot”.
It is a challenge to which all of us who are already convinced of the benefits of fresh air and exercise should be prepared to respond.
For the past 30 years I have organised a rambling group, the radical ramblers, and for the past six or seven years there has existed a sub-set of this group, comprised of those who have a little more leisure time, called the Wednesday wanderers. The name gives a good idea of when the group goes walking. There are several Members of your Lordships’ House from the Labour Benches who occasionally are able to come walking on a Wednesday, and there are one or two spouses of noble Baronesses among the others. We are going to respond to the challenge I mentioned by devising and developing a new, long-distance circular walk in and around London. To emphasise the link with the 2012 Olympics, this walk will start and end at the Olympic park in Stratford and, in particular, at the iconic viewing platform and mega-sculpture, the “Orbit”. That will also be the name of our convoluted circular walk: the orbit.
The work has already started. We are treading the local paths and beginning to write up a new guide. Starting from the Olympic park and going anti-clockwise we will cover the cardinal points of the compass: Cockfosters, at the end of the Piccadilly line, in the north; Windsor Castle in the west; the North Downs in the south; and Crayford Ness in the east. Only yesterday, our little group walked across the playing fields of Eton on a short leg from just outside the Greater London boundary to Windsor. Our circular walk is not a rival to the two firmly established and well signposted circular walks in London—the Capital Ring and the London Loop—but is intended to complement them. Indeed, we will incorporate sections of both of these strategic walking routes in our wander, as well as the Thames Path and a dozen or more local footpaths, of which there are an amazing number in London. We will link parks and open spaces by following river paths, canal towpaths, paths around and across golf courses and occasionally, but only where absolutely necessary, along pavements in residential areas.
The amount of green spaces in London that can be linked together to form an extensive walk—which feels, for the most part, like a walk in the countryside—is truly impressive. When our walk is completed it is likely to be about 300 kilometres long, with 34 or 35 stages. We are aiming at an average of nine or 10 kilometres in each stage. When we have completed this task we intend to publish our new route on the internet or by other electronic means—an app, perhaps. We hope to be able to do this for free. Our aim is to play a small role in getting more people walking for their personal benefit, for the nation’s benefit and for our own satisfaction post the Olympic Games. You could say it is our contribution to the big society. I hope that 2013, 2014 and 2015 will be the years in which activity for all comes to the fore, following the emphasis on elite sports in the Olympic year of 2012. This should be a lasting legacy.
My Lords, I, too, thank my noble friend for securing this important debate, which highlights Brand Britain at its best, and for the chance to discuss one of the greatest events ever to take place on these shores.
In 2004 I had the honour of running with the Olympic torch along the streets of Peckham in south London, where I saw young children from all cultural backgrounds cheering and waving their union jacks and cross of St George flags. They instinctively knew a momentous event was taking place in their midst and felt good about who they were. That was when I realised the importance of having the Olympic and Paralympic Games here in the UK, and I campaigned passionately for London to get the Games, to give children a lasting legacy, a sense of pride, a feeling of belonging to a great nation.
For all of us that dream became a reality during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. They were the most diverse Games in history. I believe that diversity and inclusion were the key founding blocks of the Games because a number of firsts were established which can be used as the benchmark for all future Games and within all organisations.
I declare an interest: I sat on the LOCOG diversity and inclusion board under the brilliant chairmanship of my noble friend Lord Deighton. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome him to the House—he will be an enormous asset—and I congratulate him on his excellent maiden speech. I very much look forward to working with him once again.
During my time on the board I witnessed first hand the collective achievements accomplished since London won the bid in 2005—outstanding achievements such as the 200,000 brilliant, diverse, talented people recruited to LOCOG’s workforce as staff, volunteers and contractors. This included unprecedented diversity and inclusion across the paid, volunteer and contractor workforce, with many people working alongside others they would otherwise never have met, resulting in many having life-changing experiences. There was an unprecedented transparent supply chain, with all business supplies to LOCOG signing up to a diversity charter, driving change in businesses of all sizes.
