Hansard Contribution By Lord Mawson (CB) On Tuesday 11 January 2022
My Lords, I was one of the people, along with Paul Brickell, who wrote for Hazel Blears the structure for the Olympic Park Legacy Company. I was involved in that project from day one—along with Lord Rogers, who, sadly, has recently died—and for 19 years. We thought a lot about this question because, in east London, we had to engage with six different boroughs around the 248-hectare Olympic Park. We knew that if we simply brought together representatives, many of whom did not have good working relationships or the necessary practical skills, to deliver that project, we would have another Olympic failure on our hands.
The structure that we wrote for Hazel Blears at that time suggested that we needed to bring the right people together for that project: for example, Keith Edelman, who had just successfully built the Arsenal stadium might be a rather important person to have on the board because he understood the detail about stadiums and how you run them—and we were about the build a half-a-billion-pound one. Or perhaps we would need someone like Nick Bitel, who had set up the London Marathon and knew something about sport and the politics of sport; I discovered a great deal about how complicated all that actually was. Or we might need on the board the most successful Labour mayors in that area—Sir Robin Wales of Newham and the mayor of Hackney.
I am very supportive of what the noble Baroness, Lady Harding, is saying. We built a team of the right people to ensure that we delivered a serious legacy on that 248 hectares in east London. I suggest that noble Lords go and have a look at what happened as a result. Empowering the chairman to choose the right team with the right skill set is absolutely crucial if we are to transform the NHS and make it fit for purpose in this century.
Link to the debate published on Tuesday 11 January 2022