The Bill seeking to protect the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games from issues such as ‘ambush marketing’ and ticket touts while putting powers into place to address transport and land purchase to ensure the Games can be delivered has today cleared its first parliamentary hurdle.
The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee has recommended that the Parliament agrees the general principles of the Bill when it is debated on Wednesday 27 February.
In its Stage 1 report published today, the Committee agrees there is broad overall support for the proposals contained in the Bill, but has identified certain areas where improvements and additional information from the Scottish Government would be welcome.
Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP, said:
“The Committee congratulates Glasgow in winning the bid for the Commonwealth Games. This Bill will enable Glasgow and the Government to take forward the work required to support the Games, addressing issues such as advertising, ticket touting and street trading.
“The Bill has our overall support but we suggest that the Government takes further consideration of the enforcement powers included in the Bill, an area of concern to several police organisations.”
The main area of concern is that of the recruitment, training and powers of the temporary enforcement officers employed to enforce a games offence. Evidence given by The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, The Scottish Police Federation and The Scottish Police Authorities Forum alerted the Committee to issues surrounding background checks, public accountability and management sanctions for enforcement officers, which have yet to be covered by the Bill.
The Stage 1 Report makes a number of further recommendations -
- The Scottish Government should pursue Lottery fund avenues as an option to offset the public commitment of funding from Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government, allowing more money to be invested in grassroots sport development in Scottish communities.
- The issues over ticket touting are not restricted to the Commonwealth Games and the Committee considers that where legislation can bring benefits through application to other areas this should be investigated.
- The Committee is concerned that businesses and employment could be adversely affected in the pursuit of land and buildings for the Games. The Committee would not like to see new employment benefits undermined by job losses to established businesses and therefore seeks a response from the Scottish Government.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill will create new criminal offences prohibiting unauthorised advertising and outdoor trading within the vicinity of the Games venues and unauthorised sale of games tickets in excess of face value. The Bill will also give councils and Scottish Ministers powers over traffic regulation orders and issues surrounding the compulsory purchase order for land. The Bill will provide Scottish Ministers with the power to repeal the Act from the statute books once the Games have ended.
Further information on the inquiry, including its remit, and how to submit evidence can be viewed on the Committee’s web pages