The Games also had the most accessible venues, with unparalleled inclusive customer service across a range of client groups, from information in the official guides through to the Games’ mobility service. All this was most impressive to visitors from around the world who attended the Games.
I am sure that everyone will agree that one of the lasting memories of the Games was Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, which shone a creative spotlight on our great nation. It showed Britain at its most diverse. It showed our celebrated diversity to be talented, bold and energetic, a rich tapestry of creativity and excellence, with inclusion embedded throughout. It was by far the most diverse and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and I feel so proud to say that.
I met some of the volunteers who took part in the opening ceremony in the “Windrush” display. Their enthusiasm and euphoria was infectious; they felt they had been given an unbelievable opportunity and an experience of a lifetime. One said, “It’s like a dream come true. To be part of this international occasion is awesome”. It was something they never thought they would ever be able to be part of and felt as though they belonged to the greatest historic event ever witnessed in their lifetime.
This opportunity was given to them by Danny Boyle, who took time to meet them individually. He took on the diversity and inclusion ethos with ease and fluidity. He made the extravaganza look natural—as it should be—and made people feel special. He set the tone at the start of the Games of what Britain can achieve if we give everyone opportunities to work together and collectively make a difference to our society for the good of our nation. That is an important legacy that we can and need to build on for the sake of our children, to give them pride in their great nation as they wave their country’s flag.
The cultural element of the Games was celebrated in the way it was originally intended when the Olympics were created centuries ago. A nation’s cultural well-being is food for the soul and gives a sense of togetherness and creativity and stimulates the imagination. The 2012 Cultural Olympiad offered millions of people from all different cultural backgrounds the opportunity to participate in events linked to the celebration of the Games, allowing people to connect with the arts, especially children and young people and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. A lasting legacy has been left not just through participation but because of the permanent artworks that were created for the Games.
There is an education legacy left for children too, which includes the Get Set website. This also has to be commended as it will enable children to continue to be driven by Olympic and Paralympic values, and has diversity and inclusion at its very heart. Schools across the UK will benefit from the most exciting global venture this country has ever undertaken. What a wonderful gift all this is, which will echo across future decades. It is great to know that diversity and inclusion were embedded in every part of the Games and directly influenced and shaped the strategy developed for the Games. We must all take pride in the results of this lasting legacy, and make a commitment to let it influence everything we do and every policy we make, including those made in our media and creative industries and every strategy we develop across government and businesses as we continue to celebrate our great nation—Brand Britain.
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, for introducing this debate. I, too, remember the Olympics with pride and remember the eloquence of the sportsmen and sportswomen when they talked about hard work and graft. I cannot remember how many times that word “graft” came up but what a good message for our young people the word is. I shall remember the technical efficiency, the expertise, enthusiasm and knowledge of the presenters, the splendid opening and closing ceremonies—apart from one that I prefer to forget—and the cheerfulness and the support of the volunteers. However, when it comes to concrete legacies, as the noble Baroness, Lady Ford, said, it was “us”—we did it, and I want to reflect on what we actually did.
Legacy, for me, is not just about initiatives—I think the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, said something very eloquent about this—good though they might be. A true legacy for sport would be for every city and region of the country to have a strategy to help its population be active, and here I admire the initiative of my noble friend Lord Howarth. People’s needs change. Older people are not going to take part in competitive sport—some do, but not many, although they can be active. People with disabilities can be, and are, active. Legacy is a continuum of participation activity, linking industry, schools, clubs, gyms, communities and families, and is continuing and sustained. Such a strategy would include volunteers, and I want to know whether there has been, or will be, any follow-up about volunteers: what made them or inspired them to participate? What did they get out of it? What was useful? What have we learnt from it? How will we fund volunteering?
I want to consider girls and women in sport. It was hoped that the Games would encourage participation in sport—not just in competitive sport but in physical activity. I wish the Government, in their documents, would give greater emphasis to physical activity rather than to competitive sport. I am all for competitive sport—I love it—but sport does not have to be competitive to be enjoyable. I also wish the Government would make firm commitments to developing sport and the arts in schools and encouraging collaboration between both state and private schools. Can the Minister comment on that?
There are initiatives to encourage women and girls to participate in sport, but some of the facts are depressing. A Sport and Recreation Alliance survey in October notes the view of clubs that,
“the Government hasn’t done enough to help community sport create a legacy of participation”.
Many clubs are struggling to increase membership: about 42% of them do not expect additional funding and 78% have seen no increase in volunteering. Only 1% of clubs say that a new school link has resulted from the Games. All this will impact on girls and young people in sport.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Sport and Fitness. I congratulate my noble friend Lady Grey-Thompson on taking the initiative in this, as well as of course on her commitment to encouraging people with disabilities to take up sport and on her superb commentaries during the Games. The meeting that she organised was inspiring, with Kath Grainger talking movingly about her pride and dedication to her sport and Clare Balding and Harriet Harman calling for a 10-point charter for women’s sport. Legacies need vigilance and I suggest we need a great deal of vigilance about women and young people in sport.
We know from a Co-op survey, conducted as part of the partnership with StreetGames, that three out of four young people were inspired by the summer of sport but that costs—and some games do not come cheap—poor accessibility and, sometimes, waiting lists to join clubs are affecting enthusiasm. It found that 63% of young women and 50% of young men who have finished full-time education do no organised physical activity—none. This rises among the unemployed.
The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation conducted a survey with Ipsos MORI the week after the closing ceremony, which found that 41% of young women said the Games had inspired them to be more active. Will that last? Researchers found that women and girls are put off PE classes because of the “jolly hockey sticks” mentality and because they do not offer a range of activities. Parents thought that schools should provide better opportunities for women’s sport, and the vast majority of people agreed that an increase in media coverage of women’s sport was important to the long-term impact of the Olympic Games and that increased funding for women’s sport was important.
Women’s sport currently receives only 0.5% of the total sponsorship income, and less than 5% of the total sports media coverage in non-Olympic years. We need only to look at a daily newspaper to see how neglected women’s sport is despite having achieved enormous success, not only in the Olympics but in other competitions such as women’s cricket and football, where there are star teams. At last, we have great sports presenters who are women, and not just on women’s sport but on cricket, football, billiards, horse racing and so on.
I know Sport England is working to address barriers but there needs to be a government strategy, starting with primary schools and extending through to adult sport, which encourages women, girls and young people of all abilities. I have seen a school sport strategy that has a strong emphasis on competitive sport, but seemingly cuts out initiatives such as the school sport partnership. We cannot separate out school sport from communities. We need a holistic strategy for this and also need to recognise that sporting activity is not only valuable in its own right but that it increases confidence, empathy and academic achievement. I see vision from sporting bodies but little co-ordination or leadership from the Government. Will this change?
My Lords, I rise to speak in the gap to highlight the experience of Tower Hamlets this summer. I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, for enabling me to do so and congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, on her excellent analysis, of which I am sure the House has taken note.
The London Games created significant opportunity for Tower Hamlets residents, and commendable efforts were made by the borough’s mayor to maximise the opportunities from the Games for drawing in funding and gaining long-lasting benefits for residents and businesses. This is reflected in smooth, bump-free roads, high street improvement programmes, the restoration of shop fronts and the refurbishment of Altab Ali Park. Brick Lane was designated as Curry Capital 2012 and promoted the borough’s curry industry to visitors and potential investors. The beautiful Victoria Park was used for screening the Games and to encourage local people to experience them as they happened. There were designated youth sites across the borough for young people to try out Olympic sports. In addition, Mile End Stadium received further investment to include a new running track, which may encourage the Seb Coes and Mo Farahs of the future.
Our borough contributed to the volunteers and gained 1,800 jobs. The creation of Fish Island will add 800 homes—perhaps more—a library and a primary care centre, creating a new neighbourhood. I spoke to some small businesses, men and women before this debate and they have some outstanding concerns about the future legacy. They echo the dismay of the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, that a prospective smart development like Canary Wharf may not touch the lives of those we cited in gaining the bid. The noble Baroness is absolutely correct in calling for the legacy team to honour the promise of sustained commitment to citizens living in the Olympic borough. I am confident that the mayor of Tower Hamlets will continue to exert his influence on the London Legacy Development Corporation, but his efforts will need to be matched by the continuous commitment of those who promised the transformation of people’s lives.
The total consensus was that of a glorious summer of games and wins. Does the Minister agree that the legacy will be truly judged by the success of the next generation of athletes, the employment opportunities across the board, including management positions, as well as sustained environmental changes for those who live in the shadow of the Olympic village? London’s bid was built on the vision of transforming the most deprived areas of London, creating thousands of jobs, homes and business opportunities for local people. As was said today, comparison with the legacy of the London Docklands Development Corporation for local citizens left much to be challenged. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, on his excellent maiden speech and I look forward to hearing much more from him. He rightly said that the Games have transformed the landscape. I congratulate him and his team on their success. I hope he agrees that transforming the landscape will be strengthened by a legacy that will empower those living in the Olympic boroughs. As ever, I am an optimist and hopeful. Leaving aside the euphoria, the jury remains out on the factual impact of those who remain on the margin of our communities.
My Lords, I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, on securing this debate. It has been of high quality and interesting to listen to. I, too, welcome the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, and congratulate him on his excellent maiden speech. Although we will, of course, be sorry to lose the noble Lord, Lord Sassoon, we hope to welcome the noble Lord very soon to the Front Bench and will enjoy debating with him. As the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, recognised in an important way, the Olympic and Paralympic Games were an all-party event. They were bid for and planned by one Government and delivered by another. As my noble friend Lady Ford said, we must not forget that the Games, the brilliant locations, the volunteers, the cultural Olympiad, the opening ceremony and the national journey of the Olympic flame were a huge success, part of that superb summer of sport in 2012.
It seems to be part of the British psyche—and certainly in our media—to attack and diminish our national successes. Thankfully, the Games in all the aspects that I just mentioned were such a success that the normal carping and sarcasm were trumped. The spirit of the Games triumphed and the Olympic stardust was widely spread, enhanced by the brilliant broadcasting by both the BBC and Channel 4. It is worth recalling that when in Singapore London won the right to host the Games, we made a promise to the International Olympic Committee and the people of this country that we would inspire a generation of young people through sport. This was the defining promise of the Games, not just because it was a good idea in and of itself—and it is—but because sport is the best medicine for so many of the problems that our society currently faces. Inactivity may well be the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.
The current recommendations are for adults to achieve a total of at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on five or more days a week; and for children to do a minimum of an hour’s moderate exercise every day. Physical inactivity and poor diet have led to an epidemic of obesity. I believe the latest figures are that 26% of adults and 30% of children are now classified as obese. That is the fourth highest level in the world. We are sitting on a time bomb. Sport can be the best medicine for improving emotional resilience and motivating kids to do their best at school. Evidence also suggests that high-quality PE and sport programmes, managed by committed and trained teachers and coaches, can boost attendance among certain groups of children at school, challenge anti-social behaviour and boost academic performance. There are, of course, other associations with regular, physical activity, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
All the available evidence suggests that simply mounting a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games would not of itself bring about a sustained increase in sports participation. For example, a study by Canterbury Christ Church University found that there is no direct inherent link between elite events and community participation in physical activity. That is why in the years running up to the Olympics, the previous Government invested year on year in school and community sport. Between 2002 and 2010, the number of young people doing at least two or more hours of sport a week rose from 25% to 90%; and 55% were doing three or more hours a week. By 2010, the average secondary school offered 25 different sports, including Olympic sports such as judo, cycling and badminton, where we have seen so much progress in recent years. However, since 2010 we have seen some of this sporting progress begin to disappear. There has been a reduction overall all of 69% in funding to school sport.
As has been mentioned, Labour set a target to get 2 million more adults physically active as a result of the Games and a million more active through sport. To achieve this, £480 million was invested through Sport England into “whole sports plans” for national sporting bodies to drive up participation across 46 different areas of sport. This money has now been cut and by 2010-11, those active in sport aged 16 and over had gone down for the first time since we won the Olympic bid in 2005. Furthermore, the latest active people survey also shows that of the 30 sports the survey measured, only four have seen an increase in participation and there have been decreases in 19. Research by the programme “You and Yours” has indicated that the swingeing cuts to local authority budgets have resulted in 36% of local authorities cutting back or closing sports facilities in the last three years. Since the June 2010 cut in support for free swimming, there has been an 11% decline in the number of people who go swimming at least once a week. That is nearly 350,000 people.
Over the last seven years, all the mainstream political parties came together to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games a success. Is it now time that they did the same for the sporting legacy? Team GB’s success inspired the nation. I believe that the future of sport could be above party politics, so I urge the Government to hold talks on a cross-party basis, along with all those organisations that are responsible for making sport happen in our country, to produce a long-term plan for sport. Some of the actions that need to be taken are: first, to reverse the downward trend in public funding for sport and physical activity. In the long term, any investment that raises participation in sport, both among young people and adults, is likely to save the Government through reduced costs to the National Health Service as a result of inactivity-related disease. Sport can also be an important tool for other social goals, as I have said. In future, perhaps we should decide our level of sports funding on the basis of what the potential long-term savings might be.
Secondly, we need to look at the structures that are responsible for sport in this country and whether they provide the most effective means to improve participation. Primary schools have already been mentioned because they are the area that is in most acute need of this support. Habits for sport and exercise are set early in life and all the available evidence indicates that expert coaching at an early age is the best route to installing a lifelong sporting habit. It is clear that school sports partnerships had a huge impact in improving the sporting offer available in schools. When great sporting nations such as Australia, Brazil and Canada have all made use of this programme, we should examine how we can begin to redevelop a comprehensive support system in schools that can motivate young people to play more sport, more often.
Thirdly, we need to reinvigorate the structures that exist to drive community participation in grass-roots sport, which have sadly fallen down in recent years. Fourthly, we need to look again at this vexed question of selling off school playing fields. In particular, I want the Minister to explain why the Government changed the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 which, when they were passed, set up minimum requirements for,
“minimum area of team game playing fields for schools”.
The replacement, the School Premises (England) Regulations 2012, introduced just before the Olympics, simply states that “suitable” outdoor space must be provided.
Fifthly, given the extensive interest in the Games in your Lordships’ House, I wonder whether there is a case for setting up a Lords committee to keep an eye on the legacy issues that have been discussed in this excellent debate today. The committee could be charged to keep those toes that need to be burnt close to the fire, to use the words of the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey.
Although I spent many hours trying, I did not manage to get tickets for the Games, although, through the kindness of friends, I and my family managed to get to three events and enjoyed them immensely. I was also privileged—and that is the right word—to be invited to participate in the medal ceremonies at the stadium at the last day of the athletics in the Paralympic Games. It was a truly wonderful occasion. I met some extraordinary athletes who happened to have a disability. Attending, watching or participating, you could not help but be inspired by the Olympic spirit, as mentioned by so many noble Lords this morning. You had your hopes raised that that new spirit will continue once the memory of the Games has faded.
There are some areas where effort is required. We have a choice. We either continue to hope that the various elements which are required to deliver a credible legacy and build on the Olympic spirit do what is needed, but do it by themselves; or we could try to build on the all-party consensus which delivered the Games and really get behind the legacy. That might, just might, do something special.
My Lords, first, I take this opportunity to thank my noble friend Lady Doocey for tabling this debate and drawing attention to this most important issue at such a timely moment. This is undeniably a critical phase for the legacy programme, as we seek to capitalise on the momentum of the Games.
We have just enjoyed one of the greatest summers in living memory, a summer in which Britain delivered what it set out to, as succinctly put by the noble Baroness, Lady Ford. This included the greenest Games ever, stunning venues, unquestionable sporting achievement and the UK’s largest ever cultural festival, ably led by the noble Lord, Lord Hall, with 1,000 events taking place across the UK, including in my home town of Stirling—I know the Raploch—where people could see or hear something for free.
The Olympic and Paralympic success was in no small part the result of the hard work of some of other Members of your Lordships’ House, including my noble friend Lord Coe, who, as has been mentioned, was yesterday elected the new chair of the British Olympic Association, succeeding my noble friend Lord Moynihan. I pay particular tribute to the work of my noble friend Lord Deighton, whose maiden speech today was not just most timely and constructive, but gave us a feel of the breadth and depth of the role he fulfilled so brilliantly. I take this opportunity to thank them on behalf of us all. I have certainly noted that many of your Lordships have waxed lyrical today about many individuals and organisations who have contributed. As the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell, mentioned, tribute must also be paid to Dame Tessa Jowell. London 2012 was the first legacy Games, with plans for what happened after the Games considered from the outset. The International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge, said that London provides a legacy blueprint for future Games hosts.
We now have to focus our attention on maintaining the momentum to deliver an enduring legacy. Otherwise the wonderful memories of the Games will be short-lived. My noble friend Lady Doocey emphasised that there is serious work still to do. The Government’s commitment to delivering an enduring legacy is demonstrated by the appointment of my noble friend Lord Coe as the Prime Minister’s legacy adviser. Unfortunately, as has been mentioned, my noble friend cannot be here today. Despite being a former world record holder on the track, even he is not able to get back from Hong Kong in world record time.
The key elements of the legacy programme include: the regeneration of east London; creating a sporting legacy; building our communities; changing the perceptions of disabled people; and securing economic growth.
First, I focus on the regeneration of east London. The benefits of the Games are being felt nowhere more than in east London. London 2012 has been the catalyst for one of the biggest and most ambitious transformation projects in Europe, and one of the most dramatic legacies is the physical footprint left behind in east London. The process of transforming the transport infrastructure in east London began when London won the bid to host the Games back in 2005, and it is now one of the best connected places in the country.
A number of Games-related employment programmes and activities delivered since 2008 have supported at least 35,000 unemployed Londoners into permanent or temporary jobs as a result of the London 2012 Games. Included within that figure are at least 2,000 local people who were previously unemployed and took up employment at the new Westfield Stratford shopping centre, which now, unbelievably, has 10,000 employees overall.
Work has begun to deliver a £296 million transformation of the park into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park—an exciting new destination where iconic venues and attractions will sit alongside new homes, schools and community facilities. Five new neighbourhoods will be developed over the next 20 years, including up to 8,000 new homes, three schools, nine nurseries, three health centres and 29 playgrounds.
Finding a long-term future for the stadium is the critical missing piece in the London jigsaw. The London Legacy Development Corporation is conducting a process to secure the future of the stadium. As your Lordships will know, the stadium will host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
At this stage, I pick up a number of issues raised by my noble friend Lady Doocey. She first highlighted whether the target of 90% community use of sports facilities can be met. To give an example, the Aquatic Centre and the Copper Box are open seven days a week for 18 hours a day. The 90% community use target was a key criteria for selecting operators for those venues. It remains the Mayor’s target. My noble friend Lady Doocey also mentioned the issue of affordable housing and the jobs target. The commitment to 35% affordable homes across the Olympic park remains within the target of up to 50% in the bid figure. There is a re-emphasis on the provision of three-bedroom family housing in the park. LOCOG has met or exceeded the jobs targets. More than 35,000 unemployed Londoners have already gained employment as a result of the Games, and we expect that to increase further.
Secondly, I turn to sport. From grassroots to elite level, across schools, sports centres and community venues throughout the country, London 2012 has laid the foundations that will inspire a generation and help transform people’s relationship with sport, whatever their age, background or ability.
We cannot underestimate the positive impacts that delivering a sporting legacy will have. I am pleased that the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, raised the subject of obesity. For example in 2010, 30% of boys and girls aged two to 15 were classified as either overweight or obese. Improving the relationship of children with sport through a robust schools sports strategy and embedding a healthy lifestyle within the ethos of every family will be key to reducing those shocking figures.
As a result of London 2012, we are already seeing improvements in access to sporting facilities and strengthened grassroots sport through the School Games programme. In particular, since 2009, the Mayor has invested £15.5 million in new facilities and participation programmes, as well as providing training for coaches, officials and volunteers. He has recently committed a further £7 million investment to continue that work over the coming years, and £135 million has been invested in the Places People Play programme, which has improved facilities at 1,000 local sports venues. The Change4Life sports clubs have been shown to be successful in engaging the least active children and improving attitudes toward sports. Disabled sport has been supported by making it a central part of the School Games programme and broadening access through £10 million lottery funding, to help more disabled people to play sport.
Over the next decade, we need to make sure that the investment and enthusiasm unlocked by the Games translate into more sport being played by more people of all ages and abilities for many years to come. That includes continuing to invest in community sports facilities and improving sport and PE in schools, about which my noble friend Lord Moynihan spoke: £1 billion is to be invested in youth sport over the next five years through the youth sports strategy and the Government have committed to announcing progress on school sport policy before the end of the year.
Furthermore, we must maintain and build on the inspiration that our elite athletes provided to young people. This means securing funding for our athletes and hosting world-class international events. Significant inroads have already been made in this area, including securing funding for our athletes to Rio 2016 and a decade of major sporting events. They include the Champions League Final and Rugby League World Cup in 2013, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015, the World Athletics Championships in 2017 and the Cricket World Cup in 2019.
Through community projects which took place across the country and the torch relay, which my noble friend Lady Benjamin mentioned and so inspired children, the Olympic spirit touched the lives of millions in the UK. The Olympic legacy must try to capture this spirit and translate it into positive change at a community level. As my noble friend Lady Scott of Needham Market highlighted, a new spirit of volunteering was created, with the 70,000 Games maker volunteers helping to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Forty per cent of applicants said that the Games had inspired them to volunteer for the first time.
Since then Team London ambassadors have volunteered their time, expertise and enthusiasm to welcome American football fans to London from the US and across Europe. But more still needs to be done to unlock opportunities to volunteer, to build on the success of the Games and join in events over the summer which saw more than 300,000 people volunteer in a wide range of sports across the UK.
My noble friend Lady Scott spoke of the Games makers and how their legacy could be seen to be enduring. The Government are working to secure continued access to the LOCOG database, with details of all of the Games makers and those who applied but were not selected. We must also continue to build on efforts to create a more open and inclusive society As the Prime Minister has said:
“Britain should be a country where success depends on effort and ability, where people are judged not by what they can’t do, but what they can”.
This is an ideal that ran through the Games. For example, London 2012 saw the most extensive Paralympic Games coverage ever in the UK and the highest number of Paralympic ticket sales. In addition, public transport was made significantly more accessible, with a further six Tube stations and all DLR stations becoming step-free. There were 8,500 accessible buses. By 2015 about £400 million will have been spent on the Access for All programme, installing lifts, ramps and bridges at more than 150 train stations. Transport for London is investing another £100 million to extend the programme from 2015 through to 2019.
I would like to acknowledge the important questions raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, on disability-related issues. First, 40 national governing bodies of sport have submitted plans to Sport England about how they will increase participation among disabled people. Any governing body in receipt of funding will be set clear delivery objectives. Failure to meet these delivery objectives can ultimately lead to funding being withdrawn. If a pupil happens to be sent to the library when there is no reason why they cannot take part in sport, the school is at fault and the pupil and parents have due cause to complain to the head teacher and the governing body. Disability sport features at every level of the School Games programme and the Department for Education is funding Sport England to ensure this.
London 2012 offers an opportunity to deliver a lasting economic legacy that will benefit the whole country. We need to send out the message loud and proud that this is a great place to do business, to invest in and to visit. We need to do everything possible to help British companies internationalise. The Government are committed to securing £11 billion worth of inward investment over four years as a result of the Games and have launched a targeted, business-focused campaign to attract overseas trade and inward investment and to ensure that the whole economy benefits from the increased global profile.
Tourism will also benefit hugely from the Games and we are supporting and promoting domestic tourism and investing to promote the UK globally as a tourist destination. The ambition is to generate an extra £2.3 billion of benefit from international visitors over four years. So the total is £13 billion.
A number of issues have been raised by your Lordships during this interesting debate. I acknowledge the point made by my noble friend Lady Doocey that it is important to improve the training of physical education teachers so that they are capable and trained to be able to manage and develop sport for the disabled. I also take my noble friend’s point that it is important to target resources into primary schools. A number of your Lordships made this point. My noble friend suggested that funding for this should be ring-fenced; I will need to come back to her on that.
I was interested in and fascinated by the speech of the right reverend prelate the Bishop of Norwich. He made the important point that was also raised by the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, that the Games produced for us a more cohesive nation. I believe that as a nation we can now hold our heads up higher than we have done in the past. I was particularly interested to note the amount of work that was put into producing interfaith advice and multi-faith events, including church services and giving advice to athletes and performers at the Olympics. We must build on this and learn from it.
The noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, focused largely on the report due out from Lord Justice Leveson. I think the noble Lord took part in the recent debate in this House. We all await the conclusions and recommendations of Lord Justice Leveson—I am not able to comment any further.
I pay tribute to my noble friend Lord Bates for the work he has done to promote the Olympic Truce. It is an important aspect of hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games and sport, as we have heard today, has the power to bring people together from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, without prejudice or discrimination, whether at a global level through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, or at a local level through activities within schools and communities. We must use the spirit, actions and ethos of the Olympic Truce for future Games.
The very important issue of women in sport was raised initially by my noble friend Lord Moynihan, while the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, also focused on this in her speech. We must build on the wonderful performances by women in the Olympics and Paralympics and inspire more women and girls to take part in sport. I know that my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has highlighted the importance of this, and I am certain that there will be greater emphasis in this area although I cannot at the moment say precisely what this will be.
My noble friend Lady Bonham-Carter and the noble Lord, Lord Hall, brought up the inclusion of computer science in the Baccalaureate and the inclusion of the arts in the EBacc. At the moment EBacc has five core academic subjects to ensure that doors are not closed off to students in terms of future progression. There is 20% or 30% of curriculum time remaining to do other subjects that interest them or are useful for future education or employment. The Government said in January 2012 that if the new computer service qualification is of sufficiently high quality we will consider including it in the EBacc. I hope that that answers the question.
To conclude, we should not lose sight of the fact that the London 2012 Games were the first legacy Games, with the plans for what happens after the Games developed from the moment the bid was created. We should be proud of what has already been achieved. That said, the legacy story is far from over. We now have to focus our attention on maintaining momentum to deliver an enduring legacy that lasts beyond one great summer and reaches every citizen in this great country so that these Games are remembered not only as the Games in which Britain delivered and where people could say “I was there” but also the Games that shaped our future. This will not be easy but we have laid the foundations and I am confident that the right structures are in place to deliver an ambitious and sustainable legacy for the UK.
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken in this fascinating and wide-ranging debate. I thank the Minister for his considered response to the issues that were raised. I congratulate my noble friend Lord Deighton on his brilliant maiden speech.
Noble Lords talked with great enthusiasm about what has been achieved so far and about their hopes for what will be achieved in legacy. Let us take that hope and turn it into delivery and ensure that we keep this issue under the spotlight so that the promised legacy of the Games is delivered and lives up to what has been delivered for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which is a mind-blowing achievement.